Sunday, February 28, 2010

Having a set text
... may seem boring to some, but it is also a contract and a form of protection for the laity... on the part of the clergy, a act of respect towards the people in the pews. Endless clerical tinkering and liturgical innovation — particularly those changes done in the name of inclusivity and egalitarianism — are simply new expressions of the old disease of clericalism. If the sign out front says “____,” then the liturgy celebrated inside should be found within the book. This is our liturgical text — period.

Church serves 10 millionth pieróg
Euro-Christian unity talks
Cui bono?
From Brother Stephen
The romantic rural past
In part this seems a good libertarian answer to Rod Dreher’s and others’ well-meant crunchiness
As the speakers talked about preserving small-scale farming and the ability of countries like Haiti to grow their own food, I thought about Canada and the fact that I like being able to buy avocados year-round and asked myself it it would make sense to have some government program that ensured that Canada was growing its own food supply even if people were not all that interested in buying only what we can grow in our cold climate and short growing season. Are we trying to impose our notions of community and a nostalgia for what we’ve lost on people in developing countries who would rather have cell phones and TVs than live in a picturesque hut in a traditional village somewhere?
As P.J. O’Rourke wrote in his heyday, I don’t want to be the skinny health-food nut who tries to get in their way.
Homesteading was a form of voluntary poverty and as my grandmother once said in her thick Russian accent, “Being poor is very interesting for a while, but then it becomes very boring.”
From LRC
Blacks becoming more involved in pro-life movement
The reason: black babies are aborted far more than babies of other races.
Five economic collapses more ridiculous than this one
From Cracked
What Went Wrong?
Unfortunately, the newly appointed regent of France didn’t understand economics worth a damn, specifically the rule that money is supposed to represent things that are, you know, valuable. You can’t circulate more money than can actually be exchanged for things of real value. They printed so much money that it represented five times more wealth than France actually had.

From Deacon Jim
Talking to Tripp on Facebook about the happy hunting ground of American religion
With this article on ‘millennials’, and the not at all new phenomenon of cultural Protestants making up their own faiths, as the starting point

Tripp starts:
I think about things like this too often. What does the so-called liberal church have to offer these people? Is it possible that the institutions themselves are the problem and not the politics? Institutional methodologies detract from spiritual growth and seeking? The Religious Right is the perfect/essential institutional expression of religiosity. The Left has begun to duplicate this through Sojourners/Jim Wallis. Are young people affiliating with those institutions because they are more likely to be of a common mind? Who can answer that question for me?
IMO liberal churches are by and for boomers who’ve taken the loss of faith at the ‘Enlightenment’ and run with it up to a point but maintain the ’50s habit of churchgoing that they were brought up with. Millennials don’t have that residual culture so either they don’t go at all or if they have a faith it’s orthodox and old-fashioned. (The octogenarian Pope’s Catholic revival has a following largely in their 20s and 30s.)
The Religious Right is the perfect/essential institutional expression of religiosity.
In the happy hunting ground of Protestant sectarianism that is America that’s arguably true; I’m hip to the distinction you make between religiosity and religion. That said I do think it’s a sort of strawman for the left to rally against; a big nothing with little real power.
John, it is certainly a straw man, yet it garnered great support and became the public face of Christianity for many people and even the Pope has to wrestle with that PR when he comes to the US. Media. Who knew?
Probably not evidence of its political power — again it has next to none — but rather the face of American Protestantism by default as the mainline denominations have declined so they no longer are (they haven’t been for about 35 years). The Episcopalians, the Presbyterians and the Methodists don’t rule public discourse like they did years ago. There are still lots of mainliners but as groups they lost their clout. By the time of Fulton Sheen, Roman Catholicism had a shot at replacing them as the face of American Christianity outside the South (arguably in parts of the Northeast it was and is!) — ‘the Catholic moment’ — but 1) Vatican II squandered that and 2) America both redneck and SWPL is still nativist Protestant at heart and I wonder if RCs ultimately could have overcome that. Eastern Orthodoxy will always be an ethnic minority and the boutique church of a few converts (slight uptick in recent years). There. I’m even-handed.
Ha! Well done.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

From RR

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chant books in English: yours for the asking

Here they are.
Friends of the Ordinariate
Good idea for a site but I was always taken aback by this. My comment.
Failing our geeks
Crucially, Temple Grandin’s not arguing that we need to be more flexible in our approach to education out of charity for autistic kids; she’s arguing that we need to be more flexible because it benefits us all to free up the skills inside these kids’ minds.
From Rod Dreher.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

From Joshua
The quotable John Zmirak
What faithful Catholic wouldn’t, if he could right now, wave a magic wand and swap the American church of 2010 for that of 1940 — with all its acknowledged abuses and hidden worldliness? I’ll take the blustering Cardinal Spellman over the scheming Archbishop Weakland any day.

The old Mass reminds me of what they used to say about the Catholic Church and the U.S. Navy: “It’s a machine built by geniuses so it can be operated safely by idiots.” The old liturgy was crafted by saints, and can be said by schlubs without risk of sacrilege. The new rite was patched together by bureaucrats, and should only be safely celebrated by the saintly.

Inessential things have power, which is why we bother with them in the first place.

By changing back the flag, by taking back our Mass, we are saying: Go back to Hell. Our Church belongs to Christ.
From RR
  • US Senate votes to extend Patriot Act.
  • Paul told me earlier this week that “I see [the CPAC win] as making progress, but I wouldn’t overblow it. I try to put it into perspective. I probably get more excited about what’s happening when I go to a college campus and get 1,500 students excited about what I’m doing. If they did a national poll of all Republican voters, I mean obviously I’m not going to be running the show.”
  • Can the left and right work together to oppose war and empire? I’d say after most of a decade doing this, usually no (because each wants the state to force its agenda on you, an agenda very different from the other side’s, so it’s Wallace vs the hippies all over again) and even if they could they wouldn’t be listened to. It’s still nice though to have the odd site on the left find and link to me.
  • Mugabe’s UN helpers. He’s been getting away with murder and theft for 30 years but the man is honest. Towards the beginning at Lancaster House he said, ‘I want power!’ and pols said oh, how cute, and let him go for it.
  • Learning from history: can the US win the Afghan war? Where the British and the Russians failed?
From LRC

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

From Mark Shea
From my paper
Liberality vs liberalism in the classroom
When I was in teaching, there was already a de facto expectation that one bow to the Zeitgeist in this sort of way. I came to feel that there were advantages in it. I used to tell the pupils: “Some people think ...’, and then give them as passionate an advocacy as I could manage of the ‘liberal’ line – clichés, false logic, spurious rhetoric, factual misrepresentation, you name it, I threw myself into it all with relish. Then I said: ‘But other people think ...’, and gave them the Christian view. When they said ‘But what do you think, Father?’, I allowed them to pester me into revealing to them why the ‘liberal’ view I had so convincingly put forward was, in my own view, such rubbish. This had the advantage that when they later heard (as they were undoubtedly destined to) the ‘liberal’ orthodoxies, they were already to a degree inoculated; they found them rather less persuasive than than they were when Fr H had so convincingly expounded those same views ... ‘and he didn't even believe it!’

I also obeyed to the letter the fashion for teaching ethics in a ‘balanced and non-judgemental’ way by giving the arguments both for and against Racial Discrimination, Gender Prejudice, etc. Liberal colleagues used to find it incredibly difficult to explain to me why I was wrong to do this without conceding that they themselves were up to their ears in unbalanced and and judgemental teaching of moral and social matters. ‘But X is just
wrong’ they would naïvely bleat. I found the fun of it all really rather exhilarating.
Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs

Either the future isn’t what it used to be or we have this to look forward to in 50 years

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

From Michael Lawrence
It is ironic that the constitution gives the government the explicit right to tax; King George III, on the other hand, never enjoyed such a luxury.

Contrast the constitution with the way monarchies were set up: “Divine Right” was not, at first, the right of a King to make up a law on his own whim; rather, it meant that all his laws had to be in accord with Divine, or “natural,” law. It was a means of circumscription. It, too, was eventually violated, but it took much longer than the constitution, which was “nothing more than a g*ddamned piece of paper” within a few decades, at the very most.

The point is that this system would seem to be broken, and that there’s no point in trying to work within it in order to rehabilitate order in our society, since its brokenness is related to intrinsic flaws rather than simple mismanagement. Therefore I believe that Ron Paul could do much more good by being a thinker and speaker than by being a politician who asks neoconservatives at CPAC to consider his cause. Do you really think he influenced so many people because he came in fourth place in some presidential primary? Hardly. It was the ideas he brought with him that did it, and ideas—not politics—are what move society from a lesser condition to a better one.

Look at what has happened to the Tea Party Movement. They went from End the Fed to Sarah Palin in only about a year. Would Ron Paul be better off making himself out to be more on the fringe? (I know that must sound ridiculous to some people, but from the anarchist perspective it makes sense.) A sharper line in the sand just might help to prevent the kind of co-opting that political parties thrive on. Think of the way the conservative movement was watered down and popularized in the late years of the 20th century.

Finally, is it a contradiction to use the political process as a means to promote liberty? Politics, as Dr. Paul himself has noted, is the art of the majority voting to take away the rights of the minority. This is anything but liberty and anything but private property rights, which are the foundation of individualism.

All that said, in a world in which Dr. Paul were president, we would be much better off.
How the mainstream media treat Ron Paul
That and the same snobbery thrown at the Tea Party now

Cracked on America’s founding fathers
The point of the flag: as wonderful as the Constitution is, the Loyalists were more right than you think, essentially the point of practically minded Commonwealth monarchists today. If you’re free under a distant head of state who doesn’t bother you, why change?
Because they’re funny
On the subject of things Good Catholics™ are not supposed to like because they’re not endless soft-focus programmes of the Rosary and Gregorian chant sing-alongs...

I like the Simpsons.

Why? Is it because they got a plug from
L’Oss. R.?


It’s because they’re funny.

You know, that thing that keeps us all from committing suicide every day.

Because it’s true.

From Hilary.
From RR
Petty prophets of the blue beast
Walter Russell Mead clobbers the mainline
The social sins they deplore are those of the right: ... too robust and unheeding a promotion of the American national and security interest abroad.
They and I agree but it’s accidental; they’re not interested in forming a coalition with us libertarians to do something about it because we disagree on how to run a peacetime system and besides many of us are of the wrong class. (We’re for equal rights for gays not the special treatment the mainline wants.)

From T1:9.
From LRC
  • Conservatism is a scam. National Review’s three-card monte described by Murray Rothbard.
  • Let’s liquidate the empire. Ron Paul shows the way.
  • The terror-industrial complex.
  • Toyota will grovel at the feet of totalitarians who put up the front that they are acting in the interest of American citizens. This is another move to knock down Japanese cars and put the government-owned, bailed-out, failed U.S. auto industry in a good light. And yes, this massive media effort to dethrone the kings – Japanese auto makers – just might be successful in selling more American cars that people stopped wanting to buy. Has Bush or Obama apologized for still occupying Japan and Okinawa?
  • Life is not like ‘Numb3rs’. “A subcritical hot spot, like a large neighborhood drug market, can be effectively suppressed [by police action] according to the model. [This is] because this sort of hot spot requires complex organization and is not easily re-established even after police pressure is relaxed.” Anyone who understands that drugs, and almost any other flavor of contraband, freely flow into prisons and many other areas of “intense police presence” sees this assertion for the lunacy that it is. In fact, if it were true that complex organizations could be eradicated by intense police pressure, the war on (some) drugs should have been over long ago. The Mafia would be an urban legend. “The Wire” would never have made it to television! The laws of supply and demand, interacting with self-interest, choice, and human action, determine what will and won’t happen, regardless of the intensity of police action. When people are engaged in an activity that is a vice – not a crime – and they know it, no amount mathematical modeling should be used to predict that more coercion will make them stop.

FarmVille: the real deal
From Kevin Mellis
Things to think about before enlisting

Two cartoons
From Wendy McElroy

Monday, February 22, 2010

NYT ‘mystery’ op-ed calls for more Afghan civilian deaths
From truthout
Coincidences you won’t believe really happened
The first page is the best: a novel seemed to predict the sinking of the Titanic. From Cracked.
Breviaries vs Prayer Book
Of course you know what I’ll say: the breviaries win although we users of one of the diurnales (no Matins) miss having substantial readings. The Prayer Book offices are not heretical but you can see Protestant intent, or why those offices feel more like just reading the Bible than praying. The directed teaching aspect is lacking. Interesting commentary on the horologion too, of course similarly criticised by Protestants. Throwing lots of the Bible at somebody sounds good in principle but without the grounding in doctrine, the mind of the church, how can it help you? It’s rather like the idea of a three-year lectionary at Mass (which neither the Byzantine Rite, traditional Roman Rite nor classic BCP Communion service do): as Bishop Peter Robinson quipped it means the people hear three times as much of the Bible but know it only a third as well.

From Derek.
From RR

Happy birthday, Mr President
His 1796 farewell address
The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.

From LRC
Equality’s war against reality
Equal opportunity is justice; equal outcomes a lie. From Jeff Culbreath.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The faith of ‘millennials’
In which Thomas Peters is quoted. Bad news and good news of course but essentially the small orthodox counter-revolution has been under way for about 20 years; how many men in their 80s like Pope Benedict have a largely young following?
Religion and non-religion
Non-religion: so-called spirituality, PCness or moralistic therapeutic deism. A sermon from Fr L.
One of the most disturbing things about the modern age is the fact that for many Christians religion has ceased to be religion. That is to say, it has ceased to be about a transaction between this world and the next and has denied the next world altogether.

Religion, if it is religion at all, is surely about man’s commerce with the supernatural realm. In this sense Paganism is a real religion. A priest sacrificing chickens or virgins to a monstrous deity in hope of supernatural protection and power is what I call religion.

Instead what was religion has been reduced to three things: a meaningless ceremony; a set of mild moral principles; and an inclination to make the world a better place. While these things may be laudable in their way, they are not essentially religious. They are the bland leftovers from what once was religion.
The deep freezer of latitudinarian moralism, which some people understandably try to warm up by serving hot granola.
What is paradoxical is that this ‘religion’ of meaningless ceremony, social courtesy and good works is practiced by the descendants of the Protestant reformers who inveighed against a religion that was no more than empty ceremonial, social standing and good works.
Or mirror worship really. (The neo-pseudo-pagans don’t really believe in the gods they say they’re worshipping.) As Fr L’s parody character Revd Lav says:
All of us have times in life when we think things are not going our way. It is at those times that we need to pull ourselves together and say, “It may not be going my way, but I will be doing it my way!”
Or what’s wrong with Frank Sinatra’s song of that title. I admit I like a scrappy paisan underdog with that attitude (the plot of Rocky) but not some privileged boomer or his SWPL offspring with it. So shoot me.

Full-blooded Catholic religion engages in an interaction with the other world.
Arturo gets it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

War is still not the answer in Iraq and Afghanistan even with ‘better rules’
From, to give credit where it’s due, Sojourners
I don’t follow sport but...
Don’t mind if you do! Here are a few recent thoughts on it.
  • Steve Sailer on making men’s figure skating manlier: Although Fred Astaire demonstrated that a man can dance perfectly well while well-dressed, male figure skaters typically pursue sparkliness over taste and even sanity. Men’s figure skating should have a rule that the skaters can’t wear any styles of clothes that weren’t worn in dance scenes in Hollywood musicals by either Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, or Jimmy Cagney.
  • I don’t care about Tiger Woods’ personal life! LutherPunk: he owes no one an apology (or anything else) except his family. Not sports writers, not fans, not the PGA, not Nike and certainly not self-righteous pundits. Exactly. What is any of this to do with his ability to hit a golf ball? Like taking down Martha Stewart, the reason for this frenzy is envy. People who have no chance of having what he has — good looks, athletic talent, boatloads of money and Elin Nordegren — want to knock him down.
  • RIP Nodar Kumaritashvili. Luging is a wonderful sport but very dangerous as we were reminded.
Defending torture is moral idiocy
From Cælum et terra

Friday, February 19, 2010

A history lesson about 1970
Not that I like John McCain or the state’s (ab)uses of the military (I stayed home in November 2008 on principle) but so much for the cleaned-up peace-and-love image of the boomers/hippies, many of whose leaders like Bill Ayers were, as is so often true, privileged kids playing at being revolutionaries who didn’t appeal to real working-class people (like the kids being sent to Vietnam who were Ayers’ targets at Fort Dix) at all. From Hilary, who knows and hates the whole thing because she was raised by hippies.
The fall of Fushek and trads vs conservatives
Cue Freddie Mercury and Queen: another ’80s-’90s great white hope of the church bites the dust, gone the way of the dotcom and real-estate bubbles. I think he was excommunicated some time ago; this news is he’s been laicised. God have mercy on him.

From truthout

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Andrew Napolitano and Angela Keaton on war and US foreign policy
From LRC and
Local school district accused of using webcams to spy on pupils at home
Giving high-schoolers laptops to use wasn’t as nice as it sounds
The romance of war, parts I and II (so far)
A veteran and Episcopal priest’s anti-war sermon
Why it won’t matter if the Pope’s ordinariate for ex-Anglicans is small at first
An op-ed by Damian Thompson
Anglicanorum cœtibus has no expiry date; some of its finest fruits may not be visible for a decade.

What jumped out to you all this year as Lent begins?
Asks Episcopal Fr Mark Juchter

My answer: Nothing in particular other than the usual besetting sins and life’s big foul-ups seen with the 20/20 hindsight of midlife. Things to hash out over and over again in the confessional and in my nightly examination of conscience (‘your life flashing before your eyes’) just chatting with God trying to make my peace (Philippians 2:12), in the special time right before I fall asleep. Hoping that, even if death is sudden/unexpected, I cross the finish line in the state of grace and my sentence in purgatory is short. Orémus pro ínvicem.

Video: Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris, even if you are one of the best Popes in recent history and, as Fr Mark does, like cats.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Real money
South Carolina Rep. Mike Pitts has introduced legislation that would mandate that gold and silver coins replace federal currency as legal tender in his state.
From the MCJ.

From Damian Thompson
Wishing my readers a holy Ash Wednesday: Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
From LRC
  • Ron Paul Tea Partiers in Nevada reject neocons.
  • Gary North on PI(I)GS: For the first time in my lifetime, politicians in Europe are having to consider the costs and benefits of national default. The theology of the messianic welfare state is being reconsidered. “A government need not default” has always meant “a government can stiff lenders with fiat money.” Today, that traditional avenue of concealed default has been cut off in Western Europe. The threat of real default has reappeared. If the euro dies, the New Europe also dies. That will be a funeral I hope to attend.
  • On the upcoming 1,000th American soldier to die in Afghanistan. These deaths are all so senseless. The 9/11 hijackers are all dead. None of them were Afghans.
  • Englishwoman 1, vacuous newsreader nil: The interviewer was Jane Pauley. Mrs. Francis was present, small and soft-spoken, like her husband. The American TV “personality,” making millions a year (Garry Trudeau’s wife, by the way), asked, ingratiatingly smiling, “So, where does the best champagne come from?” Mrs. Francis, who was not a “personality” and did not make millions a year, replied, “Why, from Champagne, dear. It’s a part of France.” The camera quickly turned away from Pauley, whose momentary panic was painful to see.

From Cracked
American failure
Taki on the lost lesson of The Quiet American
The United States never understood the realities in Vietnam and it does not understand the realities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Iran, and so on.

So, what is to be done? Easy. Get the hell out of foreign entanglements, bring the troops home, tell Israel and the neo-con press to go to hell, and think of what the country can do for its own people for a change.
Three from True Brits
  • Stiff upper lip. Grow up and don’t blame your problems on others. Well and good; that said, Michael Savage is a prat.
  • Survival of the fattest. Rather than imbue an ethic of hard work, discipline, and responsibility, through a process of handouts and hand-wringing we have promoted instead a culture in which it pays to be a dropout and where a man need not lift a finger (let alone a pick, shovel, mallet, chisel, or spanner) in order to earn a wage.
  • British SWPLs.
From Taki.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

You’ve got to give credit where it’s due
Fox News measured one of the recent 20-inch storms by holding “An Inconvenient Truth,” Gore’s global-warming volume, in the snow as its ruler throughout the broadcast.
Sam Rohrer
A candidate for governor of Pennsylvania who sounds pretty good. I heard him once at a Ron Paul rally.

Smash Mouth: ‘Walkin’ on the Sun’
In the beginning, 13 years ago (!), when they were 1960s retro cool, before they became a cover band doing soundtracks for cartoons. I always thought this sounds like a lost track from the Zombies (I love the keyboard), so in the retro spirit of this blog, enjoy!

Wikipedia adds:
The song’s opening riff and counter-melody are based on “Swan’s Splashdown” from the 1966 Perrey and Kingsley electronic music album, The In Sound From Way Out!

Monday, February 15, 2010

What is an Anglo-Catholic?
Canon Reid’s been to a conference that talked about that. My non-clobbering Catholic answer.
Liturgical lesson
I learnt from John Boyden last night that the word Spiritui in Gloria Patri et Filio... is pronounced Spiritui not Spiritui as I thought for more than 25 years (because the nominative is Spiritus) and so many others think. He pointed it out in the breviary. It’s never too late to learn! It’s not about Latin as I like to say but of course still good to know.
My congressman appears to be trying to do the right thing about torture

Sunday, February 14, 2010

More from Bishop Williamson on economics
A churchman who has some understanding of it. Of course he and classical liberals differ on religious liberty and the independence of the sciences (like there’s no such thing as Catholic physics versus physics in general, so it is with economics); he’s an integrist. But on the personal level he’s right that kicking God and common sense out of your life can lead to nonsense fantasy economics (that is, today’s mainstream economics, or just push a button on your computer and make more imaginary money).
Should a Catholic bishop leave to one side matters of economics on the grounds that he should keep to matters of religion? By no means! What a narrow view of religion one must take in order not to see that economics, or the art of managing the material goods necessary for life, is entirely governed by the view one takes of life, and the view one takes of life depends on religion. For how can religion (or its lack) be adequately understood except as the total view of life by which a man binds himself (or refuses to be bound) to the God who gave him his life?

If multitudes of men today think that economics have nothing to do with God, it is only because beforehand they think that he is either non-existent or insignificant. And supposing that there is an after-life, think they, then Hell is either non-existent (“We all go to Heaven”) or unimportant (“At least all my friends will be there”, they joke). Upon which presuppositions follow the shift from the economics of yesterday, economics of thrift, to those of today, spendthrift economics.

Yesterday, do not spend more than you earn. Save, and do not borrow, to invest. Do not solve debt with more debt. Today, it is patriotic to spend. Everybody will be prosperous if you spend regardless of what you earn. Do not save, because idle money benefits nobody. By all means borrow to make profitable investments. And if your debts turn sour, borrow more to get out of them.

These eat-drink-and-be-merry economics were intellectualised in particular by the highly influential British economist, John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), who once famously said, “In the end we all die”. By the 1970s President Nixon (1913-1994) was saying, “We are all Keynesians now”. And since the 1970s the Keynesian build-up has been continuous all the way to the 2000s orgy of lending, borrowing and spending, made possible only by the people's having given up on the old common sense of not spending more than you earn, and of shunning debt — “Owe no man anything but to love one another”, says the Word of God (Rom. XIII, 8), and “The borrower is servant to him that lendeth” (Prov. XXII, 7).

Right now the world is enslaving itself to the money-men, the orgy is collapsing, and the collapse is by no means over. Unemployment is far higher than the politicians can afford to admit, yet still they garner votes by promising jobs and free lunches for the people. The politicians have encouraged these unreal expectations by which they rise to power but on which they will not be able to deliver. The people are about to rise up, are rising up, in anger. The politicians will have to start foreign wars to take the people’s mind off domestic troubles. War is around the corner, to be followed, if God permits, by the usurers’ World Government. All because the people thought that God had nothing to do with life, and life nothing to do with God.

But see Daniel V, 5-6 and 24-28 ! The Lord God has our number (“Mane”), we have been weighed in his balance and found wanting (“Thecel”), our fun-land is over (“Phares”). It remains for us to take our medicine.
More on the bishop.

How smart is your right foot?
Fun with the brain
This is hysterical. You have to try this. It is absolutely true. I guess there are some things that the brain cannot handle.

You have to try this, please; it takes 2 seconds. I could not believe this!

It is from an orthopædic surgeon... This will confuse your mind and you will keep trying over and over again to see if you can outsmart your foot, but, you can’t. It is pre-programmed in your brain!

1. While sitting at your desk in front of your computer, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.

2. Now, while doing this, draw the number ‘6’ in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction.

I told you so! And there’s nothing you can do about it! You and I both know how stupid it is, but before the day is done you are going to try it again, if you’ve not already done so.

Send it to your friends to frustrate them too.
The empire’s collapse is imminent
Says Charles Goyette, adding that you’d better be ready. 34:06-minute audio file. From
Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs

Saturday, February 13, 2010

From Rod Dreher
Tradition depends on memory but modern culture depends on forgetting
Dating and age
Steve Sailer’s contribution in time for Valentine’s Day

Friday, February 12, 2010

From RR
I’ve been gone most of the day because after the snowstorm I had to catch up with my actual work. So here better late than never are today’s libertarian headlines.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

From LRC
  • Only the name has changed.
  • Hypocrisy, eh? The premier of Newfoundland has his heart operation in the US.
Cracked takes on WWII common knowledge
The major reason Hitler was never this close to making your grandparents goose-step through Times Square: the Soviet Union.

Understand, the Russia versus Germany part of the war wasn’t just a little more important than the part the USA was involved in. It was “four times the scale” of the whole Western front, larger than all other phases of the war put together. The Soviet military suffered eight million soldiers dead, more than 20 freaking times the number of U.S. casualties.
Essentially the basis for my views on the subject (let the Nazis and Communists destroy each other: America First, and Hitler’s death wish by going after Russia meant Britain was safe in the long run too).
Churchill suffered from an insatiable urge similar to “bloodlust” in Warcraft to keep fighting WWII for as long as he felt like it. Since this meant millions of men would be dying for his ego, it made him quite unpopular within the British military.
A point I disagree on as regular readers know: I believe FDR knew ahead of time about Pearl Harbor. The fleet was moved there from San Diego and the admiral who objected was fired; the government threatened Dewey so he’d drop the matter in the 1944 election.
Cold-weather car myths
From Joshua
From LRC
Six disastrous ways pop culture influences the real world
From Cracked

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The new dating game
Yuck. Welcome to the jungle, or pig heaven marketed as empowerment, or why I didn’t like the ‘Sex and the City’ characters. I’ll admit I sometimes read Roissy: some pretty good street psychology (summary: alphas are a**holes but learning some of their assertiveness is good if it doesn’t come naturally; betas, whom R. makes fun of a lot, can be sneakily dishonest as well as pathetic, pleading and pushed around by domineering women who really hate them) amidst a lot of very vile stuff. The Art of Manliness has a lot of the good stuff without much of the filth and it’s retro (pre-1965 like ‘Mad Men’), which is even better.

From Steve Sailer via The Anti-Gnostic.
From RR

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
  • Fr Longenecker: The split, as former Bishop of London Mgr. Graham Leonard said in The Path to Rome, is between, “those on the one hand who believe that the Christian gospel is revealed by God, is to be heard and received and that its purpose is to enable men and women to obey God in love and through them for creation itself to be redeemed. On the other hand are those who believe that it can and should be modified and adapted to the cultural and intellectual attitudes and demands of successive generations and indeed originates in them.” The divide, as Mgr. Leonard so succinctly put it, is between those who believe the old-time religion and those who do not. The Catholic/Protestant divide, answering the strip-cartoon secular version, ‘the Catholics are hung up on sex and we’re not’. The flash-point of all disobedience to God (non serviam) is about where he and his creation meet: who Jesus is (and tied into that, what the church is, or why we’re not Protestants), the Eucharist (not always the dividing line as there are high-church Protestants who say they agree with us on it) and, the only one that secularists care about, sex (where the high-church Protestants step away from us and say they believe in a fallible church).
  • Bishop Barnes to the Anglicans on the Pope’s offer: ‘Just let us go!’
  • I say the same to both Continuers and liberal Anglicans who carp at Rome over all this.
  • Meet Dr Tighe, a good friend of this blog.
  • Erastianism.
  • What’s wrong with modern Greek Catholic churches. Link to article. Comment.
  • RC/EO mixed marriages. Comment.
  • Photo: Deus, qui nobis sub sacramento mirabili, passionis tuæ memoriam reliquisti... Chant Vespers and Benediction in Latin on Sunday at Clem’s, in the chapel because of the last snowstorm.

Think it might be a blizzard?
That’s what the weather service is calling it
Pat Buchanan predicts the economic collapse of PIGS
Like Iceland recently, soon Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain will go, he says. Reminds me of the line I read somewhere that the poor ruin themselves imitating the vices of the rich (divorce devastates those who can’t afford it for example).

From Rod Dreher
  • Atheism and our inhuman nature. A reason modern liberalism doesn’t work is thanks in part to original sin, goodness without God is impossible so utopian schemes invariably turn hellish. You didn’t need Auschwitz and Hiroshima, and the bigger and ignored Communist horror, to see that. Look at the French Revolution.
  • Modernity and seeing through a glass darkly.
  • Oh, for the good old days? Yes and no; my goal is not to live in the past but as Hilary says of Europeans with the past as a living reality. I don’t buy Dreher’s argument here. Before the big, bad Internet (which like many things is just a tool, one that can do much good by helping to teach), the notion of childhood as a garden of innocence protected by adults is modern; I’d guess Victorian. As Owen for example has described his rural, Southern-like childhood, again look at fallen human nature and the facts of living close to the ground like the pioneers and for that matter the Middle Ages (pre-modern society): people living in close quarters, the violence of nature etc. People couldn’t have hidden the harsh realities of life from their kids even if they wanted to. The kids of course just didn’t understand them right away.
  • Young adults: lost without a map.
  • Dreher on Jacob Weisberg’s ‘grow up’ article: You’ve heard of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, the approach to religion that sees God as a heavenly Dr. Phil, only to be consulted when we have a problem, which He’s supposed to solve, but otherwise Someone we would prefer would stay out of our lives? Which is what ‘I’m spiritual not religious’ means and why hardship often wakes people up to the fact that they’re not in charge and they return to real religion. Well, Weisberg suggests, in so many words, that we Americans have this same lazy, infantile approach to politics, which is why Washington won’t make the hard choices necessary to straighten out our fiscal house. Even though we all like to indulge in moral rhetoric when it comes to our pet issues, we abandon moral seriousness when it comes to perhaps the gravest threat facing our viability as a nation: our inability to learn how to live within our means. We are happy to be moralistic, as long as it’s the Others who need moral reform. But when it’s all of us, and when someone in government proposes that we need to stop thinking of government in therapeutic terms, and instead to “repent” (so to speak) of our something-for-nothing mentality, which is driving us into a bottomless pit of debt? Not so much.
  • Is it that a super-black first name is a hindrance or that those who choose those names usually have lots of problems in the first place? I like some of the names on this (half-joking?) don’t list (not about black names). For example Aidan of course ties into real Celtic religion, Catholicism (and works for those Orthodox who like to stress pre-schism British stuff), and it sounds nice. Over-used: Jason, Jared is getting there (but you can see why: it is cool), Caitlyn, Brittany and its illiterate spellings, Brianna and Ashley (a name like Jason I still like). To give ’90s pop culture credit I thought Xander as a nickname for Alexander was a good idea.
  • Video: how to do a generic TV news report, a tired and arguably dying medium. I work in an older one (fitting for someone with a foot in 1962); now my company is talking about saving itself by changing the main product from a weekly paper to a 24-hour local news website with audio and video (which since last year we already have as an add-on). (The ’80s-’90s business model that almost killed us: buying up mediocre papers across the country and squeezing short-term profits out of them.) Fine with me; writing, rewriting and proofreading would remain. They’re saying they won’t stop printing the paper; selling ads is what makes money. I’d miss the artistry of designing pages.