Thursday, June 30, 2011



Pope Benedict’s ordination to the priesthood
60 years ago yesterday
A rad trad for Ron Paul
John Lennon ended up a closet Republican, aide claims
Not necessarily the same as a libertarian but a vindication vs besotted Beatles fans. ‘Imagine’ is still evil. From the Bovina Bloviator.

The government’s boot on your throat
From the LRC blog
  • To give credit where it’s due, Lindsay Lohan gets it: Have you guys seen food and gas prices lately? U.S $ will soon be worthless if the Fed keeps printing money.
  • The proper US attitude towards Muslims. As John Adams’ 1797 Treaty of Tripoli said: As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion – as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen – and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
  • Ilana Mercer says no to Beltway and left-libertarians. What I think when an occasional RR link pushes state gay marriage (Chronicles blames libertarians for state gay marriage but a real libertarian wouldn’t use the state to force so-cons to play along with that) or stabs the Catholic Church. Also, as Ordered Liberty says, big on rights but not on duties/responsibilities.
The case against state-sponsored gay marriage
From RR
Why the left fears libertarianism
From LRC
Obomba

Or ‘it isn’t warmongering when we do it’. Glad I stayed home in November ’08. From Cælum et Terra.
MJBono on the Catholic case against women’s ordination
Answering the Patriarch of Lisbon, at whom I’m surprised as 99% of the time this comes from Catholic minorities living in Protestant countries such as the US (the idea’s obviously from outside the church). Most of the time in the church, the matter just never comes up.

Protestants can and do vote for substantial changes to their churches. We can’t, and don’t want to.
The Cardinal’s implication that we cannot ordain women priests merely because it is “Tradition” that we do not is still quite irresponsible and deceptive, since it does not address or make clear the nature of Tradition, which, in this case, is the Traditional form of the Sacrament of Ordination, and thus is Sacramental validity.
Sounds Protestant of the patriarch. Actually scripture is part of tradition.
For, just as we cannot baptize using sand (but must use water, as dictated by Traditional form), and just as we cannot confect the Eucharist using potato slices and Pepsi (but must use bread and wine, as dictated by Traditional form), and just as Christian marriage cannot be polygamous, or homosexual ... or inter-species! (but must involve only one man and one woman, as dictated by its Traditional form), so we are bound to only ordain men (potential fathers – patriarchs) to the Christian priesthood. To do otherwise would be a false, unApostolic physical sign of the Sacrament, and thus an invalid Sacrament. So, for the Cardinal to say there is “no theological obstacle” to ordaining women to the priesthood is simply untrue and ridiculous. There is a BIG theological obstacle to it – namely, the very foundation of Catholic Sacramental theology, which recognizes that correct physical form dictates Sacramental validity. ;-)

The bigger problem here, of course, is the liberal-modernist notion (adopted by all-too-many otherwise right-minded modern Christians) that there is no fundamental difference between men and women. This is a lie from the very pit of hell. For, while men and women are certainly created with equal human dignity, etc., they are not (as Traditionally understood) the same creation; and they most certainly do not perform the same function or have identical roles in human society. A British comedian by the name of Jim Jeffries (whose comedy is typically quite foul ... but insightful all the same) illustrated the principal quite well, when he said ...
Now, when a man sleeps with a lot of women, we say that he’s “a stud,” and society admires that. But, when a woman sleeps with a lot of men, we say that she’s “a slut”; and people think that’s unfair – a double-standard. But, it’s not unfair at all, and I’ll tell you why: Being a stud is bloody hard. To be a stud, you have to be charming, and witty, and handsome; have a lot of money, drive a really nice car and have a really amazing job. But, to be a slut, you just have to “be there.” And, don't get me wrong ... I love sluts. But, let’s be honest: I’ve know a lot of fat, ugly sluts. But I’ve never met a fat, ugly stud. :-)
Any secular person would admit that this is 100% true. So, if the intrinsic difference between men and women (and the roles they can and do play in our society) is obvious to seculars, it should be obvious to Christians as well. Women are not men who merely lack penises. Sexuality is part of our human makeup and human identity, and it has a Sacramental dimension in the Church of Christ. A woman cannot be a father or serve as the physical Sacramental sign of a patriarchal priesthood.

The bottom line here is that we need to stop apologizing for patriarchy or buying into the liberal belief that patriarchy is somehow “oppressive” or “unfair.”

Essentially, the Catholic “both-and” (as opposed to the Protestant “either-or”) mentality must apply here. For, on one hand, man and woman are the same creation (as per Genesis 1:26-27 ... both created in the image and likeness of God); but, on the other hand, they are different creations – that is, created for intrinscally different purposes (Genesis 2:6-7 and Genesis 2:18-24). As it says in Genesis 2:15, man was created to “tend and guard” the Garden (i.e., creation), so as to safeguard it from evil; and to this man (as head of the human family), the proto-commandment was given (Gen 2:16-17). However, as it says in Gen 2:18, the woman was created to be a “help mate” for the man – to assist the man in his God-given ministry, for “It is not good for the man to be alone.” And while the woman’s role is essentially that of a subordinate, it is also, paradoxically, greater than that of the man, since the man must essentially be at her service (just as he is with the rest of creation), since she is the final and greatest creation (God’s masterpiece), and he is to “tend and guard” her as well – protecting her from evil. Now, in the tragedy of the Eden narrative, Adam of course fails to do this. But, while Eve is the first human being to sin, it is Adam’s sin which alienates all of mankind from God, because he possessed the greater responsibility; and if Eve had sinned and Adam remained faithful, he could have (as a sinless human being) interceded for her, and have, himself, been the Messiah. But this was not to be.

Indeed, the most telling aspect of the Eden narrative (viz. the role of men and women) is the contrasting statements in Gen 2:17 vs. Gen 3:3. For, as I said, in Gen 2:17, which takes place before Eve is even created, God gives the command to Adam that he must not “eat” of the Tree of Knowledge, “lest you die.” Yet, in Gen 3:3, when Eve recounts the same commandment to the serpent, she says, “You must not eat of it, or even touch it, lest you die.” The distinction between these two expressions would be readily obvious to an ancient Jew, who would immediately recognize it as a legalistic “hedge” – a legally imposed barrier, just as, in the Torah, Leviticus is a “hedge” (courtesy of Moses) to prevent one from violating the Ten Commandments (the heart of the Law); and just as Deuteronomy is another “hedge” (courtesy of Moses) around Leviticus, to stop one from violating Leviticus, so that, in turn, one would not violate the Ten Commandments. What the author of Genesis expects us to conclude is that the additional stipulation not to “touch” the fruit of the Tree was imposed upon Eve by Adam, her authoritative head And he does this in order to faithfully carry out his God-given ministry of human headship. His only fault is that he does not follow through on his responsibility, but follows his wife into sin.

So, in short, men and women are equal in created dignity, but intrinsically different in created purpose. And one need not be a believer to discern this. Until the rise of modern Feminism (and the tyranny of political correctness that accompanied it) it was and is simply common sense.
Ties into the natural-law truths of Roissy (not a churchman at all but, a realistic observer of human nature, otherwise conservative: ‘typically quite foul ... but insightful all the same’): women like strong men and would have it no other way, modern(ist) public piety notwithstanding.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mainline decline: if I were a gambler...
I don’t blog to rag on mainline Protestants – all faiths have the rights to govern themselves and to their properties; libertarianism 101 – but when the MCJ told of a minister (rather prominent locally in his denomination) spinning Matthew 15:21-28 so that the Canaanite woman ‘teaches Jesus, changing him for ever’, it got me thinking that if I made bets I’d try putting some money on when most of the mainline will officially apostatise, voting themselves out of Christianity/going unitarian. According to their own principles they can do that. They’ll do it subtly. They won’t be upfront and say ‘we’re not Christian any more; you can’t believe that any more’ but change belief in the content of the creeds from a requirement on paper to an option. Making official the unbelief long in practice among them since the ‘Enlightenment’, like that minister, so among the few of them left, the change won’t be a big deal. But the Neuhaus principle will kick in: orthodoxy made optional is eventually banned.

Ἁγία Σοφία
Holy Wisdom Cathedral

From a FB friend:
Walking through the gallery, I overheard someone saying ‘800 years of whitewash, but he’s still here, just beneath the surface.’
The Pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople on this feast day
Very nice but the standoff remains: as Rome teaches, sacramentally the two are the same church, but the only real difference – the scope of the Pope (divinely instituted office of the church’s infallibility or a man-made rank among the bishops of that infallible church?) – is an inch wide but miles deep. Union’s a zero-sum game: one side would have to give in. BTW C’ople’s not the Orthodox Pope, just one of many patriarchs in a messy communion of good conservative ethnic churches remarkably alike but little to do with each other, which is fine with them.
From RR
  • Justin Raimondo: To Obama and his minions, the Constitution is an obstacle to be ignored, where possible, and ‘reinterpreted’ when necessary. During his presidency, the US military is the instrument of a militant internationalism, one that murders civilians in the cause of ‘human rights’ and seeks to spread ‘democracy’ abroad even while ignoring basic democratic precepts on the home front. This administration, armed with an ideology so far removed from American traditions and sheer common sense, is far more dangerous than its war-maddened predecessor. Exactly what I expected from a man of the left, which was why I stayed home that election.
  • LRC: peace with Muslim countries possible.
  • Shut down the ATF.
  • Stealing you blind: the fate of Greece.
SS. Peter and Paul
The Roman Breviary offices

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


The deficit is worse than you think
Of course. From T1:9.
From FB
  • ‘My God, how the money rolls in’, rainbow edition. Same-sex couples aren’t the only ones rejoicing over New York’s legalization of gay marriage – divorce lawyers are also breaking out the champagne. An unintended consequence of trying to use the state to force the rest of us to agree with you. Then again if my idea of kicking marriage down to boring old contract law were enacted (respecting my rights and yours – the state doesn’t define our relationships; we and our religions do), such breaches would end up in court anyway.
  • So they cancelled ‘Law & Order: LA’. Never got into it for some reason. First ‘L&O’ since ‘Trial by Jury’ (probably because Jerry Orbach died, RIP) to bomb? All I remember is Alfred Molina’s character (like ‘House’ another English actor who does a good job with the American accent) switching from being a government lawyer to a cop IIRC. As long as ‘SVU’ and Bobby Goren are still on, things are pretty good. ‘SVU’ has its problems though: watch cops push suspects around violating their rights for 15-20 minutes until the culprit shows up. And how many of the confessions Goren tricks out of people would hold up in a fair court?
  • Apparently there is a ‘super-rare 1949 Decree of the Holy Office allowing the translation of the Missale Romanum into literary Chinese’.
The persistence of bourgeois radicalism
I don’t blame most Muslims for terrorism in the West but rather our own turkey foreign policy coming home to roost, but good point about the SWPL left, or Che was a murderous coward so your T-shirt/poster is not cool (or like LBJ to his grandson I’ll give you $100 to get a haircut and some grown-up mid-century-style clothes). While individual Muslims ought to be free and thus welcome here, I’ll concede that you don’t want to live under Muslim rule (from dhimmitude to so-called honour killings) and, if Islam really is incompatible with individual liberty, then it’s not welcome (your freedom of religion ends where my liberty begins).
According to classical Marxist theory, I, as the son of an automobile-production engineer thrown out of work by Thatcher’s economic restructuring, should have been the most radical of students. Yet there I was in the varsity library reading all the dust-covered tomes that the leftist academics who taught our courses had left off the reading lists for the last 30 years. There I was, propping up the student union bar telling the usual gaggle of plummy-voiced Marxists that the state wasn’t going to wither away with money becoming redundant while we all went around happily doing odd jobs for each other. Perhaps preserving a modicum of economic reality against the bourgeois Bolshies’ meditative myopia was my little way of fighting the class war.

What would work, however, would be to change university education from the three-year radicalization holiday it has become to something more like vocational night school. Those who wish to better their prospects or who simply have an unquenchable thirst for esoteric knowledge could do courses in the evenings or on weekends after they have finished their real job. The best cure for student radicalism is a normal working life.
From Taki.

Monday, June 27, 2011


From Mark Shea
  • A tale of two crimes in America. “Paul Allen, 55, a former mortgage CEO who defrauded lenders of over $3 billion... got... a 40-month prison sentence,” reports Abby Zimet, while “Roy Brown, 54, a hungry homeless man who robbed a Louisiana bank of $100 – the teller gave him more but he handed the rest back [– and who] felt bad the next day and surrendered to police... got 15 years.” From Joshua. Mark in Spokane: A more telling example of the corruption of our government in regard to big-business crime is difficult to imagine. The lack of proportionality between punishment and crime is hard to fathom except as a product of the ultimate decay of the sense of justice in our criminal-justice system.
  • Another reason the ’40s were better. Can you imagine if Battle of Britain RAF pilots, as depicted in movies (not so bad as far as national myths go), talked like today’s trash? Granted there were lowlifes then as in any era but I think this funnily shows the point (grown men, certainly of a certain station, didn’t look and act like little boys). The answer in schools is somewhere between ‘self-esteem’ rubbish and bringing back the cane (neither the sin of pride nor violating one’s person).

From LRC
  • When national myth uproots local stories. An example from what used to be the American South: a rally PC-ified and twisted to serve the feds. Of course local culture has long been the norm: lots of little countries like Liechtenstein and San Marino, not conglomerates like Germany and Italy. A story from the Italians I know, the oldest of whom are from Brooklyn, are in their 70s and one of whom is a first-language Italian-speaker. He literally married the girl next door – in 1962 – and his father, from Catania, and her grandparents, from Calabria and Sicily, could not understand each other speaking their local languages even though the languages were related (not dialects of Italian, languages). Standard Italian and English must have been the go-between languages. (Before WWII many people didn’t normally speak standard Italian.) Anyway the South of course is part of the ongoing story of America’s British culture/classes: the Scots in the New World – the NASCAR South – ended up like the ones in the Old, going for independence and being smacked down, looked down on and cannon-fodder manipulated shamelessly in the empire’s (the dominant liberal English who know what’s best for everybody) wars. BTW in my time in the South, in another yankeefied state capital, I was struck how Reconstruction had rewritten their history. No Confederate monuments at the statehouse. A Catholic take: such nationalism and globalism are both like fake universal churches.
  • Not a personality/leader cult: Ron Paul happens to be right about essentially everything in American politics. When a mainstreamish person like Stossel says it, you know you’re making a little headway. I’m pretty sure that white guilt will hand Obama another term but it’s still a good sign. The old American republic is not dead at least in the hearts of its people.
  • Car care: what and what not to cheap out on.
  • Perennial topic: is college often worth it?
  • Another: why our money’s not real.
  • RIP Peter Falk. Columbo.
  • Brave new world: from Gary Lewis, the Monkees and the Archies to this, the ultimate manufactured pop star, a computer composite of six people. Ultimate so far anyway. Not surprising now and is anybody else not surprised that this came from Japan?

Sunday, June 26, 2011




Sunday

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The death of the book?
From Tory Anarchist
Two, shooting from the hip
  • New York state wants to force you to pretend the same sex can marry each other. Most of you know I’m a libertarian so no Manhattan Declaration or Defense of Marriage Act to pick on homosexuals (who are only something like 3% of the population). But what about social conservatives’ rights? The answer to both the left and the so-cons is to get the state out of it. The state doesn’t have the power to define reality and gays et al. can live in peace. (No thought crime/‘hate crime’ – emotions are none of the state’s business – but enforcing existing do-no-harm laws against assault etc.) Kick marriage down to boring old contract law and make defining such relationships a matter for the couples and whatever religions they belong to. (I think Methodism’s wrong too but am not trying to ban it.)
  • The left predictably make fun of Michele Bachmann. My take: another Sarah Palin. Meh to both and to the smartasses at Rolling Stone.
Sermon of the day: the lies of extramarital sex
From Anthony Esolen via T1:9
From RR

Friday, June 24, 2011

One true churches and the other side’s saints
From FB:
I’ve noticed that Byzantine Catholics venerate post-schism Eastern Orthodox saints, and Western Rite Orthodox venerate post-schism Roman Catholic saints; can anyone explain why? I mean especially to understand the Western Rite view, whether WRV are allowed to pray to post-schism saints such as are contained in the Anglican Breviary...
‎90% of Byzantine Catholics don’t venerate post-schism Eastern Orthodox saints; they venerate the same saints as Roman Riters (they don’t identify with the Orthodox at all). A small minority, mostly converts, do. Which is no problem because Rome gives born Orthodox the benefit of the doubt: not heretics but estranged Catholics. (Maybe Antiochian WRO takes the same open-minded approach to Roman Catholic saints.) So you’ll find the tiny Russian Catholic Church (American non-Russians who love everything Russian Orthodox but remain under Rome) liturgically commemorating Russian Orthodox saints, with Rome’s blessing.

Anyway, my take on the subject. Rite controls what you do in church. (A kind of maintaining public order.) Your church’s bishops can only judge the holiness of people in your church so, except for what I described above, no liturgical veneration of the other side’s post-schism saints. Fair enough.

Private veneration is another story: outside of church you can venerate anybody. St Francis for example has just about universal appeal. Russians go to Lourdes (post-schism Western Marian apparition); there are Roman Catholics who love St Seraphim of Sarov. No problem!
Religious non-news
‘Dog bites man’ and ‘sun rises in east’, perennial non-stories. Listing some, in the tradition of GetReligion:
  • A minister discovers universalism (like he invented it – not) and is thrown out of a job. A little made-to-order media martyr.
  • A mainline denomination (doesn’t matter which; they’re all the same) does something way out in left field (by nature that’s what they do) and its losing relative conservatives leave to form a little, slightly less liberal but still liberal mainline denomination. Gets coverage for the same reason vagantes below do, even though lots of people don’t go to them any more. The slant: the denom is brave and a victim; the losing side is ‘mean’. Of course a church has the right to govern itself but please.
  • A priest gets caught or accused of sinning. Unless it’s churchwide, like the underage gay sex scandal or Maciel, who cares? (Not catching Maciel all those years was a big failure of the Novus Ordo neocons; Pius XII’s Vatican was about to can Maciel when Pius died; kudos to Ratz/Benedict for doing so decades later.) Gossip: detraction (when it’s true) and/or calumny (malicious lies), covered by the 8th Commandment.
  • Someone whose conversion was a big deal online converts again, also a big deal online. More gossip.
  • Gay and female vagantes, a sideshow for reporters who want to spite the Catholic Church. (No, St Gargantua’s College doesn’t owe Fr Fabulous from Our Lady of the Garage a job.)

My case for traditional Anglo-Catholic missals for the ordinariates

In a combox Sybok wrote:
I know, YF, you’re no fan of the Ordinary Form, but I am now that we have these new translations (I was before as long as it was done right and not in the English language since nothing was translated right). As far as the Tridentine rite goes I demand it be in Latin* – in fact I even think the epistle and gospel should only be in Latin* too (only to be reread in the vernacular during the homily; that’s how the Tridentine-rite parish I go to does it). What I am saying is the American Missal from researching it is too close to the Tridentine Mass so I am very uncomfortable and plainly opposed because it would be like the TLM in the vernacular. I, ignorant of Anglican tradition so take me with a grain of salt in my opinions regarding it, think a 2nd Edition Book of Divine Worship with more traditional BCP in it would do fine for Americans; like you said several times the British seem to prefer the Ordinary Form. Maybe give Anglican Ordinariates the option to have reconstructed Sarum (in Latin only) as their Extraordinary Form counterpart to the Book of Divine Worship instead of the Tridentine.

*Old Church Slavonic instead of Latin for Slavic parishes of course! Wasn’t just Croats; Poles and Slovaks were doing it on a limited indult basis during late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Latin, particularly pronounced the Italian way as most Catholics who use it do (there are also the German/Polish pronunciation where soft c is s not ch, and in practice the French accent), is beautiful and it has its place as an unchanging template with clear meanings from which to make vernacular translations, and as a common language when congregations are international, but other than that and historical or sentimental reasons why insist on only Latin for the Tridentine Mass? One of my catch phrases here is It’s Not About Latin™. Fr and Ms Old Liberal still running local RC institutions (AmChurch) know Joe and Mary Average Catholic (such as every person from mid-century outside tradsville I’ve mentioned it to) don’t want to go back to Latin (of course not; they don’t understand it) so the old libs use that to scare them away from the TLM. So I’ve always said fine, translate it as an option. Trads think that’s too Protestant and libs know it undercuts them (the people would understand it so it would teach them Catholicism, which the libs don’t want) so until Pope Benedict it’s been next to impossible.

The beauty of something like the Anglican Missal (not an official Anglican book) or the American Missal (an approved variant of the US 1928 BCP) is it is partly the Tridentine Mass, with the BCP content, sharing credal orthodoxy and a Godward worldview with the Catholic Church, blending in just about seamlessly. Its style is part of the history of the English language and Anglo-American culture. Like the Tridentine Mass it’s a tradition in living memory that many, such as the Americans interested in the ordinariate, are still attached to (American conservative Anglicans unlike the British love thous and thees).

So it not only pushes tradition past the libs’ scare tactic (‘ew, you don’t want to go back to Latin!’) but also in the best sense it’s ecumenical, a Catholic way of connecting with America’s WASP roots. (Another way, which Fr Daniel Oppenheimer did in the FSSP: sing classic, singable, orthodox Anglican etc. hymns at Low Mass. Too Protestant for rad trads but fine with me.) Pope Benedict’s smart: snatch ecumenism from the libs.

So no, I don’t want to see the Novus ICEL/1979 BCP hybrid that’s the BDW nor something more Prayer Booky (which I think would be too Protestant). Why go in those directions when Anglo-Catholics already came up with a perfectly good Catholic way? (Antiochian WRO had the sense to do that; of course they’re Novus-free.) Duly noted: when all of the Ordinary Form in English gets better this Advent (no more ‘dynamic equivalence’ garbage; Pope B has fixed all the real problems with the OF in English), the BDW will get better.

I said the Tridentine Mass and 1928 are living traditions, which brings me to my objection to trying to revive Sarum. It’s sound and fine for demonstrations/re-enactments but for a long time no longer a living tradition so trying to bring it back and impose it on the ordinariates would be a waste of time and effort. AFAIK there was never a plan to try that.

In short I think I’m essentially a pre-Vatican II ‘liberal’ – liturgical-movement with chant Masses the norm in practice, with congregational singing; where hymns are appropriate, the best of Protestantism (I prefer chant myself); and let’s have the option of doing some of it in English. (And religious liberty and ecumenism minus indifferentism are OK.) Now considered reactionary because... it’s still pre-V2.

Repeating the church reality check: no matter which missal, be it the libs’ status quo or something most readers and I would like, some Catholics would hate it, some would love it and a lot would keep going to Mass or not for their own reasons regardless. That said, I think if the service were more clearly orthodox again, more than 30% of Catholics would know what the Eucharist really is (that Gallup poll from the ’90s).

Happy feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On ex-Anglican-turned-Catholic priests’ right to their pensions
‘Every time there’s a change in policy’ – fallible church as opposed to infallible – is of course the whole point of leaving to become Catholic

Fox caught doctoring crowd scene on game show
From Ad Orientem
  • Feds look for new ways to lie to us.
  • McCain’s never-ending war.
  • GOP divided on war cuts. On NBC’s TODAY, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, the latest Republican to join the presidential race, said, “What we need now is a healthy dose of nation-building here at home.” Uh oh. Sounds like the left. From well-meaning pols, good Lord, deliver us.
  • CBO warns US is facing debt crisis.
  • The Empire is broke and its military is overextended. Contrary to popular opinion the United States is not immune to the basic laws of both economics and geo-politics. We are not God’s chosen nation. We are, like most great empires, an accident of history. And just like those that went before us we are bleeping it up. If we are lucky our demotion to the status of a 2nd-rate power will not be too painful. But I would not lay odds on that.
  • Thoroughly covered in other blogs: how the very rich are pulling away from the rest of America. Likely orthodox libertarian answer: they’re in bed with the feds so it’s not really the market/capitalism.
  • Yesterday: In 1941 Nazi Germany invaded the USSR inaugurating one of the bloodiest wars in history. Most historians agree that this was a fatal error on the part of Adolf Hitler which resulted in Germany losing the Second World War.
Two besides Ron Paul who would make fine presidents
Gary Johnson and R. Lee Wrights. From RR.

The old phones were better

Steve Sailer (more):
The New York Times’ Virginia Heffernan’s lovely essay last year about the superb sound quality we enjoyed a generation ago on our old-fashioned analog landline telephones. In contrast, having grown up on crummy-sounding cell phones, she says it’s no wonder that today’s youth prefer to text.
Obviously I use a computer keyboard but I don’t type with my thumbs on a dinky one.

Corpus Christi in St Louis, 1950s

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Some mid-week church links
  • Pange lingua gloriosi.
  • BJA is now Brother Benedict.
  • Tough love from the MCJ: The point is that if it’s okay with you that an unrepentant sinner remains in his or her sin simply because you think they’re nice people or you claim to “love” them, then in a way, they’re not the ones with the problem. You are. Because your religion is nothing more than an emotion-driven sham.
Locally Ron Paul is second choice for GOP presidential candidate
According to Main Line Media News:
Mitt Romney, 41%; Ron Paul, 30%; Michele Bachmann, 11%
Not too bad. Is the missing 18% ‘don’t care’ or ‘other’?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Politically I’m secular
I’m not saying being irreligious is a good thing. But I’m about done with people running for high office trying to out-Christian each other. Time was when religion was understood to be an essentially private matter. Dwight Eisenhower (one of my favorite modern presidents) didn’t even bother getting baptized until after he was elected president.

Memo to the GOP. We are electing a president, not a patriarch or church elder.
Ad Orientem

Ron Paul’s a casual Protestant churchgoer and that’s fine.
Q&A: Ron Paul
From Joshua
Hollywood’s skin-deep leftism
Steve Sailer from 2005
Pa. Senate votes to expand ‘castle doctrine’
Love is not feelings but doing God’s will
From Mark Shea
Ron Paul on how to fix the economy
From LRC
From RR

Monday, June 20, 2011

When a priest’s accused
From Fr L
Condition Gray: in St John’s Hospital, Joplin, Mo., when the tornado hit
From Marshall Scott
48% of Americans believe another Great Depression is likely in the next 12 months: 19 reasons why they are not completely crazy
From LRC
From RR
  • LRC: when the state breaks a man.
  • Challenging the modern assumption that we don’t need the Second Amendment check against tyranny. This is what the Declaration of Independence has to say: “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” And in order to make sure they could, the Founders included the Second Amendment as the ultimate last-resort guarantor. And they knew that just as arms deter individual assailants, so too does this work at a societal level. Based on all the idiot edicts they’re trying to pass, the government fears an armed populace. That means the Second Amendment is doing its job as a deterrent, and things can be resolved peaceably, without it having to become a remedy. It’s when they no longer fear an armed citizenry that things will get really dangerous and more likely to heat up.
  • Don’t know much about history. Not even a quarter of American students is proficient in US history, and the percentage declines as students grow older. Scary because a people without a past, without a culture, can’t govern themselves, which is what big government wants (think 1984: rewriting and re-rewriting history).
  • Of course the left give Obama a free pass. Even people I like, like Russ Feingold. Because they don’t get that government’s the problem not the solution. Every blogger and writer who is conscious and even fractionally honest now acknowledges that Obama has doubled down on every single policy of Bush’s that the progressives had condemned so loudly and for so long.
  • Cyberbullying: free speech or violating the harm principle? Here are some possible solutions that fall within libertarian principles. The bullying mentality is not a rational mentality. Sooner or later, and almost certainly sooner, the bully will step across the line into explicit threats. And that’s when you sock the thug with a lawsuit. Since all schools in a libertarian society will be non-taxpayer-funded (likely solving 90% of all bullying problems right there) you can tell your school’s principal and teachers – whose salaries you help pay directly – that your child will be recording all verbal abusers with streaming video. Anyone who threatens or attacks her will be identified and prosecuted. Libertarians, like everyone else, need to deal with bullies, but within their own principles. Yes and this problem seems to have its remedy built in (it’s self-limiting); as someone at Steve Sailer’s wrote about the Vancouver riot and other crimes kids commit, the modern young person’s urge to (electronically) document every single moment of socializing and put it on his or her Permanent Record makes such easy to catch when they do cross the line into real threats.
Iraq: stolen post-invasion cash as high as $18 billion
Money many Americans in this depression could have used right now. Withdraw the troops and stop stealing our money for government projects.

FB comment:
Oh, Lordy, that’s a lot of money that could’ve gone into saving homes, rebuilding lives and educating children.
Correct. The difference between the left’s and the libertarian ways of doing that is the left trust the same government that got us into Iraq etc. to do it while libertarians don’t, saying the market would do a better job. Free up money from bad investments like stupid wars abroad and put it to work in the economy. That said, Ron Paul for example is fine with working with the left short-term taking a peace dividend from drawing down the military to help people used to government aid, but weaning them off taxpayer money.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

From Joshua
Bilderbullsh*tting the public
From Taki
From Cracked
From Steve Sailer
  • Reckless endangerment. The Fannie Mae scandal is the most important political scandal since Watergate. It helped sink the American economy. It has cost taxpayers about $153 billion, so far. It indicts patterns of behavior that are considered normal and respectable in Washington. The Fannie Mae scandal has gotten relatively little media attention because many of the participants are still powerful, admired and well-connected. If the NYT locks you out try bugmenot.
  • Sailer’s take: that most sacred of contemporary rationalizations for the pursuit of power and money: diversity. A racket based on twisting the noble cause of defending/restoring minorities’ individual liberty.
  • On the stupid Vancouver riot. The point of a riot is to enjoy the license allowed by the anonymity of the crowd, but that conflicts with the modern young person’s urge to photographically document every single moment of socializing and put it on his or her Permanent Record. The blond kid who was photographed stuffing a rag into the gas tank of a police cruiser ... has supposedly been identified: a high-school athlete who is on Canada’s national Under 18 water-polo team, son of a doctor. Cops tend to be persnickety about you trying to blow up their cars, so this doesn’t bode well for his previously promising career. Many kinds of crime are increasingly out-of-date. Hopefully, more and more would-be criminals will figure this out, too.
Sunday
  • O Trinity of blessed light.
  • James Hitchcock: The conservative Catholic claim is more modest than the liberal claim, because conservatives do not offer themselves as spiritual paragons – a conservative Catholic can readily admit to being a bad person in need of redemption. Liberals, on the other hand, claim to have actually found a better way of being Christian. Given human nature, that is a promise they cannot fulfill.
  • Eucharistic adoration. Fitting for Corpus Christi this Thursday. Just like its origins, the new trend of this among orthodox Roman Catholics, often younger people as many know, is a reaction to abuse, to a denial of the full sacramental presence, this time abuse in more subtle form as the desacralising of the Mass (heresy plus the Thomas Day factor – Irish low church – hijacked and crashed the liturgical movement and Vatican II). (The Orthodox: hardly anybody denied the presence. No Berengarius so no Benediction. And of course that liturgy is sacral in spades. The theology is pretty clear: if you reserve, you can have exposition, Benediction etc. But you don’t have to.) That said, the exposition craze is not beyond criticism. Traditionally the Mass was always central; technically you had to get the bishop’s permission to have exposition, Benediction etc. The answer of course is resacralise the Mass like Pope Benedict is doing, not an exposition craze alongside a low-church JPII Novus Ordo (something you’re seeing less of as the charismatic movement goes away).
  • Cardinal Wuerl on the upcoming American ordinariate. More from Fr C. The AU (Book of Divine Worship) at least at first; only convert priests will be married; ex-Catholic clergy won’t serve in it as clergy. My reactions: I’d rather see the American Missal; no strong opinion (they can change that rule but don’t have to); of course they won’t.
  • A classic: Fr Georges Florovsky. We know where the church is but cannot say where it is not, but subsistit in doesn’t mean indifferentism.
  • Small on the American scene but of interest to some here: bishops of America’s three Russian churches concelebrate, making clear what’s been so since 2007, that they’re in communion. For the foreseeable future, still three churches, the old dioceses from before the Russian Revolution (ex-Greek Catholic Slavs in the rust belt, like in The Deer Hunter – not Russians but their cousins; they split because the Irish treated them badly, not faith or morals – and some Alaskan Indians), the WWII Russian exiles and the little exarchate (technically not a diocese even though it has a bishop) that the Soviets started after WWII trying and failing to grab control of the old dioceses (Russia’s downgrading the exarchate from a diocese, giving up a territorial claim, was part of the peace deal granting the old dioceses independence). Nothing to do with faith or morals and largely the same liturgy; just the practical matters of saying no to the Soviets and, Metropolia/OCA vs ROCOR, American vs Russian culture (calendar, language – the Russian groups have a little boom right now thanks to post-Soviet immigration; Philly’s exarchate immigrant parish is thriving). The jurisdictional mess (in the same country, two sets of dioceses and an exarchate; one set of dioceses independent, no longer literally part of the Russian Church) doesn’t faze the Orthodox, a communion of conservative churches remarkably alike yet little to do with each other (‘religion: my family, my parish and lamb on a spit’... there’s something to that; ‘my bishop’ and infallibility are mostly unspoken givens); their ‘normal’. (In the chaos after the Russian Revolution, other ethnic Orthodox churches in America had and still have the same kinds of splits.)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

From LRC
  • The gold standard.
  • Is there any gold in Fort Knox?
  • The Bilderberg Group.
  • If this be isolationism then sign me up.
  • Being against the Christian right is not enough. I don’t hate the Christian right; disagree not demonise. On the other side, lots of well-meaning Christians, Catholic and non, are social democrats (the immigrant/trade-union experience; ‘Catholic social teaching’, which rightly understood does not spell out how to reach its goals so no, the Pope and Vatican II are not ordering you to be a social democrat). Libertarianism is not in itself selfishness nor narcissism (‘we’re all John Galts being oppressed’ etc.: politics for teenage boys or Ayn Rand’s ‘bible for right-wing losers’); how could defending your liberty be so? That defence – the no-harm principle or the golden rule rephrased – is one of the duties that goes along with rights, partly answering Mark in Spokane’s objection to libertarianism. Catholicism of course is based on authority (the person of Christ, the Holy Spirit, the infallible church), not necessarily power, so with Mark and other Burkeans/Kirkians I try not to forget responsibility as well as rights. So minarchists/right-libertarians (which I think I am) don’t say no to authority but ‘on whose authority’? Not an almighty state that makes its own rules on morals. The left want to use the state to order you around. Vance and others say to the Christian right: once you give power to the state to try to do your will, guess what? It’s calling your shots too and how then will you stop it? Anyway, again I think the Christian right’s power is just a bogeyman of the left: overrated. An excuse for the snobs on the coasts to sic the cops on the proles in flyover country to keep them in line.
  • ‘Stay and fight’: how realistic? This is the nature of the system. Police are armed to the teeth... and while their official marketing slogan may be to ‘keep people safe’, their real function is to be the protectors and enforcers for the political class, all while keeping the people in check so that they know who’s boss. At its simplest, the conflict comes down between those who believe that government is the problem, and those who believe that government is the solution. Most people are brainwashed statists who unquestioningly hold the latter as their ethos. And then there is the big faceless void of government itself... politicians, bureaucrats, low-level workers, regulatory agencies, etc. We’re not talking about a single individual here, but an entire institution. It begs the question – for all the ‘stay and fight’ people, who exactly are you fighting? And more importantly, how?
  • Privatize marriage now.
  • The extermination of retirement.
10 most annoying things people do in e-mail
From Cracked

Friday, June 17, 2011

Obama: at least four wars
I told you he’s a humbug: won the presidency and the Nobel Peace Prize for looking black. And white guilt’ll re-elect him. But of course he’s not the real problem.
I think it is clear that if we continue to elect the stooges the two rotten political parties offer us we will forever be fighting useless and immoral wars for the sake of the Military Industrial Complex or the geo-political pipe dreams of the neocons and other modern-day Jacobins. As Ron Paul has said, this will all come to a halt when we bankrupt ourselves and the entire system collapses.

And yet there is no outrage from either the left or the right. Democrats are pushing for more and more government encroachment into private lives and Republicans are concerned solely with cutting the domestic budget. Both are cheering wildly and ecstatically for Netanyahu’s excesses and vowing even more financial support to secure Israel’s borders.
From Mark Shea.

P.S. I’m an open-borders libertarian.
LP: end the drug war
40 years is long enough to see it doesn’t work

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The high cost of free medical care
From Taki

Five myths about worship in the early church

From RR
  • How libertarianism helps the poor. The first mistake is to believe the government when it claims that its policies are intended to help the poor. They almost never are. The great bulk of redistributive taxation and subsidization goes to benefit interest groups that are politically powerful, not economically vulnerable. Think Medicare, agricultural subsidies, and the mortgage interest deduction. And most existing regulation of business is, paradoxically enough, for the benefit of business itself. Regulation raises the cost of doing business, and so establishes a barrier to entry that benefits large existing firms at the expense of their smaller competitors.
  • From LRC: more on would-be tyrants hating the Internet.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The great American political spectrum, all 2.7 inches
Tom Woods:
Noam Chomsky correctly observes, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” (Thanks to Phil Champagne.)

That’s what I mean when I say that being called an “extremist” means you disagree with Hillary Clinton
and Mitt Romney.

Incidentally, I am not a supporter of Chomsky, who does write something of value once in a great while. But when I saw this, and how conventional and simplistic his views were, I concluded he was someone I couldn’t respect.
From Joshua.

From LRC
  • Bill Moyers interviews Andrew Bacevich. From truthout.
  • For those who don’t know, why our money’s not real.
  • The amazing Internet: how it scared us only 17 years ago, laughable naysaying and why would-be tyrants hate it. Anglo-American elites struggle desperately to restrain the damage of the Internet, and the growing awareness that the world’s entire economic and political structure is controlled, to some degree, from the City of London. Really? I would have said New York. BTW one of my pet peeves is in articles and press releases I edit is people trying to sound like they know about computers by writing ‘log onto’ name-the-site. Most sites I go to don’t need passwords to see them.
  • Joe Sobran: During World War II, C.S. Lewis realized that both the Allies and the Axis were abandoning the traditional morality of the Christian West and indeed of all sane civilizations. The great principle of this morality is that certain acts are intrinsically right or wrong. In a gigantic war among gigantic states, Lewis saw that modern science was being used amorally on all sides to dehumanize and annihilate enemies. When peace came, the victorious states would feel released from moral restraints. Lewis cited an old theological question: “It has sometimes been asked whether God commands certain things because they are right, or whether certain things are right because God commands them. With Hooker [Richard Hooker, the Anglican theologian], and against Dr. [Samuel] Johnson, I emphatically embrace the first alternative. The second might lead to the abominable conclusion ... that charity is good only because God arbitrarily commanded it – that He might equally well have commanded us to hate Him and one another and that hatred would then have been right.” It was dangerous to believe that sheer will, even God’s will, can be the ultimate source of right and wrong. From Joshua.
  • No freedom of food.
From Ordered Liberty


Arabic Orthodox chant for Pentecost
Acts 2:1-21. From Samer.
Group rights are an illusion conjured up by politicians and special interests to increase their influence and power
From somebody who’d probably make a fine president. Via RR.

Sunday, June 12, 2011



The Marian anthem for a few more days

Another version:



Then this until November:



The UN has no authority to send our kids off to war
Robert Hart’s Pentecost sermon
Where your tax dollars go
Forbes has a list out of America’s five richest counties. Unsurprisingly, four of the five are in the Washington, D.C., area. Washington’s prosperity is completely detached from the fortunes of the rest of the country, since Washington continues to suck in tax dollars even when other parts of America suffer or even decline economically. There is an unspoken bipartisan consensus to keep things this way, since those who make it to the Senate or the House now almost never return home, even if they are turned out of office by the voters. Instead, they stay in Washington and spend the rest of their lives as lobbyists.

The only sure sign of a reduction in the size and scope of the federal government will be an exodus out of the D.C. suburbs. I doubt, though, that we will ever see such a thing.
From Chronicles.
Tips for big babies
Marketers love adolescents, adult and otherwise. They’re a perfect helot class in a democracy: People with no self-control are easily led to purchase their identities through consumer products on credit. Totalitarian nanny states love adolescents, because someone has to take care of such people after their parents get sick of them. Big Brother loves ruling over a population of adolescents. You think acting like a superannuated teenager makes you a rebel? It doesn’t; it makes you a conformist. Act like an adult for a day to find out what rebellion against the modern age is.
From Taki.





Sunday
  • Veni, Creator Spiritus.
  • Fr Stephen Freeman: Either God lies at the very heart of the human experience (however we may have perverted it) or He rightly belongs to a place of secondary interest.
  • The Archdiocese of Washington paper’s article on St Luke’s, Bladensburg. A partially African and Caribbean black congregation, at first it will be AU. Video from GetReligion. While it might be nice if the American ordinariate were an archdiocese, News 4, let’s not jump the gun.
  • A short note explaining the ordinariates to the traditionalists at FishEaters. Nothing to do with Cranmer, et al.’s ideas; the Brits do Novus Ordo; the Americans like old-fashioned with lots of BCP in it. P.S. At the end of the offices I do the Marian anthem in Latin.
  • My opinion: ordain John Hunwicke. Formidable learning, waspish wit (as a friend once said, unlike affected class, real class never lies to you so no politically correct pomposity) and, as regular readers of his blog know, 100% Catholic.
  • Some perspective on Weinergate from Fr Hollywood, an LCMS pastor: To much of the cultural elite, Christians in “flyover country” between the east and west coasts are considered “culturally backward” for disapproving of a married man taking pictures of his genitals and sending them to women. Actually, it’s the opposite. People who do not approve of such things are normal – even if the majority – or at least only the upper crust of the opinion-makers – beg to differ. But by the same token, I think the antics of Ben Bernanke are far worse and ultimately will destroy more lives. But then again, if his name had been more ironic, like Ben Counterfeiter, it might attract more media attention.
  • Detail from altar card. From NLM.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Les Paul and Mary Ford, "How High the Moon," 1951


Arguably the first rock'n'roll recording. Really, where is the line between late-'40s r&b and rockabilly?
From @TAC
  • A report released by the Global Commission on Drug Policy calling for the legalization or decriminalization of many drugs is generating quite a buzz. In The Republic, Plato famously advanced the idea of “the noble lie,” a myth that political leaders consciously propagate to keep social order. That’s a disturbing thought, but the noble lie seems to be mercifully rare. Unfortunately, the ignoble lie – a myth propagated by a politician for no greater good save his constant re-election – is common as the cold. The idea of a drug-free America is the king of ignoble lies. Every politician knows it’s a fantasy, but if one of them dares to even acknowledge this fact, his opposition will turn him into Tony Montana.
  • Age of the hustlers. Most of us know (or are) people who purchased homes during the real-estate boom and then had to watch their mortgages go underwater. These middle-class homeowners, hoodwinked by Federal Reserve manipulation into making these investments, are then forced to choose between a ruined credit rating and continuing to pay off an inflated mortgage. Robert Wenzel contrasts their plight with those who have the means and savvy to game the system.
  • A power struggle not an Arab spring. Stopped clock and all that: the Commies were partly right about Anglo-American meddling in the Middle East (the British invented countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and, arguably, Israel, Churchill after WWI literally drawing lines on a map), like when Ike overthrew Iran’s government and installed the Shah. It’s about time we butted out.
  • Seriously? The Department of Education has a police force? And it executes paramilitary raids? Words fail.
  • Last and definitely least, Sarah Palin. A mediocrity token promoted far beyond merit because she is attractive.