Friday, September 30, 2011

Four dioceses quit, one of their flagship seminaries closed and now a cathedral shuts down. They’re going down. Whatever.
I avoid this topic but here are some drive-by comments with familiar talking points. Sayonara.
Pentagon lets chaplains do gay weddings
Civil liberty and all that but I can’t see the Greatest Generation facing the Germans in the Ardennes so two men can pretend they can marry each other. A military going along with such play-acting would be a laughingstock to the rest of the world: to Putin’s Russia for example.

Norristown: what happened?
Spent a couple of days there this week starting to learn a new page-making system, which is great. Almost as good as outsourcing it: once you get the hang of it, any monkey can make pages. Frees me up to edit and to drive around making videos, then mix and publish them online from the nearest library. I think within a couple of years print will go away anyway.

Anyway, in ways I like the place. It’s an old city; architecture from 75, 100, 150+ years ago. Walking around in my gear I felt at home. The newspaper’s building where I was (with framed front pages such as ‘Japs Take Corregidor’, ‘Germany Gives Up!’ and on the moon landing), the courthouse, Holy Saviour Italian parish on Main Street where the Tridentine Mass is, the Catholic Shop run by the Peffleys... and the Mexican culture.

But I know it’s mostly a slum.

So what went wrong?

Somewhere between that and a gentrified little town county seat like Media is a happy medium of a real, liveable city again.

Bishop Williamson is a 9/11 truther
I’m not – I’ve always thought it was payback for our foreign policy but also have always been willing to think the unthinkable. That the terrorists were working for someone who was working for someone who was working for the US government, for a Reichstag-fire power grab.
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 came and went on September 11, three weeks ago. Apparently in the US media there was such a downpour of sentimentality for the occasion as to make the recent torrential rains on the eastern seaboard look like a light shower. However, before it becomes “anti-Semitic” even to raise the question, let us with an American commentator of indisputable intelligence and integrity ask just what was the reality of that event.

The commentator is Dr Paul Craig Roberts who announced several months ago his retirement from writing. He was discouraged by the lack of readers interested in the truth. Fortunately his retirement did not last long. He is a truth-teller, and there are too few of them around. “In America Respect for Truth Is Dead” is the title of his Sept. 12 article, published on As he suggests, the loss of truth is the real drama, both of 9/11 and of the ten years succeeding, not only in the USA, but in fact all over the world.

Dr Roberts has himself a scientific background, and as such he says he was wholly persuaded by the scientific evidence presented in a Sept. 8-11 meeting held in Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada, on the 9/11 events. In the four days of hearings, distinguished scientists, scholars, architects and engineers presented the fruit of their research into the 9/11 events (their findings may still be accessible here). Dr Roberts writes that their researches “proved that the WTC7 building was a standard controlled demolition and that incendiaries and explosives brought down the Twin Towers. There is no doubt whatsoever about this. Anyone who declares the contrary has no scientific basis on which to stand. Those who believe in the official story believe in a miracle that defies the laws of physics.”

Dr Roberts quotes a few of the many scientific proofs presented in Canada, for instance the recent discovery of nano-thermite in the dust produced by the fall of the Towers, but he writes that “the revelation of malevolence is so powerful that most readers will find it a challenge to their emotional and mental strength.” Government propaganda and the “presstitute media” have such a grip on minds that most people seriously believe that only “conspiracy kooks” challenge the government’s story. Facts, science and evidence no longer count for anything (somebody I know has run into that!). Dr Roberts quotes a Chicago and Harvard law professor even proposing that all fact-based doubters of government propaganda should be shut down!

G.K. Chesterton once famously said that when people stop believing in God, they do not believe in nothing, they will believe in anything. Gravest of all amongst the many millions of 9/11 truth-losers are the Catholics who cannot or do not want to see the evidence for 9/11 being an inside job, who cannot or do not want to see the truly religious dimensions of the worldwide triumph of such a mind-bending lie as 9/11 represents. Let such Catholics beware. It may seem a wild exaggeration to say that they risk losing the Faith, but do we not have the terrifying example of Vatican II just behind us in time? Did not in the 1960s far too many Catholics take such a sympathetic view of the modern world as to think that their Church should be adapted to it? Was not Vatican II the result? What did it do to their Faith?

Kyrie eleison.
Germany could take over/save Europe but not long-term because it’s old/shrinking/dying
From Taki

Not that Ronnie was any great shakes but yeah. From the Bovina Bloviator.
The myth of American freedom
From LRC

Thursday, September 29, 2011

From Taki
  • Europe is totally broke except for the Germans, who finally have the opportunity to take over the continent without a single Wehrmacht grenadier being killed. Multiculturalism: human rights for those who don’t respect others’ human rights.
  • Reasons not to like Kurt Cobain. The moral seems to be ‘divorce messes kids up’, a conservative one. I didn’t dislike the music; thought it was just another reinvention of rock’s vitality, but now that I know all this, I, never a fan, have started to. God have mercy on him.
Five bad ideas for dealing with bullies you learned from movies and TV
From Cracked
Democracy, schmemocracy
Another mainstream person who’s been in government thinks a dictatorship would be neat
From Steve Sailer
  • Diminishing marginal returns: Well, now that the forces of enlightenment are well on the road to their inevitable triumph on gay marriage (without, so far as I can recall, ever winning a popular vote on the topic – they were 0-31 last I checked, but who cares about democracy?), they need a new issue to demonstrate their moral superiority.
  • When my son was ten, his baseball coach – inspired by Michael Lewis’s bestseller Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game – came up with a statistically brilliant team strategy: Don’t swing. Ever. Because few ten-year-olds can throw more strikes than balls, his team won the pennant by letting the little boy on the mound walk them around the bases until he dissolved into tears and had to be replaced by another doomed lad. The next spring, the parents got together and decided not to let that coach return.
Here’s a thought: WATCH is the C of E’s CUF and Wanderer
Or Christina Rees’s right. Why make fun of them? The Catholic Church shouldn’t tolerate dissent; why should the Anglicans? They can and do make changes such as women bishops, deciding by vote. Done deal. From Fr L.

The English ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton
Photo by Fr Finigan.
A pox on both their houses
Bush and Cheney on one hand and self-righteous Canadian swipples looking down on flyover Americans on the other. How about Ron Paul, peace and personal freedom? The good news: more conservatives are joining me in not buying the Republicans’ rap. Palin’s unqualified, Bachmann’s a loon and I don’t trust Rick Perry but I don’t like their haters either. It’s Ron Paul, or Gary Johnson, or the Libertarian candidate or nothing.
Canada keeps Bush out, U.S. protests grow
Torture, war crimes catching up with Bush and Cheney

The movement to hold Bush and Co. accountable for torture and war crimes is gaining steam.

A Canadian Member of Parliament has declared that U.S. vice president Dick Cheney should be barred from entering the country.

Last week, Bush was forced to cancel a fundraising appearance in Toronto, Canada at Tyndale University College and Seminary, an evangelical Christian school. Students and faculty members protested and petitioned to keep him away from their school. Their petition said: “We believe that no amount of new money can justify profiting from a former figurehead whose policies led to the murder of thousands of innocent civilians.”

Bush assumed he would be welcomed by this university, but he wasn’t. Instead, they kept him out of Canada.

Days later, dozens of people, led by former FBI special agent turned activist Coleen Rowley, met George Bush at a Minnesota fundraiser with banners, signs reading “Wanted for torture” and loud chants of “Arrest George Bush!” and “Shame!”

In an article about the protest, Rowley posed the question, “When will Bush be ‘Pinocheted?’” She also asked: “Is it proper to honor this war criminal who launched pre-emptive, unjustified wars of aggression and ‘shock and awe’ that led to hundreds of thousands of people killed, mostly civilian ‘collateral damage’ and widespread destruction in the Middle East?”

Because of this broad-based and growing movement for accountability and justice, Bush’s world is getting smaller. He is canceling more and more events and is being dogged by passionate protests wherever he goes.

The same is true for Dick Cheney.

Following protests in Orange County, New York and Chicago, Cheney was met by another demonstration in the most improbable of places, conservative Simi Valley, Calif. at a book signing in the Ronald Reagan Library. Cheney thought he would evade protest here, but he couldn’t. The movement against torture was on to him. Dozens of protesters outside the venue denounced Cheney’s complicity in torture and demanded indictment for his crimes.

This is unprecedented. Former top U.S. officials are unable to travel in their own country without being challenged by our movement.

Let’s keep up the pressure. More and more people are joining the ranks of our movement and demanding indictment for Bush, Cheney and their gang.
From Indict Bush (will never happen).
From ‘never again’ to ‘enough already’
The Palestinians never put a Jew in a camp – the Germans did – so why take it out on the former?
Speaking of ‘never again’, where’s the zillion-dollar museum dedicated to the far more victims of Communism? Why isn’t the NYT giving back the Pulitzer for Will Durant’s propaganda? Why’s John Demjanjuk still in prison?

My own three rebuttals re: ‘anti-Semitic’: Arabs are Semites, more so than Western Jews. (Hat tip to Helen Thomas.) People of the Book, the same reverence for the people of the Old Testament, Mary and Jesus that misguided evangelicals channel into Zionism. Individual liberty not group rights so the freedom many Jews came to America for. BTW Mises and Rothbard were Jews ( > Catholic Bill Buckley fake conservatives).

And BTW, antiquum documentum novo cedat ritui (before 3pm Good Friday the head of the church was Caiaphas; after it was St Peter): happy feast of St Michael (Hebrew: ‘Who is like God?’). Sed signifer sanctus Michael repræsentet eas in lucem sanctam. Quam olim Abrahæ promisisti et semini ejus (the people of the New Covenant).

(The requiem sequence, an eschatology lesson > a googol of Marty Haugen.)

Enjoying my bacon for breakfast.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The mad-as-hell generation
From LRC
Moo, moo, silly cow
The mask slips: this person wants to drop the charade of elected government

An ordinariate without an ordinary yet?
Seems to be the American ordinariate so far

‘The Playboy Club’ after two episodes

I still like it and not just for the obvious reason (I like the four stewardesses on ‘Pan Am’ better); there’s the other obvious reason and it does a pretty good job. Scab Joan’s hair is wrong some of the time; too 2010s.

Still hoping for the ‘Crime Story’ crossover (same network; why not if Michael Mann OKs it?). (Again, it’s scab Don, Joan and Peggy dropped into the ‘Crime Story’ noir world, same year, same city.)

A good observation from a regular here, written on Facebook, that applies to both of them and the show that started the trend:
I wonder sometimes if the ‘sex’ part (as in the ‘style, sex and storytelling’ I like without hipster irony or PC condescension) is anachronistic. Not the sexy, feminine women, of course, but the promiscuity.
Of course that’s part of Playboy (as are the little sermons about blacks’ plight and homosexuality; Playboy always wanted to look highbrow and hip) but yes.

So far ‘Pan Am’ not only wins at sexy, feminine women (the bunny thing is silly not sexy) but in the goosebumps ‘you are there (then)’ feeling.
From RR

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bring back kneeling Communion in the Roman Rite

Joseph Blake:
If I could change one thing it would be to go back to kneeling. Big mistake.

(standing Communion) works in the Eastern churches but their reception is by spoon with a lump of bread and wine on the tongue and people kiss icons or the chalice as well.

Article on The Ultimate Book of Gangster Movies
Prohibition was in force as movies became mainstream

Old-school attitude

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I love it and not just for the women
  • No direct copying of ‘Mad Men’, unlike ‘The Playboy Club’ (which I don’t dislike), which puts three close copies of ‘Mad Men’ characters, Don, Joan and a prettier Peggy (since it’s Playboy), in a ‘Crime Story’ story.
  • ‘Mad Men’ raised the bar for period detail and this more or less reaches it.
  • One criticism I read somewhere: most airline pilots back then were WWII vets, too old for the soapy stories here but that’s OK; it’s a show.
  • Blond captain: either borrow my Murray’s pomade or get a haircut, you beatnik.
  • The computer-drawn 707 is goosebump-raising realistic.
  • I don’t understand all the buzz about Christina Ricci. They’re all beautiful but she’s the least so and I don’t like that Maggie’s a beatnik but hey, they existed.
  • Margot Robbie, the most modelly stunning of the four, was born in 1990. I get it. I’m old now. And this Aussie does a perfect American accent.
  • The pilot’s uniform looks a lot like a Navy officer’s blues.
  • So far, so good on little PC sermonizing. Just style, sex and soap storytelling (it has that genre in common with ‘Mad Men’ without ripping off characters and storylines); good unironic nostalgia.

Work video: the local Copts

Europe according to the Greeks
Click to enlarge. From Dr Tighe.

Work video
The chopper’s amazing – almost blew away my hat – but the cute nun yelling ‘Hop! Hop! Hop!’ almost steals the show.

Pope Benedict renewal alert: a few more IHMs are back in (’70s mod) habits.

External Solemnity of Our Lady of Ransom

Alas, the last early Sunday Tridentine Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes, a quick, perfect way to start the day and really like stepping back in time. The Mary altar was all decked out much like an altar of repose with yesterday’s feast-day statue. And I didn’t bring a camera! (I was going to Mass, not working.) Fr James wore a 19th-century-looking cream chasuble with the Immaculata’s face and the Mercedarian shield on the back (the good medieval Spanish-founded, Italian-based friars who took over OL of Lourdes a few years ago and high-churched it).

The Mass wasn’t Pentecost XV or even Salve, sancta parens (Common of the BVM, which you don’t usually hear on Sunday anyway) but a Gaudeamus omnes in Domino, the order’s Mass for the feast, so my Maryknoll Missal didn’t help. It’s Not About Latin™ but my understanding of it got a workout.

What’s this all about?

While the friars do much good running a few parishes, they were originally the good kind of badass. As Father’s sermon said, in the Middle Ages if you were captured by Muslims (BTW you don’t want to live in a Muslim country, run by people who believe in an irrational God) you had two choices: be killed or convert to Islam. These Spanish friars (and a similar order, the Trinitarians) volunteered to take the captives’ places. I used to know a novice, who told me they hadn’t done a ‘redemption’ since the 1700s. Considering the news of American hikers being captured and long jailed in places like Iran (the most recent two fellows were just released), let’s talk about ‘returning to the original charism’ of the order and mean it (not some BS about getting rid of habits, which it usually really meant) and revive this as a sort of spiritual Marines/Navy SEALs willing to take on the worst the infidels can throw at them, for the sake of saving the innocent. (Note to new readers: I understand the real grievances behind 9/11 and don’t want the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc. We leave them in peace; they leave us in peace.) Greater love hath no man than this.

Afterwards a few people knelt at the rail as Father blessed scapulars and enrolled them in the order’s sodality of Our Lady under this title.

BTW it seems (seemed?) to be the parish custom for a man in street clothes to serve that Mass.

Starting next Sunday I think the Sung Mass will be Tridentine and Low Mass shifted to noon.

BTW although the Last Gospel, John’s Prologue, was added in the Middle Ages to fight the Catharist heresy, very old-school (before the 1962 Missal) there were sometimes changing Last Gospels. Might this be an occasion for one? (The order has its Mass of Our Lady but the Last Gospel would be that of Pentecost XV, the suppressed Mass in that parish.)

Reasons to watch ‘Pan Am’ besides the women
Why don’t we have elegance and style en masse anymore?
Official site.
Ron Paul versus the booing tea-o-cons
From LRC
Departure fee: take that!
How other churches govern themselves is none of my business, and as both sides are Protestants, differing not in kind but only the degree of liberalism, I don’t have a side, but this really sucks. Wouldn’t be surprised if this Vono jackhole’s an ex-Catholic too. Probably a fallen-away priest. From Dr Tighe.
American religion
Echoing Hauerwas

Fr C:
In many dioceses [in Europe], there is a long tradition of the Bishop being elected by the Chapter of Canons and then ratified by the Pope. There is also the Kirchengemeinde (church association) tradition in the German-speaking countries, where the laity are very powerful in the parishes and limit the authority of the priest. Here in France, since the separation of Church and State in 1905, each diocese and parish is constituted as an association, and that implies lay participation. In the German-speaking countries, the Kirchengemeinde is often very liberal as is seen by the present schismatic tendencies in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Of itself, the church association is not inspired by Congregationalism. Congregational polity – strictly, each local congregation at “parish” level is totally autonomous and there is no diocesan hierarchy of any kind.
Theologically no problem; practically it can go very well (the grassroots traditionalism of ethnic national parishes and of the Orthodox at their best, under which system a Novus Ordo is impossible) or very badly (the liberals in the German-speaking countries).

Rome normally doesn’t run that way except in a few historical cases of lay trusteeship in immigrant parishes that were struck down with a struggle; the Slavic Greek Catholics in America did it as a hedge against the local hostile Roman Rite authorities, and when that was suppressed, that and reneging on the custom of ordaining the married caused a schism of some Ruthenians to the Greeks more than 70 years ago.

I mentioned the grassroots traditionalism of the Orthodox at their best. A wag once said that in Americanized Orthodoxy (the main, ethnic kind, not the convert kind) every parish priest is his own bishop and every parish council its own patriarch!

An aspect of the Nats (about 110-year-old Polish immigrant schism vs hostile local Irish, like many Ruthenians going to the Russians 110 years ago and to the Greeks 70) that appeals to Deacon Jim as it does, up to a point, to me: the Poles wanted to be left in peace to do what they’d always done. The troubles were and are Hodur was a liberal wacko and his schismatic church never made theological sense.

Semi-congregationalism was also, ironically given high churchmen’s high view of church authority (they thought they were a branch of the infallible Catholic Church), why traditional Anglo-Catholicism existed in some Anglican parishes unlike their bishop or the rest of their diocese.

Dr Tighe:
Some years ago an ACA bishop (whom I will not name) told me that many of his faithful, even those who go to confession regularly or who frequent Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, embrace, if not always consciously at any rate in practice, a Protestant “denominationalist” ecclesiology — as no doubt do many American Roman Catholics. Given that the religious outlook of many Americans, even those that are not particularly religious, is a kind of secularized debased Protestantism, in which America (the United States) is itself their (capital C) Church, and their denomination or congregation a kind of “religious society” which (as they seem to think or assume) ought to embody and reflect their own social and cultural outlooks and predilections, this should come as no surprise.
Fr C:
You really have hit it on the head here! I was commenting about the question of religion and culture. So-called “cultural” Catholics are known not to take religious obligations very seriously, but there is something more deeply rooted than the “American” outlook you characterise. Americans seem to be “converts” from one church to another church and so enthusiastic about everything, but rooted in little other than secular values. I don’t want to seem anti-American, as many of my friends are Americans. I have a lot of sympathy for their optimism and “let’s get on with it” approach. Our cultural religion in Europe is just about over, so what is better, enthusiastic “congregationalist” religion or cultural death in the European way?

Here in Europe, the attitude is “I’m a Catholic but not a practising one, and certainly not interested in going to church, but I would never leave the true Church”.
[What I call Bad Catholics. Not Protestants or Modernists.] It’s a one-shot deal, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Binks’ case for bottled water
I know whining about the swipples isn’t cool (that bitterness is easy for them to laugh off) but these are good points
Bottled Water Free Day was March 11, 2011; (good old swippler-than-thou Canada). And we missed it. Shucky-darn.

So yer clever and uppity busybody inbred-city-types (and their idiot rural in-laws, and all the obedient eco-issue clones) keep coming up with teh newfangled stupid, because (1) big reliable operational cities & modern systems are the only real, and (2) said smarter-than are SO much smarter than more realistic types, because of their goormay coffees, and ironical chatter, and fancy experiences.

What was one of the first things off the trucks after Hurricane Katrina? Cool, clear water – 200,000 cases in the first weeks. In those ubiquitous & hand-sized plastic bottles, full of liquefied dihydrogen monoxide, H2O, sweet, sweeet Adam’s Ale.

Stick this in your craw, eco-flaky city-twerps: bottled water saves lives. Yes, even the dreaded plastic water-bottles of horror. What – you wanted poor blacks to die of dehydration?

Imagine... just for one moment.. your water system fails. Or gets polluted.. or attacked... or hit by a storm. What’s that? You need to refill it, you say? Here’s a plastic water bottle, of fresh, clean, unpolluted water... Oh, wait. Didn’t you and your ilk locally ban those last year? You are welcome to clutch your little aluminum water-container as hard as you wish, it will not pour forth water for you. Same for your Brita. Try the ditch, or the pond, or the lake. Word has it you can even drink your urine once or twice through. Best of luck, then.

Every rural dweller knows: water can’t be taken for granted. Many homes have wells, water coolers, filters & softeners, downspout barrels, and even bottled water big and small, Just In Case. Some communities have dodgy water systems. Everywhere can get storms, power-failures, and other short- or long-term emergencies. Every time a big storm threatens here, we grab an extra refill for the water-cooler.

It goes without saying that bottled water should be tested, clean, safe, and all that good stuff. Selling unhealthy water is evil, and bad business.

Time is long-past when micro-minded urbanites (and their idiot rural in-laws) should be dictating & banning and nagging based on the assumption that we’ll always have working & safe giant urban water systems. This is a kind of blindness, as if They (The Nanny-State) have made things so safe and predictable that the proposed general banning of the convenient mass-production of bottled water in plastic water bottles is a mere afterthought.

Because sometime, sooner or later, Just In Case comes along.

This message not brought to you by The Bottled Water
Über Alles Global Syndicate, a.k.a. Big Water.
I don’t buy bottled water but am obviously not on a crusade against it.

Bonus: the Catholic view on the nonissue of evolution.
The alternatives are not and were never ‘science’ versus ‘religion’; nor God against evolution. If God makes things, surely it is in a somewhat more complicated way than an engineer makes a design, or a factory makes a car. That stuff tends upwards, that life tends to work really really well, that there are so many and various forms of life now, and in the fossil record? Neither a ‘proof’ of Darwinism, nor a simplistic creationism where God winds stuff up at the beginning and lets it race around with no further influence.

If God exists, then the relation of divine activity to the universe of created objects might be more like a singer and a song; or a face and a mirror; or a painter and his paintings – except the singer is living in the song as it is being sung, and as the notes also each sing themselves. It’s both-and, since (if he exists) God is not a creature, but the creator. Nor is his relation to individual elements or living beings in creation that of an inventor to a car. Sorry. more analogies just there.

That makes more sense to me than self-inventing whales.

The Binks is not in the pocket of Big Evolution, or Big Intelligent Design. He just likes spouting off in general. I fully and cheerfully confess to being in-pocketed by Big Jesus.
Reply to Daniel Nichols’ reply to George Weigel
Nothing personal but you’re all wet on this. Some things are wrong or impossible, like aiming bombs at civilians, artificial birth control and the ordination of women. Other non-negotiables are the goals of mercy and justice. The means to those ends – the form of government – are not doctrine. You can be a free-marketeer, monarchist, Francoist fascist, democratic socialist or theistic communist. You can be dead wrong. It’s all good. Real Catholics, like the Slavs and Italians I know and the Mexicans Arturo used to write about, don’t expect or want the Pope to tell them what to eat for breakfast. That’s EWTNish convert crap. It’s his opinion, like his not believing in limbo.

When distributists make products millions of people want to buy and that improve millions’ lives, we’ll talk.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Are Americans less religious than 10 years ago?
Probably. But much of this article smells like ‘Christianity must change or die’ from Modernists and mainliners, who are old and shrinking.
In the measured decade, churches, temples and synagogues told surveyors that congregations that were innovative and contemporary showed the highest amount of “high spiritual vitality.”

Forty-seven percent of congregations that said their worship experience was “innovative and contemporary” reported high spiritual vitality, versus 17% that said their congregations were “neither innovative nor contemporary.”
‘Ladies love Joe Schmoe’, said Joe Schmoe. Biased much? How about an independent measure of success or failure?

From T1:9.
Motivational from James Altucher
Prepare better than the next person. Wake up 15 minutes earlier than everyone else. Read a little bit more. Clean that extra thread hanging off your pants. Doing the right amount of due diligence before an investment. Repeating that 10 times over for 10 different investments even though nothing has come thru yet. Writing the best post you can before you hit publish. Sending those first few emails to flirt, to entice, and then confirm a first date. Practicing the Daily Practice.

The outcomes are all uncertain. Life hasn’t changed just yet. You can be anxious for the outcome. Or you can relish the moment, knowing the preparation is in place. You’ve done all you can. Good things will happen.

You can say “live life as if its your last moment before you die.” But there’s also “live life as if it’s the last moment before you really come alive.”
Take with two grains of salt and the teachings of the church to counter any narcissism and thus deal better with suffering (a limited dose of bootstraps, ‘go get ’em, tiger’, Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller’s optimism from 50 years ago, not the whole thing as a substitute gospel... a lot of it is the good old northern-European Protestant work ethic) and it’s not too bad. My parents liked this sort of thing and as I get older I see their point.
From LRC
The Mass: bishop-centric not priest-centric?
Priests are the bishop’s stand-in (and he of course stands in for Jesus who offers himself) but of course there’s no grace missing if the bishop’s not there and the priest is in good standing celebrating in his place. From Energetic Procession.
Roissy vs false rape accusations
Of course I agree with the church and some white knights that pre-/extramarital sex is wrong but... justice and equal protection under the law. Wow, 25%.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Six lies the food industry is feeding you
From Cracked
My Steve Sailer moment today
Can’t use names or links (I’ll bet the story’s not unique) but...

A story with two parts: a school district seems to have wronged blacks, who on average lower its test scores, by pushing them into special ed from the get-go (so they won’t take the tests or be counted so they won’t queer the average), denying their liberty. But the achievement gap is: on average they score far lower on the SATs. The white kids score about as high as British, Canadian and Australian white kids in equivalent tests, and the Asian kids excel like you expect. Saw some PC censorship today: a sentence that first cut the crap and just said ‘the kids scored low’, like any civilized person would say, was doctored, probably by some nice white person, given the fog of pomposity so it later seemed to say (I think; it was so hard to follow) ‘the district’s low scores for these kids’ (mistakes were made; I did not have sex with that woman), as if the district fudged their scores. Bad, bad district! Now if it really thought it could fake scores and get away with it, it wouldn’t have pulled the special-ed crap and would have handed out high or average scores, right? And isn’t rhetorically denying the kids some responsibility for their low scores a bit condescending, dare I say racist?

‘On average’ isn’t racist (it’s numbers). The special-ed game is.
The question all GOP presidential hopefuls should have to answer
How does the founding philosophy of the Constitution define your principles for how to serve as a public official in the United States?
Nice thought but everybody except Ron Paul and Gary Johnson will dissemble away. Not a dahm’s wuth of difference, or the Republicans do a libertarian song and dance when they’re out of power, like 15 years ago when an alleged Great Satan and actually accidentally the best president in decades was in office. From Richard Viguerie.

Saint Clair, Pa. The church is Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic.

Saint Clair’s Byzantine Rite churches.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Glad to be working but...
Cracked on Hollywood’s depictions of women but of course some of it’s universal:
Hollywood glosses over this more than almost anything else, but some of us work at jobs because we need the money. Women don’t work just to get out of the house and do something fun. The conflict isn’t between our fascinating project at our architectural firm and our kid’s Little League game. It’s between going to the kid’s Little League game and being able to pay for the kid to stay in Little League.

When someone’s working ridiculous hours to the point they can’t go out and meet people, it’s possible they’re doing it because of a burning ambition to get ahead and make partner someday, but it’s even more likely they’re doing it to pay the exorbitant rent on the fancy Manhattan apartments so many of these movie characters have, or just pay off their student loans.

There’s a lot of ways to make a female character relatable as she struggles to balance her career and her personal life, but giving her some kind of hobby-like superjob she doesn’t even need sure doesn’t help.

Tony Bennett: a gentleman and multi-talented artist

He agrees that 9/11 was blowback.
“They flew the plane in, but we caused it,” the 85-year-old crooner told Howard Stern on his Sirius Radio show Monday night. “Because we were bombing them and they told us to stop.”

Bennett’s controversial answer came after Stern asked the World War II vet how the U.S. should deal with the terrorists responsible for toppling the Twin Towers.

“But who are the terrorists?” Bennett said, according to ABC News. “Are we the terrorists or are they the terrorists? Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
From LRC.
American ordinariate news
  • The Fellowship of Blessed John Henry Newman on Philadelphia’s Main Line is too big for a parishioner’s living room and has moved to borrowed space at Bryn Mawr College (as in Katharine Hepburn). Ironic given the place’s hostility to the church; fitting because the architecture faithfully copies Oxbridge, which of course was originally Catholic.
  • The first group of the Fort Worth ordinariate group, St Peter the Rock, will be received into the church Sunday.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Not too bad
  • Yep, the Outfit is in this. Now I want a ‘Crime Story’ crossover episode or arc even more (bring in young carbon-copy actors).
  • Nick the clone even sounds like Don.
  • So in this one Peggy’s attractive and called Maureen.
  • Carol-Lynne’s Joan.
  • No, Hef’s not a hero.
  • OK, Nick’s one of the good guys, on the side of the noble cause of the black man’s liberty. Good.
  • But spare me the rest of the PC glosses; nobody’s watching this for that.
Jim Goad on the day he left the left
From Taki

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bravo Zulu, ‘Mad Men’
Fourth consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Drama

Work video: Mount Zion A.M.E. Church, Devon, Pa.

Banana Republic’s ‘Mad Men’ collection: Thanks but...
I don’t think they’re making fun of it; maybe their heart’s in the right place. It’s a try and, better still, maybe it’s responding to demand for it.

But the real stuff is so much better and doesn’t cost too much if you know where to look. Hate to sound snobbish but a cheap stingy-brim ‘fedora’ young men get at Target or this place is not as good as the 60-year-old Creighton I wear most often and, like most of my hats, got at its original dollar price. And unlike fragile, expensive new big-brand felt hats I’m not afraid to wear my sturdy vintage ones in ordinary bad weather; of course having an umbrella helps. The only newly made one I use is a straw one. I have some felt stingies from the early ’60s.

Milan-weave Biltmore. Looks Italian or Cuban but made in Canada about 55 years ago.

They did a better job with the dresses but the material looks polyester as does some of the men’s stuff (such as their version of my trench coat). Nice ties and money clip though.

Keep at it. It has a chance of coming back.

Mises on the Greek Church
A conservative and convert-boomlet person posted this on Facebook to tsk-tsk. He has a point: Mises was an economist not a theologian so in a way his thoughts on this are about as important as Pope Benedict’s on how to remodel your kitchen. Mises didn’t like Christianity. But: pathetic fallacy so the really open-minded Catholic, whose mind is closed on something solid, the faith, doctrine, as Chesterton quipped, will give all ideas a listen. The good ones stick. That’s the authentically Catholic position. There’s little uniquely libertarian in Mises here; it reads like an ‘Enlightenment’ liberal rant against Catholicism in general like you’d hear from the mainstream today. (Weirdos like Tolstoy and Rasputin were not heroes, although R. was right about staying out of WWI; the tsar’s ignoring that got him – personally good – and his family killed.) But this jumped out at me – These dead churches lack any special ethics – and immediately I thought ‘contraception’. They sound just like Protestants.

Orthodoxy’s selling point, it seems to me, is its grassroots traditionalism (laid-back, ethnic yiayia folk religion not made-up Novus Ordo nor a militaristic cult; also historically how Western Catholicism was in families and villages) so a Vatican II is impossible there, thank God. (In a communion of ethnic churches next to nothing to do with each other.) None of its very little defined doctrine – Trinity (Jesus is God), hypostatic union and Mother of God (Jesus is true God and true man), and pictures of God and the saints aren’t idols – is heresy. It’s not Protestantism, a formal denial of doctrine, but Catholicism 1.0. But no Aquinas either for example so they’re vulnerable to attacks like the contraceptive mentality.

One of Mises’ points, returning to libertarianism: the faith says the church can be the state religion. He suggests why it shouldn’t, also OK with mother church, or as much as I hate Vatican II, it and John Courtney Murray were right about that. (Remember what I wrote about being open-minded?) Accept the state’s support and soon you’re farming out moral instruction to the state and guess what? The state’s now calling the shots. That and you get the poor service of a monopoly (‘if you want religion you’re stuck with us’, like the post office and phone company were with communications before e-mail etc., and how many public schools still are) so you end up with irreligious countries that had or have state churches like Britain and Sweden.

Don’t bastardize the Byzantine Rite but...

If you want moral theology, all roads lead to Rome.

Jesus saves; Mary prays; Ratz is Pope. Carry on!

Old news: mainstream rubbishes Paul; embarrassing Tea Party reaction doesn’t help

From Mark in Spokane, who like a lot of well-meaning Christians thinks libertarianism is selfish. Actually the Yahoo! News story Mark links to gives a balanced version of what happened, including Ron Paul’s reaction to the reaction; Mark’s post doesn’t. Of course Ron Paul doesn’t want people to die: he’s a doctor! (And pro-life.) All we’re saying is it’s not the state’s job. Mark says libertarianism’s big on rights but not duties; Ron Paul says it’s about responsibility.

Facts any adult knows: ‘That's what freedom is all about, taking your own risks’ and most people don’t care about you.

People make bad choices and die from them; not the same as wishing them dead. Giving the state power to steal your money doesn’t change that, wrongs you and hurts you in the long run (you’ve forfeited your rights).

The state doesn’t care about you.

Its goal is not charity but to squash you.

What strikes me about the shouts of ‘Yeah!’ to letting the hypothetical feckless young man die is there were so few of them. As there should have been. The way the mainstream’s been playing this (the Jay Leno punchline version), you’d think Paul said ‘I want him dead’ and a crowd cheered.

Mark later posts an NRO link quoting Roderick Long that, intentionally or not, gives libertarians a good debating tactic to answer such questions and not fall into this trap.
Peril eternal
Bishop Williamson’s latest epistle stresses individual responsibility (Philippians 2:12):
“Why are we human beings here on earth?” an old friend just asked me. I said, of course, “To praise, love and serve God, and by so doing to save...” He broke in – “No, that’s not the answer I want,” he said. “What I mean is that before I came into existence, I was not, and I was not in any danger. Now that I exist I am seriously exposed to the danger of losing my soul. Why was I given, without my consent, this perillous existence which, once given, I could no longer refuse?”

Expressed in this way, the question is serious, because it casts a doubt on the goodness of God. Certainly it is God who gives to each of us life and thereby sets before us the choice which we cannot opt out of, between the steep and narrow path to Heaven and the broad and easy road to Hell (Mt. VII, 13-14). Certainly the enemies of the salvation of our souls, the world and the flesh and the Devil, are dangerous, because the sad fact is that the majority of souls fall into Hell at the end of their lives on earth (Mt. XX, 16). Then how can it be fair for me to find myself in such danger by no choice of my own?

The answer is surely that if the danger was in no way by my own fault, then indeed life might be a poisoned gift. But if often the danger is in good part by my own fault, and if the very same free-will that when used wrongly enables me to fall into Hell, also enables me when used rightly to enter upon an eternity of unimaginable bliss, then not only is life not a poisoned gift, but it is a magnificent offer of a glorious reward out of all proportion to the relatively slight effort which it will have cost me on earth to avoid the danger and make the right use of my free-will (Is. LXIV, 4).

But the questioner might object that none of those three enemies of his salvation are his fault: “The world which incites us to worldliness and concupiscence of the eyes is all around us from cradle to grave, and can only be escaped at death. The weakness of the flesh goes with original sin, and goes back to Adam and Eve. I wasn't around then! The Devil also existed long before I was born, and is running wild in modern times!”

To which one can reply that the three enemies are all too liable to be our own fault. As for the world, we have to be in it, but we do not have to be of it (Jn. XVII, 14-16). It depends on us whether we love the things of this world, or prefer to them the things of Heaven. How many prayers in the Missal ask for the grace to prefer the things of Heaven! As for the flesh, the more we flee from its concupiscence within us, the more it can lose its sting, but which of us can say that he has by no personal sin of his own strengthened the concupiscence and the danger, instead of weakening it? And as for the Devil, his power to tempt is strictly controlled by Almighty God, and God's own Scripture assures us that God offers us the grace necessary to overcome the temptations he allows (I Cor. X, 13). In brief, what St Augustine says of the Devil applies also to the world and the flesh – they are like a dog chained up which can bark but not bite, unless one chooses to go too close.

So there is indeed an inescapable degree of spiritual danger in human life, but it depends on us, with God’s grace, to control that danger, and the reward is out of this world (I Cor. II, 9).

Kyrie eleison.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The two ‘Mad Men’ copycats: crossover episodes and/or fanfic stories I’d like to see
Of course I’ve seen neither new show yet (but ‘The Playboy Club’ has been leaked onto YouTube). Lots of fanfic is laughable and/or icky (from what little I’ve seen, mostly love-starved fans’ fantasies about the actors) but these have possibilities, limited only by the characters and shows being owned by different people/companies, some of which might be competitors.

There was an episode of ‘Mad About You’ (sweet show, the only ‘Must-See TV’ I could stand in more than limited doses) that established the characters lived in the same imaginary world as ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ with the crossover character being Carl Reiner’s ’60s-TV star Alan Brady, still a celebrity in this make-believe ’90s America.

So on that note:

It’s 1963. ‘The Playboy Club’ is in Chicago and from the commercials it seems partly to do with crime (the Don Draper clone is in some shady business killing people). Perfect: hire younger carbon-copy actors (even though Dennis Farina’s irreplaceable) to play the MCU cops and Outfit guys from ‘Crime Story’ in one episode/story about a crime to do with the club.

‘Pan Am’? Easy. Come clean and acknowledge the tribute/emulation and have Draper and/or Sterling or another character in passing at an airport or on a plane, on a business trip. It also reminds me of Catch Me If You Can.

Commercial from then, stylish down to the Mid-Atlantic-sounding announcer (I use that voice doing voiceovers for commercials occasionally):

One of my hats has a picture of the new 707 jetliner in the lining.

There was a ‘Mad Men’ fanfic I liked, now regrettably offline, set in the early ’90s in which ‘Mad Men’ and ‘30 Rock’ are in the same what-if world: young Jack Donaghy dates grown Sally Draper (they’re about the same age) and is a big fan of her father, who’s written books on advertising used in courses teaching the biz and is dying of cancer.
Bill Kauffman on Carl Oglesby
From last year, blogged by Joshua then in his old blog. When mid-century culture was still strong (the grownups were still in charge as a friend from then, a destroyer sailor stationed off Vietnam at the time, says), this gentlemanly, clean-cut early New Left had potential, Joshua thought. Idealistic, not a bunch of spoiled rich kids. (What people mostly wrongly thought the Kennedys were; BTW hooray for Jackie: feminism’s poison, LBJ was obnoxious and maybe a thug, and MLK personally a phony and nasty to boot, mocking Cardinal Cushing at JFK’s funeral.) Joshua’s said if they and the populist small-town conservatives, even the rednecks if they were agreeable, had sat down and talked to each other, figuring out they all were getting played by the government (the liberal one that made up the Tonkin Gulf attack story), the late-’60s disaster might not have happened. Possibly. But to give the drawbridge right its due, mid-century’s fervent belief in progress (the demon that spawned Vatican II) had the seeds of its own destruction, ironically part of what the recent nostalgia TV I like (‘Mad Men’ and its two copycats) tries to celebrate (but, hooray, a lot of people are unironically nostalgic: as Rod Dreher once wrote, Joe and Mary Average from then remember the ’50s as the happiest time of their lives and want their beautiful old church back; my old sailor buddy’s kind of like that). So maybe not. But it would have been worth a shot. May he rest in peace.

Damian Thompson on the English Defence League and on the Irish mess
The voice of the white working class isn’t Nazi nor really racist. A few points:
  • Why shouldn’t the English like being English?
  • It’s very much a class war, sometimes by proxy, the rich lefty snobs (the problems of undesirables immigrating don’t affect them) using the nonwhites/Muslims as human shields trying to exterminate the whites they don’t like.
  • Individual liberty, yes, but you don’t want to live in a Muslim country. A false religion and irrational as the Pope said at Regensburg five years ago today.
  • The church shot itself in the foot in Ireland, speeding up the Irish turning secular like much of the rest of Europe. But Irish religion is cyclical (they weren’t devout in 1800) and they won’t join a dead Protestant church, let alone their old enemy’s. Bad Catholics don’t start or join fake churches; they quietly drop out.

Friday, September 16, 2011

RIP Carl Oglesby
Apparently a gentleman of the early, clean-cut New Left who may have ended up libertarian
Progressives and the bloody 20th century
From LRC
Small Italian town’s mayor declares independence
From Joshua

Not liking ‘like’
Gavin McInnes at Taki agrees with me. A teacher more than 25 years ago told me it came from the long custom of whites imitating blacks to show off: white jazzmen copied blacks, clubgoers copied white jazzmen and then this took off among teenage white girls in southern California so now it’s no longer a joke but the American white girl voice. (Sidebar learnt from the SWPL blog when it was funny: copying obsolete black pop culture is a white status symbol because you’re telling people you were stylish and culturally sensitive – open-minded and swippler than thou – since you were a kid, way back when.) I’m of a generation that didn’t talk like that, just like the generations before me whom I like (there; that’s one right use of the word).

From the greatest generation: Fr Badass
Of course the old religion produced him
Father Francis L. Sampson was a Catholic priest who served in WWII as the chaplain for the famous 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division – a U.S. Army paratrooper unit that wound up being one of the key groups to drop on Normandy on D-Day as part of Operation Overlord.

He wasn’t expected to participate in the fighting because naturally he didn’t carry any form of weapon (with the exception of a crucifix, which only works on vampires), so he found a small frontline aid station and began ministering to the wounded. When American units in the area came under attack and had to retreat, the wounded who couldn’t be moved had to be left behind. Sampson decided to stay with them, where, despite absurd amounts of danger, he continued to tend to the injured soldiers.

Unfortunately for everyone, some of the German troops who took over the aid station were Waffen SS and they, being despicable cockholes at the best of times, decided to put Sampson up against a wall and shoot him.

Fortunately, a German Army non-commissioned officer saw what was going on and rescued Sampson, taking him to an intelligence post, ostensibly for interrogation. There he was found to be a priest and therefore not someone the Germans really needed to be threatened by. They let him go, at which point he ran away to join the Allies ... oh, no, wait. He calmly returned to the Nazi-occupied aid station, where he went back to administering to the wounded. The wounded, by the way, now included lots of Germans, to whom he ministered all the same.

After the aid station was retaken, Sampson heard of an American soldier whose three brothers had all been reported killed in the same week (although one was actually a POW and survived the war). Moving quickly, he instigated the search for the fourth brother, Fritz Niland. Sampson went out, found him and brought him back to Utah Beach, where he was evacuated back to the States. Does that story sound familiar? It should, because it served as the plot for “Saving Private Ryan,” where the part of Father Sampson was played by an entire squad of rangers.

Sampson went on to jump with the 101st in Holland later that year, where he was captured again and spent the rest of the war in captivity. Then he got out and ... went right back to war, jumping into Korea. When that was over and Vietnam came along, he was of course on board for that, too, taking the position of Chief of Chaplains.

What the hell was he going to do, stay home?
From Cracked.

As much as I like this generation and the ’40s, this is WWII in one picture:

‘I went through all that just to hand half of Catholic Europe to somebody worse?!’

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Barry Manilow on Ron Paul: ‘I agree with just about everything he says’
A zillionaire with legions of fans is not stupid. And he likes the ’40s too.

Johnny Rotten and Arlo Guthrie are Ron Paul people too so why not a middle-of-the-road pop king?

Social Security
From Ad Orientem

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

13 signs of societal collapse
From LRC
Rome and the SSPX
Long story short, from what I can gather: Rome’s offer is the SSPX would have to sign something accepting a strict-constructionist interpretation of Vatican II (religious liberty and ecumenism are OK; fine with me), which it has always required, and then the society would be a personal prelature like Opus Dei (no interference from Modernist AmChurch or Magic Circle bishops, so it would remain all-Tridentine all the time... why doesn’t the Pope get rid of the Modernist bishops?). Sounds good if it’s true. Pope Benedict obviously means it: not a double deal. He even got rid of all the serious problems with the English Novus Ordo. For those who don’t know: it was always about religious liberty and ecumenism, not Latin. We’ll see.
Satoshi Kanazawa
Roissy linked to him today
  • On eHarmony and conservative churches. Partly true (why men join the Marines or Carla’s ‘this isn’t a religion for wimps’) but also condescending and partly false. I rarely use the suggestions things like Google ads and Amazon give me and love the infinite choices online and in stores. And there’s real traditional Catholic life, not necessarily trad life. The kind of thing (outlier Mexican stuff) Arturo Vasquez used to write about. High standards but the opposite of a regimented cult.
  • Stereotypes are such because they’re usually true.
  • On that note you often can judge on appearances. But not always. There’s the halo effect and sex appeal which grifters of course use, and sociopaths like Ted Bundy. Or the handsome candidate who looks like a dream lover or husband (how most women vote) couldn’t possibly be a liar/crook.

Blowback 101

From Daniel Nichols. More of why they hate us, and who can blame them? I have no problem with drone planes as such. Militarily they’re brilliant. It’s their abuse.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The war against what?
The story of terrorism. From @TAC via Daniel Nichols.
A Canadian Ukrainian Catholic for WO?!
Господи, помилуй. Eew. That’s what I was talking about. Two of my talking points:
  • Greek Catholic: Eastern Novus Ordo. I don’t want to see the mighty Russian Orthodox Church reduced to this even though I hate their anti-Westernism. The first Ukrainian Catholics I knew, WWII exiles and their families, weren’t like this. More like two-thirds Russian Orthodox, but they didn’t identify with the Orthodox at all, and one-third Tridentine.
  • This stuff only affects Catholics living in Protestant countries. It doesn’t come from the heart of the church.
Again there are lots of Bad Catholics who don’t agree with the church, don’t know better or don’t care. I dare say, outside the hothouse convert cult, that’s most American Orthodox and certainly most nominal Roman Catholics. But they don’t set up Web pages demanding the church change. They know it can’t.
Setting Grandma’s hair on fire
Pat Buchanan at Taki
From the Bovina Bloviator
The ordinariates and the TAC stories
Not closely following the stories but this seems to be about claimed hard cases not being the basis of good law. The law (rule, not doctrine): ex-Catholic priests (or deacons), including ex-Catholic laymen who became Anglican or Continuing priests, can’t be ordinariate Catholic priests. Fair enough. My guess is these would-be priest returnees are extremely rare: the few such ex-Catholics tend to be liberals or Evangelicals, not wanting to rejoin! But it happens. Rome’s been extremely forgiving in one case: Fr Ivan Aquilina, a nice Catholic fellow from Malta who in his 20s seemed to do just what the church says not to, joining the Church of England to marry and be ordained. He’s now a Catholic priest in good standing. So Archbishop John Hepworth, an ex-Catholic priest from the ’60s, claims he left the church because he was molested in seminary. I’m inclined to forgive once somebody like that’s been vetted for ministry since the men wanting to come in aren’t liberals. Which is why Fr Aquilina’s case doesn’t bug me. I never thought the church authorities would waive Hepworth in, and I thought he said he’d step down and live like a layman, but it’s up to them.

The rest – that little group in Canada? – seems to be about legal issues of incorporation and property ownership (the red tape of formally dissolving to join the Catholic Church) and whether the TAC/ACCC parishes would remain together, simply being turned into ordinariate parishes. Which the church can do, like historically it’s received whole religious orders (such as Caldey and Graymoor about 100 years ago), but it doesn’t have to.

TAC means Traditional Anglican Communion, a name that makes me think of the Thirty-Nine Articles and raising muscular Christians to run the empire, but it seems to mean good American biretta-belt churchmanship (looks like 19th-century Roman Catholicism, sounds like the Prayer Book) but with British Anglo-Catholic papalism. ‘Come on in!’ The two Philly-area churches coming in are in this church. ACCC = Anglican Catholic Church of Canada.

BTW there are next to no British Continuers (yes, Fr C and Dr Munn, I know you exist :)); the English/Welsh and for now Scottish ordinariate is Novus Ordo-using papalist ex-Anglican.

As for turning down the Pope’s amazing offer, I agree with Damian Thompson (if you say no then be honest and cut out the Catholic act) or with people like Fr Bob Hart (be an old-time Prayer Book Protestant – I don’t agree with them but respect their standing on principle). I don’t tell the Anglicans how to run their church but if the Catholics shouldn’t put up with dissent from their teachings, why should the Anglicans (codes of practice etc., or Christina Rees is right... if they want to marry gays, fine)?