Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Catching up with Solomon Hezekiah
  • Challenging assumptions on a culture-wars issue: prayer in schools. Unbelievers have rights too and he makes a point about religious liberty (not necessarily indifferentism), in which the state schools don’t teach Protestantism: In the UK, God is mentioned everywhere in school and He gets his own lessons, yet almost no one acknowledges Him. In the US, He is not officially mentioned and churches (other than liberal Protestant denominations) continue to grow. He is more openly acknowledged in the media and in politics than in 1962. Like vintage Goldwater, politically I’m secular. There are more open visible followers of Jesus amongst young people in America than ever before. In trying to make a connection between the virtually symbolic act of removing prayer from schools and the abundance of sin, there has been ignorance of the fact that grace has much more abounded.
  • The American Civil War. Thousands upon thousands of young men were marched to their deaths to restore the national authority – to enforce at the point of a bayonet that Washington DC, not Montgomery or Jackson or Little Rock or Nashville or Austin or Richmond, was the source of civil authority.
  • The deuterocanonicals. What Protestants call the Apocrypha.
  • The case for Muslims policing themselves with sharia.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


My ’50s shave
Gem safety razor from a late South Philly barber’s shop
Collingswood, NJ Mayfair 2011

Hotsy Totsy.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

From LRC
From Independent Country
  • Principles and parties. Party politics is not my favored method to spread the ideas of liberty, and it’s not the only method. But it is the favored method in America today, and I understand why many people get involved with it. I would prefer that the only means be bring about liberty is pure, non-political persuasion. Maybe that’s possible, but I haven’t seen it yet.
  • The old coalition in the GOP of social conservatives, neoconservative hawks and libertarians is fractured. Paul and Johnson personify this, as I imagine most Republicans would rather re-elect Obama rather than either men. But that is exactly why they are the only alternatives to Obama. Paul and Johnson have virtually nothing in common with the rest of the Republican field (with the possible exception of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels). The reigning ideologies of the GOP field are essentially imported from the Democratic Party: the foreign policy is LBJ’s, and the social views are reminiscent of William Jennings Bryan.
  • Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 exception. The most amazing aspect of this is how, in the post-9/11 world, so many are willing to believe the President (whoever he is) on issues of “national security” and terrorism. They will claim the President is personally unethical and lies all the time, but, when a “national security” incident related to 9/11 comes up, they will believe the President’s claims. I don’t recall this before 9/11. Most wars had vocal critics and strong partisan opposition. Today, Presidents get a bipartisan free pass.

Friday, May 27, 2011

From Steve Sailer
Bacevich: war on terror a fraud

From LRC
From RR
  • Four (and more?) years of the Patriot Act. Yuck. Peeing on the Constitution as the editor says.
  • Gary Johnson vs Ron Paul. Pro-Johnson. Reply.
  • 71 bullets: the death of José Guereña. Surviving two tours of duty in Iraq, only to lose his life in an encounter with Clarence Dupnik’s keystone cops.
  • There is only one solution to the dilemma faced by the federal government over its inability to borrow more money. Shut it down!
  • Tiger Moms vs Fun Slobs. In their reluctance to side with either Chua or Caplan, it seems to me that parents have got it right. Because in the obsession with the relationship between parenting practices and children’s achievements, the very idea of the parent undergoes a terrible metamorphosis. The parent is no longer an adult, whose relationship to his or her child is governed by a complex combination of experience, personality, personal morality, responsibility, emotions, needs, desires, practical pressures and other such amorphous qualities that make up the stuff of life. For both Chua and Caplan, the parent is a mere cipher – either of genes (Caplan) or cognitive stimuli (Chua) – which rankles with those of us who consider ourselves to be more than that.
  • Dollar-store nation.
  • Karen Kwiatkowski for Congress.
From CounterPunch

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Picture of the day: a new papal tiara

A fine one too, and with an Orthodox connection. Let’s hope he starts wearing it: if he does, we know the Catholic counter-revolution is seriously on.
From Taki
  • China’s never-ending Party.
  • Gavin McInnes on manly and womanly style.

    • Stop ordering women’s drinks.
    • Carry a briefcase.
    • He gets the difference between real fedora-wearers and the hipster kids, though I wouldn’t have put it like he does: The only time a fedora is acceptable is if it’s the cherry on a 1950s sundae. That means: wingtips or brogues, a suit, a tie and finally a hat. Regarding felt or wool ones, exactly. (But with an overcoat, sometimes I go without the tie or the suit coat.) I wear a straw one when in summer/casual gear. And oxfords are good.
    • Being British to begin with, he gets the difference between men’s and women’s umbrellas: Showing up to a meeting with your wee umbrella all bundled up in its little tube makes you look like you’re allergic to water, and such a person is obviously unfit to be called a man.
    • Cargo shorts are obviously outlawed, as are the ridiculous wigger shorts grown men wear to the beach these days – “shorts” that are so long they are basically pants that scream, “I’m not gay!” so loudly that it’s extremely gay.
    • Men can have Brylcreem in their hair, but only to slick it back.
    • The first thing I always say about mandals is, “What if someone slaps your girl and you have to chase them?” Nobody’s saying you have to be Randy “Macho Man” Savage and pile-drive everyone who doesn’t open the door for your lady, but flip-flops render you incapable of physical combat. Shit, I don’t even think mandals should be allowed on the beach. Wear your sneakers to the beach. When you get to your towel, you can leave them there before swimming or, if the sand is hot, wear them to the tide’s edge and leave them there. Men are wearing flip-flops to work, parent-teacher interviews, apartment closings, and the dentist. Wearing mandals reveals a level of shameless self-love that reminds me of a baby playing with his penis while he gets his diaper changed.
    • I’m not even sure you can wear only a T-shirt, but assuming no collar is acceptable, why is a grown-ass man advertising what band he likes?
    • The iPad is for observers, not creators, and when you read books with it on the train or even bring it to meetings (I’ve seen this many times), it means you are not here to participate in the business world. You’re here to peruse.
    • Here is the fundamental point behind all these rules: A grown man is meant to be prepared for conflict and provide for his wife and family. Indulging oneself like a gay teen on vacation is not only abandoning your post, it’s leaving women to pick up the slack. And nobody wants a world like that – especially women.

    • Like firing a fetus from a slingshot, feminism catapulted women out of the kitchen and onto the streets, where they were invited to do anything a man can do – but better. This was a blessing for the few women meant to lead a man’s life, but for the vast majority of womankind, it was like that human cannonball from the Isle of Man who died after being catapulted across the sky and right through his safety net.
    • The kitchen may have been a prison, but it was a hell of a lot easier than staying at the office all night to prepare the PowerPoint presentation for the Clifford account, especially when you have to make the kids’ lunches the next day. Women now get the worst of both worlds.
    • Stop saying ‘like’. I recently had a wood sign made that says, “You are entering a ‘Like’-free zone.” While discussing the details with the carpenter, he asked, “You live around a lot of Valley Girls or something?” No, dude, I live in New York City, where “like” has replaced “the” as the most common word in the English language. You need to stop talking, like, now!
A mob war: the government vs Philly’s non-violent Mafia
Competing in a predatory but legal business but of course the trouble with Mafia video poker is it’s stealing: you literally can never win. Then there’s the libertarian rejoinder: and the government taking your money or else is... ? At least the mob doesn’t lie about it being for your own good. BTW it’s cosa nostra (‘our thing’) not la cosa nostra (‘the our thing’).
From Steve Sailer: affirmative action again
The left, and the establishment right which is really part of the left, gets a lot of mileage out of selling this as the noble cause of defending/restoring minorities’ individual liberty (so no border fence, Steve) but it’s not.

From RR
  • Editor Tom Knapp lives in tornado country: The danger seems to have passed, but frankly I’m tired and my nerves are completely frazzled. I counted eight trips to the basement today due to alleged tornado activity. Between two of those trips, I actually watched a spiraling cloud wall start to drop a funnel nearby (and headed back to the basement again, even though it broke up almost instantly). Nobody hurt here, not even any noticeable damage, but quite a day – earlier this week, some kind of freak windstorm tore a tree the size of a commercial jetliner right out of the ground about 100 yards from where I’m sitting, and last month a tornado tore the roof off the airport terminal three miles from my house, so I’ve just been on edge weatherwise anyway – and I’m just plain worn out.
  • With only one or two exceptions, I’ve yet to meet a politician, bureaucrat, or cop who doesn’t hate, loathe, despise, and fear the Internet.
  • Progressives and other naifs once dreamed of the ‘full-service’ state: Cradle-to-grave health benefits, guaranteed job security and a complimentary mint on your pillow from Uncle Sugar. What we got instead, and what we’re always going to get, is the ‘self-service’ state: You help yourself if you can, while the state helps itself to anything and everything it wants. The purpose of the state is to serve the state. Or both the left and the right think they’re better than you.
  • Obama and Netanyahu. More here and here from Steve Sailer. Old joke: Q: Why doesn’t Israel apply to become the 51st state? A: Because then they’d have only two senators.
  • Ron Paul makes sense because liberty makes sense.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rumblings from Rome
Pope Benedict’s Catholic revival just might be turning into the counter-revolution some of us want. From Ad Orientem.
From RR

From LRC
  • Myths vs facts about WWII. Margolis doesn’t cover this one: the Germans and Japanese had neither means nor plans to invade and conquer the US (Hitler imagined a Western Hemisphere run by the US, already essentially so). By reminding that the Russians broke the Germans, he suggests what should have happened: letting the Nazis and Communists destroy each other, keeping North America out of it.
  • Dependency.
  • O’Bama? Oh, puh-lease. My colleague Damian Thompson appears to be under the impression that Obama is a great guy because he said nice things about the Queen. Look, I think the Queen’s great too, but did it really not occur to my distinguished colleague (and editor) that there might have been a hint of an ulterior motive here? Obama can’t stand Britain. I don’t believe in the Special Relationship politically either. Blood and cultural ties, yes; entanglements, no. By all means let us enjoy watching Obama smarm and grovel and ingratiate himself like some presidential Uriah Heep. But for heaven’s sake let us never give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s a cold fish and would certainly never show any mercy towards us were the roles to be reversed.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Joplin, Mo. tornado
At least an EF4. Lord, have mercy.

Catholic Charities USA

’62 or ’63 Mercury Meteor.

Donna in a T-Bird.

A happy Pomeranian.

This stamped names on soldiers’ dog tags.

Gehris (Liberty) Lanes.

Home: windowsill as gradine.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Roissy on Obama’s shrewd Mideast policy
Obama waited to announce a pro-Palestinian/Arab-friendly policy after righteous vengeance was visited upon Osama Bin Laden. This timing has inoculated him against charges of being soft on Islamists, and has granted him leverage to push a policy that otherwise would have been perceived as being pro-Muslim, particularly given Obama’s own quasi-Muslim background.

If the right wants to beat this guy in 2012, first step is to acknowledge that, because of his understanding of human psychology, he will be a formidable foe. Unless gas hits $7/gallon.

*Note: This was not a post about the rightness or wrongness of Obama’s Middle East policy. Just an observation that personal advantage is gained not so much on the strength or morality of logical argument, but by the handicapping of political enemies.

The Great Disappointment of 2011
As an amillennial Roman Catholic I was disheartened by the spectacle of the May 21, 2011 Judgment Day, which we may deem the Great Disappointment of 2011. To the secular mainstream media this non-event provided an occasion for much chortling and bemusement. To mean-spirited progressives, it was a ready-made opportunity to spew forth their elitist invective (and even take cheap shots at Ron Paul), castigating persons who acted in good but misguided religious faith as mindless primitives deserving scorn and ridicule. This is particularly ironic, for as Murray N. Rothbard so beautifully pointed out, such apocalyptic conspiracy theories and millennial belief systems have been a central core belief of the left for centuries.
– Charles Burris at LRC

  • On Universæ Ecclesiæ: what about other older missals? Religious may use the liturgical books proper to their Order – a most welcome affirmation and clarification. But of course, while one can and should rejoice at this, one cannot help but think of the diocesan liturgical books, such as those of Lyons, Braga, Toledo and Milan. I would suggest that the principles found within Pope Benedict’s motu proprio and corresponding letter, being general Catholic principles, must be understood as having weight not only with regard to the Roman liturgical books and the liturgical books of the religious orders, but also in relation to the liturgical books of the primatial sees. And ‘It’s Not About Latin™’ but, although I wouldn’t have made that call, there are good things about Rome retaining the old rule for the old offices (priests have to read them in Latin to cover their obligation to read the office). At home I read the Marian anthem etc. at the end in Latin (the rest is Winfred Douglas’ Monastic Diurnal) and have taken to ending the Rosary with that instead of Salve, Regina all the time.
  • The royal wedding and how to take marriage seriously. Despite its problems, the old Prayer Book shares a 16th-century Godward worldview with the Catholic Church that includes but transcends/supersedes normal romantic feelings.
  • The rapture is heresy. Obviously Harold Camping was wrong again. Matthew 24:36 and as a picture Cracked linked to said, ‘Remember how stupid you felt after stocking up for Y2K?’
  • Photo: Church of Our Saviour, NYC; link sent to me by Fr George Rutler; thank you, Father!
  • Video from Damian Thompson: cardinal celebrates Tridentine Mass in St Peter’s Basilica. The Catholic Church that people yelled to me 25 years ago ‘no longer exists’.
  • That said, as Owen White and other observers of the scene have noted, most Catholics care less about the rite and more about getting it done quickly. If Pope Benedict’s renewal succeeds, some would leave, some would love it and most would keep going to the 9 o’clock Mass regardless, out of habit and to try to save their souls or, like the non-churchgoers I know (they don’t go but it’s understood there’s only one church and they can’t and don’t want to change it), use the church only for rites of passage (the tribe at prayer), sort of the 1-800 Safe Auto of spiritual fire insurance.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Will you choose peace or violence?
The epistle of Jeffrey Tucker to anti-capitalist Catholics:
There is no third system.

You can invent all the terms you want – solidarism, distributism, fascism, democratic socialism, localism, or any other -ism – but it is logically impossible to get around the central issue of consent vs. coercion, of market vs. the state. You are either forced by law to do something – and the law always means force – or you are not. This is also true of the management of individual sectors of society, such as business relationships, education, international relations, consumer protection, care of the vulnerable members of society, health care generally, and all the rest.

Either voluntarism or force will prevail.
Pretty good but I think I can see the objection from conservatives and the religious, left or right: ‘What about fallen human nature? Don’t you need the state to keep it in line?’

Sure, there’s objective right and wrong, but when the religious right (overrated; largely a bogeyman of the left) or the religious left, such as it is (a few boomers who still go to church), want power either directly or through the state they’re saying ‘we think we’re better than you’.

Anyway, once you get the state into it, the state, not the church, calls the shots (it can order your adoption agency to say that two men can marry each other for example) so do you really want tax money/subsidies, even as vouchers, for the remaining parochial schools and diocesan high schools? (Also, the old Protestant enemy, left or right, has a point: you through the state shouldn’t force him to pay to teach your religion.)

From LRC.
From CounterPunch

Friday, May 20, 2011

Medford, NJ and Upper Darby, PA, 2011 1957

Locally, somebody brings up cops’ race
There’s the noble cause of defending minorities’ individual liberty. Are these people accusing Lower Merion (a rich suburb next to Philadelphia) of denying that liberty (equal opportunity)? Fine; prove it. If not, sit down. No quotas or lowering standards. It simply could be that blacks are only about 12% of the general population.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

From Joshua
  • True authority such as our holy mother the church’s.
  • A cautionary tale about avoiding church politics and gossip. In the best sense I don’t care about the personalities here (I don’t hate them for example). I don’t know much about the OCA fight; it doesn’t matter. About the only reason to blog about clergy like that is if somebody high up doesn’t teach what the church does (infallible church, sinful people; fallen human nature), not whether he lives up to it (that’s for the confessional)... unless it’s a crime (actually harming someone) like the underage gay sex scandal and coverup in the RC Church that rightly got one of these people so angry. The American Orthodox denominations are what they are (Orthodoxy like Rome is not a denomination – it has a one-true-church claim – but its jurisdictions are): tiny, often cheerfully corrupt and naturally little to do with each other because of ethnic/cultural differences (different languages and different music), but ex opere operato, Donatism’s wrong, life goes on and pass the lamb/stuffed cabbage.
  • Russian liturgical music: the Our Father. Эта мелодия могу петь спя. I can sing this tune in my sleep.
  • Libertarians vs conservatives. Guess I’m a centrist-right libertarian.
Ratzinger on liturgical law
Pius V ... decided to introduce the Missale Romanum, the Mass book of the Church of the City of Rome, as indubitably Catholic, in all places where it could not be demonstrated that the liturgy was of at least 200 years’ antiquity. In other cases the liturgy in use could be retained, since its Catholic character could be considered certain. There was therefore no question of forbidding the use of a traditional Missal which had been juridically valid until that time ... It is good here to recall what Cardinal Newman observed, that the Church, throughout her history, has never abolished nor forbidden orthodox liturgical forms, which would be quite alien to the Spirit of the Church. An orthodox liturgy, that is to say, one which expresses the true faith, is never a compilation made according to the pragmatic criteria of different ceremonies, handled in a positivist and arbitrary way, one way today and another way tomorrow. The orthodox forms of a rite are living realities, born out of the dialect of love between the Church and her Lord. They are expressions of the life of the Church, in which are distilled the faith, the prayer, and the very life of past generations, and which make incarnate in specific forms both the action of God and the response of man. Such rites can die, if those who have used them in a particular era should disappear, or if the life-situation of those same people should change. The authority of the church had the power to define and limit the use of such rites in different historical situations, but she never just purely and simply forbids them!
It seems to me that Cardinal Ratzinger’s concerns are less with Canon Law than with an unwritten law inscribed in the very nature of the Church (the embodiment of authentic tradition), which trumps the law embodied in transient canonical codes and enactments. He is not concerned to join in the scrimmage of canonists as they examine their manuals and gather their precedents in order to discover exactly how a particular decree of Paul VI might or might not be glossed. What he is writing is Theology. His subject is the Spirit-filled life of the Catholic Church.

I can’t help wondering if Papa Ratzinger is subconsciously sketching, with a few strokes of his pencil, what an Orthodox Latin West might look like – and how an Orthodox papacy might function. It is all very well to have ecumenical commissions; but nothing would promote the unity of the two lungs of Christendom more than for Orthodox to be able to look at the actual life of the Roman
Magisterium ... and to feel an uncanny sense that they were to a degree looking into a mirror. Of course, in human terms the odds are that few here in the Latin West will really understand his project; that the liturgical and moral anarchists, the homosexual ideologues and the feminists, will continue their frenzied denigrations of the old Bavarian gentleman; that in a few years he will be dead and his vision forgotten as the vaticanologists feverishly speculate on the ‘policies’ of his successor. But, in my eyes, for as long as it lasts it is exhilarating; Benedict’s Age is a good age in which to be alive, an age of the very truest instauratio catholica. And, just possibly ... who knows ... after all, there is a God ...
From John Hunwicke, who, walking the talk, is now a Roman Catholic.

Evolution of the bowling ball

As the beginning of the second video says, part of bowling’s appeal besides the mildly addictive part of many sports and games is its sameness; you’re suspended in or stepping back in time. But of course like all sports it’s evolved, with much of that recent. A ’50s ball didn’t hook compared to a reactive ball (which I don’t have) now. But bowling’s kept its style; the best of then and now.

Carmen Salvino now uses a modern ball.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

South Philly’s procession of saints
From Joshua

From LRC
From Steve Sailer
From RR

Sunday, May 15, 2011

  • On liturgical languages. Because deliberately un-ethnic parishes are artificial (Catholicism is about incarnation and we are naturally tribal) and Russians can understand Slavonic about as well as we can Middle English (it’s intelligible but strange).
  • When you can’t stand your parish. With all due respect to the problem of religious consumerism, sometimes for the good of your soul and for Catholic orthodoxy you’ve got to go somewhere else.
  • The ordinariates: let them in. A shot in the arm for Pope Benedict’s campaign for a Catholic revival, vs ‘the magic circle’ of old British liberal churchmen for example.
  • The mushy middle in religion is disappearing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Justice, vengeance, terror, execution
A mainline minister on the bin Laden raid. Filter out the PC bit about rich white men and he’s right.
Joshua puts the Blogger breakdown into perspective
“Blogger Sucks” will probably be the more common response. Over eight years, Blogger has never charged me a dime, yet given me the chance to post tens of thousands of posts, with close to a million page-views, to make dozens of online e-quaintances and to meet a few real people in the flesh, and also to make enough money to buy about a dozen or so books, and that’s not even mentioning how much I’ve gained from the innumerable blogs of others I’ve read over the years. Thanks, Blogger.
Military math

Cælum et Terra: ‘So. How serious are you about cutting that deficit?’

Disclaimer: I’m not a pacifist.
English and Welsh RC bishops bring back meatless Fridays
The Benedict Effect rolls on
Catholic Witness – Friday Penance

By the practice of penance every Catholic identifies with Christ in his death on the cross. We do so in prayer, through uniting the sufferings and sacrifices in our lives with those of Christ’s passion; in fasting, by dying to self in order to be close to Christ; in almsgiving, by demonstrating our solidarity with the sufferings of Christ in those in need. All three forms of penance form a vital part of Christian living. When this is visible in the public arena, then it is also an important act of witness.

Every Friday is set aside by the Church as a special day of penance, for it is the day of the death of our Lord. The law of the Church requires Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays, or some other form of food, or to observe some other form of penance laid down by the Bishops’ Conference.

The Bishops wish to re-establish the practice of Friday penance in the lives of the faithful as a clear and distinctive mark of their own Catholic identity. They recognise that the best habits are those which are acquired as part of a common resolve and common witness. It is important that all the faithful be united in a common celebration of Friday penance.

Respectful of this, and in accordance with the mind of the whole Church, the Bishops’ Conference wishes to remind all Catholics in England and Wales of the obligation of Friday Penance. The Bishops have decided to re-establish the practice that this should be fulfilled by abstaining from meat.

Those who cannot or choose not to eat meat as part of their normal diet should abstain from some other food of which they regularly partake. This is to come into effect from Friday 16 September 2011 when we will mark the anniversary of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom.

Many may wish to go beyond this simple act of common witness and mark each Friday with a time of prayer and further self-sacrifice. In all these ways we unite our sacrifices to the sacrifice of Christ, who gave up his very life for our salvation.
From Ad Orientem.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

‘Unprovoked’ attacks from 1812 to 9/11
From antiwar.com
From Taki
  • Limousine liberals.
  • Fear of an erudite white. But... individual liberty (a white achievement?). The noble cause (I’m not being sarcastic) of securing that liberty for members of minorities was perverted into identity politics. (Coming up with affirmative action for example.) ‘Friendly separatism’ (one commenter) is fine if it’s voluntary and I agree with the race realists it’s what people naturally do. Also... the liberals in charge don’t believe their own egalitarian bilge; the top of the power pyramid is white while they push ‘diversity’ to weed out wrong-thinking whites or whites they deem inferior.
  • Hooray for the royals. Not bad but I’m not endorsing the is-he-joking? dig at the Scots.
  • Why neocon parvenus don’t like royalty.
  • Deeply invested in the Middle East.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

From Michael Lawrence

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

From RR

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Ron Paul in SC debate
From Joshua

Scotland: the (g)Nats will soon be biting

Scot Gordon Reid on the possible unintended consequence of a secessionist victory: cutting off your nose to spite your face, giving up on Britain for even more onerous European Union control
Volcker warns of danger from US deficit
From Ad Orientem
Firefox 4 and Blogger don’t get on
The new Firefox keeps randomly spitting up this code, http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif, in my posts as I try to publish them

If Ron Paul’s a nut then so am I

Donna and I play a 45.

Clearer recording of the songs with pictures of the record label.

The Rhythm Jesters from Montreal.

Car shows.

Mostly from yesterday in Vincentown, NJ, but the last photo is from last week in Cherry Hill.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

How we squandered the peace dividend
From Taki
Neutral is beautiful
From Joshua
What’s so hard to understand about Ron Paul?
From RR