Thursday, July 31, 2008

From the WSJ
  • McIncoherent. No matter. His fan base (angry old men of all ages and both sexes: ‘Bomb ’em!’) isn’t listening any more than the other guy’s (‘it would be, like, so neat to have a black president’).
  • ‘Pick Hillary.’ Like ‘Pick Flick!’ (Earlier I repeated she’s Reese Witherspoon in Election.) Sure, why not? That could cadge a few crucial votes from the centre to do the trick, the working-class Hillarycrats from the primaries and the people almost in SWPL-land who think it’d be neat to have a woman veep ‘just because, OK?’ Just finished Carl Bernstein’s bio of her. She’s not the right’s cartoon of her (she means well and her Christian faith is real) but even Bernstein admits she’s self-righteously ambitious. He doesn’t think she murdered Vince Foster but still.
  • Where’s the outrage? Really! As regular readers know there is much to be cheesed off about but this is still very (unintentionally?) funny. Today very liberal people spend more than twice as much time feeling angry as do political moderates. One in seven is outraged seven days a week. Tee hee.
N.T. Wright rubbishes relativism
O heavenly King, the Comforter, Spirit of Truth, who art everywhere and fillest all things, Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life: come, dwell within us, cleanse us from all sin and save our souls, O good One.
An infallible church means you can’t rewrite the faith like liberal Protestants want to. (In our way the bishops have less not more power!) Fr Ivan D’Aquilina gets it. (We sin. A lot. But we don’t try and bend the faith to say it’s OK.)

Catholics already have a concept for human experience that’s really guided by the Holy Ghost (not modern upper-middle-class received opinion DBA ‘the Spirit’): tradition.

Quid est veritas? How gauche. How un-po-mo. You’ll never be a superstar academic or be invited back to any other kind of SWPL gathering.
... no professor or editor would ever be such a philistine as to ask: “Well, are those premises true?” (I was rebuked many times in graduate seminars for asking just this, and quickly learned… not to mind being rebuked.)

Conveniently enough, the whole “question of truth” has been “problematized,” so your query would simply be vulgar. It would not serve as a valid starting point for criticizing an essay — but rather as a cultural marker that indicated:
You are not one of us. You might as well start sporting a Sons of Confederate Veterans belt buckle, or a t-shirt that reads, “Fire me!”
John Zmirak

(To turn that class on their heads and really cheese them off ask how relativist they are about abortion.)

But there it is.

Don’t settle for imitations (Inclusive Jesus is a better-made Buddy Jesus marketed to a different class):
In a beautiful poem entitled “The Robe of Christ”, the famous poet Joyce Kilmer explains how easy it is to detect the devil when he “comes in his proper form” and to drive him away with the Sign of the Cross, but how difficult it is to discern the genuineness of a robed Christ who appears with a sad face, a crowned head and wounded hands and feet. He turns to Mary for sure guidance, for “Christ’s Mother knows her Son”. She tells him: “This is the Man of Lies, disguised with fearful art; he has the wounded hands and feet, but not the wounded heart”.
Cardinal Dias, brought to my attention by Fr Hunwicke

From Fr Jeffrey Steel.
Black day for the blue pencil
My job’s endangered says The Guardian’s Blake Morrison. I don’t work for a book publisher; for 13 years using a blue fountain pen and Paul Fussell’s descriptions of good and bad writing and speaking I’ve been slashing and burning stiltedness including corporatespeak (big words insecure people use a lot for no reason other than trying to sound stylish) in newspaper copy, tightening up articles so they are clear. From LRC.
Historical political fact
The last time Polish-Americans as a kind of bloc backed one presidential candidate they were for... Edmund Muskie. From Deacon Jim.
From Rational Review

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

St Marina
Adorned with the beauty of virginity, thou hast been crowned with unfading crowns, O Marina. Having shed thy blood in holy martyrdom, and radiant with the miracles of healing, thou hast received from the hand of thy Creator the prize of victory.
Obama’s summer flip-flops
From Taylor Marshall
On icons of God the Father
From Arturo

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Exit strategies
From Pat Buchanan at Taki
Iran is not the enemy
By Dr Ellen Francis, who lived there in the 1960s and 1970s and speaks Farsi
The rise and fall of American mainline Protestantism
The starting-point for Ross Douthat’s recent entry, long but worth the read. Joe Sobran has noted this culture’s good points (I’ll add that Anglo-Catholics may have wanted to bring them home to the true faith by converting Protestants but having them keep these aspects); Murray Rothbard the bad ones. From First Things.

Lansdowne named one of the area’s ‘Classic Towns’
I like it here

Monday, July 28, 2008

From Huw
  • On the Jesus Prayer, which is a good thing of course but I’ve never been a dévotée: The prayer ends “have mercy on me”, an echo not only of the Bible but also the liturgy’s ελεησον ημας, “have mercy on us”. And that brings up the meaning of mercy. “Have mercy on me, a sinner” sounds like (in English) “don’t whip me too much, master, have mercy on me!” But the Greek word ελεησον is related to the word for olive oil, a substance which was used extensively as a soothing agent for bruises and minor wounds. When you read “I screwed up; don’t beat me” into the Jesus Prayer you’re missing the point.
  • On rejecting Catholicism out of ignorance of the Christian East. Huw’s a liberal Protestant himself but fair-minded: Liberal Protestantism, having rejected the erroneous enormities of Augustine’s heirs [Calvin], think they must depart fully from the tradition. In this mindset, there is only one “traditional” way of being Christian — which we reject. Accusing an überpious Roman or Orthodox of biblical literalism is rather like accusing the British of having a US-style Constitution. The long, hotchpotch, partly unwritten British constitution’s not a bad analogy for how tradition works.
  • Many have described the difference between those two Catholic churches rather like this: It is, as I’ve said elsewhere, rather like “reformatting your hard drive” from Windows to Mac: everything is the same, but everything is different.
There are atheists and then there are anti-theists
Many libertarians are atheists (Murray Rothbard was one), which has scared away some Christians. I’d vote for one. Anti-theism is anti-freedom. From Friends of Jake.
The War Party’s credo: power before profits
From Justin Raimondo via Joshua Snyder
The real Americanist heresy
All about self (the Pelagianism of Peale), the logical conclusion of Protestantism or what mainliners and megachurches (putative conservatives) have in common. From Ross Douthat via Mere Comments.
Damian Thompson on Lambeth
Along the same lines as my ‘four Anglicanisms’: Anglo-Catholicism is finished (its surviving remnant in England logically should go over to Rome with Andrew Burnham) so worldwide that would leave one with a few rich liberals, the Episcopalians (Broad Church); many poor conservatives, the Africans (Evangelical); and a rump of people loyal to Rowan Williams (modern Central Church) as three separate denominations. Makes sense. Considering the strong Evangelical party in the C of E with the Bishop of Rochester as a possible leader this could split that church bringing up the question of disestablishment.
“The official line is still that by the end of the week delegates are expected to reach consensus on tricky issues such as homosexuality” — are these same officials going to be doing a comedy turn at the Edinburgh Fringe?

Which of these three Anglican communions would the RC bishops’ conference of England and Wales continue cosying up to? Perhaps with the woolly centrist Rowan-led faction? Oh, what a surprise!
Unless Pope Benedict does some Augean-like house-cleaning as part of bringing the Anglo-Catholics in and putting one Tridentine Mass in every RC parish, yes.

There are still orthodox Christians within the C of E.
But Catholics are ecclesial beings under a bishop — not just any man or woman claiming to be a bishop, as a landlord and/or ordaining machine, but a Catholic bishop in communion with the rest of the world’s Catholic bishops — not ritualist congregationalists or Christian Lone Rangers like Protestants.

(Of course this argument works for the Orthodox as well as Rome.)
From LRC
  • Don’t vote. There’s an old saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” Said another way, “If you want to know what a person values, don’t listen to what they say, only watch what they do.” Think about it. The political system in America is populated with men and women who give lip service to the Constitution, but then go on to vote for every unconstitutional spending bill presented to them. They talk about the virtues of our constitutional republic, and then act to subvert and violate that very system of government.
  • Netroots nothing. The ancestors to the Netroots Nation are the knee-jerk liberals of the Democratic Party’s sorry past. We are finding out that Obama’s ideological leanings are – like oil in the world’s vast global markets – fungible. Like Republican national leaders of the recent past, Obama will try to borrow and spend the country’s way to prosperity if elected. He said a few weeks ago that balancing the budget is no longer a priority for him. About the only thing liberalism shares in common with libertarianism is a belief that people should be left alone to pursue whatever lifestyles and associations that they choose.
  • On flags in church and conservative-Protestant worship of the state, rather the mirror of the small religious left’s statism; the latter rightly don’t like flags in church but might as well have them.
  • Cold Stone Dead Creamery. I’ve never been but am not missing anything.
The problem of sovereignty in modern America
Two parts so far of three at Taki
  • Thomas Woods on authority issues.
  • John Zmirak on anarcho-traditionalism.
  • Murray Rothbard was always at pains to note that libertarianism was a political philosophy only, dealing exclusively with the proper use of violence in society, and as such had nothing to say about aesthetics, culture, sexual morality, or any other subject. That was why Rothbard rejected Frank Meyer’s “fusionism”: someone whose political philosophy is antistatist, regardless of his views on the spectrum of other issues of concern to conservatives, is a libertarian, period.

    We need government to uphold the norms of morality, I am told by people who specialize in the unintentionally funny.

    … establishing rival centers of power within the state, and thriving institutions of civil society and Church that serve as the main guarantors of order — all this is the heritage of Anglo-American conservatism.

    Whatever a fruitful cooperation of Church and state might have accomplished in 19th-century Bavaria, or 1940s Portugal, it can’t happen here. It’s time to scrape the needle on the Trad’s favorite LP, “Don’t… Stop… Thinking About the Carlists…” and get with the program: Rendering a whole lot less unto Caesar, so we can save up something for God.
The enlightener of Russia
St Vladimir, 1,020 years ago

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The spanner in the works of Roman-Orthodox reunion
Like I said, the foundation and scope of the Pope: divinely instituted with universal jurisdiction or man-made rank with limited jurisdiction? (Not the same as the Western liberals who don’t like him because he’s Catholic and thus doesn’t claim a power to change things as they’d like.)
Romanism [sic] and Byzantinism [sic] both make claims of ecclesial ultimacy.
Right, both believe in an infallible church.
But their respective claims are mutually exclusive, as the former insists on papal supremacy and the latter on the received faith of the ecumenical councils. Thus, despite whatever superficial similarities Rome and Byzantium may have, they are different ways of understanding what it means to be catholic.
Dan Dunlap

I wouldn’t say they’re superficial like many Orthodox controversialists say but deep like Soloviev said, but yes, that’s the insurmountable problem dividing what’s nearly the same church (which is why on the ground in so many places today they’re obviously not the same church).

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Good stuff from Joshua Snyder
  • Just asking. Chronicles’ resident curmudgeon: What happens to a “service economy” when people no longer have the money to pay for service? And several more good questions.
  • An ex-Christian Zionist faces facts on Israel. Toynbee: The treatment of the Palestinian Arabs in 1947 (and 1948) was as morally indefensible as the slaughter of six million Jews by the Nazis. Though nor comparable in quantity to the crimes of the Nazis, it was comparable in quality.
  • South Dakota and its native people on abortion: I would imagine that having been the subject of genocide might make a group a little bit focused on keeping the generational train on the tracks.
  • Taki’s John Zmirak is spot-on regarding being an actually Catholic RC in America: From a mass religion that exercised a sweaty grip on the minds of tens of millions, the American church in the past 40 years has become something very different: An exotic, almost esoteric sect of old believers, hidden inside the shell of a mainline Protestant denomination. Which of course is a lot like being a Catholic Anglican.
Obama schmaltz jumps the shark in Berlin
Quotable stuff from Rod Dreher. This is what matters and why I won’t vote for him: not his colour, his middle name, the fibs he tells about his life (more), which church he uses for publicity or his choice of lapel pin:
This is just a liberal, Mr. van Driessen version of the high-minded, crusading universalism of G.W. Bush’s second inaugural address.
Of course ‘if only people mystically come together’ apes the church.
‘Would it be fair to conclude that the powers that be have not got a clue as to what they are teaching us?’
That’s generous. From the LRC blog.
From LRC
  • Bernanke’s hush money or how the FDIC really works.
  • The debt delusion and the Ron Paul solution.
  • Afghanistan. Obama the phoney peace candidate wants to send more soldiers there.
    Our sole interest [there] should be to get Osama bin Laden. After that, we should bring our guys home. It’s none of our business what kind of government Afghanistan has or if it even has a government.
    Saddam Hussein... had no truck with terrorists or with the attack on the U.S. [He] supported the Palestinians in their struggle for independence, but he disliked the Syrian government and hated the Iranians.

Centralia in black-and-white infrared images
A normal photo (St Mary’s Church on the north side of town)

Friday, July 25, 2008

From Steve Sailer
A Savage attack
John Pitney answers a talk-radio bully. The solution as with most things is not with the state but yes. From Rod Dreher.
For those who follow it, Charley explains the Episcopal row
Parts I, II and III. From Covenant.

The icon of the Mother of God of the Three Hands
Liberal conservatives
Intellectual conservatism — left or right — is not historical re-enactment. It doesn’t merely strive to save the past or seek to revive it in its full odor. It fights to preserve virtues and folkways that have been known to work, over time. And confronting new realities, it prefers the known devil to the new one.
Exposing Bush’s historic abuse of power
Some Ron Paul Q&A
From Bill Faust
McCain has the nomination — pack it up, dude, and down a cold one.

Ah, Grasshopper, the media love to report the self-immolation that McCain commits every time he opens his mouth. Seriously, the guy’s clueless and he can’t hide it anymore (although Katie Couric tries to help him).

I love Ron Paul, but I’m thinking about voting for Obama. What’s your take on him?

If you’re young, you’ll love the mountains of Afghanistan.

Why is the media treating Ron like a rock star now? Didn’t he quit?

No, Ron suspended his campaign. He remains eligible to be nominated while the media are currently keen to interview him as an expert on the financial system’s systemic failure. Free advertising while waiting in the wings.

I would give you a zillion ounces of gold, but I maxed out on donations.

You can’t trick me. FEC regs do not apply to donations made to delegates. Keep the gold and send some cash.

Man, things are getting expensive with the price of everything going up and the economy sucks.

The quickening has just barely started, so you ain’t seen nothing yet. Do something about it or just watch it get monstrously worse.

What’s the point if McCain doesn’t get tossed aside at the convention?

Ron’s Campaign for Liberty (C4L) is going to kick some bad Republicans to the curb after their head is handed to them in the fall elections. Sending Pennsylvania’s Ron Paul delegates to the convention to build for the future is one important part of this process.

I got news for you — America is lost.

It is logical to fight. The key is to destroy the federal government’s main weapon — a fraudulent fiat currency. Police-state laws, mercantile wars, the Federal Reserve, federal income tax and the IRS would all fall away without that tool of economic thievery through inflation. You can fight or accept being less free, less affluent and less secure. The choice is yours.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ich bin ein Dukakis
This citizen-of-the-world stuff (the same thinking that brought you the wonderful war in Indochina) is preaching to the SWPL choir but likely will p*ss off the Middle Americans whose votes he needs. More. From Daniel Larison.
Some fun, some frights, some good news and some sad
  • Fun at work: in the newsroom yesterday as the paper went to press we had an editorial from a man with one of those difficult (to Anglo-Americans) Italian surnames, Ciarrocchi (the Ci is a sh sound; cch a k: ‘Sherocky’ is close enough), and as we were waiting to get an e-mail with his picture the editor kept asking for the Crotchy photo. (Not even Croachy like Jim or Pat Croce.) AFAIK we’re still more or less a family-orientated paper so none of that or Page Three.
  • Where were you when the lights went out? Got Ref’s severe weather a couple of days later, giving some respite from the heat (in the 90s F; about 35 in the new money), but I happened to be awake from the driving rain and lots of lightning around 2 in the morning when everything electric went deathly still. No harm done here though. The next night we got another storm: marvellous lightning spiderwebbing across the sky! The only trouble was briefly I had to be out in it.
  • RC high school now an old-age home for the poor. Deo gratias. I’m often in the neighbourhood and hated to see what was obviously an ‘anchor’ property from a 1950s golden age go to waste. Glad to see that’s changed.
  • My rector and father confessor of 12 years has prostate cancer. Jesu, mercy. Mary, pray.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A way to say ‘tolerant conservatism’
The Latin adage ‘Suaviter in forma, fortiter in re’ (gentle in form, firm as to principle).
From Tea at Trianon.
Ecclesiastical bibs, bobs and larfs
The Republicans have ruined America
The neoconned Republican Party is the greatest threat America has ever faced.
From LRC.

My pie-chart impression of the election so far
I don’t claim this is to scale!
  • Blue: SWPL. ‘It would be neat to have a black president.’
  • Red: The Abe Simpson vote. ‘Bomb ’em!’
  • Purple: The muddled middle or the big battleground. Win some of these and you get the White House. (The rest, like me and some other libertarians, are staying home.) ‘The price of gas is killing me. I don’t like the war but the government is, you know, protecting our freedom. Did you see “Idol” last night?’
From Joshua Snyder

Orthodox entries today
  • The father of Russian monasticism, Venerable Anthony of the Kiev Far Caves.
  • St Justin Popovich on the communion of saints, parts I and II.
    And truly: the shadow of the Apostle Peter healed; by a word St Mark the Ascetic moved and stopped a mountain... When God became man, then Divine life became human life, Divine power became human power, Divine truth became human truth, and Divine righteousness became human righteousness: everything which is God’s became man’s.

    Actually, the lives of the saints prove irrefutably that Ethics is nothing other than Applied Dogmatics.
    From Orrologion.
Photo: Greek Rite clergy in Italy (Greek Catholics), from Hallowedground.
William Byrd’s double life
More. From TNLM.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Penny psychology from talk radio
As bad as the Protestant right saying weak/absent fathers turn boys gay, the experts last century blaming schizophrenia on bad mothering and the left pathologising conservatives
The First Amendment says he gets to spout his lunacy, and I don’t think it should be illegal of course, but at what point should his radio station pull the plug?

I don’t think firing him would have any bearing on his right to free speech at all; it might have a bearing on his ‘right’ to publicity though.
From the Ship.
Please do your best to be someone better than who you truly are... Everyone’s authentic self is horrid. God’s message to man has always been, ‘You can’t really be good, but you can fake it. Really.’
— P.J. O’Rourke (he’s good; met him)
When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
— C.S. Lewis

More on spectrum stuff from The Cigarette Smoking Blog. Both victimology and Mr Savage are wrong.
Three from Hilary White
Rendering public opinion irrelevant
One of the most striking aspects of our political discourse, particularly during election time, is how efficiently certain views that deviate from the elite consensus are banished from sight — simply prohibited — even when those views are held by the vast majority of citizens.

That remarkable dynamic of debate-suppression is most conspicuous — and most urgent — when the policies favored by the political establishment are ones that are vigorously rejected by the citizenry.
About Palestine for example.

Don’t miss the part on Iranian public opinion either.
There are all sorts of reasons why our presidential elections center on personality-based sideshows.

But one principal reason is that so many of the government’s most consequential actions are concealed behind a wall of secrecy and thus not subject to public debate.
From LRC.
Getting out of Iraq
By Ron Paul
The effect of modern war is to eliminate retrogressive types, while sparing the technocracy and increasing its hold upon public affairs.
— C.S. Lewis

Monday, July 21, 2008

Chickenhawks of the ‘Enlightenment’
Myers and cohort simply do not recognize the church’s right to defend the place and circumstances of their worship; they essentially assert that their certainty regarding what they see as its delusional and silly nature empowers them to interfere with it.
From AmConMag.
Taki’s Tom Piatak and I like ‘The X-Files’ for many of the same reasons
Unlike much of television science fiction it wasn’t liberal!
Religion today

In Russia celebrating the feast last Thursday of the sainted Tsar Nicholas II and his family and servants. The church says, ‘Come with us’.

Photo from Andrew Cusack.

Soldier in famous Iraq photo later died trying to huff away memories of the war
RIP Joseph Dwyer, another soul Messrs Bush and company will have to answer to God for. From John Boyden.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Richard the Lion-Hearted and Rowan Williams
Perhaps less than fair (and we are talking about the Daily Mail after all) as we’re not given the context or entirety of Dr Williams’ remarks but Tom Piatak and some of his commenters at Taki make a good point about the difference between on one hand the fairness and decency of orthodox Christianity, acknowledging the goodness in an enemy (King Richard on Saladin), and a false humility (the politically correct mania for apologising for things Christians have done throughout history) on the other that’s at best mistaken and at worst has been described thus by Dante at Damian Thompson’s:
The trouble with Rowan Williams is that he’s afraid to take a stand on basic Christian beliefs. Alas, because he’s fearful of upsetting the “would be” dictators of atheistic totalitarianism in Britain.
He’s credally orthodox but in a way that doesn’t go against modern received opinion (roughly what Modernists mean by the will of God or ‘the Spirit’).

A bit of perspective: most Americans don’t know or care who he is. (Lest this be taken as unduly picking on the Anglicans the same is true of the Orthodox patriarchs.)
There’s a growing totalitarianism in Britain which is cleverly and craftily disguised. It’s disguised because the would-be dictators — and there are many of them — all pretend to be more tolerant than thou.
A good description of the kind of liberal churchgoer (usually of a certain age or older) crying online because somewhere conservative churches exist, a ‘sensitivity’ that offends my libertarian sensibilities as much as my Catholic ones.
They hide alongside the anti-racists, the anti-homophobes and anti-sexists. But what they are really against is something very different. They — call them secular fundamentalists — are anti-God, and what they really want is the eradication of religion, and all believers, from the face of the earth.
Well, the milder American version of this logical terminus of Protestantism with its private judgement is ‘spiritual not religious’ or having Christian trappings but I not God or a church call the shots.
In recent years these unpleasant people have had a strategy of exploiting Britain’s innate politeness. They realised that ... overly sensitive souls had bent over backwards to avoid giving offence. Trying not to give offence was, despite the excesses, a noble courtesy.
As Joe Sobran has said, Protestants, who are often wonderful, can be too nice for their own good and thus taken advantage of.

I like the idea of the state backing off and religious groups policing themselves, as Dr Williams recently suggested about sharia, as long as they don’t harm others (so no more ‘no-go’ Muslim zones in parts of England).

P.S. Like Russell Kirk I’m a liberal!
The author may be from North America, however, and so he thinks he means “liberals” when he really means what we here call “socialists”, and kinds of other fascist leftists: these are actually are the enemies of Christendom, and its second cradle, Western civilisation. In England, what we (and I in particular) mean by “liberals” is what he would call “libertarians”.
Update/correction to Church of England Anglo-Catholic story
Bishop Burnham is not asking for recognition of Anglican orders, of course, nor even conditional reordination, which can only be done after long and time-wasting ‘genealogical’ research. But he is asking for the group identity of the ex-Anglicans to be preserved in some way compatible with Catholic tradition.
Damian Thompson

Scene near home

St Charles, Drexel Hill

Friday, July 18, 2008

Religion round-up
  • American RCs as cultural Protestants. Pretty good and right up Arturo’s street. But there’s no such thing as Catholic economics, just economics. Believing in Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand doesn’t make one a Calvinist! Think Salamanca. From AnarchoCatholic.
  • How about a swop? Benedict XVI could kill two birds with one stone if he traded the RC subscribers to The Tablet for the conservative C of E Anglo-Papalists. Such a deal!!
  • Damian Thompson is a great journalistic cheerleader, but what we need nowadays are realistic expectations, not wildly exaggerated hopes.
  • Today’s ex-Christians: juvenile scoffers vs respectable classical pagans. Joshua writes: The Camille Paglias, the Umberto Ecos, and the Oriana Fallacis all have the intellectual honesty and courage to take the Catholic faith seriously, even if they disagree with her claims. But as Joe Sobran and Charley remind me, historically the really militant ones came from the Continent (the flip side of Catholicism’s all-or-nothing package deal but usually that flattens out to the Mediterranean/Latin-American laissez-faire approach that Arturo writes about) and the mild ones from the English tradition (the college common room and old-school Anglican friendly rivalries).
  • On converts by Arturo.
  • Related to this topic, Michael Liccione writes that Moretben has ’doxed, a traditionalist who’s not gone anti-Western. I like him. Always did. Once again the question that divides what is nearly the same church is: is the papacy divinely instituted with universal jurisdiction or a man-made rank for the good order of the church and with limited jurisdiction? (A far cry from Jack Chick or the Western liberals who really want more power to change things than an infallible church gives.)
  • 90 years ago yesterday the sainted tsar, his family and their loyal servants were martyred. Reading Robert Massie convinced me of their goodness.
The market works
In LRC today
SWPL: Comparing people to Hitler
In the game of upper-middle-class one-upmanship (‘sounding smarter than their peers’), ‘all human beings can be neatly filed into one of two categories: People I Agree With, and People Who are Just Like Adolf Hitler’.
It’s also critical that you avoid the fatal mistake of getting creative and comparing people you don’t like to other evil dictators, such as Joseph Stalin or Fidel Castro. With few exceptions, white people are actually fond of almost any dictator not named Hitler, and your remark that “this is just like something Mao Zedong would do” will be met with blank stares and possible social alienation. This is because, with the exception of Hitler, oppressive dictators share a passion for many of the things white people love — such as universal health care, conspiracy theories, caring about poor people while being filthy rich, and cool hats. Stick to the script and compare things you don’t like to Hitler, and Hitler alone.
It also explains Che Guevara T-shirts and posters.

They don’t like Francisco Franco because he was Catholic (which of course doesn’t mean he was perfect or his way of governing would necessarily work outside Latin countries: legitimism).

AmConMag has multiple reviews of Buchanan’s WWII book
From Joshua Snyder:
Both Dorothy Day and the America First Committee were right to oppose America’s entry into that fool war.
The America Firsters and Neville Chamberlain (his reputation comes from Churchill’s lying) had similar sensible ideas (and Chamberlain didn’t want to ally with the Soviets):
British leaders — especially Chamberlain — were not blind to the German threat and rearmed against it by building up the Royal Air Force and Navy.

As the archives show, Chamberlain was never an advocate of “peace at any price.” He made clear that Britain would resist direct German aggression in Western Europe but — like all post-1919 British governments — did not regard Britain’s vital interests as being at stake in East Central Europe.
The road to hell and all that
Increasing the number of black male librarians has become a hot topic [at the American Library Association].

Why is it in black men’s interest to get recruited into a notoriously low-paying career?
It’s not even about equal opportunity (which of course is the right thing; forcing equal outcomes is unfair, unnatural and bad for society). Of course quotas are wrong.
Seldom does any race-based recruitment campaign stem from a hardheaded analysis of what’s in the best interest of the minorities. Instead, affirmative action is an automatic response by white leaders to their discomfort over their Black Lack. African-Americans have enough problems of their own without taking on this new Black Man’s Burden of helping whites feel better about themselves.
Ron Paul’s right of course that race-based anything — this and ‘Bantu education’ — is anti-freedom collectivism.

From Steve Sailer.
Ron Paul: ‘Some Big Events are about to occur’
That will cause liberty to go ‘into deep hibernation’
... current empire-building financed through inflation and debt signals a most frightening period in history.
From Brian Underwood.
Bush’s War No. 3: Iran?
Somebody in the mainstream media gets it

Thursday, July 17, 2008

They’re all whores
In bed with Fannie and Freddie. If you think Kang and Kodos McBama and Ocain are impartial about the mortgage problem think again. From Steve Sailer.
Instead of a highly efficient Teutonic machine, my psyche works much more like one of Rube Goldberg’s old inventions, creaking along in the manner of the Habsburg monarchy, with Turks and Croats side by side, with Sigmund Freud and Karl Lueger smoking cigars at the same café. And that’s how I like things, thank you very much.
— John Zmirak at Taki
Afghanistan: Obama’s ‘good war’
From Taki
Why does fuel in the US now cost so much?
The inflationary chickens have come home to roost: a massive market correction
The simple fact of the matter is that gas has been over $4.00 a gallon outside the U.S., off and on, for years.

Gas purchased in the U.S. now costs just about what it should, given inflation between now and 1971.

Comparing the cost of a gallon of gas to “real money” like silver — the value of a gallon of gas is relatively unchanged. The cost of a gallon of gas in terms of the fake, inflation-roasted dollars we all must use, well, that’s another story.

So why has the price changed so fast recently? The answer is the same as always: the State did it.

“The premise is that the rate of oil price increase proves that no free market is operating.”

My guess: the controls placed on gasoline prices in the U.S. wore out.
The Greater Depression and what you should do about it
Hunker down, save your money and stay in the state of grace
I believe in the existence of the business cycle. That’s partly because almost everything in life is cyclical.

Government intervention in the economy — through taxes, regulation and, most importantly, currency inflation — causes distortions and misallocations of capital that must eventually be unwound.

The boom was financed largely by debt, which made everybody feel and act much wealthier than they really were. It’s as though you borrowed a million dollars and spent it all on wine, song and high living.
It’s like the Prodigal Son with interest rates.

‘Simpsons’ reference: it’d be nice if everything turned sepia-tone. ‘Makes me all nostalgic.’

Little war criminals get punished; big ones don’t
Hussein is hanged, Miloševič hauled off to the Hague...
... of course the Great Moral West does not commit war crimes. War crimes are charges fobbed off on people demonized by the Western media, such as... the Sudanese al-Bashir.

Iraqis and Afghans suffer the same fate.

The West gives itself and Israel a pass while damning everyone else.

A kid who trained guard dogs is being deported as a war criminal, but the head of state who launched two wars of naked aggression, resulting in the deaths of more than 1.2 million people, and who has the entire world on edge awaiting his third war of aggression, this time against Iran, is received respectfully by foreign governments.
Feel-good marches do nothing. Bush and Cheney will get away with it.

Same advice as above: dig in, say your prayers and wait for it all to screech to a halt as it goes broke. Stay home in November.

From LRC.
Click and Clack’s ‘As the Wrench Turns’
Wonderfully drawn and the writers seem hip and learned, and... not funny. Must be PBS.

The commercial ‘King of the Hill’ does it better, and it’s often... conservative.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

From Joshua Snyder
Don’t blame me when McBama or Ocain put the last shovels on the grave of the Old Republic; we had the chance, my fellow Americans, as Wyatt, a.k.a. “Captain America,” said as if answering Benjamin Franklin’s famous “A republic ... if you can keep it” remark at the end of Easy Rider (1969), “We blew it, man; we blew it.”
A conservatism that identifies with McGovern more than Reagan, Gore Vidal more than William F. Buckley Jr., and the New Left more than the religious right probably has no political future. Neither does a [Bill] Kauffmanesque coalition of libertarians and socialists, segregationists and Black Panthers, hippies and Birchers, however interesting that coalition might be.
— W. James Antle III

Future or not, count me in.
Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why bother blogging about Anglicanism?
Rod Dreher gets it:
Some Anglican friends have wondered why so many of us non-Anglicans are so interested in that communion’s auto-destruction. Believe me, it’s not Schadenfreude, at least not for the interested parties I know. Part of it — I’m thinking in specific of an Anglophile RC priest friend — is a true love for Anglican prayers and piety, which he hates to see disappearing as the C of E collapses.
Certainly true of us for whom it was our home, our first church. A culture I’ve described many times before that deserves a place in the larger church where it always really belonged.

I try to limit my non-clobbering Catholic blogging on this to the best of the past (something I got to experience the tail-end of) and the the future of what’s left of Anglo-Catholicism (in the Roman Church for example) and to hold off on the rest until the intramural Protestant battle royale between the First World liberals with their big bucks and the Third World conservatives with their massive numbers is over, which won’t be any time soon.

This way to the larger church, chaps. (Photo from Anglican Wanderings.)
Who pays for state health-insurance mandates? You do!
‘Charity’ with other people’s money. From the Commonwealth Foundation.

The foundation’s Nathan Benefield also writes:
Pennsylvania already has 38 mandated-coverage provisions. These raise the cost of insurance by as much as 50 percent. In essence, these unfunded mandates are a tax on working Pennsylvanians who pay for their own health insurance. And while mandates are generally promoted as ways to help “the people,” they are often pushed by health-care and specialty providers that benefit from costly coverage.

Placing mandates on insurance providers forces everyone to pay more for insurance, even those who do not want and will never use the additional coverage.

Instead of mandates, autism and young-adult coverage could be offered as optional riders: people buying insurance could buy more coverage.

Instead of more mandates, lawmakers should adopt reforms that allow people to buy low-cost, mandate-lite insurance. Another alternative would be to allow people to opt out or waive certain coverage mandates to reduce the cost of their insurance.

The only way to substantially reduce the cost of health care is to put people in charge, not government bureaucrats.
Two from Steve
Haloscan’s fixed
Thanks, Mr Loux, but do hire someone who can write in English not corporatespeak
Signs of depression
There is Steve Sailer’s and others’ point that what looked like the state being charitable and just (equal opportunity, which of course is just and which a truly free market gives, as Mises explained) really wasn’t: enabling easy (zero-down for example) mortgages for poor people not known for being able to afford houses or honour debts, pushing that, and when the scam collapsed of course everybody else ends up having to pay for it, just like the neocons’ war on Iraq. Here the state was trying to throw up a Potemkin village (a good metaphor for rotting foreclosed exurbs if I may say so) of equal outcomes, which of course are unnatural, really unfair and don’t promote flourishing in the long run.

Monday, July 14, 2008

175 years ago today
Two from Joshua Snyder
Three from LRC
C of E Catholic Anglican round-up
Rule of law? Screw it, says US president
From Rod Dreher
Immigration again
The folks I hear virtuously proclaiming their concern most loudly never seem to be the ones who would even consider taking jobs like those left open after an immigration raid.

Additionally, it has been my experience that if the illegal immigrants in question look and sound “like Americans” (rather than having darker skin and a non-Euro accent), the heat in the argument seems to drop dramatically.
Revd Jane

I understand Philadelphia for some reason is the No. 1 destination in America of illegal immigrants from Ireland.

Recently Barack Obama said all American schoolchildren should learn Spanish.

Steve Sailer and his friends say:
Anyone who lives near a ghetto knows the tension between blacks and Hispanics right now.

Obama should go to a black church in Compton and tell the congregation to teach their children Spanish. I bet that would go over well.
Obama’s position strikes me as SWPL one-upmanship over the ‘wrong’ class of white people (whom everybody knows he doesn’t like), coming from yuppies whose jobs aren’t threatened by illegal immigration and who even benefit from the cheap labour though they’re loth to admit it. It’s foolish in this election because even though the race-baiting from part of the right is horrible, this pushes away the working-class white votes he needs to have a chance of winning. Like blacks they’re more likely to be competing with illegal immigrants for income and resources.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

How the Italians became Irish, sort of
More ethnic observations from this essay and Arturo
The folk religion of the contadini was no Sunday affair. Rather, it was a total system of beliefs and practices, a “sacred cosmos.”

For Irish and other
[Roman] Catholics, however, co-habitation with Protestants both here and in the the old country proved to be a tempering element in some of the more atavistic elements of traditional Catholicism.
All the liberalising movements come from the ageing boomers and the generation before them in Protestant countries.
Suburbanization, the emptying of ethnic ghettos, and the generalized secularization of the [Roman] Catholic Church’s practices at the Second Vatican Council also meant that the Italian immigrants became less and less “Italian” and more American. To a certain extent it remained “Irish” in its overall tenor.
Irish tenor. Ha ha.

Thomas Day gets it.
Ironically by allying itself with the forces of rationalization and bureaucratization, the Church facilitated the process of secularization which has eroded so deeply modern man’s capacity for religious faith. The Italian immigrants brought with them an ancient religious culture, a Mediterranean sensibility pervaded by mysticism and passion. The American Church rejected this gift, to its and their great loss.

My own sentiments lead me to be quite skeptical of the attempts at the modernization of Roman Catholicism. In general, the objectors to the traditional religion of the Italian peasants were often either advocates of secular modernity or those who had been contaminated by its prejudices. The Irish, though putting up a brave fight to preserve the Faith of the their Fathers, inevitably adopted many of the attitudes of their oppressors and the Jansenist clergy who had trained them. When faced with a Catholicism that was untouched by the polemics of the Reformation, they felt that their co-religionists would endanger their psychological security in the face of a hostile Protestant environment. The main problem, echoing Vecoli, is that modernity had lost the traditional language of religion, its symbols, passions, and rituals.

Inevitably, the general result was that they did not turn the Italians into good Irish Catholics, but that the descendants of the Italians, as well as of the Irish and other immigrant groups, wandered into the wilderness of secularized American religion, and thus in many cases lost the Faith altogether. The vital question remains if more recent waves of immigrants will follow this same route.

As you (and perhaps Vecoli) intimate, the story of the “Americanization” of the Italian immigrant Roman Catholic religiosity is itself part of a much, much larger story, what Weber and later sociologists have called “the disenchantment of the world”
Comment: I don’t romanticise error but as always Arturo has a point.
Seen at coffee hour in the garden at my favourite local shrine ;)

Fellows who have no interest in sport and lament the horrible culture of our age.
A bit of Pythonish fun resembling young fogeyhood. Anti-laddishness.

Women can be YFs.

From Fr Dwight Longenecker.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

No great power should ever give to a small ally or client state a blank cheque to drag it into war
This raises the question: Has President Bush given Israel a blank check?
From Taki.
A credal nation
Or ethnic observations and race, tribe and class revisited. There’s the error of phyletism, a nationalism that degenerates into ethnocentrism and racism, but the proposed solution, a nation as a set of principles/abstraction, can be just as bad because it depends on a state for its existence and often really means upper-middle-class/liberal Protestant/SWPL values forced upon everybody else (can you say anti-Catholic?): ‘Please, no more incense in church or garlic in your food!’ Today the SWPL like the latter (it’s ‘authentic’ — exotic — and thus cool) and their churchgoing parents don’t mind much if you play high church but please, no more garlic in your theology, or sure, you can believe that stuff as long as it doesn’t go against modern received opinion in any way. The ‘Speak English!’ of the Noughties. From Tea at Trianon.

Immigration revisited
From Hoosier Musings
The Web is the most conservative force on earth
Digital technology has made us a society of mass archivers, says Charles Leadbeater. Far from rotting our brains, the web enables us to preserve all our memories.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How Obama got the Middle America/working-class-white vote?
The one he needs to win. Not with corn-syrup ads claiming he’s just a Kansas farm boy at heart and worked in Chicago to help Stan Grebowski the unemployed steelworker. He probably won’t get it anyway (good — he’s a fraud) but either he’s got some clever campaign people or this is just dumb luck.

First Jeremiah Wright gets thrown under the bus (‘We helped cause 9/11’? ‘The Palestinians have a point’?! GET HIM!), then Trinity United Church of Christ (‘adiós, Jesus’) and now (because he’s got the black vote no matter who he really is or what he does)...

‘Vote for Obama. Jesse Jackson wants to cut his nuts off. I’m Barack Obama and I approved this message.’
If I were an Obama supporter, I’d be thrilled by this. You really can’t ask for better publicity.

I find it delicious that Jesse’s true colors are coming out, and that he greatly diminishes himself by trashing Obama for speaking out against victimology, especially for doing what Jackson himself has always lacked the guts to do.

Jackson is yesterday’s model, a man who arguably did some good in standing up for his people, but who metastasized into a race hustler and shakedown artist, a man who personally profited from keeping alive a sense of grievance and victimization among African-Americans — and stoking a sense of guilt among white power-holders and power-brokers (e.g., the news media), which indulging Jackson and his schemes were meant to assuage.

I think the professional suicide of Jesse Jackson is something to be cheered, and a real changing of the guard moment in American politics.

It is only too fitting that it should come by Jackson trashing Obama for speaking to black audiences about taking personal responsibility for their lives — the one thing Jesse Jackson has not done, because it would have put him out of a job. (Or rather, made him get a real job.)
From Rod Dreher.

Daniel Larison on the matter.