Thursday, December 05, 2013

The truth about a famous photo, Catholicism and Orthodoxy again, and more


  • From Cracked:
    • Five ways modern espionage has left James Bond behind. In short, the Web, using disposable local frontmen rather than expensively trained agents in the field, and privatization/outsourcing.
    • Six classics despised by the people who created them. The true story behind the Vietnam War photo above: At the time the picture was taken, South Vietnamese General Nguyen Ngoc Loan, the man doing the shooting, was Chief of Police and the guy getting shot was the leader of a Viet Cong assassination squad tasked with murdering South Vietnamese police officers, and if those officers couldn't be found, their families would be killed instead. The man Loan shot had been caught near a ditch containing 34 murdered men, women and children, among them were the wife and six children of one of Loan's closest friends (the six murdered kids were also Loan's godchildren). As for Loan himself, when he wasn't gunning down bad guys, he was into building hospitals and giving presents to orphans. After he immigrated to America, he spent several decades running a remarkably non-murderous pizza parlor until his identity was leaked and death threats forced him to close his business. According to 1969 Pulitzer winner Eddie Adams, two people died the moment he took the photo: "The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera." RIP General Loan. Like Ian Smith, one of the 20th century’s most wronged men.
  • From Roissy:
    • Alpha f*x, betas chucked. Executive summary: women screw around with charming cads and ignore beta providers when their financial needs are met by the state or by a rich daddy, and their emotional needs are met by a supportive culture that condones the removal of all restrictions on female sexuality.
    • The problem with diversity. It weaponizes intrawhite status whoring. Open borders isn’t really about rescuing the world’s poor; it’s about sticking the shiv in the flanks of non-elite white people by dumping, say, Iraqi Islamists in the middle of Kentucky.
  • From Modestinus:
    • This seems to be the extent of the Catholic Church’s interest in the East: They want Orthodoxy’s often romanticized account of collegiality and synodality, but none of its theology, spirituality, or liturgy. When I mentioned this observation to my Orthodox brother, he exclaimed, “Our governance is the last thing they should want. It’s the worst part!” Indeed. I wouldn’t say it’s the church’s only interest in Orthodoxy, and admittedly, churchmen aren’t very interested in it, but this rings true in that many or most of the few Westerners who mention it (outside those churches themselves) seem to be liberals trying to undermine the Pope because the nature of his office (part of church infallibility) stands in the way of what they think is progress. Which is why older libcaths (young libcaths are about as rare as young fogeys) try to be ecumenical (which used to be cool when the West was churchier) by blathering about collegiality this way (meaning they want the church to change doctrine by vote like the mainline), ignoring (because they don’t take Orthodoxy seriously, because they know it has no clout or traction in the West?) that at heart Orthodoxy’s a kind of traditional Catholicism (I call it a kind of folk Catholicism).
    • Same goes for priestly celibacy, only a rule, not doctrine (not a hill I’d die on). There are great conservative examples of married priests if you know where to look (the Orthodox, their Eastern Catholic counterparts in their ethnic homelands such as the western Ukraine, and Anglo-Catholic turned Catholic priests). The wrong people want to change it and it wouldn’t bring in vocations. I don’t think about it and living in the church it seems not to come up. It seems to me the Western Church’s more mainstream experiment with married clergy, permanent deacons, is small (see above about not boosting vocations) and lost in Catholic culture; both priests and laity aren’t quite sure whether to treat them like clergy or laymen.
    • Pope Francis and CST. Regular readers know my opinions on these matters. That said, Pope Francis’ message here is benevolent (even if he doesn’t understand economics and even though he doesn’t like trads) and Modestinus is a gentleman acknowledging that Catholics drawn to libertarianism mean well too, so maybe a weak libertarianism (minarchism?) is a Catholic option.
  • From the Anti-Gnostic:
  • From Dusk in Autumn: Mid-century Christmas songs are almost all secular. Some blame Jews for this dilution of a Christian holiday. For now I’ll just file the fact he mentions with what Steve Sailer calls “diversity before ‘diversity,’” golden-era Americans just being decent to each other without the modern left’s self-righteousness (it was also America’s lost Catholic moment). (“Season’s Greetings,” a favorite from then, is worse than “Happy Holidays,” which has its place in public life.)
  • Sailer: PISA’s global results are largely the American bell curve writ large. The Finns do well not because they’re permissive but because they’re Finnish.
  • Justin Raimondo: Long live “isolationism.”

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