Tuesday, March 31, 2009

From Taki
Five plagiarists
From Cracked

Up the ad orientem content and Bob’s your uncle
From Dr Tighe

Monday, March 30, 2009

From Stephen Hand
Peering into the abyss
Peter Schiff:
President Obama and the majority of our leadership on both sides of the aisle are confident that the right mix of monetary and fiscal policy can restart the spending party that defined America for a generation. And as the bleary-eyed revelers wisely reach for a cup of black coffee or stumble into a rehab center, Obama is pouring grain alcohol into the punch bowl hoping to lure the walking zombies back onto the dance floor. Europe and Asia fully understand that Obama will ask them to lend the booze.

Printing money is merely taxation in another form. Rather than robbing citizens of their money, government robs their money of its purchasing power. Many people assume that if government provides the funds we can spend our way back to prosperity. However, it’s not money we lack but production. If the government simply prints money and doles it out, we will not be able to buy more stuff; we will simply pay higher prices. The only way to buy more is to produce more. It is production that creates purchasing power.
From LRC via Joshua.

From RR
From Hilary
Limitless costs of perpetual war
From Daniel Larison
Blaming capitalism will not end the recession

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pelted by hail
Glad I was indoors and have got WeatherBug and the Weather Channel, and that this didn’t smash my car! There’s nothing like watching a hailstorm from an upper-storey room with three windows.
Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
On Orthodox-RC relations
  • From Fr Hunwicke. On Orthodoxy’s ‘guru status’ among Westerners who forget it’s Catholic and on byzantinisations in the Western Rite.
  • A Roman Catholic criticises Not of This World.
  • From an Orthodox priest who’s not anti-Western. This is long; to sum up, the scope of the Pope (divinely instituted office channelling the church’s infallibility believed in by both sides or man-made office for the good order of the church?) is what’s separating these Catholic churches.
    Though I certainly deplore the lack of unified rite and process for receiving other Christians into the Orthodox Catholic Church, Orthodoxy’s current diversity in this matter is more reflective, I believe, of an identical diversity within the Church of the first millennium.

    The proper way to receive schismatics and/or heretics into the Church was a matter of variation and considerable debate back in those days. What is deplorable today is that the Orthodox have not yet codified their canons.

    One suspects this persistence of this diversity among the Orthodox is to be explained by several factors, such as:

    A widespread disagreement among the Orthodox as to whether Roman Catholics are simply schismatics or heretics —

    An inability among the Anglicans (as it appears to the Orthodox) to decide whether they are Catholics or Protestants —

    Orthodoxy’s bewilderment at that incredible historical confusion (as it appears to the Orthodox) that goes by the name Protestantism —

    A longstanding isolation among the Orthodox themselves (a phenomenon unknown among Western Christians, who enjoyed the luxury of not living under Seljuk and Ottoman oppression for many centuries) —

    These facts, I believe, account for inability of the Orthodox to codify her canons, including those canons that govern the admission of non-Orthodox Christians.

    If this latter problem seems a difficult thing to grasp, consider that Roman Catholic Canon Law, which determined the proper way to receive non-Roman Catholics into the Catholic Church, was codified only about a hundred years ago, under St. Pius X.

    Until that codification there was a considerable diversity among Roman Catholics about how to receive non-Roman Catholics into the Roman Catholic Church.

    Give the Orthodox a bit more time, please, to get our canons in order. Until 20 years ago, 99% of Orthodox Christians lived under either Muslim or Communist governments. There was no possibility for us to establish international commissions of canon lawyers to work out these problems.

    Nor is it easy, even today. For example, the principal See of the Orthodox Church is still not permitted to run its own seminary.

    Suppose for a moment that Napoleon would have prevailed, and the Holy See of Rome was completely surrounded by — and at the whim and disposition of — a political power inimical to the Gospel.

    What would the Church of Rome look like today, with neither Gregorian University nor any of the score of other theological faculties in Rome?

    Well, among other things, I believe, there would have been no codification of Roman Catholic Canon Law, and the Roman practice of receiving non-Catholics would reflect the great diversity of canons on that subject accumulated over the course of many centuries.

    Roman Catholicism’s most enviable display of canonical unity today is something for which we all owe the Almighty an extra
    Te Deum from time to time. Let us remember, however, that it came at a very high price. I have always known this, but my current reading of a long biography of Pope Pius VII has refreshed my appreciation of it.

    Had they lived during the time of Pope Pius VII, I wonder if Orthodoxy’s current critics would have insulted that great churchman for not producing a unified and consistent code of canon law.

    The shocking phenomenon exhibited in the wise and holy Pope Pius VII — languishing under Napoleon’s oppression and persecution — has been repeated scores of times in the Orthodox Church.

    To describe Orthodoxy’s current canonical problems as simply an example of “proto-Protestantism” is, I believe, unjustified by either our theology or our history. That is to say, I regard the comment as unjust.

    Until very, very recently, the Orthodox Church has been obliged to neglect the upkeep of her canons. I deplore this deficiency, but it is a simple fact that the Orthodox Church has been very busy burying her martyrs.

    Believe me, I am happy to concede your criticism about Mount Athos and the inordinate sway it has in the Orthodox Church.

    The Orthodox Catholic Church makes the
    IDENTICAL claim made by the Roman Catholic Church — the claim to BE the one, true Church established by our Lord.

    Because the Roman Catholic Church makes that claim, she must perforce regard members of the Orthodox Church as either schismatics or heretics. Orthodox Christians know this, nor do we complain of it. The Roman Catholic must pursue a discipline consistent with her claims.

    Somehow, Father X has been misinformed about the claims of the Orthodox Catholic Church — claims which, as I said, are identical to those made by the Roman Catholic Church.

    If the Orthodox Church claims to
    BE the one, true Church established by our Lord, then she must consider that claim when she deals with Roman Catholics. She must regard Roman Catholics as either heretics or schismatics.

    I submit that this has been obvious to both Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians for centuries.

    To take offense at this now — and to get all lathered up on the matter — is really not useful.

    In fact, the Orthodox “churches” have no memory of cutting themselves off from anything, certainly not Rome. Most Orthodox Christians simply woke up one day and found that Rome was no longer with them, and they were rather bewildered how it happened.

    As far as they can tell, the whole thing was a dreadful misunderstanding, evidently spawned by a loss of temper in high places. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine so much bad temper without the impulse of e-mail.
    Regarding harshness, it is the virtual universal uncharity of Orthodox interlocutors which has exhausted much of the positive regard toward them among many Catholics inspired by generous spirit of HH John Paul II.
    I believe it may be an exaggeration to say that this “uncharity of Orthodox interlocutors” has been “virtual universal.” I can think of dozens of pieces of evidence against this assessment. I wrote on this matter several years ago in Touchstone, after visiting the joint monastic experiment on the Caelian Hill.

    That said, I readily concede that the sins of Orthodox Christians are many, serious, and well known. And I am the worst among them.

    Now is the time for unreserved frankness.

    I doubt this, honestly.

    Indeed, it is arguable that “unreserved frankness” is exactly what prevailed in 1054.

    I proposed the following hypothesis:

    IF the Lord intends a single See in the world to sustain, counsel, and support the Angels of the churches, that See must certainly be Rome.

    Kallistos Ware and Hilarion Alfayev — two of the most influential episcopal voices in the Orthodox Church — publicly agree with me.

    I take that event as both a symptom and a sign of what our Lord may have in mind. I cannot read the future, and at my age I will not live to see it, but it seems to me that some major change may be on the horizon.

    Meanwhile, brethren,
    diligamus invicem.

    On 3/27/09 6:33 PM, X wrote:
    Actually, it is bad form for Catholics to refer to the other lung as either heretical or schismatic. It is an unnecessary insult either way. So, no, I would not ponder aloud whether the Orthodox are heretics or schismatics, because neither is a label one affixes to a brother. I do not believe you will find such language in the Vatican documents which refer to the Christian East of the past 45 years.
    Yes, frankly, this is correct, and much to be lauded.
    To return to the main point of the OP, the Orthodox churches are not simply lacking sufficient discipline, charity among themselves, or sufficient time to get their canonical house in order. They are lacking the one ministry Christ provided to his Church to keep the apostles united and reconciled to one another.
    This may be the case.

    And this is not just my opinion; it is the implied premise of the current ecumenical dialogue between Rome and the East.

    I am among those Orthodox Christians attempting to take seriously the invitation of Pope John Paul II to explore how the Bishop of Rome can more effectively serve the cause of unity among Christians.

    This is one of the many reasons why no one — I hope — will hear me speak ill of the man who serves the Sacred Mysteries over the tomb of Saint Peter.
    While you seem disposed to say some nice things about Rome, your emphasized "IF" betrays a lack of conviction behind such statements. It is not easy to know what to make of this.
    Yes. The Orthodox really have no clear conviction on this point. This is a major difference between us.

    I have remarked several times recently, in public , how differently things would have turned out if John Paul II had been Bishop of Rome in 1054 instead of Leo IX, and how differently in 1517 if Benedict XVI had been Bishop of Rome instead of Leo X.

    This conjecture suggests that the East is not the only Christian body to learn from history.

    The office of the Roman Papacy has functioned very differently over the centuries — Try to imagine, for instance, what Pope Pius IX would have said about the Lateran Treaty of 1929! — and I believe it will continue to assimilate the historical pedagogy in which it has long played such a significant role.

    From my perspective, one of the most distressing aspects of
    Mortalium Animos is the suspicion that — if several of the nouns were altered, but the predicates remained the same — that document could have been written on Mount Athos.

Liturgy and memory
From Ilyas Wan Wei Hsien via Mere Catholicism

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The tyranny of liberalism?
Not only a deserved rant against left-liberalism, it reads like a trad/palæo indictment of classical liberals, seeming to overlook that in our view freedom has a natural limit, the harm principle (do what you want as long as you don’t harm others; vice is often not crime), and that we’re not egalitarians (as conservatives like palæos, we believe all are equally dear to God but don’t pretend or enforce that all are the same). It doesn’t mean selfishness as many critics of libertarianism think. As much as I like the crunchies I like the liberation made possible by the car and the Internet (of course: as others have noted, you’ve got to love Luddite writings online) and will have fun, fun, fun with them (and not incidentally support myself with them) unless/till the depression takes them away. From Fr Chadwick.
From LRC

TV tropes
The way we are
From Chronicles curmudgeon Clyde Wilson

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cat fight
Last night before retiring I heard what sounded remarkably like a child’s cry which turned out to be the unique meow of a part-Siamese cat. Took me a moment to determine these were menacing sounds not the yowl moggies make in... other activity. Lots more yowling and clattering as the battle of the bins was on! Lasted about 10 minutes.

This morning I saw whom I imagine was the winner, a big black-coated bruiser sauntering over to the next house. Lots of tufts of white fur by the bins told the rest of the story.

The Antiochian Orthodox Church’s unofficial new Book of Common Prayer
For the Western Rite Vicariate: essentially American Anglo-Catholicism
The diversity scam
From Rod Dreher
The anti-Romanism of the left lives on
In other news sun rises in east. The Episcopalians on the Vatican:
Fresh off its failure to Google Holocaust-denying Bishop Richard Williamson before welcoming him back into the Church, the Holy See is planning a pastoral instruction on the internet. Ruth Gledhill has details.
Those stupid people running the Roman Catholic Church are neo-Nazis who don’t even know how to use the Internet so they ought to shut up and let us, their betters, tell them what to do on everything.
Plus ça change...

I expect bad reporting on religion from the secular(ist) media but this is inexcusable from a religious house-organ let alone from a church that so prides itself on its level of education.

SSPX are hoping to buy a Church of England redundant church in Manchester.

Roll over, Harry Tudor, and tell Tom Cromwell the news.

Change I hope you don’t believe in
From the LRC blog
From RR
From Joshua
  • Obama the non-peace president: 17,400 more soldiers to Afghanistan and the non-withdrawal from Iraq. I listened to him when he was campaigning and thus stayed home.
  • Abortion and abolition. Taki’s John Zmirak on the problem that, on top of state opposition, the pro-life movement as constituted just doesn’t work (marching as a shibboleth of Catholic identity doesn’t actually stop abortion). Kick it back to the states as sensible conservatives like Ron Paul have been saying for years and work on converting people and changing the culture. Social conservatism must rely on decentralism, populism, anti-elitism, and a certain degree of healthy, pre-rational “prejudice” (in Edmund Burke, not Archie Bunker’s sense). We can’t turn the pro-life movement into a Kantian, ideological monstrosity.
  • Pat Buchanan at antiwar.com: quit Nato. Why must the US be bogged down in it, and threaten Russia, because Churchill hated the Germans? (Lord Ismay: keeping the Americans in, the Russians out and the Germans down.)
  • Paul Craig Roberts, beyond right and left.
  • Röpke on inflation. The greater the inflationary pressure the stronger will be the counterpressure of the command economy needed to repress it. By the same token, the command economy must resort to ever more comprehensive and ruthless controls if it is to effectively contain the mounting forces of inflation.
Brown’s proposed change to Act of Settlement an attempt to shut up RCs
Don’t get played says Damian Thompson
Georgian Orthodox Church head motivates country to have baby boom
Catholicos Ilia II
American Jews open to Palestinian unity government
From antiwar.com
The tension between conservatism and globalism
From Daniel Larison via Rod Dreher

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why Angels & Demons is rubbish
Like The da Vinci Code was, and from the same man, keen on having a best-seller and ignorant of religion. Based on the adverts it seems like an entertaining trash wallow but regrettably most people don’t know the facts and, reflecting the anti-popery in Anglo-American culture, might take this for history. From Tea at Trianon.

The man’s been in office only two months and an archbishop is comparing him to Alexander the Great
I know it was rhetorical flattery but still...
How to tell if someone’s lying
A quick version of the info that this entertaining show is based upon. Most people are at heart honest so they unconsciously signal that they’re telling fibs. Pathological liars are the opposite of Jon Lovitz’s comic character! Mastering this body language consciously (like a poker face) or not, they look dead sincere and take you in.
RIP Bishop Michael Wright and the end of Anglo-Orthodoxy
Sounds like a fine chap, a former Anglican serving as a bishop in this church. Dr Tighe writes:
Born 1933, he was a military chaplain for many years, and then Director of the Anglo-Orthodox Society, until its self-dissolution in 1994 — this society was a sort of Anglo-Catholic Orthodoxophile equivalent of Anglo-Papalists — having decided in the aftermath of the 1992 Gen. Synod vote for WO that its goal of “orthodoxizing” the Church of England (cf. Hodges’ “Anglicanism and Orthodoxy” pamphlet) was incapable of realization and that in consequence the AOS’ continued existence was pointless. He eventually entered the Anglican Catholic Church (Original Province) but, with some of its strongest Orthodoxophiles, left with those who in 1997 formed the “Holy Catholic Church – Anglican Rite” and when this body divided in 1997 into a “more Anglican” HCC-AR and a “Western Orthodox” “Holy Catholic Church — Western Rite” he was part of the latter. He served as a bishop for a time in South Africa before retiring to England.
No, I don’t know why he didn’t simply become Orthodox as I understand much of the AOS did.
On Athos, no insignificant part of Bartholomew’s jurisdiction, a different ecclesiology apparently holds sway
This is no small matter, Fr Hunwicke correctly notes. My comment.
From RR

Obama at ND: sign the petition
I did but am not that surprised or alarmed: ND prefers football and guitar services to great art and WASP mannerliness but it took the soup ages ago (more). Prestige over principle: exactly.
Brideshead redecorated
By John Zmirak. From Taki.
From Arturo

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

From antiwar.com
From the LRC blog
Facts show RC policy on Aids is right
From Dr Tighe

Which reminds me of something he’s brought up, recently revisited by Hilary. If the left are so dismissive of the Roman Church why do they fume at it? Scratch a liberal and you find a frustrated ultra-ultramontanist.

Ed Pacht:
I find it very puzzling that the media think it proper

a. to tell a church (the Roman or any other) what they think it should believe, and

b. to get all bent out of joint when said church sticks to its own classic stance instead of listening to the almighty newsman.

Where do they come up with such incredible chutzpah?

Is it disrespect, ignorance, a totalitarian instinct, or some mix of these?
Babies: left-liberal/SWPL hypocrisy
I’ve encountered many devoted moms who are vehement defenders of babies, children, and their needs. Some of these same women are also pro-choice. It’s a juxtaposition that confounds me: these women often have no problem with shaking their heads over moms who don’t breastfeed their babies, or those parents who allow their little ones to “cry it out” alone in their cribs. But they see no reason to give babies in utero any defense whatsoever.
P.J. O’Rourke explained this years ago: it’s a socially acceptable way to be racist (all for our precious planned children, none for the Untermenschen) and ‘it takes a lot of “therapy” to get to the liberal position’. From Tea at Trianon.

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

From RR

From LRC
  • Above: Ron Paul on the murder of capitalism and a way out. Get government out of the way and let the market do its work, buying up remaining good assets.
  • Old growth media and the future of news. Newspapers are dying but the future of news is bright.
  • ‘The Russians are coming!’ Hang on... Russia spent $40 billion last year on defense. Medvedev’s planned increases — if they ever materialize — will increase military spending to $52 billion. The United States will spend US $741 billion on its military this year. Add another $54 billion for the department of Homeland Security.
Liberty and law not ‘law and order’
From William Grigg
Double standard?
When Dumbya and his RepubliCONs were bailing out the banks last year, the Left whined that Dumbya & Co. were just trying to bail out their greedy, incompetent Wall Street buddies; but now that Obamanable and his DemocRATs are doing the bailing out, the Left proclaims that Obamanable & Co. are just trying to “save” the economy. And the sheeple, who have a collective attention span of about five seconds (I’m being optimistic here), actually accept this “alternative” reason for the bailouts.
From the LRC blog.
Fox laughs while Canadians die
From Taki

A sad story: Luxembourg
Kosovo 10 years on
From Fr Methodius

Fr Nektarios (Serfes): ‘Long live Serbia’

Scars of Nato bombing still pain Serbs
From regular reader and commenter Lord Peter

Monday, March 23, 2009

Paul predicts 15-year depression
From the LRC blog
From Stephen Hand
  • Has Bishop Richard Williamson been silenced for having an opinion on an historical question extraneous to the Catholic Faith? Yet Fr Hans Küng speaks? And so many who hold identical or similar views to Küng? What is this? How is this? Tell me what part of the Credo Bishop Williamson has denied. But Hans Küng who offends no rabbis has denied every single part of the Creed, and over decades formed a movement and following in that denial. And yet his Roman Collar lay in his closet any time he should choose to don it? And his Masses are lawful anytime he should wish to “celebrate” to an unknown god? What is all this? It is a time of shadows...
  • Imagine a “world government” where those whom you think you have elected serve them (the bankers who buy and sell your reps), those who have the nerve to assert they represent a whole new world now under construction! It is the greatest swindle ever concocted, the most vile tyranny ever imagined, and only poor idiots or complicitous players could accept such a Thing. It will nullify the individual who will be seen as one tiniest unit, a speck of dust, assigned a place in their Ant Colony! We must demand that our sovereign nations (which for the moment represent us in some residual degree) disengage from this ubiquitous beast, if we care for our nations, cultures, traditions. If we do not we will certainly deserve what is coming, if they have their way. They try to keep people diverted with Viagra, pornography, football, especially TV, while they they loot national treasuries, implode economies and construct their global Tower of Babel.
  • Dorothy Day: We advocate... decentralized society in contrast to the present bigness of government, industry, education, health care and agriculture. We encourage efforts such as family farms, rural and urban land trusts, worker ownership and management of small factories, homesteading projects, food, housing and other cooperatives — any effort in which money can once more become merely a medium of exchange, and human beings are no longer commodities.
From Joshua
From RR

Bombing on Leno
I didn’t see that outcome: the man gilds the lily trying to accrue still more coolness points... and blows it? I’m inclined to say it was only a mistake; even the smoothest talkers make them, as Christopher Johnson said:
Everyone reading this... has probably said something that they’d instantly like to take back or made a joke that was met by embarrassed silence. There are a great many reasons to oppose Barack Obama but this incident is not one of them.
It was tactless not malicious.

Then there’s The Telegraph’s Tim Shipman’s negative take on it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nice coincidence this year
The Roman and Byzantine Rite calendars (Easters) are close enough this year that today was a mid-Lenten Sunday for both, Station at Holy Cross in Jerusalem Church in Rome and Veneration of the Precious Cross respectively
We bow to thy cross, O Master, and we praise thy holy resurrection.

Rose vestments

Under both kinds nice but not essential for laity
SWR writes:
It is heresy to deny concomitance and that the whole Christ is present in either species.

One who by choice receives in one kind does not receive any less eucharist or a lesser quality or quantity Christ than the one who receives in both species.

Intinction is unnecessary. If for some reason a person makes a choice to receive in one kind, that is sufficient, rather than insisting upon unnecessary intinction.

Insisting that everyone must have both seems to only be a common cry of the crowd that want to prove how much they are not Romans, and who do not appear to understand the nature of what was formerly bread and wine.

Our old friend and Angelic Doctor treats of this topic (receiving in both/one kind) well in
From LRC
  • Dropping down an economic hole.
  • Henry Hazlitt on the politics of envy: The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. Never under any circumstances admit that your own failure may be owing to your own weakness, or that the failure of anyone else may be due to his own defects — his laziness, incompetence, improvidence, or stupidity.
  • One of the unfortunate results of the government-caused financial meltdown is that it supposedly gives the religious left its “moral” ammunition against capitalism. Our alliances with the right or the left are always conditional. The irony of course is attacking the market saws off the branch on which such people build their pulpits and preach. As Christian Lander has noted, bringing up corporations whose products they like (Ikea, Starbucks) shuts them up right quick.
  • Snobbery and ‘bread and circuses’: Supposedly, the New York Times appeals to Really Intelligent People who look down upon the crass things that entertain the little people about whom the wonderful Really Intelligent People care deeply. It really would be for the best, the Really Intelligent People believe, if Wal-Mart is smashed so the little people learn that they need to make better shopping choices — like those choices made by the Really Intelligent People.

Newman Reader

Taken at Nashotah House, it looks like Exposition though it could be sung Vespers or Evensong with the servers in different places from the Roman ceremonial. I rather like what I take is unintentional impressionism! Something for Lætare Sunday from Andrew Bartus on Facebook.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

St Benedict
The Russian Orthodox commemorate him not 13 days later as you might think but six days. The feast-days don’t always match. From Brother Stephen. More.
Benedict, the man of the Lord, gentle of countenance, was adorned with angelic ways; and so great a brightness shone forth round about him that, yet although upon the earth, he might be dwelling among celestial beings.
— the Monastic Breviary

Nine corporate attempts at ‘edgy’ that failed hilariously
From Cracked
From Fr Longenecker
On recent anti-RC backlash in Conn. and NY
The bill imposed upon Catholics (and only Catholics!) the organizational structure proper to the faith that was in Colonial times the state religion of Connecticut, Congregationalism.
That bill has been withdrawn.
Make bishops non-voting figureheads who can’t administer their churches, and you haven’t just crippled the Church; you’ve gutted it.

The Catholic Church has plummeted from the heights of respectability it attained in the 1950s as part of the Cold War coalition to the status of a second-rate, vaguely disreputable cult.
Protestant nativism never went away — it only changed from Calvinism to PCness — but Taki’s John Zmirak explains some of this was self-inflicted.
The economy
So far so good here, thank God: a job scare that turned out to be a long-hoped-for move to something better, a Chapter 11-bankrupt parent company and a depleted 401k but life as usual. But today’s LRC picks are very scary indeed.
  • Peter Schiff: Rather than solving our problems, more inflation will only add to the crisis. Falling asset prices, the credit crunch, declining consumer spending, bankruptcies, foreclosures, and layoffs are all part of the necessary rebalancing of our economy. These wrenching movements, however painful, are the market’s attempts to resolve the serious problems at the root of our bubble economy. Attempts to literally paper-over these problems will lead to disaster. America has now become a banana republic. It won’t be too long before our living standards reflect our new status. Got gold? Pedantry: in the computer age the state no longer has to literally print money. Like our recorded music and television it’s all digital now, electronic noughts and ones; make-believe (fiat) money is now made out of thin air. But inflation is still inflation: legal counterfeiting essentially.
  • The Fed has embarked on a suicide pact with the holders of U.S. debt.
  • Lies about US economic policy.
  • Surviving fiscal extreme sports. And a post from survivalblog. I am nowhere near as handy as I ought to be.
  • William Grigg: remembrance of recessions past. The good old-fashioned virtues of frugality and conservation, authentically conservative. Use it up, wear it out; make it do, or do without.
  • It’s over — we’re officially, royally f*cked. Like a dissolute nobleman gambling away the family estate in the waning days of the British Empire. This was a casino unique among all casinos, one where middle-class taxpayers cover the bets of billionaires.
  • On the other hand the U.S. economy has pulled out of self-destructive political spirals in the past, spurred on by its business class and corporate leaders, the profit-making and market-creating people who rose above the political turmoil to once again lift the world out of financial crisis. It’s happened many times before, except for once, when it took 20 years to rise out of the Great Depression. But right now U.S. law-making is riddled with slapdash, incompetence and gamesmanship.
  • Also from T1:9: what’s missing now are morals in business says well-meaning Commonwealth chief rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks. True but markets are only a tool not a complete worldview and true markets work better than anything else.
  • Many of us can’t imagine living without the government hunch on our back. When the only medical alternative left is aggressively attacking the malignant growth, we instead feed it. Abolish the Fed, repeal income taxes with an amendment, get out of Iraq, cancel all bailouts, close federal agencies.

Millbourne, Pennsylvania: why?
0.1 square mile seemingly gerrymandered out of Upper Darby, home of a few Indian-owned shops along West Chester Pike, a few rowhouses and a railway station with their own police department and fire brigade. Small is beautiful as E.F. Schumacher said and there must be an interesting story behind this (like this one, also in Pennsylvania). More.

Friday, March 20, 2009

American pipe dream
Pat Buchanan at @TAC
UN panel says world should ditch dollar
From T1:9
The war on Iraq six years on
From LRC

‘Quit bankrupting this country... quit destroying our dollar’
Ron Paul on the House floor. From Joshua.
From Taki
  • States’ rights and the left. They didn’t mean it when they sounded libertarian under Bush, like conservatives didn’t when they sniped at Clinton. ‘It isn’t fascism when we do it.’
  • A lexicon of conservative bullsh*t.
  • Albion’s Seed is one of the most insightful books on American history because it elaborates on the cryptic ethnic variation of our age, that between different British cultural traditions.The English (the SWPL élite and the Mormons are descended from the Pilgrims; both are English Calvinists worsened — ‘we know what’s best for you’) vs the Scots-Irish (the dominant culture of the American South today: Nascar and country music, and on both sides of the pond the Scots are fodder in the empire’s wars). But isolationism is real internationalism, certainly if based upon free trade (as George Washington understood).
Israeli soldiers expose atrocities in Gaza
From antiwar.com via Samer
Why Irish-Americans are Democrats
From Helen Rittelmeyer. Not that I wish they were Republicans.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St Joseph
St. Joseph’s whole life may be summed up as a continual adherence to the Divine plan, even in situations which were very obscure and mysterious to him. In our life, too, there is always some mystery, either because God is pleased to work in a hidden, secret manner or because His action is always incomprehensible to our poor human intelligence. Therefore, we need that glance of faith, that complete confidence which, relying on the infinite goodness of God, convinces us that He always and in all circumstances wills our good and disposes everything to that end. Only this loving trust will permit us, like Joseph, always to say yes to every manifestation of the divine will, a humble, prompt, trustful yes, in spite of the obscurities, the difficulties, the mystery....
— Fr Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen

Text from Tea at Trianon; image from Arturo.
From Daniel Larison
Left-wing blowback?
With the State of Pennsylvania declaring the Constitution Party to be a “terrorist” organization...
What? Can anybody confirm this? The Constitution Party are too religious-right for me (I’m of the secular Old Right) but still...

From the LRC blog.
Is Ruthenia rising again?
I thought it was a nation very briefly at the end of WWI (with the breakup of Austria-Hungary — the world would have been better off if they’d won) right before it voted (including votes from immigrants in America) to join Czechoslovakia. It had a flag (blue on red like the Haitian flag with the Ruthene/Rusyn badge in the middle) and an anthem, ‘Подкарпатски Русини’ (‘Subcarpathian Rusyns’), written by a 19th-century Greek Catholic priest, Fr Alexander Dukhnovich, which you can understand if you know Russian:
Оставьте вас от глубокий сом!
Народный голос зовет вам...
Наш народ, наш народ любимый
Да будет, да будет свободный!
Wake up from your deep sleep!
The nation’s (people’s) voice is calling to you...
Our nation, our beloved nation
Will be, will be free!
Worth noting:
  • In the 1940s Lemko Rusyn mountaineers in Poland were heroes who fought and lost a guerrilla war with the Communists. The Polish Communists burnt down their villages, dispersed and deported (to the USSR) their people and gave some of their Greek Catholic churches to the Polish RCs (lots of guilt to go round in that part of the world).
  • As in the Ukraine and elsewhere the Communists often put Greek Catholics under the state-controlled (literally beaten into submission) Orthodox churches, which they resisted. In the failed Czech revolution in 1968 almost all went back to the Greek Catholic Church.
  • But in Deer Hunter country (America’s Rust Belt) more than half of the Russian Orthodox are ethnic Ruthenes. Long story short: the Greek Catholic Ruthenes were brought over to be strike-breakers in the mines, the resident Irish RCs told them to get lost and most of them did, skedaddling over to their Russian cousins.
A list of famous Ruthenes begins and pretty much ends with Andy Warhol.
Sandra Dee and Robert Urich.

Why fun at work matters
Old Fezziwig knew
Funny alterna-history
“We can always adopt,” lazy Henry VIII told his lazy wife Catherine of Aragon. “Whatever,” lazy Catherine of Aragon replied.
From the MCJ.
Left-liberals and ‘the left’
From Taki
Israel’s American chattel
By Paul Craig Roberts. From Chronicles.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Eastern church in the town where I work
Armenia (Hayastan) is the world’s oldest Christian country, beating the Roman Empire by a few years. The Armenian Apostolic Church is in the Oriental Orthodox communion (one of the Lesser Eastern Churches) not in the Orthodox communion. I’ve been to a service: it’s an Eastern liturgy in what looks like a nice Western Catholic church, with an altar curtain not an iconostasis. The monument with the unique Armenian cross (also on two of the doors) commemorates the 1915 genocide by the Turks. The link on Armenia tells about SS. Sahag (Isaac) and Mesrob. This marvellously eccentric building is not traditional Armenian architecture although the top of the tower is a nod to that; this began its life about 100 years ago as the mansion of the Quaker Clothiers who once owned a chain of department stores.

I confess with faith
By St Nerses Shnorhali