30 October 2008

When asked whether media coverage has been sexist, Governor Palin complained there was a double standard when she is asked how she would raise a family while serving in office. "I've never heard that asked of a male candidate," she retorted.

What a curious observation. Unless one is living under the delusion that the world should treat women exactly as it does men (could you even imagine such a world? In which women were expected to go to war, be the breadwinners, and, God forbid, take out the garbage?), one would never take offense at such a question. From what I understand, it is the female sex that gets impregnated, and it is the female sex that bears children, and--again, from my limited understanding--it is the female sex that nurses, rears, and instructs said children. I know that some disgruntled women feel God should have first consulted them before He created the natural order, and impatiently await an apology. In the meantime, they (creatures that usually go by the name "feminist") attempt to upset the natural order themselves by demanding such silly things as a female priesthood, female air force pilots, and, silliest of all, female rugby.

If the above complaint had come from the lips of, say, Hils, who is basically hopeless, then no one would bat an eyelash. But such an objection uttered by a supposedly traditional, conservative, self-styled "hockey mom" makes one wonder just how much those labels apply...

Things You Will Never Hear from a Baptist Pulpit

Father Chad Ripperger, FSSP, talks about smoking and drinking:
Despite the fact that there's been a systematic projection of tobacco products as evil by the media, there are in fact health benefits to smoking. A review of 61 studies suggests that smokers have a 60% lower risk of Parkinson's Disease. Research suggests that nicotine is a surprisingly potent drug for a variety of diseases that afflict the brain, including Alzheimer's and Tourette's Syndrome.... Nicotine can help focus attention and improves memory. Nicotine can relieve some symptoms of schizophrenia.... Tobacco is used to make the malaria vaccine.
On the drink, he says:
When one loses the use of reason by consumption of alcohol, it is mortally sinful, because you can never put aside the use of reason without a grave reason. If it only slightly affects one's judgment, it is only venially sinful; but if it has no effect on one's judgment, then it's not sinful at all, and may even be commendable. In fact, you may even be able to get grace from drinking alcohol if you're doing it for a legitimate reason and you do it with a supernatural motive.... If one does not drink because he thinks it is evil, then that person is in error, and to persist in that error is a sin.
You can hear all of it here (scroll down and click on the title "Smoking and Drinking")

Vin Chaud au Grand Marnier

I'm posting an old entry, appropriate now that Fall has taken firm hold.


There's nothing better this time of year than to sit indoors, snow without, fire roaring at the hearth, sipping a steaming cup of mulled wine. For those with neither snow nor hearth, we can at least take comfort in a mug of hot spiced wine. One can find many recipes for this simple tonic, but this year, I offer a particularly French version.

One evening, while walking past the Marchés de Noël in downtown Dijon, the air bristling with cold, I was greeted with the most pungently delicious wafts of warm wine coming from one of the stands. The fellow was clearly doing good business, as a dozen passersby stood about imbibing the drink from little plastic cups. (When you serve up the following, of course, use a nice heatproof glass or porcelain mug.)

1 bottle Burgundy
2 oz powdered sugar
1 cinnamon stick
grated nutmeg
1 orange, halved
1 dried bay leaf
1 shot Grand Marnier

1. Put the wine in a saucepan with the orange, sugar, bayleaf and the spices.
2. Heat gently until the sugar is dissolved. Add more sugar if you desire your wine sweeter.
3. Take off from heat and add Grand Marnier.
4. Strain into heatproof glasses and serve tout de suite.

À votre santé!

Got Mead?

I knew a man once that was given to drinking, and I made up this rule for him to distinguish between Bacchus and the Devil. To wit: that he should never drink what has been made and sold since the Reformation--I mean especially spirits and champagne. Let him (said I) drink red wine and white, good beer and mead--if he could get it--liqueurs made by monks, and, in a word, all those feeding, fortifying, and confirming beverages that our fathers drank in old time; but not whisky, nor brandy, nor sparkling wines, not absinthe, nor the kind of drink called gin. This he promised to do, and all went well. He became a merry companion, and began to write odes. His prose clarified and set, that had before been very mixed and cloudy. He slept well; he comprehended divine things...

--Hilaire Belloc, The Path to Rome

Which reminds me...see post directly above...

29 October 2008

What Brings You Delight?

My Children

Faithful Priests

Moral Clarity

Beautiful Women Who Aren't Afraid to Get Pregnant Numerous Times (with the Same Husband, Naturally), in Spite of Contracepting In-Laws' Murmurings

Assam Tea, Freshly Brewed, Steaming Hot (with a Book)



28 October 2008

Entre la peste et le cholera

Up until about, oh, two days ago, I was going to vote third party--not, as some fellow Republicans have claimed, because I am selfish or because I want to be "cool" (easy accusations to make, by the way, when one thinks McCain the best thing to happen since hot running water; others with moral qualms, however, understand the difficulty), but rather because my conscience was not altogether clear voting for a man with some troubling policy positions. On the one hand, you've got Obama, whom I wouldn't vote for even were I tied to a rack, made to wear crocs, and forcefed Whitecastle burgers while Enrique Iglesias played in the background; on the other hand, you've got a war hawk whose refusal to admit Iraq may have been a mistake is part of his overaching philosopohy that America's manifest destiny extends to being a benevolent global hegemon (by whatever means necessary, starting with the Middle East). And then in the middle, you've got the truly pro-life candidate, who does not support the killing of embryos for research, nor a hyper-interventionist foreign policy that results in the deaths of more Americans. As a purist, the choice would be easy as pecan pie. But as someone who also lives in the real world, I recognize that the real-life consequences of voting third party would mean placing a man in power who has promised to sign FOCA into law a.s.a.p.--and with the Democrats poised to win many more seats in the House and Senate, there would be little in the way of passage of that bill, "an alarming single piece of legislation that would nullify virtually every state and federal law that regulates or places limits on abortion."

Not only would abortion be elevated to a fundamental right, FOCA would nullify parental consent laws, waiting periods, bans on partial-birth abortion, and health regulations for abortion clinics, among other things. "Thus, under FOCA (as introduced and supported by Senator Obama and other pro-abortion members of Congress), a 12-year old girl could have a late-term abortion performed on her by an under-qualified non-physician without her parents’ knowledge. The parents would have no opportunity to speak with the abortion provider about their daughter’s medical history, and they would have no opportunity to make arrangements for her follow-up care."

This is why the argument that Obama's social policies would help reduce the number of abortions (made, for instance, by Kmiec et al) is laughable. (Professor Kmiec, by the way, whom I've met and hosted for a lecture at my old law school, has shown his true colors in a recent op-ed; on abortion, he writes:
Sometimes the law must simply leave space for the exercise of individual judgment, because our religious or scientific differences of opinion are for the moment too profound to be bridged collectively. When these differences are great and persistent, as they unfortunately have been on abortion, the common political ideal may consist only of that space.
I see. The mass murder of millions of innocents is now to be left to some vague, unbridgeable space, meaning, of course, the current pro-choice regime. If the issue were slavery, would he speak so passively?)

In any case, once the floodgates are opened, who knows if we can ever quell the flow? (Zmirak makes the point well here, by recalling the choice one had in February 1917 between the imperfect Tsar Nicholas II and the ghastly mob.) Those are the real-life consequences my conscience must take into account, even if I have to hold my nose at the ballot box.

That still won't keep me from griping about the party, though... Daniel Larison sums up some of its problems well:
Part of what has been wrong with the GOP is that its rank-and-file members take their political advice and insights from radio entertainers who seem to understand little about political reality and even less about policy, and who substitute bluster for understanding....The Limbaugh approach recommended to his audience (which hasn’t been 20 million-strong in years) is that Republicans and conservatives have made no mistakes and need to learn nothing, except that they were not hard-core and true-believing enough according to whatever caricature of conservatism Limbaugh claims to represent, which actually might not be so very conservative after all.
On the verge of one of the more impressive electoral defeats in the last thirty years, members of the Bush administration have the gall to threaten other people on the right with exclusion from the ever-shrinking numbers of the GOP for the crime of having come to the conclusion that Palin is not the answer to what ails the right. Even though she is an embodiment of exactly the sort of Republican self-congratulation that will not win elections, she has somehow become the symbol of the future. How you respond to Palin has become a litmus test to determine whether you are worthy and have a future on the right, which is another way of saying that the right won’t have much of a future if it makes Palin loyalty tests mandatory.
For the record, I've failed that test.

25 October 2008

Some Thoughts to Brighten Your Day

"For many are called but few chosen.”
-Matthew 20:16

“What do you think? How many of the inhabitants of this city may perhaps be saved? What I am about to tell you is very terrible, yet I will not conceal it from you. Out of this thickly populated city with its thousands of inhabitants not one hundred people will be saved. I even doubt whether there will be as many as that!”
-St. John Chrysostom

“Those who are saved are in the minority.”
-St. Thomas Aquinas

“So vast a number of miserable souls perish, and so comparatively few are saved!”
-St. Philip Neri

“Out of one hundred thousand sinners who continue in sin until death, scarcely one will be saved.”
-St. Jerome

“Yes, indeed, many will be damned; few will be saved.”
-St. Benedict Joseph Labre

“A great number of Christians are lost.”
-St. Leonard of Port Maurice

“The common opinion is that the greater part of adults is lost.”
St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

“The number of the elect is so small — so small — that, were we to know how small it is, we would faint away with grief: one here and there, scattered up and down the world!”
-St. Louis Marie de Montfort

How surprising is any of this, when one considers that there are an estimated half million swingers in Italy, and who knows how many more worldwide, millions who take part in human sex trafficking, prostitution, and the porn industry, millions who lie, cheat, and steal with little remorse, and millions in this country alone who will be voting for Obama care little for the plight of the unborn?

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program...

Heard via Mark Shea, this Catholic family needs prayer:
My brother-in-law, Anthony Maleski, was hit by a train yesterday afternoon.

[H]is lower spinal cord is severed and his skull is fractured, with bleeding in the brain. He has many broken ribs, a broken arm, knee, and leg.
Please pray also for my sister Anna, his wife. They have two daughters and a son, all under the age of three.

Sir Basil's Kind of Priest

Over at The Feast of Nemesis (warning lest there be tots about: language).

Don't miss the clothing store clerk and the waiter (types still populating France and its restaurants, despite the liberté, égalité, fraternité schlock...).

Faith and Freedom Readers

Catholic homeschooling mothers already know about this excellent series, published in the 1940s and 50s, and available from grades Kindergarten and up. These books are compilations of simple stories meant to inspire and teach about the good of family, faith, and all the virtues, in a specifically Catholic context. Titles include A Book of Fortitude, A Book of Valor (which opens with the prayer of pilgrims at Walsingham), This Is Our Heritage (with pieces by Hilaire Belloc and WWI poet Joyce Kilmer), These Are Our Freedoms (with a focus on American history), and many more.

The illustrations, as you can see, are delightful, and no less so because they teach one, of all things, how to dress well (which is no small matter, not because one desires to foster vanity, but rather because modesty and comprehension of proper roles between the sexes seems largely forgotten these days). Little Anne dons girlish dresses appropriate for her age, with matching socks and black Mary Janes; Little Tom and David wear slacks, collared shirts, and brown patent leather oxfords at play.

Mother understands modesty and femininity in dress, and works hard to keep the home tidy and cheerful, while Father looks manly and put together, though he works many hours through the week. The priests are masculine, faithful, and kind, and, of course, go about in clerical garb.

Moderns will laugh at such idealism, preferring their androgynous clothing (and roles), but the rest of us who know better need pay no attention...

The Jesuits as They Were

St. Anthony Mary Claret (b. 1807), whose feast day was yesterday, had originally wanted to become a Carthusian, but God had other plans; on his way to Rome to become a missionary, he stopped at a Jesuit house to make his yearly spiritual retreat--only to find himself a Jesuit novice by its end. "[I]t was all like a dream or a fantasy," he wrote. The only reason he had never considered becoming a Jesuit was, quite simply, because he did not feel worthy, so spectacularly did this order impress him. Although it would turn out later that it was not God's will that he remain in the order, he would always speak fondly of his time there.

Fr. Malachi Martin has already written a book tracking the rise and fall of this once-great community, responsible for so many glorious martyrdoms in Reformation England, for the spread of the gospel to the furthermost parts of every continent, and for the burgeoning of rigorous, orthodox seminaries and universities throughout the world. Since the 1960s, the order has largely given way to liberation theology, marked by instances of disobedience, such that it has, tragically, become something of a laughingstock among the orthodox Catholic community.

But none of this had yet touched the order of which Fr. Claret had become a part:
There were no mortifications ordered by the Rule. Yet in no other religious body, perhaps, is mortification practiced more assiduously than in the Society of Jesus. Some of the mortifications were exterior, others not so, but all had to have the permission of the director before practicing these acts. On Fridays, and nearly always on Saturdays, too, everybody fasted. Every Saturday night eggs and salad were passed to all, but no one would take the eggs. Desserts and dainty tidbits were taken very seldom. The religious of the house also left many other kinds of food untouched, and always those kinds which appealed more to the palate. I had observed that everyone ate very sparingly each day, and that the Fathers who were stouter and heavier than others were the very ones who ate the last. The spiritual director of the house ate bread every day of the week except Sunday, and drank only water. He used to kneel at a small table in the middle of the refectory and persevere in that position during all the dinner or supper of the community. How could anyone who looked at that venerable man, on his knees before a little table, eating his bread and sipping his water, refrain from feeling shame at the thought of sitting down and eating well-seasoned and dainty dishes?
Elswhere, Fr. Claret shows us why he was a saint (as an aside, his autobiography was written under obedience, though he preferred not to reveal things of his own life). Aboard a ship set for Rome, he spent the night sleeping on a pile of rope on deck, soaked by waves and by rain:
Next day, after the storm had subsided and the rain had disappeared, I took out my breviary and said the Office. Scarcely had I finished my prayers when an English gentleman came up to me and told me that he was a Catholic.... After speaking to me for a few moments, he went to his cabin, from which he emerged after a short time bringing in my direction a tray containing some gold coins.

...Gratefully I received it, and gave all the contributions to my poor fellow countrymen, so that not even one coin of all that money came to my possession, although it had been originally intended for me. I did not take even a mouthful of the food that was bought with the money, but contented myself with my own bread still soggy from the seawater. The Englishman knew that my Spanish friends were eating the food bought by the money which he had given me. He noticed, too, that I neither kept any money, nor partook of the food bought by it. This impressed him so favorably that he came to tell me...where he was going to stay, inviting me to go and see him at Rome, and assuring me that he would give me everything I needed.

This experience confirmed in me the conviction I had always entertained, which is: The best and most efficacious way to edify and move people is by way of example, by poverty, generosity, abstinence from food, by mortification and self-denial. This Englishman was surrounded by every possible luxury, having even his carriage with him in the boat, his servants, birds and dogs. From all this one would infer that my appearance would have excited in him anything but esteem. Yet on seeing a priest, poor, detached from worldly things, and mortified, it moved him in such a way that he did not know how to show his affection.

24 October 2008

Top 5 Dysfunctional Nursery Rhymes

The biggest threat to family values may be Mother Goose.

1) Jack Sprat
The story: Jack Sprat can't eat fat and his wife can't eat anything else. When they're done eating "They lick their platter clean."

What it teaches our kids:
One word: Enabling. Obviously, this couple has some serious food issues, and they're NOT helping each other deal. Not to mention, they don't seem to be big sticklers for hygiene since they use their tongues to wash dishes. (Hey Sprats, ever heard of a dishwasher?) We can guess there's not 3-second rule at their house.

2) Rub-a-Dub-Dub Three Men in a Tub

The story: Three guys hang out in a bathhouse.

What this teaches our kids:
[Obvious, as far as I'm concerned.]

3) Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater
The story: A guy can't take care of his own wife, so he imprisons her in a pumpkin shell.

What it teaches our kids:
Women need to be taken care of by men, and we're in a recession. Peter is obviously having a bad year as a professional 'Pumpkin Eater' and might have got himself into a bad mortgage. Now he has no place to "keep" his wife -- probably because she wants to leave him for a guy with a better job, like let's say, a 'Pumpkin Seller.'

You can read more at MomLogic.

23 October 2008

Hitler Was a Quasi-Vegetarian

Next time you cross paths with a teetotalling, pro-abortion vegetarian who will weep tenderly over the death of a whale but think nothing of permitting the dismemberment of human fetuses, tell him he has a lot in common with a certain historical figure...

Fun-loving, game-eating, whisky-drinking, cigar-smoking, hunt-loving, aristocratic conservative defeats odious, teetotalling, non-smoking, quasi-vegetarian, anti-hunting, Socialist fanatic!

"Do you know that your Führer is a vegetarian, and that he does not eat meat because of his general attitude toward life and his love for the world of animals? Do you know that your Führer is an exemplary friend of animals, and even as a chancellor, he is not separated from the animals he has kept for years?...The Führer is an ardent opponent of any torture of animals, in particular vivisection, and has declared to terminate those conditions...thus fulfilling his role as the saviour of animals, from continuous and nameless torments and pain".

--Wuttke-Groneberg, W. 1980. Medizin im Nationalsozialismus. Tübingen: Schwabische Verlaggesellschaft

(from Roman Christendom)


The Traditional Latin Mass is celebrated on the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt.

Photos of the service can be seen here and here.

World's First Flourescent Cat

The Telegraph introduces Mr. Green Genes:
The researchers made him so they could learn whether a gene could be introduced harmlessly into the feline's genetic sequence to create what is formally known as a transgenic cat.
To show that the gene went where it was supposed to go, the researchers settled on one that would glow.

My question: How's the poor chap supposed to hunt mice in the dark now? They'll spot him a mile away...


Have you ever had one of those days, where you are exasperated by the opinions and bad personal habits of well-respected artisans in your particular craft, and you find that you are an opinionated blow-hard who enjoys complaining and bellyaching about other people's shortcomings, and you also have a live-journal where you can express your most private thoughts of contempt and disdain for the yammerheads whose idiocy so richly merits insult ---- but then you remember you are a Christian, and so you are under orders not merely not to complain (for even the Gentiles are well-bred) but to love and pray for such people? Worse yet, you cannot pray for them in an ungenerous spirit, because Our Boss who art in Heaven does not accept sacrifices offered unwillingly.

What a difficult, annoying religion!

--John C. Wright

The Difference Between Us and Them

Clyde Wilson lays it out in black and white, for those who remain confused:
Earnest readers want to know what the difference is between the two major political parties. I have tried to provide some helpful guidance.

Democrat. Someone who believes that when people who have enjoyed a wealthy life but behaved badly get into trouble they should be rescued by non-wealthy people who have worked hard and played by the rules.

Republican. Someone who believes that when people who have enjoyed a wealthy life but behaved badly get into trouble they should be rescued by non-wealthy people who have worked hard and played by the rules.


Democrat. Someone who thinks it is good to disinherit posterity and turn the country over to the wretched refuse of the earth.

Republican. Someone who thinks it is good to disinherit posterity and turn the country over to the wretched refuse of the earth—as long as he can turn a short-term profit.
You can read the rest here.

The Joy of Lust (and Wrath)

John Zmirak, that eminently readable writer, waxes eloquent on one of the deadly sins:
I don't think I'm lapsing into Gnosticism when I say that, for much of mankind, sexuality is less like a big, shiny present left for us by a loving Father than a dose of poison ivy that lasts for decades -- and it's a mortal sin to scratch. In the modern West, most of us mature so slowly that marriage before the age of 30 seems almost suicidally rash. You can't support a family on one income, and children need decades and decades of expensive education before they can move briefly out of your home -- then return to live on your couch while they "figure things out."

Things weren't always so impossible. Some of the problems here are the side-effects of technology -- by which I mean machines that help us do what we want. Which frequently blows up in our face, since
what we want -- and let me emphasize this, because it seems to be essential to understanding Creation -- is entirely beside the point.

The natural order is blithely unconcerned with our happiness; our bodies are built with the family's -- and, hence, the species' -- best interest in mind. So, by nature, we barrel bedward with all the zest of salmon swimming upstream to spawn. With the same results. Have you ever seen the battered state of those fish at the end of their selfless, frantic fight against the current, over rocks, up hills, and over dams -- their tattered skin, broken fins, and glassy stares? They look like parents emerging, drained and dazed, from Chuck E. Cheese.
Elsewhere, he ponders the eternal implications of our actions, particularly those involving another deadly sin:
As we think those actions over -- especially that one and that one, sheesh -- the silence of the grave and the infinite void sound better and better. The only part of the Last Judgment we might enjoy is the wholesale exposure of everyone else's sins. With the proper editing, that's a movie I want to see -- like a Quentin Tarantino flick that lasts for thousands of years.
Read his apologetic on massive, disproportionate retaliation here.

22 October 2008

Meat Is Murder

A New Voice?

The most humorless Catholic blog on the internet.

And here's another reason to stay away. The post speaks for itself (but others have had their say, too)...

Sarkozy exige le retrait de sa poupée «vaudou»

Le Parisien:
Nicolas Sarkozy, via son avocat Thierry Herzog, désapprouve et s'oppose fermement à la parution du Manuel vaudou Nicolas Sarkozy, disponible en librairie depuis le 9 octobre.
La semaine dernière, une maison d'édition avait lancé la vente de deux livres sur Nicolas Sarkozy et Ségolène Royal. Ces deux courts ouvrages étaient accompagnés, pour chacun, d'une poupée vaudou à l'effigie des deux finalistes de la dernière présidentielle, avec des aiguilles permettant de «piquer» ces petites figurines.

21 October 2008

Loveliness in Leather

One of the perks of Autumn; one can put away the sandals and don these instead.

Clementine Ballet Flats (Black or Gold)
Perfectly acceptable casual wear.

Beach Side Open Toe Ballet, by Michael Kors (Black or Luggage)
A tad cool for oncoming winter, but doable in early Fall.

Mia Gigi Mary Jane Heels (Mushroom Crinkle or Bronze Crinkle)
The pregnant woman doesn't want to brave heels too often, but these are low and solid enough, without losing any of their feminity, to make an occasional appearance at the Divine Service. Couple them with hose and a calf-length wool skirt, and the result is adorable.

Christianese Cheese

Daniel Radosh on the new Christian film Fireproof, starring evangelical superstar Kirk Cameron:
Cheesy? Heavy-handed? Yes, and intentionally so. In films like this, an evangelistic and ministerial mission do much more than a good script to assure commercial success. Not only has Fireproof made a handsome profit, but The Love Dare, a book which did not even exist until it was created as tie-in to the movie, is now at the top of The New York Times bestseller list. A Fireproof Your Marriage study kit and other products are also selling briskly.

But in making evangelism—-and acceptability to the most insular Christian audiences—-a priority, Christianese films all but guarantee artistic failure. Art demands an honesty that the evangelical bubble would find intolerable. Committed to promoting an unambiguous message that God solves all problems, Fireproof never portrays Christians doing anything untoward, or even experiencing any sorrow. Caleb’s parents’ marital struggles pre-dated their Christianity. When Caleb’s best friend reveals that he divorced his first wife, he not only says it was before he found the Lord, but adds that after he did, he would have gotten back together with his ex had she not already remarried. In the perfect world of Fireproof, good Christians do not have bad marriages, any more than they drink, gamble or swear.
Radosh puts his finger on why so many Christian films end up feeling hollow and lacking in depth; there seems to be a fear of probing evil and acknowledging the lifelong struggle against sin. Such films indicate a lack of faith, as if there is the fear that Christ's truth might be shown false if Christians, after being "saved", continue to stumble in serious ways. I haven't seen the film, and one always appreciates the good intentions of such filmmakers; if only they weren't afraid to be more genuine, they would reach a far wider audience and in a more powerful way.

One Christian film I saw recently that was a pleasant surprise was Midnight Clear, with Stephen Baldwin. The evangelical slant, though present, is subtle enough, and the film wrestles grittily with questions of life's meaning and purpose, without wrapping up neatly or tidily in the end (but still leaving one with a sense of hope).

19 October 2008

Oh, for days long since past...

From the old Catholic Catechism (1913):
There remains to speak of the duties and rights of the laity towards the ecclesiastical authority as such, in matters foreign to the sacred ministry. The duties, which affect both laity and clergy, consist in submission and obedience to legitimate hierarchical authority: the pope, the bishops, and, in a proportionate degree, the parish priests and other acting ecclesiastics.
Since the laity is distinct from the clergy, and since Divine worship, doctrinal teaching, and ecclesiastical government are reserved, at least in essentials, to the latter, it follows that the former may not interfere in purely clerical offices; they can participate only in a secondary and accessory manner, and that in virtue of a more or less explicit authorization. Any other interference would be an unlawful and guilty usurpation, punishable at times with censures and penalties. We will apply this principle now to matters of worship, teaching, and government or administration.

The body of the faithful is strictly speaking the Ecclesia docta (the Church taught), in contrast with the Ecclesia docens (the teaching Church), which consists of the pope and the bishops. When there is question, therefore, of the official teaching of religious doctrine, the laity is neither competent nor authorized to speak in the name of God and the Church.
You've got the modernists on the one side, who think nothing of disobeying the most fundamental teachings of the Church (and who would laugh at the above directive), and the radtrads on the other, who are so holy they arrogate to themselves the right to publicly criticize all clergy who do not conform to their pre-Vatican II notions. (The most egregious examples involve denigration of our late Holy Father Pope John Paul II, who had more courage and charity in his pinky finger than all these self-righteous radtrads combined--and yes, I know he kissed the Koran and invited a shaman to the World Day of Prayer and received a third eye by a shiva and didn't stomp out pedophilia in the Church as swiftly as they wish; I know all these things, interpret them in the most charitable light possible (without necessarily rationalizing them), and can still grasp that his life and his pontificate were marked by incredible courage, sacrifice, heroism, suffering, and holiness).

18 October 2008

Strange Signs

From the Telegraph's collection of odd, real-life photos:

San Diego

Mingora, Pakistan

St. Kitts

Wausau, Wisconsin


Pune Zoo, India

Lost in translation in Beijing

"Recoverable Offal", China

Noosa Heads, Australia

Don't order #21 (South Korea)

I especially like the French version: If you have ideas of blocking this barrier--leave them!!! Our elephants will flatten your miserable rental car like the crêpes we serve!! Thanks!!
And what exactly is the language at the bottom? (Tasmania, Australia)

Wet, lather, rinse, die. (Fiji)

Fancy some crad, anyone? (Shanghai, China)

Just in case the concept of cause and effect escapes some... (Las Vegas)

Another litigation-wary hotel manager


San Diego

"I'll have a small tasteless coffee, please."

Stoplight from hell... (Ft. Walton Beach, Florida)

Kinderdijk, Holland

17 October 2008

10 Ways to Raise a Brat

Teeny Manolo has the manifesto:
1. Assure your little one that they are the sun, and everyone else, including you, are merely insignificant planets that revolve around them.

2. Give them everything they want as soon as they want it.

3. Let them win every game they ever play against you.

4. Excuse their misbehavior.

5. Never follow through with a threatened consequence.

6. Provide them with no structure.

7. Be a bad example and expect them not to follow it.

8. Allow them to hit you.

9. Be their “friend,” not their parent.

10. Be quick to anger, slow to show affection.
I would add, always take their side against their [teacher, coach, other authority figure].