Sunday, January 31, 2010

Septuagesima Sunday: Sung Mass at Mater Ecclesiæ
A benefit of being snowed in briefly this weekend in southern New Jersey. Another chant Mass with a big gathered congregation that’s a good mix (which these photos didn’t capture): conservative Roman Catholic stalwarts such as the old fighters like you see here with the pastor/father rector (wearing the sign of his office, the mozetta/shoulder cape) and young couples with lots of kids, Asians such as most of the choir (Vietnamese? Filipinos? Both?) and a YF or two (I spotted a watch chain). Not a re-enactment but a natural continuation of the ’50s: much parish practice from the time but with the voluntary nature of the congregation in a charming small building and the ideals of the liturgical movement.

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fire & Ice Festival
In charming Mount Holly, New Jersey, fittingly on the coldest day of the year so far
From RR
From LRC
From Cracked
  • One common language: pond-difference jokes from a Brit in NYC.
  • Greenwashing or how some companies dupe folk anxious to impress and who have a lot of money to waste, that is, SWPLs.
  • Some random cool quotations: The 1980s were more or less about four things: A.) Cocaine; B.) The best comedy movies ever; C.) Dressing like a transvestite prostitute; D.) The culmination of all of the above, a.k.a. the glory days of pro wrestling.
  • Criminal life, alcoholism and domestic abuse are the choice friends of desperation alone. They all sit in the parking lot together on the hood of a Camaro, smoking cigarettes and looking cool.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Patrick & Eugene
’20s retro that I think suits YFs
Try to imagine Noël Coward on stage with the Duke Ellington Band at the Monterey Pop Festival and you’re getting close.
Religious folk don’t understand economics: Dr Williams’ turn
With commentary by Chris Johnson. There’s also the matter of Dr W having the luxury of flying to NYC and engaging in white upper-middle-class ‘juster’-than-thou posturing thanks to big, bad capitalism.
Patrimonial thoughts
  • My guess is there won’t be any real news about the ordinariates until they start and the converts start coming, however many or few they are, which won’t be for at least another year or so. The rest is speculation or — dithering conservative Anglicans, pouty liberal ones and hostile liberal RCs — not news.
  • A chuckle about traditional English pronunciation of Latin from Dr Munn: ‘Benny-dicey-tea’ (Benedicite) sounds like the Pope had a bad cuppa. My guess is the schoolboy pronunciation of some terms by Anglicans and in English generally (Cæsar, Dido and the city of Regina in Canada for example) goes back to Chaucer’s time and was how priests read the Mass and office aloud. Church Latin pronunciation wasn’t standardised until the Counter-Reformation, giving two versions, the beautiful Italian pronunciation much of the world uses today (including the US and Anglicans when singing) and the German/Middle European way where soft c is s not ch.
  • At home the radiators are supposed to be working but in last night’s cold snap (in the teens in the old money) only one, in the bathroom, was so this morning I got to read the office (Coverdale’s psalm translations) in a room where I could just about see my breath. All I needed to make it more Anglican was to throw on a surplice.
  • Image: Bishop John Milner, Vicar Apostolic for the Midland District of England, circa 1800, from here. Fr Chadwick from here has suggested that the vicars apostolic could be a model for the ordinariates.
From What’s Wrong With the World
A curmudgeonly title I wish I’d come up with, partly because it has more staying power than ‘young fogey’ (but ‘YF’ precisely describes a worldview not limited to the young)
  • Twilight of the Mad Men. I’ve long known even while celebrating the period (more) that circa 1959 had the seeds of its own destruction: the rootlessness dating to the ‘Enlightenment’ and ‘Reformation’ and the boundless faith in change as progress. But the ’50s worked because at the same time there wasn’t a wholesale repudiation of the past generally. There arguably was though among some of the élite (and social climbers) as ugly abstract art and ultra-modern architecture (now so modern it’s quaint, like ‘The Jetsons’) showed. (Countered by a natural archaising tendency among the upper classes as Paul Fussell’s noted.) The hipsters including the Beats and bebop were fine on the fringe where they belonged; the grownups and Western civilisation were still in charge. The culture did much good and was a lot of fun (something the Fifties gets right about the real ’50s), not going bad until as much as 10 years later for many people. (The snotty hippies/boomers destroying much as well as taking credit for achievements that weren’t theirs. The squares did the dog work for civil rights and made it to the moon, not them.) Or through much of the ’60s most people weren’t hippies.
  • One of the last acceptable prejudices: being anti-elderly. Something for which we can blame the artificial ‘youth culture’ (satirised in Logan’s Run, which I remember as a fairly good sci-fi commentary on the narcissistic ’70s). Jeff Culbreath notes: another worrisome trend among the enlightened.
Six insane fan theories that make great movies better
From Cracked

Thursday, January 28, 2010

RIP Lamar Mervine

Sometime mayor of Centralia

David DeKok writes:
Lamar Mervine, who achieved fame late in life as the media-friendly mayor of Centralia, died on New Year’s Day. He is believed to have resided in a nursing home for at least the past year. His wife, Lanna, died in 2008.

Mervine was appointed mayor around 1993 to replace Mayor Anne Marie Devine, who had accepted relocation and moved with her family to Elysburg. He stayed in the post until around 2007, always residing in the house at 411 Troutwine Street where he was born in 1916. He and about a dozen other diehards were the only inhabitants of the town from about 1995 onward. They firmly believe – and Mervine would tell you – that the mine fire was no threat to anybody. Families who once lived above the fire and eagerly accepted relocation to save themselves and their children from the deadly mine-fire gases disagree.

He was quoted in many news stories about the Centralia mine fire in the print and broadcast media over the years. In 2001, he appeared as himself in a Jon Stewart/“Daily Show” piece on Centralia that captured the essential absurdity of living in a town above a mine fire. Mervine was the same crotchety old man to everyone who interviewed him, but rarely told any reporter to get off his lawn.

With his death, it appears likely his longtime home will be demolished. Ten persons remain in Centralia. Their homes are owned by the state, which took them under eminent domain in 1992. But the former owners were allowed to continue living in them tax and rent free until 2009, when the Rendell Administration changed the policy. Now, if Columbia County Court of Common Pleas has made a final ruling on what the state will pay for the property, the owners are required to leave.

John Lokitis, Jr., and John Comarnitsky found new homes outside of Centralia last summer as a result of the new policy. Lokitis’ home was demolished last month.
LP chairman on SOTU
My preference right now for congressman on SOTU
A tea-partyish independent
Jim Schneller, candidate for the 7th U.S. Congressional seat, located in Southeastern Pennsylvania, released comment this morning on the State of the Union address televised yesterday evening:
It is alarming that Mr. Obama failed in his state of the union address, to tackle the near unanimous displeasure with the current agenda of federal spending in unbelievably large amounts, without transparency, and the effort to hasten sea-change legislation many thousands of pages in length towards enactment, without realistic and deliberate discussions and vetting before the public.

Congress and the Democrats are currently veering towards again raising our debt many more trillions of dollars, this despite having done so last year, and that being an outlandish raising of the debt ceiling to 300% or more of the prior ceiling. No country, and at the least, no stable economy, can withstand such irresponsibility. Mr. Obama ought to have at least noted the public concern with this policy, and, in good will to his people, should have attempted to explain it in plain terms.

The Republican Party, despite their many opposing comments, are not putting up any realistically effective resistance to this and other objectionable policies of the federal government and legislature, despite the fact that these policies are steering America towards an era, and a quality of life, that would not even resemble what all elected officials promised they would sustain, nor the Constitutional mandate that they swore to uphold.

Americans should not be assured by words, and now at this point there is little fact left to assure us! A vote for Jim Schneller and other candidates who take national debt and security seriously is urgently needed! Voters must research their votes much more closely now, because corruption and apathy threaten our nation. We are traditionally a people who grasp national dilemmas by the horns — this is a year to stand up for strength of character and decency in government!
Inner peace: recollection/self-possession
Good points but:
In our Tradition there is no such thing as fallen nature. There are fallen persons, but not fallen nature.
It seems hard to me to go in this direction without turning Pelagian; chances are it all goes over my head and maybe I don’t need to know it. But doesn’t Orthodoxy also teach that the fall affected all of creation? Sounds like original sin by another name.

From Metropolitan Jonah via Fr Stephen via Joe Rawls.
Last night a neighbour who takes care of the house told me it’s haunted. He used to live in the place next to mine and told me things that make my computer waking up from standby on its own make sense. The place next door has lights that come on that way and his cat used to run and hide for no apparent reason. One day he found a television set, usually tuned to one channel all the time, changed to a children’s channel. He said there’s a lot of activity around one window and thinks something awful happened like a child falling out in Runnemede’s nearly century-long history.

Now AFAIK according to the Catholic faith — including Eastern European folklore — there are only two possibilities, neither of which is a long-dead person: a demon or a psychic imprint, which is more like watching a looping video than a visit. Souls only hang around the earth between death and the particular judgement.

In any event, good to have the sacramentals around and get better about praying the office regularly, and time to have the priest bless the place.
God, a book and a boy
From Fr Christopher Phillips here
Pawns for a plutocracy
From Paul Craig Roberts. Of course protectionism is not the libertarian answer but he has an interesting idea: besides warmongering for our own good as part of modern liberalism, the Democrats selling out their old labour base made them as dependent on war etc. to stay in power as the Republicans
In praise of old men
From Michael Lawrence

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lew Rockwell on Obama’s speech
As Ron Paul says I like his tone (talking about ending the wars) but don’t believe the reality is any different from Bush. I slept through most of it as I’ve been awake since 3 this morning (at work at 4).
From Rod Dreher
Six statistically bogus jobs
Today’s Cracked hit

Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain covering ‘Shaft’

From Tripp.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The faith
  • The Catholic Church is not a democracy, and it does not pretend to be so! So writes the retired Anglican Bishop of Richborough whom I used to slightly know, liturgically modern but a fine fellow. That and the bishops are limited to what they can change, by defined doctrine, which is irrevocable and irreformable, the ordinary magisterium and simply immemorial custom (Pio Nono on adding St Joseph to the Roman Canon: ‘I can’t! I’m only the Pope!’). In Protestant episcopalianism any change, from the nature (communing with Methodists) and matter (which sex) of the apostolic ministry, to morals (contraception, divorce and remarriage, and homosexual sex) to apostasy from Christianity (turning unitarian, making explicit the widespread unbelief among Anglicans since the ‘Enlightenment’), is only a General Synod/Convention vote away. In short the Protestants claim an absolute power the Pope doesn’t dare.
  • American Missal reprint. From The Anglo-Catholic.
From Rod Dreher
From MCJ
  • The kind of mistake I spend about 15-26 hours on a Tuesday into Wednesday trying to catch and keep out of print and off the Web. LOL.
  • Protestant America, 2000s version. We entered the Worship Centre, an immense auditorium shell, where Warren was preaching from a stage at the front, where an altar might have been. Saddleback assiduously avoided traditionally churchy architecture, costume and decor. Its campus was relentlessly quotidian, designed to suggest the shopping malls and office parks where members spent their time during the week. Saddleback is religion for people who don’t like religion: transcendence is not on the menu. It seemed the butt end of Christianity: stripped of history and icon­ography, wholly immersed in its secular surroundings, constructed according to a business model and promoted by motivational speakers – bland, cheerful, dull. We drove away, past immaculate housing estates and strip malls iterating chain restaurants and shops, replicated in every suburb from coast to coast. I wondered why anyone would want to live in that charmless place, much less to get more of the same at church. Arturo and I would argue that Novus Ordo neocons, certainly under John Paul the Overrated, were infected by this. It’s part of the MO of Opus Dei and the Legionaries of Christ.
From RR
Is freedom of religion a contradiction?
It seems to me that there is a built in contradiction in the place of religious freedom in classical liberalism: While religious freedom is a central element of classical liberalism, the ability of a state to function as a liberal democracy will collapse if a large majority of the population do not share a common basic moral and philosophical (and thus by implication theological) worldview. Thus, while religious freedom is a foundational element of classical liberalism, only a certain degree of religious conformity makes it possible.
Not a problem as natural religion, the natural law, is reflected in most religions: forms of the commandments to love your neighbour and do no harm, because societies throughout history have found that they work. Those that don’t follow them destroy themselves. That explains the seeming minimal conformity: it’s not coerced. The law of God is written in the heart of every man. Religious liberty rightly understood is not indifferentism or relativism.
As people’s views change as permitted in an environment of religious liberty, it’s possible that they will diverge to the extent that the commitment to religious liberty and other unifying ideals will erode. Hobbes, for instance, thought this threat was an excellent reason for the state to abolish religious freedom altogether. In this scenario, religion would be yet another tool of good governance.
Taking God’s name in vain, an abuse of religion and threat to liberty that can come from the right or the left.

From Jeff Culbreath.

From LRC
  • The price of early literacy? Myopia, or your parents were right about eyestrain, or why the nerd stereotype wears glasses. (I started reading on my own early and have worn them since my teens but know I inherited the eyesight.) That and sunscreen and rickets might be related. Reading problems largely occur among families where there is no family member who speaks English. I don’t know if statistically that’s true; without numbers it sounds like nativism/xenophobia. Little kids are incredibly adaptable; I know second-generation people whose first language is something else (Russian, in some cases WWII refugees born in transit camps; and Italian, born to 1920s immigrants) and are fluent in American English simply from immersion in school and the community. I don’t think any of them are illiterate. Another point I picked up somewhere else: might anti-nerd stereotyping come from anti-Semitism? (Resentment of bookish, naturally high-IQ Jews, the survivors after years of persecution.)
  • Hypocrisy among some pro-lifers. Warmongering.
  • Ron Paul: of course the economy still flounders after the stimulus. It continued the basic problem of malinvestment of resources.
  • The new leader who promised to bring change has largely failed to do so, and has continued or expanded many of the most pernicious policies of the Bush years. Liberals who had hoped for glasnost and perestroika instead got Bush’s third term with a kinder, smiling, intelligent face.
  • Drunk arrested for not driving car.

Generations of New Yorkers are right

Shop cat
At the Last Word Bookshop

Monday, January 25, 2010

From Fr Z
Gateway to the culture of death
Jeff Culbreath:
I am continually amazed at the extent to which this particular sin has become not only universally tolerated, but culturally and socially obligatory, in little more than two generations. In a certain sense contraception marks the true dividing line in the Western culture war: it’s the elephant in the living room, so to speak, which drives hundreds of other little decisions, from politics to religion to everyday life.
No, I don’t think the government should ban it.

From RR
  • Roe at 37. The right-to-life movement has been impaled on the horns of a dilemma for 37 years. Republican politicians and conservative-movement hacks have long wanted pro-lifers to keep their mouths shut and loyally vote for the party that throws them table scraps. Pro-lifers who want to be realistic think they have to settle for this, even to the point, apparently, of valorizing the pro-Roe Scott Brown. The pro-lifers who commit themselves to principle over partisanship, on the other hand, all too often run down the blind alleys of third-party politics (which isn’t politics at all, but is to politics what “Dungeons and Dragons” is to medieval history) and New Left-style protest theater. (The March for Life itself, of course, is modeled on the civil-rights and antiwar marches of the 1960s, whose successes are vastly exaggerated — if marches could end wars, we wouldn’t be in Iraq today.) Each side is feckless enough to serve as the other’s justification: the quietists, third-partiers and protesters can say, quite rightly, that the incrementalists will never overturn Roe. The incrementalists, on the other hand, can say just as correctly that their critics’ methods can’t even achieve the smallest victories, like enacting parental-consent laws. If you want to be politically effective, you will probably have to use a major party — but you have to use it, not let it use you. Unfortunately, the people who have the purest motives, who are most habitually inclined to trust the honorable intentions of others, wind up as fodder for the likes of Scott Brown once they get involved in the bloodletting that is politics.
  • US-Russia nuke deal 95 per cent agreed upon.
  • Buy bonds (or else): stealing retirement funds. As if cheating someone out of a pension by misusing what was meant as a tax shelter for the rich (how 401ks were invented) wasn’t bad enough. BTW the government also originally promised that Social Security numbers wouldn’t be used for ID.
From LRC
From Joshua
  • Hometown hero. Nisbetian conservatism.
  • Chinese child-laundering. Yes, the Kellies and Emilies, some of whom have been my own children’s playmates, are better off in America and their adoptive parents are most likely good people, but that does not mean that this whole child-laundering industry, with its unnatural demand from [contracepting and aborting] Westerners and cynical encouragement from Beijing, should not be questioned.
  • Corporatist health care. Screw the poor and disguise it as charity.

Titanic film and facts

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Not a victim
Mainstream-media story: the big, bad Catholic Church vs somebody who had a pseudo-sex-change operation, took a job at a church, used its property in activities opposing its teaching and got what he deserved. McIntyre has the right to live in peace even if he pretends to be of the other sex. Working for the diocese is not a right.
Angst in a once-tight faith community about how the church should minister to those whose lifestyles aren’t condoned by the church.
‘Faith community’? Glarf. As for the rest, here’s a book to help you examine your conscience. Here’s the confessional. Hours are posted. Vaya con Dios.

Update: On second thought it seems Fr Laurenzo’s fault not McIntyre’s; McIntyre asked for and got his permission.
Bishop Williamson on sensible economics: the seven commandments of the Austrian school
When too many powerful people have a vested interest in “economists” being confused and confusing, it is a relief to come across (on the common sense of the “Seven Commandments” of the Austrian School of Economics. The first two, as listed below, are elementary. The last five condemn five ways in which many State governments today, no doubt under political pressure, are trying to get out of obeying the first two. Here they are, each with a commentary:

1) “Thou must earn.” With all men’s continual need to spend on food, clothing and shelter, every person, family and State must somehow earn. They can only earn by producing or providing the other members of the community (or other States) with goods or services which those others are willing to buy.

2) “Thou shalt not spend more than thou earnest.” No person, family or State can go on for ever spending more than it earns. Otherwise it must pile up debt until the creditors call a halt. Then the debt must at last be repaid, which is painful, or it must be defaulted on, which can be disastrous

3) “No State may make too many rules.” A State must make rules for the common good, but if it restricts the citizens’ productive activity by making too many rules, it will harm the common good by restricting instead of promoting that activity.

4) “No State may tax too much.” Similarly too much State taxation levied on productive activity will hinder, even paralyse, that activity, so that an excess of taxation will even diminish a State’s tax income.

5) “No State may spend its way out of a recession.” In a recession where most citizens of a State are both earning and spending less, no government can resurrect that earning and spending simply by spending more itself, because to get that extra money to spend, it must either borrow (see 2) or tax (see 4) or print money out of thin air (see 6). All three alternatives have strict limits.

6) “No State may print its way out of a recession.” Nor can a government solve a recession by fabricating extra money to spend merely by printing more and more banknotes or by hitting more computer keys, because unless there is an increase in the production of goods corresponding to the increase in the money supply, too much money chasing too few goods will force up prices until hyper-inflation can eventually destroy the money altogether.

7) “No State may employ its way out of a recession.” Nor can a Government solve unemployment merely by hiring the unemployed as non-productive government bureaucrats (see 1), or by paying out more and more unemployment checks (see 5).

However, if “democratic” peoples so adore Mammon that they keep on voting for politicians bought out by the servants of Mammon, who can they blame but themselves if these money-men take over their government? And if the result will be a living misery for the same peoples, will not the Lord God have punished them by where they have sinned? And will they have left him with any other way of making them understand that he did not give them life just for production, economics and money or even the Austrian School? Or of bringing home to them that these things are necessary in their rightful place, but that above and beyond all of them there is an eternal Heaven and an eternal Hell?
Of course the bishop and I agree on faith that there are an eternal heaven and eternal hell but differ on the scope of the state in regard to those things. In a matter not of doctrine but of policy, I believe in religious liberty. AFAIK he doesn’t.

About the bishop.
From LRC
The Amish as technology hackers
They’re not pretending to live in the early 1800s like the myth
In any debate about the merits of embracing new technology, the Amish stand out as offering an honorable alternative of refusal. Yet Amish lives are anything but anti-technological. In fact on my several visits with them, I have found them to be ingenious hackers and tinkers, the ultimate makers and do-it-yourselfers and surprisingly pro-technology.

On close inspection, most Amish use a mixture of old and very new stuff. Behind all of these variations is the Amish motivation to strengthen their communities. The ban on unbridled mobility (owning cars) was aimed to make it hard to travel far, and to keep energy focused in the local community. Amish practices are ultimately driven by religious belief: the technological, environmental, social, and cultural consequences are secondary.

Turns out the Amish make a distinction between using something and owning it. The Old Order won’t own a pickup truck, but they will ride in one. They won’t get a license, purchase an automobile, pay insurance, and become dependent on the automobile and the industrial-car complex, but they will call a taxi. Since there are more Amish men than farms, many men work at small factories and these guys will hire vans driven by outsiders to take them to and from work. So even the horse and buggy folk will use cars — under their own terms. (Very thrifty, too.)

I visited one retrofit workshop run by a strict Mennonite. A few years ago they installed a massive, $400,000 computer-controlled milling (CNC) machine in his backyard, behind the horse stable. This massive half-million dollar tool is about the dimensions of a delivery truck. It is operated by his 14-year-old daughter, in a bonnet. With this computer-controlled machine she makes parts for grid-free horse-and-buggy living.

One can’t say “electricity-free” because I kept finding electricity in Amish homes. Once you have a huge diesel generator running behind your barn to power the refrigeration units that store the milk (the main cash crop for the Amish), it’s a small thing to stick on a small electrical generator. For re-charging batteries, say. You can find battery-powered calculators, flashlights, electric fences, and generator-powered electric welders on Amish farms. The Amish also use batteries to run a radio or phone (outside in the barn or shop), or to power the required headlights and turn signals on their horse buggies. One clever Amish fellow spent a half hour telling me the ingenious way he hacked up a mechanism to make a buggy turn signal automatically turn off when the turn was finished, just as it does in your car.

Nowadays solar panels are becoming popular among the Amish.

The Amish use disposable diapers (why not?), chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and are big boosters of genetically modified corn.

They use the web at libraries (using but not owning). From cubicles in public libraries Amish sometimes set up a website for their business. So while Amish websites seem like a joke, there’s quite a few of them.

Cruising down the road you may see an Amish kid in a straw hat and suspenders zipping by on roller blades.
As I wrote earlier, like good Catholics they’re not trying to live in the past but, as Hilary says of Europeans, with the past: living in an alternative present.
What is ‘Eastern Europe’?
From Deacon Jim

Goodbye, Danny
I was slightly acquainted with him for about 15 years (worked a summer sidewalk sale for him one day): nice, nice man, the sort of person and place from the kind of localism Rod Dreher likes. Went to the closing sale yesterday as a way of saying goodbye. Not only was the shop fairly well picked over after only an hour but I realised — sorry, Danny — as old-school as I am, I didn’t need this means of info delivery for most things. I’ve got the medium you’re using right now. Still, besides being a no-frills newsagents’ (no gourmet coffee or any coffee for that matter, just the papers, magazines, a few books and friendly conversation) you could find half-forgotten treasures. Yesterday I saw a sturdy Roman Catholic prayer book in Spanish that should get regular use rather than just sit on my shelf, and I still have a rare copy of the real-life Vietnam War naval drama The Arnheiter Affair I bought from Danny a long time ago.
Books: you know, those things I have on my walls to make me look smart.
— Line from ‘Will & Grace’

Not the Fifties but the ’50s

The Penrose Diner, where some of South Philly’s Catholics meet: the former longtime rector and the curate (a retired and retrained ’50s Anglo-Catholic priest) from Assumption after Saturday Vespers, the local Greek Catholic priest and occasionally a priest from St Nicholas of Tolentine

Arnie’s, Columbus, NJ

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The lost children
From Front Porch Republic
The week’s stories from RR
The Pope’s planned trip to Britain and Opus Dei’s money
From Damian Thompson, who is not a liberal
Jack Valero did a good job of countering media misrepresentations of Opus Dei during the controversy over Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci Code’, which ludicrously caricatured the organisation. (I happen to think that the truth about Opus is quite creepy enough without inventing stuff, but that’s just my view.)

But one thing is for sure: Opus has the money and the discipline to organise PR campaigns efficiently, whereas the Bishops of England and Wales famously do not.

I should make it clear that I don’t know Valero, though I’ve seen him gliding about at countless Catholic social events. He has a reputation as an assiduous cultivator of promising and influential people, which is no bad thing in a media man, I suppose: John Paul II had an outstandingly successful Opus press officer.

Here’s what I’d like to know. The visit of Benedict XVI is going to cost a fortune, and the Church is broke. Opus is very rich. How big a piece of the action does it want? “Very big,” says a leading church source. I’m not saying that the Holy Father will be surrounded by albino monks when he arrives, but watch out for smooth operators wearing expensive suits and well practised smiles.
It’s long been my impression, and I’ve met Opus Dei people, that the group are snobbish Novus Ordo neocons, probably with a good deal of crossover into the GOP and Beltway conservatism, working for their own corporate greater glory, or yeah, they’re orthodox but so what? The disgraced Legionaries of Christ were Mexican Opus wannabes. A clique far removed from Arturo’s traditionalism or mine.

Thompson and others report that thanks to immigration (tied into the Brits and Irish contracepting and aborting themselves like much of the rest of western Europe?), RC in the UK is not so much Opus or the local liberals but more and more... Polish, more like Arturo’s and my religion? BTW there are far fewer RCs proportionally there than in the US. More than 20 years ago I found you could be orthodox high church among them (the Brompton Oratory for example, which has done all along what Pope Benedict is now doing) if you were looking for it.
The moon landing in perspective
From Cracked

As I said earlier:

It was really an accomplishment of ‘the other 1960s’ (the ‘Mad Men’/Kennedy era, really an extension of the 1950s), of civilised people capable of the required discipline and focus. ‘The ’60s’, which Charley has defined as ‘at university between 1968 and 1972’, didn’t accomplish much of anything.

From LRC
Licence to live
Recently I met with a couple who were in need of some legal services. They wanted to meet with me because they wish to pursue their chosen profession, but to do so they each need a license from the state. Unfortunately, the state conditionally denied their application for the license required to enter their industry and they need an advocate to help persuade the state to “allow” them to exercise their right to produce their own livelihood, that is, their right to live.
Haiti appeal... from Planned Parenthood
With 100,000 dead and most of the country destroyed, apparently what they need is more condoms and access to abortion. That’s the best use of funds?
Margaret Sanger’s racism lives.

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Serbian patriarch
Many years, Irinej
Open to modernisation.
In this context I have no idea what that means.


A noble cause
But a substitute for RC identity that doesn’t accomplish its stated goal. That could partly be because as Michael Molloy says, ‘For 37 years the media have portrayed this as almost a non-event but there is no other yearly march that gets anywhere close to the numbers’.
The 10 worst Internet passwords
Are of course the easiest/laziest for identity thieves to guess

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The late 1930s-early 1940s in Kodakchrome

Update: More from the Library of Congress on Flickr. Thanks, AMM.
Google disses Pat Buchanan
From Steve Sailer
Seven bullsh*t police myths everyone believes (thanks to movies)
Under no circumstances can you be coerced into being a witness against yourself. And, since at the moment they speak to you, you don't know if you’re a suspect or not, that means you always have the right to not talk to the police.

Now, obstruction of justice is a real thing, and it can be charged when you lie to the cops, destroy evidence or otherwise intentionally f*ck up their investigation. But simply refusing to talk to them is not one of those things.

Prepare to get paranoid, because today the FBI can track down and remotely turn on any cell phone, and even use it as a microphone to spy on people. They could be listening in as we speak.
From Cracked.
Liberal hatred of civil liberties
More. From LRC.
What role can the Anglo-Catholic ethos play in reviving some of the philosophical underpinnings of the Common Law and the English Enlightenment (as opposed to the horrible stuff coming out of France at the time) within the Catholic Church?
From Deborah Gyapong here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Losing rule of law
From Taki

Orthodoxy in space
The Russian part of the International Space Station

If Hollywood decided to give everything a gritty reboot
Cracked Photoshop contest

The ‘Idol’ picture reminds me: why is somebody AFAIK nothing to do with the music business now judging this cruel entertainment pretending to be a music talent contest? (I say ‘pretending’ because the audition shows are unfair: two pre-show auditions let the untalented through so the judges can rip them apart on camera.)
The first anniversary of hope’n’change
From LRC. A long and worthwhile read.
Scott Brown: business as usual really
I don’t accept the two real choices offered (red-state right and blue-state left, the swastika and the sickle) so I don’t see this as a coup. I wish the no-relation Kennedy (Joe, a Libertarian) won but am looking forward to lefty media freak-outs like their visceral hatred for Sarah Palin (somebody I don’t give a second thought about). The end of the Kennedy dynasty is also worth drinking to. (Say a prayer for the repose of the soul of Mary Jo Kopechne.) As somebody said to me the only good thing about this is the schadenfreude.

And yes, I’m happy that apparent anti-Catholic RC Coakley (more) lost. Anti-Catholic RCs are beyond Bad Catholics, in pols’ case causing scandal so it’s excommunicable, but not really a Modernist (wannabe mainline Protestant) fifth column (‘change the church’: that sound you hear is me and Arturo laughing at them): more like self-hating Jews, slunk off to join the enemy but still a culture unto themselves. (I agree with Jeff Culbreath that Biden’s a Bad Catholic.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Three from MCJ
  • Ecumenism good and bad. Pope Benedict’s remarks highlight two competing definitions of ecumenism prevalent in interdenominational relations today; one honest and the other, I believe, dishonest. The honest definition is that espoused by Pope Benedict/the Roman Catholic Church, and the Orthodox Churches. This type of ecumenism seeks to reinstate the fullness of the unity of the Church through theological dialogue not for the purposes of hammering out compromise, but in understanding how differences arose and in genuinely healing the breaches between ecclesial communities. These groups understand that communion, “common union,” is the end result, not the means of realizing unity. This, however, is a slow, sometimes painful process in which progress can take decades. Nevertheless, progress is being made, especially between the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Roman Catholic Churches. While not yet reunited, these groups now enjoy closer relations than they have in centuries. The other definition, the dishonest one, is the one that seems to be prevalent amongst many Protestant groups in the World Council of Churches. Papering over their differences, they share communion without “common union” and without true unity. This definition, taking a relativistic view of doctrine and dogma, invariably leads to a least-common-denominator type of Christianity or even interfaith fuzzy-wuzzy goodness. Taken to its extreme, one ends up with people like Ann Holmes Redding who mistakenly believed that she could somehow be both Muslim and Christian. Jesus gave Himself up to death for the whole world. Mohammed killed his enemies in cold blood and instructed his followers to do the same. How she thought she could reconcile the two is beyond me. Because that poor woman was as relativistic about Islam as she was about Christianity. The Episcopalians both were extremely kind and did the right thing about her (suspended her for a year to cool off then kicked her out of the ministry when she didn’t repent).
  • There are a few denominations that I know won’t compromise their core beliefs to win popularity points. Catholicism is one of them, and the one with the most notable and high-profile hierarchy and leader. Hence, this is why people get their undies in a twist about us, time and again. Because it’s not a denomination.
  • Dr Tighe on the Pope’s offer. No surprises really. The American Continuers probably won’t come on board. The “highest authorities” in the TAC seem to expect a significant number of refusals of the “Roman Option” among the laity, clergy and parishes (and one or perhaps even two of its bishops) in its USA province, the ACA (= Anglican Church in America) — a province which in October 2006 reckoned the number of its active, communicant, and registered members as 5,245 — while expecting insignificant or even negligible losses elsewhere... and I understand that within recent weeks a retired bishop of the TAC has moved to another Continuing Anglican body. On the other hand, they also expect that, once the “ordinariates” are up and running a “significant number” of clergy and parishes from other Anglican jurisdictions will seek to join up, weary of their continuing fragmentation and of the mirage-like continually receding prospects of greater unity among them. No doubt we will see in due course, when the time to “put your money where your mouth is” arrives. As I define Anglican Continuers aren’t Anglicans. Anglicans are invited to Lambeth.
Steve Sailer on Haiti and (non-)government
I understand the same thing happened in the 1977 New York blackout: no looting in the Italian-American neighbourhoods
Remembering MLK and Palestine today
As a libertarian I try not to be played by either side of the culture war. So I both admire King for what he was trying to do and for his courage but question some of the legal means, or everything George Wallace said about the US Constitution is true; Wallace’s infamous race-baiting doesn’t change that. (And Wallace wasn’t really a conservative but very much a Dixiecrat-like statist who wanted lots of federal pork projects to prop up Alabama’s economy.) And I consider both men part of a better time than the commonly understood ’60s: more a continuation of the ’50s when the real dog work for civil rights was done. The best answers come from Zora Neale Hurston and Ludwig von Mises: violating freedom of association is wrong but in a truly free, market society discrimination in the sense we’re talking about here ultimately hurts those who practise it so it goes away.

Every year I’m amused by the establishment’s bowdlerisation of the man and the holiday: any year now I’m expecting somebody to have a pet-charity activity in his name. (Imagine this picture with dogs and cats surrounding King and him saying or thinking ‘WTF?’)

If only King and his friends, the rednecks and the early Carl Oglesby SDS had got over themselves enough to sit down and talk to each other (moderated by Murray Rothbard and Frank Chodorov?) and said ‘no more’ to the government and being played by the two big parties... then the commonly understood ’60s might never have happened (no Vietnam War and no hippies). I have a dream...

Anyway this came into my inbox more in the true spirit of the man:
Today, we pause to remember the contributions of one of our country’s greatest leaders — the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a leader in the movements for civil rights, peace, and a more equitable sharing of our nations resources. Forty-seven years ago, Dr. King wrote his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” explaining why he and others had chosen the path of nonviolent direct action to struggle against institutionalized racism. Today, Palestinian activist Abdallah Abu Rahmah is in Israeli jail because of his own nonviolent struggle against oppression. The tireless effort of US Campaign activists has already pressured Israel to release two of Aballah’s colleagues. Your support can continue Dr. King’s legacy of boycott and nonviolence to advance human rights. Act now by giving a tax-deductible donation in memory of Dr. King to the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

Last week, the movement for Palestinian human rights celebrated a huge victory with the release from Israeli prison of two of its own heroes in the struggle for equal rights and a just peace: Palestinian grassroots anti-apartheid activists and boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigners Mohammad Othman and Jamal Juma’.

Together, US Campaign supporters and other members of international civil society played a vital role in their release. We sent thousands of emails to the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem pressuring U.S. Consul General Daniel Rubinstein to demand the release of Mohammad and Jamal.

The release of Jamal and Mohammad shows the importance of international grassroots pressure to secure the political and human rights of Palestinians struggling against the same variety of humiliation, brutality, and broken promises that Dr. King railed against in his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail.” Donate now to help the US Campaign continue advocating for the release of Abdallah and organizing the boycott work called for by Palestinian activists putting themselves on the line. Please continue to send emails to demand the release of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, the still-imprisoned leader of nonviolent protests against the Apartheid Wall in the Palestinian village of Bil’in, by clicking below. Donate now to help the US Campaign keep the pressure up to advocate for the release of Palestinian activists such as Abdallah.

On April 4, 1967, Dr. King gave his famous “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church in New York City, in which he spoke eloquently of the need to oppose U.S.-sponsored violence:
I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.
Today, U.S. support for Israel’s illegal 42-year-old occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip represents one of the most important fronts in the struggle against U.S. militarism. And the US Campaign is the largest coalition of organizations working to end U.S. military aid to Israel, which is misused to commit human rights abuses against Palestinian in violation of U.S. and international law. Give today to support the important anti-militarism work of the US Campaign.

In a recent op-ed in the
New York Times, rockstar and U2 lead singer Bono expressed his desire for Palestinians to “find among them their Gandhi, their King, their Aung San Suu Kyi.” We know that not only has the movement for Palestinian rights already found its leaders of nonviolent resistance, but that these leaders are calling for exactly the kind of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns being organized nationally by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

On his release from Israeli prison, Jamal Juma’ credited international efforts to free him and called for a continuation of the international campaign to secure a just peace:
This international solidarity has given our popular struggle against the Wall further strength. We are deeply thankful for all the efforts. Yet, the latest arrests and continuous repression show that we have not yet defeated the Israeli policy as such, as Israel remains determined to silence Palestinian human rights defenders by all means.

We therefore need to ensure that the campaign for the freedom of all anti-wall activists and Palestinian political prisoners continues to grow. We have to combine our energies to ensure that the root cause — the Wall — will be torn down and the occupation will be brought to an end.
Support the work of continuing to grow the campaign for freedom from Israeli occupation and equal rights for all by clicking here.

As we remember Dr. King and celebrate the release of Jamal and Mohammad, let’s rededicate ourselves to the struggle for justice and peace in Israel/Palestine — and a U.S. policy that will make justice and peace possible.