Thursday, December 04, 2014

Pope Francis, Ouija danger, and more

  • The Anti-Gnostic on Pope Francis: The man is a good-hearted moron, and I mean that in a completely non-malicious way. He is a sentimental, gushing huggy-bear and would make a great parish priest, but is in well over his head as Patriarch of an autocephalous Church.
  • Pope Francis and the Swiss Guards: It is perhaps worth noting that assassination, like larceny, is primarily a crime of opportunity. Heads of state and other VIPs who insist on moving about in open cars, without bodyguards or who deliberately keep their security at bay are worse than fools. This is because ordinary people can choose to take foolish risks, and in most cases the danger is primarily or exclusively to them alone. But when you are a pope, president or king you are almost never alone in public. The assassin spraying bullets or setting off a bomb is not going to worry about "collateral damage." In the modern world the opposite is more likely to be the case. If you have a martyr complex, that's fine. But you don't have the right to endanger other people by your actions. Reminds me of a recent White House security breach: political correctness has literally weakened the Secret Service as a woman agent couldn't subdue the intruder. (Why women don't belong in combat. Common sense: they're reproductively too valuable.)
  • Fr. Bob Hart on ACNA, which I call Slightly Less Liberal Protestant Denomination. The ACNA: Episcopalian liberalism reset to 1985. I aim to be as Christ-centered as he is, but of course I agree with the late, great Fr. Serge (Keleher) on the trouble with the Continuum: "The Protestant Episcopal Church failed, so let's re-create it and watch it fail again."
  • Fr. L: Stripping the altars rips the heart out of Catholicism. The good news as I see it: this protestantized Catholicism is fast expiring (aging). We'll be left with a sound again but smaller church.
  • "Britain’s brightest student" taking aim at teaching’s sacred cows. Daisy Christodoulou’s Seven Myths attacks accepted views on skills and knowledge and everyone from Ofsted to Dickens.
  • Zemir Begic, 32, was found unconscious with apparent injuries to his head, abdomen, face and mouth in the 4200 block of Itaska at 1:15 a.m. Police say Begic was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Chris Johnson: Me, I blame Missouri’s inexcusably nonexistent hammer control laws. There are no database checks, no waiting periods, nothing. If any of you ever wanted to buy a hammer, all you’d have to do is to fly into Missouri, visit a hardware store and take your hammer home with you. And since Missouri also doesn’t have any concealed hammer carry laws, you can carry your hammer anywhere around here that you care to go. You have a bunch of black kids and a Hispanic kid who just happened to have hammers on them and who just happened to beat a white Bosnian to death with those hammers which they just happened to have on them. Yeah, I can’t see any racial motivation whatsoever in this attack. Racist.
  • "Do NOT play with Ouija boards! You are flat out ASKING a demon to possess you if you use these things!" My fifth-grade teacher, who happened to be a Catholic who came of age before Vatican II, warned us about them. She and her friends played with one, were spooked by the results, and ended up burning it. Christopher Lee, who is an expert on the occult in addition to being an excellent Dracula on the bit screen, said just about the same thing about messing with the occult in any of its forms including the Ouija board. Yes; he said if you play with one, you will at least have psychological damage. They market pink plastic ones for little girls' sleep-overs. Its manufacturer's spin is it's an innocent game that got bad publicity because of The Exorcist. The boards, which are designed to contact spirits, have become widely popular after the top-grossing Ouija film hit the theaters.
  • Bob Wallace: In a very broad sense, aristocratic values are masculine values, and democratic values — egalitarian values — are feminine values. Reminds me how heavy-metal rock music is conservative; it doesn't pretend to be egalitarian but rewards virtuosity (whose root word is vir, man).
  • More from the Anti-Gnostic: We can't have nice things, because egalitarian democracy screws everything up. The dumbing down of college, which Penn professor Paul Fussell noted 30 years ago; here tied to feminization. Who else has read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? (Overrated beatnik stuff: look up ἀρέτη, areté, to save a couple of hours.) Robert Pirsig objected to something like what we're seeing; college as a place where consumers buy worthless degrees. Others say the point of the Ivies (and Oxbridge?) is not really education but networking for the elite. As I've relearned when looking for a job and rereading What Color Is Your Parachute? (suitably rewritten yearly, reflecting the Web and the depression of '08), shooting out résumés like birdshot (easy online) doesn't work; it's who you know. (Did you know that Dick Bolles is or was an Episcopal priest?)
  • Ex-Army: Kipling called traditional truths the "Gods of the Copybook Headings," because when he was a kid, the copybooks used in schools had these truths as quotes at the top of the pages. The Gods of the Market Place, in contrast, are trendy, popular ideas that very often are not truths at all, and in fact directly contradict the Gods of the Copybook Headings.
  • Steve Sailer: A rape hoax for book lovers.
  • A TV channel here recently had a double feature of "Heavy-Handed Early '90s Social Satire About Race" I might have been naive or pressured enough to take seriously then: Livin' Large (unfunny and trite: earthy, streetwise black vs. uptight whites) and White Man's Burden (same egalitarian nonsense the schools and TV taught me growing up).
  • Goodbye, America (in a photo). Roissy's photo-compilation blog.

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