Sunday, September 30, 2012

Medieval English churches

Been there
Durham, England, a long time ago. Recent photo by Fr Tim Finigan.


What medieval English and Welsh Catholic parish churches looked like.

Reconstruction at St Teilo’s, part of a museum in Wales.

Coronation mug, classic cars and how to shave


Her Protestantism notwithstanding, I like the Queen and what she stands for.

Since the ’20s, coronations and royal weddings look Catholic and illustrate the same principle as the American Missal: the words of the old Prayer Book work with Catholic ceremonial because they kept the church’s credal orthodoxy and Godward worldview.

Taz has arthritis.

201! In league bowling Donna gets a high game complete with four-bagger.

Burlington, NJ.

What my ride would look like but with stock wheels:

US Navy (and Marine) flight jacket. The only difference from the WWII one is it has synthetic lining. It squeaks because it’s waterproofed of course. I should get one of those leather visor caps with the sheepskin fleece, even though that’s Army Air Forces, to go with it.

The James Dean ’49 Merc with fender skirts. The year of the first real postwar designs; Ford went ultramodern for the time as you can see from the blue car above. I like the more conservative designs like the late-’40s/early ’50s Chevys, Dodges and Pontiac Chieftains. (Quintessential beautiful ’40s car: the ’42 (came out fall ’41)/’46-’48 Chevy Fleetline Aerosedan, not really a sedan.) Interesting and of course one of the movies’ more famous cars (Rebel Without a Cause), said to be the most customized make in the ’50s (kids, amateur engineers in training, hot-rodding them). I understand he died today in ’55 crashing his own car, a Porsche, on his way to a race. I’m not a fan but RIP.

Barry Goldwater. I think it’s in Slovak.

Reaching out to the voters who later became part of the Silent Majority and later the Reagan Democrats.

How to mug-and-brush shave at home.
  • Get a ’50s Gillette safety razor (I’ve got one and two spares), a box of good blades like Merkur or Astra (mine; platinum-plated from Russia for the Middle Eastern market), a little tub of cream (mine now is Omega from Italy; cheap), a badger-hair brush, a shaving mug (any mug or bowl in a pinch), a washcloth, a towel, and a styptic pencil and some witch hazel for any cuts.
  • Take a hot shower to soften the hair and skin. Makes all the difference in the world. Your blades will serve you twice as long.
  • Partly fill the sink with hot water.
  • Put a little more than a fingertip’s worth (the size of two peas) of cream in the mug.
  • Only slightly wet the brush (it soaks up a lot of water), twice if you have to, then use it to whip (a lot!) the dab of cream in the brush into a good, thick lather.
  • Use the brush to put the cream on your face.
  • Shave, finding the razor’s right angle of attack for you. (Some later Gillettes have adjustable settings). The experts say shave with the grain of the hair. Hell, no. That won’t do jack. Shave up and across; wipes the stubble right off. An old blade might need a few more passes; just keep checking by touch till it’s all gone.
  • Rinse off your face (of course). Then wet the washcloth in cold water and put on your face to close the pores. Use the witch hazel and styptic pencil as needed.
Blades are supposed to last a week but I’ve gotten barbershop-quality shaves longer than that doing it this old-fashioned way.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Catholics should be libertarians

  • From LRC: Catholics not only can but should be libertarians.
  • Roissy on attention whoring, a feminine version of the sin of pride.
  • Owen White: the spiritual smorgasbord you can get in America is ... going to pull a person in a number of different directions, and this can really, to put it in the language of kids these days, f*ck you up. Of course learn from other churches and faiths, but you know what he means.
  • Derek Olsen: ‘spiritual’ vs. ‘religious’; his mainline is losing people because of this too (the logical conclusion of Modernism: cut out the lame churchy middleman and stop going there). I think the humorist P.J. O’Rourke knew what it means. Spirituality: I’m in charge; this stuff is for my amusement. Religion: somebody else, a higher power such as God, is in charge (as you’re reminded when you have real hardship).
  • From Netanyahu backs off on Iran.
  • Well put, sir. Doug Sirman at Mark Shea’s. Patheos: an idiotic, user-unfriendly format designed solely to make a reader load as many worthless ads as possible.
  • From Cracked: three bizarrely specific job trends in movies.
  • From Steve Sailer: mass transit vs. class transit. As the man who named SWPLs wrote, they love mass transit in theory, like loving humanity and hating people (‘I want power’), and of course hate buses, and as Paul Fussell wrote, the top classes everywhere live inaccessibly for status and safety/privacy. (Why, before the middle class traded station wagons for minivans and SUVs during the ’90s boom, a Land Rover had status; it said you needed one to drive through your grounds to get to your house; by the way, he also wrote that the top classes aren’t interested in cars for status. A beat-up 20- or 30-year-old car could belong to the top or the bottom classes.) This area has Gladwyne, mansions on high wooded hills.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Shameless product ripoffs

Shameless product ripoffs
More Cracked history-lesson goodness, and we’re talking big-name products and thefts, not just Chinese copies with laughably bad English on the package. (A beautifully chromed Weishi razor jammed in a few months while my nickel-plated, slightly brassed ’50s Gillettes soldier on and always gave better shaves.) A Dane stole Lego from an American, and Hydrox came first. Disney’s stolen before (‘Avenge me, Kimba, uh, Simba’). Cracked also taught me earlier how Edison stole Nikola Tesla’s discoveries. Also, Ray Kroc stole the idea of McDonalds (such as it is) from the real McDonald brothers, whom he ran out of business.

Cracked on psychology; LRC and RR with the news

Today’s links
  • From Cracked: Why it’s hard to change your habits.
  • From LRC: When the US regime collapses, what are the chances for something better?
  • From RR: Is Gary Johnson good enough? If he had a chance I’d vote for him. I’ll stay home again.
  • From Ad Orientem: Income is growing much faster in Republican-leaning “red states” than in Democratic-tilting “blue states” or the pivotal swing states that will decide the 2012 presidential election, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
  • Some Germans hint at gold standard.
  • From Taylor Marshall: Why the church is better off without state interference. In the 19th century, Germany seized Catholic property. To compensate the Church for this, the German state agreed to collect a “church tax” for the Catholics and dole it out to the bishops. This is where the problem begins. When Protestant Prussia led the creation of ‘Germany’ in 1871. Liechtenstein and San Marino are holdouts from before there were a Germany and an Italy. (Garibaldi let San Marino stay nominally independent to thank them for letting him hide there.) I understand that somehow the liberal bishops have been using the church tax to get their way.
  • An LCMS pastor’s patristic quotes on Mary. Understandably the editing has a slightly Protestant tone but it’s grounding and perspective, the way the gospel at Mass in the Common of the BVM ironically seems to downplay showy Marian piety.
  • From Takimag: 10 things most people like that Gavin McInnes hates. I agree except for 7, 9 and half of 10.
  • From Steve Sailer: Disparate impact for thee, not for me.
  • FDNY passes La Griffe 101.
  • From T1:9: Abstracted from reality. France takes leave of the human race by striking the words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ from official documents. Sounds like people who will end up minority dhimmi under unpleasant people who at least still acknowledge reality in that regard.
  • From WWWW: Why are Catholics still voting for Democrats? More. Elementary as Holmes said. For all that some bishops rightly talk and write about intrinsic moral evil and war on religious liberty, they’re bucking strong currents, some from the church’s own history, some from the larger culture. You have Catholic Social Teaching™ from European Christian Democrats rightward (Bishop Williamson doesn’t like capitalism): a sanctified welfare state that’s for peace and family values (including being against abortion). You have the immigrant worker experience of ward politics and unions. (The good old socially and theologically conservative but politically left-leaning white Catholics of American history, the Reagan Democrats.) So the American bishops have long bought into the system, which never really liked the church and has turned on it. With the best intentions they wanted nationalized health care as far back as 1919. (There’s the amnesia about the founding of parochial schools, to get kids away from the protestantizing government, then ever after trying to get government subsidies for them.) Throw in Vatican II cultural self-destruction, that many Catholics are poorly catechized (always so?) so the bishops’ objections don’t mean anything to them, and the big gravitational pull of the larger culture’s peer-pressure liberalism, which like CST is trying to be charitable but unlike CST is anti-family values and not really for peace. White Catholicism is dying. Our numbers are up because of Mexican immigration but they’re largely apolitical, which might be good, not buying into the system, but they do: when they rarely vote, they vote D out of understandable self-interest. The religious across the board vote R more but the self-consciously orthodox are a minority of Catholics and voting R has its own problems (warmongering and the liberal Rockefeller Rs are really pro-abortion too; the Ds are hawks too but get away with it, with compliant media).

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Link list: Mideast Christians, Sailer and some Rational Review

Today’s links

British and American English borrowing goes both ways

British and American English borrowing goes both ways

World standard English has two versions, British-based and (North) American, the latter dominating since WWII, but, probably thanks to communication marvels such as this medium, and before this, movies, TV and pop music, Americans and not just anglophiles un-self-consciously use some Briticisms, some so subtle and naturalized they don’t seem like Briticisms (‘gone missing’). So the richness and variety of the language aren’t going away.
This came to the fore in the US when intern Chandra Levy “disappeared”, says Ben Yagoda. Go missing was widely used, he says, because it felt more nuanced. In his view, British terms can “really serve a purpose” when there is no exact equivalent in American English.
One I’ve noticed as a copy editor is the confusion over the verb form to use with collective nouns. About 45 years ago George Harrison sang ‘the band are not quite* right’ and Americans have been using more plural verbs for them ever since.

Amazingly after 400 years of separate development mostly without modern communication technology the two Englishes are so similar, not growing into separate languages like Spanish and Portuguese for example.

That separate development and mostly that English sounded different in the early 1600s from today are why the accents are so different. The former colonies with the Britishy accents were settled much later.

Interesting how it seems many young British people including actors, having heard American movies, TV and pop music all their lives, can imitate American very well but it’s harder for Americans to convincingly fake a British accent (both standard southern England and others).
We are not seeing a radical change to the American language, says Jesse Sheidlower, American editor at large of the Oxford English Dictionary – rather a “very small, but noticeable” trend. And it is not so much the masses who use these terms, says Geoffrey Nunberg, as the educated elite. Journalists and other media types, like advertising agencies, are the worst offenders, in his view. “The words trickle down rather than trickle up,” he says.
Sure, top-class English has always been international that way partly because of lots of contact among that class on the two sides. There was the old hybrid mid-Atlantic accent of FDR and George Plimpton that American movie stars, before Bogart, and announcers used to be taught.

Paul Fussell’s masterpiece Class on American white culture explained anglophilia. First, before WWII when many/most Americans had cultural/familial ties to Britain, Britain as the world’s top dog really was a threat so most weren’t anglophilic in their beliefs. There was a naval arms race as recently as the 1920s. Fussell explained that this power then was naturally why the ambitious did it to show off, but now anglophilia tries to say the person’s old-money, really upper-class, because his family was rich and powerful back when Britain was (the 1800s). Also why, except for things like punk, only 30 years out of date, many Americans think, because of movies and TV (including the costume dramas Britain exports to the States), Britain is pre-modern, or they have an image about 70-100 years out of date.

*By the way British has both ironic quite (so quite interesting really means pretty/fairly interesting meaning not so interesting) and unironic (an intensifier like in America). Context. I don’t think that’s made it across the Atlantic.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Music from the good ’60s (RIP Andy Williams)

Music from the good ’60s

Hey, sexy. It’s her birthday.


With another legend.

1960s watch

André Bouchard
A lookalike Timex gave up the ghost

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Two from Cracked

From Cracked

Roissy on the blowback of feminizing the workplace

Roissy on the blowback of feminizing the workplace

American ordinariate crackdown on Tridentine Mass?

Has the American ordinariate stopped the Tridentine Mass at Mount Calvary, Baltimore?
Never mind the tone. To be fair I understand the logic that the ordinariate is supposed to be the special services for ex-Anglicans, not the traditional Mass, even though at their best the services for ex-Anglicans resemble our Mass, at least in America where the Anglo-Catholicism happily tended to remain pre-Vatican II liturgically. (The unauthorized Anglican and American Missals set Cranmer’s words to Tridentine ceremonial, and it works, because Cranmer kept the church’s basic credal orthodoxy and Godward worldview.) But this is still disturbing. I’m not a married ex-Anglican priest asking to be ordained a Catholic priest, I have no jones for the Prayer Book on Sundays and I wouldn’t drive long distances for Novus/1979 hybrid services unless they were the only semi-traditional thing around. So I don’t go. From Dr Tighe.

The arguments: thanks to Pope Benedict, every Roman Rite priest can say this Mass without interference, and this Mass is part of the patrimony because Anglo-Catholics long used it in part or in full.

Christmas lights and a cat flat

At home

Testing the Christmas lights.

Azzie’s apartment. This Edwardian house is now a quadplex because of Aslan’s decline from being named after a heavy-handed Jesus metaphor (Tolkien, a believing Catholic, thought Lewis’ Narnia stories were a preachy ripoff of his fiction) to mental illness, but he’s still loved, and cared for as much as possible. (Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren...) A man who used to live downstairs owned this six-year-old cat then abandoned him, leaving him to his old housemate. Turns out Azzie has a skin condition and had been taking Prozac all his life, an expensive problem animal. The bad skin and his self-semi-starvation make him look like Morris possessed but as far as I know he has never been abused. Quite the opposite. Anyway, Azzie’s recent interest in destroying things got him banished to the unfinished basement/laundry room where he seemed to forget how to use the litterbox. So Ollie, a kind man and a craftsman, turned a windowed corner of the space into a cat flat with towel-covered shelves and ledges and a night light. He lets him out every day to roam because he likes that. (Azzie’s a former indoor pet.) He loves his new home. Nice to see him at night curled up on a shelf next to the light. And he’s using the box again. Seems like he didn’t forget but simply was/is angry. I think Ollie’s given him some catnip too. Enjoy, Azzie.

Sept. 25 links

  • From Takimag: The old abnormal. Kathy Shaidle like Nicholas Farrell is part of a problematic thread in this site’s writing related to the race-baiting, tongue-in-cheek or not (anti-Italian, anti-Catholic). But they write well and have a point. I’m out of it and proud of it: I’ve never seen this year’s Emmy winners (my show’s had its turn enough times). No premium TV here and I almost never watch CBS or ABC (which took away ‘Pan Am’, the scab version of my show; not Emmy bait but good production values, fun storylines such as the spies, and pretty girls). Vintage reruns on Antenna and This and a couple of shows on Fox (smartass Seth McFarlane cartoons) and NBC (Ed Sullivan redux: amateur talent shows). So I’ve never seen the show she’s writing about; just as well. Big Gay ’ganda. ‘Eat your spinach’ earnestness is a great phrase; SWPL morals (be nice to everybody, etc.): Christianity (New England Congregationalism) minus Christ. As Steve Sailer wrote about Obama, you can’t come up with good comedy when your hands are tied about making fun. (Making fun of things you’re not supposed to is of course a comedy staple. Of course that mockery can go too far; a reason I don’t read the snobby Onion anymore and prefer Cracked.) Anyway, good point about hoping for another unintentional Archie Bunker breakout star. I think Dano explained to me here that the reason he became a Reagan Democrat hero was Norman Lear was/is so far left that his idea of an outrageous conservative wasn’t that different from Middle America in 1971 (the year CBS stopped entertaining and started preaching) so the joke ultimately was on Lear. (And as Dano pointed out, Lear’s young heroes look and sound naïve and dated.) Ron Swanson on ‘Parks and Recreation’, a show I watch, has potential that way. Maybe a sign libertarians have a chance is when mainstream media make fun of us. Working in the dying newspaper biz (the company just went Chapter 11; I’m counting down/running out the clock; the Wild West of online writing/editing seems where it’s at; I’ve got a couple of strings) having to proofread long, pompous stories about town-council types who love the sound of their own voices, I like watching Amy Poehler make fun of them.
  • From RR: No presidential debate on fundamental issues.
  • From LRC: Leftie nostalgia. When Americans were ‘public-spirited’ and under benevolent dictators like FDR.
  • How to help me by buying things on Amazon through the box on my sidebar. As my Life After Newspapers™ gets under way I appreciate it. You can also donate using the button at the top of this page. Thank you to those who’ve given so far.
  • From Ad Orientem: Latin revival. It’s Not About Latin™ but it’s beautiful and useful.
  • From TAC: Join the NYPD and see the world. America’s capital shouldn’t be Tel Aviv.
  • From Sailer: The facts about those rotting-crops stories.
  • Great non-English-language thinkers and the importance of finding and crediting good translations.
  • Owen White’s autobiography in blog installments. His blog.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Christ-centered, Eucharist-centered

Christ-centered, Eucharist-centered

Aren’t just silly Novus Ordo speak. I’m actually moderate with Marian and other saints’ devotions. Of course I believe all the teachings (she’s the Mother of God: what more do you need to know? I pray the Rosary and the Angelus) and Sometimes It’s Just Fun to Scare Protestants™ (so pin a five-dollar bill on the saint’s statue at his festa) but I’m of the ‘we don’t really worship saints; we ask them to pray for us like asking a friend’ school, which I understand is the real doctrine. (Apparitions and their messages? With the church I believe miracles happen but I don’t lose sleep over apparitions. They’re not really part of the faith; just things you can believe in if you want to.) Christ-centered and Eucharist-centered in a way that a Bob Hart Anglican or a high-church Missouri Synod Lutheran would be comfortable with, except for Benediction, which is great, and even there, following the real mind of the church before the council, I say don’t go overboard (traditional Mass and office, not the exposition craze well-meaning charismatics pushed as a heartfelt reaction to the bad effect of the council).

Pictured, at home: Wooden version of Slavic pysanka (Easter egg), probably Polish or Ukrainian (latinizations are fine when they’re old and don’t take over).
I will bless every home in which an image of my heart is exposed and honored.

May the heart of Jesus, in the most blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved, with grateful affection at every moment in all the tabernacles of the word even to the end of time. Amen.

External Solemnity of Our Lady of Ransom

External Solemnity of Our Lady of Ransom

Mass: Salve, sancta parens with the collect of the feast. Pretty rare to hear the Common of the BVM on Sunday. (Reminds me of Fr De Pauw’s old recorded radio Mass.) It’s really about the founding of the order of friars who run the parish (so the 17th Sunday after Pentecost was pre-empted here). I’ve long said that a good example of returning to the original charism of a religious order, to take some renewalspeak literally, would be if this small, sound order, originally Spanish but Italian-based now, dared to volunteer to take the place of Westerners held hostage by Muslims, their original reason to be.

A fact of life in most of the Catholic Church is we often don’t know our priests well because parishes are so big. You lose out on some fellowship but are free; people mind their own business. And clericalism’s overrated. (Rutler: Catholicism is not clericalist like many outside the church think; it’s sacerdotalist. Clericalism is sort of a caricature of the church.) I leave them alone; they leave me alone. (And if any of them get caught breaking the teachings of the church by diddling, let the state slam the book on them hard. I agree with Dreher about bad clergy/not expecting a lot from priests and the laity sensibly keeping their distance. Just read what’s in the book, follow the rubrics, keep the faith in the pulpit, and in the confessional but be nice about it, ex opere operato; thanks. My envelope’s in the basket.) I have my traditional Mass and am happy. Anyway, after a month as our pastor only recently I’ve even seen him, magnified by the fact that he doesn’t celebrate our Mass. (Novus at our parish, which I only see on holy days such as Assumption, is still relatively high-church. Westward but using the rail.) Fr Michael reminds me a bit of Governor Christie in NJ. Big man, booming voice (he knows how to project it in a big church). Probably charming and very sociable. Like lots of other successful East Coast priests.

In the works in the archdiocese: a study of how well or poorly parishes are doing, to decide which ones are on the chopping block including mergers. (Because of the depression and the sad fact that white ethnic cultural Catholicism is dying.) I don’t think ours will go under.

Lodato sempre sia il bel nome di Gesù e di Maria.

Vintage is a way of life: new old desk
Art-deco waterfall top like the side table.

Tied it to the car roof for the ride home and spent the day tightening and cleaning it, and putting up the TV shelf ‘mantel’.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The longest wait

The longest wait
American WWII widow finds out what happened to her missing husband

Friday, September 21, 2012

93-year-old USS Arizona survivor dies and is laid to rest in the ship

The Japanese attacked a military target. The blood of all those sailors was on Roosevelt.

Anyway, the Greatest Generation. RIP.

From Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL.

The objective standard of feminine beauty/sexiness

The objective standard of feminine beauty/sexiness

From Roissy. His message: (made by God,) human nature doesn’t change, so here are ways to deal with it. A lot of the objections to this beauty, such as against beauty pageants, and the hatred of Sarah Palin in the last big election, are simply envy.

Ghost cars

Ghost cars

Donna saw this ’40s one on Route 38 in NJ.

A Clifton Heights shop has been working on this Buick.

French study finds tumors and organ damage in rats fed Monsanto corn
Subsidized by guess who? From the lefties at truthout.

By the way a scientist told me lab rats are nice animals.
The fallacy of redistribution
It appeals to the naïve and well-meaning who see it as charity (‘share’), or simply to the envious, the government as Robin Hood taking (stealing) profits from fat cats and using them to give the little guy a boost. (The overrated Occupy brats a year ago: gimme.) Of course the Big Zero said he supports it. Egalitarianism of course is unfair, forced equal outcomes, not the same as equal opportunity. Classic conservatism from Thomas Sowell that I learned from a teacher when I was 12: Communism doesn’t work because there’s no more incentive to do well. That and, as he mentions, evil people, in this case in the left, want most of the country enslaved to them via government handouts, Mitt Romney’s point recently. They’re not about liberty (let’s have a look at Zero’s record on civil liberties) or charity but power. From LRC.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


  • An old high-church view of the XXXIX Articles. Bishop Chandler Holder Jones. Of course I don’t accept his conclusion, because history proved him and the Tractarians wrong. Try putting it this way: our holy mother the church is an idea and feeling foreign to Anglicans. Historically the one-true-church-sounding rhetoric (the church vs. Dissenting Protestants) was really propping up the king and state, that church’s reason to independently exist. (The SAT word for that is Erastianism. Didn’t the old high churchmen recognize bishopless continental Protestants when it was diplomatically useful for England?) The old high churchmen, Tractarians and Anglo-Catholics, like the Catholics and the Orthodox, thought their denomination had a set of infallible, irreformable doctrine (the appeals to the church fathers to claim legitimacy for the new church?), but actually everything is up for a synodal/convention vote (formal apostasy is only a vote away), which is why Bishop Jones isn’t an Episcopalian. His side lost! (Like with Fr Bob Hart and company, I’m not one of them but I respect them.) The Articles are obviously Protestant but he makes the case that classical Anglicanism isn’t really Calvinist either. (There was the Episcopal Church’s old name, the Protestant Episcopal Church, which Anglo-Catholics, a minority, spun to sound like the Orthodox – not under Rome but with Catholic bishops – but I think most members did and do think of themselves in the obvious meaning of the word. I understand most Episcopal priests now don’t, but they’re obviously not Anglo-Catholic in the old sense of mostly agreeing with the Catholic Church. They probably don’t want to be lumped in with Southern Baptists.) Rather, he says, the Calvinism in his circle is recent, by way of American Evangelicalism. But wasn’t English Evangelicalism, which there refers to part of the Church of England, always at least part-Calvinist? (That’s partly where the Reformed Episcopal Church came from theologically, reacting against Anglo-Catholicism: Presbyterians with Prayer Books. They’ve since semi-high churched, contradicting their original reason to exist, and joined up with the Harts and Joneses.) I’m not mad at the Episcopalians. A marriage conversion a generation ago put me among them to learn high church when, after Vatican II, the church locally wanted nothing to do with it. Thanks. But they are what they are. Out of respect for them I don’t dwell on that now. Funny how they’re our liberal Protestant opponents theologically but often still allies in the worship (old-school liturgical vs. non) wars. By the way high church originally referred to authority (king, bishop, infallible church) and not ceremonial.
  • A Catholic convert on reading Orthodox writers. More. Essentially yes. Longtime readers know my lines: the best unique things about Orthodoxy that Western Catholicism can and should relearn are grassroots/down-home traditionalism, which is why the Orthodox rite was never Novus Ordo-fied, thank God, and what I think is Leonid Ouspensky’s view of icons as halfway between Western church art and a sacramental presence. Corporate reunion, sacramentally possible (sacramentally they’re Catholic), won’t happen: at most you’ll get more Greek Catholics. Matthew’s right about the lack of moral theology. You have at best an ethnic folk Catholicism, which is great, but without an intellectual fortress like scholasticism (some Orthodox have borrowed it) to fall back on, so you get problems like caving on contraception. (Most of the sexual issues moderns think are ‘Catholic things’ were, before the mid-1900s, common Christian teaching. The Orthodox position on divorce and remarriage doesn’t make sense in theory but interestingly isn’t a historic bone of contention between the sides; in practice it makes sense, so the wronged party and family would survive.) On purgatory, prayer for the dead makes no sense without an intermediate state so they really do believe in it but they don’t call it that. A friend recently quoted this to me from Charles Coulombe about the strengths and weaknesses of the two sides: ‘In the West, tradition is swallowed up by authority, while in the East, authority is swallowed up by tradition.’ Rome has the great St Thomas Aquinas backing it up but still (not affecting doctrine of course) shot itself in the foot with Vatican II. The Orthodox, a minority here, take a bye on the culture wars and secularists pretty much patronize them or leave them alone because they’re not a threat; the secularists attack the Catholic Church and Evangelicals instead. By the way I’ve never met born Orthodox devoted to the Jesus Prayer etc. but so many writers, usually non, say that’s big in Orthodoxy. Long story short, a great thing about being Catholic is, unlike the Orthodox most of the time, they don’t tell you to hate the other tradition.
John Stossel likes Gary Johnson
An introduction to libertarianism. From Joshua.

Church and culture in my town

The context: Chris Johnson is describing a mainline church (UCC, the mainlinest of them all) in his town that understandably changed its name from ‘Evangelical’ because of changing meanings and truth in advertising.
On Romney’s remarks
From RR

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

There is no Catholic vote. Good or bad?
Fr L doing what priests do, exhorting.
  • The church is a big tent (here comes everybody), not a micromanaging cult.
  • There are Bad Catholics (most people) and there are Modernists (a pious or at least churchy, perfectionistic minority ironically like many of us trads that way). Don’t confuse the two.
  • I understand the religious across the board tend to vote Republican. There are devout D-voting mainliners and peacenjustice Modernist Catholics (like those old nuns grabbing a few headlines before they die off) but they’re also-rans.
  • Well-meant integrism’s wrong. There are no such things as Catholic physics or Catholic economics.
  • Catholic Social Teaching™: sanctified welfare state, not necessarily with a state church anymore, but anti-abortion and promoting peace and family values. Believed in by the devout from the European paleo right (Bishop Williamson doesn’t like capitalism) to the reigning Pope (good European Christian Democrats) to the old ward/union Democrats (Catholics in most of American history; good social conservatives unlike liberals now; the people the Dems now scorn: Archie Bunker) to ’70s liberation theologians (except the peace part?). Like the mainliners do (and more important, like the peer-pressure liberal popular culture* the mainliners tag along after), they think Republicans are vulgar and libertarians selfish monsters (that Ayn Rand’s beliefs were that doesn’t help).
  • But the church’s only real ground rules are about the ends: peace, life (thou shalt do no murder as the old Prayer Book rightly puts it) and family.
  • Freedom regarding the political means to those ends is the true freedom of the laity, the apostolate of the laity in the world. No clericalism, no theocracy.
  • So, amazingly, Vatican II’s right (I have no use for the council otherwise: it didn’t define doctrine so join me in deep-sixing it; my Sunday Mass is as if it never happened): liberty, not integrism (of the right or the left, including the third-wayers/distributists**), is the way. Lay autonomy. Libertarianism.
*Christian ethics minus Christ.
**Make a product people buy and we’ll talk.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A love story in 22 pictures

I’m anti-war and pro-military. The point is not only should one be thankful our military is willing to be blown up for our sake but this never should have happened to him (it wasn’t for us; that country is not a threat to us; if somebody invaded your country you’d make road bombs à la Red Dawn too). Bring them home.
If Romney loses
Steve Sailer asks:
What lessons should Republicans draw?

What lessons will Republicans draw?
Of course you know what I’ll say. It’s a big if; I don’t think he’ll lose. (My guess: the aftermath of the Libya incident will help him.) Of course I wish the Republicans would listen to and nominate Ron Paul.

What lesson would they draw? They’ll keep not listening to us and stay the course, neoconservatism while pretending to care about the so-con culture-wars stuff (and, if out of power, trying to sort of sound like us libertarians; that’s Republican boilerplate). The only question is which, the slick neoconservatism or the corn syrup, will they emphasize? (The face of the brand: Romney again or someone like him, or someone more like Sarah Palin?)
Explaining Mormonism
It comes down to their beliefs that there are many gods (but they worship only one per planet) and those gods are finite. They’re not Christian but have long passed as Christian because they come from our culture. (We actually have more in common theologically with the Muslims, who like us believe in one, infinite God.) They were harassed in the 1800s for being radical; now liberal snobs hate them for being conservative. I’ve quoted that they reacted to persecution by blending into American society when it was still very good; the liberals hate that normality. A commenter here further explained Mormons eventually settled in a very conservative heartland part of America (‘flyover country’). The presidential religion shouldn’t matter thanks to the First Amendment but of course it’s good to understand the next president’s faith. (Conservative image notwithstanding, they don’t care about abortion.)

I understand Mormons have a big place in the federal government – the FBI, the CIA – that Irish Catholic cops had in J. Edgar Hoover’s day.
The Ochlophobist is back
The Plan, American version
From the Anti-Gnostic
The Silent Spring that won’t shut up
From Takimag

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Vintage is a way of life

Willingboro and Hainesport, NJ:

The car that made Ralph Nader famous.

The Boulevard Cruisers’ monthly spring through fall car show next to the Diamond (family: Diamantis) Diner, in the great tradition of Greeks serving good Italian food.

Reminds me of Anton Myrer’s The Last Convertible.

Christine’s younger sister.

Eversharp ballpoint pen, modified to take non-brand refills.

1950 ad.

Zenith from before the war. I listen to KYW on it.

Where my work Life After Newspapers™ happens: researching businesses and creating characters/personalities for companies, writing the words on their websites.

Hi there.

Like PEnnsylvania 6-5000 (still the number of Manhattan’s Pennsylvania Hotel), my phone has its old exchange name, before the Philadelphia area code was divided and long before cell phones made it all irrelevant. My exchange isn’t the traditional one in my town. If you don’t like Ma Bell’s bastard spawn (Verizon tried to steal 50 bucks from me; my bank refunded it) you can do as I do and buy your phone service from the Germans. Like employment, tech has changed it for the better. But I still like my old phone better.