Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wolves Made Redundant

as shepherd steps in on the wrong side of the assisted suicide debate in UK

“In issuing these Guidelines, it is clear that the DPP has listened very carefully to, and taken account of, the many representations made to him during the consultation. Our particular concerns were that the interim Guidelines gave less protection under the law to disabled or seriously ill people, and to those who had a history of suicide attempts and were likely to try again. There also appeared to be a presumption that a spouse or close relative would always act simply out of compassion and never from selfish motives. These factors have been removed from the new Guidelines which now give greater protection to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Orwell's Picnic Readers' Poll:

1) Stupid

2) Politically naive

3) Maliciously on the side of the Devil


tough choice.

Paul Tully from SPUC:
"The focus on motivation (why the suspect assisted a suicide) rather than intention (the suspect's deliberate will to assist the suicide) is a radical departure from the rule of law. The 'victim’s wish to die' is the most significant factor now in the guidelines. It undermines the law, and is the main concession that the euthanasia lobby was seeking. It makes assisted suicide very different from other serious crimes against the person, where consent to becoming a victim is not accepted either as a defence in court or as a factor against prosecution."

Just this morning, on the way to the train station, I was talking to a friend. He said that these DPP guidelines mean that there is no way the English bishops can remain on the fence. They can't avoid taking a side now.

I responded, "Yep. And I'd certainly be willing to slap down twenty Euros or so on them getting on the wrong one."

I just sent him a note saying, "Should have made it 50 and shaken on it".


Just been wasting a bunch of time looking at old blog posts I wrote in England

I miss my little house.

And I miss the fam.

and yes, quite honestly,

I miss the food too.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Purcell Wednesday: Lovely Lovely Albina

...and lovely lovely Emma!

(Plus Vermeer bonus!)

Dreams - Houses and Gardens in Santa Marinella

Took these on the way to the train today.

I'm dreaming of renting this villa.

It's close to the bottom of the Via di Fiori, near shops and the beach, but off the Via Aurelia, so not too noisy or dangerous for pussy cats.

I have changed my walk home route and I stop nearly every day for a minute or so and gaze into the little green world, dreaming...

It was rented for a short time last summer, but has stood empty all winter. No doubt the rent is far beyond what I can afford.

Olive and orange trees, and two mature palms that show no signs of being infested with the dreaded weevils.

No one has looked after it all winter, which is a blessing, since the Italian idea of looking after a place is to get rid of every green thing in sight. The gorgeous ground cover is Oxalis, and it flowers in great gouts of yellow blossoms from December through to March.

The name on the plaque to the right is "Laura". A laura is a place where hermits live.
Appropos, I thought.


What artichokes look like when they're growing.

A typical, old fashioned Italian country house and garden, right next to the sea.

Posh villa, but in a terrible location. Right on the horrible Via Aurelia. Probably quite a come-down in the neighbourhood since the time it was built.

Street scene in Santa Mar.

On the train...

Italians wear just the weirdest stuff...and it was 15 degrees today.

Unforgettable Trenitalia. And this was one of the more graffiti-free cars.

"It’s pulling the dead from the sea that’s the worst part of the job"

because it's usually the kids who drown.

"Everyone wants to get to Britain. It's the best place... All Afghans have heard the stories of people getting support from your government. I know the tricks now"

...But hey, look on the bright side. The good news is that they often make it all the way to Britain, where they get a fridge full of welfare benefits and the "right" to bring all 50 of their relatives after them.

The Mail piece was long and very interesting. But I wonder if anyone has figured out what the implications are.

These people are crossing continents and getting killed (a lot) because the word has gone out that the British are a soft touch.

Has it occurred to anyone that, because not everyone in the world is all full of sweetness and light, particularly not the traffickers who are making a mint on this new entrepreneurial growth opportunity, that it is the very softy-toffee, morally indignant patsies pressing for more immigration and more benefits for refugees, who are ultimately responsible for this unholy trade?

The soft-headed, warm and snuggly left-liberal approach to immigration and "asylum seekers" is getting people killed.

Bees in Art


is the kind of art I would like to make. If I were to give up what I do and do something else, it would be painting. I can't paint, or draw much, but I figure it would be worth learning.

There's a neat Facebook group: "Bees in Art". I am surprised, however, that they haven't got any photos of all the bees in medieval and R. art. Bees are big in the Old Stuff.

Pro-lifers are just a bunch of grumpy old guys who need something to do in between beating their frumpy wives

Further to our theme of a few weeks back,

The Mythology:

The reality:

Meet Lila Rose

She's the young lady who has been embarrassing Planned Parenthood all over the States lately.

Join us! We've got all the prettiest girls!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wish I knew more words

No, I didn't actually read the whole thing, and I didn't read the column he's bashing, and I really don't know much about the whole thing in general, tell the truth,

I just got this far

"a veneer of faux self-effacement, knockabout vernacular and japesome mirthfulness,"

and thought,

"Wow, 'japesome mirthfulness'!

I wish I knew good words like that."

...and just to labour the point a bit more

Probably the best public mockery of the feminists and the whole "gender movement" anyone has ever done

Just for the record...

I like the Simpsons.

Why? is it because they got a plug from L'Oss. R?


It's because they're funny.

You know, that thing that keeps us all from committing suicide every day.


Also, while we're on the subject of things Good Catholics (TM) are not supposed to like because they're not endless soft-focus programmes of the Rosary and Gregorian Chant sing-alongs...

the Life of Brian was the best movie the Pythons ever made.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010


Kathy made a campaign ad for the 2008 US election.

One of the places where Kathy and I really bond is our mutual hatred of hippies and all their foul pomps and works. Her loathing seems to be more political than mine.

She has told me that she wasn't raised by them, so, you know...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Not me!

Everyone is giving up 'blogging for Lent.

What are they, nuts?


Bunch of wagon-chasers.

I'm afraid you have a dire case of emotional manipulation


I have just been informed that the Population Research Institute has issued another video cartoon explaining their stand that the world is in fact in imminent danger of being seriously underpopulated. I think these videos are a very effective project. They give the facts, the numbers, and encourage people to think about things.

This approach (facts and thinking) seems to contrast sharply with the work of the population control movement/enviro-nutters who tell us that the reason the cute polar bears are falling of those shrinking ice floes is that there are too many (brown) people being born. And no, it doesn't have to make sense. What are you, some kind of thinky person? Don't you have a soul?

Oh, and by the way,

Shut up.

Let's compare, shall we?

We start off with a rather eerie drama in which a husband gives a huge electricity bill to his pregnant wife. She asks, apparently despairing, "Oh no! How will we have enough left to feed the children now?" (all of whom are crying...see, babies cry all the time, right? That's why no one likes them). Then a parade of greyish zombie-babies is crawling along a landscape of ugly new powerplants, which gout smoke and make the world generally nasty. This is followed by a depiction of a crowd of Chinese people on top of the Great Wall. The crowd is so huge, we are led to believe, that there isn't enough room to stand on the Wall, so people are asphixiating and falling off. The scene switches to a picture of penguins falling off calving icebergs and into the hostile freezing cold water (poor little penguins...much cuter than babies!). Then, somewhat inexplicably, a group of people (old people, I note) are locked in a burning house.

Observe also that there is no narration. No explanation or documentation is offered. These are merely images, literally cartoon versions of the propaganda slogans that have been offered by the population/eco-loonies to argue that we should have more abortion and to which we are expected to respond emotionally. But of course, any presentation of the facts of any of the situations being symbolised by the cartoons would be a bit of a problem for the sloganeers.

So let's stop for a moment and examine the claims.

First: "As long as humans keep reproducing, the demand for power will outstrip the supply. We'll have to keep building power plants that cause all kinds of environmental degradation."

Sed Contra, the world's power consumption is being met. People are clever little monkeys and usually solve problems like this without too much trouble. That's why we pay engineers so much money. Power plants that burn coal no longer produce sulfuric acid, for example. Acid rain is a thing of the past. Same goes for the food production problem that so exercised the mind of Thomas Malthus. You will note that, despite the hysterical shrieking of Paul Erlich, the world did not die of hunger in the 1970s. I was there, and I remember eating things just fine. The solution was what we now call the Green Revolution. People thought up clever ways of solving the food production problem.

Second: "See? China is horribly overpopulated and if we don't cut back our baby-making activities, we're going to end up like them."

This one is just silly. In the 1970s, the Chinese Commie government bought the whole "population=poverty" line that was then the favourite slogan of the Malthusians and decided that they would control their population by force 'cause that's the way to get things done in Commiethink, saves so much money and time that would otherwise be wasted trying to convince people to go along. So they instituted the One Child policy. Any woman, in their extremely regulated and watched society, who showed up to work pregnant without a license was, ahem...shall we say "urged" to report quickly to the "family planning agency" to get the problem looked after. Those babies who were born illicitly were often killed by state family planning agents looking to their own careers and necks if they allowed violations to go unaddressed. (This also made it possible for the state to eliminate the problem of Down's syndrome and a few other congenital trouble-spots. A Chinese obstetrician told a visiting American doctor that there really was no problem with Down's in China: "Those ones don't make it out of the delivery room".)

The only trouble, from the Commie point of view, is that now they have gone through 40-odd years of this, there just really aren't that many young people bringing up the rear. Moreover, sex-selection, made possible by ultrasounds, has given the Chinese a much bigger problem. They've killed off quite a significant percentage of the girls. And, barring unforseen advances in artificial reproduction methods, (which, frankly I don't put past them), you still need women to make your population go.

Now, the Chinese government, about one generation too late, is starting to worry. You've got the inverted pyramid in which huge numbers of old people are going to have to be supported by an ever-shrinking number of up-and-coming young workers.

And to add insult to injury, because the Chinese economy has been so successful recently, and because of the social and cultural changes that have been imposed by the economy-minded government, these young folk have learned that it is more fun to work for themselves, buy all the nice new things, and have a fun life than look after their crotchety old relatives.

They've been very successful westernisers over there, in short.

The Chinese "government" (as it is usually referred to in the media) has rather belatedly realised that they need to encourage people to have more children. I don't suppose they ever thought their efforts to change people's minds would be so successful. In Shanghai last year, officials were dismayed that their public pro-child campaign had been met with opposition from young people who feel that they ought to be allowed to enjoy their lives without the burden of looking after mum and dad. The state does that kind of thing right?

Third: The penguin/polar bear thing.

Uh, guys? Penguins can swim, hey? So can polar bears.

You knew that right?

Did you know that everyone knows that?

Fourth: The old people being burned alive in a crowded house thing.

Actually, I got nothin' here. Just doesn't seem to mean anything. So... ummm....


the most interesting part comes at the end. The Sun says to the Earth, "I'm afraid you have a dire case of overpopulation."

The Earth asks the question: "Is there anything you can do?"

The question remains unanswered, and the image of the earth fades leaving a diapered baby with the caption, "We can all help prevent this. Make the Green Choice".

Interesting choice of words there, hey?

What, exactly is being proposed here?

Obviously abortion, but what about the people who are already born?

As I always like to say to people who advocate reducing the world's surplus population, "You go first, Indie," we'll be right behind you.

Compare that video with the one below and see if you can spot the difference.

Spot the difference?

(BTW, did you catch the brief flash of the Spinster Cat-Lady? I laughed, but perhaps somewhat hollowly at that one...)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Beware the radially symmetrical

they're coming for YOU!

(If you happen to be a crab in a jar in a tank with one.)

Did I ever show you guys the video that shows a huge octopus sliding effortlessly through a hole the size of a quarter?

Go measure the drain in your bathtub.


Bigger than a quarter?


So, as my old blogging buddy Steve pointed out,

Now that all those goody two-shoes types who have given up the internet for Lent have gone away,

we can talk about them...

Sinning Daily...

"Sinning daily, and not repenting, the fear of death disturbs me. Because there is no redemption in hell, have mercy on me, O God, and save me."

A bonus for Ash Day.

Purcell Wednesday: O Solitude!

with one of Constable's paintings of Salisbury Cathedral as a bonus.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

One part inspiration...

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Sorry. Not feeling too well today.

Think I'm going home.

You may talk amongst yourselves.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Apple blossom in S. Marinella. Pic taken on the way home from the traino yesterday.

The beach at S. Mar. in January.

A Better Lizard

Rees-Mogg has a go at the polls.

The majority blame Labour for the state of the nation. Indeed, only 16 per cent expect Labour to gain an overall majority at the next Election. In elections, what the majority expects, the majority usually gets. On the other hand, the Conservatives do not seem to be as strong as Labour is weak.

The majority blame Labour, but that is because the majority think that the parties are fundamentally different. They also can't understand politics in anything but party terms. That there are larger political movements that carry everything, including opposing parties, along with it like shifts in political tectonic plates, seems to be beyond the grasp of most British voters.

The fact the Tories are not as far ahead as Gordo's Labour are behind is, possibly, an indicator that some dim awareness that the problem is bigger than parties, could be filtering down into the dusty recesses of the British political psyche. But they still have no idea what to do about it. They've been too indoctrinated into leftism to even have a mental framework to carry concepts like "conservative".

William Rees-Mogg is not the only one who thinks there is nothing whatever to be done about Britain's decline, because all the political parties (yes, including the BNP) are dedicated to the socialistic principles that have caused it.

"It's all that lizard's fault. All we need to do is elect a new lizard. A better lizard."

Yep, they did it on purpose

Enoch Powell was right.
The amazing revelations of Andrew Neather, a former Labour Party backstairs-crawler, had already warned us that this was the case.

Mr Neather’s unintentional confession that uncontrolled immigration was deliberately meant as an attack on traditional, conservative Britain was in many ways the single biggest news story of the decade.

But Mr Neather, realising too late what he had said, tried to backtrack, and some chose to accept this. Now, a Freedom of Information request has shown that his disclosures were correct.

A Government document on immigration was published in 2001, with the crucial words ‘if we are to maximise the contribution of migration to the Government’s economic and social objectives’ removed.

Why were they removed? Because the truth, that the liberal elite always wanted immigration to change the face of this country, was so dangerous.

For many years the liberal establishment have sought to use the accusation of ‘racism’ to terrorise opponents of immigration, to weaken conservative institutions, especially the police, and to silence conservative opinions in general.

They have been highly effective.

But that's offensive!

I wonder what the offensensitive think happens when they're offended.

Well, they get leprosy, of course.
Sheesh! don't you know anything?

God is offended by praise bands; you don't see Him running to the HRCs do you?

H/T to Binky (who never links to me anymore. I'm so offended.)


Can't get hold of Season 4 on DVD anywhere in this wretched town.

Rome is a pathetic parochial hick town where you can't buy anything but pizza and pasta and cheap vinyl handbags covered in sequins.

I miss America.

All right everybody, WAKE UP!

Pearl Jam to get you going this Monday

(Yesyes, I know. Their politics are revolting, but it's supposed to be grunge, which means you're not supposed to understand the lyrics anyway.)

Let's eat grandma!

Just joined a facebook group that asserts, "punctuation saves lives".


Also for some time been a member of the FB group "I judge you when you use bad grammar".

Can't think of a better reason.

Also happy that there is a thing on the 'net called the "Apostrophe Protection Society".

Why doesn't the government do something about apostrophe abuse? Someone has to care!

Future Martyr

Poor Bishop Olmstead.

Rumours are running around that he's going to be tapped for Los Angeles.

Poor fellow.

The Bernardin/Camarillo Seminary nexus is still running full steam there, and they don't like guys like the current bishop of Phoenix. He won't last five minutes before they sacrifice him to their dark gods.
... a prominent member of what some Catholic writers have dubbed the “Camarillo Mafia,” a group of liberal and dissident prelates who graduated from and/or taught at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California, and who were ordained in Los Angeles in the 1950’s and ‘60’s.

The LA Times wrote that the “trail of abuse” in the Los Angeles Archdiocese and its surrounding area dioceses “leads inevitably” to St. John’s. According to the Times, 10% of St. John's ordinands for Los Angeles from 1950 to ‘65 have been accused of molesting minors. In two classes, 1966 and 1972, a third of the graduates were later accused of molestation.

The group of bishops includes Roger Cardinal Mahony the Archbishop of Los Angeles who has been praised by the homosexual activist group, the Rainbow Sash Movement, for his support for their cause; Patrick Ziemann, the disgraced former bishop of Santa Rosa who was dismissed from his diocese after sex abuse allegations from one of his own priests and Tod Brown, bishop of LA’s neighbouring diocese of Orange whose letters and instructions to priests on homosexual issues have been called “confusing” and whose diocese has been used to house a number of notorious homosexual abusers.

Perhaps the most prominent member of the group is Archbishop William Levada, formerly of the now-bankrupt Portland diocese and lately of San Francisco whom Niederauer will be succeeding. Levada’s appointment by Pope Benedict XVI as head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – making Levada among the three most powerful prelates in the Church – came as a shock to many Catholics aware of the problems stemming from Los Angeles.

Friday, February 12, 2010

These aren't the droids you're looking for

move along...
The Pontifical Academy for Life began its 16th plenary meeting Thursday afternoon under the theme of "Bioethics and Natural Law." The sessions of the congress will seek to "regain" an understanding of natural law.

President of the Academy for Life, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, told Vatican Radio before the start of the gathering that the assembled members of the Academy for Life would be seeking to confront the different positions on the theme and to "regain that common denominator that is found in natural law and that ... isn't an invention of the Catholic Church.

And nothing else is happening there. Nope. Not one single teeny thing.

The "different positions on the theme" is not all they're looking to confront, lemme tell ya.

Hey, mainstream Catholic media!

Here's a hint for y'all. You don't get to be a relevant news source by re-issuing press releases.

Snow! It's snowing! Here, in Rome!



Do I remember reading in H.V. Morton (or somewhere) that when it snows in Rome you're supposed to go to the Pantheon?

I was still on the train, so I missed my window. But is there some legend attached to snow and the Pantheon? I can't remember what Morton said.


Thursday, February 11, 2010


This is pretty funny, so maybe some commentary might be in order after all.

The Grauniad's Jenny Kleeman moves from interviewing Mr. Singh to insulting him without missing a beat:
His 'message' is simple and depressingly familiar: he fears that Britain is becoming an Islamic republic, and Islam is dangerous. 'Most of them behave very nicely, but suddenly when they get together in the mosque and listen to the preaching, they acquire a collective identity that is formidable. It's the collective being that frightens me.'

Islamophobia is not uncommon among Hindu and Sikh immigrants..."
I imagine not.

I suppose he's really the wrong kind of darkie for the Guardian readership. One who does not require the white liberal establishment to defend him. He's probably irrationally afraid of snakes too.

When I was a child, I was told lots of stories by my aunts about life in India. Islam didn't really come up in any of them, but snakes certainly did.

Auntie Frances was terrified of snakes all her life. She said she remembered in her childhood in India that at a certain time of year, when the family retired from the heat of Delhi to their country house, that if you got up early enough you would see the lawns and garden paths littered with snake skins. Cobras, you see, moulted that time of year.

She loved to tell the story of the time when she and her sister, my Auntie Pat, were being taken for a walk in the garden with their Ayah. Suddenly, as Pat was about to step over a flagstone in the path, the Ayah scooped her up and started screaming, "Krait!" She ran with the two little girls into the house still screaming.

A krait is one of the world's deadliest snakes, described as one of the "big four" poisonous snakes of India.

Another favourite family story is of the time Pat, then only about four, came running around the veranda where the family were having their tea saying that she had seen a pussy cat in the nursery. Everyone froze. Pat had been born abroad and had never seen a cat.

What was in the nursery?

Sure enough, a cobra, attracted by the smell of milk, was discovered coiled up and napping in the child's bed.

Interestingly, the procedure of the servants was to have the Hindoo house boy coax the monster out with a bowl of warm milk in his hand, into the garden where the muslim gardener was standing by to chop its head of with a spade. Hindoos could not kill cobras, according to their religion. Muslims? No worries mate.

I can see no reason why Auntie Frances should have retained her fear of snakes as an adult. Do you?

No comment needed...

Rajinder Singh is flicking through the Pakistani channels on his Sky box from his sofa in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. Dressed in a crimson turban, he sits a metre from the enormous screen, translating the odd phrase for my benefit. He's trying to show me why he's determined to join the British National Party – the only party he considers "brave" enough to "break out of the burkha called political correctness".


He says he's been loyal to the BNP since he first heard BNP leader Nick Griffin on television in late 2001. "He used the word 'Islam'. And I thought, 'He's brave, he has conviction,'" Singh says. "I thought, 'It's amazing what you've said: I've always been thinking that, since my childhood.'" He wrote Griffin letters of support and eventually provided him with a character reference at his 2005 trial for inciting racial hatred. Singh has voted for the BNP in every local and general election since discovering them. "I couldn't keep away."


Fell of my chair laughing there for a second.

Better now.


I'd just like to say that I really really REALLY miss living in a temperate zone. Palm trees and orange and olive trees are all very well for a holiday, but they get pretty tired pretty fast.

I hear it's snowing ... somewhere.

The above is a photo of America this morning.


and someone has pointed the government's newest weapon of mass destruction, the Darwin Ray, a massive new secret satellite defence system, right at the snow...

These past few days, the sane people of the region have been dedicating themselves to making sure you do not have to drive anywhere. The federal government has been shut down. Employers have offered telecommuting options. But as roads are plowed and cupboards are bare and cabin fever sets in, cars have begun to appear on the roads again, and many witnesses agree: The idiots are on the loose.

"So this Chevy Suburban," Rudi Reik says. "This Chevy Suburban was driving behind a firetruck," down a narrow Dupont Circle street in the middle of blizzard conditions. Apparently, the driver decided that the official vehicle was not moving fast enough. "He pulled out into the opposing lane of traffic and tried to pass," beaten back only when the fire engine honked wildly. Idiot. was actually illegal to be on the roads if you weren't an emergency vehicle...and yet I just watched someone try to parallel park behind my car. At night. In blizzard conditions.

Dang, forgot to put up a Purcell yesterday

All this homo sodomite talk has distracted me from the important stuff.

Back to Cultcha:

Perky Purcell.

Did you check out the guy playing that ukulele thing? He looked pretty chirpy, don't you think?

Make like him today and we can all have a nice day.

H/T to Nicki S., my new Art Friend.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hey, Gay People!

(as Kathy likes to say,)

this is why no one likes you.

Selon le magazine Têtu (mensuel à destination de la communauté gay), Arthur Vautier organise un "Kiss-in" contre l'homophobie, sur les parvis de Notre Dame de Paris.

Ainsi, ce dimanche 14 février à 14h00, plusieurs dizaines d'homosexuels prévoient de s'embrasser pendant 5 minutes, dans l'objectif de «banaliser ces marques d'affection» et de «dépasser la gêne, tant du coté des homos que du public sur place».

«Nous étions sans doute plus d'une centaine, lors du dernier kiss-in», se réjouit Arthur Vautier, qui appelle également à la participation des couples hétéros, car «c'est aussi à eux de se battre, et c'est aussi à eux de montrer aux autres hétéros qu'ils soutiennent notre action».

Le ras-le-bol des chrétiens

Le blog catholique Cité et Culture n'a pas tardé à réagir, dénonçant une «nouvelle provocation du lobbie gay» et soupçonnant une complicité de la part des médias. Par le biais d'un communiqué, ils en appellent à la responsabilité des chrétiens, afin que «certains groupuscules» ne prennent pas «la mauvaise habitude de venir insulter les chrétiens devant les églises».

Par ailleurs, non sans ironie, le communiqué s'étonne que «les extrémistes de la cause homosexuelle ne se rassemblent pas devant la Grande Mosquée de Paris», quand on considère que c’est en terre islamique que les homosexuels souffrent le plus de la persécution.

Le blog catholique donne rendez-vous ce dimanche à tous les chrétiens, «de façon spontanée ou avec une association», dans le but de «répondre avec fermeté et courtoisie aux provocateurs !».

Does it still surprise anyone that the Church describes homosexuality as a disorder of affective maturity?

Grow up, for Pete sake.

And if there is any doubt left about why the homos sodomites are so obsessed with the Catholic Church:

Strangely, the extremists of the homosexual cause do not gather
at the Grand Mosque of Paris. However, it is in Muslim countries
(where applies Sharia) that homosexuals are executed!
In reality, the initiators of the gathering know they are unlikely
[to experience] anything making fun of Catholics. We read
elsewhere in Tetu, Arthur Vauthier is "not afraid of backlash."

...because the Vatican doesn't issue fatwas.

"Good Fruits" are Just the Cost of Doing Business

to the devil.
If a new investigative commission reaches a recognition that certain characteristics indissolubly connected with the phenomenon of the apparitions speak against their authenticity, then the love of truth demands that this be made known with all clarity and that Catholic Christians be warned expressly against "pilgrimages". The principle is valid here: "bonum ex integra causa; malum ex quovis defectu" ("Good comes from an undamaged cause; bad from some kind of defect"). If a drink is mixed with rat poison, it's not sufficient to point out that it contains only two percent strychnine with 98 percent water: the whole drink has to be poured out. If the Church does not, herself, finally lance the boil that is connected with Medjugorje, then anti-Catholic groups will do the job and with pleasure. And then the patience extended to the enthusiasm of Medjugorje could become a boomerang that attacks the Church from inside, if the groups previously connected with the Bosnian "place of pilgrimage", finally disillusioned, should turn against the Faith and the Church. And that could also explain that the devil takes "good fruits" as part of doing his business in Medjugorje: if he can bring forth a vastly greater harm to the Church in the end.

Pastoral love must not be separated from the love of truth.

About time someone said it.

Yeah, you might have gone to Medjuwhatsit and had a big ol' emotive experience, you might have said the Rosary with attention for the first time in your life.

You might even have cried.

But something Novusordinarians need to learn is that your feelings about the Faith are not the Faith.

H/T to Fr. Tim

Reality Strikes Back

The Honeymoon from hell, says Paul Belien, is what Europia is experiencing not a hundred days since the signing of the Lisbon Treaty.

Sooooo, Eurocrats, how's that New World Order thingy working out for ye?
At this point Europe is not even halfway its 100-day political “honeymoon” since the Treaty of Lisbon, which transformed the EU into a state in its own right, came into force. So far the honeymoon has been a nightmare. Since the beginning of the year, the EU’s currency, the euro, is on the brink of collapse; Greece has been placed under EU financial supervision to prevent it from going bankrupt. Now U.S. President Barack Obama has announced that he will not attend next May’s EU summit in Madrid. It was to have been Obama’s first visit to post-Lisbon Europe – the consecration of the new political order.

The European Union is built on Fantasy, and mean old Reality is barging in like vice cops in an opium den.


And yes, Kathy is right, this may be the greatest commercial ever filmed

The Ezra Show!

Just when you thought the internet was getting as boring as TV,

More Ezra!

(Boring Guy talks for about 3:16, so skip a bit)

Crescat made me laugh today

Point for the Carolina Cannon ball.

"When you only saw one set of footprints in the sand, that's when I let the bear eat you."

She's doing a series on bad Jesus art.

Plus, one of the better bits on the Bible...

bears eating bad children.


2 Kings 2:23-24

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Take me to your lizard...

Ford and Arthur discuss politics when a robot steps out of a spaceship and asks to be taken to their Lizard.

The robot, said Ford,
"comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..."

"You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?"

"No," said Ford, ... "nothing so simple. Nothing anything like to straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."

"Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."

"I did," said Ford. "It is."

"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't the people get rid of the lizards?"

"It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."

"You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"

"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."

"But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"

"Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?"


"I said," said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, "have you got any gin?"

I'm told this is making the bloggie rounds.

I also understand that there is an election expected soon in Yookay. It is, I am also informed, going to be a doddle for Ther Cameron.

Ther Cameron seems to want us to believe that when he takes over from Ther Broon, it will be because we picked him and like him best. He has promised that things will be Different under his thumb than it was under the thumb of Ther Broon. But this promise seems to have nothing to do with Ther Cameron's actual policies which he is also promising will be exactly the same. Because in the land of the Lizards, The Same is the same as Different, which is different from The Same.

I have only one thing to say...

got any gin?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Dear God, how I love the English!!

They just make you believe that everything is going to be all right in the end.

I wish everyone would just come home and stick around for a while. People shouldn't go away so much.

Abolish Everything

A while ago I posted a note on my facebook page of the little life axioms that I have come up with over the years, some of which regular readers will recognise. A lot of them have to do with the Church and the first four kind of sum up my feelings about the Church that have really come into maturity since I have come to Rome:

1. Never trust anything Catholic that is less than 500 years old.

2. Abolish everything.

3. Never join anything.

4. Never found, start, organise or volunteer for anything.
They're survival tips, really.

Among the long and growing list of things that I would abolish entirely if I were ever put in charge are the New Movements.

John Allen, with whom I rarely agree, points out one of the problems with the New Movements: that conservatives in the US think they're the bees knees. New Movements = conservative in the minds the US Church, so there is little discernment about them or the threat they pose.

New Movements, that's like Opus Dei and Regnum Christi, right?

Ah, no.
When Catholics in the States talk about “new movements” in the church, there’s a tendency to think “conservative,” because the few such groups most people have actually heard of – such as Opus Dei (technically a prelature, not a movement), or the Legionaries of Christ (a religious order, with an affiliated lay movement in Regnum Christi) – do tend to lean to the right [John Allen is sometimes dryly witty, but I think his jokes sometimes get missed for being too subtle].

In Europe, however, where the new movements have had their greatest success, their ideological profile is far less uniform. That’s certainly the case in Italy, where perhaps the best-known lay movement is the Community of Sant’Egidio. Known for its efforts in conflict resolution, ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue, and service to the poor, Sant’Egidio is generally seen as standing on the ecclesiastical “center-left.” [And in JohnAllenSpeak, you know that if he is calling something "center-left" it is as pink as the blush on Roger Mahoney's apple cheek.]


Founded in February 1968, the Community of Sant’Egidio marked its 42nd anniversary Thursday night with a Mass in the Basilica of San Giovanni Laterano celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian bishops’ conference, and attended by a virtual who’s who of Italian political and ecclesiastical life.

St. Egregious is also known to be a big pusher of the usual political causes of the Catholic left.

But apart from the fact that any group of hippies and commies can get together and start calling themselves a New Movement in the Catholic Church and do any amount of harm, the whole concept is a giant capitulation. That we have New Movements at all is because of the failure of the Church.

In the old days, we had parishes and religious orders. There were a few other things, Confraternities, Sodalities, lay organisations like the Knights of Columbus and Legion of Mary and St. Vincent de Paul, but these were all parish-based. A Legion of Mary group was founded within a parish and operated from the parish. It worked within, and crucially, under the supervision of the local Church in the person of the parish priest. And if the Legion ladies started plumping for the local pro-abort politician (or whatever bad thing they had in the '50s) or invited the local feminist nutbar to speak at a presidium meeting, the PP would nix the idea and institute reforms.

The idea that you could or should go off and join a parallel Church and eschew parish life altogether, opting for some weird screwy thing that made up their own liturgical "traditions," was unknown. The Church was the parish and it was under scrutiny.

It is the failure of the parish as the centre of Catholic daily life, of parish devotions like Saturday night Rosary, weekly Benediction, Marian processions, saints days, and even bingo and pot luck suppers and sock-hops, that has allowed the canker of the New Movements to grow.

It used to drive me squirrelly that JPII was such a big fan of The Movements. He praised them, it seemed, regardless of whether they were actually working against the teaching of the Church or not. But every time he talked about how they were the answer to all the problems of the Church, I would cringe. The problems of the Church were made by the hierarchy and clergy who just seemed to wake up one morning and decide they didn't feel like doing their jobs any more.

The New Movements are a symptom, not a cure.

It's Friday: 80s day!

A little blast from the past to go with your fish n' chips:

Brings you back...

Thoughtcrime of the Day: Women should have the vote taken away from them

while there is still a Western Civilization left to save.

Socialism. Where did it come from? We see it eating like an acid into the foundations of our entire civilisation, corroding initiative, personal responsibility, individual and corporate courage, family life... it is everywhere. But how did we end up with it in nearly every western country? We could look at the history of the Great Change in western countries (Britain, Canada, Australia, N. Zealand,) from governments based on individual liberties, Common Law, objective reality...all that manly stuff, to what we have now: the nanny state.

But I think we have it wrong. I think we shouldn't be calling it the Nanny State. I think it should be called the Daddy State.

I was discussing this with a friend the other night and he said something that he knew I already agreed with, that it is the fault of the female vote. When did all this Fabianism get itself hooked into the political structure? When did we start thinking that government should hold your hand and do things for you? Even when you've grown up, left home and got your own apartment, the Daddy State should be coming over and fixing things for you and buying you groceries.

Socialism is a chick thing. As a private characteristic of the feminine mind it is right and good for women to want to be looked after. It's wired into us from our hunter-gatherer days. We need men to do the heavy lifting. It's a good thing for women to have the instinct to want to be looked after by a big strong man who can ward off cave bears and hunt the mammoths.

But feminism has used that natural need, the thing that makes us like and want men and that makes marriage desirable, and turned it against both men and children and ultimately against women. Feminism, you will note, has not actually accomplished anything but misery and destruction. A counterfeit freedom, exchanged for all the things we used to think made our lives real and meaningful.

I mentioned that one of the triumphs of feminism is to teach women that they should not get married to an individual man. Marriage, so the legend goes, is slavery, particularly after the kids come. Feminism reveals its Marxist origins when it says that women should instead marry the State. Men leave, we are told, and leave us holding the child-rearing bag alone. Much better to be married to the state. The state will never abandon you.

Indeed, women who divorce are often encouraged by social workers to either take up welfare as a replacement marriage, or send their ex-men taken through the various government-sponsored wringers like Ontario's Family Responsibility Office. Institutions like the FRO are designed for a two-fold purpose. They enslave the woman to the state, make sure she depends on the FRO and the welfare office for all the defence and support we once expected a husband to provide, and to punish, impoverish and disempower men.

And when did such structures start being put into place? About the same time women got the vote and started taking over the driver's seat in politics. Socialism is woman's politics. Indeed, we call it the nanny state because it tends to infantilise entire societies. But really, the new state that the woman's vote has created should more properly be called the Daddy State.

It comes from and is powered by the natural instinct of women to be looked after. Feminism is doubly insidious because it plays on that need and turns it into terror. I know from my own experience that women have been trained to be terrified of men, of wanting a man, of marriage and most especially of motherhood. It is an ideology of fear and hatred that teaches women their lives will never be secure until they give themselves and their children to the state.

Socialism, the Daddy State, comes from feminist panic attacks. Feminism whispers that men leave, they abandon women and their children, so it is best to replace the entire edifice of family life with the state.

The Daddy State was created by the woman's vote.

Telling it plain

My axiom continues to hold: Abolish Everything.

Especially all national bishops' conferences.

It continues to amaze me, given the ubiquity of computers with internet access in everyone's homes and offices, how credulous most people are about what is actually happening. I met many people in Washington, all of them on the right side, who hadn't a clew how things actually work.

But I see that the gap is being worked on, particularly on the net. Real Catholic is one of those efforts. What EWTN needs to be. The Truth, without the soft-focus lens.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Purcell Wednesday

I thought yesterday we needed to have a quiet day, so we held Purcell Wednesday over.

An Evening Hymn

Henry Purcell and the Divine Emma...

that should get you through.

Catholicism for the Very Stupid ... Liberals ... the Media

Is it worth it?

I don't know. Really, one has to wonder what the point is of explaining things to people who haven't developed even the most modest intellectual tools. Telling things about religion to secular liberals is like trying to explain to conspiracy theorists that it is simply a lot more likely that the Islams blew up the Trade Centre. But once in a while, the urge comes on...

Andrew Brown writes, in grand old Protestant style about
Papal aggression
Pope Benedict's view on equality and dissent will cause shock and outrage ahead of his visit.

[Now, let's start with an examination of cause and effect. A few years ago the pope gave a speech at Regensberg and there was "shock and outrage" then too. But it was funny that this "shock and outrage" didn't actually start happening until the media started telling people it was happening. So what I'm wondering here is who is causing what effect.]

Just when it seemed that Roman Catholicism was a normal and natural part of the English religious scene,

[just when the English Catholic Church appeared to have completely capitulated to the sexual revolution's zeitgeist in the person of Tony Blair and his old buddy at Westminster ... indeed, I can understand your disappointment.]

Pope Benedict

[a foreigner, a GERMAN for Pete sake!...did we mention he was in the Hitler Youth?]

has to come out with a statement that raises every residual Protestant hackle in the country. Authoritarian,

[actually, we call it "authoritative" since he is, you know, in authority over the English Bishops whom he was addressing]

tactless, [the worst sin there is in let's-not-talk-about-it England]

and without the muscle to back it up, [so it bothers you why, exactly?]

he says that

"In a social milieu that encourages the expression of a variety of opinions on every question that arises, it is important to recognise dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate."

This sounds exactly like the papacy of Ian Paisley's darkest imaginings, totalitarian in its ambitions and utterly dismissive of disagreement.

[Ok, I'll try to use small words for you. We have this thing in Catholicism, it's called "religious doctrine". That means the "teachings" of the Catholic Church. Because Catholicism is a religion, not an ethnicity, you have to do certain things to belong to it. These include believing in the "religious doctrine" or "teachings" of the religion. These are about the nature of God, the relationship of man to God, the nature of the Church, the meaning of life...that sort of thing. Now, if you believe the things the Catholic Church teaches about all that, you can be a Catholic. If you don't, you can't.

This is what we like to call "the logical principle of non-contradiction", which isn't a religious doctrine at all but was believed by some very important and clever English People of the Past like Sherlock Holmes and Aristotle. According to that principle (which isn't religious, just logical) one thing can't be the same as a thing that is opposed to it. I can't both be in the room and not in the room at the same time, for example. Now, applying that principle to our topic, it goes, "You can't be a Catholic who doesn't believe what the Church teaches." That means that Ian Paisley can't call himself a Catholic without everyone laughing at him, which I understand he really hates. Similarly, a Catholic bishop who doesn't uphold and teach what the Catholic Church teaches, is going to be in a bit of hot water with the boss.

I realise this is hard. Try to keep up.]

"It is the truth revealed through scripture and tradition and articulated by the church's magisterium that sets us free." writes Benedict.

[Now, don't panic. This is actually just in the bible. Remember? 'The truth shall set you free'. It's not a hard concept: Catholics think their religion is true. The truth sets you free, therefore the head of the Catholic Church tells a group of Catholic bishops to tell other people that the Catholic religion will set them free.]

Presumably the other things that anyone else might mistake for truth, whether they are Anglicans, Muslims, or post-Christian simply bind us in error.

[There, you see? Now you're getting it! I told you it wasn't hard.]

It is difficult to think of anything which could more effectively enrage and energise the opponents of his visit.

[Actually, I think the opponents of his visit, Stonewall, OutRage, the National Secular Society, are just plain enraged most of the time about everything, but most particularly about the continued existence of the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI. I'm pretty sure they would be able to find things to enrage them without your generous offer of help.]

English atheism descends very clearly from protestantism,

[Now this is one of the most useful things I've ever seen a Guardian writer say. Protestantism is the cause of English atheism. 500 years of the Let's-Not-Talk-About-It religion and we're where we are now.]

and tends to regard Catholicism as the purest and most evil religion.

[Again, v. helpful insight. And one we can work with. It means that among our enemies the basic intellectual tools are not so moribund as we fear. Here is a clear acknowledgement of the existence of objective evil, right and wrong and that one thing cannot be the same as a thing opposed to it. The L. P. of non-C.

One of the things that enrages
me is all the smarmy huggykissiness that goes on at English 'ecumenical' gatherings. (Did you know the Anglicans and the Catholics got together for an ecumenical service at the Tower of London a few years ago to "commemorate" the Protestant Reformation?) It is why Rowan Williams is so universally reviled. All those guys trying to pretend to be friends. There's nothing more refreshing than a clear statement of enmity. Now we know where we are, who our enemies are and what is required. The dominant religion in England is atheism, the demon-spawn of apostate Anglicanism. Let's stop pretending to be friends with our mortal enemy.]

Its noisiest current spokesman, Richard Dawkins, once said in Dublin that "Horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place.

But at the same time, the Pope's remarks are clearly prompted in part by a sense that the secularist forces are mounting an aggressive campaign that the Catholic church must resist,

[and he has had to do this, noisily and in front of the world's press, directly into the faces of the English bishops because they are the ones who have allowed this situation to metastasize by their determination to continue to pretend there are no enemies to fight. English Catholicism's determination to fit in and be, what was it you said? Oh yes, "a normal and natural part of the English religious scene." The true Church has never and never can be just a part of the landscape.]

as last week's battles over the equality bill in the House of Lords made clear.

So if he wants political support here, why say anything so divisive?

[Because he wants political support. I love it when liberals use the word "divisive" as a weapon against anyone who disagrees with them. It's the final expression of Let's-Not-Talk-About-Itism. Anyone who has an opinion of his own that differs from that of the cool kids will have his glasses broken in the school yard at lunch time. Of course, this could be considered an improvement over the good old days of the Elizabethan Settlement when such "divisiveness" would get you hung drawn and quartered. Or pressed to death.

In England, the great political sin is indeed "divisiveness" (also known as "having an opinion"). This is the reason the two dominant political parties are indistinguishable in their policies. It all comes back to the dominance, for 500 years, of the English-Tea-Party-Religion. The war against the Faith was won by violence and brutal political suppression, but the "Settlement" that eventually ended it in favour of protestantism 200 years later with the ascension of the Hanoverians was, essentially, a permanent state of threat: "We promise to stop killing you Catholics, as long as you never, ever venture out of your ghetto again." I think in the face of this, a little divisiveness is just what the country needs.]

I don't think he meant to be overheard.

[Except for the part where he submitted his talk to the Vatican Information Service for publication two hours after it was delivered. They have rooms in the Vatican with doors, you know. If he didn't want to be overheard, they can manage that in there.]

His talk was clearly addressed only to people who already agree with him – bishops in the first place, and lay Catholics after that. In that context "dissent" has a technical meaning which makes his remarks a little less outrageous.

[Oh come on, don't start getting all objective and factual now. You're just going to confuse your readers who are, after all, only people who already agree with you...]

What he is in fact trying to say is that the bishops should crack down on liberalism within their own church.

["crack down on liberalism" suddenly the delightful image has popped into my head of sober-faced Papal Gentilhuomini, circulating, at a gesture from Msgr. Georg, with silver platters carrying ornate baroque hammers. The bishops each take one in hand and solemnly start thwacking each other's heads.]

"The Catholic community in your country needs to speak with a united voice."

This is important because the Catholic church in Britain has never been as divided, as it is now. Not only is it shrinking in numbers, with an ageing priesthood, but there is now a vociferous right-wing party

[For just one second, I thought you were going to get it. But alas. The "right-wing party" in the Catholic Church in England huh? I wonder who he means. Of course, as a secular liberal, I guess you couldn't understand the incongruity of talking about "right-wing parties" in the context of religion. You would be unlikely to be corrected by any of the bishops in attendance at the pope's talk.]

which blames all its troubles on liberalism, wet bishops, and the lack of Latin masses.

[...lack of Catholicism, in short. Once again, the Catholic religion is not a political party, not an ethnicity, not a country club and one does not acquire it by being born into an ancient recusant family. One is Catholic by believing what the Catholic Church teaches,
and nothing else.]

The division lies roughly between the Catholic Herald, on the right, and the Tablet on the left.

[As Damian Thompson said, "No, the division lies "not between the Pope and the Catholic bishops on one side and (Harriet) Harman on the other. It lies between between the Pope, some bishops and orthodox lay Catholics on one side and, opposing them, Gordon Brown, Ed Balls, Harriet Harman and countless other Government ministers, MPs and quangocrats – plus Labour’s apologists in the Left-leaning Catholic bureaucracy."]

When Pope Benedict announced earlier this year that there would be special arrangements made to welcome disaffected Anglican priests as a body, this looked like a triumph for the right in the internal Catholic struggle. But the Anglicans at whom it was aimed are now dithering at the prospect of actually leaping where they have so long looked longingly. The pope says "I am convinced that, if given a warm and open-hearted welcome, such groups will be a blessing for the entire church" but I don't know many other Catholics very convinced.

His vision is clearly of the Catholic church leading Europe away from both secularism and Islam, and restoring the whole continent – not just this country – to its Catholic roots.


That is why he has fought so hard against equality legislation. It is difficult to imagine anything that could make this cause less popular than his own speeches.

[Oh, I don't know. Less popular with whom? With people who already hate him and everything he wants to do? Small loss, I'd say.]

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Euro's Rejection of The Real

A few days ago, I had a conversation with a colleague about the difference between the old world and the new. I mean, the world before the 1960s, that I have sometimes simply called The Before and the weird alienating and artificial wonderland we all live in now. I was explaining a theme of mine, the difference between The Real and Fantasy. Since the 1960s our culture, Western Civilization, has increasingly addicted itself to Fantasy, and the consequences have been vast and greatly destructive to the human soul. Having lived for a while now in Europe, I am beginning to understand that the addiction to Fantasy is also destructive in the material realm. At Brussel's Journal, Paul Belien, (another determined rejecter of Fantasy) writes about the threat posed to the Euro by the collapse of the Greek economy:
The EU currency was not introduced because of economic considerations, but because the European Union is pretending to be a genuine state and states are expected to have single national currencies. Hoping to become a powerful political force in its own right, the EU adopted the euro as the common currency of some 327 million Europeans, so that the currency’s economic power would prefigure the political power to be... The euro appeared to be very strong, with the value of the U.S. dollar, the British pound, and other currencies dramatically falling in comparison to it – one of the causes of Greece’s problems. Tourism is a major economic sector in Greece. For tourists from outside the eurozone, such as the Americans and British, the country became too expensive as a holiday destination. Last year, when the world economic crisis also affected Europe, with a huge drop in the numbers of EU-citizens, such as Italians, that headed for Greece, the Greek economy collapsed and the Greek government was no longer able to pay the country’s public debts.
The problem with basing an economic system on Fantasy is that it tends to create spaces of empty economic air, bubbles, that tend to burst spectacularly. The global economic crisis, I understand, was created much that way: by giving mortgages to people who could not afford houses, at rates below the standard ones for mortgages. All of this was based on an ideological principle, rather than a sound assessment of the borrower's ability to pay back a loan. We have all been fed the Fantasy that we all, somehow, "deserve" a home and that we can all have one if we just wish hard enough. This Fantasy created a bubble and the burst is the crisis we are all now experiencing. The fact that this crisis is merely an attempt by the system to revert back to a foundation in Real things (the idea that mortgage loans should go to people who can afford to pay them), merely the re-filling of the empty space created by the Fantasy, is not often talked about. 

 The problem with the European Union, as I see it, is that it is a Fantasy. It is based on things that are simply not true. As Belien points out, the people of the two economically strongest EU countries, Germany and the Netherlands, have said they do not want their money (the fact that "tax money" is the money of the people is often forgotten by EU leadership) to go to bail out the Greek economy, even though it might mean the downfall of the Euro:
Polls indicate that 70% of the Germans oppose using their taxes to bail out other countries. Despite the EU propaganda line that EU citizens share a common European national identity, this is simply not true... The German people are not prepared to lift countries such as Greece, Romania, Spain, Portugal and Ireland out of the recession at its own expense.
I imagine they must be asking themselves by this time what have they really gained by joining this new thing, the Euro. What was wrong with their old currencies? Well, to EU ideologues, what was wrong with it was that it was theirs. It was based on a Real thing, a national economy that involved the buying and selling within those countries of goods produced or imported by those countries. 

The abolition of the nation state that is being attempted in the EU, is based on something unreal. The "European Project" to unite the nations of Europe under one gigantic superstate umbrella, is based on the Fantasy that there are no significant or meaningful differences between the many different peoples of Europe. That language, commerce, culture, history, religion, genetics, geography mean nothing and can be superseded by a common "European identity". This is false. 

This European Identity does not exist. What does exist, what is Real, are language, culture, history, religion, genetics and geography and national boundaries and economies based on these things. These are the things that make cultures and nations cohere and contribute significantly to the psychological identity of the people in them. They are also, it seems, the things that make economies run. 

 Back to my conversation with my colleague the other day. I presented my theory that the problems we are facing in western societies today can all be described as a cultural addiction to Fantasy. He asked me to define Fantasy. I said that I think Fantasy is the adherence to a cherished personal preference or notion in the face of overwhelming objective evidence. I made this definition carefully, being certain to say it is not the notion or the preference itself that qualifies a thing as a full blown capital F Fantasy, but the adherence to it, the clinging to it against all evidence and the determination to live in it against the various pressures of The Real.

 Our most popular modern Fantasies include the idea that "gender" is a malleable "social construct" and that a person is whatever "gender" he or she feels like being that week. Another is the idea that there is nothing inside a pregnant woman but a "blob of tissue". Another is that people can have sex outside marriage and experience only joy and freedom. Another, that there is no significant difference in temperament or social nature between men and women. The expression, "create your own reality," popular in the 1980s, is the summation of the exchange our society has made of The Real for the three magic beans of our personal subjective preferences, whims, and wishes.

Of your charity...

If you could, please remember today in your prayers Beth Dipippo who passed away today after a long illness. She was a regular reader here and the mother of a great and dear friend of ours.

We're here for you sir, whenever you're ready.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I'm not alone!

I'm finally not the only one who is alive to the cephalopod threat.

The Weekly World News is with us!

Thank God the word is getting out.

Then we went to the Smithsonian...

The place was packed.

It's the thing to do. You go to the March, you stop by the Dubliner,

then you go to visit the Elephant the next day with the kids. Me and the elephant, we go way back.

Mummified ox.

Two down, billions to go...

But you don't come to the Natural History Museum for the ancient stuff or the sea stuff,

you come for the dinosaurs!


Some favourite shots from the MfL

Lots of nuns (Nuns proper, according to the strict form of the Nun Taxonomy rules)

Nothin like real nuns to give you the nun-fever.

and some rather well-dressed priests

My favourite Cranky Old Man shot.

these guys are there every year. They are probably the most photographed pro-lifers in America and they get their faces in all the newspapers and magazines every year.

This sign stood out.

This guy should get the prize for "most confused".

They look terrified...

Me go there...
I posted the following note at Fr. Tim's blog where he has kindly linked to my "balanced reporting" post below.

I was a few minutes late on the Hill to catch the front of the March, but was there for quite some while waiting for the end of it to stream past. Teeming thousands...

I was particularly disappointed at the complete absence of counter-protesters. I had especially wanted to get some shots of them and perhaps even an interview, but even though I was v. close to the front of the March when I got to the Supreme Court building, there was nary a pro-abort to be found.

Later we discovered that the standard procedure for the counter-protesters is to show up well before the March begins so there are few or no pro-life people present. By pre-arrangement, the media come to film them and gather quotes and demonstrate that they are really the only ones there. Then they and the media take off, job done, while the teeming thousands are all still milling about on the Mall listening to the speeches.

By the time the teeming thousands of cheery pretty young pro-life girls come streaming past the court house, the pro-abortion counter-protesters (and probably their media buddies) are safely holed up in a pub somewhere near by.

Sometimes some of the media people will go down to the Mall to find the really stand-out cranks in the crowd, the old guys with the really strong southern accents croaking about God and doomsday, and make sure to give them lots of air time.

cf. the Washington Post video coverage, probably available on YouTube. It was a template of this procedure. Almost a caricature of the kind of coverage that has typified the media presence at the March for years.

The net is going to destroy the media

Is destroying it, by exposing its own absurd and absurdly obvious deceptions.They're becoming the butt of everyone's jokes since the scandals that ended whatsis name's career a few years ago.

"More than any other event, the March reveals the truly eye-popping, mind-boggling corruption of the Mainstream Media."

...but I hope my friends will remind me to just say no whenever I get the urge to interview a tearful teenage girl...


I shudder...

(If you feel the need to skip her cringeworthy deeply personal sharing experience, she's on from 5:32 to about 6:09)

That "right to choose" thing really gets around, don't it?

After her acquittal, Gilderale told the Daily Mail that she was unrepentant of having helped her daughter to kill herself. "I have never had a moment's regret," she said. Describing the day of her daughter's death, Gilderale said, "I never thought of snatching the syringe away because I knew that would have made her more determined, and I respected her as an adult with the right to choose."

Monday, February 01, 2010

Ours and Theirs

V. interesting photo essay on the San Francisco March for Life.

Some years ago, I saw a photo essay on two separate events, one pro-life and the other, pro-abortion. The essayist did not engage in any sort of polemics about the issues. He (or possibly she) merely asked, "Which side has the prettier girls?"

This gave me the idea of taking lots of photos of pretty young women at the MFL in Washington, but I must say that I had what is sometimes referred to in military parlance as a "target-rich environment". By far the greatest number of people there were under thirty and I would guess that they were majority female. And most of them pretty. The nuns too.

The blogger at Zombie makes the point again.

Don't worry dear. I'm sure it's not something you have to think about these days.

Hilary Discovers MacWorld

I've just figured out how to use my Glorious New Mac to automatically upload (if that's what you call it) photos directly to my facebook account.

I post the following

there's no end to the joy of being a Macbook user

I renounce and repudiate all my former PC loyalties
and call upon my former PC friends to abandon their
retrograde system and join the Macworld generation

Come on over to the Mac Side, brothers...