Thursday, May 31, 2007

On vagantes
From The Continuum
Bush: American troops in Iraq for next 50 years
As if one needed another reason to despise this government

‘Dumb, stupid animals to be used’
What these officials really think of the soldiers. From TCRNews Musings.
Joking for peace
Middle Eastern comedians Axis of Evil
Plant that turns red near land mines may save lives
Of course there’s the whole question of genetically modified ‘Franken-plants’ but this seems a good thing. From Fr Mark Juchter.
Erasmus on the neocons
From The Western Confucian
The cult of celebrity
Or entertainers aren’t necessarily clever
At one time, people wanted simply to gawp at the famous, and possibly dress like them. Now, many take their moral and political opinions from them.

Fame confers authority, and the principal way of acquiring great fame is via the entertainment industry.
From LRC.

Panem et circenses
[My son] Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next ‘American Idol’ than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives.
— Cindy Sheehan
The England that we cherished has disappeared. We can only raise our glasses to the memory of a once great country whose spirit has been broken by her own rulers, its fabric torn apart by social revolution.

The words of that stirring wartime song ‘There’ll Always Be An England’ have acquired a tragic poignancy. For there is no longer a real England – not the England that was once renowned for its gentleness and humour, its decency and sense of history, its rich language and inspiring landscape.

The relics of our past are still around us – such as the mon­archy or the village green – but they have been robbed of all meaning and vitality, becoming little more than heritage landmarks in a place without a soul.   

The land of Elgar is held hostage by the thud of the rapper’s boom-box. The stiff upper lip has been replaced by the wail of victimhood. A land that used to be known for its lack of crime is now scourged by gang violence, shootings and stabbings.

The English traits of modesty and moderation have been lost to a tidal wave of extremism, terrorism, obscenity and cruelty. Our political system, once the least corrupt in the world, is riddled with ballot-box fraud. A national sense of belonging has given way to mutual distrust.
Rather like the difference between the Anglicanism I’m just old enough to have grown up with and what’s replaced it in many/most places.

From an Express article with a racial and anti-immigrant message so I didn’t link to it.
RIP Charles Nelson Reilly
It’s been a bad year so far for camp humour — first John Inman, now arguably his American opposite number. Blogger Victor Morton writes about ‘Match Game’, which showed Americans (helped by Richard Dawson) can do witty, racy repartée; his friend Rod Dreher was a fan.

Fun fact: Presenter Gene Rayburn was born to Croatian immigrants and spoke the language.
Priest steps down as editor of Latin Mass

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

UK: police may get new stop-and-question powers
Did the US lie about cluster-bombing?
From Working for Change
UK: Liberal Democrats call for repeal of RC monarch ban
Talking about the Episcopal row
To Frs Tobias Haller (who like me defends eastward celebration!) and Todd Young (more)
Why I am a Catholic
Nine out of ten of what we call new ideas are simply old mistakes.
— G.K. Chesterton

From TCRNews Musings.
Strike the Root
Another libertarian/market-anarchist site

Talking to Republicans...

...and to Democrats.
American Spectator article on the fall of Constantinople
From John Boyden

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

554 years ago today
Cindy Sheehan leaves Democratic Party
Over its sellout to Bush over funding the Iraq war. From CounterPunch via The Western Confucian.

More on her from Wendy McElroy:
Cindy Sheehan, the California mother who became an anti-war leader after her son was killed in Iraq, declared Monday she was walking away from the peace movement. She said her son died "for nothing." Sheehan achieved national attention when she camped outside President Bush's home in Crawford, Texas, throughout August 2005 to demand a meeting with the president over her son's death. While Bush ignored her, the vigil made her one of the most prominent figures among opponents of the war. But in a Web diary posted to the liberal online community Daily Kos on Monday, Sheehan said she was exhausted by the personal, financial and emotional toll of the past two years.
Also from Joshua:

Tennessee Republican calls for end to intervention
An interview with Alice von Hildebrand
A fanatic is one who considers truth to be his personal possession instead of God's gift. We are the servants of the truth, and it is as servants that we seek to share it.
From Samer al-Batal.
Iraq’s Christians
Samer al-Batal writes: So many Iraqi refugees have been pouring into Syria that the increasing strain on the country’s burdened economy and on the Syrians’ patience may very well bring the authorities to close the last open border crossing for refugees at a certain point (they have already tightened restrictions a good deal since early this year in response to the pressure). Inflation now is a chief concern and there are worries about crime. In bearing the burden of what Washington has wrought, we have a crisis on our hands.

Samer asks: Isn’t this the organisation you mentioned many times that is on good terms with the Russian Church?


A final appeal: save Christian Iraq

In Damascus to escape the Iraqi nightmare
In the mass of Iraqis exiled in Syria the Christians – Chaldeans, Syrians, Armenians, Orthodox – are at least forty thousand. The ‘rogue state’, always in the sights of the US administration, is for them a kind of promised land, the best place to run if you are a person who carries the name of Christ. They crowd into the Damascus neighborhoods of Jaramana, of Tabbaleh, of Massaken Barzi or of Dwela. ‘When someone new arrives, the families go up to the sanctuary to thank God and Our Lady for a happy end to the journey’, says Toufic Eid, the parish priest of the church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Maalula, the hill village where they still speak Aramaic, as did Jesus. ‘But then they also ask that their life as refugees be made easy, because easy it isn’t’.

‘Iraqi Christian groups have described the policy of the Bush administration in Iraq as a “perfidious conspiracy”. It is probable that this perfidy will lead to the extinction of one of the most ancient Christian nations in the world in its own motherland.’ So wrote the American political analyst Glenn Chancy as early as April 2004. To judge from the dreams and plans of the Chaldean refugees in Syria, the process of extinction is accelerating.
Syria Comment’s (Joshua Landis’ blog’s) selection of articles on Iraqi refugees (one of the links is now broken)
The Queen on Mr Blair
From Tea at Trianon

Also from The Monarchist, a spiffing blog from HM Dominion of Canada:

Make the Canadian Navy and Air Force ‘Royal’ again
It was madness of the Liberals to try and unify the armed forces below command level: wiping out the navy’s and air force’s traditions completely at first (colonels and corporals aboard ship), which the government has been backing away from ever since

And back to Tea at Trianon:

Blessed Margaret Pole
Mother of one of my favourites, ++Cantuar Reginald Cardinal Pole of the Oratory of Divine Love and ‘believe you are saved by faith but act like you are saved by works’, a holy woman who suffered a lot
Andrew Bacevich on his son’s death in Iraq
From Wendy McElroy
Between the rhetoric about a life-or-death struggle and the reality, or as IIRC Robert Fisk observed America is not really at war
I think the powers that be were/are very calculating in this war in making sure it doesn’t “cost” too much at home.
Right, bring back the draft and watch remaining support for this fool’s errand evaporate just like with Vietnam.

From Even the Devils Believe.
‘Brandine! I thought you was in Eye-raq stopping 9/11!’
The Republican candidates are still talking nonsense like that. From
Religion round-up
Biased reporting from the BBC
The headline and deck are fine; the opening paragraph is another matter

‘Vagante ordains ex-RCs in Protestant church’ is a dog-bites-man story; gotta sex it up to spite Rome, I suppose.

As I was saying...
On the Episcopal row:
"...bishops who have crossed jurisdictional lines in open disregard of the most ancient canons of the church" - well, seeing as how this is so bad and bold and naughty of those bishops, I suppose any day now we'll be seeing these guys getting their marching orders?

After all, they may have had a purpose in serving Americans abroad, but now they've actually gone and become multilingual, multicultural - with churches in Germany and Switzerland, never mind France and Italy - well, what can one say? Border crossing of multiple borders! Poaching congregations away from ... the Roman Catholic
[church]! Setting up their own bishop when there are perfectly good bishops already in place!

I weep to read of the terrible, horrible, unforgiveable breaches of the ancient canons that they proudly boast of committing for two centuries.
LOL, brilliant.

From MCJ.

‘Can’t we all just get along?’ (shut up and do as we say)
‘We must help the poor cough andhavegayweddings...’

Remember when the anti-apartheid movement was Catholic?

Talking to Fr Deacon Methodius/Steve Hayes about this stuff

A culture warrior on the reunited Russian Orthodox Church
We here in the West cannot say no to our debauchery and perversions. One country somewhere in Europe finally says no...

Someone somewhere is at long last saying no. It happens to be an Orthodox and rightist someone. A now more unified Orthodox and rightist someone. That makes me happy. And I bet even B16 looks on silently with approval.
Очень хорошо.

‘Daughters of Trent’
Rod Dreher knows about this. Sounds very familiar! Of course I’ve had friends like this. There’s tolerant conservatism — all are welcome to come and pray in a Catholic church — and then there’s sacrilege. Never forget the difference.

Monday, May 28, 2007

GIs in Iraq no longer true believers
Even the Iraqi army wants them out. From

I think that the handwriting is on the wall that we are going in a different direction in the fall, and I expect the president to lead it.
— Sen. Mitch McConnell

I cannot think of a more ominous phrase to use with respect to President Bush and his Iraq policy than to speak about handwriting being on the wall. (Since the Kurds fancy themselves latter-day Medes, the prophecy matches up with the contemporary Iraqi scene pretty well, if we think of Iraq as Mr. Bush’s “kingdom.”)
From Eunomia.
The day this president steps down from office the whole world will breathe a sigh of relief.
— Sen. Barack Obama
Of stolen land and genocide
These people should haunt the conscience of [the US].

From Ad Orientem.
LRC on US Memorial Day

The troops don’t defend our freedoms

No nation has the military capability of invading and conquering the United States.
Correct. For example Russian nukes could destroy it but Russia couldn’t invade and rule it.
After all, think about it: the U.S. army, the most powerful military force in all of history, has not been able to fully conquer such a small country as Iraq because of the level of domestic resistance to a foreign invasion. Imagine the level of military forces that would be needed to conquer and “pacify” a country as large and well-armed as the United States.

Despite widespread fears to the contrary, there is no possibility that terrorists will conquer the United States, take over the government, and take away our freedoms. At most, they are able to kill thousands of people, with, say, suicide bombs but they lack the military forces to subjugate the entire nation or any part of it.

As I suggested in my article, “The Troops Don’t Support the Constitution,” in the United States the loyalty of the troops is to the president as their supreme commander in chief, not to the Constitution.

Thus, as a practical matter the troops serve not as a defender of our freedoms but instead simply as a loyal and obedient personal army of the president, ready and prepared to serve him and obey his commands.

There is one – and only one – solution to this threat to our freedoms and well-being: for the American people to heed the warning of our Founding Fathers against standing armies before it is too late, and to do what should have been done at least 15 years ago: dismantle the U.S. military empire, close all overseas bases, and bring all the troops home, discharging them into the private sector, where they would effectively become “citizen-soldiers” – well-trained citizens prepared to rally to the defense of our nation in the unlikely event of a foreign invasion of our country. And for the American people to heed the warning of President Eisenhower against the military-industrial complex, by shutting down the Pentagon’s enormous domestic military empire, closing domestic bases, and discharging those troops into the private sector.
Like Switzerland. I like it!
Bye bye, Graduate Hospital
Bicycled past it the other day — it’s closed like Mount Sinai in South Philadelphia where I worked one summer a long time ago and the one in LA where they film ‘Scrubs’
Al Taubenberger
A nice fellow who probably deserves to be Philadelphia’s mayor
Born in 1954, he was raised in Philly in the years after World War II, and his parents were West German immigrants who narrowly escaped Hitler's reign. Sometimes, neighbors would pull him aside from playing with his friends on Oxford Avenue and harshly ask if his parents were here in the country legally.

"I didn't like it, I don't think anyone else would like it, and I don't think it should happen to anyone," he said.

When he was 21, he found out that his parents' deepest fears had, at one point, come true: Taubenberger and his dad, Alfred Sr., applied for visas for a family trip to Germany. Taubenberger wondered why it took weeks to process Alfred Sr.'s application. He got his answer when a crate-filled FBI dossier arrived, detailing the nearly 18 months (from 1941 to 1942) he was detained in an Army camp along with many other German and Japanese immigrants.

After being moved from base to base across the country without evidence or charges against him, Alfred Sr. was released. At the visa hearing, an officer finished reading though the file and looked at Alfred Sr. "I know it doesn't mean much at this point," Taubenberger recalled him saying. "But I've never seen a case built against somebody for nothing. On behalf of the American government, I would like to apologize."

"I know it's human nature for one person to look at another and wonder, 'Is he a criminal or not?'" Taubenberger said with tears in his eyes. "But I think civil liberties need to be protected as best as possible."
Dirge for the surge
What war supporters don't realize is that labeling up as down is, like, so 2004.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

The People’s Republic of Berkeley
Known as Plotinus to David Lodge fans
"Berkeley's green future." Yeah, green for all the contractors and political hacks who get rich when the government tells people how to live their lives.

This is the kind of thing that just makes me nuts. The good Berkeley leftists protest the Bush government, for the most part, but the dolts who run the local government are a bunch of aging ex-radicals and hypocritical yuppies who prattle on and on about equality and the evil rich as they destroy economic opportunities, run a privileged mini-corporate state, impose laws to crack down on the homeless while still encouraging bums* with their giveaways and anti-business laws, harrass cyclists, concoct ways to make life hell for smokers, then run off to their multi-million dollar homes in the beautiful Berkeley hills financed by my parking tickets. (In Berkeley, we have fractional reserve parking. Getting a permit, which can be a bureaucratic nightmare, is no guarantee of anything.) These monsters used to sit in to protest war. Now they've become petty tyrants.
Mark Twain’s War Prayer

From the LRC blog.

A thread on the divine office
An Orthodox deacon compares the Byzantine, traditional Roman and modern Roman versions

I have a copy of the Short Breviary — used to belong to an All Saints’ Sister of the Poor. Nice little book, a fruit of the legitimate liturgical movement before the 1960s. It began as a typewritten project of the abbot of St John’s, Collegeville, Minnesota, who wanted to teach his Benedictine lay brothers (who didn’t have to pray the office like the choir monks and probably couldn’t read Latin) about the church’s second liturgical prayer. The result: a nice book for oblates, tertiaries and other layfolk who want something with more variety than the Little Office of the BVM but haven’t the time to take on the Roman or Monastic Breviary.
Western Rite Orthodoxy, or ‘Who’re you calling a Uniate?’
Besides the U word’s use by some Eastern Orthodox as a putdown of Byzantine Catholics, and by older RCs as a neutral term for them, among the high-church minority of BCs it was first used by the late Fr Cyril (Korolevsky) to describe a kind of ecclesiastical ‘Oreo’ who favoured diluting his rite, latinising it under the mistaken notion that this made it ‘more Catholic’ or proved his loyalty to Rome. On the contrary, say this traditionalist minority, there is one body of Catholic dogma but different theological expressions of it (so they say they are Orthodox in communion with Rome for example). Other BCs and indeed some RCs have adopted the other position that they all are really RCs only some use Eastern externals.

This blogger, trying to defend the Western Rite Orthodox experiment as not ‘reverse Uniatism’, seems to mirror the latinisers in the BC churches. Paraphrasing him: ‘We use Western externals but underneath are really Byzantine in our theology — the Eastern church fathers — because only that is really Orthodox’. What?

IMO the best of the WRO, like Subdeacon Ben Andersen, no longer blogging, don’t talk like that. They don’t pretend everything they do is pre-schism nor try and rewrite history to fit byzantinocentrism. Like the high-church BCs use mostly Orthodox stuff and try and square it with today’s RC ecclesiology (papal prerogatives), these Orthodox openly use Roman and Anglican prayers, devotions and spiritual writing — dare I say theology as in ‘expression of dogma’, not the same as dogma in itself? — and find that this doesn’t contradict the Byzantine theology of other Orthodox. One set of dogma, different expressions. Sounds good.

The high-church BCs commemorate post-schism Orthodox saints because the Orthodox never held a general council defining as doctrine any denial of what Rome teaches, so Rome gives the Orthodox churches the benefit of the doubt.
US: Congress caves to Bush
A collection of links from The Western Confucian
How to get out of Iraq in two weeks
From LRC
Talking to Jorge about the Episcopal row

And a word from Archimandrite Serge (Keleher)
Tripp on the 30th anniversary of Star Wars
Like Raiders of the Lost Ark a little later it’s a good old-fashioned comic-book adventure that works beautifully on the big screen and has aged well

On the small screen last night I saw at last the ‘Scrubs’ musical episode and liked it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

CIA cleared to do black ops in Iran
From Sarx
Christians Against the War in Iraq
A new blog with potential
More quotations
There's naught, no doubt, so much the spirit calms as rum and true religion.
— Lord Byron
Those who don't learn from history are condemned to get their facts from Hollywood.
Julie Flanders has a website
An acquaintance who is a talented poet and playwright as well as very sweet. Her husband writes good pop music too — basically October Project were a better version of Evanescence before there was Evanescence. (Powerhouse singer Mary Fahl should have been a superstar.)
Sobran rubbishes Hitchens
Religion poisons everything? Everything? Bach and Mozart? Thomas Aquinas and John Henry Newman?

And what about atheists like Stalin?

It may seem ironic that Hitchens, a fierce defender of the Iraq war, blames religion for war, when the last two popes have opposed both Iraq wars; but then, he also seems to blame the popes for opposing them.
As I was saying...

From LRC.
Today in history
  • 1819: Queen Victoria was born. (Cue the appropriate Kinks song.) Anti-Catholic, she preferred the Lutheranism of her German family and Scottish Presbyterianism to Anglicanism and the imperialism of favourite prime minister Disraeli (a proto-neocon?) to the well-meant Christian (even Catholic) leanings of Gladstone (proto-religious left). Canada still celebrates her birthday and the Queen’s official birthday on the Monday on or before this date.
  • 1844: Samuel F.B. Morse (also a vicious anti-Catholic) opened America’s first telegraph line with the message ‘What God hath wrought’. Only recently ships at sea stopped using his code and Western Union stopped sending telegrams last year... thanks to the Internet.
  • 1883: The Brooklyn Bridge was opened. (Have I got a deal for you...)
  • 1941: Pride goeth before and all that as the German battleship Bismarck sank the HMS Hood, the showpiece of the Royal Navy before World War II. This kind of fighting, really unchanged since the Armada and Trafalgar, would soon be replaced by ship-based planes and now missiles. (Big naval guns are now for shore bombardment before amphibious troop/marine beach landings.) The British twigged though: earlier, in November, their carrier planes sank most of the Italian navy at Taranto. I’m sure the Japanese and Americans took notes.
From Harry Turtledove’s Departures

After the eastern Roman Empire falls early to Islam, the Bulgars — and the Slavs under and mixed with them — turn Muslim:
Niketas answered... ‘He must choose Christ. Surely God will not allow those who worship him correctly to be penned up in one far corner of the world and bar them for ever from access to whatever folk lie north and east of Bulgaria.’

Telerikh turned to face south-east. Then the khan sank to his knees, his face turned towards Mecca.
‘La illaha illa’llah: Muhammadum rasulu’llah.’ ‘There is no God but Allah: and Muhammad is his prophet.’ ...the shahada.

Niketas caught Jalal ad-Din’s eye. More than anyone else in the chamber the two of them understood how much bigger than Bulgaria was the issue decided here today.
What eventually really happened, as commemorated by the Julian-calendar Orthodox today:
FAITHFUL, come and let us praise the God-bearing fathers Methodius and Cyril. They glistened in virtue as preachers of piety. They are true pillars and foundations of the church and celestial trumpets of the teachings of Christ. They dispelled the darkness of unbelief and, by the fire of the Spirit, burnt up dishonourable heresies. Through their translation of the scriptures the Slav people were changed from a wild to a fertile olive tree and by divine baptism were brought into the faith of Christ. Because of that they stand before the throne of almighty God, wearing their crowns. Let us cry out to them: O heavenly fathers, equal to the apostles, pray to Christ that he grant solidarity and unity of orthodoxy to all Slav peoples. Ask him to give peace to the world and to save our souls.
Oikos from the Canon at Matins today

Да вси едино будут! (More. Disclaimer: non-Roman doesn’t necessarily mean anti-Roman.)

On war:
No glory to dying in camp of smallpox or measles or scarlet fever. No glory to typhoid either or perishing of fever after your wound went bad — and it would for we had no medicines. No glory to having your arm cut off and tossed on a pile outside a tent or under a tree while the surgeon shouted ‘Next!’ No, sir, don’t speak to me of glory.
What the Episcopal left says and what it really means
Fr Matt Kennedy wrote a handy glossary in the appropriately named Episcospeak back in 2004
Like chocolate and peanut butter
From Quam Dilecta on Ship of Fools:
Does anyone else find it ironic that the stripped-down, relentlessly didactic Novus Ordo and its Anglican cousins have gained the upper hand just as young people have come to revel in simultaneous music, video, and text messages? The Tridentine Solemn High Mass, with music floating over and around the readings, prayers, and actions, would be right up their alley!
Oh, yes. Well put. If this phenom among the young ever finds its way to the nascent, slow Catholic restoration going on in the West the results could be as successful as if not more successful than when the second-generation Tractarians got together with the Gothic Revival and produced the first forms of traditional Anglo-Catholicism.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It’s an honour
Hugh Laurie gets an OBE
Common knowledge vs truth
Abraham Lincoln is thought to have been a kindly Christian driven reluctantly to war. He was actually an agnostic and an avid power-seeker who embraced violent measures readily.

George W. Bush is thought to be a kindly Christian driven reluctantly to war. He is actually a theologically confused power-seeker who embraces violent measures readily.

From Chronicles via Eunomia.
US Navy stages show of force off Iranian coast
The torture party
From A Religious Liberal Blog
On African re-evangelisation of American Protestants
Take out the well-meant socialism (which many Christians including Catholics have historically embraced — remember the ritualist slum priests?) and this sounds splendid
The emerging Christian majority is not the Moral Majority.

But the largest adjustments are coming on the religious left. For decades it has preached multiculturalism, but now, on further acquaintance, it doesn't seem to like other cultures very much. Episcopal leaders complain of the threat of "foreign prelates," echoing anti-Catholic rhetoric of the 19th century. An activist at one Episcopal meeting urged the African bishops to "go back to the jungle where you came from.'' Not since Victorians hunted tigers on elephants has the condescension been this raw.
Scratch a liberal, find a racist.
Bush OKs covert action against Iran

And he wants to double the number of soldiers in Iraq by the end of the year

The pre-1911 Roman Breviary online
Found by Derek Olsen
Will the Republicans destroy themselves before they destroy America?
LRC’s Paul Craig Roberts:
The Democrats have already abandoned the electorate that gave them control of Congress six months ago in the false hope that the Democrats would corral the White House Moron and lead America out of the abyss.

Like the Republicans, the Democrats serve the few special-interest groups that benefit, or believe that they benefit, from the war. By now we all know who these groups are: the oil industry, the military-security complex, and the Israel Lobby, AIPAC. This contrived war, based on lies and deception, serves no other interest.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

From Eunomia

More here and here.
Coals to Newcastle: why is Pennsylvania importing mushrooms?
From Communist China? From Granny Miller.
The anti-tao of American messianism and the tao of Ron Paul
From The Western Confucian
On ‘church ladies’ and slimy neocons trying to milk the protty religious right
Huw Richardson’s take and my comment
Departures by Harry Turtledove
Good science fiction, alternative history that teaches much real history while it entertains
  • What if Athens lost to the Persians? (Democracy? What’s that?)
  • What if Muhammad had converted as a young man and ended up a charismatic Orthodox monk composing hymns?
  • Or what if Constantinople and the rest of the eastern Roman Empire fell early on to the Muslims and Bulgaria (and thus the rest of the Slavonic world) ended up Muslim and not Christian?
More recent reads.
Religious tolerance and the common good
From the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Denver via First Things

Monday, May 21, 2007

Fr Jim Tucker on the wedding-industry rip-off
Contrasted with a practice in his parish
The Revd Tripp Hudgins and Terry Mattingly remember Jerry Falwell
I happened to blog something about his legacy shortly before he died

Incidentally Mattingly brings up this and the LRC blog another example of the Protestant version of ‘just shut up and vote Republican’. As a libertarian I wouldn’t vote for somebody or not based on his religion or domestic arrangements but I think the point is the quondam Moral Majority would rubbish any Democrat for these differences (as they did to Bill Clinton).
Rabbi David Kaduri’s posthumous message: Jesus is the Messiah
From Hallowedground
Buchanan on Paul

Bill Maher changing his tune?
After Bill Maher’s vicious interview a little more than a month ago, where I might add Ron held his own considering the irrelevant and obscure questions, Bill is changing his opinion of Congressman Paul. During last night’s programme Bill goes on to call Ron his ‘new hero’, ‘thinks he is great’, and ‘wants him back on the show’.
Ron Paul is Gandalf
And Reagan delights us with some ’80s references

A funny Flash cartoon spoofing the first Republican debate at the Reagan Library. I’d check out the other cartoons on that site.

Samer al-Batal writes: All three are via the Students for Ron Paul blog. Found their site thanks to the LRC blog.
Jimmy Carter tells the truth about the younger Bush, Blair and Iraq
Our God is great
... you can see what separates ... Catholicism from the other Western confessions: our God, our Christ, and our Church are much LARGER and all-encompassing phenomena than what they are for Protestantism. God is not belittled or disrespected when we honor the Virgin Mary, the saints, or anyone else. This is so because God's whole point in making anything was to impart His love and glory onto all things.
George Balanchine’s Orthodox faith

And, related to both, a word from me

From Arturo Vásquez.
Why traditionalism
Ecclesiology and Christian anthropology have the same basis: Trinitarian and christological dogma. The Word is made flesh, and theology is ministered in the life of the faithful...

The hypostatic union of the two natures in Christ makes us partakers by grace in the unapproachable life which is in the Holy Trinity...

Consequently, when the heretic lays hands on the “traditional faith” he lays hands on the life of the faithful, their
raison d’etre. Heresy is at once a blasphemy towards God and a curse for man.
A challenge to RC controversialists
The Russian Orthodox-ROCOR reunion

A remotely related entry from Fr Gordon Anderson
My pennorth

From Energetic Procession.
Why the US government is hated all over the world
From LRC
Good sign of the times
Yesterday’s No. 1 Technorati search was for Ron Paul
Biretta tip
Many thanks, Deacon Jim and Norumbega (now in this blog’s sidebar links)!
Hypocrisy in dealing with black-on-white crime

On the evils of detraction and calumny

From Tea at Trianon.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

As we were saying
...why can't the main church recognise that ordinary people need beauty, a sense of being connected with a wider tradition, and all that? The ’70s are SO over.

The general consensus seems to be that for Catholics the sickeningly bland, almost ruleless Christian experiments in liturgical minimalistic medocrity of the post-V2 period are about to end,
Deo gratias, as the Boomers retire and die.

Post-modern thought and practice are able to appreciate the the glories and gifts of the past while our modernist fathers could find no reconciliation with the immediate past at all. They had to sever the links. But that post-war generation's perspective is no longer what is seen by many today.
— Mama Thomas from Ship of Fools

Similarly Mother M writes in Derek Olsen’s blog:
Those who know me know how much I love old things and tradition, particularly in all things liturgical. I love [most of] Ritual Notes — need I say more? Anyway, sometimes the old just doesn’t work. (Though often it does.)
Thanks to this medium the post-modernists and I are finding we have much constructive and supportive to say to each other.
History of the Roman Breviary
A long but good article by traditionalist Laszló Dobszay


My comment. (Dio mio, Dobszay makes me look like a liturgical innovator!)

From Derek Olsen.

On the office as a uniter of Christians
From the Revd Chris Tessone
Taking the mickey out of Reformed theologians
The Revd Anne Kennedy is apparently a Calvinist with a sense of humour
Jesus loves me, this I know
For John Calvin tells me so
On the cross for me He died
All the southern Baptists lied

Yes, Jesus loves me
He'll never love you
He only loves me
John Calvin tells me so

Jesus loves all those He's blessed
If it's you, then you're elect
Souls into His basket plucked
If not you, then you are ******

Jesus's blood for me
Not enough for you
Try all you want to
Just go ask the Pharaoh
Reason to dump Site Meter
Glad I did and switched to StatCounter! From Brian Underwood.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Private-contractor deaths in Iraq soar to record
Jackie Tice
Heard her live for the first time last night here along with the bluesy and likewise talented Steve Brosky. She’s sweet and very keen on things Native American, playing a wooden flute. While I’m at it I’ll put in a good word for Phoenixville (now having its Dogwood Festival), an old steel town with lots of beautiful Victorian architecture including several churches and nice little antiques shops.

I see from her site that Bill Miller produced one of her albums — heard him live 14 years ago; he’s very good too.
TCR’s Stephen Hand endorses Ron Paul
From The Western Confucian

Friday, May 18, 2007

Christopher Hitchens’ history of the world
Seems about as accurate as History of the World, Part I
Once upon a time, people in Europe used to believe silly things. Then there was this thing called the Enlightenment, and it was awesome, and everyone in Europe (and now North America, as well) except for a few freaks and halfwits stopped believing silly things and started doing calculus, building steam engines and inventing constitutional law. Unfortunately, the rest of the world never got around to having the Enlightenment, so they still believe silly things and sometimes fly planes into buildings.
No more belief in ‘silly things’ to stop Stalin and Hitler (or the neocons’ soldiers at Abu Ghraib for that matter — then again Mr H supports that war). Next...
‘Dragon Skin’ the best but banned
Is the US Army ordering its soldiers to use second-rate body armour?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Russian Orthodox Church and Russian Orthodox Church Abroad reconcile
OUR lord and father his Holiness ALEXIS, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia...

As I was saying...
Ron Paul the great on the real reason for 9/11, etc.
[His] stating of the obvious in the debate─that the 9/11 terrorists were motivated by our foreign policy.
More on Andrew Bacevich

On empire

The people of the United States became mere spectators as an array of ideological extremists, vested interests and foreign operatives - including domestic neo-conservatives, Ahmad Chalabi and his Iraqi exiles, the Israel lobby, the petroleum and automobile industries, warmongers and profiteers allied with the military-industrial complex, and the entrenched interests of the professional military establishment - in essence hijacked the government.
Religion is nothing to do with it, except to cadge a few extra votes out of the proles in the protty religious right and well-meaning RC pro-lifers.

‘The strange English vision of sinister curtain-gliding Jesuits and lurking, plotting Swarthy Southern Mediterranean Types Who Know Things’
Mark Shea on still socially acceptable anti-Romanism (anti-Italianism, anti-Hispanicism as in the Black Legend, anti-Catholicism)... like this. I’ve seen one and part of another episode: awful melodrama, bad acting and all! I’ve pledged to two public-broadcasting stations before; after this I doubt if I’ll ever do so again.

Private revelations are not part of the Catholic faith. Approved ones may be believed in or not.

On abortion
More from Mark Shea:
Some pro-choice people are finally starting to figure out that it was never about choice. It’s about concentration of power in the hands of the powerful and destruction of the weak by the strong for their own convenience, pleasure and enrichment. Beyond that, it’s ultimately about the war in heaven and the principalities and powers who hate God’s creation, especially the most innocent and vulnerable.
Or the ‘freethinkers’ who write stupid TV programmes can’t stand the thought of those people... breeding. Never could.

From The Western Confucian.
‘Conservatives’ vs Catholic just-war theory
From LRC
RANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God : that like as we do believe thine only-begotten Son our Saviour to have ascended into the heavens; so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell. Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
HOU didst ascend into glory, O Christ our God, having gladdened thy disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit. And this blessing convinced them that thou art the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world.
Icon from Eunomia. (What is an icon?)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The conservative nanny state
How the wealthy use the government to stay rich and get richer. Saw this at the end of this article, ‘Liberalism versus power populism’, in truthout yesterday but The Western Confucian beat me in posting it.
On nostalgia for a pre-capitalist past
If someone is going on about how idyllic life was before capitalism destroyed our more natural way of life (e.g., distributists, environmentalists, communitarians, hippies, etc.) then just bringing up the lack of toilet paper prior to the mid-19th century should snap them out of it.

A 1935 ad for Northern Tissue boasted that it was "splinter-free"...
I dare say Rod Dreher doesn’t like his crunchy. :)

From the LRC blog.

Amy Welborn on David Lodge

Where is the fault Lodged?
I’m going backwards: after dipping into Changing Places I’m actually reading it just now, having read Small World nearly 20 years ago. I also read How Far Can You Go? (Souls and Bodies) in England and more recently Paradise News.

Take his interest in the Roman Catholic Church, throw in academics and adultery and that’s most of his stories.

And he is very funny.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Now playing in Baghdad and Washington
The black comedy of the war

Also from Chronicles, which I rediscovered after they kindly linked to me earlier today:

Anguished English
Clyde Wilson writes about the solecisms I try to keep out of print at the newspaper and makes Paul Fussellish observations:
...there is the American thirst for middle-class respectability, which is accompanied by the heaviest prevalence of pseudo-intellectualism in the world with its stilted thought and artificial language.

I could go into the spread of timid, breathy, Valley Girl speech among young women and increasingly among young men.
OK, I was, like, in a plane? Flying, you know, across the US nine years ago? When I heard that accent from a teen-aged girl in a nearby seat who said she was from Atlanta I realised this phenom was no longer a joke but the way white American girls of a certain class talk.

An analogue is the Mockneyfication (through Estuary) of the middle class in south-east England.

Was the Fort Dix plot blowback?
I don’t agree with Srdja Trifkovic that these clowns were really terrorists but do remember when Kosovo’s charming church-desecrating Albanian thugs were radical-chic only about seven years ago.

He also looks at...

The down side of the Irish peace agreement
How was it possible?

The answer is prosaic and sobering: old identities, allegiances and creeds no longer really matter in Ireland, north or south. Collective memories and bonds of kinship and faith that, until a generation ago, defined an Irishman, are dying.

No country in the world has gone from premodernity to postmodernity as rapidly as Ireland — and here we mean the whole of the geographic, cultural and historic entity known by that name. In one generation, as I noted last fall, the combined effects of economic prosperity* and all-pervasive global sub-culture have turned the place into just another Postmodernia. The demographic freefall is in full swing among former Protestants and former
[Roman] Catholics alike, likely to halve the country’s already ageing population in the next four decades. What few kids there are worship the Flickering Screen on Sunday mornings, while their parents cure their hangovers. The pews are empty, unless filled by immigrants.
Today the Irish Church is really polski. Seems like fitting revenge on people like Archbishop John Ireland who in America harassed Slavs like Fr Alexis Toth.
Whether Ireland “unites” or stays “divided” is by now utterly irrelevant: either way it is just another post-modern corner of the European Union, characterized — like the rest of the superstate — by historical amnesia, ...collapsing birth rates, dysfunctional families, rising crime, and general ubiquity of our Village’s mass-cultural pap... Irish culture is fast becoming a relic, either neutered à la “Riverdance” and relegated to heritage, or else condemned as retrograde. “Plucky little Ireland” has joined the global mainstream, and is now hell-bent on birth-controlling and multiculturalizing itself to death.

That bombings and shootings have stopped is a great and glorious thing, yet Messrs Paisley and McGuinness have precious little to celebrate. The peace over which they will jointly preside is that of a cultural and spiritual graveyard. Read any new Irish writers recently?
Good points but Frank McCourt’s Ireland wasn’t exactly perfect and the rot set in long ago: for example the IRA weren’t really Catholic but Communist.

Covering up black-on-white crime

*Which in itself is good of course.
The Pope on the Iraq war
There were not sufficient reasons to unleash a war against Iraq. To say nothing of the fact that, given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a 'just war'.
It is still licit.
In an interview with the journal he founded, 30 Days, [then-Cardinal] Ratzinger said:
This judgment [against the invasion of Iraq] of the [late] Holy Father is convincing from a rational point of view also: reasons sufficient for unleashing a war against Iraq did not exist. First of all it was clear from the very beginning that proportion between the possible positive consequences and the sure negative effect of the conflict was not guaranteed. On the contrary, it seems clear that the negative consequences will be greater than anything positive that might be obtained. Without considering then that we must begin asking ourselves whether as things stand, with new weapons that cause destruction that goes well beyond the groups involved in the fight, it is still licit to allow that a "just war" might exist... When I said that the Pope's stance is not a question of the doctrine of the faith but is the outcome of a judgment made by an enlightened conscience, and that has its own rational perspicuousness, I meant to say just that. It is a position of Christian realism that, without doctrinal quibbles, assesses the factors in the real situation by keeping in mind the dignity of the human person as the highest value to be respected. (emphasis added)
Stephen Hand adds:
The Catholic Church has thus disappointed Neoconservatives precisely because they wedded themselves to the present age. The Church transcends time-bound materialist political systems and its wars opting rather in favor of just principles which foster the common good — which is far more than a materialist concept — and the dignity of the human person, who "God so loved," that he "gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life" (Jn 3:16).
From The Western Confucian.
From Palestine to Virginia
By Mary Wendeln of Christian Peacemaker Teams
...On Friday 20 April 2007, at the weekly nonviolent action held in Um Salmouna village near the West Bank City of Bethlehem, Palestinian residents and international peace activists planted thirty-two olive trees to commemorate the lives of the thirty-two Virginia Tech students and teachers. In an area where the Israeli army bulldozed the land and uprooted the trees to construct the wall, the sign near the newly planted olive trees read, "From Palestine to Virginia We Support You." In the newspaper article I read about the event, Khalid Al Azza, of the Land Defense Committee in Bethlehem was quoted as saying, "We have come to reaffirm our condemnation of all massacres and crimes carried out against civilians and innocent people regardless of sex, race and color."
Tripp adds:
At the foot of a thirty-foot wall that separates them from jobs and one another, they thought of us. In the face of oppression and brokenness, they thought of us. As their brothers and sisters are becoming terrorists, are falling victim to Israel, they thought of us. The saw past the wall into the Holy City of God…where all the faithful reside. They reached out to us and planted peace.

Empire only thinks of itself.
The Anglican row summed up
You cannot claim to be only a part and yet act as if you represent the whole.
From ‘rathernot’ via Pontifications.
Rod Dreher on ‘tradcons’ and libertarians
A tradcon could not affirm that human beings are the best judges of what is best for themselves, because he is aware of the distorting effect of the Fall (which is to say, mankind's intrinsic imperfection). This is not to say that tradcons favor an authoritarian state. Ideally, the people will make proper use of their liberty to make virtuous choices. It is generally the case that in a pluralistic secular society like our own, the only way tradcons can carve out a space for themselves and their communities is through a libertarian order.
Eric Margolis on Tony Blair
He started out as Bill Clinton’s opposite number and enjoyed similar success, functionally a fairly good conservative, then destroyed his career by latching onto Mr Bush and his minders’ war, which most of the British people sensibly opposed from the beginning. From LRC.
Retired colonel and Catholic traditionalist opponent of Iraq war’s son killed in action
1st Lt Andrew J. Bacevich died in Iraq. From Lee Penn.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Four senses of ‘ought’
From Anglo-Catholic Ninjas
The big swindle of ‘the sexual revolution’: a woman’s point of view
An ‘O tempora’ entry that makes sense: on a big lie, a massive dodge of reality, or pig heaven for a certain kind of man marketed as empowerment for women. In the good old days even the bad were often better than what’s now standard:
The more I think about it, the more outraged I become. Maggie [aged 16] is expected to give her body, her soul, her honor and her health to some boy who obviously does not love her and who is not prepared to take care of her and her future children. For what?

At least in the bad, decadent old days a gentleman felt obliged to provide his mistress with a house, a carriage and a maid, like Gigi’s aunt... The French, being the French, do not mind immorality, for the most part, as long as it is elegant... At least a courtesan would come out of an affair with some nice jewelry.
From Tea at Trianon.
The hypocrisy of Fr Frank Pavone
I care about the babies too but here’s another reason why this Novus Ordo neocon cause is not a substitute for Catholic identity. Don’t get played.
As if the hypocrisy of these [Roman] Catholic groups was not clear enough, it should be even more clear now. These Catholics are beholden to the two-party system in the United States, and blatantly choosing to be the chaplain of the Republican Party. Period.
From Catholic Anarchy.
A new webzine
Putting missiles in Poland and aiming them at Russia
Nostalgic for the Cold War? Here’s some good news. From
Christianity out, Wilsonianism (Trotskyism?) in
Bush’s speechwriters twist Jamestown
Pugin’s Contrasts
Formative for me — first looked at an original copy of this 20 years ago. Objectivity and Godwardness compared to badly disguised paganism. A classic! From TNLM.
‘Traditionalist yet welcoming’, really liberal liberals and blog-level ecumenism in person
Recently wrote to one of my blog friends about this as he is considering moving here and just yesterday got to experience it at a marvellous lunch (complete with summer beer — perfect) with John Treat, Bishop Tim Cravens and the Revd Chris Tessone (our first meeting in person).

Without any compromise of the Catholic faith a little goodwill can go a long way.
Pro-life leader endorses Ron Paul
From The Western Confucian
Drake Adams on American culture
And its relation to English culture
American culture is really a few 'cultures' inside a larger Anglo civilization...

I suppose the short answer is that for American culture, beginning from any other ethnicity, would be 'you can't get here from there'. Without Anglo ideas of Freedom (which literally means 'the rule of friendship'), Common Law (with
Magna Carta), Lowland Scots ideas of the rights of nations and the nobility of man (Arbroath Declaration, and more), and much more Western and particularly British or English - one couldn't have America.

America's foundations begin within the first generations of the Anglican schism and have
everything to do with that history...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Cats of Mirikitani
Eighty-year-old Tsutomu ‘Jimmy’ Mirikitani survived the trauma of World War II internment camps and homelessness by creating art. But when 9/11 threatens his life on the New York City streets and a local filmmaker brings him to her home, the two embark on a journey to confront Jimmy’s painful past. An intimate exploration of the lingering wounds of war and the healing powers of friendship and art, this documentary won the Audience Award at its premiere in the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.

‘Make art not war’ is Jimmy Mirikitani’s motto.
Sacramentalist Catholic vs knowledge-based Protestant worldviews
Andrew Bartus tells ‘a tale of two orthodoxies or why the English are correct’
Arguably the English are more culturally inclined to be Catholic, whereas the Americans are more culturally inclined to be Protestant. Even English Protestants share many assumptions about the world with Catholicism, and American Catholics share many assumptions about the world with Protestants. What I mean is that American Catholics have much more in common with the knowledge-based mentality of Protestantism, while English Protestants have much more in common with the sacramentalism of Catholicism. These are naturally generalizations and many exceptions to either can be pointed out of course, but there certainly is a trend that exists.

...America’s proclivity to view orthodoxy in Protestant terms (in regards to correct teaching and knowledge only)
Hard to believe considering the longstanding English mindset of no-popery and the discrimination against Roman Catholics that still exists (IIRC Mr Kensit was not an American) but I appreciate the point. An ordinand I knew there nearly 20 years ago said about the same thing: that underneath it all the mediæval Catholic worldview remained, even if only expressed as defiance of it.

The great American historian Samuel Eliot Morison observed the same thing about C17 Protestants, that they shared more assumptions about the world with the Catholic faith than moderns do.

The protestantised worldview (described and contrasted here) is behind a lot of conservative Novus Ordo apologetics (not the same breed of cat as traditionalists) and ‘as long as it’s a Wal-Mart’ churchmanship, which leaves me cold.

Many ethnic Orthodox are of course sacramentalists. They ‘get it’.

Bartus rightly notes the problems causing the Anglican row today are far older and deeper than pushing for gay weddings, which is only a symptom:
...the philosophical presupposition of “ontology” (and later, “teleology”) fell into disuse and finally forgotten. Because they were forgotten, other such presuppositions were needed to justify why people do what they do. Hence the cultural upheaval and revolutions of the last century...

It is a false assumption to think that anyone has the civil right to become a deacon, priest, or bishop, much less someone of which it is a metaphysical impossibility.
Incidentally I don’t use the word ‘priestess’ in this blog, the impossibilist position on the matter is entirely Catholic but so is the improbabilist one and proving Bartus’s point on the sacramentalist worldview the issue almost never comes up among the Orthodox.

A word about tolerant conservatism, which both the secular left and Protestant right think hypocritical:
Often, the gay priests that the Americans perceive in... the UK are celibates. This is a good and holy thing, not something to be scoffed at. Many times, unfortunately, they are not. However, as I mentioned above, this is a sin that needs to be worked out in the confessional, just as heterosexual priests need to work out their sins in the confessional. But at least they are true priests and confect true sacraments, which are truly what heal and save people.
From All Too Common.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

‘Law & Order’ is going downhill
It’s a formula. Two people, possibly arguing, find a dead body on the streets of New York. The detectives eventually find a suspect, Jack McCoy indicts everyone he can, and by the end of the hour there’s a guilty or not guilty verdict — or sometimes a plea bargain. Doink doink.

But in recent years TV’s most ubiquitous show — on since 1990 — has sagged.

I missed the show in its glory days but have said the same thing. Another sign: when the usual opening scene of the arguing New Yorkers finding the corpse was replaced with a mini-music video.
Daniel Larison on the change in the Republican Party
Ron Paul’s Goldwater moment
Blog-level ecumenism
From Per Christum. I feel like he’s talking about me, Tripp, Larry, Jorge, Derek and others.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Fort Dix plot: ‘terrorists’?
From The Discalced Yooper
The idea of sundry nincompoops preparing for a takeover of Fort Dix by playing paintball in the Poconos while shouting jihad slogans doesn’t get me panicked.

The ‘sting’ described on TV by the US attorney — no doubt one of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ ‘loyal’ appointees deemed worthy of keeping their jobs — suggests that had the FBI not enticed the malefactors with opportunity, nothing much would have occurred.

This is an anæmic attempt by the administration to strike fear into the hearts of Americans and allow it to say, ‘See, that’s why we have to stay in Iraq!’
[The culprits are from Macedonia (they’re Albanian), Turkey and Jordan not Iraq.] It smells like the Gulf of Tonkin, the Lusitania and the battleship Maine to me.
— Tony Borrelli, The Philadelphia Inquirer