Friday, December 20, 2013

Bullies, manosphere stuff, and the Pope

  • From Sunshine Mary: The queer thing about bullies including in the culture war.
  • From Return of Kings: The 15 magical years of womanhood.
  • From Jeff Culbreath: Criticizing the Pope and the first and greatest commandment. As Hilary and I say, we don’t worship the Pope. It should be obvious that the Church is larger than the pope, and that Catholic dogma is larger than papal authority. If the Church could be reduced to papal authority, then popes would never bother to teach Catholic doctrine as objectively and universally true. And he and/or a general council would change doctrine like a mainline denomination. Interestingly, here the liberals think he has more power than he does, because they don’t believe in church infallibility. As Jeff said to me many years ago, we trads are actually papal minimalists.
  • A gay man has kind things to say about his time at Liberty University. When I was a kid, secular culture was far meaner to homosexuals than conservative Christians were. Conservative Christians taught me that the putdowns I learned on the playground were wrong; homosexuals “have a problem.” Now of course we conservative Christians are pilloried for believing they have a problem. In the ’70s of course the homosexualist propaganda campaign had started, but it didn’t change the culture until the ’90s. The seculars 180ed from one sin to another, from the natural order without Christ to defying the natural order.

Autism, arete, and the ‘Duck Dynasty’ guy

  • From Steve Sailer: Defining autism. Maybe it’s just an artificial catch-all so the high-functioning and full-blown kinds aren’t the same.
  • Related as it’s where the normal and the autistic overlap: Cracked on what is and is not a nerd. I don’t find “The Big Bang Theory” all that funny; it’s too obvious like lots of sitcoms. (Studio and canned laughter: “closed captioning for the humor-impaired.”) I like Cracked’s earlier Photoplasty entry on it, retitling it “Your Dad’s Idea of Nerds” (True Nerds Are Watching “Community”!). Is that still on?
  • From Bob Wallace: Eros, arete, and eudaimonia.
  • Ex-Army on Phil Robertson. I’ve never seen “Duck Dynasty.” From what I gather, this is another skirmish in the culture war. A conservative Southern man believes homosexuality is a sin against God and nature, and says so; the elite has promulgated that Gay Is Good. Some libertarians are arguing that at-will employment is a fair, voluntary arrangement; A&E had the right to suspend him. Be that as it may, emotionally of course I say Phil’s right and A&E are jerks. Reminds me of Sailer’s post that a lot of the elite’s recent ridicule of the church is really just a cover for complaining about homos hitting on teenage boys (not children; it’s not “pedophilia”), which otherwise you can’t say anymore in polite society. By the way, here’s what Phil looked like before the West went to hell.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The two white Americas and more

  • From Roissy: Obama’s America, land of the twee, home of the fey. Familiar truths to many readers: elite vs. non, left vs. right, North vs. South, round two of England vs. Scotland. The Anti-Gnostic has wondered if the military will get fed up. Then again you can argue that as a creature of the government, the military isn’t really conservative (gay weddings at West Point, and before that, the left like Ken Burns getting nostalgic about the draft and World War II, which they helped the USSR win). But I can believe soldiers vs. SWPLs.
  • From Takimag: A safe Christmas for Christians in the Holy Land.
  • From Alternative Right: The Obamas, Camerons, and Mandelas of this world act out their roles as distinct leaders of distinct countries, parties, and interests, but the reality is they are all members of one big international club, with collective interests, united against the various tribes of “shitmunchers” (Brits, Yanks, Tories, Democrats, blacks, etc.), whom they trick into voting for them.
  • From MCJ: Rich lawyer screwed over by Obamacare. But Romney came up with his own version, remember? He’s from a liberal Republican family. (And the Mormons aren’t really conservative; they just did that in the good old days to blend in.) See above about it all being the same.
  • From John Boyden: The motels and neon signs of Mesa. Wonder how the Lollipop showed up; it’s in Wildwood.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown

A First Things article on the first "Peanuts" TV special. A Christmas gem from towards the end of the golden era. Interestingly, as the writer notes, much public life then, including TV, was secular, but not secularist. Christmas carols that aren't hymns, "Season's Greetings," etc., were all there. It has its place. Vince Guaraldi got the job because Lee Mendelson liked his '63 hit "Cast Your Fate to the Wind"; "Linus and Lucy" (the "Peanuts" theme) is almost a speeded-up version of it. Also the last years of "Peanuts" being a comic strip for grownups; it became one for children because, the writer says, Charles Schulz needed the money. I knew he lost his faith, like much of Middle America, but yikes:
In 1968, fearful of the potential damage to his reputation and lucrative cartoon empire, Schulz shuttled his oldest daughter—then eighteen, troubled, single, and over three months pregnant—off to an abortion mill in Japan.
God have mercy on him. Still, great Christmas show.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Ukraine for dummies, and more

  • From Takimag: The Ukraine for dummies. Common knowledge is right about the eastern half of the country; it’s Russian. The trouble is it’s Sovietized. (But since the Evil Empire is gone, what’s that to us?) The first Eastern Christians I knew were Greek Catholics from the west, WWII refugees and their children. Understandably they liked to give the impression that the country was like them. The trouble now: imagine if California seceded from the Union and Russia were stirring it up against the US. That’s sort of what it’s like.
  • From Steve Sailer: The hidden divide in American institutions. In America, our current ideology is focused on promoting churn. Lots of individual profit from this, but is it good for Americans as a whole?
  • From Bob Wallace:
  • From RR: Doctors disappear. Predictably, a government program will do the opposite of its stated goal. Real health care, with real doctors, will become a luxury for the rich. Lots of this is being farmed out to non-doctors expanding their scope of practice. The rest of us will be lucky to get a nurse at the Minute Clinic.
  • From Ex-Army: Quisling revisited. Wronged? He wasn’t a Nazi, more like a Nordic Franco; Norway just happened to be in everybody’s way so the Germans grabbed it first.
  • From the Anti-Gnostic: the real dystopian future?
  • From Bill Tighe via the Rev. Larry Peters, one of our “cousins” in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod: Msgr. Charles Pope on the purpose of a funeral. Not mainly to make the mourners feel better or a tribute to the person. A few years ago I went to the one for one of the holiest people I knew, and it was simply a Requiem with a sermon, partly an appropriate tribute.
  • From Hilary: The battle between the Faith and Novusordoism is often small to the point of invisibility. But there are places and situations in the Church where it is being made nearly inescapable, and the religious orders are one of those places. It is impossible to revive the religious life in the Church in its current condition. The Church as a whole had to choose between the World and the Faith. "Conservatism" is not a position in the Church. It is only a waiting room (in the same way Newman called Anglicanism a way-station on the path to atheism*), a place that until recently had been kitted out by the popes as a kind of Catholic VIP lounge where you could have a few drinks with your well-heeled Beltway friends while making up your mind about which side you might choose in the unlikely event that you had to. True but I’m probably a smidge more moderate than this sounds, more like the orthodox Bad Catholics described here (most pre-conciliar Catholics — we’re not and never were a cult) and the moderate trads Modestinus has met. *At least since the “Enlightenment,” pretty much (all of English Calvinism basically lost it); the mask of credal orthodoxy isn’t officially off but started to come off in the Sixties.
  • Golden-era music by Noël Coward: “Mad About the Boy.” Two recordings.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mandela, Pope Francis, the Progressive Principle, and more

  • The truth about Mandela. In the midst of the secular world’s worship, some rebuttals well known to conservatives. He was put away for violence, for terrorism; he was a Communist and lied about it; South Africa is worse off. And he was virulently pro-abortion (which of course raises his appeal to secularists). Necessary disclaimer: opposing him doesn’t necessarily mean supporting what he was fighting against. Steve Sailer’s non-platitudinous take.
  • Darn that Pope! Most churchmen don’t understand the market. And he doesn’t like trads. Hunker down.
    • Takimag’s Kathy Shaidle.
    • Another Paul VI. He can’t actually change the church but he can do a lot of damage to its standing by taking it out of the culture war.
    • The wrong people like him. It all really means he’s their hope for neutralizing the church in the world, unlike that alleged confrontational meanie with delusions of grandeur, Benedict the Great. A friend recently told me the head of NARAL praised Francis.
  • From Rod Dreher: Kids in the collapse of Catholic culture. Again, the American church shot itself in the foot with the council.
  • From Sunshine Mary: The Progressive Principle is a means by which a small group of elites team up with the loser dregs of society to exploit the traditional middle class for personal gain. The elites win, the loser dregs win a pyrrhic victory and are made worse off, the traditional middle class gets robbed of culture, values, money and happiness... Margaret Thatcher said the problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money. I’ll go a few steps further, Mrs. Prime Minister: The trouble with progressivism is eventually you run out of other people’s civilization to plunder. More.
  • From Roissy: Getting to the id of it. Compare and contrast: Women, would you rather date Paul Walker (pre-dead, of course) or a waiter that looked exactly like Paul Walker? Men, would you rather date Scarlett Johansson, or a waitress that looked exactly like Scarlett Johansson? Also, a helpful taxonomy of equalists, and a word of warning about Chinese society.
  • From Bob Wallace: Legalize hemp!
  • Christmas in Centralia, Pa. The few residents still decorate the town including with a Nativity scene.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


  • Harrisburg gives in and will let Centralia fade away, leaving the last residents in peace. Too late for John Lokitis, whom the movie The Town That Was was about. He and another relatively younger man were forced to move. Good for the few remaining people. I went there in 2004 and it was safe. The fire is under the southern hill next to the Catholic and Orthodox cemeteries; Lokitis lived next to that. Stay off the hill and you’re fine. As one former resident has explained, Centralia was never a cute picture-postcard village but a tight-knit, kind of rough mining town that’s their much-missed home. The Ukrainian Catholic church, St. Mary’s, is still on the northern hill. St. Clair to the south has some kind of Catholic or Orthodox church every few blocks.
  • Trouble With Angels building no longer Catholic and to be sold to developers. The Lindenwold Castle, a century-old mansion that’s a replica of Windsor Castle, where the golden-era movie was filmed. I didn’t know until now that it’s close by, in Ambler. Another epitaph for the American church shooting itself in the foot with the council. As of last spring the institution was no longer Catholic, having been sold to a secular company; the order still owned the property. How’s that “renewal” working out? The movie was typical for the time, a sign in America that Catholics had arrived and almost had their moment. A PR gift to the church (imagine having that now) that actually says very little about the faith (sometimes that’s fine), just like Going My Way and The Bells of St. Mary’s. Filmmaker Ida Lupino was fascinated by the all-female community. The sequel, which I’ve never seen all the way through, was a predictable, disappointing celebration of the Sixties, exactly what undid such communities.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Conceived immaculate

  • Mass: Gaudens gaudebo in Domino. Non-Catholics often think we’re talking about the virgin birth (Christmas!), which of course we believe in, and which this is connected to, but most of you (the Protestants who read this blog know more or less what the church teaches) know it’s about Christ’s redemption not being limited by time, as he is God and man, so Mary is the Mother of God, that wonderfully shocking term (because it sounds as though Mary existed before God, which of course isn’t what it means). When it comes to Mary, “fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum,” et Verbum caro factum est (“be it unto me according to thy word” and the Word was made flesh); the rest is commentary. Mary was saved just like us only at a different point, as the dignum filio suo habitaculum, the dwelling place fit for her son. Which is really why the Orthodox call her all-holy (Greek παναγία and Russian пресвятая) and sinless (пренепорочная). Jesus saves; Mary prays. (It’s Not About Latin™ but I like it very much.)
  • As I like to say, the flashpoint of all rebellion against God has to do with him and the flesh he created coming together: who Jesus is, the Eucharist, and sex. (Some of the angels rebelled because they wouldn’t serve man, right?) About which ancient heretics, Renaissance-era heretics, and moderns respectively say non serviam. “Show me a society that hates virginity and I will show you a society that hates children.”
  • Sidebar: Christmas shopping yesterday, I noticed that a department store’s toy section was rather pathetic, barely taking up a corner of floor space. The mall’s toy store was only about half full, of junk from Red China. I’ve been told that about 50 years ago, John Wanamaker’s, a local big downtown store (12 floors!) had a wonderful toy department with a monorail for the kids that went around the whole department. The rich have their boutique shops and of course now there’s online shopping (hooray for the market), but still.
  • From Rod Dreher: Dana Gioia on Catholic art; here, Catholic writing. It’s probably not what you think; it’s “rarely pious”: Catholic writing tends to be comic, rowdy, rude, and even violent. “Welcome Sinners.” “Here comes everybody.” Which is what the traditional church always has been; cf. Modestinus. (Arturo Vasquez back when he wrote online about Mexican folk Catholicism: Catholic cultures are scary because people are.) John Boyden and I talked about this about 10 years ago when I mentioned that I think the relatively recent Christmas movie The Family Man is a Catholic story even though it’s not really religious (like It’s a Wonderful Life, which it mirrors; made by a believing Catholic). He agreed that the trappings of the church don’t make a story Catholic. Anyway, the traditional church produced Flannery O’Connor; the council, feh. Again, how’s that “renewal” working out? Also, you’d think I’d be into Lord of the Rings but never have been for some reason. I understand Tolkien, a believing traditional Catholic, never set out to write something pious; this fantasy world was just playtime for a very smart man, so well done that people lose themselves in it. I like C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters are good reads) but Tolkien thought Narnia (read it when I was 10) was a dumb, preachy ripoff of his work.
  • Yeah, that’s Sung Mass at my parish: the Sixties never happened.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

The truth about a famous photo, Catholicism and Orthodoxy again, and more

  • From Cracked:
    • Five ways modern espionage has left James Bond behind. In short, the Web, using disposable local frontmen rather than expensively trained agents in the field, and privatization/outsourcing.
    • Six classics despised by the people who created them. The true story behind the Vietnam War photo above: At the time the picture was taken, South Vietnamese General Nguyen Ngoc Loan, the man doing the shooting, was Chief of Police and the guy getting shot was the leader of a Viet Cong assassination squad tasked with murdering South Vietnamese police officers, and if those officers couldn't be found, their families would be killed instead. The man Loan shot had been caught near a ditch containing 34 murdered men, women and children, among them were the wife and six children of one of Loan's closest friends (the six murdered kids were also Loan's godchildren). As for Loan himself, when he wasn't gunning down bad guys, he was into building hospitals and giving presents to orphans. After he immigrated to America, he spent several decades running a remarkably non-murderous pizza parlor until his identity was leaked and death threats forced him to close his business. According to 1969 Pulitzer winner Eddie Adams, two people died the moment he took the photo: "The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera." RIP General Loan. Like Ian Smith, one of the 20th century’s most wronged men.
  • From Roissy:
    • Alpha f*x, betas chucked. Executive summary: women screw around with charming cads and ignore beta providers when their financial needs are met by the state or by a rich daddy, and their emotional needs are met by a supportive culture that condones the removal of all restrictions on female sexuality.
    • The problem with diversity. It weaponizes intrawhite status whoring. Open borders isn’t really about rescuing the world’s poor; it’s about sticking the shiv in the flanks of non-elite white people by dumping, say, Iraqi Islamists in the middle of Kentucky.
  • From Modestinus:
    • This seems to be the extent of the Catholic Church’s interest in the East: They want Orthodoxy’s often romanticized account of collegiality and synodality, but none of its theology, spirituality, or liturgy. When I mentioned this observation to my Orthodox brother, he exclaimed, “Our governance is the last thing they should want. It’s the worst part!” Indeed. I wouldn’t say it’s the church’s only interest in Orthodoxy, and admittedly, churchmen aren’t very interested in it, but this rings true in that many or most of the few Westerners who mention it (outside those churches themselves) seem to be liberals trying to undermine the Pope because the nature of his office (part of church infallibility) stands in the way of what they think is progress. Which is why older libcaths (young libcaths are about as rare as young fogeys) try to be ecumenical (which used to be cool when the West was churchier) by blathering about collegiality this way (meaning they want the church to change doctrine by vote like the mainline), ignoring (because they don’t take Orthodoxy seriously, because they know it has no clout or traction in the West?) that at heart Orthodoxy’s a kind of traditional Catholicism (I call it a kind of folk Catholicism).
    • Same goes for priestly celibacy, only a rule, not doctrine (not a hill I’d die on). There are great conservative examples of married priests if you know where to look (the Orthodox, their Eastern Catholic counterparts in their ethnic homelands such as the western Ukraine, and Anglo-Catholic turned Catholic priests). The wrong people want to change it and it wouldn’t bring in vocations. I don’t think about it and living in the church it seems not to come up. It seems to me the Western Church’s more mainstream experiment with married clergy, permanent deacons, is small (see above about not boosting vocations) and lost in Catholic culture; both priests and laity aren’t quite sure whether to treat them like clergy or laymen.
    • Pope Francis and CST. Regular readers know my opinions on these matters. That said, Pope Francis’ message here is benevolent (even if he doesn’t understand economics and even though he doesn’t like trads) and Modestinus is a gentleman acknowledging that Catholics drawn to libertarianism mean well too, so maybe a weak libertarianism (minarchism?) is a Catholic option.
  • From the Anti-Gnostic:
  • From Dusk in Autumn: Mid-century Christmas songs are almost all secular. Some blame Jews for this dilution of a Christian holiday. For now I’ll just file the fact he mentions with what Steve Sailer calls “diversity before ‘diversity,’” golden-era Americans just being decent to each other without the modern left’s self-righteousness (it was also America’s lost Catholic moment). (“Season’s Greetings,” a favorite from then, is worse than “Happy Holidays,” which has its place in public life.)
  • Sailer: PISA’s global results are largely the American bell curve writ large. The Finns do well not because they’re permissive but because they’re Finnish.
  • Justin Raimondo: Long live “isolationism.”

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The mainline, Pope Francis, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah

The mainstream has outgrown the mainline (like Europeans, SWPLs don’t go to church); the mainline says it’s because they’re not yet liberal enough! (From MCJ.) They’ll keep shrinking and will eventually merge, essentially becoming Episcopalians (claiming apostolic bishops but denying they’re necessary) if not doing business under that name. American Catholicism shot itself in the foot with Vatican II, plus the (recent, 1900s) Protestant and elite promotion of birth control neutralized Catholics as a force in America. Not that it’s right, but evangelicalism has a shot at keeping America at least culturally Christian.

I wondered if Mr. Dalgarno is an ex-Catholic. Such switches are actually rare (most Bad Catholics just drop out) so my guess was no. A melting-pot American with some Italian heritage a few generations back? Looked it up and no, the name is, fittingly, Scottish.

Of course Pope Francis has points preaching against greed and about God’s love and mercy, but his mainstreamish approach is annoying. (See above about shooting yourself in the foot.) The wrong people like him. No problem. The Pope is actually less important in Catholicism than most think; unlike a royal schism or denominational vote, he can’t change the teachings of the church even if he wants to or doesn’t talk about them. He leaves me alone, I leave him alone, and in a pinch I can go to the Greek Catholics and the SSPX. (Fellay for cardinal.)

Happy Thanksgiving. Eὐχαριστία. ‘We Gather Together.’ Donna and I are doing Italian-American again, with antipasto and then the American food. It’s the official start of secular Christmas, Holiday, or whatever (let’s cheer ourselves up in the dead of winter, and why not have the church appropriate it for Jesus’ birthday celebration?), but the run-up now starts around Halloween with radio stations phasing in Christmas music to prime the pump for shopping. It’s not cool to like it but so what? Still, I remember a line from Arturo Vasquez one year: hearing ‘All I Want for Christmas Is Youuuuuu...’ ... piped in at the mall.

Hanukkah: the story’s in the Septuagint and thus the Catholic Bible but not the Protestant one. The holiday’s superseded (judaizing was rejected in the Book of Acts) but still celebrates the same God. It’s not Jewish Christmas; it’s the equivalent of the feast of SS. Peter and Paul for example. Competing with Christmas is a recent, understandable reaction to living in Christian countries.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The great college swindle, Silicon Valley and the end of the American Dream, and Modestinus reads Pope Francis’ latest

Monday, November 25, 2013

The orthodox Bad Catholics

The stereotype of traditionalist or just orthodox Catholics as “pharisees” and “Pelagians” – that is, obsessed with rules and puffed up with pride over their supposed spiritual superiority to average sinners, whom they despise as reprobates – does not match my experience at all. I’ve known several families of very religious Catholics and never encountered such a thing. What’s more, it ignores what has historically been the most common type of orthodox Catholic. I mean the half-practicing, openly sinning, “give me chastity, but not yet” kind. A religion as big as Catholicism could never have survived so long if it were only made of pharisees and dissidents.
From Joshua.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

President Kennedy epilogue, and another site on Wildwood’s golden-era architecture

  • From Ex-Army: If he had survived. Another alternative history. I’ve long believed the one where he would have been re-elected in ’64 (Goldwater was good at the time; he should have been president) but his getting us into Vietnam would have turned the mob majority against this hood ornament of the golden era (as the Sixties generally would have?), so the next Democratic candidate would have lost in ’68 to Nixon, and the real timeline would have resumed.
  • From Steve Sailer:
    • Entertaining speculation from National Lampoon’s heyday: The overarching gag is that if Jackie Kennedy had been the one martyred in Dallas, Jack would have settled into the Irish politician's pattern of staying in power for roughly ever (e.g., Eamon de Valera, Richard J. Daley in Chicago, or James Curley, who was mayor of Boston on and off from 1914 to 1950); but JFK would have pulled this off by mobilizing the puerile energies of white baby boomers, rather like Chairman Mao's cult of personality did during his Cultural Revolution. The Lampoon issue takes on the difficult challenge of imagining how an Irish wardheeler with a veneer of media sophistication, an intuitive understanding of which way the wind was blowing, would have dealt with The Sixties. What has The Onion contributed at all to understanding the Obama Phenomenon? Cracked is disappointingly PC preachy sometimes (news flash from Roissy and his friends: not only is this not how reality works, but that article won’t get you a date, buddy) but overall pretty good: news and history of the weird and non-putdown humor. The Onion is a bunch of smug SWPLs I stopped reading a long time ago.
    • From the comboxes: Alan Ehrenhalt had a nice line about the retrospective sentimentalization of the Kennedy assassination: “The only teenage males I know who were emotionally shattered by the Kennedy assassination are the ones I read about in books or see in movies.”
    • Getting to the heart of the matter, a sensible answer neither the lone Commie nut (though it seems a conservative favorite) nor All Society’s Fault™ (then-conservative Dallas, the military-industrial complex, etc.): A lot of conspiracy theorists seem to lose themselves in the who-dun-it scenario. It's true that many people hated Kennedy and wouldn't have minded seeing him dead. But that doesn't mean they were involved in the killing. It's like lots of people hated Reagan, but it was Hinckley who nearly killed him. The opposite of the IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT scenario is THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE scenario where the conspiracy turns out to be much larger than anyone can possibly imagine. I guess something in between is the CHINATOWN scenario. The mystery is bigger than one thought but it's still about a handful of corrupt men doing something sordid, not a mega-conspiracy. I don’t know who (but it wasn’t then-conservative Dallas) or why but yes.
    • Not about JFK but true: Have you ever noticed that basically everything you are supposed to believe in these days -- feminism, diversity, etc. -- turns out in practice to just be another way for hot babes, rich guys, super salesmen, cunning financiers, telegenic self-promoters, and charismatic politicians to get even more money and power?
  • From Bob Wallace:
  • Wildwood Doo Wop. A list of all the Wildwoods’ (one New Jersey shore island, three towns) remaining golden-era buildings and neo-doo wop ones.
  • And on that note — the Sixties never happened — happy last Sunday after Pentecost. Mass: Dicit Dominus with an apocalyptic gospel. Next week, Advent I and the great switch in the office from Salve, Regina to Alma Redemptoris Mater.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Retro style, stupid wars, and more

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Gettysburg, JFK, the sexes, the military, WWII, and Pope Francis again

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday links

Sunday, November 03, 2013


  • Went to the second earliest Novus Ordo Mass at my parish for All Saints’. Not too bad. We’ve all known somebody holy but not a church celebrity and thus unlikely to be canonized. An unsung hero. All Saints’ is the closest the church comes to canonizing them. A few years ago I went to a funeral at which I really was asking the departed to pray for me. That kind of thing. Privately you may venerate anyone.
  • Catafalque from All Souls’ Day; on that note, Fr Franklin Joiner on purgatory.
  • It’s autumn in Pennsylvania.
  • Somerville Center Antiques. A new favorite, and while you’re in Somerville, don’t miss Incogneeto. Got four ties there.
  • Derb on faking sincerity.
  • Modestinus on Orthodox criticism of Catholic liturgy.
  • RIP Bishop John-David Schofield. From what I can tell, a fine person. I don’t know why, for all his Catholic beliefs, he remained outside the church, instead opting for a slightly less liberal Protestant denomination. My guess is it was because American Anglican high churchmen believe in what they think is Anglicanism, objecting to the papacy, as it has evolved, as a dangerous innovation. (As opposed to Episcopalianism?) Anyway, I’m grateful that Anglican churchmen somewhat like him kept something like pre-conciliar Catholic belief and practice around for me to learn, back when the official church wanted nothing to do with it. (American conservative Anglo-Catholicism tends to be pre-conciliar; British went Novus Ordo many years before it became Catholic.)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Conservatism is not an ideology, and more

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Science myth and fact, and more

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fact vs. myth about the market, and more

  • From RR: Debunking criticism of the free market, parts one and two.
  • From Bob Wallace:
    • If there really were a free market.
    • Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanity. Our Third Worldization under the state proceeds (no more middle-class American dream with its affordable family formation; a few of the very rich and many of the very poor); also, women depend entirely on men, either directly, the normal way, or through the state, the modern way. (Cf. Sunshine Mary here.) Also, the Anti-Gnostic: The policy rationale behind government handouts: To enable women to have sex with men who make terrible husbands and fathers. Not surprisingly, single women put Obama in office. This is why we formerly did not let them vote.
    • Never let anyone tell your story for you. I decided years ago the way to destroy a culture is to take over education, the government, the media, and the churches, and attack the dominant culture.
  • From the Anti-Gnostic: Price is elastic to supply. There is no ‘glass ceiling’ anti-woman conspiracy in business. I always find it remarkable, and perhaps even a little depressing, how few people are able to grasp that the primary consequence of the addition of 70 million working women, all of whom were already consumers, to the labor force could never have been anything else but to lower wages.
  • From Ad Orientem: As the 50th anniversary approaches... JFK’s murder: lone Commie nut, All Society’s Fault™, or a coup that was neither? John pointed out to me the lefty narrative, blaming normal society at the time for it. Of course I don’t want to feed that but a coup seems likely. I’ve never seen Oliver Stone’s movie, by the way.
  • From Takimag: The breakdown on Bitcoin.
  • Dumbing down the readings in the Novus Ordo. I rarely go to it so I had no idea. Like other things in it that have been pointed out to me, not formally heretical but disturbing. Another reason the old Mass is better.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Culture of honor vs. culture of law

Most people who complain about the backward, violent, vengeful side of the Culture of Honor, as contrasted with the progressive, peaceful, neutral-third-party side of the Culture of Law, overlook honor's twin -- hospitality. Honor means, you f*ck me, I f*ck you ten times harder back. But hospitality means, you host me, I'll host you ten times as lavishly next time around. The Culture of Honor is therefore really a Culture of Reciprocity, only one-half of which is "an eye for an eye." Guided by a framework of hospitality, pastoralist peoples can expel an immigrant group for having worn out its welcome.
From Dusk in Autumn.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

‘Star Trek Continues’: ‘Pilgrim of Eternity’

I’d heard of these fan-made new episodes of the old show but had never seen one until now. Neat!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Around town

  • Drug bust next door. Actually a car stopped by three police cars, two unmarked. A man sitting on the curb, handcuffed, and a car search. Regular readers know that as a sort of libertarian I’m fine with decriminalizing drugs but I like the police too.
  • Mainline decline and evangelical success. The former St John the Evangelist’s Episcopal Church, vacated in ’08 after about 100 years (the Episcopalians are still in two neighboring towns but St John’s has beautiful Gothic architecture great for Catholic worship), is now New Beginnings Church of Christ. I don’t think it’s part of the Churches of Christ, who have or used to have a church one town over. That town by the way has a tiny church with the most interesting saint’s dedication I’ve actually seen, and it’s not even Catholic. St Agabus. Meanwhile, the former St Peter’s, Broomall, is booming as Cornerstone Christian Church.

Tuesday links and quotations

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Geator and me: Columbus Day in South Philly and more

Grand marshal Bobby Rydell waving and laughing after Jerry Blavat saw me and said, ‘The Blues Brothers’. Right after I took this, Blavat said to me, ‘Hey, Jake! Send my respects to Elwood.’ He said something about the hat two years ago too.

By the way, the hat’s a Borsalino.

Fiat voluntas tua: A South Broad Street popemobile.

Miss Philadelphia 2013.

Frank Rizzo. In the Sixties’ aftermath, the right people liked him. The right people hated him. Good cultural conservative but in over his head as Philadelphia’s mayor so he tried to get the federal government to pay for things. RIP.

Moorestown, NJ: the ’59 Caddy has the biggest tail fins.

Barrington, NJ.

Mass: In voluntate tua, Domine, universa sunt posita. Afterwards the priest said a prayer at the Lady altar for the anniversary of the last apparition at Fátima, the one where the sun hurtled toward the earth. The prayer recalled the Pope consecrating the world to Mary’s prayers. Traditionalists devoted to this apparition say the consecration has to be of Russia; they blame the Second Vatican Council and its aftermath, and society’s problems now, on this not being done. Private revelation isn’t strictly speaking part of the faith so I forgot about this anniversary until after Mass. I interpret ‘the conversion of Russia’ as mainly ‘the fall of Communism’. (Unsurprisingly, my dream: Russia becomes Orthodox again under Putin and his successors, the church for all intents dumps the council, and the Orthodox, estranged traditional Catholics, come back.) Anyway, Jesus saves; Mary prays.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The fake shutdown, the problematic Pope, and more

  • Shutdown kabuki. So let’s see: Obama seems to love insurance companies and wants to look charitable by stealing and spending your money through quadrupling your health-insurance premium or fining you, to fund useless high-deductible policies. Probably to keep funding the government, which is broke. (Spending less ≠ lowering the debt.) The Republicans, although really just as statist as the Democrats, sort of do the right thing and protest, offering to fund everything in the government except this ripoff that most Americans don’t want. The Dems answer that the GOP is mean wanting to deny people health care and stage this ‘shutdown’, keeping 83% of the government running, and publicizing closing beaches and monuments, using more government workers (rangers and police) to do so than before the ‘shutdown’, in order to scare the populace. Boehner and the GOP likely will cave, again, raising the ‘debt ceiling’. A little more of our freedom and our money, gone. (Made me switch to my company’s Blue Cross, which should be fine for at least a year.) So meanwhile, has the government attacked Syria while nobody was looking anymore? Also, cops in DC gun down an unarmed crazy woman who drove through a barricade. Zero civil-rights outcry from the left, predictably, even though the victim was black. It was probably a show of force to try to pre-empt real civil unrest.
  • Hilary on Francis. Nothing important has changed, because nothing important can change. And: Catholics don’t depend on the pope for the Faith. That said: the Successor of Peter has decided to take over the task of demonstrating that the Traditionalist critique of the post-Conciliar Church was right all along. Right, all this is coming from the first Pope ordained after the council. Papal-infallibility pop quiz. The point is it’s really about church infallibility; the Pope is infallible only if he defends the teaching of the church. If he tries to change the church into what the Western left (the church’s bastard) wants, St Robert Bellarmine’s explained what that would mean: the act would put him outside the church, ipso facto no longer Pope. Because nothing important can change, the best approach is not to pay too much attention to Francis. Just hope he leaves our Mass alone. Again, in a pinch there are the Greek Catholics (largely left alone thanks to ecumenism; hey, make political correctness work for you for a change) and the SSPX (we have our Mass because of Lefebvre; maybe the young conservative after Francis will make Fellay a cardinal).
  • From Dusk in Autumn: The late-’60s and ’80s left vs. the left now. Arguably better because they still had more of a sense of a common good, carried over from the golden era, and were populist, rather than today’s silly identity politics. Maybe it was more like the ‘Reformation’ vs. the mainline now. But it seems to me the balkanization was already under way (the Black Panthers for example). Yet I remember in the ’70s when mainstream secular culture was much ruder to homosexuals than conservative Christians ever have been.
  • Godspeed, Scott Carpenter.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Obamacare scam

Michael Rivero of What Really Happened gives the best explanation I’ve seen for why the government is so intent that everyone must participate in this program. They have run the country into the ground and want to force us all to pay as they vainly struggle to keep things afloat. This is a last-ditch effort – the only alternative is economic collapse.
Obama’s utter refusal to compromise or delay Obamacare is more than mere political grandstanding. Obama has to prove he can continue to make the payments on the government debt. Now, based on reports we are getting from people who did sign up for Obamacare, they are being offered policies that cost about $500 a month, and have a deductible in the tens of thousands. That means that for the vast majority of Americans, they will be paying $500 a month for insurance that will in fact pay none of their medical costs. So, $500 a month is $6000 a year times 200 million complying Americans equals $1.2 trillion a year pouring into the Health Insurance companies as pure profit, of which the US Government gets almost $200 billion in taxes (plus the IRS fines on those who refuse to sign up). And THAT is why Obama is demanding that Obamacare move forward now, despite a totally botched computer management system and despite 71% public opposition. Absent that new cash flow, the US Government will collapse, and the one-year delay proposed by the House of Representatives is far too long to survive without some new source of loot from the public.
From LRC.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Cars and more: Burlington, NJ

’50 Buick.

’53 Hudson Hornet.

’57 Plymouth Belvedere, a near-Christine.


Donna and Zero, a bomb-sniffing K-9.

Afterwards, mangiamo.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Overkill in DC, Modernism at Notre Dame, and who’s tough

  • LRC on Miriam Carey here, here, and here. National-security theatre, or they want to scare us to keep us in line.
  • E. Michael Jones on Notre Dame’s sellout and why the Sixties blew away American Catholicism. Hesburgh arrived on the scene when the WASP ruling class elite, led by John D. Rockefeller, 3rd, was looking for a way to undermine the Catholic Church’s position on birth control, as a way to destroy Catholic demographic and political power, and when the CIA’s C.D. Jackson was working with Time’s Henry Luce and the Jesuit John Courtney Murray to find a solution to what Paul Blanshard called “the Catholic problem.” In the end, the solution ... was disarmingly simple. It was the birth control pill. When the history of the Catholic Church in America finally gets written, it will show that all of the fierce Catholic resistance to American culture during the 1930s—from Cardinal Dougherty’s boycott of Warner Brothers theaters in Philadelphia under the aegis of the Legion of Decency to Msgr. Ryan’s defeat of Margaret Sanger before the American Congress to Father Coughlin’s attacks on usury and his defense of the working man—all collapsed over night when Hesburgh took Rockefeller money and gave Catholics permission to use birth control pills. The church is still here and it will be sound, but because of all this it will be much smaller.
  • You may be strong but are you tough? Training, like Christian asceticism (St Paul alluded to running a race).

Friday, October 04, 2013

Obamacare theft, no confidence in Pope Francis, and more

  • How much private health insurance is going up. I got the bad news from my insurance this week. I bought my own policy when I was still a temp at the new job; affordable and a bit of independence. While I’m thankful for the job, the company doesn’t own me; if the SHTF there I’m not at the ‘mercy’ of COBRA. Because Obama wants to look charitable by stealing my money and giving it to others, my premium is set to nearly quadruple after my year of putting it off. He obviously wants to take my liberty, first making me depend on the company and ultimately on the state.
  • Of course the shutdown’s fake. I don’t hate the government per se. I like seeing the cops’ Crown Vics and Chargers guarding the entries to my town at 1am. That, paving the roads, etc. (I was going to say delivering the mail but that’s going the way of the telegraph.) The slowdown has potential to motivate people to permanently downsize the state, when they see how well they do without it, but it probably won’t. Thanks, GOP, for protesting the Obamacare outrage, even though you aren’t much better. The mainstream media are laughable, trying to get us teary about national parks closing.
  • Dyspeptic Mutterings on Pope Francis’s infamous interview. More from MCJ here, here, and here, and Ad Orientem. He’s another Paul VI, the old liberals’ last hurrah. All the wrong people like him. Hunker down, and in a pinch there are the Greek Catholics and the SSPX.
  • Bill Tighe recently passed around a 1990s New Oxford Review article on why the libcaths didn’t just leave. Because they were old enough to have grown up in the golden era before the council, so like the legions of lax and lapsed, Bad Catholics, they still believed the church is the true one, even though they hated what it teaches and does. The people who grew up after the council don’t have that instilled in them so they just leave. So you get a smaller, sounder church (Francis is a bump in the road).
  • From Bob Wallace:
    • The dark triad vs. the cardinal virtues. Roissy describes fallen human nature as is and agrees the current state of things is bad for society.
    • The theme of the Machine State vs. the Natural State got started during the Industrial Revolution, specifically in England. Horrible things were done to people, all in the name of money and power. For one, there were the Enclosure Acts in England, which people were forced off their land by the State (i.e. the military) so they would have to work in the factories (which William Blake referred to as "Dark Satanic Mills"). Then there were the Clearances in Scotland, in which people were burned off their land. All of this was done by the State (and the police and the military) so people would have to spend their lives being Cogs in the Machine. Because of those things (and others) I years ago decided the Purpose of the State is to Turn You Into a Machine. Ties into the Obamacare outrage.
    • Did a corrupt AMA suppress a cure for cancer?
  • From Dusk in Autumn:
  • From Takimag:

Monday, September 30, 2013

Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and more

  • From Bob Wallace: Rose Wilder Lane, libertarian babe. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter.
  • Ex-Army’s Venn diagram.
  • From LRC:
    • Walter Block on the non-aggression principle. The heart of libertarianism isn’t selfishness but the opposite, the golden rule.
    • George H.W. Bush recently served as a witness at a Maine same-sex wedding. Not surprising really. I like him as a person, a WASP gentleman from the golden era who proved his mettle in the war. Maybe as part of that he was just being polite to honor a friend. But since the ‘Reformation’ literally forced the English from the church, they haven’t really been conservative. Their only conservatism was cultural, a matter of manners. (Anglo-American religion: Calvinism that’s still moving away from the faith; having passed through the mainline and the Masons, now it’s political correctness/SWPLness.) Even the Queen’s on board with this stuff now. Laurence Vance’s point: even though the Stupid Party seems a smidge better than the Evil Party (it didn’t declare war on the church by trying to force it to pay for contraception), it doesn’t make sense for conservative Christians to be default Republicans. The Rockefeller Republicans and neocons think you’re stupid and that you have nowhere else to go. As for the deviants, we are all God’s children and all sinners, so as long as they don’t try to force me to call it marriage (which they are trying to do) and as long as they don’t spread disease, I leave them alone, they leave me alone. In short, right-libertarian.
    • William Dalrymple on Levantine Christians and Muslims. He points out how religious extremism and nationalism in the region have been poisonous for Levant Christians. This interview was recorded before the current disaster in Syria. Dalrymple comments on how Syria under Assad had provided the Levant Christians what was perhaps their last significant stronghold. The current round of hostilities might bring the end of Levantine Christianity.
  • Dreher says he’s not coming back to the church. My guess for a while has been that because he doesn’t think the church is a fraud (graceless), plus he doesn’t hang out with born Orthodox, he’ll come back. He reacted understandably to the big underage gay sex scandal and coverup. But you can’t blame those on Catholic doctrine, so of course his conversion doesn’t make sense to me. (That and, being people, the Orthodox have their own corruption and scandals nothing to do with the teachings.) You can make a plausible, principled case for Catholicism without the Pope, by rejecting development of doctrine for example. The Anglican old high churchmen and Tractarians: a religion on paper more ‘conservative’ than the church, as if they thought that in 2013 the church under crazy Popes would be innovating away with Modernism, women clergy, and gay marriage while the godly English stayed the Vincentian-canon course of the church fathers. Obviously not. So trying to make a case against the Pope doesn’t make sense. He’s stayed that course, and is the last man standing in Christendom regarding contraception for example. So what about Vatican II? We screwed up. (While the Orthodox get liturgical change, if any, just right.) Like the gay scandal, you can’t blame the teachings. The council couldn’t change doctrine. Converting because of the council doesn’t make sense because you’re reacting to having Western Catholicism taken away by joining people who think Western Catholicism’s a fraud. (The East is great, but not at the West’s expense. Greeks and Russians are estranged Catholics, not Protestants or liberals. The few converts? High-church Protestant-like, the nicest of them, such as the Western Rite Antiochians, being like ’50s high Episcopal, obviously based on traditional Catholicism but swearing they don’t need Rome.) Again I don’t think Dreher really buys that. He’ll be back.
  • On that note, schisming to try to save your culture, the Slavic-American Orthodox story, doesn’t work either. Never should have happened, not really about doctrine, and our own churchmen’s fault. Of course I find the story sad. But understandable. The culture’s good; our idiots should have left well enough alone. But by the third generation you’ve assimilated so you lose the culture anyway. Why both the American Orthodox and the American Greek Catholics have lost so many people.
  • I’ve said this before: while I think I get Pope Francis, speaking from the safety of the church on emphasizing God’s love and mercy over rules, it doesn’t make sense to me when an Orthodox (putatively liturgically, morally, and theologically conservative/high) enthuses over a low-church Pope saying things that can be construed as mainline/PC. Dreher to his credit does the opposite.