Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pop Quiz III

1) What book is this from? Lord of the World

2) Who wrote it? Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson

3) When? 1907

The full text of which can be found here.
Then without the slightest warning, except one shrill hoot from
overhead, a number of things happened.

A great shadow whirled across the sunlight at her feet, a sound of
rending tore the air, and a noise like a giant's sigh; and, as she
stopped bewildered, with a noise like ten thousand smashed kettles, a
huge thing crashed on the rubber pavement before her, where it lay,
filling half the square, writhing long wings on its upper side that beat
and whirled like the flappers of some ghastly extinct monster, pouring
out human screams, and beginning almost instantly to crawl with broken

Mabel scarcely knew what happened next; but she found herself a moment
later forced forward by some violent pressure from behind, till she
stood shaking from head to foot, with some kind of smashed body of a man
moaning and stretching at her feet. There was a sort of articulate
language coming from it; she caught distinctly the names of Jesus and
Mary; then a voice hissed suddenly in her ears:

"Let me through. I am a priest."

She stood there a moment longer, dazed by the suddenness of the whole
affair, and watched almost unintelligently the grey-haired young priest
on his knees, with his coat torn open, and a crucifix out; she saw him
bend close, wave his hand in a swift sign, and heard a murmur of a
language she did not know. Then he was up again, holding the crucifix
before him, and she saw him begin to move forward into the midst of the
red-flooded pavement, looking this way and that as if for a signal. Down
the steps of the great hospital on her right came figures running now,
hatless, each carrying what looked like an old-fashioned camera. She
knew what those men were, and her heart leaped in relief.

They were the ministers of euthanasia.

Works for me

"If ever there was a move designed to drive lovers of the old Missal back into the arms of the Lefebvrists, this was it."

The "English" "Catholic" "Church" strikes another blow, albeit an appropriately petty one, against the Faith.

When are we all going to quit pretending that these people represent the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Christ?

But never mind; haven't I been saying that these people have been staying up nights looking for any tiny little loophole, any way at all, no matter how small, to strike back against a resurgence of the True Faith in these islands? Their revolution has failed, as everyone can see. They gave themselves, their whole lives, their vocations to this colossal betrayal, and now that they are greying and sagging and starting to drool a bit, they realize that they have lost the entire war. I'm sure we should expect a few more of these feebly venomous writhings before they finally lie still. All it really means is that they know it's over.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What do they teach them in these schools?

The new seminaries.

H/T to Daniel.

No, Prime Minister...

An entertaining fifteen minutes can be wasted quite easily just Googling the keywords "Gordon" "Brown" "psychological" and "condition".

Right now there is a mini boom in rumours about the PM's psychological condition. He's variously said to have taken a wobbly after the election-that-never-was, plunged into depression over Christmas, and brought in the New Year by kicking chairs across the room.

A slow smile flickered

evilly at the corners of her mouth as she read the morning news.

"Eeeehhhxcellent..." she murmured, reaching for a bell to summon her minion.

"Another cup of tea, please Ivan. And when you've got a moment, a turn or two more of the thumbscrews is due in room seven today I think. I feel like celebrating."

* ~ * ~ *

"Well well well..." she thought, raising a perfectly arched eyebrow, "How very interesting. I wonder which reporter has been sacked for leading with the headline: 'BNP poised for gains in the capital'".

...because the story had been removed from the Telegraph's website. A fragment only remained:
“The Far-Right is on course to make its biggest-ever electoral breakthrough in Britain this week, anti-fascist campaigners have admitted.

The British National Party has focused its efforts on winning a seat on the 25-member London Assembly, which would give it a national profile and a say in the running of the capital. Anti-fascist group Searchlight admits it will “require a Herculean feat” to stop the BNP from winning.

If the BNP succeeds, Richard Barnbrook will be catapulted to fame as the party’s first assembly member. He claims that “asylum seekers and illegal immigrants are engulfing London”, and his policies include banning the Islamic veil on public transport."

Rod Liddle often annoys me

but just as often, he says things that I've been thinking too.

This week's Spec has a piece in it on the "collapse" of the "housing market" in Britain.

Long before I got here, I had been reading about the disaster of the British housing market. How it was utterly impossible for ordinary working people to own their own homes. That house prices, even of very modest places, put the idea permanently and hopelessly out of reach for young families and single people. I heard stories of people leaving Britain in droves just because for the price of a garage in the unfashionable end of Manchester, one could get a terraced villa in Provence, complete with a complement of charming peasants and fresh-faced milkmaids or something. That, in short, Britain had been utterly devastated by the unparalleled greed of real estate speculators and people who bought, only to flip.

I well believed it, since much the same thing had happened in most of the places I'd lived. The Victoria neighbourhood where I lived when I was a kid, was a place where a lot of hippies lived. They moved into the rather rickety old houses and fixed them up, usually in a very slip-shod, home-handyman sort of way. Then they set about making slip-shod fashionable, and re-selling their ratty old houses to the mainlanders who started teeming over from Out There (a place where, in my youth, few Islanders ever went). This had the effect of making it impossible for the children of the hippies to stay in the neighbourhoods they grew up in. When I went back to the Island in my early 20's hoping to settle there, I found that in the places that used to run with kerchief'd dogs and unwashed barefoot hippie children (of which I was one), Beamers now filled the drives and one paid five dollars for a loaf of "artisan" seed bread in what had once been our corner Chinese store.

So, I well believed that things in Britain, a place with a very limited amount of space and a great crush of immigrants demanding the lower end of residential spaces, would not be conducive to getting a start at the bottom of the "housing ladder".

But greatly surprised was I to find that real estate flipping had become the new horse-betting in British culture. Most British people all talked RealEstateSpeak in the same way they used to talk about football. People who had never worked in the real estate business didn't talk about "houses" or "homes", they talked about "properties" and the "housing ladder" and mortgage rates, the way football fans talked about scores and teams. It was creepy.

They all watched the dozen or so daily (yes, daily) programmes on telly, often back to back on weekday afternoons, about buying low, fixing up and selling high. As if shows about how to become a real estate flipper had replaced cooking shows and soaps for housewives.

So, now that house prices are falling, and banks are now, finally, becoming chary of giving people mortgages who don't look like they've the chance of a whelk in a supernova of paying it that things have gone back to a measure of sanity, in other words, everyone is having apoplexy and predicting the end of the world.

Thus far, Rod Liddle is the only one who seems to be saying out loud what I've been thinking. Maybe I'm old fashioned, maybe I'm hopelessly behind the times, but I think a house is something you buy once, move all your stuff in, and start planning the garden for. Something, in other words, you build up into a home and grow into over a period of decades. Something to give warmth and stability and security and happines to yourself, your wife, your kids, your grandchildren. Somewhere you live your life.

Rod Liddle seems to have noticed, as I have, that British people aren't interested in having a life any more.

In the summer of last year, when we were up to our knees in floodwater ... the worry was about property being far too expensive and what’s more increasing in price too rapidly. What can we do, the experts debated, to make houses more affordable for people who want them? The same question asked every week since the last property crash. The solution arrived unbidden and now the very same people greet it as a disaster. The Arbitrary Gods of Economics must be greatly confused: how can we please these people?

...a 25 per cent fall in house prices — to take the gloomiest of the million or so recent prognoses — is, overall, good news.

It will not hurt you if you stay put, where you are, which is what people in every other part of the world do with their homes — live in them and enjoy them. It will not hurt you even if you wish to buy a more expensive house. It will affect adversely largely those who wish to get out of the housing market altogether: a tiny minority.

The reason for our schizophrenia over house prices comes down to that most regrettable aspect of British culture this last 25 years or so, the idea that homes are not simply to be lived in, where you put down roots and form a community with those who live nearby — your neighbours — but a means of making a swift buck, or forever trading up and cashing in, borne aloft by an economic mechanism which at times resembles nothing more than pyramid selling.

Money for nothing. The social ramifications of this state-approved greed are atomised communities where people do not know one another because they are forever moving on and, of course, a growing army of young families who cannot possibly afford to buy their own homes. But nobody minded too much, or complained too loudly, because the dosh was, magically, rolling in, every year, on paper.

The relentless dash for property cash has been encouraged by a whole swath of repulsive television programmes, urging us to move ahead, to buy a second home, to sell, to make a few thousand quid, to paint the bathroom white and install a freestanding iron bath so some poor sap will think it’s a trendy house and thus pay an extra five grand for it, to treat the home as a short-term investment, shorn of any value save for its automatically rising pecuniary worth. It is a loathsome and of course unsustainable premise which we have recently inflicted upon our continental neighbours, to much localised dismay.

I don't know much about American politics,

so correct me if I've got it wrong.

A while ago, I joined a facebook group (I still don't understand what facebook is for, still less facebook groups, still...) called something like "One Million Against Hillary" (Clinton, that is. I'm not getting self-destructive.) Then I joined another one called "We don't like Obama". Ok, I thought. They're both dangerous leftists, so, whatever.

But then I thought, hang on. What if everybody just doesn't vote for either of them? What if the duelling facebook camps just cancel each other out and they both lose? Does that mean the third guy gets to run for president for the Dems? Or is it that the whole president election just gets canceled and it automatically goes to the Republican guy (whoever he is) in the absence of anyone running against him?

Honestly, with all the expense they all go to for their years and tedious long years of campaigning through all this Byzantine "primaries" business, you'd think they'd get fed up and just go back to the sensible British Parliamentary system. I think I have sussed out why the voter turnout is so bad in the US. By the time you get to the voting part, everyone has been bored into a coma by the ten or fifteen years worth of lead-up.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Well yeah, but apart from that...

they're a swell bunch of guys right?

Michael Coren - who once called my blog "superb" and me "the most sane and sensible person in the world", so take what he says with a grain or two - talks about Earth Day:
Earth Day [is a] contrived absurdity founded by hateful Marxists, a convicted murderer and a bunch of cliched, bearded activists is irrelevant and should in fact be the one day in the year we try to pollute a little more than is absolutely necessary -- just to annoy them.

...fashionable thinking has reversed the equation. The planet is to be saved because it is precious in itself and we, dangerous intruders, are the problem. Earth is to be revered, loved and even worshipped. Like some perverse replacement theology, Mother Earth takes on the role of real mothers and fathers.

This is why some of the leading spokesmen for the green movement are calling for the world's population to be reduced by 75% and see every birth, particularly in the developed world, as an ecological disaster rather than a living miracle.

H/T to Kathy. (And if you've not yet thrown a quid or two into her tip jar legal defense fund, it's never too late).

Friday, April 25, 2008

I know I'm supposed to be a racist and all,

but it occurs to me that, faced with a culture in which parents routinely kill their children, at least the government of India has actually come out and asked them to stop.

In Britain, we're still waiting.

Mrs Chowdhury said that emergency measures were necessary as evidence indicated that the practice of aborting or killing female children was spreading.

“It is a matter of international and national shame for us that India, with a growth of nine per cent, still kills its daughters,” she said.

The practice has also caused an alarming gender imbalance in India’s population, she said. The number of girls born per 1,000 boys born fell from 945 to 927 between 1991 and 2001, according to the latest Indian census figures. Many districts report as few as 800 girls for every 1,000 boys.

To try to correct the imbalance, Mrs Chowdhury said that the Government would adopt unwanted girls and raise them in a network of special homes.

“What we are saying to the people is have your children, don’t kill them. And if you don’t want a girl child, leave her to us,” she said.

The Government says that it is clamping down on doctors flouting the law that bans prenatal sex determination tests, and a national campaign with the slogan, “My strength, my Daughter”, was launched late last year to encourage more parents to protect their infant daughters.

(And off topic for a moment, when did it become the fashion in journalism to leave off the dot, period or whatever you call it, when the short form of honourifics is given. "Mrs" nowadays, and never "Mrs." Is it because we have forgotten that it is an abbreviation?)

Red Herrings

photo from

This just in via email:

Lisbon crowns a history of deceit

By Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph, 21/10/2007

It was apt that Gordon Brown's agreement to the EU treaty should have coincided with the announcement that MPs are to get an additional two weeks' holiday a year because there is so little for them to do.

The Lisbon Treaty, after all, is another giant step towards a new form of government, empowered to decide most of the laws that govern our lives, making our Westminster MPs even more redundant than they are now.

It was equally appropriate that Mr Brown and his puppet foreign minister, David Miliband, should have agreed this treaty on the basis of the most shameless political lie one can recall: that the new treaty is completely different from the rejected EU constitution – with which it is 96 per cent identical.

Three years ago, when Richard North and I were writing a history of the European Union, trawling hundreds of books and thousands of documents, nothing struck us more than how consistently this grandiose project has been built on deceit as to its true nature (hence our title, The Great Deception).

It is more than 60 years since one of its progenitors, Altiero Spinelli, wrote that its aim should be stealthily to assemble the components of a supranational government and only to declare its true purpose at the end of the process by unveiling a 'constitution'.

It is more than 50 years since another founder, Paul-Henri Spaak, advised Jean Monnet, who was above all 'the Father of Europe', that the only way to achieve their goal – a politically integrated Europe – was to pretend that it was only a 'Common Market'.

It is more than 40 years since Harold Macmillan and Edward Heath went along with this, deciding to withhold from the British people that the real aim was a European state – a deceit perpetrated by Heath in spades when he took us into the Common Market in the 1970s.

Of all our prime ministers since, the only one who did not go along with this concealment was Mrs Thatcher. In the last years of her premiership, she woke up to the dangers of this stealthy, relentless drive towards full political integration – and her determination to fight it played a crucial part in the way she was brought down.

In this respect, the decision of Europe's political leaders in 2001 that the building of the European state should culminate in drafting a 'Constitution for Europe' was entirely in keeping with the strategies proposed by Monnet and Spinelli decades before, marking the moment when the 'project' could at last come out in its true colours.

When, to their horror, it was rejected, their solution was simply to bulldoze it through regardless of popular wishes, as recent months have shown.

Mr Brown's deceit over this treaty is in some ways no worse than that practised by Macmillan and Heath before him. But he has pulled off a brilliant tactical victory by focusing discussion on those 'red lines' (so aptly described by Gisela Stuart MP as 'red herrings'), thus diverting attention from the treaty's real significance as a further huge step towards creating a European state.

Of all the immense changes this will make in how we are governed, none is arguably more important, or has received less attention, than the formal creation of the European Council as the cabinet of our new government. The prime ministers who make it up are placed under a wholly new obligation to put their loyalty to 'the Union ' above that to their own countries.

With this treaty we shall finally be ruled by a government that cannot be dismissed, making Britain , in effect, a small part of a giant one-party state. This may make Mr Brown feel important, as part of 'the Big Show', but it is hardly surprising that he does not dare consult the wishes of his countrymen on what he has done.

Office of Kathy Sinnott, MEP for Ireland South

Tel. Brussels +32 (0) 228 45692


What's England About? II

There are a lot of things about Western Civilization that most people take for granted. A lot of cultural things most people aren't even aware that they enjoy and will not know about until the things are taken away. A lot of those things are of native English origin.

That means English, by the way, not "British". That means that they were invented by a people who were, and are descended from, that particular mixture of Brythonic Celt, Angles, Saxons and Normans that was more or less fully developed by the end of the 11th century [remind me soon to talk about that liberal canard of how there are no "pure blood" English and "we're all 'immigrants' if you go back far enough". It is, like everything liberals say, a lie and I will teach you how to shove it down their throats.]

This means that the things we are going to talk about were not invented by and not native to the Irish, Welsh or Scottish, not Cornish nor Manx neither, although these people obviously contributed. I am talking about the things that were the peculiar products of English culture.

People have been asking a lot lately, "What's so great about England? Why should we be interested in the English? Why should we be interested in preserving English culture?" I think the question may be getting asked a lot lately in the same way that progressive and liberal fish (the kind of fish who take "Cultural and Feminist Studies" in fish university,) might question what use is water.

When English culture is talked about, all sorts of things pop into people's minds. Tea. Tweed. Upper Class Twits of the Year. Bone china. Anglicans. Football. Football hooligans. Land of Hope and Glory (whether by Sid Vicious or Elgar). The Magna Carta. Monty Python. The Beatles. Bobbies. King Arthur. Stephen Fry. Beatrix Potter. The changing of the guard. The horsey set. Double-decker buses. The Queen.

People who read books think about Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. Wordsworth's daffodils and his walk by Tintern Abbey. Byron, Keats and Shelley. Oscar Wilde and Sherlock Holmes. They might think about Hobbits and wizards, especially now.

And it is true. These things are all England. Good for the people who think of these things; they get a silver sticky-star.

But what about other stuff that we hardly ever think about? What about the stuff that is like water to fish?

Starting with the obvious:

Parliamentary democracy.
English Common Law
which includes:
presumption of innocence
Habeas Corpus
due process and
the right to a speedy and fair trial
trial by jury

English engineering, English medicine, English natural sciences all grew to become the gold standard for these endeavours around the world and made the industrial revolution happen, whatever we may think of that.

English philosophy, especially of the 17th and 18th century, have given us, for better or worse, the systems of thought that currently govern the whole modern world.

Sir Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, J. J. Thomson, Charles Babbage, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, Christopher Wren, Alan Turing, Francis Crick: all English.

And we don't have time to even get into the writers.

There are a lot of English things that we in the disintegrating west don't give the slightest thought to, but would very quickly appreciate in retrospect once they were taken away. I think it would be better for everyone if we learned ahead of that eventuality what those things were so that, when they are threatened, as they are now, they will be able to fight to defend them.

Something for which we may in the end have reason to thank the current cultural invaders for is the refreshment of memory afforded by close proximity to people wholly and dangerously unlike ourselves. People whose thought has not been formed by this ancient western process. It may be the only thing that will shock us into a re-evaluation of the our own cultural patrimony.

That's pretty much what Orwell's Picnic is about.

There will be posts on these things as I come to read and think about them more.

But for the moment, suffice to say that England per se, is responsible for the continuation in the western nations, largely through the influence of the Empire, of all that we have come to think of as good and valuable in the non-material cultural inheritance of Christendom. All those things like the rights of citizenship, liberty, freedom of conscience, speech, assembly etc., are all developments, through the exceptionally politically stable thousand-year history of England from the Conquest until now, of those ancient social, legal, philosophical and political ideas that grew out of Christian culture.

England is, I shall endeavour to demonstrate, the natural heir to Christendom and has a unique duty to preserve and pass it on. Which duty, I'm sorry to say, it is manifestly failing to fulfill.

For now.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What's England about?

Chivalry, for one.

The Rose

Are we there yet?

Our masters have plans for us, I see.

A copy of the map, which makes no reference to England or Britain, has even renamed the English Channel the "Channel Sea".

Each zone will have a "transnational regional assembly", although they will not have extensive powers. However, the zones are regarded as symbolically important by other countries.

German ministers claimed that the plan was about "underlying the goal of a united Europe" to "permanently overcome old borders"...

News on St. George's day:
Try as hard as I might - and I don't try very hard - I have never been able to see the slightest problem with being English.

For Leftists, however, there is a problem. Traditionally, it was that England was the oppressor.
The rise of English national consciousness in recent years poses a serious threat to these unjust and undemocratic arrangements. For years, the English were slow to appreciate how disadvantaged they were by devolution.

English Heritage has launched a campaign to dispel the apathy surrounding St George's Day and encourage more people to celebrate the country's patron saint.

England football shirts serve as St George's Day bunting on a shopping street in central London.

A survey by the government agency revealed that fewer than one in five people mark St George's Day on April 23rd, suggesting that the English feel less national pride than the Welsh, Irish and Scottish.

The other day, my uncle told me that he had seen the papers that chicken tikka masala was the new English national dish. I told him that was absurd. Everyone knows that fish and chips are the English national dish.

Fish and chips.
41% of Londoners chose fish and chips as their favourite English dish while only 31% in Newcastle believe that they are a truly English meal. Other fish fanatic cities include Manchester with 40%, and Birmingham with 39% of respondents opting for a fish supper. For once the North/South divide was not in evidence with 70% of Northerners opting for fish and chips and 72% of Southerners.

Curry, once hailed as the nation’s favourite dish seems to have fallen out of favour as only 4% of Londoners chose curry as a great English dish, while no one in the Newcastle would even think of having a curry on St George’s Day!

The York Express Why aren't we more proud to be English?TODAY is St George's Day, the national day of England. But how many of you will be celebrating tonight? The chances are, not many.

So why don't we make more of our national day, like the Scots, the Irish and the Welsh?

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu certainly thinks we should. Shortly before being enthroned as Archbishop in 2005 he gave a powerful speech calling on English people to be proud of who they were.

"The English are somehow embarrassed about some of the good things they have done," he said. "They have done some terrible things, but not all the Empire was a bad idea.

"When you ask a lot of people in this country what is English culture?', they are very vague.

As the Englandism people put it, "English nationalism is a (very) broad church. Even Gordon Brown is flying the flag today."
For the first time in recent memory the flag of St George will be flown over 10 Downing Street to mark the day of England's patron saint.

The red-and-white banner will be raised following a review of flag-flying practices ordered by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Even the Grauniad chimes in, in its own twisted and sorry way.
Multiculturalism isn't about celebrating everybody's culture but our own. We have to be present, not least because as hosts we provide the framework for our diversity to flourish. If you accept the idea that national identity is personal, then it is down to each of us to find something to celebrate on April 23. Let those people who feel strongly about the traditional ideas, celebrate them in their traditional way. Let others find aspects of Englishness they feel comfortable with.

OK, now go watch Mrs. Miniver:

When you've done that, go out to the nearest second hand bookshop and buy a copy of In Search of England by H.V. Morton.


There's something deeply embarrassing
about English celebrities.

Is it that they dress so badly?

Elves again


By the way, that glorious rendition on recorders of Bach's Contrapunctus 9 of the Art of the Fugue was given by the Moment Musical Recorder Quartet of Chung Yan Christian University in Taiwan.

If the Godless Chinese communists decide in the next couple of years to invade Taiwan and we needed to come up with a reason to honour our (and by "our" I mean Western Civilization's) responsibilities, I'd say just play that recording again.

or this one:

or maybe this one:

Like the Elves would do it

if they played Bach

All-Tuba Bach

all tuba, all the time


Gould before be became a pretentious prat.

Contrapunctus 9

here's another good one.

Musical Obsession of the Day: the art of the fugue or Contrapunctus 1

The Jordi Savall way...

The big way...

Glen Gould's way.

Environutters, pagans and thieves

Mr. Carriere seems serious about his return to blogging.

Here he gives strict instructions on what to do on Earth Day.

Manichees, Cigarettes and Hung Pheasant

Vegetarianism, as a philosophy and a religion, has always been something of which I have been naturally suspicious. It could be simply its association with the hippie cults of my youth and childhood. It could be that most of the vegetarians I've met (OK, all of them) have been hopelessly self-absorbed neurotics who seem dedicated to their fantasies.

It could be the arrogance implied by the decision to ignore what is plainly ordered by God, and supported by scripture.

It is also nearly always accompanied by a noxious, dripping sentimentality towards animals and a general dislike of human beings.

John Muggeridge told me that vegetarians, like their near-cousins the animal rights activists, are nearly all utilitarians of varying degrees of fanaticism and that obsessiveness over food is a common trait among liberals. (He also noted that they tend to be petty thieves...liberals, I mean, not vegetarians necessarily. cf: Svend Robinson and the ring. Which stands to reason, come to think of it, since they have little concept of private property or moral restraint.) Liberals are materialists, so it makes sense that they would idolize food.

John noted that liberal vegetarianism is often connected in various ways with a highly ritualistic kind of behavior. Some of them will, for example, eat only the whites of eggs. John's father, he said, refused to buy eggs during the war, insisting on keeping chickens and feeding them a special diet. The upshot was, he said, that in 1945, the family was paying the equivalent of a pound an egg. John's mother Kitty, he said, would not let the children eat the eggs since it was only their father's obsession.

John also noted that this sort of faux-ascetic food obsession is a common feature of certain branches of Protestantism and the esoteric cults that grew from it (notably Mormons). He told me that one of the things that put St. Augustine back onto the right track was his meeting with the leader of the Manichees who insisted on some kind of strict dietary practices that were patently absurd, but I have not looked it up.

The closest thing I have seen anywhere among the modern Christian apologists on the vegetarian heresy is C.S. Lewis, writing long before the ascendancy of hippie culture, who wrote about the type of gluttony identified by Thomas as the gluttony of delicacy. As such it falls into a much broader category of vice that would have to include any behavior, such as dieting, that grows to replace and contradict true religion. It is, in short, making an idol of both the body and food. An obsession that will, if allowed to grow, finally encompass every aspect of one's life.

This has largely been effected by concentrating all our efforts on gluttony of Delicacy, not gluttony of Excess. Your patient's mother, as I learn from the dossier and you might have learned from Glubose, is a good example. She would be astonished - one day, I hope, will be - to learn that her whole life is enslaved to this kind of sensuality, which is quite concealed from her by the fact that the quantities involved are small.

But what do quantities matter, provided we can use a human belly and palate to produce querulousness, impatience, uncharitableness, and self-concern? Glubose has this old woman well in hand. ... She is always turning from what has been offered her to say with a demure little sigh and a smile "Oh, please, please ... all I want is a cup of tea, weak but not too weak, and the teeniest weeniest bit of really crisp toast."

You see? Because what she wants is smaller and less costly than what has been set before he, she never recognizes as gluttony her determination to get what she wants, however troublesome it may be to others. At the very moment of indulging her appetite she believes that she is practising temperance ...; in reality ... the particular shade of delicacy to which we have enslaved her is offended by the sight of more food than she happens to want.

The real value of the quiet, unobtrusive work which Glubose has been doing for years on this old woman can be gauged by the way in which her belly now dominates her whole life. ... Meanwhile, the daily disappointment produces daily ill temper: cooks give notice and friendships are cooled. ...

Now your patient is his mother's son. ... Being a male, he is not so likely to be caught by the "All I want" camouflage. Men are best turned into gluttons with the help of their vanity. They ought to be made to think themselves very knowing about food, to pique themselves on having found the only restaurant in the town where steaks are really "properly" cooked. What begins as vanity can then be gradually turned into habit. But, however you approach it, the great thing is to bring him into the state in which the denial of any one indulgence - it matters not which, champagne or tea, sole colbert or cigarettes - "puts him out," for them his charity, justice, and obedience are all at your mercy.

Although Uncle Jack does not specifically mention it, it is easy to see how vegetarianism falls into this category, both with the "all I want" camouflage and the vanity of being a knowing fellow with both superior knowledge and virtue to the ordinary meat-eating run of man. An easy door, come to think of it, into the particularly noisesome vice of gnosticism.

What made me think about it today?

Reading a thin book by Alice Thomas Ellis, Unexplained Laughter, in which one of the characters, Beuno, is studying for the Anglican ministry. He brings the two ladies who are the main characters a pheasant that has been killed by the side of the road.

Betty, the sweet, ordinary and rather silly one who lives in London but dreams of rural idylls and wants to be a vegetarian, takes it and strokes its beautiful plumage and mourns. Lydia, the caustic journalist, wants to hang it for a week then eat it:

"Betty regarded it with a mixture of pity, admiration, mistrust and disgust. 'Poor thing,' she said. 'It was so beautiful. How do you know a car killed it? It might have died of disease.'

Beuno [the real Welsh countryman] swung it up to eye-level. 'It doesn't show much sign of injury,' he said...

Lydia took it from him. 'It doesn't look ill to me,' she said. apart from being dead. Its feathers look remarkably healthy.' She jiggled it up and down. 'Nice and heavy for the time of year.'


'I think you should just bury it,' said Betty, and Lydia did see what she meant, for human death was attended with such ritual and dispatch that for an instant it seemed cruelly perverse to deny something similar to this helpless creature.

'If you like, I'll bury his bones,' she said. 'After I've boiled them for stock of course.'


'People turn to vegetarianism when the spirit fails,' said Beuno, not to anyone in particular. Nevertheless Betty looked hurt.

'They are in search of purity, perfection,' he continued, '-the perfection of the body - while within the spirit rots and withers from neglect, and without the threat of doom trembles on the edge of possibility. Exercised, massaged, bathed and pampered, carefully fed as a prize marrow, the body is an empty shell flaunted in the face of catastrophe.'


Later, discussing Beuno's natural talent for preaching with his beautiful Welsh voice, Lydia suggests that he could "revive revivalism" and that "People might come to hear you from all over the world".

She says Beuno
"can feed he hungry and comfort the oppressed and visit the sick and bury the dead. And give good counsel, and do it all with feeling, and people will be so amazed they'll positively flock to you. Now, as most of the country's vicars are mad, and waste all their time falling demetedly in love with middle-aged lady parishioners...none of them do anything constructive and that's probably why they're all going mad. And all the bishops do is deny the existence of God and fool about trying tosettle stirkes and infurate absolutely could have a lovely time bouncing up and down in the pulpit screaming hellfire."

"So could you," Betty reminded her. "You could go into the Church and fight for the ordination of women."

But it is to be remembered, of course, that Alice Thomas Ellis was a Catholic of a particularly choleric disposition.

Pop Quiz

Here's a scenario:

A 70 year-old disabled man in Yookay is assaulted by a mob; soil is thrown at him; several people pour water over his head; eventually he is knocked to the ground while a crowd of 30 or 40 people stand around screaming and shouting at him and attempting to seize his property.

Police arrive and one arrest is made.

Who is arrested?

Pop Quiz II

How Traddie are you?

Watch this video.

Toward the end, when Fr. Michael Mary intones, "Adiutorium nostrum in nomini domini..."

What's the response?

And who just did it automatically without thinking?

Frabjous Day!
Kaloo kalay!

The latest buzz is that the Transalpine Redemptorists have announced that they will seek union with Rome.

I love these guys!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cry God...

Cry God for Harry, England and St George

Gerry the village butcher let the world know where we live today.

More green and pleasant pics here.

As I explained to Steve yesterday. It's not about the country "Britain", still less about that weird semi-fictional homunculus, Yookay. Unlike that other place I used to live, the state is not the nation.

It's England. It's the nation, the soil, the breath, the blood.

Our blood.

The Queen of Style

An entire page dedicated to Audrey Hepburn. Lots of patterns here.


Anyone getting fed up with listening to Jean-Paul Oo LaLa telling us how to dress?

Many years ago, I realized that in following The Fashion I was allowing a group of overpaid and over-praised homosexual neurotics tell me what women are supposed to look like. It dawned on me that the clothes they were making were actually designed to flatter the figure of their 15 year-old boyfriends.

I rebelled.

Yesterday, I picked up a very snappy little lambswool cardy, tan of course, from Marks and Spencer. It makes me look very friendly, trustworthy and old fashioned.

Looking for an alternative?

Try here: "A Dress a Day". (But don't forget, those wasp waists don't come naturally.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Very Principled

A truly even-handed fair, and non-discriminatory treatment of a problem has proceeded from the mouth of president of the European Union who has said that it would indeed be wrong to consider requests for asylum on the basis of religion.

Quite so.

If only the Muslims who are systematically exterminating Christians in Iraq were equally committed to non-discrimination, what a happy, fair and non-discriminatory world it would be.

From Rorate Caeli:
The German Minister of the Interior, Wolfgang Schäuble, had announced his intention to seek the endorsement of the Member States for facilitating the acceptance of asylum applications submitted by Christians in Iraq, whom he considers to be threatened by sectarian violence within their country...Before the American invasion of 2003, the Christian community in the country had approximately 800,000 members, or about 3% of the majority Muslim population. A large part of them have fled the country or have settled in Iraqi Kurdistan. More than 4,000 applications for asylum have been introduced in Germany by Iraqi refugees in 2007, according to the Interior Ministry, which did not specify their religion.

I'm confused

don't they expel students from university any more?

What's the hold-up?

The dean of Yale's school of art, Robert Storr, has said he will not allow Shvarts to show her work unless she confesses in writing that the project is a work of fiction and promises that no human blood will be used in the exhibition.

Now, we mustn't make a mess

I'm shocked.

Four inches?!

And a family man too! What sort of example is he setting for the kids?

Monday, April 21, 2008

“right of the terminally ill to die”

“right of the terminally ill to die”.

Interesting phrase isn't it?

It's one of the most interesting in the entire Worldwide Death Cult.

It always makes me think the same thing. How can there be a "right" to do something that you can't help doing anyway?

Does gravity have a "right to make things fall down"?

Is there a "right to grow older"?

Do teenagers have a "right to be a pain"?

Do leftists have a "right to be stupid and morally bankrupt"?

Obviously it is one of those String Noises we've talked about before. A phrase that gets used, esp. by journalists, that is an obvious bit of propaganda. But I think it is one that is so transparent that Mr. Goebbels would be disinclined to use it. It's too stupid. I think he was better at his job than the current Let's-Kill-Everybody-in-the-Whole-World crowd.

Let's deconstruct it shall we?

Clearly on its face, the phrase is meaningless. So, what else could it mean, other than what it's string-pullers mean you to think it means?

If everyone is going to die anyway, and terminally ill people sooner than most, why do we need a "right"? If there is such a right, it's one that is protected automatically by the laws of nature. So, clearly we don't. No one is taking this one at face value. It's one of those phrases that really says, "We all know what we're really talking about, but we're too polite to say it out loud." Canadians have a problem with the word "toilet". It's not nice. We use the term "washroom", and just grit our teeth and put up with everyone in the world laughing at us.

Euthanasia is a nasty thing. It means killing people we don't want around. When we start using real words, the niceties fall away into the background and sit in the corner sulking.

Whether a person who is "terminally ill" consents becomes a moot point. A terminally ill person (when we are restricting ourselves to killing these) is, by definition, a vulnerable person. Fear and depression can so easily turn into despair and there are the doctor deaths of the world grinning down at them proffering "peaceful pills", essentially assuring them that they do indeed have no hope and no reason to live. When the doctor tells you that you will die of your disease and then offers you a pill to kill yourself with, what sort of message are you going to take away? That there is no other hope, that this death is going to be so unspeakably horrible it is better to let yourself out the back door.

And lets not get into the question of the effect on health care triaging of legalised euthanasia. Especially in countries with all-government health care. When the government and the doctors tell you you're better off dead, how are you going to feel? What about when the government tells you that you don't "qualify" for NHS pain treatment towards the end...when it is going to be really bad. Euthanasia is cheap, don't forget. A lot cheaper than hospice.

But the point is the slimy disingenuousness of the phrase itself. If the matter were one of rights, why are we couching it in such greasy euphemisms. If there is nothing to hide, why use such language? Language that a six-year-old could see is a lie?

So sorry, we had a subsequent engagement

A series of photos of a protest against terrorism and genocide that is ongoing in Iraq by Muslims against Catholics and Orthodox Christians...

which the "Belgian" bishops, clergy and laity declined to attend.

I wondered where they made those things...

Oh come on.

You're not telling me seriously that there really is a place called "Moose Factory, Ontario".

Well, if there is, and the sitemeter isn't just pulling my leg, welcome to our reader from there, and congratulations on having the funniest place-name of the week.

What is


weird hideous thing?

And why is it all wonky?


or is it the camera that's wonky?

I don't get London.

I hear it is a Bad Place.

Viva Papa

Some will remember three years ago, that on the day of and for quite a little bit after, I went on a big ol' Ratzi festival.

At that time, I remember suggesting that one could do worse than bend the elbow to the man who was now sitting on Peter's throne.

You can call it various things, "Panzer Pabst", "The Rottweiler", the Hardliner" or "Ratzi's Revenge".

Take a pint of Bavarian beer and a shotglass of Benedictine Liqueur. Sink the shotglass into the beer.

Yell, "Viva Papa" really loud, and chug it back.

[Sorry I didn't do any Ratzi stuff on the day. I was terribly busy. I was sanding my bathroom floor and getting the very attractive brown clods of dust out of my lungs afterward.
And that's five minutes in the box for sharing too much...

Latest winner of the coveted Orwell's Picnic Make My Point prize of the week

At the Canadian Human Rights Commissions, your interrogator is always holding up three fingers...except when he isn't:
The denial of racism used by so many whites [If you deny being a racist and you're white, you're a racist. "I beat you because you ask why I beat you".] in positions of authority ranging from the supervisor in a work place to the chief of Police and ministers of government must be understood for what it is: an example of White hegemonic power over those considered ‘other’.

Commissioners, investigative staff, legal staff and, in fact, all employees of human rights commissions should have a deeper appreciation of this social phenomenon. The new OHRC policy needs to recognize the role that difference and othering [Ok, I have GOT to start making up my own words like this]and their representation in terms of whiteness and blackness play in the social and cultural institutions of modern societies.


For many modern neo-Marxist theorists, especially those influenced by postmodernist and poststructuralist paradigms, racism is best understood by theorizing about ‘difference’ and ‘othering’. In fact, “the construction of difference” and the “process of assigning value to difference” are central to the understanding not only of racism, but many other forms of oppressive beliefs...

"The denial of racism used by so many whites..."

The first eight words of this little offering from the HRC should be tattooed onto the foreheads of everyone who contributed to the piece of drivel in question.

In fact, we should have T-shirts made up for people to wear at our upcoming Pitchforks n' Torches family picnics.

H/T to Kathy, (of course)

Me too


I heard on the radio white smoke was seen.

I turned on the television, I expected a South American. When the name was announced I couldn't help but shout for joy, I don't think I had ever wept for joy before. I rang one or two friends, then rang the church bells, put a large papal flag out the presbytery window, sang the Te Deum. Then I went out and bought champagne, as much as I could carry.

I had arranged to say Mass, if a new Pope was elected at 7pm after the election, so for the thirty or so people who turned up I offered thge Holy Sacrifice, sang "God bless our Pope", and we drank champagne afterwards.

Afterwards I couldn't stop praying, "thank you, Lord", I still say that.

...well, not the saying Mass part, and not the drinking champagne part, but certainly the weeping and yelping for joy part.

I had been working on a story while keeping the site for the live webcam that was trained on the Sistine Chapel chimney on my computer. I was in the middle of some editorial discussion with JHW and he broke off and typed into Messenger, "WHITE SMOKE!!!"

I jumped up and grabbed the dinner bell and ran around the house yelling "white smoke! white smoke!" and everyone congregated up in the TV room where the Vaticanistas kept us waiting for another 20 minutes (50 hours) or so. When Cardinal Whatsisface said the name "Josephum" we spent five seconds running through all the Cardinals we could think of named Joseph and could only come up with one.

When the other name was announced...


let's just say there was much recjoicing.

I grinned so hard for so long, the back of my head hurt.

I had actually just been reading that week the Peter Sewell book on him so I was assigned to write the personal biography. JHW had to do the theological thing, which was much less fun. I got to do all the "plays piano, likes cats, deserted from the German army" stuff.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Maybe I should change my name

I see that it is becoming clear to more and more people in this country that all that is required to be labeled a 'racist' is to be white.

A white person is a defacto racist.

That this constitutes racism is an observation lost on our "censorious liberal thought police", who are "always on the lookout for new victims to persecute, harass, and vilify".

I refer to the case of Jamie Bauld, a young fellow with Down's Syndrome with the "mental age of a five year-old" who pushed another child. Adverts were placed in local newspapers asking for witnesses to this "racially motivated assault". The other child, you see, was "Asian" (as the British press insists on labeling everyone from Morocco to Kazakhstan to Bangladesh).

"...the eminently sensible gentlemen of the police force decided that it was worth their while to get involved, and questioned Jamie, prior to charging him with assault. According to his mother, Jamie did not understand the questions that the police were asking him, and simply agreed with every accusation put to him, out of a desire to please his interrogators. She adds that, like many children, he does not actually notice racial differences."

But, don't you see? Jamie is white. Nothing else is required.

The police and prosecutors later apologised to Jamie's family.

So that's OK then.

I understand that Irishness is a designated victim category. My mum kept "Doloughan". The only thing is, no one can spell it.

Village Life

So, today I felt sort of restless. I was doing my normal routine: Get up. Feed cat. Dress. Make tea. Put on BBC 3. Check work-related email for today's disasters. Settle in with book (The Realm) while getting outside tea and toast...

Twitchy. Couldn't concentrate on the book-portion of the day and slowly the impression began to form that I might be able to stand a trip to town. These occur so rarely that it is a good idea to act upon them right away, or I would never make it to the bank or buy a book. I hate leaving the village and I hate Chester but there's no bank here and no books so I am forced, about once a month, to make the trip.

Checking the schedule for the country bus I saw that, in theory, there would be one in 25 minutes. Jumped up and threw things into the shopping bag, wrapped up warmly (windy today), patted the cat's head and marched stoically out to face The World about five minutes to bus time.

There were three people at the bus stop, uncomfortable in the wind, glancing at the sky and their watches in rhythm. We waited. We watched. Waited. Checked sky. Checked watch. Waited...



No bus.

There is a thing about living in a country village that has not really changed all that much. If you don't have a car, you really can't leave the village very easily.

In the old days, when people first lived here from about the middle of the Roman occupation and all through the middle ages until the time the railway came through, people didn't really go to town. Chester, or at first Deva, was there and in North American terms not very far away at 8.8 miles. It has always been the place where you went to get luxury items. If you couldn't make it for yourself at home, you had to go to Chester and spend a little cash. But it was a big deal. And for a very long time, from the time after the Romans went home, it was quite dangerous.

Roman Cheshire

In this part of the world, you might notice that the villages, of which there are an amazing number, are actually pretty far off the beaten track, literally. The A-41 highway that takes you from Deva to Mediolanum (Whitchurch), on to Shrewsbury and all the way, eventually, to London is a surprisingly lonely ride. Unlike such roads in N. Am. it does not pass through any of the small places on the map. It will take you pretty much from the centre of Chester to the centre of Shrewsbury, but nothing much in between. There are a few pubs, a few farms facing onto the highway, but the picturesque villages are accessible only by taking one of the lanes and following its windey way, often surprisingly far "inland" from the road.

I found out why.

The route taken by the A-41 was originally laid out by the Romans to move troops and goods from north to south, skirting the scary bits where the mad Welshmen lay in wait, to the garrison at Chester. In their time, there were lots of little way-stations along the route. But the villages that grew up after the legionaries pulled out, are all set very far away from the main roads. When law and order, the Pax Romana, disintegrated, living close to a main road was a very bad idea indeed. And one simply did not travel very often, even from village to village.

Since the Enclosures, the fields around the villages, and the lanes to the villages, are lined with tall, thick and impenetrable hedges. In some places the hedges grow right up to the edge of the road leaving only a few inches of grass verge, and sometimes none at all. There is no pavement (sidewalk for N. American readers).

The lanes, being designed to allow a single farm cart at a time to pass, were never meant for pedestrians. If you want to walk across the fields to visit someone, you took the footpaths, which are still there, and still equipped with stiles, now maintained by the Cheshire County Council. If you were going to town, you certainly weren't going on foot. But back in the day, with only horse-drawn carts, it wasn't quite so dangerous. Now, with the proliferation of cars (my own family has five) any given blind corner could be your last.

There is the canal towpath, but between here and Waverton, the next largish village, it has been sadly neglected and in places can be nearly impassable in the muddy months (I can't call it winter).

There are buses, but as I have learned, sometimes they come. And sometimes they don't.

In general, if you don't have a car, you stay in the village.

So, even now, with the modern world blaring and screeching at us from all corners of the world and its vile tendrils creeping around, there is still a strong sense in the village that here we live, and here we stay. The enforced isolation of a place like this village can be a boon. If you can't go to town for your social life, you are forced to get to know your neighbours. You go to the art classes at the village Institute. You buy all your meat at the village butcher. You buy your crisps and hoochies and Daily Mail at the shop and the ladies in the post office quickly learn all about how much and how often you pay your Council Tax. You attend meetings and go for walks with the village wildlife group, you join the village gardening association; you volunteer for the village Age Concern. You rejoin the human race in a way that would be nearly impossible in a place like London or Toronto. Life becomes scaled down and human.

How did this come home to me today?

My neighbour but one, Wally, a 60-something bachelor who has lived in the same cottage most of his life, happened to walk past us while we were waiting for the bus.

When I had waited until about half an hour after the bus was supposed to arrive, I gave up and decided that there would be no trip to town today; I went home and put the kettle on.

Wally was in the back courtyard hanging his laundry on the line and saw, out of the corner of his eye, someone moving back and forth in my kitchen.

Having seen me waiting for the bus, and not knowing that the bus was a no-show, Wally thought someone was in my cottage while I wasn't there. I looked up and saw his honest face peering in through the kitchen window.

"I thowt sumuun maht be in there..." he said through the window when I jumped.

I explained that the bus had not arrived and he gave the complex gesture, typical of Cheshire people, a shrug and a smiling frown and head-shake that conveyed all necessary sympathy for the inadequacies of the modern world.

Who needs town?

Please let this be the last one then

The concession stands were open until right before Mass. Then they reopened during communion. I figure the stadium staff didn’t know any better and thought it was something akin to the 7th inning stretch. And why they shouldn’t they? To non-Catholic, nothing seemed prayerful about the Mass. With the “Benedetto” chants erupting after his homily, and a failed attempt to begin a wave, the music, the disposition of the assembly…. Why wouldn’t they think “Oh, they’re taking a break, let’s sell some burgers.”

I went to Downsview. The night before we had been kept awake all night by the brilliant planning that had a rock and roll "Christian" music festival start at one am. Then the Big Storm (and no one thought that was a sign from on high?) and then the sun came out. Well, so exhausted was I and so glad not to be wet and lying in a puddle that I curled up on a damp cardboard box in the sun and fell asleep. I woke to G. shaking me by the ankle saying "he's talking! wake up he's talking!" so I heard the homily (none of which I remember) but missed the Canuckistani dancing girls.

Then we got to go home on the subway, and boy, wasn't that a treat. Just imagine it: it had been 90 or a hundred degrees the day before when everyone had walked the nine miles or so to the site; everyone had slept in a field, been caught in the biggest storm of the year and then back to 90 degrees. Then pack them, all 800,000 of them, onto a subway commuter train.

Yep. All you need to know about big outdoor rock concerts Papal Masses.

O Fishy Fishy

Is fish on Friday, or in my case, fish pie with added shrimps, still pentitential if you really like fish?

Never really got how fish could be somehow "worse" than meat. I like both with equal the case of shellfish, slightly more, in fact.

I suppose I could try an outright fast on Fridays instead, but it's just that...well...I get really hungry, and then my brain goes all wobbly and I can't write and my editors get mad at me because my copy is also wobbly and then I come back here and (in the absence of children) have to take it out on you guys...

and nobody wins.

Apparently it's the latest trend in evangelization

"read the book read the book pray pray..."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Liturgical Rage

It's like road rage, but there's not as much of an insurance problem:
Several blogs have recently raised the question of why orthodox Catholics so often froth at the mouth when the subject of liturgical abuse is raised, why so many of us stumble out of Mass nearly sick with rage, so that we shock and repel those around us.

As a man who very often prays to be distracted during Mass so as not to take a machete to the celebrant, and as one who spreads alarm and despondency among nearly all he meets after leaving church, I feel I'm qualified to speak to the question.

Longtime readers, and those who met me in person during Holy Week, will recall, perhaps not with pleasure, my annual Good Friday Rant. I've solved the problem, of course, by ceasing to attend Good Friday services entirely. Saves wear and tear on the ticker.

That means that the departures happen for a reason. The innovator wants to jack us around for motives of his own, which he does not "covenant" with us. We almost never hear complaints about inadvertent omissions by celebrants trying to do it right; it's the deliberate changes that infuriate.

First rule of liturgical road safety: never go to a parish that uses the word "covenant" as a verb. Beware clerics who verb nouns.

Art for Art's Sake

"I believe strongly that art should be a medium for politics and ideologies, not just a commodity," Shvarts told the Daily Yale. "I think that I'm creating a project that lives up to the standard of what art is supposed to be."

Shvarts told the paper that her project documents a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself "as often as possible" while periodically taking abortifacient drugs.

"Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process," reveals the paper. "The goal in creating the art exhibition, Shvarts said, was to spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body."

Imagine Shvarts at a talent show:

"So, Ms. Shvarts, what are you going to do for us today?"

I thought of a caption

If these are New Zealand's Mormons, Islams beware!

AmChurch Inc.

How blessed one is being a priest, I would be tempted to lapse inside a year if I had to endure this stuff week after week, how the laity are tortured by the clergy! Shameless self indulgence on behalf of someone, the worst aspects Americanism.
I can't endure more!

Words like meaningless, culturally bankrupt, saccharine, lack of intellectual conviction, trivial, decadent, debased, rootless, superficial, inauthentic, inconsequential, secular, horizantalist come to mind, none of these words come to mind when thinks of the Pope.

OK Father Blake, don't hold back now. Don't spare us. Tell us what you really think.

"...A bit like hearing Maria Callas sing 'Yes, We Have No Bananas'."

Diogenes on the Holy Father's visit to some country I don't live in:

"The speech itself was a hybrid, as such things tend to be, composed partly of the Talking Points the U.S. bishops must have communicated to the papal nuncio ahead of time...",

We can be pretty sure that it wasn't the bishops who wrote about "the eternal life which God promises in the age to come," and we can be positive it wasn't Benedict that coined the phrase "a safe environment that gives greater protection to young people"; the same is true of the expression "your efforts to heal and protect are bearing great fruit." In fact it hurts a little to hear the bishops' buzzwords -- as a kind of product-placement -- coming from the mouth of the theologically fastidious Benedict. To pilfer a line from Mark Steyn, it's "a bit like hearing Maria Callas sing 'Yes, We Have No Bananas'."

Mormon Missionaries doing the Haka

Just what it says above...


I'm just...

I don't quite...

Um....have a comment, really.

I was kind of thinking more Kierkegaard

The test must be screwy

I'm Voltaire?!


Oh...I get it. It's French philosophers.

Not really any good ones then.

Six of one...

Hey, am I the only one who's noticed that the Telegraph is just basically the Daily Mail with longer words?

The lady at the newsagent's agreed. She carries Private Eye, but I've not looked at it yet. P.E. was great in the 60's. I hope it hasn't changed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"How could this possibly have happened?!"

"I'm shocked! Shocked that there's been infanticide gambling going on at this establishment..."

Local politicians reacted with shock to the discovery and asked how it was possible that the disappearance of the babies over a period of some 16 years had not come to light earlier.

"We are looking at a crime on a scale that, as far as I can remember, has never been seen in the history of the Federal Republic," the Interior Minister of the state of Brandenburg, Joerg Schoenbohm, said in a statement.

"We have to ask ourselves how this incredible crime remained hidden over all these years. It's a question directed at relatives, neighbours, doctors and the authorities," he said.

But let's be careful not to ask too hard.

A German politician sparked widespread outrage and calls to resign for suggesting that mothers in eastern Germany are more prone to killing their babies because of liberal communist-era abortion laws.

Amid growing concerns about the safety of children following a spate of child murders and infanticides, many of them in eastern Germany, a politician controversially suggested over the weekend that liberal attitudes in the communist former East Germany were partly to blame.

Replying to a question about a study that showed babies in eastern Germany were three to four times more at risk of being killed than in the west, Wolfgang Boehmer, premier of the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt told German news magazine Focus: "This can be explained by the careless attitude towards early life in the new [eastern] states."


...our moral and intellectual superiors (to steal a paradigm from Kathy).

"It's for their own good."

"They would have died anyway."

"Their parents are happier without the burden."

"Society can no longer afford to keep such children alive."

The revelation that newborn euthanasia was both common and acceptable in the Netherlands was greeted with harsh criticisms from around the world, with one Italian Minister going to far as to accuse the Netherlands of Nazism. [which comparison was quickly and firmly denounced by everyone...mustn't say such things...]

A lengthy report that appears in the most recent issue of The Hastings Center Report...strongly defends the Groningen Protocol as humane and perfectly ethical. It especially defends the ethical nature of the protocol's provisions for killing newborns with conditions that would allow them to live for many years.

The article, entitled "Ending the Life of a Newborn", penned by a pair of bioethicists - Hilde Lindemann and Marian Verkerk - ostensibly sets out to clarify eight separate "misunderstandings" about The Groningen Protocol. In the process, the pair defies initial expectations by boldly and unapologetically pointing out that the protocol is in truth much more extreme than most of its critics believe it to be;

the authors, however, argue that its extremity is in fact its true strength, the true evidence of its ethical nature.

Am I a monster?

Because this sentiment:

"...the enemy demonstrated that the planet wasn't big enough for both of us and we demonstrated that it didn't necessarily have to contain both of us..."

does not raise a single moral red flag for me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Says it all

The Wiki entry for Sarko's trophy wife begins:

Carla Bruni Tedeschi, known as Carla Bruni (born 23 December 1967) is an Italian songwriter, singer and model, and the current wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

..."the current wife"...

everything you needed to know about the modern world.

I love the net

Just taking a quick mid-day peek at the site meter locations and would like to extend welcome to some new people from

Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa

Pereira, Risaralda Colombia

The Principality of Monaco

Ljubljana, Bohinj Slovenia

Shah Alam, Selangor Malaysia

Victoria, British Columbia (anyone I knew in school?)

Den Haag, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Nigeria (unspecified)

and of course the usual suspects and regular hangers-on from London, Rome, Toronto, Front Royal, Basingstoke, Lewisville, Bonn, Dubai, Singapore and Maidens, South Ayrshire.

Gang's all here.

Weird isn't it?

I know Roy Hamel,

and though he is still not taller than I, he always laughed at my jokes.

He is, even more than Ferris Bueller, a righteous dude. Pray for his conversion to the True Faith, would you? I can't imagine heaven without him.

Even political parties are not immune from censorship. Ron Gray, president of the federal Christian Heritage Party of Canada, has been called before a commission to account for views his party has maintained on homosexuality for the last 20 years.

The commissions have also been at work in censoring religious institutions. The conservative Catholic magazine Catholic Digest and its editor, Father Alphonse de Valk, have been denounced to the commission for publishing official Catholic teaching regarding homosexuality.

These cases are still pending, but their outcome is predictable. Unlike in a court of law, there is no presumption of innocence for the defendant, and the commissions have returned a verdict of guilty in virtually every hate speech case they have ever heard.

A number of prominent Canadians are now alarmed at the danger to free speech posed by these commissions. The Liberal MP from Victoria, Keith Martin, has put forth a private member's motion that calls for the repeal of the hate speech clauses in the Human Rights Act. The Canadian Association of Journalists and PEN Canada are on record as supporting the repeal of this section. Alan Borovoy of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, who was involved in the establishment of these commissions, is now calling for the scrapping of all hate speech clauses in both provincial and federal legislation.

What a link from Kathy and Steyn in the same day looks like

Big CSIS is watching you

Kathy reports:
Another Canadian blog being spied on -- your tax dollars at "work"
"BlazingCatFur logs visitors from Defence Research Canada and the Canadian Human Rights Commission this morning.

Ha ha ha !

Can't get ME you bastards!

(think I'll just take a quick look at the site stats though...)

The technical term is "wreckovation"

A horrified Mr. Smith, recently having joined himself to the Barque of Peter, has discovered a few leaks. Poor chap. [ smirking...]

He left the following comment:
"Hang on, moving the altar to the centre of the church? What on earth?"

[ grinning evilly...]

"Soooo, new around here eh? Welcome to the Angry Catholics Club."

[ cackling wickedly...]

There's something about Trad Catholics you ought to know sir: we just can't resist the evil glee we experience when someone makes the same discoveries we did, making their lives as miserable as our own.

It's evil. I know. But, I just can't seem to help enjoying the horrified exclamations of dismay when someone comes into the Church and discovers the mess. I'm sure there's some fancy Greek technical term for it in the psych manuals.

Not wanting to keep the pleasure all to myself, I had the urge to email all my Evil Trad friends and tell them, "Hey guys! we've got someone new! Go get 'im."

But all I did was mention in passing the habit of our modern Church leaders to do what is often referred to as "wreckovating" churches to bring them more "up to date" with the "norms of Vatican II".



The usual method is to break up the ancient altars, sanctuaries and stonework and toss them into the rubbish heap. (Or, as is the rumoured end of the marble altar at St. Mary's Basilica in Halifax, dump them in the harbour). These are normally replaced with something resembling a wooden ironing board (usually on castors) which is placed in the centre of the church. The pews are removed, especially if they are walnut or cherrywood and hand-carved with Christian symbols, and either sold or destroyed. These are then replaced with either folding metal chairs (usually because the updating has already cost so much money that the parish is over budget)or with those little wooden jobs with the raffia seats that are placed in concentric circles around the ironing board.

This is called "making the Church more inclusive".

The statues, if they are more than 50 years old and/or very beautiful, are removed and "lost", (sometimes to be recovered by private citizens, bought in junk shops and at yard sales, and stashed away against the day when sanity returns to the world). They are replaced with burlap banners that, although they look like they were made by the First Communion class with a bottle of Elmer's glue and a tin of glitter, actually came from a liturgical supply house that specializes in maintaining the great tradition of 70's kitsch that was avante garde when bellbottoms and the True Faith were going out of style together, and cost upwards of £100 each. On each banner is the word "Rejoice" in cut-out felt letters, in case the parishioners are apt to display the wrong sort of reaction upon seeing their newly re-ordered church when it is opened.

The entire process has given rise to a new verb in English: "to vosko", a transitive verb meaning "to destroy the patrimony of the Church" or more specifically, to alter a traditional (esp. Gothic or neo-Gothic) church in the manner related above. It can also mean "to hoodwink and bully the faithful into going along with changes that will result in their children losing the Faith".

It's all available on the net. Just put the keywords "Richard" and "Vosko" together with something related to "Ravening hordes of vandals" or "the end of Western civilization and all good things" and you will get all you need.


Listen Smithy, it's not that bad, really [you poor shmoe] [I just can't stop laughing...]


[ooops! sorry. Fell off chair for a moment].

Some links can be found here.

So Smithy,

welome aboard.

Here's your bucket. Now start bailing.

Come Holy Ghost

I understand that the little room has led to further discoveries.

Descende Sancte Spiritus,

Accensus igne protinus;

Combure librum fulmini

Ritumque Novi Ordinis.

Qui diceris saepissime

Coepisse sexagesimis

vicesimi Tu saeculi

Spirare omne noxium:

Accende qui nunc dictitant,

"Mutemus pro novicio

Nefario convicio

Romana haec solemnia."

Incende dein, Paraclitus

Serene, mercennarios

episcopos qui linquunt

oves lupis rapacibus.

Succende qui derideunt

Quodcumque sacris litteris

Scripsere quodam tempore

Prophetice Apostoli.

Malum repellas spiritum

Qui plurimis praeconiis,

(Praedixit hoc Apostolus,)

delectat aures omnium.

Laus inclyto Paraclito,

Qui punit haec peccamina

Cum impiis in Tartaro

In saeculorum saecula.

Descend without delay, O Holy Ghost, alight with flame, and reduce to ashes the book and rite of the 'Novus Ordo' with a lightning blast.

Thou who art said to have begun during the sixties of the 20th century to breath every noxious fume:

Light on fire those who say "Let us exchange the sacred Roman rites with a wicked and newly devised and recently become fashionable insult." (Note: the adj. novicius has many wonderful shades of meaning)

Next burn up, O serene Advocate, the hireling bishops who abandon the sheep to rapacious wolves.

Light up those who mock whatsoever the Apostles once wrote in prophecy as a warning.

Mayest thou drive away the evil spirit which (as the Apostle Paul foretold,) delights the ears of all with very many flattering speeches.

Praise be to the glorious Holy Spirit, who punishes with the impious these sinful crimes in the pit of hell, for ever and ever. Amen.

"always remember, if it hadn't been for the English, you'd all be Spanish

If I had stayed in Toronto, this would have been my future

I would have become this man,

and would have owned this bookshop.

I love this country. You can be foul and drunk and horrible and if you read a lot of books while you do it, people will just think you're a charming fellow.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The CHRC issues The Rules

Many people are complaining that they can't keep track of what's going on in Canuckistan about that whole Human Rights Tribunal/Dicky Warman/Steyn/Shaidle/Levant thing. Others are confused about what the Canadian Human Rights Commissions are for. Some, like certain rather sweet but inexperienced student pro-life groups, think that a human rights complaint is just the thing when their student union refuses to allow them to hold their little rallies and things. (Next time guys, you should just write a letter of complaint to your local Catholic bishop. I'm sure you'll get much faster attention.)

I just found a place where the CHRC gives us a much better picture. Now we can keep our scorecards more accurately up to date.

Thanks for posting CSB:

(a) No one will ever say, publish, or THINK any idea which could be found discomfiting or offensive to any Muslimist, atheist, homosexualist, or pro-abortionist person, institution, or pet rabbit.

(b) Statute (a) will apply selectively and decreasingly to Jewists, but only if they are liberalists and either atheists or secularists.

(c) If Christianists or pro-life-ists or conservatists (large or small "C") of any persuasion whatever think that any provision of Statute (a) might successfully be applied to them, they are smokin' somethin' and it ain't incense.

(d) Statute (c) goes double for Catholicists, unless they are also liberalists, pro-choicists, and fans of 1960's hymns by Marty Haugen and David Haas.

The Muslim-occupied churches of Europe

The church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Brussels

From the indispensable Brussel's Journal:

Altar of Our Lady of Sorrows

a confessional.

Are we there yet?

And if not, how much further can we watch the Islamic occupation and desecration of our Catholic patrimony? How much longer can we stand by watching the smiling hierarchy holding the door open for these savages to squat [literally] in our most sacred sites?

" Florence, [Orianna Felacci's] hometown, in 1999. As a political protest, Moslems erected a tent on Cathedral Square and lived in it for 3 ½ months. Fallaci describes their behaviour, including how they would piss and shit on the church. She shows you that they were exhibiting not a mere lack of respect for her culture, but out-and-out contempt and disdain.

But people are afraid to react because if you criticise or object to their actions, you will be accused of being a racist. And everyone in Europe is afraid to be labelled a racist.

Fallaci wonders how so many Moslems get to Europe, and where they get the money. She wonders if they are being funded – sent over by “some Ousama Bin Ladin for the mere purpose of establishing the Reverse Crusade’s settlements and better organising Islamic terrorism.”

I'd just like to note: I'm starting to be quite keen on being called a 'racist'.

H/T to Kathy