Sunday, February 22, 2015

Russell Kirk's no to libertarianism, and more

  • Russell Kirk: A dispassionate assessment of libertarians. Voted LP for president my first time in '92 (and felt guilty for walking away from the two parties, like giving up one's citizenship; that's how we're brought up) and have voted consistently libertarian or Libertarian nationally for 11 years (Michael Badnarik in '04; stayed home my first time so far in '08; Gary Johnson at the last minute in '12) but this blog has the right name. First, a number of the men and women who accept the label “libertarian” are not actually ideological libertarians at all, but simply conservatives under another name. These are people who perceive in the growth of the monolithic state, especially during the past half century, a grim menace to ordered liberty; and of course they are quite right. They wish to emphasize their attachment to personal and civic freedom by employing this twentieth-century word derived from liberty. With them I have little quarrel—except that by so denominating themselves, they seem to countenance a crowd of political fanatics who “license they mean, when they cry liberty.”
  • A "purge of military officers"? I don't know what to make of this. For now, I'm not buying it. Somebody's trying to use feelings, not facts, to stir up good-hearted pro-military conservatives. (Funny how hawkish the left really is when it's one of their wars, which most of them are, "for the world's good." Democrats got us into World Wars I and II, Korea, and Vietnam; the Republicans in Iraq almost an anomaly. Blame Dem-turned-GOP neocons.) Among the few things I give Obama credit for (and I don't hate him; he's wrong but a symptom, not the problem) is he tried to pull out of Iraq, a war I have opposed since before it began. As for those Air Force majors, that's how the military works (if you are passed over for promotion twice, they kick you out). As for being weeks from retirement, as most grownups know, most people including employers don't care about you. The others, such as ships' captains? Can't say. There was the Arnheiter case during Vietnam when a man unsuited for command was put in charge of the destroyer escort USS Vance; it was like a true version of The Caine Mutiny but the Navy took him off the ship when it found out he was disobeying orders by abandoning his ship's assigned post to look for glory elsewhere along the coast. So at least some of those firings are justified.
  • Catholic rabble-rousing about the Ukraine. My, my — the times have not changed much, have they? 50 years ago Rome threw the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church under the bus in order to secure Russian Orthodox observers at the Second Vatican Council. While Pope John Paul II pressed for the freedom of the UGCC in 1989, the Vatican is back pandering to Russia at the expense of her own children. If the UGCC up and left the Catholic Church tomorrow, I would be saddened, but not entirely surprised. The fact that they remain loyal to a Church which has shown so much disloyalty toward them is a testament to their faith and perseverance. As much as I oppose Orthodoxy, I'm not buying this. I see well-meaning Catholics being suckered into going to war for the anti-Catholic New World Order, the folks who backed the recent coup in the Ukraine. I feel bad for the few Ukrainian Catholics in the Russian eastern Ukraine but it's still not America's war. Nobody is threatening the Ukrainian Catholic Church in its western Ukrainian homeland. As Catholics we look at the big picture: defending our people but also reaching out to the great number of historically estranged Catholics who are the the Russian Orthodox. Not a betrayal or hypocrisy. Based on the family of exiles I knew 30 years ago, the first East Slavs and Eastern Christians I knew (my first traditional Catholic liturgy was Ukrainian), after all the Ukrainian Catholic Church has been through (many taking their church underground under Soviet rule), it will never leave the church. I hope Putin's a new Constantine for the Russians. At the very least he's not our problem since Russia's not Communist anymore and we don't trade with them. Any country where it helps politicians to be seen crossing themselves and lighting candles before icons has something going for it. In other words, Catholic doesn't necessarily mean anti-Russian. I'm pro-Russian because I'm Catholic, a faith that includes but transcends tribe, being universal in doctrine and in its appeal to all peoples (the church has fulfilled the Great Commission).
  • To give credit where it's due, I've read that John Paul II ordered the correcting of the Novus Ordo in English. It just took so long to implement that it happened posthumously.
  • Confessions of a Roman Catholic by Paul Whitcomb. 1958 imprimatur from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. I've been to St. John Southworth's tomb.


  1. Whenever I see articles like this, some Ukrainian Catholics on the internet say the UGCC should leave communion with Rome and join the Orthodox communion. I find this strange, since if they did that, they would be in communion with the Moscow Patriarchate. So they leave communion with Rome because they feel Rome favors Moscow and join the Orthodox of which Moscow is the biggest Church. Makes absolutely no sense. Unless they mean they will join the non-canonical Kiev Patriarchate, which is in communion with no one.

    Of course I don't believe the UGCC synod would ever break communion with Rome. It is just a fantasy of some online Ukrainian Catholics.


    1. The key words in your comment are "on the Internet" and "online" (#bonjour). It's an Internet myth that many/most Greek Rite Catholics are closeted Eastern Orthodox yearning to break free. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ukrainian Catholics won't join the opportunistic, nationalistic Kyiv Patriarchate, which the U.S. government has sort of backed, scandalous if the West took Orthodoxy seriously. U.S.-backed former president Viktor Yushchenko belongs to the KP.


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