Friday, March 30, 2012

The original ‘Zou Bisou Bisou’
Silly song but she’s gorgeous.
I understand she’s still around and she guessed, correctly, that ‘Mad Men’ would sex up its version.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

From Takimag

Syria’s Christians
Where Samer’s from.
Today, Christians make up about a tenth of Syria’s 22 million people. Half of these two million souls belong to the Orthodox Church of the Patriarchate of Antioch, the preeminent Christian institution in the country. As many as 500,000 people belong to the Syriac Orthodox Church*, and another 125,000 belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church**. Catholics number around 400,000 people and belong primarily to the Armenian and Melkite Greek Catholic*** churches.
From Daniel Nichols.

*A Lesser Eastern church, not in the Orthodox communion, that I know little about.
**Armenia’s church, another Lesser Eastern one that I’m slightly acquainted with, of a different rite from the Syriac.
***The Antiochian Orthodox’ twin; lay intercommunion in Syria.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Finally saw part of ‘Downton Abbey’

And not surprisingly like it. Saw about half the episode with the burned Canadian soldier who claims to be a long-lost cousin and the end of WWI. Pictured: the most beautiful woman on the show.

That’s ‘Masterpiece Theatre’: like Merchant-Ivory, costume dramas made in England for consumption here.

Never saw ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ but of course ‘Brideshead’ and read the book. And parts of ‘Manor House’, the PBS reality show that re-enacted this.
One of the better conservative articles about George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin
The real story doesn’t fit the media script
Third World, but far more efficient
LRC’s Fred Reed compares this country to them

Monday, March 26, 2012

Who or what are today’s Mad Men?

‘Mad Men’ is back

Hooray; on the show, society hasn’t gone to hell yet. Probably ’66. Still the bossa-nova ’60s because Weiner’s smart enough to know that’s what I and others want to see. Still a stylish soap opera for people who think they don’t watch soap operas. Hooray for ‘Zou Bisou Bisou’! Jessica Paré’s character’s musical house party out-sexys Laura Petrie. Nice job.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Out and about

Clifton Heights’ 9/11 memorial and fire-station bell.

Phone-exchange letters: CLifton.

Uncle Sam and the Philly skyline. One and Two Liberty Place, our recent imitation Empire State and Chrysler buildings.

South Philly.

In 1967.

The Harlem Wizards
In which I pretend to cover sports

Thursday, March 22, 2012

From Joshua
  • Credo in communionem sanctorum sed non in Rick Santorum. Goes without saying. I don’t hate the man like the establishment wants me to, like Modestinus I understand his appeal, like I see the appeal of Daniel Nichols’ Dorothy Dayesque Christian white-knight ideals (trying to be charitable by adopting elements of the left), but politically no to both. (Of course there’s more to Catholic morals than sex, religion’s not just for Sunday, etc., but the church doesn’t micromanage – it’s not a cult – and there’s no such thing as Catholic physics or economics.) Freedom in which the church and people flourish (secular state, not secularist like Obama’s and Britain’s), not the sanctified welfare state of ‘Catholic social teaching’ be it run by a king, a dictator, European Christian-democrat socialists or the few pro-life Dems all trying to control the economy and promote family values, however true and well-meant. (And to their credit, right about just war and peace.) Libertarianism minus Ayn Rand? To which the super-trads would call me a lib and thus part of the church’s problems, and the left, inasmuch as they know or care about the church, might try to get my goat by calling me a dissenter, like the Modernists and neocons. That’s OK. In real life I just keep going to the traditional Mass, singing the Credo and meaning it, and nobody says boo. And that’s great.
  • ‘Prospects for a Right-Left Alliance in the Fight Against Empire.’ Interesting article from stalwart Kelley Vlahos on truly liberal liberals (like gentleman Dennis Kucinich who lost his bid for re-election), and long one of Joshua’s interesting talking points (what if the rednecks, John Birch Society and early, clean-cut, Carl Oglesby SDS had sat down and talked to each other, or Easy Rider is a conservative movie; I’ve never seen it), but I’ve been to enough antiwar marches (and to an Occupy camp) to know the answer: pretty dim. Kind of cute when they’re out of power and poor, the left aren’t our friends.
From LRC
  • Bringing Communism to America. Herbert Hoover told the truth about WWII.
  • The British government supports employers banning not only displaying neck crosses (which I understand since business is nonsectarian) but merely wearing them (a war on religion like Obama’s on the church; then again this is the country that terrorized its subjects out of the church by hanging, drawing and quartering people); we give foreign aid to... Saudi Arabia?! The Grand Mufti calls for destruction of churches in the region. Christianity is already forbidden in Saudi Arabia and no churches exist there. Of course, the U.S. shouldn’t give foreign aid to any country, but this is especially troubling. And I would say that no matter which religion was being targeted.
10 lessons of the Iraq war
From Daniel Nichols

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

’59 Bonnie
St Patrick’s Parade, Seaside Heights, NJ. A friend of Donna’s spotted her.

Let’s cruise.
Banning cash
From LRC
Stand Up for Religious Freedom
It probably won’t help but it can’t hurt and might be fun
UK: woman quits after being banned from wearing cross
And the cross was not even visible!
From John Boyden.

Update: Russian conglomerate to boycott British goods over this.

Walt’s Steaks, Clifton Heights, Pa.

Of course I agree with the friend who’d rather it wasn’t recently slightly cutesified with Coke memorabilia (no, not retro, old) but not bad! There’s enough original stuff as you can see. The original prices are for show. Food’s good too and still a relatively good deal. See you there.

Work videos

WWII and black liberty.

A shocking tale of injustice.


Off to see the Wizard.

Kids’ indoor carnival at Catholic school for charity.


All that jazz.

Pageant parody for charity.

Not Pulitzer stuff but an exotic porcupine has his day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gays against gay marriage
From Takimag
From LRC

Monday, March 19, 2012

Six famous things you won’t believe began as publicity stunts
From Cracked
Charles Murray’s one-sided shaming
From Roissy

The attack on the USS Franklin
67 years ago today

I’m a revisionist on WWII. I don’t hate the Japanese and know they didn’t plan to rule the US; they only wanted an empire close to home, like Russian dominance in Eastern Europe, German in Western and American in the Western Hemisphere. (None of which excuses what they did in China, the Philippines etc.) This war was probably preventable but that doesn’t take away from the courage of America’s ‘greatest generation’. One of the two Medals of Honor went to the ship’s Catholic chaplain, Fr Joseph O’Callahan, who might be the priest in the last scene in the old footage (giving Extreme Unction in Latin in the middle of explosions).

Sunday, March 18, 2012

More on the British-American special relationship
From @TAC


I was glad when they said unto me: we will go into the house of the Lord.

For St Patrick’s weekend, after Mass this bagpiper played ‘Scotland the Brave’ and ‘The Lincolnshire Poacher’.

And then, Hospitality Sunday in the undercroft: ‘Irish potatoes’, zeppoli (for St Joseph’s Day tomorrow – too close to St Patrick’s Day to be noticed; Italian-American feasts are in the summer: St Anthony, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, St Donato, Assumption, St Rocco and St Januarius/Gennaro), doughnuts, coffee and talk about the latest in Vatican talks with the SSPX and on politics (my libertarianism or a Catholic king?).
Why has American conservatism been such a flop?
Rod Dreher links to Jim Kalb, apparently a paleocon.

It helps to define what you mean by American conservatism. The Pilgrims? The ‘Enlightenment’ deist founding fathers? Burkean? Kirkian? The Old Right? Libertarian? Neocons going back to CIA operative Bill Buckley’s Cold Warrior statism running the Old Right off? But except for the neocons it’s all in retreat (our Ron Paul Revolution’s blacked out and even if we won they’d probably throw out the election; cue Emma Goldman quote).
At bottom, conservatism is the desire to remain true to type. So American conservatism is the desire for America to remain American.
But what does that mean? WASPs/northern Protestants only? Whether or not, why shouldn’t WASPs like being WASP, Germans like being German, etc.? Nothing wrong with that. Or a concept not an ethnos, a propositional nation (but with a few English values that can be universal)? The Old Republic? Freedom, live and let live, as long as you don’t harm others? (Government limited to that phrasing of the golden rule so we can all get along. Works for immigration: welcome! We don’t want to turn you into Protestants but play by this one rule of ours, which is not exclusively any faith’s; if you don’t, bye.)
The problem is that a good answer to such questions would require a coherent tradition, but too many features of American life are anti-traditional.

At one time, the effect of those features was limited by other aspects of American life: religion, localism, family values, ethnic ties, limited government, and an emphasis on law.
Right but those first few things shouldn’t be matters for the law.
American conservatism was a series of attempts to keep the current situation from coming about.

That effort required a strong emphasis on traditional limitations, which required some sort of authority to back them up. At the popular level the authority was usually the will of the Founders as embodied in the Constitution, together with Biblical religion and a concept of America as (as Lincoln said) an “almost chosen” nation.
Yes, authority. As a believer in a religion, Catholicism, based on it (revelation and immemorial custom in an institution we believe the Holy Ghost infallibly directs), that makes sense to me. So minarchy not anarchy; somebody to enforce the rule of law. Fallen human nature minus authority = selfishness or mob rule. (Mark in Spokane: yes, rights, but what about responsibilities?)

Of course loving your country, be it as your Anglo-American ethnos (Sailer: race as family) or concept of the peaceful republic the founding fathers intended, and wanting other countries to imitate and get the benefit of the best of your system (what the Statue of Liberty really means), is good, but ixnay on the arrogance of American exceptionalism: a whiff of Protestant America flipping off Catholic Europe and a hubris that leads directly to the recent atrocities in Afghanistan for example. (I won’t harp on that because of course that’s gone on as long as there’ve been armies but in our case that’s where it came from.) By the way Lincoln was a tyrant who trampled the Constitution; he wasn’t fighting to get rid of slavery. (The South has the right to secede, Lee was a hero and Sherman a war criminal.)

Anyway Kalb’s point seems the standard paleo/European Catholic trad one: arguing for more freedom and equality is only part of the same liberal problem (‘you Americans are compromised in principle, not really conservatives’) because freedom supposedly says error has rights so by supporting freedom you’re saying there’s no such thing as truth.
That view also tells us that all preferences, and all actors, are equally preferences and actors, with no higher standard to make one better than the other.
So they want a confessional state like Ireland and Spain used to be.

That accusation seems obviously not true. (Arguably so of really selfish, nasty philosophies like I understand Randianism is: blaming the Man for oppressing your wonderful self.) A libertarian says anything that harms another is out of bounds. As friend of the blog Jim C. says, error doesn’t have rights but people do. Defend them and you defend the church and yourselves. So John Courtney Murray and Vatican II were right. (But V2 wasn’t worth the harm it did the church. Better that it had never been born, or Catholics are best off ignoring it. It didn’t define any doctrine so you can do that! Bet the libs never told you that. I live in a Novus-free world – usually only seeing that occasionally on my video shoots for work, like seeing a church of a different faith – having a weekly Tridentine Mass: lætare!)

Equal opportunity, not equal outcomes, which of course would be unfair.

I guess I’m a bit Burkean (custom and order but not for their own sakes) and obviously a lot libertarian. Mark says I’m really a conservative, which I imagine means not selfish; thanks.

One kind of perfect beauty
Paola Pitagora, 1965

Nature (she’s still beautiful and still acts) and this:
I am still trying to wrap my head around the concept of “fare bella figura.” It literally means “to make a beautiful figure,” but most people would translate it as “a good impression.” Truthfully, it’s a little of both – and it’s singularly Italian.

In order to possess a
bella figura, you must look put-together. If you’re a woman, your hair is perfect. You have a fresh manicure and pedicure. Your clothes are stylish and flattering; your makeup is flawless. Your bag, shoes, and jewelry are coordinated and tasteful. Needless to say, you have exemplary posture as you make your way through the city streets. If you’re a man, you’re wearing a tailored suit, an impeccably pressed shirt, and polished dress shoes. Your grooming is likewise impressive. You’re fit and you smell good.

But this is just the most basic level of the
bella figura, the surface clues to a more complex outlook on life. Deep down, it means appreciating good design – combining beauty and necessity in the most harmonious possible way. It means caring about detail and quality. It means having poise, being hospitable, and appreciating those qualities in others. It means hope – because you’re noticing beauty everywhere you look.
From here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Obligatory American St Patrick’s Day post
With a tip of my black Milan-weave to the real Irish on their holy day of obligation venerating the man who brought them into the Catholic Church. (Just like SS. Anthony and Rocco weren’t Italian, St Pat wasn’t Irish.) As far as I know I have no Irish in me but of course I’m in shades of green (dark, more like olive) as a tribute to America’s first big Catholic immigrant group; the American holiday, which among young drinkers seems to have merged with Mardi Gras so lots of green plastic bead necklaces, celebrates their runaway success as Americans. Culturally a mixed bag: I won’t parrot the accusation of Jansenism as it wasn’t true but the Thomas Day factor, definitely (weird: low-church Catholics, which Modernism of course made much worse). Still, there and here after persecution (we will have the Mass at all costs), with Catholic emancipation in Britain, they resurrected, rebuilt, a whole church, producing generations of pious Irish the last of whom are still around, now old. Could you or I do that?
Drink a round to Ireland, boys, I’m home again
Drink a round to Jesus Christ who died for Irish men.

The Philadelphia Police & Fire Pipes and Drums.
A Wild Goose chase?
‘Celtic’ crap that’s only about as old as Lucky Charms. From Fr Methodius.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

From RR

Happy birthday, Neil Sedaka
Christians, just say no to the war on drugs
From LRC
What my business is like now
Cuts into the blogging

Monday, March 12, 2012

I thought separation of church and state was a two-way street
It is for classical liberals but not for the left.

Interesting fact I learned here about the worst offender with presidential executive orders:
Aren’t all Presidential Executive Orders outside the boundaries of the Constitution? (President Obama wrote 111 EOs; GW Bush 291; Bill Clinton 366; Ronald Reagan 380.)
From LRC.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Décor: Bobby’s Burger Palace, Cherry Hill, NJ.

All the hats: ushanka, recently made fedoras, vintage-fedora wall, Oxford cap
and knit US Navy watch cap.
The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Hebrew Nationalist
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Political potpourri
Déjà vu: beauty is timeless

Nancy Kovack, circa 1960

Gina Bellman, circa 2009
The British ordinariate’s official Bible
Is what I use at home: Revised Standard Version (Catholic Edition), in the King James tradition
Mark Steyn on the despicable Sandra Fluke and her charade
The brave middle-aged schoolgirl had the courage to stand up in public and demand that someone else pay for her sex life.
The fallacy hurting US-Russian relations
And our foreign policy generally, often the excuse for intervention.

How a government treats its own people is not a particularly reliable guide to its treatment of its neighbors and other countries in general.
The president’s religion shouldn’t matter, to ensure freedom for the church, nor even his personality, but that said I’d rather see a macho prez photographed at traditional (such as Orthodox) services than an agnostic snob like ours. (My candidate Ron Paul’s a casually churchgoing Protestant.)

From Eunomia.
Another thread about Greek Catholicism
  • Deacon Lance’s profession of faith.
  • My take, which regular readers know.
  • Most of the time the GCs disobeyed Rome by latinizing themselves. Actually very little was ever mandated by Rome other than celibacy outside Eastern Europe and the Middle East for Eastern Catholics. Rome certainly encouraged others or turned their head the other way, but most of the Latinization was voluntary adoption with strong encouragement from Latin religious orders in the area. I like or don’t mind latinizations when they’re old and don’t take over.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

LRC, Herbert Hoover and me on WWII
When asked about the possibility of writing a book outlining the most significant blunders of statesmen, Hoover replied, “I am going to tell you what should be the first chapter... When Roosevelt put America in to help Russia as Hitler invaded Russia in June 1941. We should have let those two bastards annihilate themselves.”

Duffy’s Cut
Local Irish story: mistreated workers who helped build railroad buried 180 years later

Friday, March 09, 2012

Obama and HHS: do these people know who they’re messing with?
The church has spent nearly two millennia crushing attempts by secular rulers to dictate the way it carries out its charitable ministries.

Why would the rulers of today’s world care about public Christianity, heterosexual marriage, and freedom from infanticide in one small European backwater? Because they always fear a return of the ancien régime, no matter how inconspicuous it may appear. And given the Hungarian government’s two-thirds majority, it apparently represents the views of their countrymen.

While Hungarians have a tortured historical relationship with their neighbors, they resemble them in many ways. There are many – perhaps a majority of – Slovaks, Poles, Slovenes, Croats, and others who would agree with the constitution’s social provisions. Therein lies the danger for the moral munchkins in Brussels and Washington. Eastern European national identities are supposed to be slowly eroded through EU membership. But what if Hungary succeeds in saving herself culturally and demographically and her neighbors follow her lead?
Same reason the Modernist munchkins went beyond the Thomas Day factor and quickly and thoroughly suppressed the old Mass and even architectural reminders of it 40 years ago.

From Takimag.
What do conservatives think they are conserving?
From the Anti-Gnostic

Thursday, March 08, 2012

‘Disparate impact’ is a version of conspiracy-theory thinking
From Steve Sailer
From the MCJ
  • Envy looking west. From Takimag. Unemployment is falling in the US, where wealth creators such as Mark Zuckerberg are generally applauded rather than denounced. I don’t think anyone in Congress has as yet approached Zuckerberg to help him push through legislation favorable to Facebook. This is the simple difference between the old and new continents. Obama and those who voted to lift the debt limit should be stars in the eyes of the Brussels gang, but they are disliked for not having lifted it enough. Far removed from the Brussels power gangs, young Europeans often praise Ron Paul. They agree with his calls to halt the endless wars and to legalize drugs. Europe takes Uncle Sam for granted and refuses to share in military expenditures. Europe’s two most important military powers, Britain and France, no longer have the capabilities to execute an overseas military operation. Argentina could invade the Falklands tomorrow, and Britain would have to ask Uncle Sam for a carrier, as their last one was recently decommissioned. They’re planning to build more ski-jump carriers (if they can afford it), which only makes sense when you’re literally an island and have people to defend in the Falklands. (Geography notwithstanding, the British have the only real claim to the place; they live there and the Argentines don’t.)
  • Iceland considers adopting the Canadian dollar. From RR.
‘Super’ Tuesday
Romney seems to have the nomination, and, in my opinion, the election (regular readers know: economic depression + white guilt only gets you one win = adios, Big Zero Obama), but we didn’t do half bad despite not winning any primaries so far. I don’t dislike him for the reasons the chattering class does (‘he’s so white’, conventionally handsome, personally old-fashioned and successful; the president’s religion shouldn’t matter unless you can prove it won’t obey the Constitution) but because he’s only pro-war, pro-state business as usual (so in those senses, he might as well be a robot or an actor).
Results for U.S. Republican Presidential Primaries, 03/06

AK: Gingrich, 14.1%; Paul, 24.0%; Romney, 32.4%; Santorum, 29.2% = 100%
GA: Gingrich, 47.2%; Paul, 6.6%; Romney, 25.9%; Santorum, 19.6% = 100%
ID: Gingrich, 2.1%; Paul, 18.1%; Romney, 61.6%; Santorum, 18.2% = 100%
MA: Gingrich, 4.6%; Paul, 9.5%; Romney, 72.2%; Santorum, 12.0% = 100%
ND: Gingrich, 8.5%; Paul, 28.1%; Romney, 23.7%; Santorum, 39.7% = 100%
OH: Gingrich, 14.1%; Paul, 9.2%; Romney, 37.9%; Santorum, 37.1% = 100%
OK: Gingrich, 27.5%; Paul, 9.6%; Romney, 28.0%; Santorum, 33.8% = 100%
TN: Gingrich, 23.9%; Paul, 9.0%; Romney, 28.1%; Santorum, 37.2% = 100%
VA: Gingrich, -; Paul, 40.5%; Romney, 59.5%; Santorum, - = 100%
VT: Gingrich, 8.2%; Paul, 25.5%; Romney, 39.8%; Santorum, 23.7% = 100%
WY: Gingrich, 0%; Paul, 2.9%; Romney, 53.7%; Santorum, 29.1% = 100%

Source: AP via Google.

PA primary, Paul. (Reason for being Republican besides liking borough and county Republican politics.) November, one of these: write in Paul, vote third-party/independent Paul, vote Libertarian Party (which I’ve done on and off since ’92; I might re-up) or stay home as I did for my first time in ’08.
His ambition is to accomplish three things. First advance the libertarian cause and lay the groundwork for an ideological revolution that will profoundly reshape the GOP. Like Moses he knows he is unlikely to live to see the promised land. But he has lead the faithful to it. This is a battle that will be waged over many elections. The next generation is much more libertarian and they will be the future of the Republican Party if Ron Paul is successful. Secondly, in the near term he wants a voice in the platform committee and a speaking slot at the convention. If he has enough delegates he could reasonably expect that. And lastly if there is a brokered convention (still unlikely but not beyond the realm of possibility) he may play a role in naming the GOP nominee.
Ad Orientem

Take Virginia, a state where the party establishment pretty much rigged the election for Romney by making it as hard as possible for candidates to get on the ballot, and then prohibited write-in candidates, and then topped it off by requiring a loyalty oath from all voters that they would support the nominee of the party in the general election.
That’s wrong. Is it even enforceable? With that coercion, in VA I wouldn’t be a Republican.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Tradition is sexy
Dorothy via Hilary, against:
... what I like to call the “Confessional Frump look”.

Money quotes:
I suppose girls and women don these things as a sort of modesty uniform, a sartorial placard reading “I am a chaste and modest woman who would not have shoddy, unthinkable affairs with local tradesmen while you are at work.”

Modesty is a good and noble thing, but it is all the sweeter when it is subtle. The virgin who reminds people constantly that she is a virgin is not as modest as the virgin who keep her mouth shut on such a personal subject.

If a man wants back all the beauty, romance and fittingness of the Mass before 1963, he might very well want back all the beauty, romance and fittingness of men’s fashion before 1963. And if he is that interested in men’s fashion before 1963, imagine how he thinks women should dress. The Well Dressed Woman of 1948 was not wearing what Americans call a jumper, people.

You should not be thinking Laura Ingalls Wilder; you should be thinking Veronica Lake.

The man who explained just about everything
If you’re in a hurry, his five proofs

That must have been some vision.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Eunomia on Israel
The US capital is not Tel Aviv. Also, a long side trip to Britain.
  • The oddity of the relationship. By the way how does the special relationship no longer serve British interests? It’s an interesting, twisted history; they used us; we use them: how British spies seduced (sometimes literally, targeting important people like politicians and publishers, or James Bond was based on true stories) America into WWII; Britain reduced to Airstrip One (the war destroyed the empire, or did it? ...was its HQ’s move to Washington long planned, since WWI?); the neocons’ professed love of the relationship, using it to use the British, sending Airstrip One troops as auxiliaries in their foreign-war misadventures (a kind of British conservative liking it as the empire riding again, which is in a way true). As it stands, because of that last part, the relationship might not be the best thing. (The British being used and not just to harshly judge Americans on game and makeover shows.) But arguably it needs course correction, not scrapping. Better a Britain that’s part of a peaceful (trading with all, but yes, protected by American muscle) Anglosphere (not the way it’s run now) than run by Brussels or Berlin? But is a German-run Continent necessarily bad? Maybe not. (UK = Anglosphere with America; Western Europe = Germany; Eastern = Russia.) But the British historically are independent from Europe, a good thing. (In the political, subsidiarity sense, not the spiritual one of the Protestant break with Catholic Europe. Britain as Liechtenstein?)
  • Conflating US and Israeli interests.
  • Allies and client states. Joke: why doesn’t Israel apply for US statehood? Only two senators and not 100.

The Chevy Volt fails

Do people who purchase $40k cars have to worry much about $4 gas?

Keep in mind that GM is not losing money on the Volt. We are.
From LRC.
Modestinus and traditionalism
He, Mark in Spokane and Christopher Ferrara might think I’m compromised and part of the problem, or at least on a rickety bridge, by being a libertarian but:
For better or worse, I have been accused of being a “traditionalist”... My response has always been to say that I am interested in traditionalism, albeit with the concession that to be interested in these sorts of things is to typically become sympathetic to them as well. “Sympathy,” however, is not tantamount to “agreement” or, at least, not “full agreement,” which is something I reserve for a very narrow realm of claims which have been made in human history. But why be interested in traditionalism and not, say, one of the more moderate or even liberal wings of Catholicism? Though this isn’t the post in which to hash out all of the details, I think I can briefly summarize the reasons. First, traditionalism, unlike other camps within Catholicism (or even Orthodoxy), rarely gets a fair hearing in the so-called “mainstream” and therefore represents a more enticing subject to study since it demands some actual legwork and sifting which is typically done in advance within other circles. Second, traditionalism offers certain “high level” claims about the meaning and integrity of Catholic Christianity which are not typically in play within other realms. Whether these “high level” claims are right or wrong are important to figure out, but first one has to find out what they are and why they are being promoted in the first place. Last, the seemingly uncompromising nature of traditionalism offers two possibilities which, in my mind, ought to be enticing to most serious-minded individuals: internal coherency and an alternative to the present state of affairs. Whether these two sub-elements are fully actualized within the context of traditionalism is another matter. But to the extent that they are at least promoted, I find that the traditionalist camp is worth examining.

None of this is to say that I think of myself as a “bridge.” I lack the requisite background and sophistication to mediate between all of the various claims out there, even though it is necessary, to some degree, to make semi-blind choices between contradictory claims from time to time. In other words, some sort of decision-making process or standard has to be adopted at some point lest one remains in stasis forever. And it is here that I probably find the real “value” or “utility” of traditionalism: A decision for or in alignment with traditionalism is the one which, in my mind, carries the lowest costs (or, to put it another way, lowest risks) with respect to abrogating my duties as a Catholic. Does traditionalism always offer the most fashionable path? No. Does it always offer the most convenient path? No. But does it offer a path which, if faithfully followed (which is something I can make no claim to being good at), will be more likely to keep me on “the narrow way which leadeth unto life”? Well, yes.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

  • Johnny Cash on his faith.
  • Three misconceptions about the Catholic Church: 1. The Church is all about the clergy. Nope. The clergy make up only .04% of the Catholic population. 2. The Church is in decline. Nope. The global church is growing phenomonally. What is in decline is old-fashioned American cultural Catholicism. 3. The Catholic Church is the oppressor. Nope. The rate of Catholic martyrdoms is skyrocketing. In over 100 countries around the world Catholics are being persecuted, deprived of property, imprisoned, tortured and killed. From Fr L.
  • Robert Mercer will be a Catholic priest.
  • Diurnale.
  • The British ordinariate compared to other religious groups in England.

    Mgr Burnham:
    The Ordinariate is sometimes attacked for being rather small, and therefore fairly insignificant in the ecclesiastical landscape. We are sometimes laughed at. We sometimes make others angry or bitter. Given that Anglicans are famous for being attached to particular churches, and part of particular communities, it sometimes amazes me that anyone at all joined the Ordinariate. Yet 1,000 people did so, barely twelve months ago, and others are presently undertaking the Lenten journey, with their eye on being received and chrismated this Easter. Meanwhile, we have 60 clergy, and there are some more on the way.

    For fun, I thought I would have a look on the Internet and see what a small church in this country should look like. Slightly larger than the Ordinariate – with 120 clergy, some sixty centres, and a considerable band of faithful – is the archdiocese (as we would call it) of the Greek Orthodox Church. The Russian Orthodox are in two groups. The diocese of Sourozh, linked with the Moscow Patriarchate, has a couple of dozen active clergy, serving the liturgy in a couple of dozen centres, and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) in this country is about half that size. So the Russian jurisdictions, combined, are smaller than the Ordinariate, though they have some property and a good number of lay people. I looked then at a Catholic diocese, and I looked at the one associated with our patron, Our Lady of Walsingham. In the diocese of East Anglia, there seem to be some 90 clergy and just over 100 places of worship: in terms of priests and centres, a bit bigger than the Ordinariate. In terms of laity, no doubt much bigger – but much more long-established.

    In short, as a brand-new particular Church*, we are doing very well indeed. We are part of the universal communion tracing its history back to Caesarea Philippi, when Christ called Peter the rock and said, ‘on this rock I will build my Church’ (Mt 16:18). And we are learning what it feels like to be a Catholic. I now fully understand and increasingly share the feeling that mediæval churches and cathedrals are really ‘ours’, stolen by Tudor apostasy. I cannot see why their ownership and use, if it cannot be restored, cannot at least be shared. This is a view I have held since, as a cathedral chorister, I watched, fascinated, as a modern Catholic Church was built in Southwell. ‘Why duplicate?’ I thought.

    The General Synod has made it entirely plain that, whatever space is given to Anglo-catholics, the historic justification for being an Anglo-catholic – bringing the whole Church of England to understand and embrace an inherent Catholic Faith and Order – has now gone for ever. Meanwhile we long for our Anglican brothers and sisters to come and join us in the full communion of the Catholic Church, not because of this or that issue, but because Rome is home. RITA – Rome Is The Answer – as people used to laugh at me for saying. And perhaps still do.
    The old churches were stolen in the 1500s but the Anglicans have the right to control their property including not sharing.

    *Of course the ordinariates are part of the Latin Church.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

The short American century: a postmortem
From Eunomia

From Joshua
  • English, Burkean conservatism vs continental.
  • British WWI resisters. A pointless, immoral war that of course hurt Britain much more than America. (Why November’s still Poppy Month there.) Regular readers might remember the story of the Christmas truce, the last British WWI combat vet, who lived to be over 100 (‘I would never go back’), and WWII combat vet Tony Bennett (who sees that 9/11 was payback, and ‘anybody who thinks that war is romantic obviously hasn’t gone through one’). With Taki I agree the world would have been better off if the Central Powers had won. (No Nazi Germany, and Palestine would have remained a sleepy province remotely run by the Turks.) My take on resisters. Not a lot of sympathy for the Vietnam ones (but the authentic right, including the John Birch Society, was split on it and MacArthur begged Johnson to get out). Those leftists weren’t really for peace but wanted the other side to win. Get out of town. I like the working-class Dems sent over there better. Anyway: principled resisters, such as soldiers saying no to another deployment now, are heroes. I’m anti-war, not anti-military. The military has a real job: guard us, guard the coast. So part of the resisters’ heroism is taking the punishment the military has to give out in order to do its proper job. That goes for Bradley Manning.
  • Old Right peaceniks.
    • Bacevich: With the United States now well into the second decade of what the Pentagon has styled an “era of persistent conflict,” the war formerly known as the global war on terrorism (unofficial acronym WFKATGWOT) appears increasingly fragmented and diffuse.
    • Buchanan, “For What, All These Wars?’: Since Ronald Reagan went home, the United States has attacked or invaded Panama, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq again, and Libya. How have the Chinese suffered these 20 years by not having been in on the action?
  • Of course we libertarians aren’t trying to stop people’s right to be wrong and buy contraception. The issue is forcing a religion to go against its own teaching. (As somebody wrote in the MCJ, if the mainline still mattered, how would they feel if the government made them pay, even indirectly through insurance, for reparative therapy for homosexuals? Me: coercion’s wrong of course; a tiny minority, something like 3%, have that problem and the same right to live in peace as us; the church’s teaching stands.) Obviously the government wants that. (Make the church stop being the church and get with the latter-day Protestant program.) But LRC’s Christopher Manion points out opposition to contraception isn’t just a Catholic thing. Before the middle of the last century it was a generally Christian thing. It’s for everyone to consider or ignore, to embrace or to reject.
Obama’s shiny Hollywood bubble
From Takimag

Thursday, March 01, 2012

’60 Impala
Car myths
From Cracked
Davy Jones
The Monkees deserved that Emmy for comedy; much more watchable than Beatles movies (bad material, and they weren’t interested in acting); catchy pop written by pros such as Neil Diamond. I understand he lived in upstate Pennsylvania or at least used to, raising his horses. RIP.

Locally, a sweet little English Gothic church is endangered

Near where I used to live so it’s where I used to vote (including for Pat Buchanan in the ’96 primary). It was some kind of Baptist; my guess is mainline American Baptist. If not for the depression and the archdiocese’s iffy finances I’d like to see this or something like it (the closed Episcopal church in my town, here since the town began 100+ years ago, already fitted for Catholic worship with a fine ad apsidem altar) become the Philly home of the ordinariate (Fr Ousley and St Michael’s, and the Catholic group that left Good Shepherd), a reconstituted, Catholic Good Shepherd. (Not sure how good the parking is but Our Lady of Lourdes gets by with street parking.)

Reminds me of medieval English cities where anybody could walk to Mass from home to little stone parish churches every few blocks.

Like the Crystal Cathedral (magnificent building but a preaching barn unsuited for Catholic worship) becoming a real cathedral in a few years (I think the sale’s done), better to see it remain a Christian house of God than its architecture in secular use (creepy, semi-blasphemous).

Pictures from here.