Sunday, January 30, 2011

Internet scares made up by the media
From Cracked
Populism among the laity
  • The Orthodox get it. It’s Not About Latin™, mediæval Greek or Slavonic (related to mediæval Russian) but they won’t let a bishop even hint at Novus Ordoing their liturgy. It’s why the Reds’ ‘Living Church’ stunt was skunked in ’20s Russia.
  • In an American town some people mean well but don’t get it as Deacon Jim notes. The bishop calls that shot, closing a church/suppressing a parish. Happened all the time in the good old days. If he does, right or wrong, the answer is not to hire a freelance liberal defrocked priest and not be under a bishop.

Real worship

Catholics: Godwardness literally in a war zone. This LCMS blog gets it. The humorist P.J. O’Rourke has noticed in tough times ‘spirituality’ is out and religion back in. (‘I’m religious not spiritual.’) Or ‘I (for example the bourgeois whom Owen attacks) am not in charge’.
From Fr H
  • On Greek Catholic veneration of postschism born Orthodox saints. Me.
  • It seems the Archdiocese of Liverpool will undo St Pius X’s change and have confirmation before First Communion much like Anglicans. Which of course is fine. They’ll be confirming eight-year-olds so there’ll be no disruption of the century-old Catholic folkway of dressing up and parties for the kids, which is meet and right. (If only they’d taken that respectful conservative approach to the liturgy 40 years ago but that was hijacked by heretics.) The Slavic-American Metropolia/OCA and ACROD Orthodox keep this at least in modified form from their Greek Catholic days, now with the suits/dresses and parties for First Confession. A priest I know grew up at St Theodosius Cathedral in Cleveland (where the wedding in The Deer Hunter was filmed) and had the very European Catholic Solemn First Communion (same as First Confession really) when he was 7. Count all that under good latinisation.
  • Justification again. Rome and the mainstream Lutherans agree rightly it was a nonissue all along. The kicker is infallible vs fallible church.
The modern liturgical mess: another Catholic asks why
From FB:
I do not understand the stance of some priests who are quite orthodox theologically yet have little or no issue with liturgical abuses. I suppose because of the profusion of liturgical abuse as being the “norm”. Is it because the versus populum orientation, communion in the hand, banal liturgical forms/music are seen as in the “spirit of Vatican II” and being “with it”? It’s a mystery ...
One reason there are orthodox Catholics who say only the doctrine matters is the Thomas Day factor. The persecuted Irish couldn’t have nice churches with big public ceremonies so they discounted those things. That became the dominant RC mindset in English-speaking countries. Before Vatican II Fr Leonard Feeney, hardly considered a liberal, actually wrote ‘dogmas come first, not liturgies’.

Now that I think I understand the issues, I appreciate the view that ‘the essentials didn’t change and that’s all that matters’ but I still don't think I could live with the abuses. Too big a disconnect between the faith on paper and the practice: if I wanted to worship like a low-church Methodist I’d be one.

That and in my experience the people pushing the changes usually are heretical and want you to be too. Just like trads and like unself-consciously traditional Catholics in history, the liberals believe in lex orandi, lex credendi. The orthodox, or conservative Novus Ordo in the Paul VI and JPII eras, obeyed the changes but didn’t start them.
Libertarian-sounding Vaclav Havel
The government has embraced an arrogant ideology. They claim to know the key to prosperity. It’s analogous to communism. They thought the same thing. The clever ones – themselves – would run everything. That’s the analogy. The key to prosperity is to let things run themselves. We’ll liberalize everything, let everyone look after himself, let business, not the state, run the economy. The state should have no views, no policies of its own. Just open it all up, step back, let it go and you’ll see how well everything will work if we just leave things alone.
From here.
Nails in the fence
Some general moral uplift:
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all.

He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, ‘You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. But it won’t matter how many times you say you’re sorry, the wound will still be there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.’

Remember that friends are very rare jewels indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed, they lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.

Show your friends how much you care.

Please forgive me if I have ever left a ‘hole’ in your fence.
From Donna.

A local example of the Other Modern

The good modern formed by the old religion and the legitimate liturgical movement: St Mary’s Hall at Villanova University, built as a seminary in 1964. From Lyngine.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

From LRC

The pain of anonymous parentage

From FB:
Another thing that doesn’t get much press. It makes me so sad, and it seems to come of people feeling absolutely entitled to having a child, like any possession, and damn the consequences.
Rather like how some adoptees feel but worse? (But, I think the argument goes, adoption’s not unnatural.) A consequence of treating children like a commodity... the brave new world of sex without babies (‘because you don’t want that new life; all you want is the thrill of playing at it’ as Peter Kreeft wrote) and babies without sex, something the church condemns. I’ve sometimes wondered if there could be some development of doctrine to finesse aiding conception (which wouldn’t change any of the issues people attack the church for now) but maybe not.

From Jeff Culbreath, who does most of his online writing at WWWW.

Friday, January 28, 2011

How to foil a nationwide Internet shutdown
Fr L slams nominal Catholicism; Owen on bourgeoisie
Re: Fr L, yes, Vatican II was a disaster and hooray for this Pope for almost admitting it. (But I believe in religious liberty and ecumenism rightly understood and the option of vernacular services.) But, sort of playing devil’s advocate: ‘being Catholic is as much what you are as what you believe and do’. Certainly in a real Catholic culture, which is more how Arturo describes Mexicans than some EWTN-watching devout whites in a Protestant country (the selfish rich with a hobby religion, whom Owen, an orthodox Orthodox and proudly a man of the hard left, would call bourgeois). There are and always have been lots of Bad Catholics, among whom grace works in odd ways.

While I generally agree with Owen and his friends on ethnodox being more real (without falling for SWPL condescension about things ‘vibrant’, like a magic Negro), might his leftist answer to the bourgeoisie be a kind of gnosticism, an elitism, not authentically Christian?
Practising Muslims will very soon overtake weekly churchgoers in Britain
From Damian Thompson
Why American kids do so poorly
Jeff Tucker on Tiger Moms vs the central planning of state schools. That and throw in Sailer’s ‘on average’. From LRC.
From Mark Shea
  • The confusion of the American faith in the salvific power of democratic revolution.
  • The Lefty who frets that some obscure political chart inspires violence while staunchly defending the dismemberment of babies is straining at gnats and swallowing camels.
  • The American Christian Death Penalty Maximalist continually appeals to Scripture to justify his maximalism. But he is horrified when the Taliban enacts the Old Testament before his very eyes with more maximalism than he is comfortable with. A safer course is to just, you know, go with what the Church recommends rather than do the sola-scriptura schtick on one’s pet issues.
  • Every human you meet in this life is still on probation and there exists the possibility of their salvation, however remote. Contempt directed at them is just an extra push toward hell and we should not be pushing any person toward hell. But the devils are already damned by their own choice. Laughing contempt for them is a fitting response and is a sort of courage. For in the order of nature, they are vastly our superiors in power and intellect. That is, they are cosmic bullies and it is only fitting that the weaker mock the stronger when the stronger tries to bully him. “The devil, the proud spirit, cannot endure to be mocked.” – St Thomas More. More.
From RR
Why your gym isn’t working
How many times have you been told to start with a little stretching? Yet multiple studies of pre-workout stretching demonstrate that it actually raises your likelihood of injury and lowers your subsequent performance. Turns out muscles that aren’t warmed up don’t really stretch anyway, and tugging on them just firms up their resistance to a wider range of motion. In fact, limbering up even has a slackening effect on your muscles, reducing their stability and the amount of power and strength they’ll generate.

Cardio machines are innocent enough, as they won’t actually make you any less fit, but maintaining cardiovascular fitness doesn’t really take much more than breathing uncomfortably hard for about 20 minutes, three times a week. And we all know that swimming, hoops, bike riding, and even Ultimate Frisbee can get the job done, and that treadmills or elliptical trainers are a pale substitute.

Weight machines, on the other hand, are far more insidious because they appear to be a huge technological advance over free weights. But quite the opposite is true: Weight machines train individual muscles in isolation, while the rest of you sits completely inert. This works okay for physical therapy and injury rehab, and it’s passable for bodybuilding, but every serious strength-and-conditioning coach in America will tell you that muscle-isolation machines don’t create real-world strength for life and sport.

Most gyms do include a few token free weights, but think about where you’ll find them: around the edges of the room, like fresh fruits and vegetables in a supermarket that gives all the prime middle-of-the-store shelf space to Frosted Flakes and frozen cheesecake. Truly indispensable gear — like the good old-fashioned adjustable barbell rack, the sine qua non of any remotely serious gym — has, by contrast, become a downright rarity. As for niche but no less important equipment like an Olympic lifting platform, forget about it: The lawyers would never let it through the door.

Here’s the problem: If you’re in the fitness-equipment business, free weights are a loser. The 2010 model looks too much like the 1950 model, and they both last forever. Far better to create gleaming $4,000 contraptions that can be reinvented every two years, and then hire a PR firm to promote some made-up training theory claiming that machines are the answer, like the now infamous HIT — or High Intensity Training — approach sold by Arthur Jones, inventor of the original Nautilus machines, that explained how moving quickly through an entire, complete circuit of, you guessed it, Nautilus machines, would help you reach your true potential. Meanwhile, the real reason your gym has so many strength machines is that anybody can figure out how to use them, and they make injury nearly impossible.

Commercial health clubs need about 10 times as many members as their facilities can handle, so designing them for athletes, or even aspiring athletes, makes no sense. Fitness fanatics work out too much, making every potential new member think, Nah, this place looks too crowded for me. The winning marketing strategy, according to
Recreation Management Magazine, a health club–industry trade rag, focuses strictly on luring in the “out-of-shape public,” meaning all of those people whose doctors have told them, “About 20 minutes three times a week,” who won’t come often if ever, and who definitely won’t join unless everything looks easy, available, and safe. The entire gym, from soup to nuts, has been designed around getting suckers to sign up, and then getting them mildly, vaguely exercised every once in a long while, and then getting them out the door.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sex, the sexes and the faith
From Pedes Christi.
Obamamania around three years ago or politics as projection
Facts about Obama’s connections and viewpoints were readily available in the conservative press before his election. The “mainstream” press played see no evil, and voters in general voted for what they wanted to see in Obama, not what he really is. Contrary to the current idea in the liberal press that opposition to Obama is based on racism, actually a lot of people voted for him on the idea that it would be a positive thing to have a president of African ancestry. I wanted to be able to vote for him for that reason. I don’t vote for symbols, however, and the reality of his political philosophy made me oppose him. The electorate in 2008 had a massive case of adolescent puppy love.
From here.

I paid attention to what he said, took him at his word and certainly wouldn’t vote for or against somebody based on race. So when Ron Paul didn’t get the GOP nomination or drafted by the LP, and didn’t run as an independent, I stayed home.

The latest snowfall

Ritual note
It had the usual relaxed formality of any other divine liturgy to which I have been. Things were done with ceremony and dignity but it seemed natural and “lived in”, not done with forced military precision as though the participants had learnt it from an instruction manual and were afraid of setting a foot wrong.
From here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

From Ad Orientem

An artist of the hard left
RIP Milton Rogovin. More here and here.
St Francis de Sales
Do not look forward to the mishaps of this life with anxiety, but await them with perfect confidence so that when they do occur, God, to whom you belong, will deliver you from them. He has kept you up to the present; remain securely in the hand of his providence, and he will help you in all situations. When you cannot walk, he will carry you. Do not think about what will happen tomorrow, for the same eternal Father who takes care of you today will look out for you tomorrow and always. Either he will keep you from evil or he will give you invincible courage to endure it. Remain in peace; rid your imagination of whatever troubles you.
From here.
Michael Lawrence’s book picks
I’m not well-read but this post, with the ideas he writes when describing these, is worth a look

For example Allan Bloom on music:
Good music should be an integrating force and not a fragmenting one. “To Plato and Nietzsche,” he writes, “the history of music is a series of attempts to give form and beauty to the dark, chaotic, premonitory forces in the soul – to make them serve a higher purpose, an ideal, to give man’s duties a fullness. Bach’s religious intentions and Beethoven’s revolutionary and humane ones are clear enough examples. Such cultivation of the soul uses the passions and satisfies them while sublimating them and giving them an artistic unity. A man whose noblest activities are accompanied by a music that expresses them while providing a pleasure extending from the lowest bodily to the highest spiritual, is whole, and there is no tension in him between the pleasant and the good. By contrast a man whose business life is prosaic and unmusical and whose leisure is made up of coarse, intense entertainments, is divided, and each side of his existence is undermined by the other.”
Protests at a Notre Dame lecture
And a bit about the nature of a university. From Dr Tighe.
From RR
  • Tea Partiers: budget cuts should include the military and foreign policy. Yes!
  • Spending Cuts 101.
  • Pro-lifers for mass murder. LRC’s Laurence Vance lets them have it.
  • The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do .... And that is to destroy the black family. Standard conservative rhetoric but true.
  • Still exporting torture. Three years ago I knew he was no different from the then-administration because by then I was paying attention. So I voted for Ron Paul in the primary and stayed home in November.
  • Man, they are still on that shooting.
  • Larken Rose goes there: Suppose Tucson were part of a coup. It wouldn’t work. I’m not as radical as him, more palæo/trad, Burkean and minarchist. God and man are best served by liberty – I’m more a classical liberal than a political trad – but I believe in original sin and that rightly based authority comes from God as part of handling it. (Catholicism is truths and principles backed by authority, the infallible church.) The French and Russian revolutions weren’t the answer. But yes, like electing the opposition party in our Punch-and-Judy system, murdering a congresswoman wouldn’t strike the root of the problem.
  • Is nullification viable?
  • ‘The ’60s.’ I don’t buy the parallel. A seemingly big minority because of the baby boom, a bunch of spoiled kids looking for a good time on your dime accomplished next to nothing (the civil-rights movement, arguably unconstitutional but well-intended in trying to restore individual liberty to those denied it because of race, like the exciting but costly government stunt of putting a man on the moon was a work of the cultural ’50s) and destroyed much (the culture that trads and classical liberals built). (Some of the back-to-nature stuff had a point... arguably ‘Enlightenment’ error made the culture self-destruct.) One mistake – trying to fight a long war and have a peacetime economy – is being repeated now.
  • Why discriminate?
  • ‘Marriage equality.’ But it’s not the state’s place to (re)define marriage either. The so-cons want to use the state against you. I don’t. But I defend their rights too.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gavin McInnes on the college swindle
From Taki
Owen’s parting shots as he retools his blog
At online Orthodickery. Adam Parsons on ethnic vs convert.

Russian Catholic nuns in Rome
High-church Greek Catholicism

Benny and the wolf pack
Same point as Lord of the Flies really
People sometimes rag on St. Augustine for saying that the behaviour of infants and small children is a clear indication of the truth of the doctrine of Original Sin.

These people hardly ever take the time to remember their own childhoods.
From Hilary.

A lovely example of style revival

Katy Perry goes retro. I can take or leave her music but she looks like the model for the nose art on a WWII bomber.
From The Onion
Badass cats
From Cracked

You talkin’ to me?

Photo by Margaret.

Byzantine Rite and wrong: are latinisations good or bad? It depends.

AMM writes:
I took a more detailed altar picture this morning. It was mentioned a few weeks ago it is rather Western-looking.
Thanks for this.

Sir George Martin has said, ‘It may seem an Irishism but I like music that’s out of tune as long as it’s tuneful’, rather like blue notes in jazz.

To me there are good latinisations – ‘out of tune but tuneful’ – and bad.

I'm all for leaving a traditional rite alone but things like this kind of altar, Greek Catholic and ACROD monsignori, people saying rosaries at home (po-našemu folk ‘up home’ in Pa. who just wanted to be left in peace doing what they’ve always remembered doing, without the local Irish for example trying to close them down... ACROD in a nutshell: driven out of the RCC for no good reason), Tridentine manuals of moral theology (the Russians used to teach scholastic theology), traditional Western painting, Russian baroque architecture and Russian choral music – basically German chorales with a few ‘sad’ Oriental minor keys thrown in to remind you it’s Russian – are the good kind. (They follow the principle that liturgical change is inevitable but should be so slow as to be almost inperceptible.)

Taking down an iconostasis and putting up statues (Bishop/Archbishop Elko’s 1950s-1960s plan to make the Ruthenians ‘more American’; I think Archbishop Senyshyn was like that with the Ukrainians too), having nuns in late-’60s streamlined habits or without habits, priests apologising for ‘sexist language’, having Saturday-night Mass instead of Vespers, and altar girls, as have been spotted in a few Ukrainian Catholic parishes in North America (basically it’s an ethnic version of the Novus Ordo), are the other kind.

BTW Holy Ghost, Phoenixville has a decent iconostasis. You can’t see it in the photo above because its royal doors are very wide as is their longstanding custom.

‘Barely a blip on the radar screen in the real world’
Arturo’s understandable dismissal of ‘the whole Latin Mass movement’ reminded me of these points.
  • It’s Not About Latin™.
  • But it’s arguably self-limited because of it. Joe Average Catholic doesn’t want it.
  • Pope Benedict’s needed, long-overdue cleanup of the Ordinary Form in English – high-churching it really, solving all its serious problems – is not that different from an arguably better answer, translating the Extraordinary Form as an option. His new missal reads a lot like the English column on the pages of a ’50s hand missal. Not the art or the centuries of attachment that the BCP and KJV have – the history of Christianity in English but most Catholics then and now aren’t attached to it – but adequate. (Most Catholics are attached to archaic English only in the prayers they have a long history of saying in English: the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be in the Rosary.)
  • If ‘they went back to Latin’ (which the liberals still in charge know scares off most people) a minority would leave, a minority would love it and a good chunk of people would stay and quietly go along, just like 40 years ago and just like now.
  • English the EF and you’d get better results: fewer leavers, more go-alongs and maybe even more who love it.
  • My guess is the improved OF will have similar good results.

  • What is a priest? From Fr Methodius, who is a deacon.
  • Ordinariate news: a one-time PEV is now a Catholic. Hooray!
  • Patrimonial picture from NLM. Of an Anglican church (which was mediæval Catholic) but an example of what the ordinariates will be about, neither Protestant nor Modernist.
  • Towards a Novus-free world: TLM and Eastern Catholic church finders. There’s this reality check from been-there, done-that, church-weary Arturo: There is the whole Latin Mass movement. Interesting, but barely a blip on the radar screen in the real world. True; it’s not perfect but Pope Benedict has made a difference. Things are better in that department than six years ago. And with the English translation he’s ordered to be used starting this year in Advent, all of the serious problems with the Ordinary Form are solved anyway.
  • Looking east: Russian Orthodox try to stop abortion.
  • Theophany in Russia. In Russian. From here.
A trip to Palestine
The situation is tremendously depressing, as Israel is carrying on a kind of slow-motion ethnic cleansing, severing the Palestinians from Jerusalem but various bureaucratic measures and home demolitions. It is sad both for itself – to see the extent to which Palestinian every day lives are regulated by Israelis with guns; for the peace process – because there will be no peace unless the Palestinians and Muslims world in general have some access to Jerusalem, which is a holy city for Muslims and Christians, as well as Jews. And because America, as Israel’s only ally and benefactor, makes all this possible – indeed encourages it by the supine nature of its dealings with Israel.

The House Republican Study Committee’s budget-cutting plan includes cutting off $250 million per year to Egypt. It’s a good idea to cut off all foreign aid to all countries, including Israel.

Here’s how it works:

Cantor takes Israel off the foreign-aid dole and hides the Israel subsidy in the DoD numbers til Lieberman takes over from Gates. That way Cantor can vote his heart out against foreign aid without having to explain why Israel – the biggest international welfare case in human history – gets to keep draining the American taxpayer of his lifeblood.

Neat, huh?

If America is seen doing justice in the Middle East, there will be no need for billions of dollars on security. All Americans I met are nice people yet Americans are hated round the world because of their foreign policy that hasn’t changed at all. I grew up in Damascus, witnessed 3 Middle East wars. when I was a young child, during the Israeli bombings, my mum used to hide us in the toilet (being the strongest part of the house) and cover the doorway with her body in case a bomb dropped in the house. Those were American bombs. I grew up hating America and Israel. I try now not to be angry. I don’t want my children to grow up in a hate environment. But it is hard. Everytime I see America doing something positive in the Middle East, I see 10 or more negative things. For humanity’s sake, why can’t America do what fair and just for everybody?

Two recent polls (one by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and one by the Brookings Institute) found that 2/3 of the American people want America to take no side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet, both parties in our Congress are staunchly pro-Israel.

Our representatives do not represent us. The Israeli lobby has stepped in to fill a void because most Americans are totally ignorant of the true history of that conflict and the current situation. That’s why, K. Shbib.

Our media is totally complicit in this, and that is also why; Americans just aren’t getting the truth, and don’t know any better and thus do not seek out other news sources such as the BBC, Guardian, Independent, Ha’aretz, Forward, etc.
From @TAC.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Five styles that defined eras... were made up by movies
Interesting story about disco but I’m not so sure. It was mainstream before Saturday Night Fever (very of its time and actually a pretty good film), which of course was why Fever was made (make money off it); IIRC ‘The Hustle’ topped the charts two years before Fever. From Cracked.
Doublethink about Jews
  • Modernism: many promoted it but they did not invent it. Also: after World War II American Jews turned away from the tacit “white ethnic” coalition with Roman Catholics, and aligned themselves with the liberal post-Protestant Eastern Establishment in the incipient culture wars. Arguably much of it is Calvinism gone bad: WASP breakdown, not a ‘Jewish plot’. With ‘the ’60s’ and its accompanying loss of nerve at Vatican II, RCs seem to have split, either joining that establishment or, sound on the essentials of the faith, becoming well-meaning culture warriors being used by the Republican neocons and the Protestant right, their junior varsity or Northeast branch.
  • Sailer I: Extremely ethnocentric Jews like Jeffrey Goldberg (born in Brooklyn, he joined the Israeli Defense Force after graduating from the Ivy League) vastly overestimate how much gentiles pay attention to the Is-he-a-Jew? questions that obsess them. The Establishment media freakout over the last two weeks about the fans of Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sarah Palin reveals how many leading figures in the press regard average Americans with atavistic dread and rage as The Other.
  • Sailer II: See, everybody is supposed to at all times know who is Jewish, or you could be an anti-Semite. You are also supposed to not know, because only anti-Semites know that stuff. As I’ve observed about treatment of blacks, it seems only the loony left turned mainstream and the racist right keep track of these things (paying attention to the ethnicity in a workplace for example, down to percentages of who’s what). The answer? That’s right: individual liberty; no collectivism left or right.

Ron Paul: perpetual war is expensive

Friday, January 21, 2011

Decline: no way out
From Joshua
From RR
  • Libertarian psychology? This has some points but seems to reinforce the idea that we’re selfish. Arguably though, libertarianism is not an ideology but simply a means; maximise liberty, with only the no-harm principle as its limit, and there would be more prosperity overall and everybody from hardcore social liberals to ‘picket-fence conservatives’ could get along.
  • Defending moral autonomy against an army of nudgers.
  • Justin Raimondo’s not afraid of China.
  • To say that we should have civility in our discourse is a code word in the media and in political debate for saying that we should not be exposing our leaders as criminals, or calling for their removal from office. Civility is really the death of politics, which thrives on passion and withers with civility.
How the government created the Unabomber
Shameful experiments by the establishment, and back in the good old days too. From Will ‘It’s the Cops’ Grigg at LRC.
From Wendy McElroy
  • Happily, a backlash against the medicalization of everyday life is occurring. Alas, it is being fought on the wrong ground. On Big Pharma’s push to pathologise the normal and sell you the ‘cure’. That said of course there are real mental illnesses and brain disorders (not the same thing) about which we now have more understanding and better treatments.
  • The dark side of Google. Perhaps it is predictable for a company whose profits depend upon information-gathering to argue that only ne’er-do-wells need privacy.
  • Facebook has “temporarily disabled” a controversial feature that allowed developers to access the home address and mobile numbers of users. Facebook claims that you need to give consent for app developers to get your personal data; security experts pointed out that it was easy to trick users into giving it. Facebook is suspending the feature for a “few weeks” while it improves the consent process, but it’s clear they intend to go ahead with this. It’s apparent to me that Facebook’s fundamental impulse is to gather and share as much data about you as they possibly can, which is antithetical to privacy. That’s why I do not and will never have a Facebook account, and why I advise those with Facebook accounts to provide only the bare minimum of information. Because Facebook can’t be trusted with it. And if an application demands your phone number and address in order to run, don’t use that application, because it’s up to no good. I use FB for two things, shorter, more mundane posts than the blog (with a little crossover) and IMs. No ‘fun’ apps and no games.
  • The Constitution’s good but...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ralph Nader and Ron Paul
From A Thinking Reed
Palin is the Republican Obama
It’s all about their images and personalities not their actual views. From @TAC.

Reserve and Guard suicides up

The military’s line: “relationship problems” with the reservists’ wives or girlfriends. Sure. Stop abusing our soldiers. Bring them home.
China devalues US buying power by 30%

‘Turn and Smile’
I can do without the sophomoric SWPL swipes at conservative family ideals but this is still funny

Why using two spaces after a full stop is wrong. Period.
Something I routinely fix at work. From Damian Thompson.

Six douchebag luxury items originally intended to help people
From Cracked

On driving golden-era cars today

Local abortion horror
Years ago I joined some saintly older people protesting here. More. Main story from Fr L.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

From Eunomia

Sargent Shriver
Of course I won’t canonise him like Jim Wallis’s blog is doing. As a man of the left he was wrong but one can be so and be Catholic and apparently he was a pro-life gentleman, likeable like Eugene McCarthy. Of course I like the dapper golden-era (in this blog, about 1935-1965) Time cover (click for a closer look) but of course it reminds me of The Quiet American (‘we ’re from the government and we’re here to f*** things up’). RIP.

Malware: Whitesmoke
Wasted most of today trying to get rid of it on my work computer with trusty Spybot. I was minding my own business, with Firefox running, when suddenly Acrobat turned on by itself and things went downhill.

Copied from FB:
Hey guys, watch out for any infections, particularly the newest “strain” called Whitesmoke! It will appear as an icon on the taskbar near your clock. If you have this infection shut down IMMEDIATELY and do not attempt to fix it yourself.... GET IT TO A REPAIR SHOP. Even a cleaning with COMBOFIX and MALWAREBYTES will NOT clean the root of the problem. It may inform you where the infection is but can’t remove the registry entries that will allow a speedy reinfection. Unfortunately too many PC repair shops and technicians don’t know how to COMPLETELY remove this infection so be sure that your continue to back up your data in case you are faced with having to “NUKE” your PC and start from scratch!
At least I can get into my old drive (only with Spybot repeating a warning box) and move what I need to the server and then onto a different machine in the newsroom.
From RR

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

From LRC
  • In the same way that there are a few conservatives I admire at times (Pat Buchanan, Charley Reese, Paul Craig Roberts), there are certain liberals I admire at times (Jon Stewart, Gore Vidal, Glenn Greenwald). Here is one admirable liberal, reporter Helen Thomas, who will not apologize for her anti-Israel remarks that got her fired from her job.
  • Angela Keaton on MLK Day: The federal holiday where white liberals congratulate themselves for recognizing the most basic human decency. Granted, judging by MSNBC’s nightly lineup, that could be any day ending in “y.” The typical approach to Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration however is a stinging abrasion to anyone who actually internalized the Rev. King’s later work. Nowhere in the orgy of bland paeans to faux-egalitarianism are there any mentions of “Beyond Vietnam” where King courageously strikes the root, “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.”

Patrimonial history: when the Oxford and Cambridge movements merged right after the Industrial Revolution
Noteworthy only because the result, Anglo-Catholicism, either accidentally or providentially served as a repository for fine RC practices chucked out after Vatican II which Pope Benedict is trying to bring back, a reason for the ordinariates to continue this tradition but on a sure foundation this time. A repository wrapped up in classic English prose. Derek writes (takes notes from a conference) about the early days when the theological not ceremonial Tractarians’ students and the Gothic Revival met up (‘I say! You seem to have got your chocolate in my peanut butter!’) and some of them tried to bring back Sarum ceremonial, an early phase of ACism.

Detroit and ‘ruin porn’
Equal-opportunity meat-grinder
Deadly indentured servitude (but once again I’m not pacifist) marketed as women’s liberation, rather like, I imagine, repealing DADT and the defeated DREAM Act; more human fodder for pointless wars dressed up as gay and immigrant rights. (Recruiting is down and a lot of the traditional target market’s unfit for service.) My take on women in combat is in Brian Mitchell’s Women in the Military: Flirting with Disaster. Heard him speak once and he convinced me. Common sense about the differences between the sexes tells you it’s a bad idea. It now takes five soldiers to do what four could (most women don’t have most men’s muscle), obviously bad in combat along with affirmative-action crashes (fighter pilots pushed through school), women being able to cry their way out of the service, fraternisation/affairs eroding marriages, morale and unit discipline (relationships, breakups, triangles etc. breaking them down), health problems such as pregnancy and the point the left often make as here about hyped-up young men in a war zone raping the most available women. Mitchell, a West Pointer who left the Army over this, said more than 10 years ago the generals and admirals all know it but can’t say so. The military, being the government, is more PC than you think or at least it’s forced to be. I understand the Israelis long didn’t do it because in 1948 a lot of men soldiers were hurt and killed being chivalrous trying to protect the women ones (normal because of women’s high reproductive value). From
Obama’s latest cheerleader is... Cheney
They were never that different
TAC on Ike
Purgatory not a place as we know it
Of course! It, heaven, hell and possibly limbo and the aerial plane some Orthodox talk about (the toll-houses version of the particular judgement) are states of being or, to put it in science-fictiony terms, dimensions you can’t describe in terms of space (their ‘space’ could well overlap ours – for example the aerial plane and our atmosphere – but normally we can’t see it).

More on the intermediate state and prayer for the dead.
From Eunomia

Damian Thompson on the new British ordinariate
To quote Fr H, can there ever have been a Chair of Unity Octave like this year’s?
When a divided nation is good
When’s the last time you heard of rock-and-roll lovers in conflict with classical-music lovers, or Mac lovers in conflict with PC lovers, or football lovers in conflict with golf lovers? It seldom if ever happens. When there’s market allocation of resources and peaceable, voluntary exchange, people have their preferences satisfied and are able to live in peace with one another.

Think what might be the case if it were a political decision of whether there’d be football or golf watched on TV, whether we used Macs or PCs and whether we listened to classical music or rock and roll. Everyone had to comply with the politically made decision or suffer the pain of fines or imprisonment. Football lovers would be lined up against golf lovers, Mac lovers against PC lovers and rock-and-rollers against classical-music lovers. People who previously lived in peace with one another would now be in conflict.

Why? If, for example, classical-music lovers got what they wanted, rock-and-rollers wouldn’t. Conflict would emerge solely because the decision was made in the political arena.

The lesson here is that the prime feature of political decision-making is that it’s a zero-sum game. One person’s gain is of necessity another person’s loss. As such, political allocation of resources is conflict-enhancing, while market allocation is conflict-reducing.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Detroit’s hopenchangey PR
I, too, believe in Detroit. I believe that it is a metropolitan area of roughly 139 square miles situated on the Detroit River. I also believe that facts are more helpful than empty rhetoric, especially when you’re trying to lure investors, so I’ve compiled some basic facts about the city.
From Taki.
From Mark Shea
From Joshua
Fr H on διακονίᾳ
From Dr Tighe
The abuse of MLK continues
The day seems to have become an occasion for whites to congratulate themselves for doing nice things nothing to do with race relations, making this historical figure (arguably a national hero; I think the counter-argument is his proposed means were unconstitutional) a real-life ‘magical Negro’ projection from the movies. And it’s not just the left; the neocons have drafted him to support their war in Iraq for example.

Speaking of whites’ projections, I got this e-mail:
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force commemorates life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We believe that were he alive today, Dr. King would be standing with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as we too reach for equality.
Depends. Equality or special treatment, like rewriting the law to force all to pretend two men can marry each other for example? Hardly justice. Like many black clergy and congregations then and now, like those in California who voted down Prop 8 more than two years ago (making some gays react like the Klan) and the COGIC congregation near my church, he might have agreed that homosex is a sin (me: but it’s none of the state’s business) and resented having it lumped together with race.

He well could have been like another ’60s figure misappropriated by white liberals, Pope John XXIII (the real one: step up Latin in seminaries, don’t ordain gays and WO is impossible).

Also, Owen has called this one: the old hard left rightly saw this cause as bourgeois.

Regular readers know my answers: you can be a Steve Sailer race realist (MLK’s real result: opening white society to talented and often upper-class blacks like him with the rest staying behind) and still believe apartheid and other forced segregation is wrong; individual liberty, not forced outcomes/collectivism either way, left or right (neither Bull Connor nor quotas), is justice.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Centralia, Pa.
From The Onion

From Ad Orientem