Wednesday, August 31, 2011

‘It Ain’t You’
Spiritual but not religious? Please stop boring me.
Like just about anything lowest-common-denominator from a Christian church or minister, pretty good.
Where life with God gets rich and provocative is when you dig deeply into a tradition that you did not invent all for yourself.
Indeed. So as Arturo bluntly put it to another mainliner, get back to me when you get a real religion, not one you can invent all for yourself.

Religion as seen from the ground: belonging to the family or tribe, a roadmap/rule book to do right and live with others, and just enough of the miraculous to show the claims are true (add to that St Thomas Aquinas: it’s reasonable to believe. Prime mover.)

Beyond that (golden rule, serenity prayer), again, the Catholic basics.
Ur-WASPness... in the Catholic Church? Hard to believe but not really. A country literally forced from the church but with cultural reminders/clues everywhere, stone-towered St Mary’s and other saints’-named churches, bishops etc. No wonder Pugin and the Tractarians got ideas. One of which was a kind of 19th-century Roman Catholicism done in style, in English, keeping the stiff upper lip, the prose and the hymns. The Pope says, ‘Come on in!’

As imagined over here:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Geocentrism, the SSPX and bad media coverage of the church
The last being what GetReligion calls when it sees it. More.
From Taki
  • More tales from the collegiate loony bin. Lots of status wars between whites of a certain class using others as human shields, and of course hating Christianity. Reaching out to other cultures in a showy way while pushing away the host culture is the name of the game. More-sensitive-than-thou is a Christian heresy as Gottfried points out.
  • A conspiracy of counterfeiters.

Is the National Weather Service obsolete?

Is AccuWeather better? I don’t mind the NWS hijacking the TV to tell me a severe thunderstorm is coming (and certainly didn’t mind the old air-raid sirens in the Midwest suggesting I’d rather not get killed); a reason I have WeatherBug (even though the experts say it’s spyware) is it will chirp a tornado warning long before Pennsylvania’s TV stations have a clue; I need lead time to run out to one side of the house to get to the basement. BTW I actually like extreme weather (ever since first seeing it in the Midwest) as long as I’ve taken cover. Don’t tease me like with that Irene nonsense; scare me indoors and I want to see a show in my windows. From RR.
Today’s Cracked hits: mythbusting
  • Six brain myths.
  • Carrots don’t help you see better in the dark. WWII British intel made that up to hide from the Germans the fact that they had radar! Papers published a story about a RAF pilot called John “Cat Eyes” Cunningham who had shot down 20 enemy planes thanks to his superhuman night vision, an ability he achieved by eating lots of carrots. Other carrot-eating pilots followed, and soon the British government began publicizing the fact that carrots improve night vision – which, of course, is complete bullshit. Carrots might help your vision not get worse, but they won’t make it any better either.
Let your light so shine before men
Fr Phillips:
What does it mean to “live our faith”?

Our Catholic faith is not simply an abstract system of beliefs, teaching us only to believe certain doctrines of the Church. No, on our faith rests a whole way of life. If we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, then we are obliged to carry this truth over into life. If we believe that baptism makes us children of God, and that the Holy Spirit dwells in us, then we must live as children of God and allow our souls to be fit dwelling places for the Holy Spirit. Our faith demands that we live according to the precept of love: love for God and love for others, fulfilling the duties of our state in life, having patience in suffering, and seeking to be conformed to God’s will for us.

Christ imparted this to us in his words, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Yes of course – it’s part of a priest’s job to encourage striving toward that – but:
  • Mother church is so big and accommodating, not a perfectionistic cult (literally impossible in a big church: here comes everybody), as Arturo liked to point out before moving onto other subjects, that the nominal/Bad Catholics (hostile or indifferent to God and the church but they try to change neither because that’s impossible) aren’t really out in the cold. (BTW I first spelled ‘Pelón’ as ‘Pilón’ as in Café Pilón as you see on some store shelves here. You write what you know. LOL.) Sort of like the difference between traditional Catholics and trads (but trads have done much good; they’re why Pope Benedict is doing his thing now) if you get the drift (love the tradition, loathe the traddies as an English priest puts it).
  • Anti-sanctimony but believing Hilary has called out a lot of ‘spiritual’ writing: I have found that in many, if not most cases when a person engages in gratuitous God-talk, particularly in a public forum, the person is much more likely to be talking about himself.
There’s letting your light shine before men and then there’s the bad Pharisee (they weren’t all bad guys; some say Jesus was one) of the parables. A perennial problem; grace and maturity are the wisdom to know the difference. God’s light or my light?

Why I read cranky (LOL) bloggers like Owen (because he used to call bullshit on online Orthodoxy), venuleius, Hilary and Arturo and normally not convert-apologist/mom blogs (as Owen puts it). (There’s a place for instructional blogs like that but like with EWTN I’m not their audience. The Sacrament is the true Body and Blood. Got that.) For the most part the Orthodox you’d want to know don’t write blogs and probably have limited English (Yiayia’s family or outlier converts like Fr Anastassy: they’re out there). BTW Taki’s of course a born Orthodox: he claims the Assumption for his name day.
Move Cheney’s book to the true-crime section

I still think he was the real president.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Do Chinese anti-ship missiles mean the end of the carrier era?
From LRC
Is Ron Paul’s message slowly catching on among the former Cold War right?
From @TAC
From venuleius
10 American industries still carrying on
Including bowling balls (Ebonite) with a snapshot of the recent American history of the sport. From John Boyden.
There’s only one ironing-board manufacturing plant left in the United States.

Sometimes globalization brings an ironic twist that actually helps American manufacturers. In the case of chopsticks, it was a double-dose of irony that made Americus, Georgia, a center of wooden-utensil production for China. When China’s several hundred manufacturers started running short of wood, though – remember, that country is building furiously, and it’s not heavily forested to begin with – an opportunity arose for a US company to turn the international-trade tables.
  • RIP Archbishop Dmitri, the retired OCA (Russian) archbishop of the South. Вечная память: may his memory be eternal. Interesting story. Before the convert boomlet he read his way in from the Baptists.
  • Besides my quick-shot definition of Orthodoxy as a communion of conservative ethnic apostolic churches surprisingly very little to do with each other you can add traditional liturgy, ethnic-grandma (yiayia) folk religion and, long true in human history, the uncatechised masses (lots of Bad Orthodox who may hate or not care about the church but aren’t stupidly trying to change the church either), and a few obnoxious converts online.
Bachmann does libertarian impression
LRC’s Laurence Vance calls bullshit because she sounds like she doesn’t understand the Constitution so she assumes she’d be a dictator, and she wouldn’t pull America out of foreign wars.

My predictions: some mainstream drone like Romney will get the GOP nomination with a pseudolibertarian Tea Party fave like Bachmann for a running mate as a bone to the populist red-staters (even though it didn’t work with McCain-Palin despite the latter’s sex appeal). Strategy: blaming Obama for the depression but saying ‘diversity’ etc. a lot so people won’t think they’re racists. (I blame Bush as much: blowing the Clinton surplus on needless war and making the mortgage bubble, or houses for people who can’t afford them, under the guise of charity.) But white guilt in the dominant blue states will hand Obama the presidency again unless the depression gets a lot worse but maybe even then. UK: blue conservative and Communist red liberal so there’s well-meant Red Toryism like crunchy conservatism’s orthodox Christian version of SWPLs, people of a certain class with nice tastes and localist dreams but statist assumptions, but US: blue liberal and red conservative as in red meat and red-blooded Americans. Go figure. I’m whatever hue’s good for standing for gridlock and staying home.

Romney would try to please the protty right, little more than lefty bogeymen really, with Jesus talk (hoping they’ll forget his social-liberal voting record) and assure would-be swing voters by doing JFK-style backflips disowning his recently invented, long no longer Christian religion (hoping they’ll remember his social-liberal voting record); they, Unitarians before them, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Oneness Pentecostals aren’t Christians by the way, like Islam has its version of Jesus. I don’t care what religion the president is.
From RR
Funny Hurricane Irene tweets
From the HuffPo

Nah, I like Irene Cara. I don’t like wasting my Saturday on a storm scare meaningless if you’re well enough inland as Philly is even though it’s a port. Scared Chris, H, Smitty and the other guys into closing the bowling alley for the weekend. Thanks a lot, government and media.
Convinced #Irene was a marketing stunt created by the canned-beans people.

FEMA has opened up a little brunch spot in DUMBO Brooklyn. The omelettes are pretty basic but not complaining!
I don’t know yuppie/bobo Brooklyn, only Russian Brooklyn (where I first got Georgian wine, from a Georgian merchant whose Russian was hard to understand) and the Italian one in Donna’s family photos from the ’40s. Like the Little Havanas etc. today, another Latin people in another time, with shop signs and labels in the other language (pasticceria, caffe). I know a second-generation fellow from then and there who can still speak it. Associazione San Cono.
Like many young women before her, Irene came to NYC hoping to be as big as she was back in Carolina, only to be ridiculed by the locals.

There are literally dudes calmly strolling in short-sleeve shirts in the background while a CNN anchor mimes out a dramatic wind struggle.

Walked the dog, despite FEMA/city warnings. There are at least 34 mushy leaves on the sidewalk. A spitting rain dampened my t-shirt.

I have no idea what I am going to do with all my emergency smoked fish now.

I didn’t even get halfway through my emergency beer stash.

I totally got blown out in my Fantasy Hurricane League.

If the Weather Channel loses any more credibility it will be Fox.
The death of America’s God
Something to chew on from Hauerwas via Thomas Richter, who’s done the homework

Easy for me to say I don’t think America’s the church because I already have a church and not a Protestant one. But drawbridge distributist Catholics, social-democrat ones and the religious left would say I do since I listen to Mises (who didn’t like Christianity; who says I’m closed-minded?), Rothbard and Paul (‘two Jews and a casual Protestant walk into a bar’) and not the Pope on economic opinion so I’m just Randian selfish. (I agree with Vatican II on religious liberty and ecumenism – the rift with the SSPX is Not About Latin™ – so the SSPX would write me off.) No, libertarianism ≠ Randian weirdness and it’s about mutual respect (the golden rule as a thou-shalt-not, the nonaggression or do-no-harm principle), not selfishness, without necessarily giving up Catholic truth claims. The Pope covers the ends – mercy and justice – not the means, like he doesn’t define doctrine on physics.

By the way, how to reconcile with the SSPX (who aren’t perfect but have done much good): the society concedes on religious liberty and ecumenism rightly understood (‘according to tradition’ not indifferentism/relativism) and Rome admits the Novus Ordo was a mistake. Not heretical. A mistake. Rome can do that.
Relationships: love’s not enough
The real implied ending of Say Anything is Blue Valentine. I’ve seen neither film but did read Roissy on the latter. Cracked agrees with him here:
Lloyd has no true ambition in life other than being with Diane, and he treats her well.

Well, twenty-one years later director, Derek Cianfrance explored similar themes with his ultra-depressing and ultimately half-baked movie.

Dean (Gosling) is a slightly older, simple, lower middle-class guy who doesn’t care about anything other than being with Cindy (Williams). She is a motivated high-school student who wants to be a doctor. When problems arise – in the form of her dbag boyfriend knocking her up – she turns to Gosling for help. He agrees to marry her and even raise the other guy’s kid. Like Lloyd Dobler, he has no ambitions other than being with his girl, and like Lloyd he is a genuinely good man.

And guess what? It’s just not enough. Cindy grows to resent him.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

At my desk at home
This blog’s Mission Control. Hi there.

England and Wales are switching to the new Ordinary of the Mass translation next Sunday
I understand the ordinariate there is already using it.
If I recall rightly, there are far fewer Catholics in Britain than the US both in total numbers and proportionally: no long, rooted tradition of religious liberty under the law giving Catholics the freedom to practise (omnes sancti martyres anglorum, orate pro nobis; penal laws were lifted in the 1800s) and no huge wave of immigration like what changed American big cities and American culture (can you imagine New York without its tough cops, gangsters, just as tough powerhouse churchmen like Cardinal Spellman or for that matter pizzerias?). Thanks to history and geography the church there has, in its modern history, always been very Irish (just like on ‘Bless Me, Father’), even more so than in the States: Irish newspapers for sale in the church narthex for example. ‘The Italian Mission to the Irish’, some English used to sniff. The church has taken hits from Vatican II, European secularism and a hostile Protestant host culture. I understand now the dominant or ascending group are immigrant/temporary workers from Poland. In any event I can imagine both the older Irish (the last generation from Ireland’s huge religious revival after emancipation, the pious Irish embedded in our culture that we still remember: going my way?) and the young Poles being happy with this latest aspect of Pope Benedict’s renewal. He has fixed all of the serious problems with the Mass in English for 40 years.

As Damian Thompson tells you, they’ve got their hands full with the ‘Magic Circle’ clergy and lay apparatchiki, their AmChurch (this crap besets Catholics in Protestant countries), but because I was looking for high church I could find it there back in the ’80s: the Brompton Oratory doing R² in baroque Italian style when it wasn’t cool, the Ronald Knox Society using the nobly simple space (built for the old religion so it works) at Blackfriars, Opus Dei at Grandpont House like something out of Brideshead Revisited, of course helped along by Knox-like converts from Anglo-Catholicism (19th-century Catholicism in style, in English).

The ordinariate is just another way to keep that going (much of it’s long been run-of-the-mill Novus but before that, there was that tradition of good style) and seems the Pope’s prototype for the new liturgical movement.

Some Catholic types there: the discreet, genteel ‘Old Catholics’ (not the liberal rump sect based in Holland; old rich recusant families who could afford to pay fines to keep the old religion, to themselves); the enthusiastic (ha ha, Mgr Knox) ex-Anglo-Catholics like Fr Faber (the oratory’s founder); lots of Irish workers in big cities and now Polish workers.

My Catholic Truth Society RSV is my go-to Bible.
Do conservatives hate their own founder?
From LRC
It rained. Big whoop.
Some low-lying areas (downtown Darby) flooded (must respect that – car almost got caught in floodwaters after Hurricane Isabel), and Lewes, Del. had a tornado, but it’s fine here; like I said this isn’t a floodplain. Irene was a shore thing. Lights flickered a couple of times last night but no mighty wind really.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

More of the Hurricane Irene film fest: ‘The Razor’s Edge’
Co-starring Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney and hats

Intermittently it’s sounding more appropriately hurricaney outside.
From RR

The Final Countdown

A 104-minute Navy recruiting commercial from 30 years ago with ‘Twilight Zone’ science fiction – time travel – thrown in so it’s like The Philadelphia Experiment, an action/adventure flick that’s a trip to the ’40s. Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen being cool, Charles Durning (a Battle of the Bulge execution survivor in real life) being endearingly cranky and Katharine Ross being beautiful.

Yes, I believe the war was preventable but get some popcorn and watch some good old-fashioned American heroes.

This obviously was amazing on the big screen.

By the way F-14s are actually very loud. I’ve heard them fly overhead.

Spoilers: Sheen’s character mentions the grandfather paradox; the whole point of the incident – a myth about the invention of the Nimitz – brings up, in time travel, the seeming theological impossibility (other than God the Son being in heaven and on earth at the same time, and saints bilocating) of one being in the same dimension in more than one place at a time, or can you meet yourself in another time? (‘Dimensions’: states of being, which can overlap the same space but are normally invisible to each other. Earth, heaven, hell, purgatory, limbo and the aerial plane where the particular judgement right after death happens, God’s courtroom.)

But sure, one night on the south Jersey highways I’d like to gun it in a vintage car and suddenly drive back about 50 years. (Returning? I’ll think about that problem if it happens.) That is, if the big traffic cop in the sky doesn’t mind.

For your perusal: the Catholic Anglican Use Mass

What a few converts down in Texas have been doing for 30 years. ‘Better than run-of-the-mill Novus Ordo but not tops’ seems the general view around here.

It reminds me of Good Shepherd, Rosemont, which long used very slightly catholicised 1979 Rite I.

With Pope Benedict’s sprucing up the Novus Ordo in English across the board, this would get better.

But many hope the American ordinariate will get something better still.

Like the Anglican and/or American Missals: splice of the old Prayer Book (sonorous orthodox prose) into the framework of the Tridentine Mass, which works because they share a Godward, pre-Vatican II ethos. It’s what Antiochian WRO uses along with translated Tridentine.

19th-century Roman Catholicism in English. Yay.

Ordinariate news:
The reception of St. Luke’s Parish into full communion with the See of Rome by the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington will be at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 9, in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. I need not add, for those receiving this, that October 9, 1845, was the date of John Henry Newman’s reception by the Passionist Father Blessed (beatified 1963) Dominic Barberi.
Hurricane-scare report
This morning all ‘D’ batteries were sold out. It started to rain after I got home around noon, hard at first, now it’s dropped off. Irene predictably weakened after hitting the Carolinas and is now a Category 1. My guess is it will just rain a lot here. I don’t live in a flood zone but have seen a local intersection underwater once some years ago. If I’m wrong; well, there’s the basement and my provisions.
Coming clean about the rupture in the church
Another good sign of Pope Benedict’s renewal: the Archdiocese of Phoenix seems willing to admit the Novus Ordo was a mistake, a rupture; thoughtcrime as recently as 15 years ago (probably still enough to keep you out of seminary or from being ordained in the many AmChurch/Magic Circle-ridden dioceses; the old liberals are going away slowly). Rorate Cæli via Dr Tighe reports it will have a seminar on the interim 1965 instructions modifying the 1962 missal (simplified and partly in the vernacular: not tops but tolerable, and still Tridentine and rubrical enough to keep priests honest and orthodox at the altar even if they choose to face the congregation and have guitars).
The Archdiocese of Phoenix is holding a Conference on the 1965 Rite. Bishops Olmsted, Cordeleone (of Oakland) and Elliot (Auxiliary in Melbourne, Australia) will be there, along with some “conservative” liturgists.

It is not a Tridentine Conference but, according to a well-known traditional priest and friend of
Rorate, it is his understanding that the underlying message of the conference is that the 1965 Rite was supposed to have been the end of the reform. In other words: a future New Rite was not intended by the bishops in 1965 and became, ultimately, a rupture with tradition.

Our priest source also believes this is not a “reform of the reform” conference either. The reform of the reform assumes that the
Novus Ordo is the direction, but it just needs to reined in a bit. This conference, he believes, is very quietly suggesting that the Novus Ordo should not have been.

If true, this could turn out to be a remarkable event.
I’ve long had that impression based on the nicely made hand missals that year (like the ones in decades past since they were first allowed, like I have) called the ‘Vatican II editions’ etc. But some from then such as Jim C. say they knew it was only interim.

I have an altar missal from then and its many pasted-in pages, typed inserts and crossed-out rubrics tell the sad story of liturgical history in a few turbulent years, worth preserving for history’s sake and as a cautionary tale.

A window on what things were like is in the silly 1969 Elvis movie Change of Habit in which Mary Tyler Moore is a sometimes habitless nun (guh-roovy... here she’s in a nice habit) who naturally falls for heroic Dr Elvis running a clinic in the ghetto. Anyway the Mass scene is interesting because the actual Mass part is fine, priest facing east and everything, probably even doing it in Latin (we don’t hear, and although It’s Not About Latin™, its use is a fairly good sign of soundness). Even the offertory procession is nice. Like the church trying to be hip (ugh), Elvis, a guitar, a backing band and some girls dressed frumpily for church, but dancing the monkey or something, are in the sanctuary (flanking it about where English choir stalls would be) where he’s... being Elvis.

I knew a corner had been turned when, after the good Mercedarian friars took over Our Lady of Lourdes Church, now Overbrook and the Main Line’s showplace of Pope Benedict’s plan, I said the church should have stuck with the ’65 revision as the extent of the new options and the priest agreed!

I’ll say it: the Ruthenian Greek Catholics’ Revised Divine Liturgy, Novus ethos in Byzantine garb, or that church in a nutshell, would never happen in the Eastern Orthodox churches, which have no mechanisms to overhaul services like that and even when they came close to trying (most churches except the Russians adopting the modern calendar starting in the ’20s) there were fistfights in the streets (a good impulse: defend the faith of your fathers... why weren’t there more Fr DePauws and Archbishop Lefebvres? ... people did what they were told) and schisms (Old Calendarist Greeks, their versions of the SSPX and sedevacantists). The Orthodox Liturgy.

In the early years Lefebvre signed onto the ’65 changes.

Playing devil’s advocate, ha ha, or the R² folks’ point: There is nothing theologically wrong with the Novus Ordo in the Latin original. The English paraphrase for the past 40 years skated with heresy but as Fr Z counts down, each Sunday this year is one more you’ll never have to hear again! One thing I like about the Novus no-music early Low Masses a lot of sound Catholics take cover in is the liturgical-movement goal achieved of the congregation reciting the Introit and Communion verses. OK, I’m done.

’50 Chevy Bel Air
1:18 scale

Looks like the parked ’51 Pontiac Chieftain I pass on 56th Street a lot.

I can practically hear Les Brown and Julie London on the car’s radio.

  • Lucha the jaguar at the Philly Zoo.
  • Dog mourns at casket of fallen Navy SEAL. Jim C., who is Navy and was in Vietnam: I see that Petty Officer Tumilson was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” (for valor). These things happen. It is war after all. May he R.I.P. and may his family and friends be consoled by the Lord, including his beloved pooch. And may that damned war end soon.

Remembering the great hurricane of 1944
Which hit Atlantic City and New York City. More.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Nice model cars from the Danbury Mint
The two basic car types for me: ’40s slope-back and ’50s big rectangle with fins.

I don’t have these models but essentially the same.

Click to enlarge.

Honest lessons to teach in school
From Cracked

Escape to Camelot

Charles Coulombe at Taki writes appreciatively of ‘Mad Men’ and its two copycats, noting the irony of how they’re presented versus their real appeal:

These two series push the fact that their characters changed America, implying that we owe today’s perfection to them. But if they succeed, it will not be their alleged relevance that captures audiences, but the same retro factors that have made “Mad Men” so popular.
Some good criticism. The winking at the audience – condescension about the period; people are nostalgic in spite of it (Peggy’s supposed to be the heroine but people love Don and Joan) – is a problem; I don’t see or hear obvious anachronisms such as the post-’80s middle-class white-girl accent (‘Like?’).

By the way I don’t hear ‘Oh, yeah, “Mad Men”’ about my clothes etc. (Possibly because, though a hit, relatively few people watch it; it’s for people with premium TV.) Usually it’s ‘Eliot Ness, “The Untouchables”’ (off by a lot of years but in the ballpark – sure, noir cops) or ‘like an old movie’ or, from people who remember, just ‘nice’. Thanks. It’s mid-century, from a little before the war till it all came crashing down at the end of the ’60s. Late-’50s tie and hat-brim widths look best on my frame so here they are.

The other dress fedoras I see are usually on Sundays, on black gentlemen from the period.

Hurricane warning

But I hear Irene’s been downgraded a category. Still, I got most of my shopping done mid-afternoon, then because I’d forgotten a couple of things I was just in the supermarket panic crowd with huge Soviet-era lines. Enjoyed the walk there and back: majestic cumulus clouds over the town’s parish church as Irene starts to make herself known here. For the first time, tomorrow at midnight, Philly’s transit will shut down, bracing for the storm.

Best joke about it so far (from Charles Krauthammer): an earthquake and a hurricane this week? What say we let the Israelites go?
The Mass: Last Supper or marriage supper?
From Fr L

From Lew Rockwell’s Political Theatre
  • The president doesn’t create jobs.
  • Jobs and war.
  • We the people.
  • Time on Paul.
  • The current situation in Libya may be a short-term victory for Empire, but it is a loss for our American Republic. And, I fear it may be devastating to the Libyan people... We have spent over $1 billion on a war that this administration has fought not with the consent of Congress but under a NATO flag and authorization from the United Nations. It is a serious thing for a President to engage us in a war. He is bound by our Constitution to seek authority from the People, through our Congress, prior to engaging in any military action... The situation in Libya is a civil war contained within that country’s sovereign borders...
Cherokees revoke tribal memberships of descendants of black slaves
The interesting history:
Most Americans these days probably don’t know that several “Native American” tribes allied with the Confederacy during the Civil War. Then again, most of them probably aren’t aware that Injuns also owned slaves, even before Paleface’s ivory-colored toes landed on America’s shores. Most of them also aren’t likely to know that thousands of black freedmen also owned slaves in antebellum America. To be blunt, most Americans these days don’t know much of anything besides what they’re spoon-fed from the boob tube.
As for Taki’s editors’ arguably racist main point, highlighted by lots of demeaning puns for reactionary cred I suppose, whoa. I’m neither entirely on board nor am I trying to score cheap righteousness via politically correct outrage.

There’s a case for an ethnic group defending itself, for a nation naturally as a big family. Why shouldn’t Germans like being German for example? Rather than being turned into Turks? Steve Sailer’s essentially right: on average groups are different, which partly explains different outcomes. Then there’s individual liberty, an advantage of a nation that’s a concept more than an ethnos. Balance them out: be proud to be whatever and promote your culture but your freedom ends where the other fellow’s begins. Do no harm, to person or property. Disparate impact is none of the state’s business, just like it doesn’t owe me a perfectly restored ’60 Buick just because Jay Leno for example can easily afford one since Leno’s a lot more charming and funny so he gets paid accordingly. Among its only jobs are to ensure real equal opportunity: the black man’s liberty. Individual rights, not group rights.

But as a group with some powers the Cherokees have a right to revoke that citizenship it granted in 1863.

Are the Cherokees a country (being a Cherokee is something like a right) or a private club (being a Cherokee is a privilege)?

And reality is, but no race-based laws either way.

BTW of course the Trail of Tears was horrible. The Cherokees succeeded at first by assimilating, with lots of white intermarriage, so outside their tribal membership many Americans whose families have been here longer than 200 years are part Cherokee. (Which gives the Indians a good rebuttal to silly white New Ager ‘wannabes’ who say, ‘Sign me up! I’m an Indian because I love nature! I’m part Cherokee.’) Then the whites wanted their land and kicked them out. Awful.

And speaking of defending one’s own culture, hooray for religious liberty – politically I’m secular and not the drawbridge kind of Catholic – so BBC newsreaders, stop saying ‘PBUH’ (‘peace be upon him’) at every mention of the false prophet Mohammed’s name like craven dhimmi who deserve domination. I don’t ask Hasan the newsreader to bow his head at the Holy Name so fair’s fair: cut it out.

P.S. Did you know that Oral Roberts was a Cherokee?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hilary on the decline and fall of American nuns
Photo: A real nun.
The left at CounterPunch on Ron Paul
Nice site redesign

A storm called Irene

First an earthquake, now something more normal (now a hurricane?) that might (but probably not?) head this way. Hard to top the freak thunderstorm last summer though, which did mostly light tornado-like damage but it smushed a house nearby and knocked out power for a few days (dress rehearsal for SHTF civil-collapse stuff). Anyway she’s Irene. That’s good. At least she’s got that going for her. She’s Greek Orthodox. Καλά!

Seriously of course I hope the Caribbean islanders and Southeasterners are safe.

Update: They’re saying it will hit NJ, possibly the worst hurricane in a century. Lord, have mercy.

Interactive map.

Murray’s Pomade

Common sense is not uniform
The Canadians finally get it right, righting an over 40-year-old wrong, by returning their armed services to their distinctive British names, uniforms and other traditions, but the US since George W. Bush has had soldiers clomping around in combat boots and BDUs (desert-camo fatigues) even when not in combat, in this country (he thought it was appropriately warlike or something), and the Navy got rid of the traditional sailor suit, again, and has sailors dressed like wannabe Marines (work fatigues). (It did right by the officers by bringing back the WWII khaki uniform – here’s the JCS chairman now – so what gives?) Way to boost morale. Not. As the Canadians found out. Again: anti-war, not anti-military, and for strong self-defence forces with spiffy uniforms.

Photo: Sailors from the sub Carbonero (fish names sound cooler en español), circa 1945.

Iconostasis, Bierascie, Belarus (Byelorussia, White Russia)

The altar is behind this. Hooray for Russian baroque. Interestingly Bierascie is Brest where what’s now the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was founded in 1596. In its beginning much of what’s now the Russian Orthodox Church was in it: the Ukraine and north, Byelorussia. The Metropolitan of Kiev in the Ukraine and others, hoping to stop the Poles harassing them, went under Rome, which didn’t achieve that goal and yes, Russian persecution in the 1800s ended that church in Byelorussia as it did in the centuries that Kiev and most of the Ukraine was under Russian rule. The UGCC is concentrated in the far west, Polish since the 1300s, which Stalin stole in WWII. To be fair, Fr Joseph Syemashko (Siamaška) in the 1800s, whom the Greek Catholics understandably see as a traitor, was like the high-church minority convert Greek Catholics now: he wanted to be just like the Orthodox in practice like Rome says Greek Catholics should be, was rebuffed, got fed up and converted. Not like the few churchmen who sold out to the Communists and their Orthodox puppets under Soviet rule. Slavic Greek Catholics are heroic – a traditional Catholic church that survived 40 years of modern persecution – but are ethnic Novus Ordo in ethos. Like the ones in Syemashko’s day who self-latinised: a few Russianisms to show you’re not Polish but lots of Polish latinisms, old and new, to show you’re not Russian. Even more than the Ukraine, Byelorussia (Minsk) is really historically part of Russia.

Being liturgically purist/high-church (pure Russian Orthodox for Russian churches for example) is not the same as being anti-Western though it’s understandably mistaken for it. It’s like the difference between the few high-church purist Greek Catholics (liturgically Orthodox), again usually converts, and the even fewer Orthodox in communion with Rome, again usually converts, who don’t make sense. They reject Rome’s teaching authority and think they’re like a fifth column preparing Rome to convert to Orthodoxy... they’re more like Protestants who happen to agree with the Orthodox than good Greek Catholics or good Orthodox. If Roman Catholics knew they existed, they’d rightly call them traitors. Anyway, my line: rite controls what you do in church; the rules rightly say don’t mix rites there. (Also the reason the churches don’t commemorate the other side’s saints; not necessarily anti-Westernism.) Devotion at home is freestyle; the Holy Spirit moves where he will.

Slavic-American Russian Orthodoxy.

Greek Catholics who converted 100 years ago when the local Irish gave them guff.

The music is Russian: Archangelsky’s ‘Praise ye the name of the Lord’.

I know someone married to a lovely lady from Minsk (of Ukrainian descent: Russians sometimes move around). He’s been there. He and a Russian told me:
  • Byelorussians have a dictator because they like him. (Like Transdniester.) Rather like pre-war Iraq, nobody pretends the politics are free but other than that people really are free, arguably more so than here.
  • Most people speak Russian all the time.
  • Union with Russia is possible. There was talk about bringing the two rubles back together.
  • Russians and Ukrainians have had slang putdowns for each other. Not so Russians and Byelorussians.
Хорошо. Good.

Remember Olga Korbut? Byelorussian.

Photo from Daniel Nichols.

From Richard Viguerie
Pax Obamana
Could it be that when Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama leaves office that the defining image of his presidency will have been his use of unmanned drone aircraft and military death squads to achieve the will of the Empire?
No, even though he deserves that (unlike the presidency or the Nobel), because unless the sh*t hits the fan big time, unless lots of now affluent whites end up homeless in the depression and/or their kids get drafted to go to war overseas like Vietnam, and/or to enforce martial law here, white guilt will keep patting him on the back and ignoring what he says or does, because voting for him is all about making some whites feel good. Or when you’re not identified with the Wrong Kind of White People you can get away with murder.

My standard disclaimer: I’m not a pacifist nor anti-military. Drone planes like any weapon can be abused but if you’re fighting a real enemy, somebody who wants to take over your town and hurt you and your family, they’re wonderful militarily.

From Daniel Nichols.

Submarine USS Growler

Part of the Intrepid museum in New York. Was aboard the I a long time ago; the sub wasn’t there yet. But I’ve been aboard several WWII museum boats, mostly American and one German (of course I’ve seen Das Boot along with the American classic sub films). This boat was from a brief period right before the nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed boomers (doomsday boats – they and ICBMs give me conscience problems but they’re a necessary evil) in the late ’50s (shortly after the first nuclear boats were built); diesel-electric Guppyish design, the postwar/’50s modification of the WWII design, with the Regulus cruise missile. I’m anti-war not anti-military.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Monkey Suit Vintage
Why are we baiting the bear?
Pat Buchanan on relations with Russia. Remember how we felt about Cuba? American meddling in the Ukraine – the ‘Orange Revolution’ etc. – is worse, like if Medvedev backed a breakaway California. BTW Transdniester is Russian too. From Taki.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ISI civic-literacy quiz
Are you more knowledgeable than the average citizen? The average score for all 2,508 Americans taking the following test was 49%; college educators scored 55%. Can you do better? Questions were drawn from past ISI surveys, as well as other nationally recognized exams.

You answered 29 out of 33 correctly: 87.88%.
From Dr Tighe.
5.8 earthquake
My third quake. Felt from North Carolina to New York; seems apocalyptic. This is not supposed to happen here. It only lasted a minute; everything vibrated. Damn, nature; you scary.
Fr L on the divinely instituted infallible church
Protestants say that churches are man-made institutions. We have to agree with them. Their churches are man-made. The Catholic Church, however, claims something far more stupendous and wonderful – that she is not a man-made institution. The Catholic Church is not only established on the Rock of Peter by Jesus Christ himself, but it has divine origins in that the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to recognize the Christ. He was also inspired to pick up this role and be the key preacher at Pentecost and the first Prime Minister of the Kingdom of God.

Unfortunately too many Catholics forget the divine origin of the Catholic Church and fall into Protestant speak. So they say of the church’s dogma or moral teachings, “Yeah, well, those are just man-made rules.” Are they? The church does distinguish between matters of church discipline which are man-made rules. These can be dispensed by the proper authority. However, the dogmas of the church and the moral teaching of the church are not man-made, and Catholics don’t really have the liberty to pick and choose which they like.
Something the legions of Bad Catholics understand (right along with the faithful) – they may hate the church but there’s only one church and they don’t waste their time trying to change the church – and the handful of protestantised churchy liberals don’t or lie about.

The Tractarians were all about making the same claim (my guess is they would have thought changing defined doctrine and immemorial practice by synod vote was impossible), based on their claim to apostolic succession (bishops), so understandably their descendants ended up copying the Roman Catholic Church with some seeking unique terms for union with it, which you see now with the ordinariates. Sacramentally not corporate union – impossible without valid orders to be received in – but practically as ‘national parishes with clout’ as I was saying before Anglicanorum cœtibus. Like how the Society of the Atonement friars and sisters and Caldey Abbey came in 100 years ago: individual conversions but kept together in their groups (anglicanorum cœtibus means ‘groups of Anglicans’).

I’d like the ordinariates to be 19th-century Roman Catholicism done in style with the option of doing it in English. What most ‘advanced’ (super-high-church) Anglo-Catholics used to do.

  • Creed. There is a God, Jesus is God and the Holy Spirit is God, guiding the church.
  • Scripture is part of tradition.
  • Mass (Liturgy).
  • Office (horologion).
  • Pope. And his scope. Long live Benedict.
  • Catechism. (For the Orthodox substitute local custom – hooray for ethnic-granny culture – for a central high command, the Pope-scope difference. The way mediæval Western Catholicism ran too.)

Me and Christine
Actually a ’57 Lincoln but pretty close. So watch it. Willingboro, NJ.
The relevance of Ron Paul vs the coming irrelevance of the status quo
From LRC

John XXIII celebrating Mass

The real J23, the good-hearted, naturally traditionalist Italian, as in ‘step up the teaching of Latin’, ‘don’t ordain homosexuals’ and:
“During the First Session of the Second Vatican Council a lady turned up in Rome and asked for an audience with the pope to discuss with him the question of the ordination of women to the Catholic priesthood. She was Dr. Gertrud Heinzelmann, a lawyer at Lucerne, the famous centre of the Roman Church in Switzerland. Pope John, who was otherwise kindness and patience personified, lost his patience. ‘Tell that suffragette that I shall never receive her. She should go back to her homeland.’ Why did the good pope, who was otherwise prepared for a dialog even with the worst enemies of the Church, give such a harsh answer? Could he not have replied something like this: ‘Tell my daughter that the ordination of women is against the Word of God’? This was his argument when the Archbishop of Canterbury declared such ordination to be against the tradition of the Church. Could he not have referred her for further information to one of his theologians? John was not an intellectual like his predecessor. He was not a great theologian either. But he was, as his ‘Journals’ show, a great pastor. Every pastor knows, or should know, that there are cases, when a discussion is impossible and the only answer to a question can be that ‘Begone, Satan!’ which Jesus spoke not only to the devil (Matthew 4.10), but also to his faithful confessor, Simon Peter (Matthew 16.23).” Sasse, “Ordination of Women”, in The Lutheran 5.9 (3 May 1971): 3.
Photo from Rorate Cæli.

Source of quotation (page 147, footnote 31), via David Schütz.

Monday, August 22, 2011

  • The Immaculate Heart of Mary. The heart of Jesus says God loves you. The heart of Mary that we love God and he the church, our holy mother. I know this isn’t a proper icon and thus doesn’t belong in a Byzantine Rite church (like the late Fr Fyodor Wilcock I’d have it taken down). Devotion at home’s another matter. Ora pro nobis.
  • Also from Fr Z: Tridentine Mass at World Youth Day. The kind of thing the charismatics (the orthodox but low-church folk who glossolaled at Steubenville and on EWTN) and the liberals swore to me 25 years ago would never happen. Yay.
  • Damian Thompson: Ordinariate deacon at WYD.
Lutho-Catholicism vs American Lutheran Protestant reality
A good LCMS post. Something any Catholic formed by Anglo-Catholicism relates to. Via Dr Tighe.

A nice LCMS parish:

The day the music died
RIP Jerry Leiber
London Olympics 2012 joke

Wake up!
Fire! Pennsylvania 6-5000! Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth...
Who cares about the Middle East?
From Taki. Sorry about the anti-religious part.
From the MCJ

From Steve Sailer
  • The end of WWII. I don’t think the Soviets were a factor with Japan. I still say no nuking cities, on principle. The Pacific war was avoidable but once in it, you had the super-successful submarine war (Run Silent, Run Deep) blockading the country. That and they should have let the Japanese know that unconditional surrender was no longer required (they could keep the emperor, which actually happened). Result: surrender and no Operation Olympic killing thousands of Americans.
  • Bonus: beautiful film of NYC on the day. Sailer mentions what the documentary doesn’t: giving away half of Catholic Europe including Poland, the excuse for the war, at Yalta. During the last weeks of the war in Europe, everybody in Germany with half a brain (e.g., Wernher von Braun) had been climbing in their Mercedes and driving west as fast as they could to surrender to Americans or Brits rather than to the Soviets.
  • Reason not to love the Japanese: Shortly after the emperor had broadcast the news of defeat, more than 50 American prisoners at the Osaka secret police headquarters were beheaded by vengeful Japanese soldiers.
  • You have to be pretty well indoctrinated to be revolted by your country’s flag on the 50th anniversary of your victory over Hitler.
  • The FDNY and disparate impact.
  • Finally, two musical tributes to those who came back and those who didn’t.

From LRC