Thursday, November 30, 2006

US: Baker panel recommends pullback from Iraq
Dystopia on film
The flip side of ‘every child a wanted child’... exactly what Margaret Sanger had in mind
The Jeffersonian impulse
From Verbum ipsum
What exactly do liberals — the New Religion — mean when they claim to be catholic?
Fr Will Brown wants to know
The tragedy of the RC neocons
From Stephen Hand via The Gaelic Starover
++Cantuar goes to Santa Sabina (more)
What it might all mean

A friend writes:
More flies with honey than vinegar and all that.

If Dr Williams could experience first hand what
rapprochement would be like, it might indeed help to nudge him in the right direction. It's no guarantee, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

If that is the truth of things, then the Holy Father (or whoever arranged this) is very shrewd indeed!
And an Orthodox in Britain has noted that many of his co-religionists use similar hospitality offered by Anglican churches.

Being nice to other Christians: what a concept.
The Pope makes a mistake
In Ankara, the Pope began his trip with a visit to the hilltop mausoleum of modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Flanked by an escort of ceremonial guards, he laid a wreath of red and white flowers.

An Orthodox writes:
...perhaps one ought to suggest that the lowest point of the Holy Father's pontificate (pace Fr Boyce) was his laying a wreath yesterday at the shrine of Ataturk: a man who created more Christian martyrs...
The man who brought you the rape of Smyrna; persecution of Greek Christians in Asia Minor continues to this day.

Not exactly the best way to start dialogue with the Orthodox but then again the Patriarch of Constantinople (who is not the head of the Orthodox Church) is essentially a prisoner of the Turkish government and can’t do anything about it.
South Korea to quit Iraq by end of 2007
Gaudent angeli. From The Western Confucian.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The great Catholic family in one handy, colourful chart
The only ones missing are the many Byzantine Catholic churches other than the Melkites (I think the Ukrainian Catholic Church outnumbers them) and the (formerly) Utrechtian Old Catholics like Deacon Jim’s church. From Occidentalis.

I’ll have what he’s having
Under intense pressure to change course, President Bush on Tuesday rejected suggestions Iraq has fallen into civil war and vowed not to pull U.S. troops out "until the mission is complete."

On the eve of his visit to Jordan for meetings with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Bush portrayed the battles in both Afghanistan and Iraq as central fronts in a war "against the extremists who desire safe havens and are willing to kill innocents anywhere to achieve their objectives."

"There's one thing I'm not going to do, I'm not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete," Bush declared in his speech. There are about 140,000 U.S. forces in Iraq.
I could have used whatever he’s on a while back when I slipped in the bath and smashed my right shoulder against the cabinet across the room. Two doses of morphine and one of something else did nothing for the pain. A hit of that might have done. (The doctor did have something that amazingly, efficiently knocked me out so he could push the arm back in place. There was no blurry fade-out.) BTW the arm is still not 100 per cent but should be in about three weeks.

Hmm, killing innocents anywhere to achieve their objectives... looked in a mirror?

In other news Nancy Pelosi isn’t working to stop the war now.

P.S. Most of the 9/11 hijackers were neither Afghanis nor Iraqis but Saudis.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Georgia’s Nato bid irks Russia
Конечно! Of course I’m all for national sovereignty and Georgia — the home both of Stalin and IMO the best wine in the world — has the right to get foreign, non-Russian help for its military but realistically, imperially what’s happening is fairly obvious:
Georgia’s army is leading its country’s charge westwards — towards Nato, and perhaps eventually the European Union.

Its ties with Moscow are being discarded like the spent bullet cases which litter the rifle range.

Lt-Col Alexander Osepaishvili is the brigade’s commanding officer.

“I call this long way, short time,” he told me. “During two years, my brigade has changed. The Georgian military has changed — very big changes,” he explains.

The US Army has sent instructors to drive that change.
Even without the threat as recently as 20 years ago of international Communism* imagine the American reaction if Mr Putin sent military advisers to Mexico to drive it away from US influence. (And a false story like that about the Germans was the excuse to enter World War I.)

As Tripp might put it, I’m just sayin’.

Speaking of satellites and spheres of influence, LRC says as recently as 1935 the US had a plan to wipe out the British including in Canada if they tried to get in the way:

Thinking the unthinkable

*Overrated, an excuse for taking away Americans’ liberty, said Murray Rothbard, who among others predicted rightly that the economic laws it flouted, its own contradictions, would send it crashing down.
A primer on Lebanese politics
By Uri Avnery. These are Samer al-Batal’s picks for today. He wrote all of the following.

Playing with death in Lebanon
Pierre Jumay’yil’s death: miscalculations, benefits, and interests served

In Lebanon, a crisis for Christians
The Lebanese Christian* political blocs in the wake of the latest assassination

*It is more accurate (always in what concerns Lebanon) to remove this codeword and say ‘Maronite’ because unfortunately, as the case happens to be, that is the faction that effectively possesses something of a monopoly on Christian affairs in this country (and theirs is the only patriarch – an important political voice – based in this country). No Christian political za`eem or notable clan head comes from any of the other Christian factions, which officially number around 11.
About face
Or Catholics are at times dead wrong on the political issues I blog about. In this case one of them was mugged by reality. From Cælum et terra.
The Litvinenko killing: is Putin being set up?
From Pat Buchanan via
The Pope calls on the Patriarch of Constantinople
I don’t expect much — just some nice photos and pleasantries. Better than nothing or something negative but my expectations are realistic. Corporate reunion won’t happen next week because of it! I do wish the media would stop talking about Patriarch Bartholomew as if he were the Orthodox Pope — ‘the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians’. No, he’s the head of a far-flung church largely of Greeks outside Greece (the church of which under Archbishop Christodoulos is autonomous — essentially independent of him). Membership in Orthodoxy isn’t defined by communion with him like communion with Rome defines being Roman Catholic. No, it’s defined by being in the the Orthodox communion (sounds a bit circular but that’s the best I can come up with right now) which happens to include this patriarch. Like the Archbishop of Canterbury in Anglicanism except Patriarch Bartholomew’s territory is bigger and international... and membership isn’t defined by being invited to a conference at Istanbul every few years.

Update: Here is some good background info on the patriarchate from Ad Orientem.

A patriarchate under siege
The rise and decline of neoconservatives
Well, regarding the latter one can always hope. From Right Web.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The failed faith of ‘conservatives’
In almighty power. Even an establishment writer like David Ignatius is starting to twig:
The idea that America is going to save the Arab world from itself is seductive, but it's wrong. We have watched in Iraq an excruciating demonstration of our inability to stop the killers. We aren't tough enough for it or smart enough – and in the end it isn't our problem.
Want to work on the problem? Stop propping up Israel for starters. If you’d done right from the beginning 9/11 never would have happened.

Government as an anti-church
The mystical body of Satan

William F. Buckley, betrayer of real conservatism
I like his manner but like his views about as much as I do VDARE’s. It’s good to remember that the authentic right was divided about Vietnam!

From LRC.
The Dawkins delusion
The history of the USSR already refutes him but this is good. From DCNY.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Did Our Lady give birth painlessly?
Taylor Marshall blogs about this. ISTM the main point is God became man and as part of that miracle he was literally born of a virgin, simply meaning he didn’t have a human father*. The rest is opinion (in the classic not modern sense of theologoumenon). I understand the logic here, because she was free from the curse in Genesis not by any merit of her own but thanks to prevenient grace (which in addition to the 8th December the Roman Rite celebrates tomorrow in the feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal), but that said I agree with this comment from Michael Stewart:
My first thought is to lean in the other direction. The writer of Hebrews** seems to go at length to show how Christ was ‘just like us’ in our humanity.

God did not deliver Christ from the natural suffering coming from crucifixion; why would we suppose that he spared Mary from the natural suffering that accompanies childbirth?
A punto. He is God and thus sinless in himself but suffered, so again IMO one can believe that Mary suffered naturally in giving birth and still be safely within Catholic orthodoxy.

*Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: et homo factus est. Some say that the modern translation used by some churches, ‘by the power of the Holy Spirit’, is a loophole for error because that suggests he worked through a human father.

**And of course there’s Philippians 2:5-8, part of the epistle for some Marian feast-days in the Byzantine Rite.
Rumsfeld authorised Abu Ghraib torture, says ex-commander
From The Gaelic Starover
In Iraq, Assyrian Christians are scapegoated for what Bush did
Three on the Mass
  • Some thoughts for a Sunday.
  • By his one oblation of himself once offered.
  • Kenneth Ingram: Love, even the love of a particular person, is a continuous force [even though its outward expression is not]. The arts seem to belong to the same order. The majesty of Bach, the splendour of Wagner, the strength of Beethoven, have become in their immortality eternal inheritances. Only at certain moments are their works performed but they are always there...

    The Sacrifice of Calvary... is much more than an isolated historic event. It is part of an eternal activity, reflected once in Palestine, and again manifested in every Mass is no mere commemoration, nor is it simply a service of prayer or praise or ceremony. It is a living incarnation in which Christ becomes present as he was present two thousand years ago at Bethlehem and Calvary. It is nothing less than this. And therefore, at Mass, we tread the sanctuary of the heart of the Catholic Religion.
Prayer for Orthodox-Roman Catholic unity
As the Pope goes to meet the Patriarch of Constantinople. An echo of Blessed Leonty, whose prayer for corporate reunion I pray daily. From Huw Raphael.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

RSS for the people
Joe Sobran calls for justice
When the dust settles, the two parties will have to bury the hatchet and work together on the challenges facing our great country, such as whether President Bush should follow Iraq’s former president Saddam Hussein to the gallows. I’m not talking about lynching; I’m talking about the rule of law, due process, equal protection, and all that.

No man is above the law, and the Nuremberg trials established the principle that even heads of state may be held accountable for crimes against humanity, such as waging aggressive war.
A call for contrition over Iraq

From The Western Confucian.
Notes from Palestine
From a friend now safely home from there, having experienced among some life-changing stuff some marvellous Arab hospitality including wonderful food. And of course there are also remarkable Israelis trying to do good.
• Much of modern Hebrew is taken from Arabic so the languages are remarkably similar. (I’m sure Samer will verify or refute that.)
• The Sharon government actually studied the Botha one to see how to implement apartheid (the official Israeli word is in fact ‘separation’) including the bantustans.
The Wall doesn’t mark the pre-1967 war border but is well within Palestinian territory. (Another friend: ‘Where’s the neon sign saying “Arbeit macht frei”?’)
• The most vociferous supporters of this stuff are not American Jews for the most part but some American evangelicals, some of whom wouldn’t mind if it went to the next level and there were death camps. (As long as it hastens the rapture I reckon.)
• Israeli and Palestinian cars have different-coloured numberplates and only Israeli ones can use the good, most direct roads.
• Palestinian workers and others passing from the Palestinian zone to the Israeli have to go through gates, checkpoints and searches like in prison. This is ostensibly to stop suicide bombers but the bombers of course don’t use these places; there are ways to sneak in. It’s simply a form of harassment and intimidation to keep the Palestinians in their place.
• Haifa, not a tourist spot but simply a working port, is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. There are crumbling houses there though: some Palestinians evicted in 1948 can’t come back but have managed to retain ownership.
• Israeli settlers throw rocks at the Palestinians.
Compy 386 tells you how to make a website circa 1996
Like this one: Father seems sound as a pound but if he wants something better he could hire even me to make it. (Those cherubs are making me dizzy.)

Disclosure: Got started nearly seven years ago and copied what I saw out there so I made lots of mistakes.

From Samer al-Batal.
Christians for slavery
LRC’s Laurence Vance on the religious right and conscription. He’s an evangelical who remembers that, before the cultural upheaval at the end of the 1960s, his co-religionists had a healthy distrust of government including the military. Like Sgt Alvin York did in World War I before a minister told him it was his Christian duty to kill the Hun (who was no threat whatsoever to York’s home or family). Incidentally ‘progressive’ Protestant clergy were keen on that war and getting America into it: destroy what’s left of superstitious Catholic Europe. ‘Imagine... and the world will live as one.’ Some things never change.

Oh, and this form of involuntary servitude is already happening in the form of ‘stop-loss’: you can get in but you can’t get out.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Scarlett Johansson on ‘education’ and ‘liberation’
The secular world’s big non serviam, or pig heaven for some dishonourable men marketed as empowerment for women

Get ready for the ‘stupid Iraqi ingrates’ campaign
The white man’s burden: they don’t know what’s best for them. Please.

‘Kramer’s essential nature’
Or John Derbyshire doesn’t get it

From Mark Shea, who really should paste some FeedBurner RSS-feed code into his blog (to make a live bookmark) so I can better follow it with Firefox.
Trapped in Mr Bush’s video game
Or when Big Brother believes the bullshit. I’ve long thought he does — he tells untruths but isn’t guilty of lying. The man admits he doesn’t read newspapers.

Incidentally the US now has been in Iraq longer than it fought in World War II.

I have found, IMHO, that those who are offended by satire have no desire to engage on any real level, let alone a humorous one. The glory of satire is that it can often comfortably reveal very uncomfortable truths. When it is revoked under the accusation of giving offense, the upper hand is given to those who have no desire to engage the matter at hand.
- Fr Lee Nelson
Christmas vs Xmas
A perennial topic that’s come back now that secular Christmas has begun (it’ll end as real Christmas begins). The real season, Advent, of course is under way for the minority of Orthodox worldwide who use the Gregorian calendar; for everybody else it hasn’t even started yet.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Had her big concert on the box in the background as I was fixing my storm windows. Some of the production values were good — the talented dancers, the screens, the lights — but overall it was craptacular, overproduced stuff out of the high point of her career about 15-20 years ago. (Don’t get me wrong: I admit to liking ’80s pop... among other things of course. Of course it was big in England! But I liked grunge too: raw and honest, a healthy move away from the problems with all this.) It was bubble-gum with dancers miming S&M to try to look hip. Does anybody fall for this? Sorry but one 30-year-old baroque synthesiser riff from Abba’s Benny Andersson, played over and over, is more memorable than the attempts to shock.

Donald Clarke had her sussed back in her heyday:
Madonna is not a singer or a dancer or a songwriter, but a ‘performance artist’ who knows how to get the media to manipulate themselves.
Always has been. But as a singer and dancer she’s quite good really (not particularly sexy).

As for the act overall, as Esther herself might say, ‘Feh’.
Robert Fisk: Gemayel’s mourners know that in Lebanon nothing is what it seems
Living in Lebanon, you learn these semantic tricks through a kind of looking glass. Nothing here ever happens by accident. But whatever does happen is never quite like what you first think it to be. So the Lebanese at Bikfaya understood yesterday as they gathered and talked of unity. For if only the Lebanese stopped putting their faith in foreigners - the Americans, the Israelis, the British, the Iranians, the French, the United Nations - and trusted each other instead, they would banish the nightmares of civil war sealed inside Pierre Gemayel's coffin.
From Samer al-Batal who writes:

In case you would like to know, the Orthodox bishop of Beirut gave the blessing and read the Beatitudes at the Maronite funeral.

Christians in the Near East, particularly within the great Catholic family, tend to stick together.
Happy feast-day
The preaching of the apostles still rang in his ears, wrote St Irenæus
It was about November-tide
A long, long time ago
When good S. Clement testified
The faith that now we know
Right boldly then, he said his say
Before a furious king;
And therefore on S. Clement’s Day
We go a-Clementing.
What on earth, you might ask, is ‘going a-Clementing’? Glad you asked!
On his feast-day, smiths used to honour his memory... holding a feast at night which was known as the Clem Feast... At Woolwich until at least as late as the first half of the last century, blacksmiths’ apprentices in the dockyard chose one of their number to act as Old Clem...

A contemporary account... printed in 1826... describes how the company went round the town, ‘stopping and refreshing at nearly every public house...’ The evening ended with a jovial supper and, doubtless, a good deal of hard drinking at one of the local inns.

In another account there is mention of children and young people also going round Clementing in much the same way as they went Catterning two days later on S. Catherine’s Day. This visited the houses of the parish, singing songs that began ‘Clemency, clemency, year by year’ or ‘Clementsing, Clementsing, apples and pears’ and demanding the usual largesse of apples, beer and whatever else they could get. Sometimes the boys added colour to the proceeding by carrying lighted turnip lanterns of the Hallowtide pattern.
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving (the harvest festival comes a month later in the States and is on a Thursday). ‘We gather together’ and gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro. Dignum et justum est. Here is LRC’s Gary North with more.
Mr Bush’s minders’ fantasy world
From The Western Confucian
Oldest priest in Russian Orthodox Church Abroad turns 110
Fr Elias Wen from China. From Samer al-Batal who writes:

Father is apparently the victim of a famous perhaps-no-so-old perhaps-not-so-Chinese curse about living in — or in case, through — interesting times.

Many more years of good health to you – and of some peaceful, boring times for a change, eh, Father?

От души поздравляем его.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Legend and apocrypha
Their place in Catholicism. This essay from Daniel Mitsui is being passed through the blogs.

What do I think? I think I’m a moderate about the whole thing.

Of course the Catholic answer to something not being in scripture is ‘So what?’ Nowhere in scriptura does it say sola!

What’s interesting in contrast is how Protestants in their history have gone from purging anything extra-biblical, including good legends and folklore, for truth’s sake to the exact opposite error from credulity (the latter was the mediæval mistake that reformers including St Pius V tried to correct; Mitsui criticises the correction!), taking the relativistic approach Mitsui seems to take at times to legend (‘so what if it’s probably not really true?’) and applying it to... doctrine and even scripture itself so nothing therefore everything is true, even opposites.

(You still see the old-school Protestant reaction today wrongly applied to things from Halloween to the Harry Potter books. Right, everybody should read didactic fiction like Left Behind. No, thank you.)

The orthodox Donald Attwater in his lives of the saints was clear that many of those stories are probably not true; Fr Joseph did the same adding explanations to the legends at Matins in the Anglican Breviary.

(My take: if it doesn’t go against doctrine or morals, is not completely outrageous and you can’t prove it didn’t happen then fine, have a devotion to it even in church — have a Mass and office for it, a shrine and so on.)

Like St Pius V I don’t believe the legend in the Protoevangelium of James where yesterday’s feast-day came from really happened, that Mary lived in the Holy of Holies, but rather that she was taken to the temple and received some kind of blessing.

Many of the beautiful prayers in the Byzantine Rite like in the daily canons for its Matins (actually the equivalent of Roman Rite Lauds) have Our Lady saying things at the foot of the cross that sound like they really came from the fathers and the councils.

OK, fine, as long as belief in the historicity of the description is not required. I think I’m with Mitsui here and, more important, with the church... that what matters is they teach truth... that they are, yes, orthodox.

But whatever Catholic doctrine says is historical... is historical.

Beyond that, how far should one get involved in legends like this?

‘All can, some should, none must.’ :)
Non-Tridentine Western orders of Mass
And a link to not only the main Orthodox liturgy but the others and to several other Eastern liturgies as well (the Coptic one of St Mark, the Qurbana of the Syrian Church and the latinised Chaldean one*). (Traditional Catholicism is not monolithic.) A marvellous resource! Biretta tip to Fr Jim Tucker.

*The ‘pure’ one used by the Assyrian Church, formerly called Nestorian (it turns out they’re not Nestorians), the historic Catholic church of what’s now Iraq, has the oldest Eucharistic canon still in use, and as handed down it has no institution narrative! Chaldean Catholics, descended from former Assyrians who went under Rome, now actually outnumber their parent church and are the biggest church in the country. Before the American invasion Christians had considerable freedom there especially for that part of the world.
Robert Fisk reports from Beirut
From Samer al-Batal
Are superpower navies doomed?
LRC military expert William Lind thinks so. Not only can subs be morally dodgy doomsday weapons but in a purely sea battle they are the new capital ships. Makes sense as does the idea that in a world where a few tenacious guerrillas and/or homemade bombs can defeat the army of a nuclear superpower, diesel-electric subs still have their uses. ISTM carriers are still the tactical weapon of choice as air support for land wars but I see Mr Lind’s point; they’ve been sidelined in terms of sea power like the battleships they largely replaced so in future you wouldn’t see carrier-vs-carrier fights any more than a re-enactment of Trafalgar or Jutland. Meanwhile except for its doomsday boats the US Navy is still planning to re-fight World War II (still a powerful part of the American national myth — even though logically the country could and should have sat it out — as popularised by Tom Brokaw and Mr Bush’s minders have tried to exploit with that ‘Axis of Evil’ business).

Taking God’s name in vain
Tracking the trajectory and factions of the largely Protestant US religious right. Reason remembers 10 years ago when First Things for example sounded like real conservatives. (You mean it was all only a partisan act to try to knock down Bill Clinton? Noooooo!)

All you need is cash
Baby-boomers tend to be rich and spend money, and may be willing to buy re-heated Beatles tunes over again for Christmas. Thought Sir George Martin knew better than to Spectorise those songs with soppy strings. (And that’s your alliteration of the day.)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What’s gone wrong at GetReligion?
I read it too but it’s fallible. Huw Raphael says it’s becoming neocon ‘divisive tripe’ rather like ‘I read it in a headline in The Daily Mail so I know it’s true’. I love the description of WND.
Airline harassment: first they came for the Muslims
Coffea, tea or Guantánamo?
George Orwell’s six rules for good writing
He helped form me — I read 1984 that year — so it’s fitting that he describes nearly perfectly the thinking behind my editing at my newspaper job
A seriously dreadful development
Samer al-Batal writes from Beirut:

Another assassination: minister Pierre Jumay’yil shot dead.

A member of one of the very prominent political dynasties of this country is dead and Lebanese are intensely polarised right now politically and perhaps it could be said as factions although Christians are split between both political camps. This, and no surprise here at all given past incidents, couldn’t be more ill-timed (or deliberately timed for those who engineered this) given the crucially sensitive point towards which the internal political situation and currents have been converging recently. This comes at the heels of both the resignation of a number of ministers from the cabinet and of a climaxing in the opposition’s censure against the March 14 government, also in anticipation of impending street protests against the ruling majority and of a pending ratification for an international tribunal in the matter of the Hareeri killing. It would not be surprising to see politicians, true to the nature of their species, milking this for all it is worth. Tomorrow is also this country’s holiday of independence.

Your prayers are again requested, for the sake of this country and its many souls as well as for this man’s repose in the hereafter.
National service
Or what if Mr Rangel is serious about conscription and not simply trying to erode whatever support for the war there still is among the American middle class? From the LRC blog.
Oh, no
Of course I already knew that Dr Katharine Jefferts-Schori has no use for Catholicism and don’t intend to obsess in this blog about that. But I couldn’t keep quiet about this awful New York Times interview with her after Lee Penn sent it to me.

It may be statistically true that education and fecundity are inversely related but the meaning here seems clear. She seems to find the thought of members of the Roman communion, the largest in the great Catholic family, with which I and others pray for reunion every day (I do specifically after every office) reproducing rather distasteful like the sci-fi theology of the Mormons.

Isn’t this the kind of polite racism snobbery the Episcopal Church says it’s trying to get away from? I think back in the 1950s you’d have to give somebody like an Anglican bishop a few drinks at the club to get him to blurt out something like that. (When contraception had been mainstream for at least 25 years.) Now, if you wrap it up in ‘green’ rhetoric, you can say it out in the open.

(I’ll choose the Catholic witness of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity instead, thanks.)

Of course she believes her church is better or truer — that’s why she’s a member of it and not a Roman Catholic! I respect that. I’m also fine with theistic evolution, her belief as a scientist. The Catholic faith says you can believe in a six-day creation but don’t have to. Good stewardship of God’s creation/conservation/not wasting things? No problem!

But this objectionable bit is entirely different to the sparring I enjoy online with Roman Catholics and others, in the spirit of the university, over what the church fathers believed and practised regarding Roman primacy, or over the horrors of Vatican II liturgical revision, or the lack of tolerant conservatism... you know, the kind of conversation you might expect from somebody with theological training who’s now the Episcopal supremo.

What’s really frightening is she’s not at all unique in thinking and speaking this way about population or about the holy, Catholic, apostolic and Roman Church.

Then there’s the attitude of Fr Jake’s fans towards ++Cape Town vs ++Abuja, or ‘we like African prelates when they think just like us’.

The former see used to be held by Geoffrey Clayton, a Catholic from England who helped start the anti-apartheid movement.

They don’t make Anglican primates like they used to.
DEUS, qui beátam Maríam semper Vírginem, Spíritus Sancti habitáculum, hodiérna die in templo præsentári voluísti : præsta, quæsumus ; ut, ejus intercessióne, in templo glóriæ tuæ præsentári mereámur. Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum, filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte ejúsdem Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Update: It seems that this story has been confirmed (get past Owen’s tone and though he’s obviously not a fan Dr William Tighe is not known to lie online); this attitude towards Western Catholicism extends to Eastern. I’m left speechless so with that I’ll stop.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Arab Orthodox radio station
From Samer al-Batal who writes:

This looks like a winner! Lots of chants.

To listen to the station...

The main page of the station’s website is here.

This is the schedule and timetable (Greenwich Mean Time) for the day’s radio programming (updated daily).
Russian Orthodox patriarch thanks Pope for helping rebuild cathedral
Pope Benedict had sent a €10,000 contribution to help repair Trinity Cathedral in St. Petersburg after a fire that seriously damaged the building, collapsing the dome.
Kissinger: Iraq military win impossible
The state is looking out for you
A spicy sausage known as the Welsh Dragon will have to be renamed after trading standards’ officers warned the manufacturers that they could face prosecution because it does not contain dragon.
From David Holford.
World peace through world trade
Washington and Jefferson agreed. From LRC.
US: post-election debate over Iraq intensifies
Very scary, kids:
Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel of New York proposed a military draft...

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said more troops should be sent in...
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said troop withdrawals must begin within four to six months.
That’s better.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Orwellian sign in Palestine
From friend John Treat, now safely home, who writes:
For me, the photo best sums up the contradictions I saw. This is the main checkpoint between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, a gate in the wall that has been built to contain the Palestinian population. The Israel Ministry of Tourism clearly understands the need to attend to your PR no matter the place or situation. While that's laudable, in its way, I do think they need to sharpen their sense of irony a bit.
Mr Bush accidentally gets it right
[Vietnam] was our unjust war on their soil. The people are at peace because we lost that war. Are these really the truths you want to admit about Iraq?

Huynh Tuyet, 71, a North Vietnamese veteran who had his hand blown off fighting the Americans, recalled his own lesson. "Even though the Americans were more powerful with all their massive weapons, the main factor in war is the people," he said. "The Vietnamese people were very determined. We would not give up. That's why we won."
Guerrilla warfare and 4GW (read William Lind for more on that): lessons for freedom-fighters today.

From Huw Raphael.
Vatican: mistranslation of pro multis in Mass should be corrected
Wonderful news!

The sacrament of confession
Or priests as God’s cleaning crew. (Fulton Sheen called it psychoanalysis on its knees.) From Canon David Baumann at John One Five.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Intervention in Iraq ‘pretty much of a disaster’ admits Blair, as minister calls it his ‘big mistake’
From The Guardian
Rod Dreher on church and community
Fr John Triglio: orthodoxy and collaboration with the people are not mutually exclusive
In fact they naturally go together. Here Father knocks over a mouldy Modernist strawman. (Some of us remember that Catholic principles fuelled the anti-apartheid movement at least in the beginning.) That said I don’t like this site: horribly designed and count me out of the Minutemen and border-fence campaigns, a kind of ‘conservatism’ nothing to do with this blog.

(Obviously a distraction and race-baiting from the neocons among others.)

As for immigration a country’s first obligation is to its own but there should be as few restrictions as possible, only what’s needed for the former, to welcoming all who want to work, which immigrants famously do!

The bit about illiberal liberals does seem to apply to many of Fr Jake’s fans as much if not more than to the crew running mainstream RC institutions.

From The Curt Jester.
Analysing American history and culture(s) through four groups of British immigration
Were the War of Independence and US Civil War simply continuations of the war between the Cavaliers and Roundheads?

The Celtic part makes some sense as Devon and Cornwall were the first parts of England to rebel against the ‘Reformation’:
We will not receyve the new servyce because it is but lyke a Christmas game, but we wyll have our old service of matens, Masse, evensong and procession ... as it was before.
(Besides grace and orthodoxy that was partly because back then many Devon and Cornishmen didn’t speak English!)

According to this idea the Celts tended to be Catholic and libertarian whilst the Anglo-Saxons/Danes favoured Puritanism and socialism. (But the Scots of course turned Calvinist!)

Patterns that C19 and early C20 RC immigration didn’t change; rather the newcomers assimilated.

Others such as blogger Drake Adams have similarly described the Scots-Irish heritage of much of the South to explain the red/blue cultural and political divide. (The Scots in the American South did end up much like people in the mother country, a defeated nation looked down upon and providing human fodder for the empire’s wars as so many joined the army.)

An interesting companion read is Joe Sobran’s appreciation of Protestant culture in my religion links.

Friday, November 17, 2006

‘It is a day of darkness not light’
An account of CIA torture. From Adventus.
US: The mugging of Murtha
From’s Justin Raimondo: By choosing a hawk as majority leader (to show they’re ‘tough on terrorism’?) new Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats betray the peace movement or as The Onion put it two weeks ago the big winners in the elections were... politicians.

Some comments from earlier today.
Why they die
Simple facts most soldiers do not understand: The government (state) is not our country; when you fight and die in undeclared wars, you do so for the State and not for our country or our freedoms; when you forsake the Constitution you swore to uphold and defend to follow unconstitutional orders, even from your commander-in-chief, you cross the line from defender of your country to the very real possibility of becoming a war criminal.
From LRC.
Have not we Catholics, by and large, gone down the road of compromise so far that we can awaken no enthusiasm among the people? That the only thing we can whip up enthusiasm for, in conjunction with the Hearst press, is an anti-Communist crusade? A crusade that utilizes the anti-Christian and Mohammedan concept of a "holy war." A defense of Jesus Christ by bombs, a blood-soaked earth, quick death, hate. A hate that always exists in war despite the unreal and pedantic distinctions of theologians whose love of refinements is equaled only by their ignorance of psychology, of what happens to a man to get him prepared to murder.
- Dorothy Day, 1948

Something echoed about 20 years later by Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, head of the Holy Office and defender of the Roman Mass, who wanted the church to condemn the use of nuclear weapons.

From TCR News.
A way out
Quit Iraq by July 2007, says US Senator Russ Feingold. From truthout.
The intangible costs of Mr Bush’s minders’ war
A project from a crew that make his father’s look good in comparison. From The Western Confucian.
What’s really bothering Fr Jake and his fans
A Catholic bishop (‘priest trained at this house’) and his diocese might leave the Episcopal Church, perhaps remaining in the Anglican Communion after so doing (depending on what Lambeth decides?). Here is a letter from him.

Fr Jake seems to realise that most (all?) of the good bishop’s congregations support him and, as in cases of parishes leaving where the competing theologies were flip-flopped, his diocese would keep its church buildings. Which in any case, whether it’s liberals or conservatives leaving, is fair. The diocese usually calls the shots not the parish nor the national church. (In those cases the diocese could be nice and sell the building, even for a token amount, to the leaving parish but legally it doesn’t have to.) As for belonging to TEC whether one is coming or going should make no difference to the court! The former can go right ahead and depose Bishop Schofield and put in a replacement. Makes no difference really.

So why are Fr Jake and his friends in a state? AFAIK +San Joaquin is not their ordinary. I don’t think he has any plans to sic the police or killer bees on them even if he could. Nor do I believe for a minute that they really care in principle about isolated congregations and parishioners in a diocese that’s gone in a direction different to those left behind as their attitude to conservative places and people in those straits shows.

It’s because somebody, somewhere, doesn’t ‘affirm’ what they like to do.

(And for that you must be punished, oh, yes. Naughty bishop!)

The homosexuals I know in real life (all are welcome to come and pray in a Catholic church) don’t think like that. They accept that the faith isn’t simply supposed to cater to their desires or else. (Which would be a consumerist and therefore wrong approach to religion, wouldn’t it?)

P.S. The anti-Romanism in Fr Jake’s circle is really gobsmacking in this ecumenical age.

P.P.S. Ever notice that when you comment there agreeing with them on some issue (such as peace) not related to their favourite subject it’s often ignored?

P.P.P.S. I really don’t think somebody who trained at Staggers of all places is trying to persecute people because of orientation!
The Queen tries out some jokes
Actually ‘an end-of-an-era speech delivered on behalf of a worn-out Prime Minister’

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Confucian vs consumerist attitudes towards debt and spending
From The Western Confucian
Orthodoxy and orthopraxis: ‘both/and’
I remember hearing Brian Mclaren talk a few years ago about an interview he'd given at a conference. I believe it was with Dallas Willard and they were discussing why a trip to your average bookshop would reveal a great upsurge of interest in Buddhism and New Age, but a sharp disinterest* with Christianity.

Willard's response was simple and - it seems to me - spot on: "Christianity is a set of doctrines, whilst Buddhism offers a way of life."

At the time, I would have called myself a Christian and I was gutted. I couldn't deny the truth in McLaren's words. I knew the riches of Christian spirituality and the writings of
[Roman] Catholic mystics and Orthodox theologians, but these didn't function as the mainstream of Christianity and seemed to be presented as something of an exceptional and optional extra.
And that’s what’s wrong with mainstream Western churches today (not to be confused with the historic Catholic mainstream with its rhythms of the liturgy including the liturgical year, devotional cycles and sacramentals punctuating parts of the day) including Novus Ordo RC ones. Of course the set of doctrines matters but if the religion inside the building is really modern Methodism or Unitarian Universalism it doesn’t matter that the catechism tells the truth or the sign outside has the C word on it. (And I think on some level people including kids twig that disconnect/hypocrisy besides the usual ‘people at church can be so rotten’. Some people I know who grew up RC in the 1970s say they saw it between the devotions of the old religion and the liturgy of the new but knowing nothing else they just took that as a given.) You get a religion with all the warmth of Wee Free Presbyterianism or Scientology.

The Orthodox despite all their problems understand this. And if you’re honest you’ll see that they’re viewed by the West, when viewed at all, as ‘something of an exceptional and optional extra’. (It’s seen as somehow OK if they say outrageously Catholic things because they’re exotic and a minority and therefore harmless, just another flavour of spirituality to sample and alter at will.)

Apparently Lee of Verbum ipsum, who happens to be a Lutheran, understands this too.

Holistic. Kata + holos, grasping the whole. Catholic.

I keep reading good things about McLaren.

*‘Disinterest’ is a good thing. It means ‘impartiality, fairness’! The speaker means ‘lack of interest’.
Talking about the Roman Rite discipline of clerical celibacy
And sloppy journalism (the MSM don’t get religion): a comment from me
As Fr Jim Tucker blogged, if I were trying to discuss this issue and wanted to change the rule, among the last people I’d want representing me are Emmanuel Milingo and George Stallings.
Turkish government acts like it doesn’t understand an academic lecture
And for today, the feast of St Albertus Magnus, a dean of the Schoolmen, here is the Holy Father’s entire Regensburg speech defending the Catholic intellectual tradition including the university

‘Use economics to end world hunger’
Just like that! The Pope can make mistakes. Chesterton said liberals are right about the world’s problems (like injustice and world hunger) but wrong about the solutions; lest the Pope fall into the well-meaning mistakes of the religious left perhaps some reading recommended by these people would help. Here’s something related from LRC.

From the unofficial papal news blog.
Retired American generals, other experts say not to quit Iraq yet
Either way the civil war will escalate so do what’s right for your own people. Leave now. The Iraqis want it. And never wanted you there in the first place.

LRC on the Baker Commission

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

From our man in Palestine
Friend John Treat reports:
We’ve made the news in Israel. Here’s a column about our delegation.
Two Israeli groups:

Combatants for Peace

Peace Now
United for Peace and Justice
Any alliance with the left or the right is only provisional, and this is clearly the left, but there’s much good here anyway
US: Will the Democrats stand up to Israel?
From The Gaelic Starover

Hagee again
Eew. Mr H, if that’s God’s foreign policy then I’m an atheist.

Conservatism vs ‘conservatism’
From Rod Dreher
End the war in Iraq
And here Fr Jake, the Episcopal Church and I agree entirely
Barack Obama milks the American national myth
Actually it’s not that different from John Lennon’s lovely but hateful ‘Imagine’. American liberals have been saying these things for at least 100 years as Thomas Woods points out. Sweep away pesky ‘tribal loyalties’ (‘and no religion too’) and invest all that faith and love into the state, which will usher in the messianic age worldwide. (Look how well it worked in Russia!)

Of course it’s been the American myth ever since Puritanism’s dream of the perfect society naturally segued into the ‘Enlightenment’ but at least the latter had real conservatives (classical liberals) like Edmund Burke.

So no, thank you, Mr Obama.

From Eunomia.

American religious history
By Fr Andrew Phillips. Good points but I’m with LRC on the market (and they explain that the Salamanca school in Spain came up with much of that — it’s not inherently Protestant) and for some balance here is Joe Sobran.
US: Do the Democrats care about civil liberty?
From LRC
Bush calls for global isolation of Iran
Er, yeah
I am no apologist for Communist China but:
And now neocon Bill Gertz is bleating over a Chinese diesel sub shadowing a huge US nuclear carrier task force near China. Imagine the reaction of the US to a Chinese fleet off California.
From the LRC blog.
The Holy Father on morals
A holistic view
Modern men and women, he said, have rediscovered and reclaimed the values of "peace, nonviolence, justice for all, care for the poor and respect for creation," values which the church "perhaps did not propose enough."

But they are values that belong to the church's moral tradition, the pope said.

The values that are more difficult for people to accept are those regarding the dignity of human life and sexuality, he said.
What is distinctive about/worth saving in Anglicanism?
For those of us who hold no brief for the ‘Reformation’? An answer from me echoing Fr Anthony Chadwick earlier on the subject.
Worth repeating
From the com-box on this issue:
Life is a sacred gift from God, to be cherished and protected, and not abused or mistreated. Is it not the act of a believing Christian to allow a beloved child (or person of any age, really) to pass into the arms of an infinitely loving Savior, rather than artificially and painfully prolonging suffering for an unspecified period that will bring no healing and relief in this life?

The "at all costs" mentality seems to me rather a response born of fear, rather than faith.
Read each quoted word very carefully.

An entirely Catholic position.
On relativism and fundamentalism
From Notes from Underground
St Josaphat: hero or heel?
Today’s Roman Rite feast-day. There are about three issues here:
• Is the Pope really the divinely instituted head of the whole church, communion with whom defines Catholicity, or is he simply one of several man-made ranks in the apostolically instituted episcopate, ranks that exist simply for the good order of the church?
The Orthodox say the man commemorated today was vicious, acting like the end (his belief in the first teaching about the Pope) justified the means (persecuting them ‘for their own good’*). (Famously ‘the end justifies the means’ is not what Rome teaches!)
• Nobody knowledgeable and sound (not liberal) wants to see the Orthodox communion reduced to the condition of the Byzantine Catholic churches. Their tradition, their rite, was compromised among them not long after he died.

Here are two news stories about the Ukrainian Catholic Church today:

The Russian Orthodox patriarch of Moscow says they are ‘aggressive’ in the western Ukraine
Which is their historic home — has been for 400 years. It’s old Polish Galicia. The Soviets took it during World War II, banned the Ukrainian Catholic Church and gave the buildings to his patriarchate. When Communism fell, the underground Ukrainian Catholics surfaced and took them back. It’s been over for a long time now.
... the behaviour of Greek Catholics in western Ukraine is ‘most aggressive and discriminatory towards our believers’.
If that’s true it is horrible and uncharitable. Bullying really. After all Ukrainian Catholics are about 80 per cent of the population in that part of the country. There aren’t that many of Patriarch Alexis’s flock to harass. (Most Ukrainians are secular; outside Galicia most of the churchgoing minority are Russian Orthodox.)
They are trying to convert to [Roman] Catholicism those baptized in Orthodoxy or linked with it by their historical roots.
The former would go against Roman policy towards the Orthodox and the latter needs further explaining, Your Beatitude. After all you claim all Ukrainian Catholics, whose families all were Orthodox 400 years ago, as historically connected to you. Didn’t give the bolshies the right to do what they did though.
For instance, many [Roman] Catholic missionaries open orphanages, take Orthodox children there, and raise them in the Catholic faith.
A few nutters may treat the Orthodox that way but again that goes against Roman policy which is working towards corporate reunion (what exactly the papacy means still has to be agreed upon).

Which relates to this entry: in that reunion how does one deal with each side’s controversial/polemical saints who were vehemently anti-the other side? In the Roman view most post-schism Orthodox saints get the benefit of the doubt and AFAIK in fact the little Russian Catholic Church commemorates all of them.

The Ukrainian Catholic archbishop of L’vov (Lemberg) on his church’s accomplishments and problems
Lemberg is the historic capital of Galicia
Among problems, he mentioned the division with Lefebvrite traditionalists. He spoke of a small group of priests and laity that have aggressive positions. He mentioned that even in Prylbychi, the native village of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, leader of the UGCC from 1901 to 1944, they have their influence. “This is very painful for us,” Archbishop Vozniak said.
They are an interesting lot. Well-meaning Fr Basil Kovpak and his friends have based themselves on the principle that any change is bad, even changes away from latinisation and towards the Orthodox tradition as approved by the pre-1960s Popes! Ironically they share the Slavonic liturgical language with the Orthodox, whom they hate, whilst the UGCC uses modern Ukrainian as part of its nationalism. They chose Josaphat as their patron.

Disclaimer: This is meant for discussion and debate in the spirit of the university, nothing more.

*If St Peter the Aleut in fact existed, and he does seem a creation of Russian propagandists (accusing their Spanish rivals in northern California), according to the magisterium he was right and his torturers wrong. Which is why Lee Penn’s church, long manned by Jesuits like most Russian Catholic ones, commemorates him!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Pro-life moderates
From GetReligion
If you look at what the Democratic Party stands for, it is about helping others who can’t help themselves.
- Congressman Heath Shuler, North Carolina

He means well but should read some Austrian economics.
Whither Anglicanism?
Rome is in effect saying ‘Do you want to join the game? After all, we thought you did, back in the Sixties when together we set up ARCIC [the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission]. Have you really now abandoned the old Anglican dream of unity with us and with the ancient churches of the East? Does the Lord allow you to do that?’
- Fr John Hunwicke

From New Directions*.

*If they want somebody to re-design that site, which looks like it was made around 1995, I’m available.
Project for the Old American Century
From the Revd Tripp Hudgins. When I saw the URL in my com-box I thought it might be something from real conservatives, like the ones who opposed US intervention in World War II and supported Robert Taft and Barry Goldwater. (Think Russell Kirk and not Rush Limbaugh.) I still prefer the libertarianism of LRC and but this has good links, funny graphics (I’ve used ‘It’s not fascism when we do it’) and best of all:
If you are presently serving in the military or in the Delayed Enlistment Program and beginning to rethink your participation, here are resources to help you.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Does the Church of England support euthanasia?!
Not really:
This article is making a misleading statement. Withholding treatment is not the same thing as euthanasia. If someone is dying or hopelessly injured, my understanding is that there is no absolute obligation to provide more than palliative treatment.
What they don’t understand
About traditional Catholicism in general. From Dan Fulton. ‘They’ can mean both Novus Ordo neocons and the general public. The blogger is writing about the Roman Mass in particular.

First off he says what I’ve been saying for years: it’s not about Latin! It’s about truth (orthodoxy), Godwardness and objectivity. Concepts I learnt from Cranmer’s Prayer Book (even though Cranmer himself was often wrong). Like the Revd James Konicki I got the benefit of a church in the 1970s that hadn’t changed with the times yet.

Traditionalists are sometimes accused of being historical fantasists, fancying themselves kings in an ideal world, and some live down to that. Seriously, the faith favours no one form of secular government. Truth simply is. If a government of the people best serves that truth, wonderful. Likewise if a small kingdom does the job better someplace else.

On the apostolic ministry:
I mention fertility because the traditional expression of the Catholic faith is also fecund; traditional families tend, like many conservative Novus Ordo-going Catholics, to have lots of children. But in my estimation the traditional families are much more likely to have vocations, and in particular, vocations to the priesthood.

This is because their sons are exposed to an unemasculated version of Holy Orders. The priest has not had his role adulterated by the laity. It is a role of wonder, majesty, power, humility - the simple parish priest, not merely a presider, becomes the sacramental high priest, enriched in splendid vestments and gestures of nobility, humbled by genuflections and breast-beating confessions and kisses of the altar, leading the people in prayer and alone entering into the holy of holies as a fitting
alter Christus. His sacramental powers are revered. His duties are inviolable. His example inspires those who assist him at Holy Mass.
Thomas Day balances out that description (we are sacerdotalists — that’s what the blogger is trying to get at — not clericalists, which is how this can come across) by pointing out that the precise rubrics, the vestments and the objectivity of the prayers actually cancel out the priest’s ego.

The road to restoration
By Mgr Ignacio Barreiro

Fear and loathing at Lourdes

False dawn
The Anglican Use in the Roman Catholic Church. Answering Taylor Marshall.
The too-funny thing, to me, is the photograph from S. Cyprian's, Clarence Gate, on the new Pastoral Provision web site (which I believe that Mr Marshall is responsible for). Please, if anyone can tell me where I can find that sort of A.U. operation, let me know immediately! This photograph should go right next to it, for the sake of "truth in advertising."
- Paul Goings
Canadian universities drop US online service because of Patriot Act
From Huw Raphael
Pop stars: what don’t they know?
Shut up and sing (Bernie Taupin’s lyrics), Sir Elton

Saturday, November 11, 2006

‘Dulce et decorum est’
By Wilfred Owen: a thought both for the day and the war now

‘I survived the trenches — and would never go back’
Jack Davis, interviewed at 107, remembers being a British soldier in WWI

Pope Benedict XV’s peace plan
Along with abominating the conflagration’s bloodiness (which he publicly feared would wipe out all Europe’s young men), he abominated its failure to meet just-war criteria.

...he specifically denounced Wilsonian longings for secular globalism: ‘The coming of a world state is longed for, and confidently expected, by all the worst and most distorted elements — there will inevitably follow
[from such a state] a reign of unheard-of terror.’

...we have Wilson’s own characteristic response to the papal peace note: ‘What does he want to butt in for?’
The reigning Pope opposes the war on Iraq. The neocon (including RC) reaction? Some things never change.

Blessed Charles of Austria, emperor for peace

Taki on the desirability of a Central Powers victory
Palestine would have been better off remaining a distant province of Turkey

Farce and tragedy
From LRC

In addition to the Cenotaph in London many English towns have a prominent monument (you can see one in the background in the first scene of Bridget Jones’ Diary for example) — the war wiped out a generation.

Dona eis requiem.

Happy Martinmas
St Martin renounced the sword. From The Western Confucian. Here’s more from haligweorc.

Friday, November 10, 2006

+Durham on the ‘global war on terror’
I draw attention to the fact that the very notion of a ‘war on terror’ strikes a false note. It wasn’t, of course, invented by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld; Bill Clinton and other earlier presidents used similar language, and the western powers have engaged in military action against terrorists and those who harbour them long before September 11. But the oddity of the notion itself, and the illogicality of actions which were bound to encourage terrorism rather than quieten it down, should tell us we’re in a moral mess. Rather than think things out properly, we have relied on the same methods as we used in the nineteenth century: if in doubt, send in the gunboats and teach Johnny Foreigner a lesson he won’t forget. The only way to fight terror is by working for mutual understanding and respect – winning hearts and minds, often said but not often done. Throwing stones at a wasp’s nest because one wasp has come out and stung you is not the best way of addressing, let alone solving, the problem.
From Verbum ipsum.
... he also thinks that an international organization (like the UN or something better) needs to impose ‘order’ and prevent ‘chaos’. But is an international force really less likely to see corruption? I don’t think so.
- Jonathan Marlowe
RIP Jack Palance
Настоящее имя Владимир Паланюк

Во блаженном успении вечный покой подаждь, Господи, рабу усопшему твоему Владимиру и сотвори ему вечную память.
History 1, Bush nil
True (including the distrust of the Democrats) except:
"...maybe, in the end, [the loss] is a good thing – because he [Bush] can spend the final 25 months of his presidency focusing exclusively on securing a victory in Iraq," crowed John Podhoretz, flailing at reality like Cheney hunts – blindly and dangerously.
Search the blog under ‘It was an accident’. I have serious issues with Mr Cheney. This wasn’t one of them. (His friend walked into the line of fire without warning, a no-no at the range or hunting.)

From LRC.
‘Pious opinion’ isn’t opinion in the modern sense
And a bit on Lutho-Catholicism. From Endlessly Rocking.
French troops almost fired at Israel jets

France summons Israeli ambassador over Lebanon incident

From Lawrence of Cyberia:

The accident at Beit Hanun and the logic of unilateralism

From Samer al-Batal in Beirut.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The battle for Kosovo
There is of course the case for secession as advocated by LRC (which Lew Rockwell started to protest Mr Clinton’s bombing of Serbia) but Nebosja Malic says that’s nothing to do with this
As Doug Bandow once remarked, the only rule in the Balkans seems to be "the Serbs always lose."

What happened in 1998 and 1999 was not a result of Albanian lobbying. It came about as a result of joint policy by imperialists in America and Europe who saw Serbia as an obstacle to their control of "Southeastern Europe." Albanians were used as a weapon against Serbia. This is why Kosovo did not become independent in 1999, and has not become independent yet.

More to the point, the worldview imposed by NATO in 1999 – the asserted "right" of those with military power to attack anyone, anywhere, on a fabricated pretext, in direct violation of international law, conventions, and treaties – is dominant today.

The destruction of Yugoslavia was partly engineered – certainly encouraged – by imperialist politicians in Europe and America, as a way to claim more power, escape the confines of international law, and flex their newfound imperial muscle. In 1990, a German who dared envision the
Bundeswehr occupying a portion of Serbia following the Luftwaffe bombing of Belgrade would have been arrested on charges of glorifying the Nazi past. Yet both of those things came to pass and were praised as "progress." Today, the German military is girding for more foreign intervention, without a word of protest.
Waste as a moral issue
From The Western Confucian
The fatal weakness of the empirical approach to the church and her religion is that one always comes to the data with a prejudice. I do not deny that God is working his purpose out in history, if indeed that is the correct way to describe divine providence. But just what in modern society is the work of the Holy Spirit, and what is the work of that other Spirit in which men have largely ceased to believe? If the civil-rights movement is God shoving us in the direction he wants us to go, why not the conservative backlash? If the youth rebellion, why not the Chicago police? If the peace movement, why not the brushfire wars popping up around the world? All are current social phenomena. We always seem to see the finger of God pointing in the direction we want to go.

We need some criterion from outside the data, otherwise we are picking up any old stick from a pile of lumber of random lengths and arbitrarily calling it our yardstick. To judge the church by the standards of the world is precisely what we all promised not to do when we were baptized. What is really irrelevant about today’s church is those aspects of her institutional life which became relevant to the Victorian age (and which some folk mistake for the gospel), and to become relevant to today’s world is to guarantee irrelevance tomorrow. Somehow I always thought we were to judge the world by the gospel and not the other way round.
- Fr Homer Rogers

From All Too Common.

P.S. I know Fr Rogers’ grandson.

Wear white poppies not red?
So says the director of Ekklesia, as a peace statement. I’m fine with red — the blood of Christ and the martyrs, ‘it’s tradition’ and so on — but of course appreciate what he’s trying to say. (I also don’t like the commemoration turning into a glorification of the state and its wars but that almost goes without saying.) He also notes the hypocrisy of restricting the wearing of crosses in public life.