Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Local man stalks obscure actress
Why? Sorry but next to Vince D’Onofrio you might as well have a mannequin in that part.

Seriously, I know, danger and all that and glad she’s unharmed.
Monsters from the American id?
Justin Raimondo on the Moscow metro bombings
From LRC

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

From LRC
  • Market correction in academia.
  • The Jewish ideal of freedom. Now this idea of individualism understandably worries the palæo-conservatives including drawbridge Catholics like the SSPX (‘error has no rights’): are classical liberals only one jump removed from the mainline, the modern left and the neocon right? Community, particularly family, they say, über alles. (The left, the ape of Catholicism, wants you to think that the state is your family and church and that libertarians are selfish losers.) I’m with what I understand about Burke. Many but not all traditions and small institutions are humanely good; somehow they have to answer to a higher standard.
  • A success story of voluntariness: private animal rescues.
From RR
Waiting for the train

I’m reading English Reformations by Christopher Haigh, a gift from William Tighe.

Monday, March 29, 2010

From The Onion
From Joshua
From LRC
  • DIY U. Online learning vs the college swindle; a correction from the depression?
  • Pick up your pen and write until your fingers go numb, submit an avalanche, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. If this union is to return to its progressive roots it will be not by the sword but by the writings of those dedicated to a philosophy of liberation, by the wide dissemination of radical thought into the op-ed pages and editorials of our newspapers, into the comments section to Internet news sites, into the mouths of the interviewed “man on the street,” into the intellectuals’ monthly journals and thence most importantly, into the minds of men. It is here where even the most humble advocate of liberty can make a difference, it is the necessary first step that, should we fail to take it, will bring any hard-earned advances to naught. A revolution today would be a decided step back as it would lack the ideological roadmap to go anywhere but deeper into the badlands. In the event of rebellion, the American people would lack any leadership with the ability, or even the urge, to guide them back to liberty.
Truth in real-estate naming
From Citizen Renegade

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Detroit has become the poster child of government regulation, welfare systems and a population that has given up hope
From LRC
From Cracked
America’s Potemkin village
The commercial — entitled “A March to the Mailbox” — portrays an ordinary Joe getting off his couch (in a bathrobe) and marching out of his house — picket-fenced — where suddenly the streets fill with neighbors and friends, the names of whom he knows entirely. He states that by filling out the Census form, he’s helping Pete’s school and roads for his neighbors’ car pool and Risa’s health care and so that — I quote — “we can get our fair share of Federal Funding.” As I watched it (in growing horror), I saw it as the perverse fulfillment of Tocqueville’s analysis — that the very community spirit being portrayed in that commercial would itself obviate the need for that sort of ad. The ad portrayed a vibrant community of people who know each other and genuinely wish each other’s good, but in fact the need for the commercial at all was born of the widespread absence of any such reality. Rather, the reality is that each person is to fill out this form in the privacy of his own home in order to be relieved of the obligation to do anything further to help fellow citizens who are increasingly unknown to him. Having won the Cold War, our government is now producing and airing commercials that portray what can’t be described in any other way other than our very own Potemkin village — community for show in a nation of strangers, bound only by our common subjection to the State.
From Front Porch Republic via Jeff Culbreath.
In praise of the daily office
Partly patrimonial and partly of course going beyond Episcopalian particulars. From here.
From The Anglo-Catholic
  • Quiet evangelism of the Real Presence. Fr Christopher Phillips on discovering the Catholic Church: What (or more correctly, Who) was there I did not know at the time, but my heart was touched in a way that it had never been touched before.
  • Thinking Catholic. I’m not for treating Anglo-Catholic converts like Protestant converts either but I see the point of the tribal thing and ‘here comes everybody’.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Okinawa and the problem of empire
Why on earth is Japan an American protectorate? From Joshua.
Meritocracies of love
Soul mates exist and are great but it’s not about you:
I have come to believe the mantra my mother used to repeat to me as a child, though I resented it at the time: we’re not here to be happy; we’re here to change things for the better in the ways that we can.

I suspect that for many people, love is work, even backbreakingly, or heartbreakingly, hard work.
From here via here.
The Tea Party: fulfilling its potential or co-opted by the GOP?
Paywalls won’t save newspapers. What might?
Not being newspapers any more. My place’s plan is to change in five years from a suburban weekly with a website to a site updated several times daily mostly with lots of 1-2-minute videos... with a 10-second commercial tacked onto each video.
From Hezekiah Wyman
We all know that those who are gunning for the Pope are hypocrites
We know that they are in many cases dirty hypocrites whose own lifestyle is unmarked by any evidence of sexual continence.

We know that they are bigoted hypocrites who are only marginally, if at all, interested if a rabbi or a humanist gets ‘done’ for pedophilia or if an Anglican diocese is bankrupted by the compensation it has paid out to abused Inuit children. There is one organisation that they detest with a loathing curiously like Hitler’s dislike of the Jews. There is one man for whose downfall they have an insatiable bloodlust.

The fact that he gave an errant priest — even one whose lapse had been sexual — a second chance, seemed to us, back in the 1980s, the mark of a fine pastor. In that far-off decade, forgiveness and mercy were thought very highly of. In those days, forgiveness and mercy were thought of as characteristics of our blessed Lord himself. In those days, secular critics of the Church very commonly attacked her for being ‘unforgiving’ towards those who had fallen from her standards in sexual matters.

How very, very, appropriate that this malevolent evil should be reaching its climax in Holy Week. Satan has a real sense of liturgy.
Fr Hunwicke
The death of math
From Taki

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lenten prayer
In the midst, between two thieves, was thy cross found the balance-beam of righteousness, for while the one was led down to hades by the burden of his blaspheming, the other was lightened of his sins unto the knowledge of things divine, O Christ God, glory to thee.
— Kontakion from the Ninth Hour (None) during Great Lent, Byzantine Rite

Photo from Owen.
Six baffling things every TV ad assumes are true
From Cracked
Is the Tea Party racist? Prove it!
From LRC
Hilary asks:
Have these people ever come clean about where, precisely, we’re all supposed to be progressing to?
Supposedly it’s us orthodox who are judgemental and want to run your life (a number of us don’t) but, as Marxism is crap, progressivism (SWPL) really means ‘I’m better than you so obey’.
From RR

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Abusing the church
I didn’t get bent out of shape about the census but this is just wrong:
Mayor Nutter has enlisted the aid of dozens of community leaders to serve on Complete Count Committees. And just last weekend every spiritual leader in the region was asked to deliver a sermon about the importance of complying with the census request.
From here.
From LRC
  • Obama’s socialist chaplain. As a secular (not secularist) liberal (classical) I don’t care if O. goes to church. Here is the Social Gospel, in one sentence: “Thou shalt not steal, except by majority vote.” Liberals operate in terms of OPM: other people’s money. They also operate in terms of OPA: other people’s audiences. They have trouble surviving on their own. Theological liberals did not build independent churches with their own money, 1885-1960. Instead, they infiltrated the theological seminaries that trained the pastors. Then, decade by decade, the graduates took over the pulpits. Wallis’ outfit, Sojourners, is a typical example of this strategy: persuade conservative evangelical churches to adopt the Social Gospel. It isn’t working. His total audience is about the size of two big-city First Baptist congregations. Liberal mainline denominations have been shrinking since 1960. Liberal talk radio is an example of a liberal venture that is self-funded. Air America went bankrupt in January. It’s wonderful that Wallis seems anti-war but he trusts the state that starts the wars.
  • You didn’t ‘mean’ to? Foreign-policy murder is still just that.
  • Jude Law lets the cat out of the bag. In Great Britain’s health-care system, waits are long and doctors are overworked and underpaid. Oh yeah, rich actors can opt out.
  • Ron Paul: Stupak deal unconstitutional.
From RR
From Joshua

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How’s that state-sponsored literacy campaign going?
From a press release:
Lower Merion Library’s are celebrating National Library Week, April 11th-17th.
From LRC

Monday, March 22, 2010

From The Anglo-Catholic
From Fr L
  • The myth of pædo priests. In the Protestant culture many of us live in of course the common knowledge is the big, bad church caused this because of celibacy. I understand that schoolteachers have a far worse track record. If only women could be schoolteachers, if only schoolteachers could marry...
  • Very few of these sad cases are pædo; most are ephebo gay but even that’s not the real problem. Sack trendy bishops and restore the faith.
From Joshua
Murray Rothbard on government health care
From LRC
More dumb criminals
From Cracked

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
Roger Scruton: stealing from churches
From Rod Dreher
Review of The Devil Wears Prada
At least Gigi was offered a house and a diamond bracelet and dinner at Maxim’s before deciding to give herself body and soul to a man who had no interest in marriage. Why does Andy hold herself so cheap? I would have stayed in Paris.
I’ve not seen it but Elena Maria Vidal’s review grabs me as she makes two excellent points: the romantic myth of La Bohème, certainly in its slacker form, is rubbish, and who needs feminism as it’s understood today? (as opposed to old-fashioned fair-play feminism, which by the way was anti-abortion)... orthodox Catholic women are not doormats (Mother Angelica, anyone?).
Save us from the fires of hell
Owen on the Peter Hitchens story making the rounds

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Religious liberty
Means defending people you don’t agree with as long as they respect your freedom. All I have to say on two recent stories.
Hard-core unreformed religion
Today in Eastern Orthodoxy is the Saturday of the Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God. Last night I went to a Russian service expecting just the akathist, about half an hour, and instead got a double-barrelled blast of old-school, two hours’ worth: Matins (really the equivalent of Roman Rite Lauds), complete with the two opening psalms (besides the six that start it in a Vigil service) and kathismata (assigned psalmody, when the congregation, if there is one, often go out for a smoke... see this and Brother Stephen on real old-school Catholicism), with its Canon (nine parts), part of another canon and the akathist (13 parts — the Litany of Loretto on steroids so it’s the size of a fully grown Russian), with the usual short form of Prime tacked onto the end. An enthusiastic choir of two American-born young people who grew up with the stuff. (This church is Russian not annoying anti-Western überfromm convert.) Not a word of English. Slavonic. As a longtime amateur Russian speaker I understand at least half of it, including reading the book well enough to know some hard-to-find parts were skipped (liturgical books often give just the first words of a verse and not necessarily with a page number to find it — it’s assumed you’ve memorised the verse!) and see/hear a few other goofs.

There was so much content, and a variety of it, that it wasn’t boring, and as there were several censings, in one of the parts where the lights in the church were on, the priest looked like he was standing on a cloud.

A big congregation wouldn’t necessarily stay for the whole thing, following part of it or just coming into the church to light a candle to one’s favourite saint.

By the way in 1746 Pope Benedict XIV granted an indulgence of 50 days to Roman Rite and Greek Rite Catholics for each recitation of this akathist.

Rejoice, O bride unwedded! (The Slavonic around Our Lady’s halo on the icon says this.)

Looking forward to all of Catholic Christendom celebrating Easter together.
From LRC

Two for spring: Babalú y Jingo

Friday, March 19, 2010

Supporting human rights doesn’t make me an anti-Semite (or does it?)
From Taki
When the great default pulls the plug on Social Security and Medicare, what will you do? Do you have a plan?
The same one as if socialism worked: hope I die in the state of grace. From LRC.
From RR
American naifs bringing ruin to other lands
From Chronicles
Anglican history summed up
Schism + Erastianism (fallible church: the king’s whim is all that matters) + Calvinism (importing the ‘Reformation’) -> the ‘Enlightenment’ shattering most English people’s faith = deep freezer of latitudinarian moralism -> pigging out on granola = Anglicanism today.

Patrimony: superior production values (liturgical panache: Anglo-Catholic style) and stressing the daily office (what some call Benedictine). Pope Benedict and Patriarch Ignatius can take it from here.
Diversity training
As opposed to race-blind hiring: the racism of the left. Christian ethics without Christianity don’t work.
“Diversity training,” as featured in so many companies and non-profits, doesn’t work. Indeed, it causes resentment. Highly paid, self-righteous psychobabblers blaming the members of one particular group for all the world’s troubles, throughout history and today, and ordering them not to have thoughts unapproved by the Beltway, backfires. Imagine that.

The mover in charge of packing and loading his office was a fellow from one of the hilltowns near the Massachusetts border. This fellow had on a Robert E. Lee baseball cap, replete with Confederate flags, and the inevitable confrontation soon followed.

I arrived in time to hear one of the mover’s co-workers, an impressively large and muscular black man, come to his defense by saying, “He ain’t no racist; he just don’t like them motherf&$@ers in Washington that steal all our money.”
From LRC.
St Joseph

Thursday, March 18, 2010

President of Detroit public skoolz kant rite veri goode
From Karen De Coster
I first heard Vespers in Cordova Cathedral on July 5th, 1907 : nor have I ever been more shocked at the behaviour of a choir. Neither boys nor men, nor the canons themselves made any pretence that they were doing anything else than getting through a tedious business as expeditiously as possible. When not actually engaged in singing or reading, they employed their leisure moments in pleasant chat or in strolling about the nave, ready to return to choir at once directly their presence should be needful. No one seemed to dream of staying to listen to what the others were saying or singing. Indeed, I even ventured in an unfamiliar tongue to reprove a knot of small boys in scarlet cassocks and laced cottas who were enjoying surreptitious cigarettes behind a pillar while a canon was reading from an ambo in the choir : after which I successfully evicted some touts and pedlars who were plying a vigorous trade in another corner of the Cathedral.
— The Revd Edward Forse via the Ship
From Cracked

Исторический урок: don’t mess with Russia!
Clerical celibacy
From Fr Hunwicke
From RR

‘The Extraordinary Journey’

The story of Slavs and other Eastern Europeans in upstate Pennsylvania. Just started watching it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Is it fraud if there is more paper money than real wealth?
From Independent Country
How to defend a non-interventionist foreign policy
From Hezekiah Wyman

From Wendy McElroy
From Cracked
Abortion: the state incentivises irresponsible sex
From RR

The gold in Fort Knox

As American money has been imaginary since Nixon took away its backing, is there still any gold there and why? The Greenspan story at the end says they know it’s all a game and want real money just in case. From LRC.
The poodle gets kicked
Pat Buchanan on Joe Biden in Israel. From Taki.
Torture and the imperial presidency
From truthout
The ‘Celtic’ thing
It’s linked to the long-standing English tendency to use the ‘Celtic fringe’ as sort of foil or mirror for their own society, sentimentalising or demonising it in the process. In the 19th century the supposedly poor, lazy Celts were the antithesis of modern industrial England. Now the supposedly spiritual, nature-loving Celts are the antithesis of modern, industrial England. What’s changed is how the English perceive themselves.

Call me an old cynic if you like, but I suspect that quite a lot of our modern ‘Celtic stuff’ would be dismissed as sentimental rubbish or dangerous syncretism if we were to preach it to a congregation of 5th-century Christians.
From the Ship.

St Patrick prayed in... Latin.

Monday, March 15, 2010

‘Postcards from the Wedge’

Worth seeing: framing the episode, ‘Springfield of Tomorrow’, today as imagined in the ’50s
From RR
From Steve Sailer
Few Americans know that their state-school movement began 150 years ago as part of an attack on the Catholic Church
From LRC
Recession takes away jobs for returning veterans

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Does the market cause sprawl?
From @TAC
The Tea Party’s libertarian potential
Some of the Protestant right worry that they can’t be played with culture-wars hot buttons. Good. More.

From LRC.
Taking God’s name in vain: Obama adviser tries to sucker Catholics
The ones with some theology, not just the tribal ones who’ve always voted Democratic anyway
The most obvious reason to be skeptical here is that the previous administration had any number of willing helpers who were happy to dress up whatever injustice or error it was committing as being either entirely consistent with Catholic teaching or an expression of Catholic moral theology. Whether it was George Weigel re-inventing just-war theory to approve of preventive warfare or Michael Gerson declaring Bush’s immigration policy to be the embodiment of solidarity, we have been inundated with people appropriating Catholic teaching for very bad or questionable causes. Marc Thiessen is the most recent and perhaps most egregious example of this, but he is hardly alone. Those are admittedly extreme examples, but they serve as a warning whenever administration allies begin claiming theological guidance for their policies.

Obviously, McDonough wasn’t going to be able to dictate the content of Obama’s speech, but I do find it odd that the two speeches he did help to write are remarkable for their failure to say anything meaningful about the gross injustices that have occurred in Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza.
From Eunomia.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Gazans struggle to keep farming a family tradition

From truthout.
French bread spiked with LSD in CIA experiment
A 50-year mystery over the ‘cursed bread’ of Pont-Saint-Esprit, which left residents suffering hallucinations, has been solved after a writer discovered the US had spiked the bread with LSD as part of an experiment.
So it wasn’t ergot poisoning after all.

The state, looking out for you.

From John Boyden.
Everybody against empire
From Joshua
Seven celebrities who had careers you didn’t know about
Today’s Cracked hit

Here’s another: before he was a famous comedian, the late Phil Hartman was a successful graphic artist designing album covers and logos for rock bands.
Trying to force equal outcomes in LA schools
From Steve Sailer
From Hilary
The dark side of minority religions
The SWPL think they’re cute and ‘vibrant’ when they’re out of power so the media give them a free pass. From Rod Dreher.
Celente: prepare for the worst
From LRC
The ordinariates explained
From Bishop Peter Elliott via Damian Thompson. Although Anglican without a modifier means Lambeth, Anglican Catholic is a logical name for the ordinariates even though a Continuing group of high-church Protestants already uses it.

Also, patrimony, , Anglicanism, no. From an e-mail conversation:
I confess my lack of understanding why these archeologians persist in trying to recreate some supposed golden era of Christianity in some place and in some time.
As Catholics we’re sometimes misunderstood like the Amish as trying to live in the past. Rather we live with the past, based on precedent, and don’t destroy and reinvent ourselves to follow the times.
One of the most eye-opening things for me when working through Roman Catholicism vs ‘Anglo’ Catholicism (whatever that may mean to whomever) and the Branch Theory and all that, was that to each person it meant a recreation of some golden moment in the Christian history in some geographical place (usually pastoral, medieval England) that really only exists in their minds. And they never agree with each other as to what that will be, except NOT Roman Catholicism.

This, together with the fact that I was growing in understanding and in prayer, helped lead me to agree with Fr Hunwicke: the sooner that Anglicanism (as an ‘ism’) is thrown into the trash bin of history, the better.
As an -ism it’s a kind of Protestantism either of the Evangelical or liberal kind, both of which I see being absorbed by their Protestant neighbours.
From RR

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Obama administration promises to make state schools even more dysfunctional
From Steve Sailer
Quit Iraq
From Joshua
From my paper
A torture apologist’s flawed theology
From Sojourners
The few remaining people in Centralia fight eviction, claiming massive government fraud
About Centralia (more)

Fountain pens for ever

From AKMA.
From RR
Talking to Canon Reid about the Pope’s offer
Starting here
Predictably, American RC bishops go for Obamacare
Well-meant charity etc. LRC’s Christopher Manion explains.
From Joshua

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Owen White on the irony of those who criticise book theology
LRC picks

Monday, March 08, 2010

Mysticism debased
From Rod Dreher
Government health care is not about health care; it’s about government
The mainline denominations are only interesting to the media as foils for conservative religion
Obama can take you for granted just like the Republicans do conservative Protestants and pro-lifers. More.

He can take Bad Catholics (like his veep) for granted too.

Five creepy ways video games are trying to get you addicted

Flipping the switch in the part of your brain that works like a hamster’s.
According to everything expert Malcolm Gladwell, to be satisfied with your job you need three things, and I bet most of you don’t even have two of them:

Autonomy (that is, you have some say in what you do day to day);

Complexity (so it’s not mind-numbing repetition);

Connection Between Effort and Reward (i.e. you actually see the awesome results of your hard work).
Check, check and check.

If you haven’t got these, the video game is supposed to make you feel like you do.

From Cracked.
Sensible people see through Keynesian economics
From LRC

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Obsolete occupations

From Rod Dreher
Clarity on ecumenism or more obnoxiousness doing business as orthodoxy?
An Orthodox blogger likes the way an in-your-face trad blog denounced the way Pope Benedict wished the Patriarch of Constantinople a happy birthday.

A one-true-church claim is part of what defines a Catholic church; it’s not a denomination. Which is why the Orthodox understood and respected Dominus Iesus while the mainline complained; the Pope was speaking their common language!

The matter at hand: Rome while in no way compromising its claim seems to acknowledge never-RC Orthodox bishops as having not only holy orders but jurisdiction over their never-RC people. (What it means when it says the Orthodox are churches; Protestants are non-churches, ‘ecclesial communities’ being the polite term for church-like collections of Christians.) The same benefit of the doubt that makes venerating post-schism Orthodox saints possible, even liturgically among the highest-church of the Greek Catholics (the Melkites and St Gregory Palamas; the tiny Russian Catholic Church and all the Russian Orthodox saints). Which sounds fine to me and in their usual unwritten customary way is mirrored by the Orthodox, who venerate pre-schism Popes as Popes and have never appointed an Orthodox replacement Pope. Even with the difference over his scope as the one real division between the two sides, it’s understood that the reigning Pope is who he says he is.

This benefit of the doubt given to people born on the other side is how I interpret the old-school condemnations, as applying not to them but to people who switch.

Of course I do hope that generosity doesn’t mean I’m one jump removed from the old relativists of Call to Action (wannabe mainliners who don’t like high church).
Aggressive secularism
Damian Thompson reports:
“An assault on natural law”, which imposed “unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs.”

As clergymen are warned they could be sued if they refuse to carry out homosexual “marriages” in church, what will the Equality Bill mean for religious doctrine?

The unique feature of Gordon Brown’s government is not its economic incompetence. Rather, it is doctrinaire secularism. For the first time in British history, no one sitting around the Cabinet table holds traditional Christian views that defy the liberal consensus.
From here.
What life have you if you have not life together?
There is no life that is not in community,
And no community not lived in praise of
Even the anchorite who meditates alone,
For whom the days and nights repeat the praise of
Prays for the Church, the Body of Christ incarnate.
— T.S. Eliot

From here.

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs