Friday, December 31, 2010

From Steve Sailer
From CBS
‘Social justice’ and the new politics
Which are not really new but anyway. The GOP, FWIW, got the RC vote in ’10.
Christian radical
Pope Benedict
From RR
Taking on the ‘Reformation’

From truthout
Lefties, or ‘it isn’t fascism when we do it’
  • The fundy menace. Oh, please. Your man’s in the White House ramping up the wars (he never said otherwise; you voted for him because he sort of looks like Will Smith) and you’re still picking on the ‘not our class, dear’ Other White People? Protestantism left or right doesn’t have a leg to stand on but I think many so-cons are dear people truly betrayed by the evil in the late ’60s who wrongly turned to the government to restore order (which arguably they started doing in the Depression, ramped up by the WWII scare and the Cold War); Republicans have been playing them as chumps for years. And I thought conspiracy theories were something you looked down on them for.
  • The US economy in ’11.
  • And the Tea Party? Shutting down the government again would be great but don’t expect much more than posturing over ObamaCare, says Reich.
  • Dystopia.
  • Is repealing DADT, like the defeated DREAM Act, just a cynical ploy to literally enlist the left? Human cannon fodder disguised as charity.
  • Benedict XV and the Christmas truce.
From CounterPunch
  • The year 2011 will bring Americans a larger and more intrusive police state, more unemployment and home foreclosures, no economic recovery, more disregard by the US government of US law, international law, the Constitution, and truth, more suspicion and distrust from allies, more hostility from the rest of the world, and new heights of media sycophancy. Paul Craig Roberts.
  • War porn? A valid point but I’m no pacifist. Thou shalt do no murder but every smart parent knows; ban toy guns and little boys will use sticks instead. The key is to channel this (teach ideals of honour and chivalry as well as, in sport as well as video games, how to kick ass, for example), not try to suppress it, just like in real life. IIRC Rambo the supersoldier was a government creation but ... why shouldn’t people hone these skills against an aggressor like... the government? (Hooray for militias.) Perhaps the progressives want to psychologically and literally disarm the populace, wrapping it up in Christianity to try to snow the proles, not because they want peace.
  • Obama and the boy in the metal box. As the very first detainee in Bush’s wars, he was a sign, little understood at the time, of what was to come, and a pristine example of how constitutional rights fare in the hands of cynical political leadership amidst societal hysteria and paranoia. Let’s look at this rationally. As recently as the summer of ’01 the feds were on speaking terms with the Taliban (having supported bin Laden in the Afghan war) and are still not formally at war with them. (Despite the ‘they hate our freedoms’ crap given as the reason for 9/11.) AFAIK being a immature douchebag living off your parents to trot the globe and play super-Muslim (instead of pretending to study at university or playing in Europe for a year like mainstream rich kids) is not a crime. (Barsanuphius Jones meets Muhammad.)
  • The protty right helps the Likudniki ethnically cleanse.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blog: Catholic Culture and Society
From one of Joshua’s combox regulars. Rather picks up where Rod Dreher left off. So I don’t necessarily agree with everything but it’s worth a look.
From T1:9
From LRC
Six do-it-yourself projects that put yours to shame
A father and son in Brooklyn did the same thing only better with a near-spacecraft. From Cracked.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Editorial: save Lower Merion’s 95-year-old street signs
From LRC
  • “Yes, Obama called Jeffrey Lurie to praise the Eagles for giving Vick a chance. Said too many prisoners never get fair 2d chance.” Wow. Now that took gall. Nothing against Mike Vick – whom I defended against criminal charges – but Obama has the power to free thousands of prisoners for non-crimes and has opted not to do so. People don’t even get a fair trial under his regime. True but I won’t defend cruelty to animals.
  • Obama’s favorite war is in Pakistan.
  • In his Christmas message to Scotland, England, and Wales, Pope Benedict XVI notes that the ancient Hebrews wanted a politico-military messiah to liberate them from foreign occupation. Instead, God sent His Son to liberate – not the people of that time and place in the way they expected – but all people throughout all of history, and not through political or military means, but through His torture-death on the cross. Although necessary for God’s purposes, Jesus Christ’s capital punishment was a political act carried out by the military, to the cheers of those who wanted a killer-messiah.
  • Today’s dispensationalist evangelicals, personified in the Christian Bush and egged on by the cynical, secular neocons, have hijacked the Messiah’s message and turned it upside down.
  • Open Letter to Those Inciting Murder Upon Julian Assange. Quotes Ron Paul.
The rise of social media
The Internet story of the Noughties says the Inky

  • Whenever anyone is incorporated into Christ’s body in the womb of holy Mother Church, becoming one of his members, that person by reason of his faith becomes Christ’s brother.
  • Ecclesia de mysterio. In ’97 JPII tried to put the brakes on layfolk giving Communion and was blown off. Good for him. I wonder if the reigning Pope ghostwrote it. From Fr Z.
  • St Thomas Becket. The ‘meddlesome priest’ who was inconvenient to the state. Ora pro nobis. Do see the Richard Burton film if you haven’t done already.
  • Pic from the big blog of church porn NLM (I kid because I love).

Monday, December 27, 2010

I am a critic of Left and Right
But I am harder on the Right because, IMHO, “conservatism,” by and large, is not conservative; it is logically inconsistent; and claims to speak for traditional Christianity and Western civilization when it does neither of those things. In short, I oppose conservatism for the same reason so many ex-Communists at National Review in the 1950s opposed Marxism. It’s the God That Failed.
– Jason van Boom
Arturo on Christmas
True, there is something quite ridiculous about walking through a mall two days before Christmas at seven in the morning, half the stores already open, while over the loudspeakers is being piped a song with the line, “All I want for Christmas is YOU!” Ain’t that sweet? However, some people who want to put more religiosity back into the holidays are a bunch of stuck-up killjoys who would give the nosy church lady a run for her money. Really, who wants less fun?

There is a certain unreality about religious sentiment if it cannot offer us the true feast. If religion is reduced to a series of obligations without an attachment to real life, I don’t see it having a future.

The idea that one should celebrate a holy day “on one’s spare time” only augments the cognitive dissonance at the heart of modern religiosity.
Russian immigration revives a Brooklyn church
From Ad Orientem
Some possibly overlooked celebrity deaths in 2010
From Cracked
Two war-on-Christmas thoughts from Jeff Culbreath
  • Schmeck the halls. Dechristianising and commercialising the day actually date back to the mid-century golden age, 1942. BTW I knew something’d gone wrong when radio stations and TV ads started playing ‘My Favourite Things’ at Christmastime (what churchmen call and try to keep as Advent). Also: more often, observant Jews don’t try to secularise Christian holidays; they think it’s none of their business.
  • On that note, what’s wrong with ‘Miracle on 34th Street’? Santa’s good folklore/mythology (and he even looks much like an Orthodox priest or monk) so I understand the ‘Lighten up!’ reaction to this, and of course something doesn’t have to be overtly religious (‘Our Lord’s name was not mentioned even once’) to be any good (John Boyden: a priest or a church in a story doesn’t necessarily make the story Catholic but rather the values; one of my faves, the modern ‘The Family Man’, uses ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’’s angel but is not churchy at all) but Jeff has a point:
    It’s really a pernicious film overall, despite its charming moments. I think we may historically determine that the film was very much a cause rather than an effect of the secularization of Christmas. Had a good discussion with the children. As with most older films I value the higher level of civilization the film represents compared to the present malaise. But this film is otherwise very sinister in its calculated displacement of the Nativity of Jesus Christ. Our Lord’s name was not mentioned even once. God was not mentioned even once. Saint Nicholas was not mentioned even once. For someone who didn’t know a thing about Christmas, this film would not only be unhelpful, but positively deceiving. The message for children is one of materialism and greed; for parents, the legitimization of deceit; for everyone, truth is at the service of sentimentality. It was entertaining, of course, as effective propaganda must always be – we all enjoyed quite a few laughs – but “Miracle on 34th Street” drives a nail in the coffin of Christmas in America.
    Counterpoint: the unconditional love in the Santa myth – the ultimate goal is to ‘be’ Santa – is implicitly Christian folklore. Also, ‘A Christmas Carol’ has been criticised for many of the same reasons (not overtly Christian).

The Queen’s Christmas message

FWIW. I was expecting innocuous PCness, in this case rooted in often good old-school English values of good sportsmanship and mens sana in corpore sano (muscular Christianity: make good soldiers for the empire so make sure the boys stay healthy by running them around the field a lot).

I don’t believe in the process that created the KJV – Protestantism, Erastianism and false ecumenism – but like that other project designed to bring most English Christians together to do the King’s will, the BCP, it works (better than the BCP because it’s not tied to heresy) not only because of the project members’ talent and erudition but because despite all their errors, 17th-century Anglicans and Presbyterians still shared a Godward worldview with the Catholic Church, a sort of capital they lived off of until recently. (Until the 1930s all Protestant churches – Unitarians and Mormons aren’t Christians – agreed with Catholicism on today’s culture-wars issues about sex for example.) And like it or not it became the voice of Christianity in English and the Douay Version didn’t. (The full 1611 one has the deuterocanonicals so no problem. Add a Catholic commentary, like from my 1930s Confraternity Bible, and you’re good to go.)

She rather underlines the point that today sport, healthful fun with all the good things she says but the pros are a business that only wants your money, is a substitute religion for many.

Maybe Prince Charles will be crowned Defender of the Sport.

From Andrew Bartus.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Good King Wenceslas looked out on the feast of Stephen

But had the sense not to drive when there was a winter storm warning: a cold front feeding off the Atlantic (‘perfect storm’) promising up to 15 inches of snow. Not this reporter.

Sunday in the Octave of Christmas and Feast of St Stephen, Protomartyr:
Sung Mass with Fr Pasley.

A chant Mass, not a concert one, with the congregation joining in parts of the singing.

Getting the details right down to leaving the maniple on the open missal when preaching.

Fr P mentioned Pope Benedict’s latest, at the Midnight Mass at St Peter’s. Hooray!

Not in these shots: the many young families.

Getting your Slav on at the Berlin Farmers’ Market.

BTW before Mass I heard ‘Небо и земля’ sung in Polish.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Festa dei Sette Pesci: Bob serves the linguine. In the background is Eddie from the same Brooklyn neighbourhood 50 years ago; we talked a lot about music and cars back then.

Christmas morning is all about family and gifts (I got a designer grey thin tie among other goodies) so I couldn’t make it to Mater Ecclesiæ (I’ll get to the Sung Mass tomorrow). So St Novus in town it was. Meh. I’ve seen worse. Would it kill you to chant the gospel and swing some incense? Besides the perfectly good carols the music from the miked-up folk choir had a lot of waltz-time numbers. Was tempted to dance with Donna in the aisle. Mea culpa.

Donna after making a wish at the presepio. (The parish church is about 30 years old going back to when the area was mostly Italian farmers.) Dollar bills, because Sometimes It’s Just Fun to Scare Protestants™.

Queen of the Holy Rosary, pray for us.

By John Betjeman. From philorthodox.

Friday, December 24, 2010

From RR
More Americans have decided to push back against the attempt to transform Christmas into ‘Holiday’
Regular readers know my line this year: Hanukkah ended two weeks ago and Kwanzaa’s fake. It’s Christmas. Deal with it. From what I can tell, observant Jews have no problem with that: they know they live in Christian cultures and that’s part of the gentiles’ faith.

Looking forward to la Festa dei Sette Pesci (the Feast of Settling Things Like Joe Pesci) tonight. Buon Natale!

From LRC

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Obama’s liberty problem
From CounterPunch
Binks on the war-on-Christmas front: pagan wannabes claiming we stole their holy day
My changing biz: the great switch is on for 2011
Goodbye, weekly newspapers; hello, daily website. Because literally twice as many people now read our site as buy our papers. The papers will be phased out by this time next year.

Great Caesar’s ghost!

Lyngine writes: So your blog was great training for this shift in format, I imagine.

Yes! When the editor was talking this morning about counting unique visitors etc. I was on familiar ground. I write, upload pictures and videos, and copy and paste code on the job just like I do here.

Filling broadsheet pages with pictures and text is an art form I’ll miss.

When we began in 1930 (I came two years ago from a hundred-year-old paper, shown above mid-century, that shut down) we were a daily and had our own high-rise art-deco office building in the middle of town like a mini-Daily Planet. Now we’re going back to being a daily but no more paper and in a few years, thanks to the ’Net and outsourcing, we won’t need much office space (now we’re in the ’30s ex-production plant on the highway), maybe renting two rooms.
Even Pat Robertson now thinks drug prohibition is a bad idea
I’m ... I’m not exactly for the use of drugs, don’t get me wrong, but I just believe that criminalizing marijuana, criminalizing the possession of a few ounces of pot, that kinda thing, it’s just, it’s costing us a fortune and it’s ruining young people. Young people go into prisons; they go in as youths and come out as hardened criminals. That’s not a good thing.
From the MCJ.
20 of the craziest things that the US government is spending money on
From LRC

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Another good Assange parody on ‘SNL’
On the winter solstice/‘holiday season’ and a lunar eclipse here that day
I missed the last as it began around 2 a.m. No matter: I saw one a few years ago and a partial solar one more than 30 years ago, which was, to use that overspent word, awesome.

Of course northern Europeans have long tried to cheer themselves up on the darkest day of the year.
As long as there have been people on this planet, there have been celebrations at this time of year, celebrations geared to coaxing the sun to come back, or to conquering the demonic forces that have kidnapped nature, or to beseeching a heroic god to battle winter on our behalf. Throughout the world, people lit bonfires at this time of year, a practice we still echo in the Christmas lights that decorate our streets: these are the darkest days, and we need to shine light to survive it.

And back in the day, it was too difficult to keep cattle through the winter, so many herdsmen killed their animals at this time of year, the last time fresh meat was available for a haul. And this is the first time wines and beers that have been fermenting from the fall are ready, so it was natural that celebrations this time of year involved these foods.

The calendar has evolved a lot over time. In much of Europe in the Middle Ages, winter began on Nov. 1 and lasted through Feb. 1, a system that smartly places the solstice in the center of the season. In this system, Dec. 21 marks midwinter; as summer was shifted too, the summer solstice, June 21, was Midsummer’s Day, leading to Shakespeare’s play occurring on the summer solstice, when magical things happen. The pre-Julian Roman calendar placed the solstice on Dec. 25, a day Romans devoted to celebrating the Unconquered Sun; in 336 A.D. this date was formally selected by the Pope as Christmas. Saturnalia was celebrated at this time too, a wild festival of drinking and debauchery; Saturn was the god of the harvest, and his symbol was the scythe, that sickle carried by Father Time – that’s Saturn the cartoonists all draw on New Year’s Eve.

Work: reporting out of doors

Sure, it’s wicked cold but more fun than spending 13 hours or more at a desk getting angry at typos, which I did yesterday
Down Argentine way
The US seems to be imitating this Latin-American country’s mistakes. Iraq and Afghanistan = the Falklands? From LRC.
Random facts
Forwarded by Donna from Jason-Michael with one I added. I collect these.
  • Stewardesses is the longest word typed with only the left hand.
  • And lollipop is the longest word typed with your right hand.
  • No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.
  • Dreamt is the only English word that ends in the letters mt.
  • Our eyes are always the same size from birth.
  • But our nose and ears never stop growing.
  • The sentence The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog uses every letter of the alphabet.
  • The words racecar, kayak and level are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).
  • There are only four words in the English language which end in dous: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous and hazardous.
  • There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: abstemious and facetious.
  • Typewriter is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.
  • The QWERTY English keyboard was made intentionally hard to slow typists down: alphabetical-order boards were too easy and jammed the machines.
  • A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
  • A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
  • A jiffy is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
  • A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
  • A snail can sleep for three years.
  • Almonds are a member of the peach family.
  • An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.
  • Babies are born without kneecaps. They don’t appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.
  • February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.
  • In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.
  • If the population of China walked past you, 8 abreast, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.
  • Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite!
  • Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
  • The average person’s left hand does 56% of the typing.
  • The cruise liner QE2 moved only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burned.
  • The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
  • The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.
  • There are more chickens than people in the world.
  • Winston Churchill was born in a ladies’ room during a dance.
  • Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

‘Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire’

Monday, December 20, 2010

My changing biz: our CEO on turning things around in a year
Or why my most important tool is not a typewriter but a pocket-sized video camera
From RR
  • Is charity a virtue? If yes, then are those who are not rich or can’t spend others’ money immoral?
  • Hamiltonian elitism vs Jeffersonian democracy.
  • Does the Constitution mean anything? It has been years since the Constitution has had any meaningful impact on what is done in Washington. True, no one challenges the structural provisions – there are a hundred senators, presidential elections are held every four years, etc. And there are lots of court battles over application of the Bill of Rights, largely because it protects some liberties favored by the Left. But most congressmen pay little, if any, attention to their authority under the Constitution before they pass legislation. And there probably are more unicorns in the wild than executive-branch employees who consult the Constitution before imposing regulations. The real arrogance is the claim that unelected judges are entitled to overturn settled legal understandings and complex political compromises because they prefer a different outcome. Advocates of a “living” Constitution prefer lawmaking by Zeitgeist. Like the difference between an infallible church (doctrine is a constitution without repeal; even the Pope can’t change it) and truth up for a vote.
  • The lazy-jobless myth. Sounds like a valid point from the left with an echo of us. The way things ought to be: First, there’s what psychologists call the Just-World Fallacy – the tendency to believe the world is inherently fair. This delusion is embedded in our pervasive up-by-the-bootstraps, everyone-can-be-a-millionaire catechism. And why not? The idea is that unemployment has nothing to do with structural economic forces or rigged public policies and everything to do with individual motivation. The left’s answer is to change the policies; I think ours is to get rid of them.
  • Our lexicon: coercion.
  • Ruling might force Ireland to rewrite abortion law. Give up sovereignty to the EU and that’s what happens. The Irish law gets it right.
  • CIA gave waterboarders $5-million legal shield.
  • Pulitzer winner: US empire could collapse at any time.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

More Sunday
  • Infallibility and reception.
  • Fisking a Western Rite ROCOR church bulletin. They call it the Divine Liturgy. There are the Asperges and Introit (whole psalm), then a turn east with the Great Litany and Trisagion, the Litany of Supplication after the sermon, the congregation standing for the Anaphora/Canon and the antidoron afterwards. This is not heretical but a rite-mixing mashup just like a Ukrainian Catholic putting statues in his church. I like the Antiochian way which accepts the Tridentine Mass and American Missal.
  • Recently was at the Byzantine Rite ordination of a WRO priest who was the subdeacon at Fr Joiner’s Requiem about 50 years ago.
From Cracked

Two pop musicians who died at 40
As you probably can tell from looking at me I really like the music from one of them

How the government will cost you $500,000
From Independent Country

Free Mark Steyn on the Wexford Carol
First thought: here is a taste of the sweetness and power of the Good News, that God’s Son was born for us. The original Irish carol arose in the 1100s in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, and is considered the oldest Christmas carol out of Europe. Thank God for that soul 900 years ago who captured the thought, and set it to Gaelic and music.

Second, just how cranky would the 16th- and 17th-century wrecker-haters be (the Protesters and the later Talibanist Puritanizers) to know this relic of ancient Catholic Christianity survived, and is still touching souls and preaching Christ and reminding us of 2000 years of God’s love across the years? Muwahahahaha! Despite the smashing of glass and marble, the burning of books and roods, the desecration of relics and graves and churches and history, the truth will out, even if by fragile threads and secret ways... and long memories.

Part of what was smashed in the English ‘Reformation’ was the focus on real communities, feasts and fasts, the local versus the state, and cottage/ monastery industry versus taxation and bigger government. The tremendous creativity and dazzling diversity of what later sneerers called ‘The Middle Ages’ is a living gift to the world, to art, music, architecture, literature, philosophy, science, theology, and – well – everything else besides.

So enjoy the Wexford Carol – for the beauty, for the talent of the musicians and arrangers, and for those of you who are Christians, as an abiding gift of praise unto the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, three persons and one God, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Kalim Kassam writes:
Just emailing to note the the commentary you’ve attributed to Mark Steyn is actually by the Canadian blogger Binks, who blogs on all things Steynian and operates the Free Mark Steyn blog.
US offering Manning deal to testify against Assange
From RR and truthout

  • A nice standard NLM story: extreme church makeover, from orthodox but JPII-era naff (looking like back when the charismatics peaked, which was more like 20-30 years ago) to orthodox and Pope Benedict high-church, the Catholic revival in the Roman communion at one parish church. Too bad there’s still versus populum but they’ve come a long way in only seven years. (And you always could do the Mass that way; back in the day of course few did.) More important the new English translation of the Ordinary Form Roman Missal coming out a year from now corrects all the serious problems and even many minor ones with the English-paraphrase OF: ‘for you and for many’ and ‘and with your spirit’ are back and the creed is no longer dumbed down/skating with heresy (‘consubstantial’ not ‘one in being’). Nitpicks: it looks like there’s not enough room between the altar and the rail for ad orientem or using the rail!
  • The reason for the season is our deification.
  • Meister Eckhart quotation from Fr L: If one asketh me, ‘Wherefore do we pray, wherefore fast, wherefore do we perform all manner of good works, wherefore are we baptized, wherefore did God become Man?’ I would answer, ‘For that God might be born in the soul and the soul again in God.’ ...Therefore hath God created the whole world, that God might be born in the soul and the soul again in God. The innermost nature of all corn meaneth wheat, and of all metal, gold, and of all birth: man!
  • Newman on liberalism: It is too cold a principle to prevail with the multitude. As for Evangelical Religion... there was more to cause alarm. I observed upon its organization; but on the other hand it had no intellectual basis; no internal idea, no principle of unity, no theology.
  • Looking east: О кто, кто Николая любит... The real Santa.
  • Owen on a reason I don’t normally read Orthodox sites: head-up-my-show-off-my-pious-ass-odoxy... people who confront others with a piety supposedly framed by the elders (even if inferred via elderspeak), or who simply talk a lot about a piety formed by the elders, are utterly full of sh*t, always, and in every instance. What set this off, ISTM a serviceable rebuttal to a very narrow opinion on the borders of the one true church. (Feeneyism east and west is allowable opinion; nowhere is it doctrine, unlike the actual one-true-church claim.) I see the valid criticism of a possibly naïve and rosy view of race relations but that obviously wasn’t DBH’s point.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

From Steve Sailer
’50s appreciation
Shuron browline frames.

Letter/name telephone exchanges: mine is MAdison.

Repealing DADT
What do I think? It’s mixed. I’d welcome a partnered gay commander-in-chief as long as he or she obeys the Constitution/is a strict constructionist (is a libertarian). That said the so-cons have a point that it’s another example of the state trying to force unreality on the rest of us – that two men or two women can marry each other, and that it can order you to play along with a man pretending to be a woman etc. – and I wonder how effective a fighting force would be that buys into or is forced to buy into that. (Tell it to the Marines. Would a military that believed in playing those games have won WWII?) As if affirmative-actioning women into front-line units and having to deal with the unintended consequences (accidents, needing five people to do what four able-bodied men could, fraternisation and other affairs, breakups and pregnancies) weren’t bad enough. (Soldiers aren’t the knights defending Christian values the right sometimes make them out to be – hardly – but there’s that added problem of an agenda of unreality.)

Then again leaving it to the discretion of local commanders, a former longstanding custom, makes sense: if you behave and can do the job, no problem, just like in civilian life. A friend who was a destroyer sailor during the Vietnam War said there were gays but in support jobs.

If blackmail is no longer a security threat then no problem.

Seriously loving Christmas, close to home

Hanukkah ended a week and a half ago so mentally I’ve stowed ‘Happy holidays’. (Actually the mid-century golden age's ‘Season’s greetings’ is more grating.) It’s Christmas. Don’t try to rename it Holiday. (Churchmen: I know. It’s Advent. Christmas starts on Dec. 25, continues through Jan. 6 and tapers off until Feb. 2.)
Christmas silliness

Forwarded by Donna:

From Joshua

From Ad Orientem
  • Congress approves new $800 billion in debt. Why don’t we just get it over with and sign the country over to China now?
  • Tax cuts my a$$: There ain’t no such thing as a “tax cut” when you are borrowing money to just to pay the interest on the already existing debt. This is just another loan from the Politburo in Beijing. It is analogous to having to borrow money to keep the lights on in your house, and deciding to give yourself a “raise” by taking out another loan from the bank, or in this case maybe the Mob would be the more accurate analogy.
  • Can Congress force you to be healthy?
  • Opposition to health law is steeped in tradition.
  • Greek Orthodox Church denounces ‘occupation by the IMF’.
  • Met. Hilarion (Alfeyev) according to WikiLeaks. Hilarion lamented that although 70-80 percent of Russians call themselves Orthodox, very few (about 5 percent) attend church regularly, and even fewer “have their life influenced by the Orthodox faith.” “We don’t need to update or modernize services,” Hilarion said, but “we must still overcome cultural and psychological barriers” separating religious and secular life in Russia. In his opinion, the best forum for accomplishing this is education, and he envisioned a comprehensive program that raised awareness without appearing invasive.
  • Right idea; wrong reason. The war in Afghanistan is wrong but I have no use for birtherism and even though it’s in the Constitution I care about principles not where a president was born. Also I’m anti-war but not anti-military. USMC = you signed the motherf*cking contract. Part of the heroism of disobeying unjust orders is taking the punishment, my answer regarding Bradley Manning.
The president as a company CEO responding to customer demand
Appealing in a way but of course a mob’s not always right. Principles/rule of law instead.
How the horrors of WWII were a product of the ‘Enlightenment’
Fr Rutler via Tea at Trianon

English 101, parts I, II and III
When I’m not on the beat videoing school kids doing cute, photogenic things I’m trying to keep this sort of thing out of print and off the Web. From Andrew Sullivan.

From LRC
  • If you’re in the millennial Facebook generation, this is going to be the standard storyline... The system that’s in place right now – the failed cycle of debt and consumption fed by continuous government intervention – has stuck you with the bill.
  • What’s wrong with It’s a Wonderful Life? Among the things to love about Christmas is that nostalgia is in, including the Protestants forgetting they don’t like us and putting up statues of Jesus and Mary and even singing in Latin. Most of it is from 19th-century Germany via Dickens’ England thanks to Prince Albert but it’s nicer for YFs including ’50s appreciators too. The movie wasn’t a hit in ’46 – it barely broke even – but became an American institution about 35 years ago when, out of copyright, every TV station played it and, as Charley Wingate explained to me, nostalgia became acceptable again. But here are some business lessons. More from Gary North.
  • Lies, lies, lies. The first lie was the biggest whopper of all – that you could get rich by spending money rather than saving it. The second was that the stock market would make you rich. When that one ran into a wall, along came the lie that you couldn’t lose money in real estate...
  • 10 companies that could go under including some recent powerhouses. Makes sense. I don’t watch CBS and haven’t bought anything at Borders in a year. More on Yahoo.
  • Ron Paul: skewer the Fed.
  • A doctor on what to stock up on if society collapses.
  • On buying a used car.

Friday, December 17, 2010’s week that was
Stop ‘Imagine’-ing
He remained deeply antiwar until his death. But he was far removed from his adoring fans’ image of him as a walking United Nations.

“I am not going to get locked in that business of saving the world on stage. The show is always a mess and the artist always comes off badly.”
Makes sense considering he saw an ex-friend’s Concert for Bangladesh turn into a fiasco.
“I have never voted for anybody, anytime, ever,” he said. “Even at my most so-called political. I have never registered and I never will. It’s going to make a lot of people upset, but that’s too bad.”

“I dabbled in so-called politics in the late Sixties and Seventies more out of guilt than anything,” he revealed. “Guilt for being rich.”

“I worked for money and I wanted to be rich. So what the hell? If that’s a paradox, then I’m a socialist. But I am not anything. What I used to be is guilty about money. ... Because I thought money was equated with sin. I don’t know. I think I got over it, because I either have to put up or shut up, you know. If I’m going to be a monk with nothing, do it. Otherwise, if I am going to try and make money, make it. Money itself isn’t the root of all evil.”
Even in the ’70s he didn’t believe the overpopulation hype, seeing it, as the old-school CPUSA saw abortion (believe it or not, Communists once opposed it), as an excuse to try to kill off the poor.
“Nor do I think we came from monkeys, by the way,” he insisted. “That’s another piece of garbage. What the hell’s it based on? We couldn’t’ve come from anything — fish, maybe, but not monkeys. I don’t believe in the evolution of fish to monkeys to men. Why aren’t monkeys changing into men now? It’s absolute garbage.”

More than anything else, the Boomer sense of entitlement enraged him, to the point of sounding a little like another John — the Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten:

“I used to think that the world was doing it to me and that the world owed me something, and that either the conservatives or the socialists or the fascists or the communists or the Christians or the Jews were doing something to me; and when you’re a teenybopper, that’s what you think. I’m forty now. I don’t think that anymore, ’cause I found out it doesn’t f—ing work!”
BTW Johnny Rotten’s a Ron Paul person as I think Arlo Guthrie is.

My view of the Beatles is mixed: the music was very good (but as Donald Clarke wrote of the overrated Rolling Stones, why would American kids pay to hear Englishmen cover Little Richard when they had Little Richard?) and I like it as much as people at the time did but in hindsight see, but don’t understand why, they were an instrument of evil, part of the destruction of the culture later in the decade. But I ‘imagine’ a 70-year-old Lennon would have been worth knowing.

From @TAC.

The O antiphons

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My changing biz: my parent company in the NYT
What’s happening at a sister paper
Meant to embody a full-bore embrace of the Internet, it provided one metaphor for how journalism is trying to reinvent itself.
From RR

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

If every movie got a straight-to-DVD sequel
From Cracked
Divert your course
15 years old but new to me
This is the actual radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October 1995. Radio conversation released by the chief of naval operations, 10-10-95.

Canadians: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.

Americans: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the north to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert your course.

Canadians: No, I say again, you divert your course.

Americans: This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States Atlantic Fleet. We are accompanied with three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that you change your course 15 degrees north. I say again, that’s one-five degrees north, or countermeasures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.

Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.

Be it ever so humble
My tree, which of course I add a little something to each year
Beyond the First Amendment
From Wendy McElroy
  • Feds vs historic street signs. For safety they want to take down beautiful 95-year-old metal landmarks for flimsy signs that would need replacing every 10 years. I’ve lived (nine years) and worked in and near Lower Merion for 19 years and the only big accidents I know of have been the occasional celebrity drunk.
  • Goodbye, Catholic high schools. John Boyden: I did get a kick out of the first listed comment following the answer. Phillydrifter, a proud alumnus of Dougherty. Good to see the institution’s getting its just rewards for non-evangelization.
RR’s week that was
From FB

Monday, December 13, 2010

Only pre-Islamic Christian site in Muslim heartland opens to public
Built by monks, nurtured by pilgrims from India. From Samer.
The NYT gives Ron Paul a fair profile

A sign of my changing business
Brenda Starr’s retiring

From Colonel Reilly whose columns I’ve been proofing on and off for 15 years.

And there was the sort of real-life Brenda from the early ’60s who gave me my break in the biz.
What really drives suicide terrorists?
Failing to understand the real motive – anger over Western occupation of their land – means missing major attacks because we’re looking for the wrong targets.
  • When the saints go marching in: SS. Andrew (Julian-date Orthodox) and Lucy.
  • Walsingham ructions about the ordinariate. From Dr Tighe.
    • Damian Thompson: three nuns might convert. I’m not that outraged by their treatment. A real Catholic church, one with a one-true-church claim, would act similarly and every faith has the rights to govern itself and defend its property. That said...
    • Fr H gets it. The place’s original, sincere Anglo-Papalism’s been betrayed. Stay behind = anti-Roman = mainline Protestant.

Hang up and drive
This man crossed over to the wrong side of the road because he was texting his girlfriend while driving

Graphic photo of the body. God have mercy on him. RIP.

Forwarded by Donna.