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.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

St Michael and more

  • Mass: Benedicite Dominum, omnes angeli ejus. The BCP has a translation of the collect: O everlasting God, who hast ordained and constituted the services of Angels and men in a wonderful order; Mercifully grant, that as thy holy Angels alway do thee service in heaven, so by thy appointment they may succour and defend us on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
  • Our Lady of Ransom. Sept. 24, a big feast for the order that runs my parish.
  • Pope Francis: I think I get his point about God’s love vs. religiosity, but... The church simply is; neither the Pope nor a vote can change our teaching. Pope Francis can only maintain it. Maybe based on that confidence and his own devotion to God’s love he feels he can speak this way, but Modestinus puts it well. More.
  • Swimmers question Diana Nyad’s Cuba-to-Florida claim. It will probably be like Peary and the North Pole: we’ll never know. But since she already holds the world record for long-distance swimming, why would she lie? I’m interested in her story because 30 years ago I read an article she wrote after her first attempt.
  • Why does this man have a nose on his forehead?
  • The show: ‘Mad Men’ will end in 2015. Why not just say it has two more seasons?
  • What e’er thou art, act well thy part.
  •’s week in review.
  • From Alpha Game:
    • Remembering how women used to argue that if men would have only stopped oppressing them, they would have totally written great books and advanced science and cured cancer and in general improved the world in every possible way. After all, if Man has achieved so much by utilizing only 50 percent of the population, imagine if 100 percent of the population was able to achieve its full potential! It turns out that freed from male expectations and left to their own devices, what women actually do is write terrible bondage porn, methodically ruin organizations whose purposes are of insufficient interest to them, and obsess about how to style their pubic hair. It turns out that the full potential of women was already being utilized in what some would consider the rather important role of securing the survival of society and species. If I had a time machine, I would love to go back and read articles like these to the original suffragettes.
    • Discernment and the sexes: It is entirely predictable that any time an organization reduces the number of protective individuals and replaces them with nurturing individuals, the ability of the organization to discern between useful and productive members and useless and destructive ones is compromised. A church in which women are influential will tend to be more universalist and welcoming, and can expect its Christian message, with its insistence on narrow, hard paths and discrimination between sheep and goats, to be watered down and eventually rejected.
  • From Bob Wallace:
    • Ultimately men are protectors/providers and women are nurturers (to be more precise, I think they are receptive/reactive). Not all, of course, but most. Whether women believe it or not, all of them are under the "authority" of men. They are completely dependent on men, because either they can marry men or they can marry the State, which itself is "patriarchal." If men withdrew all that they have created from women, women would, as Camille Paglia noted, be reduced to living in grass huts. When men, for whatever reason, allow women to stop being under their authority, then we end up with feminism, which is leftist, which itself what I call the Bad Feminine: destructive, seductive, not nurturing at all.
    • I don't read very much hard-boiled detective fiction, but I have read enough to know that the genre is a type of horror fiction, and like all horror, is based on goodness and order being attacked by evil and chaos.
  • From Sunshine Mary:
    • What is shamed at the societal level has almost always been those attributes and behaviors which decrease the survivorship of offspring. Homosexuality has been stigmatized in most cultures for most of history to varying degrees for the obvious reason that homosexual behaviors do not produce babies. The stigmatization of female sexual promiscuity, typified by single mother- and slut- shaming, is also fairly common in most (but not all) cultures, not because it doesn’t produce babies, but because up until very recently, such behavior compromised the survivorship of babies because slutty women could not command the necessary male resources. Letting yourself be pumped and dumped, or frivorcing your man, meant not enough food to keep your babies alive.
    • It makes no sense to elevate women into high level management and leadership positions and invest in their training and development if women are just going to fall apart under the stress of it. And why should companies change what they expect of their upper level leaders just because women can’t handle the pressures? Why should companies and the government promote women and then make sure they don’t have to work too hard once they are promoted? That is completely nonsensical. I think Walter Block said the same. There is no conspiracy against women. Most of them decide they don’t like the rat race and would rather raise children. You know, be women.
  • Roissy explains the sexual revolution.
  • From Steve Sailer: Prohibition, twin sister of women’s suffrage.
  • 500 classic cars auctioned off in Nebraska this weekend. From an old dealer; some with only 1 mile on the odometer. The catch: they’ve been been neglected for 50 years, including being kept outdoors. A classic-car dealer told me once it’s rusted, you’re done.
  • ’50 Chevy. In Burlington, NJ.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An American ’63 Brigadoon

Wildwood, NJ’s fall boardwalk car show and auction.

’60 Chevy envy.

Best of all is the town when the motel neon’s on and the cars are out and about.

Ex-POW, captured by the Germans.

This used to Big Ernie’s. Renamed the Pink Cadillac and cutesified but still real.

This ’59 Impala’s second or third owner bought it in ’63. A later owner was killed in Vietnam. 20 years later the second or third owner bought it back from the soldier’s family and restored it.

Home at the shore.

Where to go for dinner.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

‘2:00 AM Paradise Café’

Barry Manilow’s not the best singer for these songs of his (but can carry a tune), but is a master songwriter; best of all, he loves the golden-era music he grew up with. I like the first side best.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Money myths and more

Thursday, September 12, 2013

‘Confidential’, cocooning, and more

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

From 9/11 to the run-up to war in Syria

We haven’t learned anything. The narrative remains: all our wars are ‘humanitarian interventions’ to save somebody; crusades by secularized Yankee missionaries. (So the president gets to keep his affirmative-action Nobel.) The powers that be are claiming Assad has poison gas, just like the Republicans said about Saddam Hussein. Nothing to do with us in both cases. Somebody think of the chiiiildren! Of course Syria’s Christians are invisible. Neither the Evil Party in power (never mind much of it used to be Catholic: labor) nor the Stupid Party (Rockefeller liberals duping evangelicals and practicing Catholics) loves the church, and arguably there is no Catholic vote to try to please anymore (Vatican II, the gift that keeps on giving; more empty parish buildings around here for cyber charter schools). Anyway, al-Qaeda were angry about our meddling in the Mideast, so mostly Saudi hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; we continued what Bush the Elder did and invaded a secular Arab country nothing to do with the attack. Now... we’re supporting al-Qaeda trying to overthrow another secular Arab country?! Orwellian.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Borsalino, Bobby Vinton, and more

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Why war in Syria

The Anti-Gnostic:
Why are bankrupt Western nations rushing headlong into a Muslim family feud? My unschooled opinion is first, as Dennis mentions, because they can. The US governing elite are bored, hubristic ideologues. Second, Israel wants the region outside its borders transformed into backwards, feuding hellholes. Their greatest existential threat is to be surrounded by technologically advancing Arab polities. Third, Mohammedan conquest, as Gulf Arabs work to smash the hated Shia and their Iranian allies. (Can anyone educate me on the roots of the Persian-Arab conflict?)

None of which, obviously, implicates any actual American interest. Of course, I'm presuming an actual American nation with its own interests.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Nyad’s way, toxic Disney, and more

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

A tenacious sports heroine and more