Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So the Dems are endorsing gay marriage
Or they have taken leave of reality/the human race. What does that really mean? Culture-wars shark chum and rallying point for the left. Like commenter here Jim C. I don’t think it will swing the election. Homosexuals are too small, about 3% of the population, to be a swing vote, and among them only some want to be ‘married’. ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ and the Dinkins effect (you can guilt most white voters only once) will coast Romney into the White House.

Sure, it’s the Dems’/Obama’s f*ck-you to what used to be party pillars, white Catholic workers, the Jack Murthas and the fine folk who became the Reagan Democrats, and old hardscrabble Southerners. (All of whom WASP liberal/black wannabe Obama probably hates.) So the Republicans of course will try to play this, hoping for another Southern Strategy and more Reagan Democrats. But do those people still exist, at least in numbers big enough to matter in an election? Or aren’t most remaining such, thinking they have nowhere to go, already Republicans so there’ll be no gain? Or has America’s center shifted as leftward as Obama might think? An underclass now fatherless, on welfare, having had a few abortions and getting its views from the mainstream media so they mouth support for this thing?

Black support for Obama is almost unanimous (95%); a given. (Even though he’s not really one of them.) He can afford to take it for granted, despite the black churchgoers who supported Prop 8 in California four years ago.

I’d like to think common-sense Middle America still exists as Mark Shea describes how it would react to the Chick-fil-A culture battle.

(Commenter at Sailer’s: don’t like Chick-fil-A? Open your own restaurant and call it D*ck-fil-A.)

Again, my guesses are Obama’s rallying his base for some reason (because he knows he’ll lose?), and the Middle America we knew has shrunk and is now already Republican, so this won’t make a difference.

And can traditionally/habitually Democratic Catholics stay, arguing that this plank is only pro-liberty (see Shea again) and besides, look at all the good, which agrees with Catholic social teaching™*, the party’s government programs try to do? I’ll say no. It’s not about liberty but power; the social conservatives are right. The gay activists don’t just want to pretend to be married and be left in peace; they want to literally force you/your religion to play along, like this Protestant country wants to force the church to pay through insurance for contraception. And if you go along with abortion as part of the package, you’re rationalizing killing people.

So GTFO of the Democratic Party. But the Republicans aren’t our friends either, nationally. Except of course for Ron Paul.

I don’t hate those voting for Romney because of the contraception battle: better a jerk who doesn’t care about you than one who hates everything you stand for. But I’m not going along.

*Something churchmen right and left like: a sanctified welfare state, not necessarily with a state church anymore, that can take any form, from a king to socialism, and promotes peace and family values (it’s against abortion), both of which are grounded in doctrine.
From RR

Monday, July 30, 2012

From Steve Sailer
Political potpourri
  • Chick-fil-A thoughtcrime. Let’s see if I have this straight (ha). The CEO of a nice old-values business, a fast-food restaurant I happen not to go to, one clear about being Christian, says homosexuality is wrong (just like most of humanity throughout history, including most American blacks, and just like the president publicly until a few months ago), and gives his money to promote that, as is his right, so some cities want to stop him from opening stores in them. So he backpedals, from the sensible libertarian, good-for-business ‘we serve anybody who pays’ to too far but not quite selling out. The left doesn’t want liberty but power. Over you and me. Douthat: If you want to fine Catholic hospitals for following Catholic teaching, or prevent Jewish parents from circumcising their sons, or ban Chick-fil-A in Boston, then don’t tell religious people that you respect our freedoms. Makes me want to eat at Chick-fil-A just to spite the left. I also like the Willy Wonka memes on this.
  • Strange bedfellows: Emanuel and Farrakhan. So which wins in the lefty pantheon, gay, Jewish or black? By the way, Islam of course is wrong (the Pope’s remark at Regensburg nails it: St Thomas Aquinas’ rational God versus Muhammad’s imaginary, irrational one) but the Nation of Islam isn’t Islam. Like neo-paganism (Mark Shea repeats Stuart Koehl’s point made years ago, and even describes it as a knockoff of Protestantism), it’s a product of ignorant apostate Christians’ imaginations.
  • Dog bites man: Romney davens to Israel. Of course the next president’s status quo; it’d be political suicide, throwing away a sure thing, otherwise. Pleasing the base, both the very Jewish neocons and the sucker evangelicals (‘Where else can you go? Vote for me, morons’). The capital of the United States ought not be Tel Aviv. Treat them like a normal country; in that case they’re on their own.
Not following the Olympics

Sunday, July 29, 2012


My Week with Marilyn

Entertaining and, at least according to its source, true. Apparently she really was crazy, thus a pain to work with (why she was fired from her last movie); I like Branagh as Olivier (funny because he famously remade Henry V). Nice to get away from the American period clichés (except, of course, Marilyn) and see Britain in the ’50s, still WASP smarts and character but poorer from WWII and the empire’s headquarters moving west to the old colonies (so Britain was Airstrip One). But an image many Americans keep, as Cracked pointed out, thanks to ‘Masterpiece Theatre’ and much else, that it’s a pre-modern (quaint) country (except for punk rockers, another dated image).

I watch last year’s movies through Netflix. Not worth paying so much to see the latest, much of which isn’t worth seeing of course. I only wish I’d seen Red Tails on the big screen because, propagandizing and stereotypes (noble black supermen and nasty whites) aside, it was the ’40s, and you’ve got to see flight scenes that way.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Balkans redux
Nebosja Malic at antiwar.com
Truth is sexy
Julie Newmar:
“I find Ron Paul the youngest thinking of all the candidates. Young people don’t carry the baggage of years of careless decision making. Many of us didn’t like Romney’s rise to power and prestige on the backs of workers, all the time further disenfranchising the powerless, the underdog. Nor are we happy with Obama who saved his skin at the expense of the entire middle class by not standing firm and tough against the avaricious gamblers in our financial markets.

“I like Ron Paul because he changes my mind about things, makes me think in ways I haven’t before. I confess he’s even able to change my long-ago made-up mind about abortion. Now that’s moving a mountain. He shows me there’s perhaps a better way to think about the unthinkable.

“Both parties sicken the daylights out of most of us. But I could tolerate a man who has such a refreshing sense of right and wrong, rule of law.

“I dare to say at this point Ron Paul makes more sense than the rest.”
From LRC.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Religious liberty in the thought of Edmund Burke
From Mark in Spokane

1948 Chevrolet Fleetline
One of the most beautiful cars
Why I’m not in the ordinariate
Besides generally not needing it here, being blessed with a wonderful parish both Tridentine and high-church; I’m not a married man looking to be (re-)ordained nor do I have a jones for the Prayer Book on Sunday.
Much of the institutional church sucks eggs. (If you’re tuning in here for the first time, you’ll notice this isn’t EWTN.) I’ve learned from my own experience, from non-churchgoing Italian-Americans, from a quip by Monsignor Ronald Knox (a passenger aboard a ship doesn’t hang around in the engine room) and from an older gentleman, a convert to Orthodoxy, who said, after bouncing from parish to parish, from now on he’ll go to Liturgy (Mass) on Sundays but otherwise won’t get involved in the personalities and politics of running the places (‘I’ll go but I won’t join’). Exactly. I’m signed up, go to Mass and put my envelope in the basket, keeping the commandment and the precept of the church. I go to coffee hour, which we have once a month. That’s it.

The church: sinless in itself (the infallible teaching office, and the grace of the sacraments: our holy mother the church) but of course made up of sinful people. Best for most layfolk not to get too close to the institutional machinery (Italians have been in the church since the Caesars; they know this very well) lest its gears chew you up.

Got the traditional Mass, the office, the rosary and the catechism. Beyond that I don’t care what Steenson thinks.

I knew the Brits weren’t interested in trad practice but I had hopes for the American ordinariate (the American way: Tridentine ceremonial, Prayer Book texts): witness Mount Calvary, Baltimore. (American Missal used by a wing of trads. Pope Benedict can make it happen.) Still hope to take a trip there one Sunday.
Real TV history: Norman Lear’s 90 and one of his actors, Sherman Hemsley, has died
Hemsley seemed like a nice fellow, a humble Philadelphian success story (from handling mail at 30th Street to Broadway star to TV star; he paid his dues). RIP. My guess about Lear’s success is it wasn’t thanks to the market but a change in TV companies’ attitude, particularly where he started, CBS. First some history. Most people in the ’60s were nothing to do with the Sixties, even at the end of the decade. It was more a continuation of the ’50s. The only time most people saw a hippie was when watching the news or looking at a magazine. Towards the end of the decade, hippieness was an affectation of relatively rich kids; it didn’t become mainstream until 1973 or so (compare yearbook pictures then to ’68, as a Takimag commenter wrote). Anyway, around ’70 and ’71 most Americans still watched the happy, silly shows of the earlier era: ‘Green Acres’, ‘Petticoat Junction’*, ‘Mayberry R.F.D.’, ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ (I wonder if Al Capp sued). Lawrence Welk pulled a lot of viewers on ABC too.

Making fun of hippies in ’69. God love him.

The now-dying Andy Williams tried to go hip and it killed his show.

Then the networks actually forgot about ratings and profits, about giving the customers what they want, and decided (I don’t know why) to preach: to indoctrinate Middle America with all the rubbish from the then-New Left. So in the summer of ’71 ABC fired Welk with a phone call and CBS yanked all of its down-on-the-farm sitcoms; enter Lear.

In Lear’s first show, which made his name, the most watchable of the bunch, he obviously meant Archie Bunker to be a buffoon, a punching bag, but he and Carroll O’Connor were smart enough not to take that too far and even threw in a few digs at their own side, to pretend to be fair, so in the end they were patronizing to Archie and he endeared himself to millions.

Rob Reiner, born into showbiz, made the very funny Spinal Tap but has said he knows his obit will say ‘Meathead’. Fame most actors dream of.

But I wonder. Like I suspect Maurice Sendak’s books appealed more to hip parents and critics than to kids (sort of like those abstract fake folk-art wooden toys people who don’t have children give kids), if you can filter out the lefty critics and showbiz praise, how many actually liked Lear’s stuff then or like it now?

*There are critics who write that Paul Henning’s shows were smarter, snarkier and more surreal, than many realize.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Catholic Church: here comes everybody
San Juan Capistrano, California. From here.
Men who literally took a bullet for their women
All I have to say now about the Batman killer is the calls for gun control are idiotic, I and others would like to know if (Big Pharma’s) drugs caused it, and although I read Roissy and agree with his criticism of white knights (over-idealizing women, which turns them off), this is one of the most romantic true stories. Heroes. RIP.

Link from Joshua.
The road less travelled: Anglo-Catholics who consider converting to Orthodoxy
An Orthodox deacon is doing this survey for his thesis. The Western Rite experiment is and will remain tiny, in an already small church, but AC-to-Orthodox is more plausible than it seems. The old high churchmen were in a way theologically more ‘conservative’ than the church, like the Orthodox; afraid the Pope would use his power to change the faith once delivered (which they saw idiosyncratically as only the first five centuries of the church; I don’t know why). Which of course didn’t happen; their own denomination does that by decree or vote. American Anglo-Catholics (rare among Episcopalians), even though they became wonderfully Tridentine ceremonially, continued this kind of thinking so they weren’t that Roman Catholic-oriented. That’s why the Continuing Churches are American, not British.

The Vatican in the 1950s
From Orbis Catholicus Secundus
The British-American special relationship
Otto von Bismarck remarked at the end of the 19th century that the most significant event of the 20th century would be “The fact that the North Americans speak English”.
From Steve Sailer.
If the Republicans were smart, they’d stop trying to get the Hispanic vote
Which is small (few of them vote) so it doesn’t affect the election, and it doesn’t work. It’s like the black vote for Obama; write it off and move on. Romney’s got this election in the bag; all he’s got to do is keep quiet the next few months. And if they were smart, they would try a Southern Strategy/Reagan Democrat move, making a play for the white working class, whom the Dems have written off. Of course the Rockefellerish and neocons such as the next president don’t care about them either.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

US House votes to pass Audit the Fed bill
Pat Buchanan takes down Obama’s ‘you didn’t build that’
A history lesson. From Takimag.
What’s your theory of America’s decline?
‘Rock’n’roll’s been going downhill since Buddy Holly died!’ Seriously I don’t have one yet. Dreher blames liberty, mirroring many churchmen, left and right. Of course the church’s right about selfishness (including the hippie version) but I’m not throwing out liberty because of it. I suspect Dreher’s solution is to make him emperor/tsar.
Christian theology
Anti-Christians mockingly summarize the Christian worldview as “a bearded father figure created the world and now commands us to give money to his church”. That is indeed the picture we get from the oldest Jewish scriptures, which the Christians inherited. But it does not do justice to the beauty and the elegance of mature Christian thought.

No Christian thinker believes he can prove every plank of Christian Theology. Aquinas thought he could prove part of it, but not all of it. Rather, the complete worldview represents a “best guess” as to the nature of the universe according to logic, observation, shared experience, and introspection.
From RR.
If we could abolish public schools and compulsory schooling laws, and replace it all with market-provided education, we would have better schools at half the price, and be freer too

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The middle-class quiet riot
From Roissy
Monsignor Lynn gets 3-6 years
Sounds fair, for shuffling around/covering up for a few perv priests. But is he just the fall guy?
Fr Rutler on post-comfortable Christianity and the 2012 election
Reaction. From T1:9.
The memory hole: LRC on Penn State
I don’t follow football and agree with the Anti-Gnostic that being on the lookout for homosexual predators isn’t a football program’s priority. I believed the best about Paterno but everybody knows better now. An old-school Italian gentleman would have stopped Sandusky with one phone call. It’s great the NCAA fined Penn State $60 mil and partly suspended the team but of course I’m cynical; the cult of football (the problem’s not football but the worship of it) will go on as usual in the long run.

Butler Shaffer:
As these charged offenses allegedly occurred within the football facilities, it seems to me that tearing down the entire stadium would “help the healing process,” and “bring closure” — two favorite, empty phrases employed in any wrongdoing whenever the institutional order has done all it is willing to do.

George Orwell’s prescience warned us of the established order’s use of the “memory hole” to rid people of the knowledge of events that now prove embarrassing to it.

The irrational foundations of the university mind continue to reveal themselves in the Penn State wrongdoing. The removal of Paterno’s statue — and the prospective removal of the Paterno name from the university library — have been joined by the NCAA’s decision to take away 112 Penn State football victories earned on the field. I am neither a fan nor hostile to Penn State, but it strikes me as absurd to rewrite history to make believe that reality can be overcome by a committee vote.

In addressing the possible removal of the Paterno name from the library the family helped to fund, one reader — Frank — asked whether the university would also be returning the money it received from the Paternos. After all, if the Paterno name is besmirched and to be sent down the memory hole, wouldn't the money also be tainted? Shouldn’t Penn State act out of principle and refuse to benefit, monetarily, by keeping some of the earnings this man received during this fourteen-year period?
I agree about the Stalinist rewriting of history. Fine the place big time, and take down the statue and the name – I would have put the whole program on ice for a few years – but the record should stand.

I think I see the school’s plan, its ‘healing process’ and ‘closure’: pretend Paterno never was and in three years pretend none of it happened.
Moments in Anglo-American history
From RR

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Turnersville, NJ:

’51 Pontiac.

Postwar cars didn’t change much from prewar until around 1954.

Fine design.

Nifty Fifty’s: good food and not bad for fake ’50s (including the early ’60s, which it’s most like).

Of course I think about the ’50s versus the Fifties (fake ’50s, infamous for its bad quality: yes, I’m talking to you, Garry Marshall; it’s much better since ‘Mad Men’ raised the bar).

Just saw American Graffiti* (to be young and well-off in California) and Great Balls of Fire! (great music by the man himself, who’s still with us, but a miscast lead – Dennis Quaid played Jerry Lee Lewis as a big goof – some awful crowd scenes like Grease, all leather jackets and poodle skirts, and other ham-handed scenes with cool blacks – some of that worked – and rants against the devil’s music; young Alec Baldwin did a better job than Quaid as Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Lee’s cousin).

Of course the Fifties dramatize only part of the story.

My PA mugshot:

Drexel Hill, PA:

‘Want highlights? Watch the news!

Mount Holly, NJ:


By the way, Andy Warhol was actually a sound Catholic who didn’t wear his faith on his sleeve, and liked traditional art (no pop art in his home). He was ‘as wise as serpents’ making millions off sucker art.

Merchantville, NJ:

Meeting almost movie stars:

Black ’51 Merc, close to James Dean’s ’49 in Rebel Without a Cause.

’57 Plymouth Fury. Looks familiar. (Christine’s a customized ’58.)

’60 Bel Air and ’61 Impalas:

East LA-style lowriders.

Donna’s just jealous.

This one’s for sale.

Elvis impersonator Mark Reno.

At home:

Azzie. Looks like Morris possessed. He has never been abused. Insane but not a bad guy.

*Mel’s was real, reopened for filming. Crying shame it was torn down afterwards. The white ’58 Impala sold for only a few hundred dollars when they were done with it. Alas.
Penn State takes down Paterno statue
Good. God have mercy on him.

  • Mass: Suscepimus, Deus, misericordiam tuam in medio templi tui. No commemoration of St Mary Magdalen here.
  • Thanks, Fr James. He’s being sent to St Rocco’s, Cleveland. Over the past several years he high-churched Our Lady of Lourdes. Maybe we’ll get Fr Brannan (old-school Jesuit) back on the roster of celebrants; I understand he was helping take care of St Michael’s Ordinariate Parish until Fr Ousley was Fr Ousley again.
  • Michael Voris. Talking up Pope Benedict’s fighting-trim church.
The church does truth in advertising regarding college
Holy See to Peruvian dissenters: stop using our name
Melkite patriarch on Syria
From Modestinus

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Takimag’s Gavin McInnes parts with PETA
The environmental movement is predominantly liberal, which means its thought process works backward. They start at the end with a wishful thought—“Don’t make this animal sad”—then promptly moonwalk off a cliff.
From Steve Sailer

The depression in one city: Stockton, Calif.

One of three Californian cities bankrupt. Interesting to libertarians: private police (by the way, my opinion: Trayvon Martin got what he deserved; George Zimmerman’s trial is a witch hunt; the doe-eyed child whose picture the media show wasn’t the grown thug who beat up Zimmerman) largely replacing the bankrupt city force. From Ad Orientem.

Friday, July 20, 2012

‘The Girl from Ipanema’ is 50
The woman who inspired it is still with us
America’s shadow wars in Africa
From Daniel Nichols
The church on rights, duties and the culture of death
William Newton of the International Theological Institute, Trumau, Austria:
The culture of death severs the connection between rights and duties. This is particularly evident in the case of euthanasia, because here a right is claimed – a right to die – without any correlative duty. Yet, true rights always have a correlative duty because a right is precisely a power to fulfill a duty. So, for example, the right to religious liberty is founded on the duty to seek the truth about God: first duty, then right. Understood in this way, there can be no right to die since there is no duty to die.
Reminds me of Mark in Spokane.

The reigning Pope:
An overemphasis on rights leads to a disregard for duties.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

17 Emmy nominations
From RR
The imperial presidency marches on
Like from the principled libertarians I try to follow, this isn’t about blaming Obama personally or going on about his failings. So ‘presidency’, not ‘president’. The means to do this go back to the Civil War, when in that ‘state of emergency’ Lincoln really suspended the Constitution and was a dictator. From Daniel Nichols.

  • The SSPX’s ‘no’ to Rome was just a rumour. Of course: they have never been in principle a separate church; that would go against what they stand for. I’m not in it, they have their faults, but I thank them for the great good they do. Again: let’s make Fellay a cardinal and have a personal prelature.
  • Metropolitan Jonah. On one hand, sad and embarrassing; on the other, so what? Three living ex-head metropolitans? (Traditionally it’s for life like the Pope.) The first convert/non-ethnic one bombs? Makes it look like the OCA can’t govern itself; would it have been better if they remained under the Russians? Then again, they acted regarding Jonah so they can. The well-meaning culture-wars converts brought up the matter of Bad Orthodox, Americanized/liberalized ones who even sometimes hold office, with mainlinish views about homosexuality and women clergy. (Relatively next to nobody in the ancient apostolic churches is agitating to change the church on these.) Turns out that or homosexual clergy weren’t the real problem. The media seem to have jumped at a chance to bash any church, certainly one that resembles the hated Catholic Church. On the ‘So what?’ side, of course there have always been bad or ineffectual clergy (St Peter Celestine), the Metropolia/OCA’s long been a cheerfully corrupt little church; it’s not a big deal to Orthodox parishes; life in the Slavic-American Rust Belt (the kind of Orthodox I like best because it’s most like home, ‘Catholicky’; 100 years ago they were Greek Catholic) – Liturgy (Mass: traditional but now vernacular; great!), Scout troops, pierogi sales, bus trips to Atlantic City and a drink at the Sportsmen’s Club bar in the hall after deer-hunting – goes on, only with fewer and older people than before. Orthodoxy runs on local immemorial custom, bottom-up more than top-down (there’s something to that), something the scandal-sniffing media probably don’t understand and they don’t care. As Fr Chadwick’s written, traditional society’s rules (like with culturally conservative Orthodox) have always been strict but often lightly applied (forgiveness and all that); when you’re in the family (ethnos), your failings are often... overlooked. (How Orthodox ‘economy’ works.) The occasional flamer, embezzler or accessory to other crime among the clergy doesn’t change anything really; chances are they won’t vote to change the faith at a convention. That’s not how they work. Photos: St Mary’s, McKeesport, Pa., and Sunday-school teachers, Holy Trinity, Charleroi, Pa., 1961.
  • Again Johnstown having to draft a priest from their Greek parent church to be their bishop suggests they’re not doing very well. A shame because again the kind of Orthodox I like best. Where are the native Slavic-American vocations? Married clergy aren’t a cure for lack of vocations.
  • Catholic thought on the Orthodox, echoed in Soloviev. Most of the rank and file probably don’t know they exist. Sacramentally they’re the same church. As crazy as it sounds, arguably because they never held an ecumenical council repudiating post-schism Catholic teaching, including on contraception, they’re not really separate from the church, just estranged. So born Orthodox get the benefit of the doubt and venerating most post-split Orthodox saints is no problem. The goal, unlike with Protestants for whom it’s impossible, is corporate reunion (one side giving in, which probably won’t happen), so while of course individual conversions are accepted, as the late Fr Serge Keleher told me, they’re best done quietly.
  • The church is not a cult; people are free so there are lots of Bad Catholics. Of course the Know-Nothing media want to play this up like a new Inquisition, but churches have the right to govern themselves, and if you hold a teaching job, even a volunteer one, then yes, you have to uphold the church’s teachings, so a loyalty oath is a great idea.
  • Charles Coulombe on the Episcopalians. Reply. I don’t miss the old snob appeal, which, I say, didn’t really go away; it just changed costumes. Regarding the latest news, I think they’ll keep losing people like crazy and that the semi-conservative Diocese of South Carolina will end up in semi-conservative (Slightly Less Liberal Protestant Denomination, or the Episcopal Church 10 Years Ago) ACNA. I don’t have that much sympathy for their few remaining relative conservatives; staying, they knew what they were getting into. Episcopalianism’s semi-congregationalism probably gave them a false sense of security. Since some of those churches go back to colonial times, I think the parishes have a shot at keeping them.
  • Labyrinths? So there’s a pretty pattern on the floor of Chartres Cathedral; so what? The mainliners are having their fun with it. It seems like New Age music; some bad associations but for the most part pretty and harmless.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The strange political ineptitude of the Romney campaign
From Daniel Larison. As somebody else put it, Bill Clinton’s mendacity and Al Gore’s charm.
Paterno gets the Onion treatment
I neither follow football nor the snobby Onion but he brought this on himself. And I defended him at first. If he really were an Italian gentleman of the old school, with all that power, one phone call would have stopped Sandusky. God have mercy on him.

From LRC
The last little abortion clinic in Mississippi
From Takimag
Unsurprisingly, distributists say Rothbard opposed Catholic Europe
Seems that most in the church, from the monarchist/fascist SSPX to mainstreamish Euro social democrats (including the reigning Pope?) to the old union Democrats to the ’70s liberation theologians fear political and economic liberty (so Protestants have long feared the church; scratch a mainliner and find a nativist scared of the papist boogeyman, accusing the church of trying to deny them contraceptives*, and trying to hold onto WASP power); at least the trads and Novus Ordo conservatives are grounded in doctrine (original sin and concupiscence; that is, they’re really Catholic). Obviously I don’t think the faith and liberty are mutually exclusive; I’m somewhere between Burke and the more libertarian than thou (I’ll read anarchists but don’t necessarily buy it; left-libertarianism reads like an obnoxious adolescent defiance to all authority; narcissistic). Or as Mark in Spokane wrote as a compliment, I’m really a conservative after all (though at least functionally small-l libertarian).

(Him on libertarians: big on rights but not on duties; selfish, a criticism you read a lot.)

From what I remember reading the relevant parts of The Betrayal of the American Right (well-done history of postwar American politics), Rothbard didn’t really attack the church but pointed out a neocon game plan that politicians have tried to this day (such as Santorum and now-Catholic Gingrich): wrapping neoconservatism (rewarmed Trotskyism/secularized Jewish messianism?) in the trappings of the church and Old World aristocracy (CIA agent Bill Buckley’s manner including his Euro aristocrat friends as window dressing); now, family values (cynically using the babies to cadge votes while of course the Rockefellerish Republicans will keep doing nothing or even promote the killing).

Catholic Social Teaching/political opinion: sanctified welfare state (be it a king, a dictator, a social democracy or a republic), not necessarily with a state church anymore, whose enlightened leaders promote both family values and peace. The only things covered by doctrine are the ends, family values and peace. (The state can’t define marriage opposed to the natural law; don’t steal/defraud workers; don’t murder babies; don’t start wars.) The means aren’t, though many churchmen try to convince you otherwise.

Like there’s no such thing as Pentecostal physics, there’s no one Catholic economics or politics.

My line to distributists/romantic arts-and-crafts third-wayers: make a good product in mass quantities that people want, and we’ll talk.

There’s of course lots to be said for the Catholic culture of contentment with just enough vs. greed/selfishness, of quality of life with family and community first. But what drives the innovations so life’s no longer nasty, brutal and short, doing everything from inventing the car to discovering penicillin to beating an enemy who doesn’t fight fair (nukes as deterrent) to putting a man on the moon (whether needed or not, pretty neat)?

America at its best: the best of Protestant culture (that creativity/inventiveness) but religiously neutral so Catholics get liberty and its benefits, without selling out, where we were around 1960.

*It’s really about forcing the church to pay for others’ contraceptives, in other words, the left doesn’t believe in religious liberty and it’s the old Protestant American dream of cutting American Catholics off from Rome (like the king tried to in England and Mao in China) and protestantizing them. (Historically why the left loves public schools.)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Damian Thompson compares Mormonism and Scientology

‘Post-Roe v. Wade Brady Bunch’

Pleasantly surprising. Seth MacFarlane doesn’t like the church; probably just another peer-pressure liberal. But this is a pretty good indictment of the selfish abortion culture.
John Boyden writes:

I Googled recently “How much is a trillion?” to get perspective on it with some interesting results. Third in the Google list was this article by NPR from February 2008, and it tries to put then-President Bush’s budget proposal of $3.1 trillion in perspective as well. I think the criticism of Bush is implied by NPR here.

And rightly so, I’d imagine. It’s a massive amount of money. What’s interesting, however, is how NPR doesn’t have the same criticism towards Obama. It’s a different story then. Kind of like Cindy Sheehan: once your criticisms are no longer limited to bad guy (Bush), then it’s off with you. Once the poster child of criticism of Bush, she disappeared after she showed herself consistent in her method.

I remember Nancy Pelosi giving a press conference in front of a DC gas station to excoriate Bush for the exorbitant price of gas at that time. The price listed on the sign behind her? $3.19 a gallon. Before it dropped to a record low, gas was over $3 a gallon for only about six months of Bush’s term. For Obama, it’s been over $3 for the last 2+ years.

Again, I’m not a fan of Bush, but the double standard makes one’s head swim.

Similarly, regarding the post about Cheney supporting torture: my friends in DC who teach at the War College and represent the US in central Asia (and, if anything, lean slightly to the left and, I believe, voted for Obama) told me the incidence of torture on detainees since Bush left office has at least tripled. But you don’t get that coverage by any of the mainstream media. If it were a Republican president in office doing even half of what Obama is doing/permitting now, there would be outright revolution.

It’s gotten considerably worse in the last 3.5 years, in every area that Bush was criticized, yet the protesters are curiously absent during this regime and our “unbiased” media have nothing to criticize.

One doesn’t have to be a supporter of the left or right to see a slant that rivals the government-controlled media in the former USSR.
Sunday thoughts
  • Mass: Omnes gentes, plaudite manibus: jubilate Deo in voce exsultationis. (No applause; we don’t mean that literally!) Our organist wasn’t there today so we got good and ‘early church’ musically (no Anglican processional or recessional hymns this week): plainchant a cappella. Love it. I know it’s only the Missa de Angelis but I like it. My parish church is a lace-curtain Irish sanctuary, a faux-Gothic exposition chapel with fiddleback chasubles and white-gloved altar boys ringing sanctus bells in stereo, which of course is great but today I enjoyed having it sound like a thousand years ago, just voices bouncing off stone walls.
  • Modestinus on today’s epistle.
  • ‘If the priest is a saint, his people will be holy. If the priest is holy, the people will be good. If the priest is good, his people will be fair. If the priest is fair, his people will be mediocre. If the priest is mediocre, his people will be bad. If the priest is bad, his people will be sinful.’ Ex opere operato, Donatism’s wrong (the priest’s unworthiness doesn’t take the grace out of the sacraments he gives) and Catholic parishes are normally so big the priests and laity don’t really know each other (I like my pastor’s Mass – he does the main, Tridentine one, normally the only one I go to – and sermons but don’t know him; I attend but otherwise don’t get much involved with the church) but this has a point. Good priests are probably under seige from hostility and temptation, the demonic trying to derail them both personally and professionally.
  • Regarding yet another liberal on why Christianity must change or die. Secular society and the church both laugh.
  • Mentioning the Episcopalians, nothing more.
  • Happy feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel tomorrow. Lodato sempre sia il bel nome di Gesù e di Maria.

Romney: ‘reaching out’ to everyone and pleasing nobody
Takimag’s Paul Gottfried. No matter. All Romney has to do is coast for four months and he’ll be president. Interesting though how high and unwavering black support for Obama is when, as Steve Sailer pointed out, Obama was trounced in his first election, in Chicago, because the city’s blacks knew he not only wasn’t one of them in the sense of being raised in Chicago, culturally he’s not black.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Oxford Movement at 179
Something that began with a principle like one of the Catholic Church’s, claiming that the Church of England was of divine origin, not just a tool of the state (objecting to the government closing some dioceses*), more or less followed the Catholic Church’s lead for most of its history (not so much at first; the Tractarians disagreed with the papacy and weren’t interested in ceremonial) and has ended up in two main ways, one, mainliners with more Catholic trappings than most, and two, what many Anglo-Catholics said they were or wanted to be and were often taken to be, part of the church, with two purposes, the American liturgical conservatives showing that traditionalism’s Not About Latin™, and married ex-Anglican priests becoming Catholic priests showing that clerical celibacy’s just a rule, since many Westerners don’t know about the Eastern churches with their married priests.

Interestingly you can claim the old high churchmen were more ‘conservative’ than the church, afraid the Pope would use his claimed authority to break with tradition including scripture. He didn’t (he can’t) but their denomination did (on royal/state command and later by vote).

*Because Catholic emancipation resulted in the government sensibly no longer propping up a denomination the Irish didn’t join. Ironically a movement that started as a reaction against a result of liberating Catholics, defending the established church, ended up, until relatively recently when it went liberal with that denomination, copying the Catholic Church.
Another reason not to vote for Romney
The torture ex-VP/former real president likes him. From Daniel Nichols.

I don’t hate so-cons who are voting GOP. I get it: better a dick who doesn’t care about you than one who hates our guts. (Again: the Zero-in-Chief’s not the great Satan but a mediocrity who gives his cronies jobs and likes insurance companies a lot for some reason.) But I’m not joining them. It’s between writing in Ron Paul, voting for Gary Johnson if he has a chance, and staying home for my second time.

A libertarian for at least 10 years and for life.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Chasing away the rich
From Takimag
Don’t bring back the draft
From antiwar.com

How and how not to do sitcoms about kids

‘Leave It to Beaver’ versus ‘Dennis the Menace’. Locally Antenna TV shows them. I’m not a fan of the first but it’s watchable with likeable people; close to natural and not patronizing. By the way Gale Gordon looked like the comic-strip Mr Wilson. Did you know that Hugh Beaumont had a theology degree and was a licensed Methodist preacher? Barbara Billingsley said the pearls were for a practical reason for filming; they covered a scar on her neck.

Bad days for freedom

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Freeh report on the Penn State mess
It’s all about the worship of sports. Not sports; worshipping them. A perv figured out how to use that to game the system. As Elena Maria Vidal, who used to live in State College, says, Paterno was God there. He could have stopped it, no matter the chain of command on paper. God have mercy on them.


Rod Dreher gets it.

The Wild Party
Noir with a young Anthony Quinn and one of Hollywood’s forgotten beautiful women, Carol Ohmart

Good and bad news about Americans and Palestine
On which online buddy Chris Johnson and I are opposed. The mainline sides with Palestine as do I. But the mainline doesn’t mean jack. This is only theatre. Feel-good stuff. Like Occupy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Vatican confirms it is offering the SSPX a personal prelature
You know what I’d like: let’s be under Cardinal Fellay

I’m in the official church, which is so big and I keep a low enough profile (I show up for Mass but don’t get involved) that we pretty much leave each other alone, but...

Like with the SSPX I acknowledge the good that EWTN does. (I have my Mass thanks to Archbishop Lefebvre.) But I’m not an EWTN fan (it’s just not good television). This article reminds me why.

The SSPX believes everything in Catholic doctrine. Vatican II didn’t define doctrine. The SSPX is not outside the church.

Bad writing: it doesn’t tell you the SSPX’s argument is with religious liberty and ecumenism (both of which I’m fine with, in a strict-constructionist way that squares with doctrine) and it doesn’t tell the uninitiated what the Novus Ordo Missæ is.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The real Holly Golightly
Don’t blame tech for shrinking middle class
From RR
From Takimag
  • War porn. Their resident British soldier lets me down. Granted, there’s something to what he says. I wasn’t there, and his story makes the case for soldiering as a calling. You know me: anti-war but pro-military. (Not a spoiled lefty who hates those who serve.) I don’t go pacifist, or even anti-police, like LRC sometimes does. But the other extreme isn’t right either.
  • The market is sexy. Kathy Shaidle: “The UPS guy” has almost driven the once-ubiquitous “mailman” out of the porn business. If so, I wonder why.
  • Pat Buchanan: our casino capitalists are playing with fire.

From LRC
  • Cut ‘defense’ spending 75%. Like Truman. Anti-war. Pro-military.
  • 10 ways honesty makes you more money.
  • ‘I’m Mitt Romney, bitches, and I’m all you got left.’ Get past Esquire’s predictable lefty intro and this is rather funny, even though some of it’s just envy. (The description of Murdoch cracked me up.) The Dinkins effect and blame for the depression will sink the Big Zero; all Romney’s got to do is sit back and wait. President Romney will be business as usual from a typical Rockefellerish Republican, someone who doesn’t care about you or your Christian values as opposed to somebody who hates our guts. Obama the great Satan du jour (again really just a mediocrity who brought his cronies to DC with him and really likes insurance companies for some reason) isn’t enough to scare me to vote for this turkey. The great Satan in ’96 (me: Buchanan, primary; Dole, election; went libertarian for good shortly after ’00), whom good-hearted culture warriors feared, was caged by a hostile Congress and willing to make a deal so he was the best functionally conservative president in memory, surpluses and all.
  • What we are witnessing today is the Republican Party — and ‘conservatism’ generally — in its death rattle. Fifty years ago, these elements could still make a pretense of supporting liberty, free markets, and individualism by opposing the Soviet Union. But now that this “menace” is gone, these people have no philosophically principled base upon which to stand. They now worship state power as an end in itself, and those who — like Ron Paul and his supporters — favor peace, liberty, and the end of corporate-state machinations of the economy as well as the expanded police state, must not be heard.
  • The cat’s out of the bag: ‘human rights’ just an excuse for power grabs.
  • Regime change in Romania. I didn’t know about this: While serving as a NATO commander during the conflict in Kosovo, Clark hit the headlines when the commander of the British forces disobeyed his order to open fire on Russian forces massed in front of Pristina. “I am not going to start World War III,” said the British commander. Wesley Clark was removed from the NATO command before the end of his mandate. Soldiers obey orders and have to pay the price when they don’t but like all such who do so on principle (no Nuremberg excuse), that commander’s a hero.
  • Blessed Franz Jägerstätter.
  • Mapping nature’s danger zones. Why I have WeatherBug even though they say it’s spyware. I’m not safe from tornadoes; it’ll warn me long before the TV does. The way to my basement is outdoors so I need lead time.

Monday, July 09, 2012

What makes bad writing?
Paul Fussell covered this 30 years ago. From Tea at Trianon.
From Rod Dreher
  • The downside of liberty. Another take on how the Sixties* ruined everything: “Do your own thing” is not so different than “every man for himself.” I hope more learned libertarians come up with a rebuttal but good point. Why everybody from the church (echoes of Mark in Spokane) to its ripoff, the well-meaning left, fears liberty. (The left really wants power though.) But I’m not giving up on it. *Early ’70s. The Sixties were nothing to do with most people in the ’60s.
  • American Christianity is in bad shape. It’s easy to gloat about the silly mainline taking itself down the drain but things are bad all over. The only reason our numbers are still up is Mexican immigration. My own parish, the showplace of Pope Benedict’s renewal in the western half of the city, just lost its school and thus its nuns (who were moved to another city to run another school) as white cultural Catholicism dies off. (Vatican II: Americanizing by mimicking the mainline’s mistakes. In 1960 we were already Americanized without selling out.) Harold Bloom would point out that the heresy of American evangelicalism (and I’m not joining the well-off lefties who look down on these people) is a form of the American religion, which besides orthodoxy and morals explains its success.
The nagging persistence of tribalism
From Takimag
Obama administration to prosecute torture whistleblower
Another ‘How’s all that hopenchange working out for you?’ true story. From Daniel Nichols.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Good new pop: Nataly Dawn, ‘I Love to Be with You’

Being a pretty, Nordic type obviously boosts her popularity but the music is really good.

Others thought of it before but: she and Jack Conte (Pomplamoose) are the Mary Ford and Les Paul of YouTube.