Friday, February 29, 2008

Why is this blog here?
Fr Mark has tagged me:
Rule 1) List three reasons for your blogging.
Rule 2) List the rules.
Rule 3) Tag three others with the thread.
Political: to teach and hopefully mobilise people for (as in getting them to pass it on and even to vote for) libertarianism, not necessarily a particular candidate or party but the principles, one goal of which is to bring the soldiers home from Iraq now which explains this blog’s name.

Religious: to share the Catholic faith (not necessarily a denomination but the principles) including in forms not well-known outside certain pockets of Anglicanism where they’re now endangered species (from birettas to ‘half-timbered English’ to tolerant conservatism), which ties into

Social, as in ‘blogging ecumenism rocks’ and reaching out in general which I confess is a way of saying ‘Look at me!’ though not bad in itself. As the Revd Jane recently wrote on the fifth anniversary of doing this (technically this went online in mid-2002 but properly got started at the beginning of 2003), this medium
...has enriched my life and widened my world in ways I could never have imagined. I’m glad I decided to call this bit of cyberspace home.

Thanks, folks.
Thank you.

Tagging Ad Orientem, Per Christum and, across the aisle but nowhere near as far away as common knowledge might have it (I said blogging ecumenism is cool), Derek.

The image is from Marco Vervoorst (who of course is welcome to play).
Ralph Wood on Catholic literature and Eastern Orthodoxy
An academic who’s a fair-minded outsider. From Notes from a Common-place Book.
Political correctness 1, reality nil
Reminds me of former career US Army officer Brian Mitchell in Flirting with Disaster: heard him speak and he convinced me. From Mere Comments.

BTW this is nothing to do with recent popular religious Controversial Issues™ (comment). From the Ship:
I know of one staunch FiFer of the “never” group who sees priesthood as “ontologically male” (if that is the correct term), but does not equate it necessarily with leadership — and he has no difficulties at all with women in leadership roles — in the church or elsewhere.
An authentically Catholic position, which is sacerdotalist not clericalist (the latter is a caricature of the church) nor is it related to Protestant arguments about headship using 1 Timothy.

Outside the First World middle classes that matter mostly just doesn’t come up. Rome is simply following the historic Catholic mainstream (the Pope can’t do otherwise; he’s only the Pope!), which is microscopic in America but (not that numbers make truth) always the Christian majority worldwide. (In this Protestant land we have the feeling of, as a Continuing-church friend once said to me, belonging simultaneously to a very big and very small church.) There’s no massive (or much of any) movement to change it in the Orthodox communion for example, churches with which the First World Anglican ones used to care a lot about good relations.
Kids and the big Internet scare
Another thing for the PC and the religious right to be righteously indignant about and demand a state solution to. (Like in North Korea where would-be Web surfers get a greeting page from the Dear Leader.) Oh, grow up!
As always, common sense and a level head are the best safeguards.
From LRC.

Aimee Allen on ‘The Ron Paul Revolution Theme Song’ and her views
What the antichrist will and will not be
From Fulton Sheen via Tea at Trianon
Imagine there’s no heaven...
And the world will live as one.
Honk for Obama
Since we either are going to have Barack Obama or John McCain as the next President of the United States, I will say right now that I prefer Obama. No, his economic policies are a disaster, but no more disastrous than the present set of Republicans, and I doubt seriously that Obama is a True Believer in Command-and-Control the way that McCain seems to be.

While I’ll root for Nader for president (unless Ron changes his mind), because he is genuinely antiwar, I’ll also cheer the slightly less warlike Obama over the war-lunatic McCain.
One more on Buckley
Sorry, ASimpleSinner
So great that Buckley purged the right of bigots and conspiracy mongers, to make room for the people who think Commies and Islamo-fascists are under our beds, so we must kill the gooks and towel-heads.
So Obama has to repudiate Farrakhan’s endorsement, but McCain can be proud to have Hagee’s. As usual, favoring the murder of Muslims gets you a pass in the American media.
Not that you want to live in a Muslim country but yeah.

BTW Farrakhan’s racist rubbish literally isn’t Islam.

Prince Harry in Afghanistan

What a letdown. I thought maybe the Brits were leaving.

But there is one interesting point: the scions of the upper-class do fight in the UK, whereas no son of a Rockefeller, Ellison, Koch, etc. would be caught dead in uniform, no matter how many government contracts they have.
Good news
Paul and Kucinich are expected to be re-elected to Congress

From the LRC blog.
Derek on ‘spirituality’
Mass and office first, devotions old and new second

Practice, practice, practice
‘Folks want regular practice.’ Yes!!! The popularity of Buddhism and Islam in the United States is no fluke, I think. These are religions that are seven-days-a-week affairs which stress personal growth, communal faithfulness and responsibility and a deepening awareness of something transcendent through frequent practice. The formation programs of many Christian churches have produced two or three generations worth of people who think Christianity is basically hypocritical — act one way on Sunday and another the rest of the week — and without any kind of meaningful spiritual practices akin to Buddhist meditation or the frequent prayer practice of Islam.

I fell in love with the day-to-day nature of Eastern Orthodoxy when I studied in Russia.
Fr Chris Tessone

The five wounds

You don’t become holy by fighting evil. Let evil be. Look towards Christ and that will save you. What makes a person saintly is love — the adoration of Christ which cannot be expressed, which is beyond expression, which is beyond... And such a person attempts to undertake ascetic exercises and to do things to cause himself to suffer for the love of God.
— Elder Porphyrios

From orrologion.

RIP Dom Gérard Calvet
Late abbot of Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux: the legitimate liturgical movement reborn
One of those political square/diamond/compass tests
According to it I’m...

Slightly left-libertarian!

Well to the right of Larry (his results) but the same general idea.

The world would be a better place if more liberals were like Dennis Kucinich.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

That Pew Forum survey on religion in America
Telephone interviews with more than 35,000 people

One finding and my take on it: the Roman Catholic presence, the biggest single church but always outnumbered by the Protestants combined, has always been a minority, about 25 per cent, but (like in the UK now thanks to Poland joining the EU and thus massive immigration) its size and strength right now are an illusion propped up by immigration. The generational native-born RCs shot themselves in the foot with Vatican II. Now about a third of them leave. That church has ‘the greatest net losses as a result of affiliation changes’ in a country with lots of that change, say the survey and The New York Times.

John Zmirak at Taki describes the problem in his church and I think Thomas Day would agree:
American bishops have largely given up on passing along the faith to the next generation of native-born [Roman] Catholics, and are relying instead on a steady influx of people who have not yet been fully exposed to the acid effects of modernity — including the dominance of “dissenters” in many [Roman] Catholic schools, the blandness and vagueness of religious instruction, the unrelenting banality of most parish liturgies (with music and rituals that would not pass muster at gatherings of the Boy Scouts), and the dismal quality of education for would-be converts. Every single adult convert to [Roman] Catholicism I have known has complained about the 4th-grade intellectual level of the programs for the “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” — whose initials (RCIA) should really stand for “Repelling Converts In-Advertently.” Meanwhile, those who grow up (as most U.S. [Roman] Catholics do) torn between the engrained effects of a deeply Protestant culture, and a dimly comprehended, diluted faith, increasingly drift away from our halfway Protestantized parishes... Comfy suburban “seeker” churches, thunderously enthusiastic Pentecostal sects, or stolid but largely orthodox and intensely catechetical Baptist congregations — each one is psychologically more satisfying than a gruesomely renovated old or shabbily ugly modern parish staffed by uncertain clergy who are mostly embarrassed by their church’s most distinctively counter-cultural teachings.
Pope Benedict’s RC restoration’s great if like an Anglo-Catholic you live near a ‘shrine’ church but it’s a drop in the bucket as are the Orthodox (six-tenths of a per cent). Real ACs (not high-church Protestants) of course are rarer than hen’s teeth.

The ‘evangelical base’ is growing, not surprising in the happy hunting-ground of sectarianism as Mgr Ronald Knox described it.

As for the mainline churches Episcopalians for example ‘have one of the highest rates of becoming no religion (20 per cent)’. One of yours pointed that out so don’t blame me.
Protestant churches cannot count on their members knowing anything about the history and faith commitments of their particular tradition. These folks who are migrating from [Roman] Catholic to Protestant or from liberal to evangelical or evangelical to progressive or whatever the pattern know more what they don’t want in a church than what they do want or believe.
— the Revd Dr Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite quoted at Episcopal Café via Fr Chris Tessone
For AFP the highlight is that Protestants are verging on becoming a minority. For The Washington Times the highlight is that Evangelicals outnumber [Roman] Catholics. For Jewish Telegraphic Agency it’s that Jews are wealthy, educated, and old.

However, what is surprising is that the ranks of the “unaffiliated” shows a rapid increase. One in four adults age 18 to 29 claims no affiliation with any religious institution.
Mainstream US Presbyterians decide: no ordaining unchaste gays
And, asks and answers GetReligion, why does the Episcopal Church get so much media attention?

Commenter Jay is onto something big:
The social activists in TEC are aggressively seeking societal change while their PCUSA counterparts just want certain people to get a job.
The latter are happy both to live under and give real freedom as am I; the former want to take our freedom away including conservative churches’ rights to exist and govern themselves. (Which is why some in corners of cyberspace really want to stamp out the Southern Cone Diocese of San Joaquin for example, a tiny church many miles away from most of them and no threat to them nor should it be. They can’t stand its mere existence; it doesn’t affirm them.) Tolerant conservatism isn’t good enough for them; it’s a war of absolutes politically for them as much as it was for the old Moral Majority. See Lew Rockwell yesterday on Mises.
It is essential to retain the old liberal view even in the midst of all the coming conflicts.
What moral rules bind the state?
Lew Rockwell in a 2002 article re-published this week at the Anglo-Catholic online journal Thursday Thoughts
After all, we are dealing with a religion that makes three hard-and-fast claims concerning morality: moral rules are unchanging, people must adhere to them or face judgment, we all fall short of the ideal, which is why we all must depend on the mercy of God.

How much easier if the Catholic Church held to more common notions of right and wrong. If the church, for example, claimed that the meaning of morality changes with the times and circumstances, it would be easier to wriggle out of the claims of hypocrisy.

The state, on the other hand, advances no clear principle by which its effectiveness, honesty, and usefulness can be judged. No moral rule binds the state, not even those it enforces against us.

... as measured by common standards of morality, the state fails by its very nature. It is the greatest thief, the biggest murderer, the most notorious counterfeiter, the most brazen liar – and in every case, it can depend on a class of intellectuals to say that there is nothing wrong with this.

What bothers many Catholics about the current troubles in the church is how much they resemble the goings-on of the state, and the extent to which the bishops have come to believe that they could get away with anything in the same manner that politicians do.

Because the state does not believe that it is subject to any law, it is unscrupulous at its very heart, it never finds itself guilty, interprets all failures as a case for more money and power, and becomes increasingly severe in its judgment of the rest of us.

Some libertarians, like some of the old-style classical liberals, claim to see a similarity between church and state. But there is a radical difference, besides the obvious one that the former is a voluntary institution and the latter is a coercive one.
Also from 2002:

Catholic social teaching and economic law: an unresolved tension
By Thomas Woods
Clueless candidates make bin Laden’s day
While McCain, Obama and Clinton attend services of their choice on Sunday, all worship at the shrine of intervention-that-spurs-jihad the rest of the week.
Kosovo: fools rush in
By military expert William Lind

Department of Malicious Falsehoods
The Public Affairs Office at the US Department of Defense on torture and other matters

Causes and consequences of US Middle East policy

What was wrong with Buckley
Charming, a talented speaker and writer with many Catholic beliefs (politically a veneer but true of the man in person, often a gentleman and charitable) and admirably libertarian on social issues but a statist and government-funded betrayer of the real right.
I would merely note that his death seems to coincide with the death of his dangerous neoconservative ideology.

The rise of the Internet and its decentralizing effect on information disbursement has allowed Old Right ideas to break out again.

One needs to observe Ron Paul’s fantastic presidential campaign today and the growing importance of Old Right publications such as
The American Conservative compared to the sad state of Buckley’s own National Review (which is virtually unknown to anyone under 40).
Wishful thinking? The media blackout of Paul shows that the neoconnerie and establishment left are still in charge but this hoped-for comeback still could happen.
Now let’s see: Turkey, our NATO ally, sends troops to capture PKK [Kurdish] guerrillas in Iraq that are protected by the Iraqi government. Those guerrillas regularly cross into Turkey and kill people. [US war secretary Robert] Gates says Turkey has to stop.

The U.S., Turkey’s NATO ally, invaded Iraq five years ago, and is still there. Iraq was never a threat to the United States. U.S. troops have occupied Iraq, overthrown its government, and wrought general mayhem ever since. However, American troops and the puppet Iraqi government have done nothing to hamper the PKK guerrillas hiding out in U.S.-occupied territory.

And the U.S. is telling Turkey to get out of Iraq?
From the LRC blog.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wake up
The first Columbian we encountered was a sullen youth from Teenage Central Casting, playing the usual corporate schlock on his boombox. We entered the diner and were seated behind four ladies with mellifluous Mississippi accents. They spent the next half-hour recounting the plot of the previous night’s episode of “Friends,” that vulgar and witless NBC sitcom by which archeologists will someday condemn our civilization. I wanted to confront them, plead with them: Look. Here you are, citizens of the economically poorest yet culturally richest state in the union, the state that gave us Eudora Welty, the Delta Blues, William Faulkner, Muddy Waters, Shelby Foote, and yet you not only consume but crave the packaged products of cocaine-addled East/West Coast greedheads who despise you as ignorant rednecks and stupid crackers. Get off your knees, Mississippi!
— Bill Kauffman

The same writer on a film I’ve not seen and should add to my Netflix list
Easy Rider was groping toward a truth that might have set America free. The hippies and the small-town southerners gathered in the diner; the small farmers and the shaggy communards: they were on the same side. The side of liberty, of locally based community, of independence from the war machine, the welfare state, the bureaucratic prison...
One to add to Stuff the Upper Middle Class Like:

Loving folk music but hating country music
And its people

Paul and Nader

‘The world’ according to Washington

Noam Chomsky’s latest:
...according to the rules of Anglo-American discourse... “the world” as the political class in Washington and London (and whoever happens to agree with them on specific matters). It is common, for example, to read that “the world” fully supported President George W. Bush when he ordered the bombing of Afghanistan in 2001. That may be true of “the world”, but hardly of the world, as revealed in an international Gallup Poll after the bombing was announced. Global support was slight.
How a modern society collapses
By Dmitry Orlov
Stage 4 collapse occurs when society becomes so disordered and impoverished that it can no longer support the Big Men, who become smaller and smaller, and eventually fade from view. Society fragments into extended families and small tribes of a dozen or so families, who find it advantageous to band together for mutual support and defense. This is the form of society that has existed over some 98.5% of humanity’s existence as a biological species, and can be said to be the bedrock of human existence. Humans can exist at this level of organization for thousands, perhaps millions of years.
Life-affirming pagan culture: not

Pope Benedict’s restoration is still under way

From Joshua Snyder.
RIP William F. Buckley Jnr
This blog on him through the years: I liked his manner but not a lot of his views; he wasn’t really a conservative but popularised many true ideas and teachings including ‘don’t immanentise the eschaton’. He was a Catholic who I think would have been largely sympathetic to this blog’s religion.

Here are the Office and Rosary of the Dead.
Fidelium animæ per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. Amen.
From Creative Minority Report.
Race, classical liberalism and the free market
All the favoured US presidential candidates ‘agree on the pressing need to expand the entire welfare-warfare state’ so most people go back to obsessing about race, which of course is rubbish
Of course it’s all politics, that is, equal parts dissembling and illusion, and designed to confer on some groups more power over other groups.
Come to think of some of the upper middle class’s preoccupation with it (mixed with real good intentions) is really an assertion of their (self-)righteousness and thus a clever way to try and remain in charge (because they’re righteous and thus deserve it).
The modern doctrine of racism originated with the Frenchman Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau as a way to justify aristocratic privilege. In the hands of the Nazis, the doctrine was extended to the alleged superiority of Aryans as versus everyone else. They claimed that the races were inherently incompatible, and advocated state policies to bring about their desired outcome.
Just like the left today who want quotas and people to identify with race first.

Opposed to ‘the conflict view of society’, the Marxist view of class warfare between labour and capital (long proved false — ‘the poor didn’t get poorer under capitalism; they became richer than ever before in human history’) which in the modern(ist) worldviews simply has been shifted to race, sex and religion (including by putative conservatives) is classical liberalism:
As Mises said, in a market economy, there is no legal discrimination against anyone. Freedom prevails, and “whoever dislikes the Jews may in such a world avoid patronizing Jewish shopkeepers, doctors, and lawyers.” The problem is that this does not produce the results racists want. Indeed, the market always tends to bring people together in peace, neither compelling nor forbidding exchanges.

It is essential to retain the old liberal view even in the midst of all the coming conflicts, both in rhetoric and in policy. Always and everywhere, the only serious political issue is what the state should and should not do. All the rest distracts.
What the US is really doing in Iraq
Funding and in many cases arming the three ethnic factions — the Kurds, the Shiites and the Sunni Arabs. These factions rule over partitioned patches of Iraqi territory and brutally purge rival ethnic groups from their midst.

When Iraq goes up, the U.S. military will have to scurry like rats for cover.
Who killed Bobby Kennedy and why?

From LRC.
The mother of all bad mass e-mails
Or the road to cyber-hell is paved with good intentions and decorated with lots of animated GIFs. A bit mean-spirited but the computer stuff is all too true. From The Onion.
W’s legacy

From An Inch at a Time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What’s wrong with Obama
Far from challenging the “mindset” that led to the war in Iraq, Obama possesses the very same mindset that says that we govern the world and must police it.
Daniel Larison

Dr No
No pre-emptive wars.
No Federal Reserve.
No income tax.
No police state.
No drug war.
Ron Paul
On fashionable ideology and mangling the English language
I’m a moderate on some of these — firefighter is fine for example but not African-American for black — but agree with this main point: everyday prose... puffed-up words... a word with useless syllables or a sentence with useless words is a house fancied-up with fake dormers and chimneys. It is ugly and boring and cheap, and impossible to take seriously.
Slashing these with my blue pen or delete key is one of the joys of my job, making sure they never appear in print.
How can I (how can any teacher) get students to take the prime rule seriously when virtually the whole educational establishment teaches the opposite?
The prime rule has been undermined by ‘the Academic-Industrial Complex’, the middle class as described by Paul Fussell (who called corporatespeak ‘cornball elegance’), more or less these people, often as in other things with good intentions (the road to hell and all that).
Unsatisfied with having rammed their 80-ton 16-wheeler into the nimble sports-car of English style, they proceeded to shoot the legs out from under grammar — which collapsed in a heap after agreement between subject and pronoun was declared to be optional.
From LRC.
Abortion, gay weddings and your vote
  • The RC bishops are right that abortion’s wrong and those in high places who actively support it deserve excommunication.
  • They’re right that homosexuality is disordered: objectively wrong.
  • They’re wrong to say and act as though either matters politically: neither side is really doing anything to stop the former, regarding the latter I don’t mind if you do (it’s no threat to me and there’s no such thing as consensual crime) and get the state out of the marriage business, and I don’t care which if any church my candidate belongs to as long as he’ll do his job properly.
  • And then there’s the whiff of old-fashioned no-popery.
San Joaquin: what?
I wrote at the time that here the bishop doesn’t make sense

Anglicanism and the row as seen by a liberal in England
He understandably likes a muddled Broad Church
  • Either it wasn’t a triad (more a quadrilateral) or one of its three main parts was as Charley points out the Central Church people.
  • If Catholicism’s reduced from truth to opinion in a dialectic, part of a triad or whatever, then it’s not Catholicism any more but ‘sacramentally inclined liberalism’.
  • He’s right about the Protestant Global South — its built-in instability (after all it’s Protestant) and ultimate incompatibility with Catholics — but wrong really about ‘liberals and their view of authority’ as ‘more flexible about difference’. When they’re honest they admit it’s a war of absolutes. Also, the law of non-contradiction, ‘a house divided’ and so on.
A difference between me and the Anglican right on all this is I’m not sure there’s an ‘Anglicanism’ I could believe in that can be saved. (But this is not a denominational blog either.) My only agenda in all this is to be Catholic (and a non-clobberer online) and both keep the best of this (see below), really parts of a culture not a church unto itself, alive and thriving in ‘the larger church’, the greater Catholic family where it always really belonged (it obviously doesn’t belong in liberal Protestantism, something we didn’t want to be) and support it and its remaining people (FiF, Southern Cone, Continuing and officially non-aligned/‘under the radar’ alike) in a positive way as much as possible.
It is such a different scene in the United Kingdom from the United States. The only real growth in churchgoing in this country is in London among black immigrant-based independent churches. There is also the result of Poland entering the European Union and perhaps some one million Poles coming more or less all at once into the United Kingdom, many of whom go to Catholic churches for communal reasons — rather a similar dynamic to background reasons for much churchgoing in the United States. This is not the dynamic of churchgoing in the UK, where people are generally not clubable and remain reserved, and who retain large areas of personal space around themselves as individuals.
From Episcopal Café.

The vision glorious
Part of what formed me as well as a famous late liberal bishop (right on peace issues and civil liberty, wrong on much else) and his daughter as she describes:
At my father’s first parish, the church was right next door; going to church was not a duty but a chance to be with the deepest part of him, to be inside his imagination. In the darkness at the altar rail, I would hold the wafer in my mouth, allowing it to become wet with the wine that burned down my throat. Take, eat, this is my body, my father would say. Just as I came to understand his splendid vestments were not ordinary clothes, I learned that during the Eucharist, the bread and wine were shot through with something otherworldly, something alive that vibrated and trembled, and when I watched my father, enormously tall, the color of his vestments blurry through all the incense in all the candlelight, it seemed to me he brought all this about, up there at the altar, enswirled in the fragrant smoke, the organ thundering, his voice carried by the King James language. It therefore made sense that when he sang Gregorian chant his voice would break and falter. He was being transported by what he called “the presence of God,” a force much more powerful than his physical body. What happened to him seemed also to happen in me, behind my eyes, on the surface of my skin, and when it happened, I didn’t think of how my mother looked with a baby on her hip, how my younger brothers and sisters screamed, or how awkward I felt at school. Instead, everything became comprehensible....

After the service, after removing the gold and the colors, after lifting the tiny white wafer as high as his long arms could reach, after administering wine at the altar rail and drinking what remained in the consecrated chalice, my father came home. Now wearing his black suit, he burst into the living room, where we all waited, the grownups drinking sherry, joking or talking seriously.
So... besides the self-defeating exercises of the Henrician schism and Elizabethan compromise worsened by the ‘Enlightenment’, what went wrong?

Why’d it — the echo of the 1920s Congresses (the people at the Albert Hall for High Mass and on Westminster Bridge singing Marian hymns... I’m sure they’ve all passed on but a long time ago I met one of them), the witness based on Catholic principles in places like the London slums and South Africa (I knew one of those people), most of the shrine churches, the biretta belt — come crashing down years ago... in my lifetime?

I know it’s not the end of the world — a Catholic can always go somewhere else and to remain so one often must — but... it was still our home.

Of course I don’t expect an answer today.

It’s in my top five questions for the hereafter though.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Gaza under seige
The war between nostalgia and utopia
“The only people who would object to escapism would be jailors.” I don’t think that Tolkien was referring solely to totalitarians whom he despised, such as the Communists or the Nazis. Deeply influenced by the likes of Chesterton and Belloc, raised (as a fatherless boy) by a priest who’d studied under Cardinal Newman... a veteran of the Somme who’d seen all his closest friends butchered by machine guns or gas... Tolkien was concerned as well with the soul-deadening qualities of “moderate” world views such as Fabian socialism and Manchester liberalism.

[His literary] roots lay deep in the often fragmentary pieces of Anglo-Saxon literature which predate the Norman conquest, but Tolkien’s themes were of enormous contemporary significance: the sanctity of the local, the hatefulness of tyrants, the intimate connection between personal honor and the preservation of liberty.
The face of ‘pro-choice’ politics
In elections nowadays abortion drops out as a deciding issue but John Zmirak at Taki sees the other side in all its ugliness
As Joe Sobran once wisely reflected: To one kind of man, a pregnant woman is a broken toy, and the abortionist the toymaker who fixes her up again.
Pig heaven marketed as empowerment. Screwtape could have come up with it.
Given ... the average contraceptive failure rate of 10%, it doesn’t take a math whiz to calculate that Bill [Clinton] has probably been responsible for at least one “exercise of a woman’s constitutionally protected right of privacy.”

So here’s the question I’d like to propose, for the next intrepid journalist who gets the chance to interview a “pro-choice” male politician:

“Governor/Senator/Congressman, if I might: For how many abortions have you personally been responsible?”
Casualties of war
Why the anti-war movement is running in place. The war doesn’t affect these people in any way. As somebody recently quoted by Huw said, people are being told to shop not save their tins. It’s not a battle for survival; actually it’s completely unneeded.

From Joshua Snyder.
British government’s hypocrisy about Israel’s WMDs
From Fr Methodius
A down side of Ron Paul being a Republican
Fake Ron Paul Republicans, mainstream GOP candidates trying to use his supporters

Tom Hayden is upset
Lew Rockwell writes:
Leftist Tom wishes the Vietnamese were still living in Marxist poverty. But that great people, freed of French and then US colonialism, have chosen the capitalist road. Today Vietnam is — despite all the millions killed by foreign invaders and occupiers, all the property destruction, and all the Agent Orange and landmines left by the Pentagon — booming in entrepreneurship and the free market. Since it is not a US satellite, Vietnam, like China, has not had neoconservatism imposed on it. May Cuba follow the Vietnamese path, and not the become a neocon possession.

PS: Need I mention that Tom Hayden is one of those Santa Monica leftists who himself lives in great wealth?
Nader again
Ralph is an economic leftist, but so are Obama and Hillary (and McKeynesian, for that matter). But he is great on war and empire.
From the LRC blog.
Civil gay weddings are not a threat to me
Just don’t force Catholics and others to have religious ones and better still leave the state out of it
If you want to somehow legislate heterosexuality and use government to interfere in people’s lives, your insistence is not only completely without reason, but you are also directly contradicting conservative values.
From Tom Paine’s Clubhouse.
Paul gets top spot on Pennsylvania’s Republican-primary ballot
FWIW but hooray all the same

The Daily Dose
His campaign blog run by Dan McCarthy

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Popes on immigration
...we have condemned severely the ideas of the totalitarian and the imperialistic state, as well as that of exaggerated nationalism.
— Pius XII

From Rorate Cæli.
Catching up with Hilary White
  • On ‘gender’ and homosexuality or why I say ‘sex’ and leave ‘gender’ for language lessons.
  • On disestablishment. How did there come to be bishops in the House of Lords in the first place? Well, England used to be a Catholic nation, one of the most devoutly Catholic in Europe and it was founded, established and nourished by Benedictines, for the most part.
  • On end-of-the-world hysteria: I’ve never been much for the whole Marian-apparitions/apocalyptic prophecies thing. I remember someone I knew once getting quite het up about a TV programme about space aliens and the end of the Mayan calendar. She asked me what to do. (Why do non-religious people always think the Catholics know stuff that no one else knows?) I told her that you’re supposed to keep doing the next right thing; same as always.
  • Putting the RC priest underage gay sex scandal in perspective. As I’ve blogged before teachers have a worse track record.
  • No confidence: I don’t see why there can’t be a law that says if a government refuses to fulfil its election promises this ought to be grounds for a non-confidence motion.
The US Constitution’s not democratic and that’s a good thing
Rule of law as opposed to mob rule or the fashionable whims of an élite. From Taki via Joshua Snyder.

More on the subject from LRC.

Catholic doctrine works that way too (more):

Creeds, Christology and heresies
Both enforcing a law (using a state) and defining a doctrine are last resorts, the latter in reaction to a big threat (heresy) to the whole community (the church). From Cradle catholic Charterhouse.
Daniel Larison and Justin Raimondo agree: Obama deserves a honk but not more

If Kosovo why not Palestine?
The predictable answer from Israel/AIPAC/the US establishment: not for you! From M.J. Ernst-Sandoval.

Friday, February 22, 2008

My God, how the money rolls in
Planned Parenthood makes a pretty penny from killing. From Per Christum.
More on Mrs Obama
The putative peace candidate hedges his bets
2009; that’s the ticket. He’s better than the mad bomber and the witch but not by much.

Cary Grant in Father Goose:
ALL of them, Frank!
Out. Home. Now.

The audacity of hype
You know it’s a media-fuelled personality cult when...
The audience applauds when Obama blows his nose.
From the LRC blog.
Revenge and hypocrisy
Writes James Elliott:
I just saw the headlines on the Serbian ‘storming’ of the US Embassy in Belgrade. This was not done to the French Embassy, because the French did not bomb Serbia beginning on their highest holy day, Orthodox Easter, the way the US did under the enlightened ‘genocide’-halting foreign policy of the Clinton/Albright administration, and we have the audacity to ask the UN to be incensed for us over this issue now! Blowback strikes again.
UPDATE from Daniel:
This is priceless, though. The height of chutzpah:
‘I am outraged by the mob attack against the US embassy in Belgrade’, Zalmay Khalilzad told reporters, adding he would seek condemnation by the UN Security Council. ‘The embassy is sovereign US territory. The government of Serbia has a responsibility under international law to protect diplomatic facilities, particularly embassies.’
Daniel, you are right; the US is never short of chutzpah. It felt free to bomb Belgrade, of course, and the Chinese embassy too, in its war of aggression against Serbia. But then, international law is only for non-hegemonistas.
From the LRC blog.
Snow! Снег!
Winter at Runnemede. Click for closer views.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It seems fairly obvious to me
Well-meaning do-gooder adults like these are largely why some kids spray-paint ‘KKK’ and swastikas on walls. Dance, puppets, dance. Catch the culprits and give them an inglorious suspension from school (perhaps spent joining a roadside crew to pick up trash) not a floor show.
Pope: St Augustine defined the right kind of secularism
Separation of church and state, or the church is free from the state

Children are 40 per cent of cluster-bomb victims

Long live free Liechtenstein!

From Joshua Snyder.
Tee hee

Manufacturing history
Is nothing new: as some of us learnt in school Shakespeare was a spin doctor for the state. From Tea at Trianon.

I’m not sure why the picture of King Charles I is here. I like it; it shows some of his good points. He, the Cavaliers and the Prayer Book were relatively better than the totalitarian idealism of the Roundheads (spiritual ancestors of the politically correct today), in ways that Burke and Newman would have understood, and they defended the episcopate, but as has been pointed out to me he was less Catholic than those who want to canonise him think. Some call him ‘Charles the Martyr-er’ for the murder of recusants.
The neocon-liberal popular front
From Serbia to Iraq. From Justin Raimondo via LRC.

There was no genocide in Kosovo.

The million-year war
Think of the top officials of the Bush administration as magicians when it comes to Iraq. Their top hats and tails may be worn and their act fraying, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Their latest “abracadabra,” the President’s “surge strategy” of 2007, has still worked like a charm. They waved their magic wands, paid off and armed a bunch of former Sunni insurgents and al-Qaeda terrorists (about 80,000 “concerned citizens,” as the President likes to call them), and magically lowered “violence” in Iraq. Even more miraculously, they made a country that they had already turned into a cesspool and a slagheap — its capital now has a “lake” of sewage so large that it can be viewed “as a big black spot on Google Earth” — almost entirely disappear from view in the U.S.

Of course, what they needed to be effective was that classic adjunct to any magician’s act, the perfect assistant. This has been a role long held, and still played with mysterious willingness, by the mainstream media.
For all their concern about saving the earth the upper middle class don’t care because they know their kids won’t be sent over there. (Jess also points out they like saving the world without having to do very much.) That and some of them modern-liberal fashion think it’s for the Iraqis’ own good (we know what’s good for you, doncha know?) and the Iraqis really want to be just like them even if they don’t know it yet. So thinks the neocon-liberal popular front.

McCain boasts that he supported “the surge,” seeing the need for more “boots on the ground” in Iraq. During President Clinton’s air war over Bosnia, McCain faulted the president for his unwillingness to put American “boots on the ground” in that war. No one knows for sure just where on earth Sen. McBootsonthebrain does not want American “boots on the ground.” He is willing to have us stay in Iraq 100 years.

[Of the Republican candidates] only Ron Paul was (pardon the pun) appalled at that prospect, invoking (appropriately enough at that [Roman] Catholic college [St Anselm, Manchester, New Hampshire]) the “Just War” theory proposed by Saint Augustine, and refined and reaffirmed by Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Only the man who never uses religion to get votes represents the authentic Catholic position.
If they are good workmen, they may be from Asia, Africa or Europe; they may be Mahometans, Jews, Christians of any sect, or they may be Atheists....
— George Washington on the construction of Mount Vernon

Works just as well for politicians.

Jack Kenny also has a word on a subject the upper-middles (and wannabes) and the mainstream media do care about. A church row for example involving a few dozen people (relatively speaking) can eclipse Iraq as it involves people of that class having sex.
...[a friend] continues to believe, with all misguided sincerity, that the way to reduce abortion is more birth control and more sex education. Never mind the occasional dip in the numbers and rates of abortions. Look past the year-to-year statistics and take the long view of decades. The number of abortions soared as liberal judges removed the legal barriers and birth control became more widely available (even with condoms distributed in schools now) and sex-education programs proliferating at even the grade school level.
Contraception doesn’t violate the do-not-harm-others principle so it’s none of the state’s business: don’t outlaw it. The state pushing it violates religious liberty and of course worsens the cause of the problems (it makes people think sex has no responsibility or consequences attached, and my God, how the money rolls in).

There’s also the matter of this class pushing birth control on the poor and non-white, a socially acceptable way to be racist in the name of saving the earth from overpopulation (just can’t stand the thought of those people... breeding). Your 1.5 pink ‘planned’ children are priceless even in the womb; those children are ‘unwanted life’ (actual quotation from a liberal sermon), that is, Lebensunwertes Leben or vermin.

Walkin’ in a winter wonderland...

The flash-point of all heresy and apostasy involves God and his relation to his creation, the material world, where God and matter/the flesh meet, and like Cæsar’s Gaul can be broken down into three parts, who Jesus is, what the Eucharist is and sex, secular people only caring about the last. The first, I think, gives you the big difference between Catholics and Protestants: did the God-man leave an infallible church or not? Even when the latter are christologically orthodox (that is, Christian) they seem to miss this conclusion flowing from who he is.
On pop music
Right or wrong these are true
It’s a fair bet when a folk-rocker’s age is eponymous with the decade, people don’t care about what he thinks anymore.
Christian rock ranks right up there with Buddhist action movies in bad religion/entertainment combinations.
‘Six musicians with pasts they hope you’ll forget’

I knew of Alanis Morissette’s teenybopper origins but not of Dr Dre’s and Evanescence’s (whom I like) beginnings!

Music on the brain
Oliver Sacks on the subject via LRC

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Total lunar eclipse
Happened to be outside an hour ago and noticed it! The moon was half-covered but looked different from a half-moon, then I remembered what it was. Now it's just about completely covered with the earth’s shadow. Lovely but not as cool as seeing a partial solar one 30 years ago. It got noticeably darker outside. Peeked at the sun and it was partly black!
O Lord, how manifold are thy works : in wisdom hast thou made them all.
Mrs Obama
Likewise obsessed with race but she’s honest about that. Perhaps like his choice of church (the self-consciously blackest one in Chicago?) functionally this marriage both reflects his emotions (even before I learnt he never knew his father I saw that the foreign father and white mother mean in American culture he’s not black, which has always bothered him) and is a politically astute move (get the black vote).
Black and Hispanic students were invited to attend special classes a few weeks before the beginning of freshman semester, which the school said were intended to help kids who might need assistance adjusting to Princeton’s campus. Acree couldn’t see why. She had come from an East Coast prep school; Michelle had earned good grades in Chicago. “We weren’t sure whether they thought we needed an extra start or they just said, ‘Let’s bring all the black kids together’.”
Sailer remarks:
Obviously, this program wasn’t put together by the Princeton klavern of the Ku Klux Klan; it was planned by the Princeton diversity sensitivity outreach nook.
Both keep tabs on race, want quotas and want people to stick with their own kind. Isn’t it wonderful to see people in one country working for the same goals?

He doesn’t get my worship or my vote but my honk:
We all know Obama will be a lousy president, but at least he won’t be the mad bomber or the witch. He seems intelligent and promises to bring the troops home; after that it’s not good. At least the neocons hate him.
From Taki.
Kosovo independence is fake
Real power lies with EU officials backed by Western firepower, explains John Laughland at LRC
Kosovo is also home to the vast US military base Camp Bondsteel, near Urosevac — a mini-Guantánamo that is only one in an archipelago of new US bases in eastern Europe, the Balkans and central Asia. This is why the Serbian prime minister, Vojislav Kostunica, speaking on Sunday, specifically attacked Washington for the Kosovo proclamation, saying that it showed that the US was “ready to unscrupulously and violently jeopardise international order for the sake of its own military interests”.
An argument for open borders
Answering the racists at VDARE and elsewhere

In praise of drop-in clinics
Former US Secretary of State George Shultz: nuclear weapons immoral

Fr Basil Kovpak excommunicated

Well-meaning, he and his friends (more) 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! IOW they are disobeying... St Pius X. Also ironically they share the Slavonic liturgical language with the Orthodox, whom they hate, whilst the UGCC uses modern Ukrainian as part of its nationalism.

Above all, it must be clearly stated that no human authority, no state, no community of states, whatever be their religious character, can give a positive command or positive authorization to teach or to do that which would be contrary to religious truth or moral good.
— Pope Pius XII

It can tolerate it if it doesn’t violate the do-not-harm-others principle but not positively command it. Just like historically with prostitution.
A modernist need not deny any Catholic dogma. He need only empty out the contents (whether of scripture or tradition*) and fill it up with new meaning.
From Stephen Hand.

*Scripture is part of tradition as Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) rightly wrote.
Venial sins do not add up to a mortal sin but...
The distinction is useful, even comforting, as it prevents scrupulosity. That said:
I look at venial sin like a tick on a dog. One tick may sting and suck out a little blood. If it is extracted there is no harm done. But if it is left to fester it will suck out more blood and weaken the dog more. More and more ticks will weaken the dog further and seriously compromise its health. Then, when a major illness comes along it will be too weak to fight it off. So it is with venial sin. If we ignore them and don’t deal with them they may accumulate and weaken our souls to the point that our attachment with Christ is compromised and our resistence to mortal sins will be greatly weakened. This dog knows something about this.
From here.
More stuff beloved of the upper middle class
  • Breakups and obsessing about them as preparation for divorce.
  • ...songs... about pain, or love, or breaking up with someone, or not being able to date someone, or death.
  • Religions their parents don’t belong to: White people will often say they are “spiritual” but not religious. Which usually means that they will believe any religion that doesn’t involve Jesus. Popular choices include Buddhism, Hinduism, Kabbalah and, to a lesser extent, Scientology. A few even dip into Islam, but it’s much more rare since you have to give stuff up.
On a Controversial Issue™
Mark Shea (do get an RSS feed) writes:
I tend to shy away from questions of the origin of the disordered appetite known as homosexuality, basically because I think it an almost complete and total mystery. Transpose the question to another disorder appetite — say, overeating — and you immediately see that there could be literally dozens of origins, depending on the person. Some people overeat because they feel physical hunger and don’t know when to stop. Some do so because it’s a comfort. Some do so out of fear. Some do so for various other reasons.

What is matters, I think, is not the origin of a disordered appetite. That’s paradoxically because we know the origin of our disordered appetites ulimately: we are fallen creature afflicted with concupiscence. All we don’t know is how that played out in the specific biography of each person who struggles with their specific set of disorders. What matters, then, is how each person is to live out their call to discipleship and following Christ. Wherever the disordered appetite comes from, Christ is able to help us rightly order it, and that’s the point.
To those of this orientation and practice reading this blog: obviously the teaching of the Catholic faith and other conservative Christians on this makes sense to me. (BTW it’s none of the state’s business.) That said the faith also teaches that although there is objective right and wrong one will be judged by God according to one’s own conscience (in other words did you know something was wrong and did you mean to do wrong). Go with God.
May Jesus comfort you
in all your afflictions.
May He sustain you in dangers,
watch over you always with His grace,
and indicate the safe path
that leads to eternal salvation.
And may He render you always
dearer to His Divine Heart
and always more worthy of Paradise.
— St Pius of Pietrelcina

Here is a fine libertarian answer on another matter (although both practices are objectively sins here I’m not equating the two) that I think applies to this and to the wrong attempts by the right (here I mean the cruel, coercive ‘cures’ of some on the right, based on bad psychology and as the Ted Haggard saga shows famously don’t work) and the left to predict/control certain behaviour.
Each time the tragedy of a mass shooting takes place we see the same responses from the same people.

Politicians rush to the stage and wring their hands, phoning condolences and otherwise mugging for the cameras. Members of the clergy and psychology profession yammer about survivors talking things out, emotionally distraught young people erect crosses and pile flowers somewhere, and everyone immediately begins to speak of “healing.”

Long before the funerals an historical and psychological postmortem begins on the deceased shooter’s life in a ritualistic search for cause or meaning, animated by a desire to identify common themes that could presumably lead to some sort of screening for future gun-wielding nuts. Imagine a bizarre kind of Rorschach test administered in grade school where passing means walking out the door and failing means needles and pills and chemical lobotomy.

This is based on the idea that life can be planned, controlled, professionally managed by a central authority.

Unfortunately this mechanistic model of the world is not remotely parallel to reality. Reality is non-linear and full of surprises, and human social behavior is demonstrably non-mechanistic.
On Star Wars
[George Lucas is] interesting to me because he embodies the Millennial American attempt to maintain a culture without a specific cultus. Like many good pagans, he has real flashes of insight, but they are completely mixed up with a view of God (and therefore of the human person) that is spectacularly shallow at times. You can’t help but like the guy, just as you can’t help but like most of his movies. His work has the same attraction that the penny dreadfuls had for Chesterton: unabashed faith in good old-fashioned heroic virtue. And he is a fine storyteller. But I, at any rate, can’t help feeling a sadness that he seems somehow unable to get past the concatenation of images to the Reality he is feeling toward.
The ridiculousness of Obama as messiah
He’s the least of three evils but no saviour
Some political cartoons
Our one-night-stand culture and economy
Joshua Snyder quotes Wendell Berry

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Paying insurgents not to fight
Which makes more sense, paying off Sunni freedom fighters ($800,000 a day) or getting the hell out of Iraq? Which do you think Mr Bush’s minders are doing? From
Most of the violence in Iraq during the past five years has resulted from Sunnis and Shi’ites driving each other out of mixed neighborhoods. Had the two groups been capable of uniting against the U.S. troops, the U.S. would have been driven out of Iraq long ago. Instead, the Iraqis slaughtered each other and fought the Americans in their spare time.

In other words, the “surge” has had nothing to do with any decline in violence.
Like Marshal Tito’s death in Yugoslavia, overthrowing the secular Baathist government in Iraq unleashed all this.

Speaking of payoffs:
As the world now knows, Blair’s “dodgy dossier” about the threat allegedly posed by Iraq was a contrivance that allowed Blair to put British troops at the service of Bush’s aggression in the Middle East. Now that Blair is out of his prime minister job, he has been rewarded with millions of dollars in sinecures from financial firms such as JP Morgan and millions more in speaking engagements. As part of the payoff, the Bush Republicans have even put Mrs. Blair on the lucrative lecture circuit.
Political messianism/ersatz religion
Very dangerous. One of Steve Sailer’s readers writes:
Obama appeals to secular whiterpeople with a powerful religious message. The sons and daughters of mainline Protestantism will tell you they no longer believe in original sin, but a redemptive religious worldview doesn’t make much sense without it. They have translated it into white man’s guilt — for the crimes of colonialism, for the fate of the planet — and they feel it as strongly as their grandparents felt the spur of original sin. Putting it all on the white man is actually a narcissistic diminution of original sin, but try telling that to a whiterperson unschooled in theology. BarryO is selling redemption. We liked it from Jean Calvin and Jonathan Edwards, and we like it from him.
Another one bites the dust moves to WordPress
Arturo has wrapped up The Sarabite and started Reditus. I keep Blogger because here I can hand-code the template to my heart’s content.
Hooking up
I’m wary of o tempora entries but this is truly vile... and it’s become mainstream. The Pope’s right: more cash and human cannon fodder for the culture of death. C19 feminists likewise got it: pig heaven for certain boys marketed as empowerment. From Mere Comments.

Demographic winter
From Rod Dreher

Value voters and where they live... or not
Cold, hard (as in cash) facts about marriage and children, and some places’ hostility to them in economic terms (more). From AmConMag (where I now am linked thanks to Daniel Larison) via Steve Sailer. I don’t share the anti-immigration view and am still not a Jane Austen fan but see her point.
An inconvenient miracle
A third one is attributed to Blessed Charles of Austria, Woodrow Wilson’s enemy in World War I. From John Zmirak at Taki via Joshua Snyder.
It’s rarely remembered now, but Woodrow Wilson set as one of the primary war aims of the U.S. as she entered (thanks to his careful maneuvering) World War I the destruction of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. As a multi-ethnic state based not on 19th-century nationalism but ancient dynastic loyalty cemented by a majority Catholic faith, it offended his modern notions of what should constitute a country — and as a good Princeton academic, who was in addition convinced that he personally embodied the Will of God, Wilson knew that he could do better.
Just like the secular and politically correct, the religious right and the religious left today. BTW ‘progressive’ Protestant ministers were warmongers: they were keen on Wilson destroying Catholic Europe. (They also liked eugenics.) Also back then the fundamentalists had the right idea about the state and peace!

One Ruthenian Greek Catholic church I’ve been to in Pennsylvania has a marvellous portrait of Emperor Franz Josef in the hall.
The Jena Six and other scams
By Pat Buchanan at Chronicles. Reminds me of the ‘Free Mumia’ rubbish in Philadelphia.
Lew Rockwell on Kosovo
Our friends, the neoconservatives, hate secession. They denounce this ancient principle of liberty as “neo-Confederate.” Yet they applaud the independence of Kosovo, as does Bush. Why? Well, it’s part of their ongoing campaign to hobble Russia and advance US hegemony. Of course, Kosovo has the right to self-government. But so do the Serbian enclaves within Kosovo. If they were allowed to be independent, or part of Serbia, as they wish, that would end much of the hostility. Tragically, Kosovo, like the CSA, the USA, and other states born in secesssion, denies it to its own people.

Fr Nektarios (Serfes): ‘Long live Serbia’

Why Obama gets my honk not my vote
I didn’t forget: here he is advocating war in Pakistan. That and the [sarcasm] change wrought by the results of the 2006 election [/sarcasm] in which for the first time I voted a mostly Democratic ticket.
Sure, he sounds less bad on foreign policy than McCain, now. And Bush sounded less bad on foreign policy than Gore — before he was elected.

...the most troubling thing about his campaign: will Obama manage to make America’s youthful set as enamored of the US nation-state as ever? Will he bring back liberal faith in the imperial presidency? Will he make the under-30 crowd feel more democratically involved next time their government drops bombs on innocent foreigners?

My generation was for many years too trustful of the imperial executive, not having experienced the horrors of Vietnam in their lifetime. Bush II has done a great service, helping to turn my generation against war and the national government. Obama says we are not as divided as our politics leads us to think. If only we were actually politically divided in this country! If only we had some choice between radically different visions of governance!
The left certainly weren’t for peace 10 years ago. I heard this in person — some of the same people who rightly opposed the first Iraq War cheered Clinton getting involved in ex-Yugoslavia (bombing Belgrade on their Easter).

Just like many who said they opposed Clinton on conservative principles (Bush’s song and dance in ’00, and here I don’t mean culture-wars red herrings) weren’t really conservatives. People like Rockwell who were paying attention to this knew.

The stupidity of the Protestant right
From Laurence Vance, an evangelical who isn’t falling for it (nor does he sign onto the religious left, Jim Wallis’s and Tony Campolo’s meddling statist ‘progressivism’, the other side of the same coin):
As objectionable as a gay pride parade is to some people, I don’t recall anyone ever getting killed in one. Yet, a McCain presidency is sure to result in hundreds more dead American troops in Iraq and elsewhere. Although I have heard many Christians complain about McCain not being a real conservative, I rarely if ever hear any objections from Christians about his warmongering.

I forget who first said it, but if God wanted us to vote he would have given us some candidates.
But Vance seems to favour pacifism; I don’t.
Reader DG nicely sums it up —

“What are the chances a particular candidate will nuke some country or bring back the draft?

Obama: Something less than 50/50
Clinton: At least 50/50
McCain: Near-metaphysical certitude (as John McLaughlin would say)”

I would add:

Paul: approx. 0
From the LRC blog.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Coming clean about HIV
Truth trumps political correctness for once. From Per Christum.
Joshua Snyder and Ron Paul on Kosovo
Just added the Republic of Lakotah and Sabeel to my political links
On moralising politics
Or ‘values in politics... oh, not your values’. If the liberals had listened to Murray Rothbard it would have saved them a lot of trouble. (Then they wouldn’t be modern liberals but classical ones, the right kind.) Again the ‘progressives’ and the Protestant right have the same ancestry (including the real version of Graham Greene’s Alden Pyle). Interestingly even the old Catholic city bosses, even if they weren’t exactly St Thomas Aquinas, knew better. Go back to boring old politics as management: mind your own business and stay out of foreign wars. From First Things.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

English culture

Talking to Anglocat about the English ‘Reformation’

English culture
...properly understood is not [a] “vain thing”... and that we all surely recognize. It has little to do with Almy, Wippell’s or the King’s College choir. It has much to do with the common law and with those “little platoons” that make up much of English-speaking society — or at least did until the last 50 years or so. It has to do with Shakespeare, Eliot, Lewis and Tolkien. It is the men of the Birkenhead. It is the defense of private property and a sovereign, whether king or president, that rules by the consent of the governed. It is those “permanent things” held dear by the English-speaking peoples. It is conservatism as practiced by those English-speaking peoples and it is on its deathbed. Anglican liturgical practice is just a part of it. The whole has been articulated and defended by Burke, Eliot, Kirk, Orwell, Roger Scruton and others.
From here.