Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cops save black lives

Lee Habeeb argues that cops have a right to be angry at the false witness being born toward them, and I agree. Excerpt:

New York cops are mad at Mayor de Blasio in particular because he failed to mention that 2013 ended with the lowest number of fatal shootings by the police in 40 years in their city. Only eight people died from police gunfire, with a police force of over 30,000. And all of the victims were armed with either a gun or a cutting instrument. But none of those leaders bothered to report these narrative-busting facts — nor did the media.

And no one bothered to mention that New York City is on track in 2014 to have the fewest murders in 50 years. As of the beginning of December, there had been 290. That’s down from 2,200 in the early 1990s. The majority of lives saved were black, because the overwhelming majority of murder victims in the city are black. Do the math. Tens of thousands of black lives have been saved in the past two decades by cops in New York, but Mayor de Blasio couldn’t manage to share that fact in his heartfelt speech.

Cops save black lives. Sensible people see this truth.

I wonder, though, how eager a policeman will be to rush toward 911 calls in some neighborhoods now, knowing that they may face a decision between having either his life or his career ended. Or, will he even feel like patrolling those neighborhoods? Will there be some time in the future when patrolling the worst neighborhoods will be given to the C-average cops? This already is somewhat the case now, or at least there is anecdotal evidence which seem to confirm this. Nobody disputes that some policemen are better or smarter than others, or that some policemen are downright corrupt.

We shouldn't forget that these men know and are fully aware that they may be killed or hurt badly every time they suit up. But we as a nation need to support the police. Sea of Blue is an attempt to counter the lies and support good men (and women) in the police force. If we didn't have company on Saturday I would have gone downtown to add my support.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Religion as the opiate lithium of the Working Boy

On the eve of the birthday of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior it probably really is fitting if still ironic that our Working Boy in this almost perfect post to that end uses his unique gift for words to explain over and over again the absolutely wrong way to relate to Christianity and to God: as a mental patient undergoing psychological therapy.

The evidence for Dreher's fundamental misunderstanding here isn't to be had legalistically in any particular lines or paragraphs this time, which is why I'm not excerpting any and why in this case, seriously, you really do need to read the whole thing.

Instead, this time the evidence is to be found in the whole, what the Germans refer to as gestalt. As exquisitely laid out throughout the entire post, Dreher simply reveals no grasp at all that religion in general and Christianity in particular has any role other than setting the disordered psyche right again.

There isn't any "spiritual sickness" at play here, at least none distinguishable from psychological woes, no independently spiritual crises of faith itself, certainly no objective demonic possession. For Dreher, then, God and Christianity, particularly through the sled work prescribed by his Orthodoxy therapist, thus becomes the apotheotic nostrum - the ultimate cure for what ails ya, a way to generate a virtual private psychological Innernet network wormhole through the ordinary psychological storms of everyday life in the world outside, the sort others routinely master but which will always threaten to consume him.

(There is, of course, a Hail Mary insanity plea to be raised: that Dreher has deliberately sculpted this heartfelt post in the way he has solely to promote sales of his forthcoming God-through-Dante-as-salving-self-help-book. Not really sure how that helps.)

In Dreher's particular case his psychological disorder begins and, frankly, will probably never end with his fraught relationship with his family and the community of his birth. As he makes abundantly and tragically clear in every line in this Christmas post, though, he seeks relief from his torment in religious process as psychological therapy with exactly the same immature confusion in which an adolescent pursues love through sex.

Maybe there's a moment somewhere over the years where Dreher has sought to serve God rather than vice versa, endlessly pursuing Him as prescription or therapist in one utilitarian form or another. Show me.

Unlike Ambien, God, even through Orthodoxy, isn't supposed to be the cure for what ails ya, Rod. And while both religion and sex can be mistakenly utilized as therapy, it's ultimately an immature perversion of both to do so. And, finally, no, Dante's Commedia is not the ultimate self-help book, a High (Falutin') Medieval Italian Brodo di Pollo per L'anima.

Or at least until now it was never, ever supposed to be.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The war on the police

I've noticed a number of articles by liberals since the double assassination which downplay any type of danger to police from these protestors in New York and Ferguson. Dan Gainor corrects this notion. Excerpt:

The same sentiment spread on Twitter as some were gleeful about the murders. One asked: "Am I the only one happy about this breaking news 2 cops getting shot"? She wasn't. The hashtag #F---12 overflowed with hate for #pigpolice.

Now, many protesters, like White House favorite and MSNBC host Al Sharpton, claim they aren't anti-police, they are pro-justice. 

They lie.

Union organizer Robert Murray was "arraigned on charges of assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, rioting and obstruction" for an attack on two New York police lieutenants during one "justice" protest two weeks ago, according to CBS. Two Bronx public defenders appeared in a rap video with the lyrics, "For Mike Brown and Sean Bell, a cop got to get killed." In Philadelphia, a paramedic posted a photo showing two black men pointing a gun at a police officer and describing police as "our real enemy."

All this acting up and foul rhetoric bespeaks a desire to be at war, to make war on the police. There's a propaganda aspect where anything good the police do goes unreported and every time they screw up the incident gets relentlessly trumpeted. The media are complicity in this. Fortunately it seems like there is an effort on the part of many other media groups, albeit smaller outlets, to report good news about things that policemen do to save lives and protect the citizenry. However, this is only a "hedge" if you will; most people know that police aren't evil, vicious murderers longing for the chance to kill someone.

This movement won't end until it runs out of steam and funding like the Occupy crowd did. I hope it happens soon. Of course it would be great if the people at the top were arrested and jailed, but I'm not hopeful of that.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Bo Dietl: "Big Bird de Blasio needs to go back to Cuba"

They got what they wanted. Dead police officers.

The voice of the Satanic mob. "What do we want? Dead Cops! When do we want it? NOW!"

Here's the petition asking Bill DeBlasio to resign as Mayor. I don't see why you have to be from New York to sign it. As long as you believe in the restoration of order you should want this man to step down and go teach at a university or do basket-weaving seminars.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Kim Jong-Workingboy

TAC's Dear Thought Leader, Kim Jong-Workingboy

Do those glasses make me look fat? Discuss, but let's be civil to one another here north of the 38th parallel, gang!

Nothing more perfectly exemplifies TAC's hypocritically cynical flea market approach to selling off whatever contemporary culture it can lay its paws on than it's own premiere special snowflake, the one writer there who brings the eyeballs to everything else. Yes, I'm talking about our own favorite Kim Jong-Workingboy, moderator of all civilly appropriate thought.

The richness of this irony reached a frothy boil recently when Our Working Jong threw down a snappy series of posts bemoaning "special snowflakes" on various college campuses. Not that the targets may not easily have deserved the criticism.

No, the irony was who was pointing the finger: the most fragile, delicate snowflake to ever drift from the heavens to moisten the blogosphere with his inescapable woundedness.

Anyone who has wasted more than two or three attempts at posting anything more than the spongiest of softball critiques of KJW's aesthetic sophistries already knows the criterion used to silence criticism of Dear Working Jong is seldom "civility", the excuse de la maison at TAC.

But that's the beauty of the comment you can never see: you'll never know what it really was, so all you do get to read are those comments selected by Dear Working Jong himself to best pair up with the post he has graciously prepared for your carefully curated consumption.

One can best think of this as the subtle, nuanced gourmet cooking of a fine meal - made with people!

And never a dissonant flavor note to spoil the happy meal.

So, before we bitch and moan about some petulant special snowflake from the Hermit Kingdom intimidating us into stopping ourselves from watching even a sophomoric Franco-Rogen comedy, let's not forget the many little Hermit Kingdoms we already build for ourselves to inhabit everyday.

We far too often compete to become the geese we ourselves eagerly stuff with the liver-fattening grain of humble obedience for chefs like Kim Jong-Workingboy to work their magic on.

Friday, December 19, 2014

What should Rod Dreher believe today?

With the most recent overwrite of the cultural thumb drive that is Rod Dreher from "the arrogance of Seth Rogen" to the lonesome courage of George Clooney, I've become firmly convinced that our Working Boy is not just an easily spun weather vane ideal for generating blog clicks but might also prove serviceable as a cultural-political-religious Build-A-Bear® ideal for holiday giving.

So what should your BUILD-A-ROD-BELIEF-BEAR believe today? Don't worry, you can always build a new BUILD-A-ROD-BELIEF-BEAR that believes completely different, even diametrically opposite things tommorrow.

Some belief options you can choose:

Cars are good:
  • Yes
  • No
  • Not sure
The best way to know God is through:
  • Architecture
  • Catholicism
  • Orthodoxy
  • Oysters
  • Ignatius Reilly
  • Saved me
  • Will save me if my book is ever published
  • God, if you save me from this Dante book, I promise to write a book about You
My political party of choice is:
  • Democrat
  • Republican
  • Neither
  • Which political party do you belong to, and have I told you about my Dante book?
I love eating because:
  • My body is a temple
  • I've already gotten that sex thing out of the way, thank God
  • Food tastes good
  • Even I get tired of the sound of my own voice
I love my home town of St. Francisville because:
  • I'm a localist, and it's where my roots are
  • I made a million dollar advance from a book about it. What's not to love?
  • The Muslims can't find me here
  • If I can sell my Daddy's land in time, I'll have more time to research my next book about kohlrabi
Well, that's only a glimpse of the many, many featured beliefs you can choose to include in your very own, unique BUILD-A-ROD-BELIEF-BEAR for putting under your own tree or giving to others this holiday season.

And the best part is, in addition to those you choose above, you can also add your own featured beliefs the moment you think of one!

So why not take your very own personal BUILD-A-ROD-BELIEF-BEAR for a test build below today?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tough Words But True

I've been meaning to post a link to this for awhile now. I think it is good medicine from a lady, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, who has been fighting the good fight against queers, liberals and pagans for some time now. Excerpt:

Some of you are hysterical over the Synod, as though the Holy Father were plotting to change Church doctrine. Haven’t you seen this report from the National Catholic Register? The four American bishops said at their press conference, “There must have been two synods, and the four of us must have happened to be at the wrong one.”

I don’t know what in the world you kids are thinking. You certainly realize that the Holy Father has no authority to change Church doctrine. And he knows it.

Some of you are upset because all the wrong people seem to like the Holy Father. I realize there is a battle to capture the symbolic value of the Papacy. The “Progressives” who want the whole Sexual Revolution, would love to claim the moral authority of the Papacy and the Catholic Church for their team. But do you realize that every time you repeat the liberal media talking points like this, you are scoring for the “Progressive” team?

You kids know me well enough to know that I don’t generally go around scolding people. As a matter of fact, refraining from scolding is how I get away with my unabashed presentation of Church teaching on marriage and sex, in front of non-Catholic and Catholic audiences alike. (Check out this and this, for instance. Surely you will not accuse me of soft-pedaling Church teaching!) Scolding people is not very attractive. And I like to keep my powder dry for situations that really call for a full-on Mom-Mad.

I don't think she is talking so much here about people like William Oddie or Father Longenecker who have presented constructive criticisms of Pope Francis. I think she mainly means the hysterical slashing of people like an acquaintance of mine who suggests in his rant emails that surely all true faithful Catholics realize that Pope Francis is a heretic and probably the anti-Christ, or least a sub-anti-Christ under President Obama.

I realize that Pope Francis is not necessarily your style. He talks about issues you would rather not discuss. He talks about things in a way that is alien to you.

Too bad. He is still your father, even if you don’t like everything he says or does. You owe him the respect due to his office, as father.

I insist that you respect your father. That’s what good moms do.

I have made a point of publishing this column on a non-Catholic website. Can you imagine how we look to our Separated Brethren? Do you realize that many of them wish us well? Faithful Evangelicals know their lives will be a lot harder if the Catholic Church goes soft on the sexual issues.

Pope Francis is not a "conservative" by temperament, but ideologically and theologically he's the same as the last two Popes. I don't think any thing is going to change either of these realities.

Look at Archbishop Kurtz’s blog, where he talks positively about the Synod. People don’t become Catholics because someone literally or metaphorically bludgeons them into submission. People become Catholics because they are attracted to the person of Jesus Christ.

Your basic question should always be: am I drawing people closer to Jesus Christ? If the answer is yes, you are doing something right. If the answer is no, you need to do something different.

If you are going to wear the Catholic label on your forehead, kindly make yourself as attractive as you can. Moaning and complaining and tearing each other down is NOT attractive.

I think all her points should be taken by Catholics. Even if they then want to explain how Pope Francis has fallen short, in their humble opinion. Recently there was a total bullshit story about the Pope saying that your dead pet dog will end up in heaven. The thing was sewn together out of whole cloth and fragments from a story about remarks from Pope Paul VI.

The moral is to not believe anything you hear about the Pope until you verify it from a real news source. Everyone hysterical about Pope Francis has forgotten all the supposedly awful things that Pope JPII did in the way of introducing Satanism, Wicca, Alchemy and Altar Girls into the Catholic liturgy. This was 20 years ago when I joined the Catholic Church, and obviously it was all either a bunch of crap or, as in the case with altar girls, it didn't split the Church the way the traditionalists predicted (or hoped in some cases). The non-factuality of all the lies didn't stop the haters from spewing them; plus ca change.

Beauty, Simplicity and Understatement

...from two great American musicians with diminutive names.

It gets cut off at the end, but I'm pretty sure that what Petty says is "Elvis is King, but Bo Diddley is Daddy." I'm not sure who he thinks is the Holy Spirit of Rock and Roll. Maybe Aretha Franklin? Unclear. On the other hand, Mona denotes one-ness, so perhaps he is a monist.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Here's how you shut down those inappropriate films Keith watches

Threaten to kill every one of their patrons

Hey, works in every organized crime-protected neighborhood in every city around the globe.

Why not let North Korea set a new MPAA standard for us all to follow?

We can abbreviate it "Rated NK" - for "Not for Keith", of course.

Double Shot

This is just what I needed this morning. Love the music, but the wardrobe? I'd prefer violent revolution, fighting in the streets, fading away, etc. to seeing that pink shiny outfit again.

After this show, Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood conducted a seminar backstage called "How to make your own high-end wifebeater t-shirt."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Jeb bluffs Mitt; 3 to 4 Republican governor potential

"I'm actively exploring the idea of running, Mitt, actively, you hear, so don't you get too confident just yet" - or words to that effect.

So this cycle, and following eight years of a community organizer-in-chief, we can look forward to a potential surfeit of at least three Republican chief executives in the running, four if you count Bobby Jindal (which I don't). If my bias isn't clear, I'm of the opinion that chief executives generally make the best chief executive.

To my mind, Mitt, if he runs, offers the richest combination of correct thinking and hands-on CEO bench depth (for those with misgivings, keep in mind that he will suffer no shortage of outside ideological advice and guidance).

So, for better or worse, who vs. Hillary does 2016 appear to be shaping up for to you?

How the faux-conservative marketplace works

 At the risk of inducing Dreher Fatigue™, my little mini-series on TAC's year-end fundraising would be incomplete without this little gem courtesy of one of the rubes herself. A commenter calling herself grumpy realist tells us:

Rod, even though I’m totally on the other side from you I just donated as well. If I had more available would donate more. Mainly because I’m a cranky old bitch that appreciates great writing and thinks that we need to have good thinkers on all sides.

 I’m skeptical about conservatism because I see it used far too often as justification used by privileged people to keep themselves on top and not share the goodies. But if I argue with conservatives, I’d rather argue with conservatives who use reason and logic, rather than some screaming talk-show host who flails around and calls me a “feminazi”.

How iconoclastic! A dedicated liberal donates to a "conservative" blog! And what does she get for her donation?

Why, the faux-conservative Dreher immediately sells the watch she has just paid him to take right back to her again:

Best motivation for a TAC donor ever! From a reader of this here blog:

Rod, even though I’m totally on the other side from you I just donated as well. If I had more available would donate more. Mainly because I’m a cranky old bitch that appreciates great writing and thinks that we need to have good thinkers on all sides.

I’m skeptical about conservatism because I see it used far too often as justification used by privileged people to keep themselves on top and not share the goodies. But if I argue with conservatives, I’d rather argue with conservatives who use reason and logic, rather than some screaming talk-show host who flails around and calls me a “feminazi”.

Bless you, COB. You complete me. I know this was Beatrice Arthur from beyond the grave.

Oh - she does get an additional gift: he characterizes her as the dead Bea Arthur.

So let's break down the mechanics of the ideological daisy chain we've just witnessed:
  • A liberal - here grumpy realist - wants to feel she is being diverse by engaging with conservatives.
  • But the porridge served at true conservative sites is too hot and burns her lips.
  • So she searches until she finds a site with the word "conservative" in it that conforms perfectly to her liberal needs and sensibilities - TAC, "The" "American" "Conservative".
  • And gives them money, thus validating her perceptions with meaningful action. Certainly grumpy realist wouldn't donate money to a counterfeit conservative site, now would she. Of course not. As a critically discerning liberal she's just too smart for that.
  • And as if her own donation were not proof enough for her, her "conservative" host further legitimizes her decision by selling her comment right back to her. Diversity and reason in action, head to tail!
So, here's how to make money online as a faux-conservative:
  • Find out what your liberal and fellow faux-conservative marks want to hear - maybe something about "the arrogance of Seth Rogen" in not being sensitive enough to Sony Corp.'s potential bullying by Kim Jong-un. All good liberals and faux-conservatives always appreciate a bullying narrative anyway.
  • Give them some resistance to overcome: in addition to making their commenting a hard-won privilege, frequently say stupid things deliberately so they will feel compelled to correct you. Let them comment, but shoot a Jew behind them in the field from your balcony every now and then both to keep them on their toes and to further validate their experience.
  • Regularly sell their comments back to them as posts they or someone else has to pay for. As we've already noted, this has the mutually useful effect of making them feel their time has been well spent and validating your faux-conservative credentials as genuine - because you made them feel their time had been well spent, and only a fool would feel that way if the site were not genuinely conservative to begin with.
  • Finally, urinate on their heads a little bit when you're finished - compare them to Bea Arthur - to keep them in their place. Because their whole underlying impulse to begin with is actually to serve you, they will never fell properly satisfied if they themselves are the finally or completely victorious parties in the engagement.
That's the way you do it: money for nothing and your clicks for free.

This Way to the Egress! =>

Jingle Bombs

"Don't laugh at me or I KEEL YOU!"

Monday, December 15, 2014

It's that time again...

"The" "American" "Conservative": Cultural Hot Mess Drag Revue

What else is one to make of

Run, Elizabeth Warren, Run?

What else is one to make of slobberingly sanctimonious sexually Orthodox Rod Dreher, TAC's premier headliner, cheekily offering the now-uncloseted fellow patrons at Club TAC an image of one woman pertly whipping another woman sexually? Oooh, la-lah!

Clearly, TAC is a place for formerly closeted, self-loathing conservatives to gather with others of their kind and to boldly throw off the religious, political, and other cultural yokes that nature and nurtue have so cruelly bent and broken them under previously. And doesn't the red of Elizabeth's jacket just make a stunning conservative statement to those ends?

At TAC, you, too, can free yourself of the principles and other benchmarks of political, religious, moral and other cultural gender that have kept your Fauxcahontas parts chafing under conventional conservative bindings so cruel, so hateful, so wrong, for far too many years.

Why suffer any longer the slings and arrows a "conservative" conservative must endure at the hands of the mainstream media, not to mention at holiday office parties? Instead, as your eyes meet theirs between sips of your Pink Squirrel across that crowded room, you can sensuously mouthe "The" "American" "Conservative" and from now on their own twinkling eyes will understand everything.

So as the year end fast approaches, won't you consider again a contribution to "The" "American" "Conservative", the one place where you can safely reveal yourself to be the sort of Elizabeth Warren conservative you were born to be, among others just like you?

And, as a bonus, your contributions will go directly to funding one of Rod Dreher's frequent getaways to New Orleans' mysterious, anonymously exotic French Quarter, a realm where anything is possible and where one day, if you're lucky, your eyes could even meet his, twinkling, across a Manhattan and in unison you could both mouthe "The" "American" "Conservative".

UPDATE (as they say): Apparently, in the cold light of later this morning, headliner Dreher regretted the popper-fueled personal enthusiasm yesterday's choice of dancing chaps revealed.

Yesterday: the personally exhortative Run, Elizabeth Warren, Run

Sobered up later this morning: the now-standoffish The Value of an Elizabeth Warren Run

Frankly, this is why I can't believe anything this little coquette says, about his sister Ruthie, about his faith, about his sexuality, about his parents, about his finances, about his political beliefs, anything: everything, everything he says is a malleable deception in progress, constantly being recalculated and revised according to how he believes it can best be sold in the marketplace of the moment.

Love the description...

...of Liz Warren as the leader of the potty-trained version of the Occupy movement. Excerpt:

The Tea Party came into being as a reaction to Republican complicity in bailouts of all sorts: of Wall Street firms, and of irresponsible mortgage borrowers. Occupy, and the potty-trained version of that movement led by Elizabeth Warren, demands more bailouts: of people who borrowed money for college or to buy a home, of fashionable corporations that do not want to pay market rates for financing, etc. Senator Warren is an energetic proponent of corporate welfare for Boeing, General Electric Bechtel, Caterpillar, and other such poor, defenseless little mom-and-pop operations.

If you are looking for actual rather than theoretical opposition to bailouts and corporate welfare, then your choices include Senator Rand Paul and Senator Ted Cruz, but practically nobody who might be called a progressive.

Of course the far left do nothing but posture every time a budget like this gets passed, and the idea that there is some type of opposition coalition forming between activists on opposite sides is ludicrous. I have pretty much turned into someone who is not particularly fond of the Tea Party movement, mainly because they seem to get in the way of the kind of consensus in the GOP that is required to move the right agenda forward. It doesn't help that I get some very pushy fundraising calls and emails from different Tea Party groups, nor that I know more than most conservatives would like to know about the Patriots/Express lawsuit.

Friday, December 12, 2014

I just donated $18,000 to The American Conservative

And it was matched by a donor even wealthier than me.

Or maybe I didn't. How would I know? They certainly won't open their books for me. Maybe I intended to, but actually only misplaced that $18,000 instead. And was it really matched? Beats me.

Whatever. Like most of our Working Boy's writing there, the important thing is the narrative of someone like me giving to support what commenter Aaron Gross triumphantly reminds us

“The American Conservative: We Are The Alt-Right Base”

and that narrative of the giving of mine immediately turning into bread cast upon the waters because of the generosity of narratively saying two additional anonymous wealthy donors would match it.

For those like you who may be "skeptical of the market and of Wall Street" as Rod puts it, this sort of narrative matching is the very best thing short of the certainty of government wage and price controls.

Forget nay-sayers like allenkopf, who cavil "The market and Wall Street are two very different things often opposing each other" - that's the whole problem in a nutshell, isn't it? Two nihilistic systems in opposition to each other, both going up and down, driven by nothing but the sheer caprice of the average uninformed American, not systematically supported by the thoughtfully credulous average American with money to spend like you.

Compare that sort of quibbling with my narratives and those I support at The American Conservative with my generous narrative donations, narratives which can always be counted on to faithfully follow the prevailing media wind, as we have just seen there in those addressing the shooting of Michael Brown, the arrest of Eric Garner, the UVA-"Jackie" horror, and now the Democratic Senate torture report.

In fact, if you give now, directly to me, your generous contribution will be multiplied, not two, but three ways: first, I'll receive it; second, I'll donate it to TAC - honest; and then, third, it will be matched in kind by unknown wealthy donors up to a maximum of $20,000.

I don't need to point out to someone with an advanced degree like you that donating the maximum $20,000 to me directly will wring the most result out of this compound triple multiplier effect I just described.

Donate to me now, and generously, and defend the Alt-Right Base from all of her enemies, internal and external, domestic and foreign.

And as a token of my respect for the generous person who donates the most, I'll let you, yes, you, decide what "Alt-Right" and "Alt-Conservatism" is supposed to mean in ordinary everyday English for all of taxable year 2015 to come.

Thank you for your generous support of my support and generosity , and may God bless you.

"For he stirs forth from his holy dwelling."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Dr. Taylor Marshall, probably one of the best Catholic Apologists out there, argues for December 25 as the actual day of Christ's birthday. All the arguments are great and well-reasoned, and his replies to arguments that the date was simply chosen are courteous. Here's the most common sense of them all:
Sacred Tradition also confirms December 25 as the birthday of the Son of God. The source of this ancient tradition is the Blessed Virgin Mary herself. Ask any mother about the birth of her children. She will not only give you the date of the birth, but she will be able to rattle off the time, the location, the weather, the weight of the baby, the length of the baby, and a number of other details. I’m the father of six blessed children, and while I sometimes forget these details—mea maxima culpa—my wife never does. You see, mothers never forget the details surrounding the births of their babies. 
Now ask yourself: Would the Blessed Virgin Mary ever forget the birth of her Son Jesus Christ who was conceived without human seed, proclaimed by angels, born in a miraculous way, and visited by Magi? She knew from the moment of His incarnation in her stainless womb that He was the Son of God and Messiah. Would she ever forget that day?
Next, ask yourself: Would the Apostles be interested in hearing Mary tell the story? Of course they would. Do you think the holy Apostle who wrote, “And the Word was made flesh,” was not interested in the minute details of His birth? Even when I walk around with our seven-month-old son, people always ask “How old is he?” or “When was he born?” Don’t you think people asked this question of Mary? 
So the exact birth date (December 25) and the time (midnight) would have been known in the first century. Moreover, the Apostles would have asked about it and would have, no doubt, commemorated the blessed event that both Saint Matthew and Saint Luke chronicle for us. In summary, it is completely reasonable to state that the early Christians both knew and commemorated the birth of Christ. Their source would have been His Immaculate Mother. 

George Weigel on Bad Ecumenism

Weigel shows how some people like Cd. Kurt Koch are really tied down by the human perspective on what's good for the Church and for true peace in the world. The fall of communism left a mess, but I seem to remember someone saying we shouldn't be afraid of messiness and making messes.

Yet what seems so clear to others is, somehow, not self-evident in the halls of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. In a recent interview with Vatican Radio, the pontifical council’s president, Cardinal Kurt Koch, said that “the changes in 1989 (that is, the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe) were not advantageous for ecumenical relations” because “the Eastern Catholic churches banned by Stalin re-emerged” from underground—and that made life difficult for Roman ecumenists, given Russian Orthodox phobias about “Uniate churches” like the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Byzantine in liturgy and polity but in full communion with Rome.

What is going on here? No local Church in modern times suffered more for its fidelity to Rome than the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine—the world’s largest underground religious community between 1946 and 1989. Was Cardinal Koch suggesting that it would have been better for “ecumenical relations” if the communist crack-up in 1989 hadn’t occurred and if the Soviet Union had remained intact? It’s bad enough to be subjected to ex-KGB officer Vladimir Putin’s laments about the Soviet crack-up being the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century; it’s even worse when the Catholic Church’s top ecumenical officer expresses what seem, at first blush, to be ominously parallel sentiments.

Bad ecumenism: is that phrase redundant? I'm one of those people that see the whole project of ecumenism in practice as being a big, ivory tower academic ritual. I'm much more interested in personal, hand-to-hand apologetics, even though it gets pugilistic at times. I prefer ecumenism to a supposed search for common ground which, in my experience, is usually a chance for theology grad students who can't write and don't want to commit to the priesthood or religious life to finally use those hours spent in classes and late-night bull sessions spent on the mostly irrelevant subject called comparative religion.

Conversion is about embracing the Truth which sets you free, not about mouthing other peoples' failed rhetoric in grandiose seminar settings and getting a rise out of "coming together". That's best left to the motivational speakers. What Weigel demonstrates in his article is how the fear of offending a group of people leads deep thinkers to lament the effects of fighting and overthrowing what, in the case of the Soviet regime, was truly and completely evil, and was persecuting all Christians viewed as threats (i.e., Catholics).

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"I don't know, honestly"

Shocker! Rich Guy Buys Magazine!

Carson Holloway, which is kind of an awesome name, writes about the irony of liberals lamenting the impending transformation of The New Republic from one type of thing to another type of thing as a result of the desires of the new ownership. Excerpt:

Why is this interesting?  The New Republic is a progressive journal, yet its editorial staff think of it in conservative terms.  The people who made up The New Republic are all progressives in relation to American politics, yet they are all conservatives in relation to the identity of The New Republic.  They say it is a public trust.  This means that it does not really belong to the people who happen to own and manage it for the time being.  Rather, it is bigger than they are, and they have an obligation to preserve its traditional identity and pass it on to the next generation.

That is a fine way to think about a long-established journal.  It is also a fine way to think about one’s country.  Yet the staff of The New Republic have not thought about their country that way for as long as I can remember.  They have instead been in favor of the transformation of America in both law and morals.  There is irony here.

Maybe the people at The New Republic have been implicitly committed to an enterprise that could not, in the end, be sustained. After all, if you dedicate your energies to convincing people that they are not bound by their country’s traditions, you should not be surprised if a new owner has no respect for the traditions of a mere magazine.

Liberals wants to keep their cake on display in a museum and eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and twice for dessert. If they write for a publication like TNR then they'll have you know that they are doing it for the noble good of humanity. But on payday, let me tell you, those people who think they work in the front office sure as hell better shell it out to them, man. Wait—where'd they get that money? Do you mean this magazine is run like a business concern? I thought it was done for the sake of goodness, truth and beauty! Did someone actually decide that the magazine's operations could be moved to another city? Like, in moving trucks?? Did anyone think of how that might displace people or, even worse, upset the harmony and balance of the universe?

Do these people think they can make those kind of decisions just because they call themselves "owners"? Can someone named Marty Peretz actually sell TNR? Can someone named Chris Hughes really buy TNR? They didn't build that! What about the guys in hardhats who built roads and bridges?

To me, all the hand-wringing and depression is akin to the uber-cool kids in college who were "into R.E.M. before they were popular." Some of those kids didn't want to admit that Get up or The one I love were actually pretty good songs. It seems like some of TNR's "mourners" are going to have a hard time admitting that their favorite magazine still has something to offer them. Of course, I might agree if it starts to be mainly about a bunch of gay stuff.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Was The American Conservative's Rod Dreher previously Beliefnet's "Jackie"/Lena Dunham?

In my comments to Pikkumatti's excellent post here I make a case that at least must be addressed. In the wake of Dreher's latest post on Lena Dunham - still titled in Google's as yet uncached version as "Liar Liar Lena Dunham" like its permalink - I'll summarize those comments here.

This morning, the Senate Intelligence Committee will be releasing its torture report on Bush-era CIA interrogation methods. Four years ago, middle-aged professional writer Rod Dreher, then writing for Beliefnet, accused persons associated with Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts of willfully enabling the torture of a student assigned to their care - him.

Remember, four years ago Rod Dreher had already long since been established and well known as a professional writer, someone well-acquainted with what his carefully chosen words mean.

In this Beliefnet post (screen capture here, because Dreher's Beliefnet posts have a habit of mysteriously disappearing), Dreher claims:

When I think about the bullying I endured in high school, the most indelible image on my mind is being pinned to the floor and tortured in a hotel room on a school trip, and the two adult women chaperones in the room literally stepping over me, lying there screaming for them to help me, as they left the hotel room.

From my comments on Pikkumatti's post, here's how serious this really is:

  • Dreher was born in 1967.
      • If he started first grade at 6, that would have been 1967 + 6 = 1973
        • Starting high school 8 years later would make the opening time bracket of the torture episode 1981
          • Therefore, Rod Dreher is publicly claiming that, sometime between the years 1981 and 1985 (give or take a year on each end), two female chaperones employed or formally engaged by the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts allowed a student in their care to be tortured by other students while on a field trip sponsored by that school
            • Dreher, long a professional writer as of this 2010 Beliefnet article, is using the same word being used to indict the CIA in the report being released today. He does not modify or otherwise explain his use of the word torture. 
              • How serious was the liability which Dreher, at least since this 2010 Beliefnet piece, has accused the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts of enabling through its negligent chaperones? Why, any thing from being physically burned with cigarettes to being brutally sodomized. Taunting or tickling can in no way be described by a professional writer of the age Dreher was when he wrote that as "torture".
                • If the story is true, school records will reveal there were specific real, identifiable women who enabled this torture and real fellow students who carried it out, real torture enablers and torturers associated with the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts.
                  • If the story is false, Rod Dreher has libeled the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts

                  As fabulists and defamers go, "Jackie" and Lena Dunham have nothing on TAC's Rod Dreher.

                  So what was Rod Dreher's torture?

                  A real event that, as reported, condemns the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts and its personnel for their reckless endangerment of their students? A made-up rape fantasy like "Jackie"'s or Lena Dunhams? Some mish-mash of both?

                  Either way, in the wake of tales like this what can one reasonably believe about Rod Dreher's factual accounts about anything, from 9/11, to the Catholic Church Scandals, to what his now-dead sister, unable to respond, may or may not have said or done?

                  Anything at all?

                  UPDATE (as they say): In the comments, Art Deco wonders whether the high school in question might actually have been Dreher's local West Feliciana High School rather than the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts.

                  If so, nothing but the name of the high school in question changes. There either were or were not real and identifiable chaperones responsible for enabling Rod's torture on an identifiable field trip sponsored by whichever high school it was, as well as real and identifiable students on that same trip from which the pool of actual torturers was comprised.

                  Obamacare: The Olestra of Government Programs

                  Monday, December 8, 2014

                  ... said the pot to the kettle ...

                  Our fave Cub Reporter has posted seven (and counting) pieces in recent days regarding the Rolling Stone piece on the University of Virginia fraternity rape story.  Those pieces began with the hook-line-sinker piece entitled "A Fraternity of Rape" but has now closed in on the dangers of shoddy journalism and its defenders.  Fair enough -- many (including yours truly) followed the same path as the story waxed and has now waned.

                  In one of today's pieces, Dreher offers the following analysis:

                  If you have a reporter or an editor who believes her own activism and therapy is more important than observing basic journalistic standards of diligent fact-checking and fairness, you have a very big problem. ...

                  However righteous your cause may be, if you allow your passion for it to turn you into this kind of journalist -- which is to say, a propagandist -- then you are a liability to your employer, your profession, and to yourself. 

                  Sound advice, if plenty harsh.

                  But let's hearken back just a few months, tho, (seems like only yesterday) to the dust-up over another shaky piece of journalism, namely the alleged tossing of the bodies of 800 children into a sewer by nuns.  Dreher tosses out McCarthy-like "facts-which-if-true" like this:

                  If this is true, one concern is that doctors, with the consent of the directors of these homes, allowed illegitimate Irish children to be used as guinea pigs, presumably because in the eyes of the Irish church and Irish society at the time, they lacked full human dignity.

                  Of course, he followed this up with a bold-type "This has not been proven, but ...".  Meaning that the story is fake but accurate, I guess.  And here's why it was justified, according to Dreher at the time:

                  I say in this post that I regret being quick to believe the worst, and I have updated the story all along as more counterinformation has come out.  This is a blog.  This is how it works.  I added in this context as to why it's very easy to believe the worst about the behavior of the Irish church -- not to justify it, but to explain how it happens.  It doesn't require "anti-Catholic bias" to expect the worst when it comes to the behavior of the Irish church.  It just requires an awareness of its recent history. -- RD

                  College fraternities get a better shake from him than does the Catholic Church.  Because .... well .... an awareness of recent history .... uh .... they just do, I guess.

                  Those who want to read Rod Dreher for the serious substance of his work had better have a short memory.  Remembering too many of his pieces in the past will tangle up your mind in knots pretty quickly -- that is, until you realize that he is merely about whatever style and fashion strikes his fancy on any given day.  Nothing more.

                  Muslim Cleric: Saying Merry Christmas is worse than murder

                  Hat tip Creeping Sharia.

                  St. Peter's Cross and the virtue of Hope

                  I obviously think the relentless captioning of the Joe Biden window photo is humorous. I wonder if anyone else has noticed what to me was the main feature of the picture. Joseph Biden is the first Catholic occupant of the White House since JFK, 51 years and a couple weeks ago. And here he is being presented with an image of St. Peter's Cross. That's a Catholic symbol. Most Protestant Christians don't use it in their art or architecture, thinking it's satanic or too Catholic. So I think that it is significant enough for a sort of meditation.

                  I imagine that Simon Peter had a look similar to the one in the photo on his face when he was told by the Resurrented Christ that he was going to be crucified. The Catholic Answer's piece I linked to notes "In the ancient world — particularly in the Christian tradition — “to stretch out one’s hands” was a common reference to crucifixion."

                  And yet it is possible that this thought of impending martyrdom may have given Peter some hope. He had denied his Lord in the most cowardly way just to get out of a little bit of uncomfortable questioning. I imagine that if the servant girl had a Twitter account she might have tweeted something like "That Simon dude is sooooo one of those #jesusfreaks and he smells like fish." As Peter wept bitterly, he may have prayed like mad to get a chance to make up for his denials.

                  And the answer came during he reinstatement after the Resurrection. You're going to get martyred, Peter. It will be excruciatingly painful, but then you get to spend Eternity in glory. You get the better end of the stick—no pun intended—so don't despair, persevere in Hope.

                  Despair is a sin against hope, and that appears to be the sin of Judas who hung himself when he became aware of his sin and the consequences. This picture of our Catholic VP and the contemplation of St. Peter's Cross should give hope to Joseph Biden and to other Catholics who have denied Christ by their words or actions, i.e., all of us to one degree or another. There would be nothing funny about a picture of Joe Biden staring at a donkey halter.

                  Some of you might say, "Hey! why are you grimmin' us out talking about Crucifixion and Resurrection in the middle of the season of Advent on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception?" Busted — smack me with a ruler, sister. But I did find out that even though the picture has just undergone a type of resurrection on Twitter, the picture was taken on September 18. That is, of course, the feast day of a saint named Joseph who wasn't very bright and had a quick temper. Maybe the Vice President will even learn to fly someday like St. Joe of Cupertino without his private plane and spare a lot of jet fuel.

                  Saturday, December 6, 2014

                  Friday, December 5, 2014

                  Calling Asgard

                  Chris Johnson explains why a white Bosnian guy was killed by juveniles with hammers who just so happened to be black and Hispanic: lack of hammer control laws.

                  Me, I blame Missouri’s inexcusably-nonexistent hammer control laws.  There are no database checks, no waiting periods, nothing.  If any of you ever wanted to buy a hammer, all you’d have to do is to fly into Missouri, visit a hardware store and take your hammer home with you.  And since Missouri also doesn’t have any concealed hammer carry laws, you can carry your hammer anywhere around here that you care to go.

                  You have a bunch of black kids and a Hispanic kid who just happened to have hammers on them and who just happened to beat a white Bosnian to death with those hammers which they just happened to have on them.  Yeah, I can’t see any racial motivation whatsoever in this attack.  Racist.

                  I blame the parents for leaving hammers around in the house and the whole cult which has grown up around hammers: M. C. Hammer, Thor, Home Improvement, etc. When I was young there were guys that wanted to be those dudes in the Craftsmen ads.

                  And things are worse now. People are putting those toy Thor hammers in Easter Baskets, mixing violence with Easter once again! These conservatives have taken over and refuse to force Home Depot and Lowe's to lock up their hammers, do background checks on people wearing wife-beater shirts or even impose simple age restrictions.

                  And don't tell me that these people will just use crowbars if we restrict hammer purchases. That's crazy talk.

                  Lena Dunham is a rich, white, Tawana Brawley

                  Well of course she'd have to make something up if she never actually was raped. She needs feminist cred to sell books, and since all sex is rape anyway, she just had to pick her least favorite sexual experience and voilà! Instant rape.

                  Bizarrely, it seems like the "rape" never really took place, or it wasn't really rape. I'm not going to include the graphic details here; you can read them in the Breitbart article. If everything did go down the way she describes, i.e., she wanted to have sex but this guy got too rough, then it's a good illustration of why a 19-year-old woman shouldn't have sex with a stranger she just met. But this wouldn't be "realistic" in the liberal feminist worldview.

                  This article takes a while to read, but it is worth it to know just how hard Nolte and the Breitbart crew attempted to discover the identity of the rapist. Sadly her naming this person "Barry" indicates an actual person--it is not a pseudonym--and his name is now smeared with a false accusation.

                  “This man is by all accounts (including his own) innocent.”

                  Nolte noted that the man now “has to hide his Facebook page and retain an attorney” in the wake of Dunham’s book.

                  He said that while Dunham has pointed “her powerful finger” at the man accusing him of rape, she “has yet to clear his name.”

                  Having watched a friend of mine be falsely accused of rape, I would like to see this Barry guy work up some type of libel case against Dunham. I know that it would be pretty hard, but at least it might draw attention to her unreliability and to the fact that Random House is enabling felonious behavior on the part of a powerful individual against a falsely-accused, innocent man.

                  Michael Barone explains why Hillary doesn't look like a sure thing

                  Michael Barone discusses the polls, dissects the numbers and compares Hillary to winners and losers. The good news is she looks more like a loser. Excerpt:

                  But it's hard to avoid the conclusion of FiveThirtyEight analyst Harry Enten. Clinton, he wrote last Monday, "no longer looks like such a juggernaut. Not only are her numbers dropping, but she is running on par with a Democratic brand in its weakest shape in a decade."

                  That's not what optimistic Democrats were expecting earlier this year. They thought nostalgia for Bill Clinton's presidency would enable Hillary Clinton to run ahead of party lines. Voters not eager for a third Obama term might welcome a third Clinton term.

                  That last line certainly applies to low-information voters. The rest of us know that they would be more-or-less identical. Continuation of failed liberal domestic policies, far left appointments and "what does it matter anyway" foreign policy.

                  In 1991, candidate Bill Clinton gave three policy speeches to overflow crowds at Georgetown University's Gaston Hall. When Hillary Clinton spoke there last week, the balcony was almost empty and there were empty seats in the lower level, too.

                  Clinton futures were on the rise 23 years ago. They seem to be in decline 23 years later.

                  Wow, 23 years ago. I'm that old.

                  Thursday, December 4, 2014

                  "Well, we’re still here; where he?"

                  A New New Republican

                  Like all saprophytes, Rod Dreher once again finds opportunity in the demise of others, in this case in the fall of The New Republic.

                  Yes, Rod, you're still there, and where he? He still there, too.

                  The New Republicans were there—in the canal—reflected in the water.... The New Republicans stared back up at them for a long, long silent time from the rippling water....

                  UPDATE (as they say): I thought this evaluation by Judith deserved its own update, if only so we could savor it:

                  Robin Abrahams at 6:45 AM on Dec 5th spoke for me.

                  Rod Dreher, your blog has gone from being a thoughtful, and well written source of inspiration for me, to being a copied pastiche of other people’s nasty and inferior expressions, (basically their failures), thrown together and titled with deformed and sensationalist headlines, followed by superior and snide commentary (as if that in and of itself constitutes a contribution), while you sit back under a canopy of highbrow religiosity as your readers walk into the traps you have set, laughing gleefully at their exaggerated, angry, and one sided statements. This, alternating with an embarrassingly exhibitionistic over sharing of personal information, shows that underneath the trappings of symbol, there is nothing conservative about your agenda, and your style. Since you appear to be immune to any sense of personal hypocrisy, I can understand that you would criticize Sully and Coates for deteriorating into mass appeal, and would refer to everything you don’t agree with using that trite expression “the mainstream media.” My version of Robin’s second sentence is: “I’m a great follower of tabloid reading, my favorites being Salon, HuffingtonPost, Gawker, and Rod Dreher’s blog.”

                  Former Conservative? Not so much.

                  The subject of this article, Bart Campolo and his Church of Christ Without Christ, is cause for pity as well as ridicule, but this first paragraph is sort of pitiable as well:

                  My new colleague and friend, Bart Campolo, is the principal investigator. Bart is the new Humanist Chaplain at the University of Southern California. A former evangelical Christian leader with a national profile in his own right, he is the son of Tony Campolo, the famous evangelical preacher best known as the personal spiritual mentor to President Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky affair. Steadily, over a period of decades, Bart’s credulity in evangelical doctrine eroded away until his wife convinced him that he was theologically past the point of no return. He burst his way out of the conservative Christian bubble, leading to hand-wringing on the pages of Christianity Today, a major evangelical periodical.

                  OK, insofar as there is a "conservative Christian bubble", Bart Campolo was never part of it and didn't need to "burst his way out". His father is part of the Sojo Christian Left Mafia and that has been known for years. This is sloppy writing on Jim Burklo's part, who is a liberal Christian author, and the only excuse might be that he was thinking of Frankie Schaeffer whom he'd mentioned early. Otherwise I think he just wants to blame those awful, hypocritical conservative Christians for someone losing their faith altogether. As he states later:

                  Early in his tenure here at USC, I gave Bart a copy of my first book, OPEN CHRISTIANITY, and he read it. “If I had read this a few years ago, I might have become a progressive Christian instead of an atheist,” he told me. But neither he nor I regret it. The whole point of theologically progressive Christianity is that Christianity is not about turning people into Christians, or even making sure that they stay Christian. It’s about the same thing that Bart is about. It’s about love, and creating communities of love. If Bart can spread this love without Christian or any other religious content, I will holler a hearty hallelujia [sic]! His way is a good way, just as my way is a good way.

                  If Bart Campolo actually stated this verbatim, the obfuscating on his part here would astounding. "I might have become a progressive Christian," he allegedly stated. Campolo has always been on the Christian left! Burklo is illustrating the myth-making propensity of the left once again.

                  I don't know the man's heart, but I would suggest a more likely story would be that there was no foundation underneath the faith of his father beyond a sort of personality cult. His father is sort of a pope of his own church and his concerns are mostly political rather than theological. Even his Wiki page lists him as a sociologist first, then a pastor. I don't think Bart Campolo "burst out" of anything so much as "dropped down" into his own philosophical comfort zone the way a man sits down in his favorite recliner.

                  By the way, personality cult pretty much describes the situation with the Schaeffers as well. Francis Schaeffer more or less started his own church community becoming a de facto pope in the process. This is most often not a good environment for a child to forming his faith in, seeing your dad act like a bear at home and some kind of angel out in public. Both these cases are good arguments for the celibacy of the clergy.

                  "Get me rewrite!"

                  An Est Quod Est reader writes: