Tuesday, June 30, 2009


The shops in Rome are playing Michael Jackson.

Quite a lot.

"When the hell are we going to be able to move things with our thoughts!?"

Have to write about evolution today, and I have to say, as an ideological worldview, evolution has been pretty disappointing.

Where, for example, are my Jedi mind powers? Why do I have to keep getting up off the sofa to get another pop out of the fridge and a packet of biscuits while I'm spending my whole day off watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Why don't the damn biscuits just float across the room in answer to my will? I've been evolving at the same pace as everyone else.

But I'm sort of glad, actually, that evolution isn't working out. From all the reports I remember as a kid, evolution has some serious drawbacks. The whole cool things-floating-across-the-room part of evolution is all too quickly followed by the head-getting-really-big-and-bald part. That, of course, comes with an inexplicable but insatiable thirst for knowledge of particle physics and a desire to destroy and/or dominate the local villagers who invariably show up with pitchforks and grenades demanding to kill the monster.

Best just to give it a pass.

I think I'll just carry on being retrograde instead.

Friday, June 26, 2009

It's Friday!

Time to watch stupid movie trailers.

Went to see Terminator Salvation a couple of weeks ago. Yes, Yes, I know. But I've seen all of the T. movies in the theatre, so I wasn't going to miss this one, was I.

It was as expected.


But it had quite a lot of what I like in films: giant robots and really big explosions.

And the giant robot thing again.


Tomorrow we're going to see a movie that is all about giant robots.

"How's your Italian coming?"

Oh, no. It's not that funny now.

Well duh!

It was ironic that, just a week earlier, a Holocaust Memorial Park in Brooklyn honoring only Jews added five more groups as the other victims of the Holocaust: homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the disabled, political prisoners and Gypsies. Polish Catholics were disregarded.

Like, don't you know? The pope's Hitler.

Sheesh. Where've you people been?

You'd think it would be obvious

Pope to Pelosi: Catholics can't support abortion

Maybe the Holy Father should let his bishop know too.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm with you, sister.

British Muslim woman tells "Talibanized" Islamonutters to go back where they came from.

We must unite against the radical Muslim men who love to control women.

My message to those Muslims who want to live in a Talibanised society, and turn their face against Britain, is this: 'If you don't like living here and don't want to integrate, then what the hell are you doing here? Why don't you just go and live in an Islamic country?'

Now there's a feminist trope I can get behind.

And for my next trick...

I have just heard that the Canadian bishops, in their "God-given authority" can change external reality.

Stop looking at me like that. Of course I'm not kidding.

We have it from the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops himself, so you know it must be true.

Archbishop James Weisgerber, the President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has said, unequivocally, that there is "no evidence" that the groups that D&P is funding around the world are plumping to legalise abortion.

...Except for all the, you know,

evidence, an' stuff..

But Bishop Weisgerber wants to let us know that these so-called "facts" are just the machinations of "websites" who have no, ABSOLUTELY NO, authority in the Church to judge these matters.




How do they know this, I can hear you asking?

Well, it's because it's their Role In The Church, and when they've decided, according to Their Theology, that D&P isn't funding pro-abortion advocacy in Peru, Brazil, Mexico, etc, well, that's just that. They've judged it, see. According to their theology.

“That’s the role of the bishops in the Church and when the bishops investigate something, when the bishops look at things and when the bishops teach, according to our theology, we should have confidence in that.”

And for their next trick, they're going to use their God-given authority, according to Their Theology, to change the weather, sunspots and the phases of the moon.

“We can assure you that none of the money was spent to promote abortion, nor for support of abortion with the funds of Development and Peace.”
So there.
Don't you feel better? You've been "assured".

There are always problems when people trust the evidence before their eyes more than the God-given authority of the Bishops. That's been the problem in the Church for the last forty years.

“It seems that there is a tendency on the part of some people to trust allegations on websites more than they trust the bishops."

Can't imagine why.

And we've als been assured that the bishops know everything there is to know about where the (your) money is going. Have known in detail all along.

A spokesman for the CCCB, Wanda Potrykus,
"Any thing we allocate money to, we have written reports that have to be submitted showing how the money was spent and whether it was spent as it was intended."

There now. Stop worrying and back to the Spirituality of the Tree workshop.

And another damn thing...

We never said that D&P is obliged only to work with groups whose "values" we share.

"It is also very clear from the direction given by Pope John XXIII and by the (Second Vatican) Council that the church is to work with other people, but not, in a sense, blindly," he said. "We have to work with people whose values we are not necessarily in agreement with."

Sheesh. Get with the programme. It's the Time of the Laity. The New Springtime. The time of "opening" to the world, doncha know. Good Pope John said it, an' he was the Pope and everything.

And besides, Vatican II said so, so nyah.

Our annual Bucket and Spade award goes to Bishop W and the CCCB.

Keep digging that hole boys. You'll find the bottom eventually.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stop the presses!

There's a Catholic bishop in France.


What we don't know won't hurt us, right?

The UK, the Philippines, Australia all, according to various "ethics experts" need to implement a One Child policy, just like the one in China that has been so successful, (with a lot of help from the UNFPA, UNICEF etc).

Having just returned from China, the careful admission, by the authors of the Science article, that in the past, “some Asian policy initiatives incorporated coercive elements” strikes me as risible. I would like to report that in southern Hebei province, according to eyewitnesses that I interviewed, hundreds of pregnant women are being rounded up and forcibly aborted by lethal injection as you read this.

It's all about the "ethics of sustainability".

Binky explains "sex-ed"

Writing about a "recent provincial ‘lifestyle’ curriculum" that is

is all about condoms, various kinds of sex, and delightful ethical questions (to combine a few) “If Juan has been having sex with an IV drug user, should his AIDS-infected boyfriend and non-AIDs infected girlfriend be concerned about exposure to Hepatitis?” Nothing like practical tips for daily living from the R-rated downtown back-alley set, wot?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A friend notes, "Still a long way to go" at Westminster Cathedral.

A makeshift altar was set up in front of the sanctuary, in the nave of the Cathedral, on a raised platform.
Yep, we can tell.

Ah yes. A children's liturgy. You can tell by how cheap and idiotic everything looks. 'Cause you know, children are stupid and can't grasp or appreciate things like Palestrina. Give the kids a balloon and a rickety folding table but whatever you do, don't make it look or sound like something serious or real.

Bishop John Arnold, who reminded the children during his homily that God was all around them and inside each of them.

He demonstrated this by inviting them all to breathe in and out, saying that God was in each breath.

Children were invited to write a word on a paper brick which represented what they would like to change about the future.

One child said "family" another said "hope" and another "trust" and another "justice"
[No coaching on these from teachers, of course]. The bricks were used by the children to build a wall before the altar, which was designed to symbolise the foundations their faith provides for the building of their future and the future of the world.

When I was a kid, I was always deeply offended at the sight of anything that looked like adults "dumbing" down the world for me. I took exception every time we went out to eat and I was offered the kiddies' menu. I could never understand the need for "children's" versions of dictionaries or cook books.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cortona, Tuscany and selected distractions

As I mentioned, we were there on the feast of St. Margaret of Cortona.

They did some fabuloso pageant thing.

With lots of fancy flag waving

and tossing.

And some drumming that was really good and very very loud in the medieval stone piazza.

At which the local parish priest [winner and still champion of the annual Italian Ugliest Stole Tournament] gave some blessings to the big candles carried in

[Cortona Mayor: "Dude, what is up with that stole?"]

by some Important Looking People dressed in

(quasi)medieval clothes.

And actual chain mail. (The footwear was very impressive)

It was cool. (In a kind of Italian exhaustingly hot way.)

And then a kind of holy death-march up the hill to the cathedral for Mass.

On the way up the hill, the nice little nuns who still run the hospital founded by St. Margaret.

The view from half way up. Waaaaaay off in the distance, you can see a body of water. It was there that Hannibal lost some important battle to the Roman legionaries. A good thing.

One of two rest stops along the route. The angle is not a function of the way I'm holding the camera.

Looking back down the way we've come.

During the Mass, they uncover St. Margaret for the veneration of the faithful.

Yep, an actual dead, incorrupt medieval saint.

How Catholic is that?!

On the "road" that leads back to the town. Nice pointy stones. Good an penitential.

Beautiful medieval stone houses.

More pics here and here.

No "No" means Yes, No?

...as my old Canadian blogger pal Jeremy said.

The Trillium Gift of Life Foundation wants to know for sure if you want to donate your liver.

If you have previously registered “NO”

this decision will no longer be used or disclosed to TGLN, as of July 1, 2009.

Therefore, it is important that you tell your family
or loved ones of your decision, to ensure that your
wishes are properly conveyed to your health care
team at the relevant time.

And they urge you, most pressingly, to
Make your donation decision known to your family.

To find out more, [or just make a comment]

visit www.ontario.ca/organdonation or call
ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161.

and don't forget, it's all
Paid for by the Government of Ontario.

As I think I've pointed out before,

we've already got a word in the English language for "involuntary euthanasia".

"I am a physician who has studied physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia since 1988, especially in the Netherlands ... Although the law calls for performing assisted suicide and euthanasia with the patient’s consent, it is often involuntary. The law also calls for obtaining a second opinion of another physician, but this is often never done. By 1991 the Remmelink report showed that 1,040 people (an average of three per day) were actively killed by Dutch doctors without the patient’s knowledge or consent."

But it's OK, because we've got the same kinds of "safeguards" as the Dutch do in all the euthanasia laws being put forward in legislatures around the world.


I was worried there for a second.

ooo! That was me!

I was the one who said that the CHRC racket was like a game show.


"If only they'd let priests marry...


In an unprecedented report, the Anglican Church has examined the circumstances surrounding allegations of child sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy and church workers. It found that church youth groups are the most likely place for a victim to become known to an attacker who was often a friend of the family.

What a hero!

"It's all Labour's fault!"
Vin Nichols continues to point that episcopal finger.

How's that working out for you Archbishop?

Oooo it's the end of the world as we know it...

Come on, sing along.

Just finished reading America Alone this weekend and I've kind of got birth statistics on the brain.

This from Binks made me laugh.

Just bought (and yes, watched in its entirety...yes, am a big geek with no life) season 4 of SG1. (Enjoyed the heck out of it, BTW) and was interested to see that they did an episode about the human race going extinct through inability to breed.

It was one of their better ones. The doughty Stargate team meet a nice friendly helpful advanced alien race who helpfully gave the humans all kinds of fancy stuff, (fusion power, snazzy beaming technology, ray guns and whatnot) including, crucially, anti-cancer and anti-aging vaccines that had just the wee side effect of sterilizing us all. The governments had become so cozy with them that they had quietly acquired total control over the media so no one had ever heard that the human birth rate had been cut over 90 per cent in ten years.

The smarty-smart lady on the team figures this out when she finds out that after three years of trying, she can't have children, a fact that her friendly and helpful smiley-face alien doctor just happened to miss. She looks some things up in the aliens' own computer and finds out that the humans are being gently and helpfully herded to their own extinction so the aliens can add planet earth to their collection of holiday destinations.

She confronts her husband, the US ambassador to the nice aliens, who says in shock, "It was only supposed to be 30 per cent!". Turns out that the aliens had helpfully pointed out to the oo-so-willing-to-comply human governments that our population was "unsustainable", and we needed a bit of culling.

Don't worry, the trusty team give their lives to send a message back in time to themselves ten years before so they never go and meet the nice helpful aliens in the first place....I love sci-fi don't you? Anyway, the good guys win again.

Of course, the one thing they didn't say was that it is already happening and it wasn't anti-cancer vaccines, it was just our own ennui and the bait wasn't anything like as cool as a transporter beam.

Just an iPod.

Self-genocide comes pretty cheap these days.

Embrace your inner nihilist

Give in. Stop fighting.

I feel fine.

Don't you?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Just had bad news

Things aren't going very well over there across the street.

Bad Vatican news. Worse than we usually imagine.


Join that Rosary crusade or something.

Please pray.

Because there doesn't seem to be anything else left to do.


This just in via email from a good friend in Canada,

Dear Hilary,

It has lately been the juxtapositions (shown or implied) on your blog that have been thought-provoking.

The Roman gay pride entry (which did go on and on...) was rather shocking because the first pictures of the event itself were only a little more edgy than the advertising you see everyday. The Roman pecs looked like a movie poster for an action pic. They were followed by the Carabanieri: the very visage of Power cooly enforcing the party line without blinking. And finally the "ordinary people" of the streets, who suddenly looked extraordinary and very beautiful indeed.

I was also intrigued by the line of apologetics you started that this exhibited a hatred of self and of sex. Now we all know that traddies are not so pleasant to be around either, and that there has been an unintelligent Jansenistic streak in Catholicism since before Jansenius, one by no means entirely repudiated in the traddie movement; nevertheless I think you are right, and I wish your line could be developed.

Today you had the SSPX video. Your introduction led me to the reflection that one has to admit the SSPX is somehow more likeable than the Legionaries and Opus Dei, even if it would not exactly fit in on Brompton Road. But why is it so benign? The air of romantic desperation? The fact that one knows they haven't got a hope in hell of remaking the church in their preferred image? Is a puzzlement.

I have only two questions

If, by some remote possibility, Gian Maria Vian concedes to be interviewed by my lowly self, I have only two questions to ask him.

1) What do you mean when you say that abortion is a "delicate issue"?

2) You have said repeatedly that you believe Obama is "open to dialogue" on the issue. Do you believe that he is open to changing his position?

If not, then why would "dialogue" be something worth pursuing?

(Ok, that's probably three questions).

Of course, Senator Obama made decisions that certainly cannot be defined as pro-life, to use the American term. He was, rather, pro-choice.

Oh, well then...

Science is so cool

Transparent frogs.

From the Nangaritza Protected Forest in Ecuador, near the Peruvian border.

No kidding. You can see their organs.

How cool is that?

Honestly, I wish I'd gone in for biology.
This just in from a friend who will remain nameless...

Whatever you might think of them, the SSPX held the Faith for a long time through a long tunnel.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gay Pride Roma: Reflections on Cultural Suicide

Here's the version that LifeSite didn't use with the pictures that are "too offensive" to print.

...actually, I think we didn't use all these pics because it would have taken up a huge amount of bandwidth.

Gay Pride.

an interesting name for it.

One which theologians have noted is certainly apt, given the gravity of the sin of pride and the magnitude of the societal alteration that has come about in the last 40 years to make this

kind of display


Of course, the significance of the location was a major part of the message. Rome is the home of what they imagine to be their greatest enemies. On its surface, obviously it was a calculated insult aimed at the Church. One about as subtle as a punch in the face.

But, despite these rather trite and unimaginative blasphemies, it was a punch thrown not only at the men in black down the road, but at anyone, whether believer or not, who might object. The primary object is the re-education of any observers who have not yet gone along with the general programme. The people like me, who were perhaps raised in the squelching depths of the sexual revolution but who were finally repelled by and consciously rejected it. The post-baby boom refuseniks.

Many writers, (I am thinking especially of Canadian novelist Michael O’Brien) have said that the cultural revolution that came to power in the 1960s is turning the world into a vast cultural gulag. It is, in its essence, a totalitarian ideology. It will allow no pocket of dissent.

The Gay Pride parades that went on in Europe this weekend were all merely an exercise in pedagogy, the kind that used to be blasted out of loudspeakers in remote settlements of Siberia. The Gay Pride parade, along with the millions of images of slightly lower-grade vulgarity that hourly bombard the TV-watching, is part of the cultural gulag’s vast re-education programme.

It is notable that the one display not seen on Saturday was any kind of opposition.

The Carabinieri lined up in front of St. Mary Major Basilica, were leaning on their riot shields taking pictures of the show. There was not a hint of any kind of dissent. No counter protesters were holding signs on the sidewalks. No groups of nuns or priests were there talking to passers by or media. As far as I know, no official or unofficial word came from behind The Walls to refute or rebuke.

Silence. It made me wonder why they are still bothering with their traditional anti-Catholic protests. They seem to have won the field.

I took a bus up to the Piazza della Repubblica and caught up with the parade as it was starting out. It was sometimes hard to tell who was in it and who was just running alongside. Everyone was taking pictures, the people in cages on the flat-bed trucks, the reporters with their enormous black lenses, the police who led in a phalanx at the head of the parade.

But despite the somewhat strained exuberance of the proceedings on Saturday, what was clear above all was that these are not happy people. I haven’t studied the question, but I wonder if the first person to use the term “gay” did so in conscious irony. I know we have differing explanations for it, but everyone agrees that "gays" are among the unhappiest people on earth. And watching the show on Saturday, it was not difficult to understand why.

The denial and physical rejection of so basic a reality as sex, both the the state and the activity, is tantamount to a rejection of the self. Imagine the all-encompassing bubble universe of self-hatred this life would create.

Imagine bringing it to this kind of surgical and medicalized conclusion.

Imagine for a moment the horror of believing you were “born in the wrong body”. Consider what that expression would really entail if it were true. It reminds me of a comment made by C.S. Lewis: “To fear one’s self is the ultimate horror.” He was describing the miseries of the damned.

It has been noted by psychologists that often a person’s nation or religious identity is his primary self-descriptor. If I stopped to think about and define my identity, I would probably say something like Anglo-Canadian Catholic. What is the first thing one notices when meeting someone new? His accent or language. These are the most fundamental of personal identity building blocks.

Is this identification, “gay,” a replacement for all those? It certainly seems to provide an alternative to all of a person’s original set of identity building blocks, right down to accent.

The people in this movement have defined themselves according to a single and entirely artificial criterion. They have rejected the organic criteria they were born with. They are are not, primarily, Italians, or sons or even students or business men or artists or employees. They are not even men or women. They have created a new all-embracing identity. It isn’t a “lifestyle”; it’s a nationality. A religion.

As I walked along, often with my fingers stuck in my ears to avoid having my hearing damaged by the thousands of whistles being blown, I wondered repeatedly what was on the minds of people like this,

who probably remembered Mussolini, lived through at least one of the last two big European wars, survived the Nazi occupation of their city, struggled through the difficult post-war years, saw the political dischord of the 60s and 70s and lived finally to see the great EU-generated economic surge that has come in tandem with the erasure of their cultural values, indeed, of their deepest and most natural instincts.

Italians whose parents and grandparents were mostly peasants from huge families, are now rich as Croesus but their iPods and mobile phones must be a poor substitute for the children they have mostly refused to have. Isn’t the Gay Pride parade and all its goals merely a symptom of this malaise? Italy has a birth rate of 1.31 children born per woman with a median female age of 44.8 years. Mark Steyn has described this situation as the “death spiral”. It means the end of their world. An end the Italians, like most of the rest of the men of the west have eagerly embraced.

The Gay Pride parade has a great deal to do with this fun-filled, wealthy, childless, and ultimately temporary new world that has been created since 1968. It is not merely the embracing of total sexual license but the resolve to live only in the most immediate possible now. It is the abandonment of the impulse, that had long been assumed to be hardwired into human DNA, to remember our past and project our existence into the future.

The rejection of Italy’s national religion that is so much at the core of the Gay Pride movement, is the rejection of Italy’s shared historical narrative. This shared identity is what sustains a healthy society. This is something I noted in my year living in Britain; that the British too have been afflicted with a terrible social and religious illness that has caused them to forget who they are and how they are supposed to live.

Can this societal loathing of the past and refusal to project itself into the future, shared by Quebec, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Ireland and Britain and nearly all the western countries, as well as China, Japan and Korea, really be so easily explained by the standard feminist tropes? Can the hatred of the natural family and terror of motherhood, the rejection of such primal, elemental, instincts, really be put down to something as banal as the feminists’ political slogans about “choice” and “freedom”? Isn’t there something else, something deeper and more sinister, perhaps even something more eschatological at work? Simply from the natural point of view, how can any species abandon its own survival the way we have?

The Gay Pride movement, an offshoot, or perhaps the ultimate expression, of the sexual revolution is the unprecedented rejection of societal coherence. A society that embraces it has changed from being one that is interested both in remembering its past and identifying with it, and in perpetuating itself into the future with its cultural memory intact, to being, well, gone.

I was about to say that no other society had ever done this to itself, but I am reminded that I was taking these pictures in front of the Imperial Forum, the place from which the proud Romans once ruled much of what was then the western world. The crumbling columns and fallen capitals, the field of broken pavements are a testimony to what happens when a society embraces what we were embracing on Saturday.

* ~ * ~ *

here if you like that sort of thing, is a link to the rest of the photos.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The fun never ends

It must be nice to live perpetually in the 1960s, to be forever insulated from the terrible three decades-long morning-after hangover that came of them. To continue to wallow in the mud and filth of the ecclesiastical Woodstock, even into your fifties and sixties. It would be great, don't you think, to live in a little bubble-world in which the oil crisis, AIDS and Islamism never came along to spoil the Doobie Brothers festival o' fun.

Dig those groovy vestments hey?

Oh well.

H/T to Chris.

I like the Spec

Sometimes just their cover art is worth the two quid.

Isn't it time we repealed all the women's suffrage laws?

Kathy always makes me laugh

Monday, June 15, 2009

Learn Latin: it's practical

Latin is still the functioning lingua franca of the Church. I've been in several situations lately where I am in a room full of people with whom the only possible common language we have is Latin. I wasn't good at it, but I've retained enough to get simple ideas across, and there are situations in which liturgical and Vulgate Latin come in very handy indeed.

It's not always easy to get your confession heard in English in this town. There are loads of confessionals, but they are rarely manned. In some churches, (I'm looking at you Sant Ignacio) the posted times for confession are meaningless. You see it says five to six pm, you go in at 5:30 and no one is there. Other times, there is someone there, but, despite the sign that says, "English", the old guy just shrugs.

So, here's a suggestion. Learn the names of your favourite sins in Latin. Seriously. Most of the boys in the boxes in the major basilicas are elderly retired priests. With those guys, the old language is still in there, lurking about just looking for something to do.

The Roman confessionals have a window in the middle and when the priest isn't hearing someone's confession, he usually keeps the shutters open. Just go up to them and ask "In Latine?"

The old Jesuit I got today seemed bemused but game and we stumbled through. It was clear from what he said that my simple nouns and verbs (with, I'm sure, all the wrong declensions and conjugations) and jumbled mishmash of Latin and my little bits of Italian, got the message across. I more or less got the gist of what he said to me in Latin, (also simple sentences with just nouns and verbs, and doubtless all with perfect grammar). And I'm sure the formula for absolution are as deeply ingrained in an old Jesuit as ... err... some really deeply ingrained thing. (Just drew an analogous blank, sorry.)

I understood him clearly enough when he said in Latin, "Ten hail Mary's and ten Our Fathers, and say the Act of C. in English."

You know more Latin than you think you do, and it can have some very practical applications in Rome.

Catholicism is so cool.
While the British National Party is seen as a far Right group some of its policies are more akin to the Left.

Its stance on immigration, Europe and law and order is firmly rooted in the Right but pledges on nationalisation, the NHS and income equality sit just as comfortably at the opposite end of the political spectrum.

It shows two things, I think. First, most of the British press (and political establishment) don't know very much about political theory. They've got the new paradigm firmly in place: "Gay pride, abortion, European Union, Nationalized medicine, unlimited immigration = left = good; immigration restrictions, pro-life, family values = right = bad."

And anything, (like the old fashioned proto-feminists who vigorously opposed abortion, or the pre-Thatcher Labour MPs who voted to retain the death penalty and restrict easy divorce) that doesn't fit the paradigm, simply doesn't exist.

Easy enough to fit the BNP into the category if you read nothing about them but the Guardian's hysterical rants. Read their actual policy sheets and you get a slightly more, dare I say it, nuanced view.

And second, that the entire political spectrum, everywhere in the world but particularly in European politics, has moved so far to the left that the term "right-wing" has simply become meaningless. All it means now is, as Mark Steyn put it, slightly to the right of the extreme radical left. For which another name is: the Left.

As I said, if the BNP were really right wing, I might support them, but they're just a little to far on the squishy socialist side for my taste. And I've not got much time for British republicans.

Long Live the Queen!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm anti-hugging

Always have been. And, I'm glad to see, so's Judith Martin.

Then, about half a century ago, came the American huggy movement. Instant intimacy was going to solve everyone's problems by making them feel good, which, in turn, would end war and strife. It took rather vigorous forms among some, but eventually infiltrated even the most staid parts of society, where the handshake had been the greeting that fathers gave their young sons.

I shake hands. I particularly enjoy shaking the hands of people who attempt to greet me with inappropriately wide-open arms. I look people in the eye too and say "How do you do?" or "It's nice to see you."

In school in the 70s and 80s, everyone was quite militant about hugging and it got under my skin. It was the new rigidly adhered-to protocol and regularly flouting it was a quick way to get labeled weird and anti-social. So of course, I had to flout it. It's just a thing.

Oh, and by the way Mrs. Obama, I realise that you are a come-lately upstart and so can have no concept of how civilised people behave, so here's a tip for you,


Power to the People!

Michael Coren writes about the "BNP victory" in Britain,

...the British National Party received around 6% of the vote and returned two members to the European assembly. It is most unlikely that it could ever elect an MP in the House of Commons but the result has managed to introduce a new sound into the British governmental symphony.

...which is the part I'm enjoying. Politics is a sport best enjoyed from the bleachers and lately it has been almost as much fun watching the journalists/pundits doing their sideshow clown routine as it has been to watch the game itself.

Michael continues,
The British National Party does not goose-step. It has worked diligently to expunge the Nazi image of previous rightist parties, claiming to be nationalist rather than Fascist. It’s both true and false. Almost every believing right-wing extremist supports the BNP, but most BNP supporters are not right-wing extremists. [Which, BTW, describes the Republican party pretty well, don't you think?] Indeed, while the party is not trusted by the vast majority of minority groups, it does has a Jewish municipal councillor and some support in elements of the black, Hindu and Sikh communities.

Something interesting about the way Michael writes about this is quite telling about the difference between the reaction to the BNP and related political phenomena of Anglo-Canadians (me) and that of Raised-in-Britain British. He, an English guy who is still English enough to have a recognisable accent but who has lived in Canada for decades, looks at the BNP and examines its policies, membership, leaders and actions. He makes a few distinctions and comparisons and examines some historical precedents, quotes Orwell, and comes to a conclusion.

This in interesting contrast to the reaction to the BNP by Raised-in-Britain British. This more closely resembles the last scene in the 1979 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers when Donald Sutherland points at the last real human and lets out an unholy alien pod-person screech.

What that means, surprisingly, is that while Canada is so far gone into the socialist Matrix as to make its post-colonial existence more or less moot, there is still more rational capacity per capita (per journalistic capita I suppose) than in Britain, the homeland and cradle not only of democracy, but of journalism itself.

Nevertheless, I digress.

Something I've been meaning to mention.

Everyone keeps calling the BNP the "far right" party. But actually, I've read their manifesto and it strikes me as, well, a little too far to the left for my taste.

They still have this idea that it is a good thing for governments to take money away from private citizens for forcible redistribution to The Poor (and possibly also The Needy,) which necessitates the existence of that gargantuan taxpayer-funded black hole known as the welfare state. This seems to be comprised of gigantic tribes of doublethinking socialworkers who's only purpose in the appratus is to decide who qualifies as the P n'N. It has turned the British people into a nation of parasites where the first thought in times of personal trouble is always, "compensation". A nation of perpetually adolescent victims looking for ways to get their hands on other people's money.

The BNP, for example, propose to retain Britain's murderous experiment with "socialized" "health" "care". This is the system which has given us the wonders and joys of a board of government bioethicists who decide whether patients are worth the expense of keeping alive after they have ceased to be useful to the state. (Don't ever EVER forget the name Leslie Burke.) And that's quite apart from the general deterioration of the system that is plain to anyone who has rashly approached within fifty yards a British Casualty ward (when you can find a hospital that still has one).

Oh, and let's not forget that Britain's government funded medical system has given us one of the highest rates of abortion in the world, right after Russia and Quebec. Yeah, we need more of that like we need a kick in the head from a skinhead's Doc Marten.

There's a name for all this, kiddies:


I ain't on with socialism.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Barbeque Postponed

To everyone I've invited, but for whom I don't have an email address:

I'm going to have to postpone meat-singeing until Saturday June 20th. So, not this Sat, but next Sat. OK?

And it's for a really awful reason. I have to go take pictures of the Gay Pride parade in Rome this Saturday. Bleah.

Wondering what I'll dress up as to blend in. Anyone got an "I Love Ratzi" t-shirt I can borrow?

More barbeque information will follow.


So, let me get this straight,

Nick Griffin ("hack, spit") was democratically elected to a seat in Brussels, so he held a press conference to talk about it, since it is pretty news worthy. A bunch of hooligans break up the press conference and pelt those assembled with eggs. The BBC was there (because it was, you'll note a press conference) and they ask Mr. Griffin, "To what extent, do you think that whenever you appear you're not going to be able to do that without causing trouble...?"

Ah, say again?

Nick Griffin, a democratically elected Member of the European Parliament called a press conference.

You know,

a press conference?

And who, exactly, was it that was "causing trouble" again?

If I were a feminist, (God forbid), I might be inclined to talk about "blaming the victim".

And, way to go on that whole "not giving the BNP a platform" thing. How's that working out for you hey, you pin-headed imbeciles?

Let me spell it out to you in words of one syllable or less.

Each time you do some dumb thing like this, Nick and his friends get to go on the BBC and say their piece again.

It's called "news".

As Simon Darby said on his blog, "I wonder how much the resultant publicity from today's aborted press conference would have cost?"

As a consequence of today's intolerance from the tolerant, Nick has done interviews for virtually all television outlets today culminating with a live appearance on the main evening news.

(Yes, Anastasia, I read Simon Darby's blog. I'll get the smelling salts out for you dear.)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Surf's up

I'm told that Santa Marinella has one of Italy's best surfing beaches.

It's just down the bottom of the hill from my new flat.

Pebbles, not sand, but it doesn't cost anything in the summer and it's a lot cleaner than the main beach.

Took these the other day. It was cloudy, windy and the surf was tremendous.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Labour suffered its worst post-war election result as it gained just 15.3 per cent of the vote, even worse than party bosses had feared, and was beaten into third place by UKIP.

Oh. My.


Imagine the horror!

Polly Toynbee must be burning her bra in incoherent rage...


(That falling-off-chair thing again...)

On Notice

I'd say that Gordon's time is up.

Gordon Brown's labour government, already rocked by disastrous local election results, ministerial resignations, backbench plotting and persistent undermining of the prime minister's authority, could disintegrate further when European election results are announced on the evening of June 7.

...and Nick Griffin is an MEP.




fell of my chair laughing for a second there.

Gawker Jam

I didn't want to watch the video, but somehow, I just couldn't help myself. It was the road accident effect; you knew it was going to be unspeakably horrible, and that means you just can't miss it.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Chancellor Obama "open to dialogue" : L'Osservatore Romano

L'Osservatore Romano rebuts accusations that it has been kowtowing to the Obama regime with a series of articles either directly praising him or lobbing soft pitches underhand.

"Obviously," the daily said at the close of a brief story on the US bishops' campaign against the Democratic White House's new ethical guidelines on embryonic stem-cell research, "the Holy See and L'Osservatore Romano have been, are and will be fully on the side of the American bishops in their task of advocating the inviolability of human life at whatever stage of its existence."

"Other interpretations are unfounded," the note added, "not least those which have sought to instrumentalize the journal's articles to make the teaching of the US episcopate on the inherent evil of abortion appear as an exercise in sectarian politics in contrast to a different strategy of the Holy See. [Errr... huh? Write much, buddy?]

"President Obama has shown himself open to dialogue and the US bishops have positively greeted this possibility. But in doing so they've confirmed, and rightly so, that in dialogue, compromise is never possible on the fundamental questions of the right to life."

Reports that Obama has replied, "Our enemies are little worms. I saw them in Rome," remain unconfirmed.

H/T to Christopher for the quote.

Yes, yes, I know...

but it's been a really busy week, and I'm adjusting to a new schedule, and I've been moving and packing and all my stuff is still in boxes, and...

I have a life, dammit!

Anyway, more blogging next week. I've still got lots of pics of the Tuscany trip for y'all.

Here's a taste:

Medieval pageanty stuff in Cortona

I know lots of SCA geeks who would've given their eye teeth to be here.

Even if the clothes were all wrong.

...with trumpets and stuff...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Small Mercies

JPII Beatification could be delayed.

I suppose the Vatican has to take a little extra time to look up in some old books what "religious indifferentism" means.