Monday, March 30, 2009
I am opposed to affirmative action on the basis of race (or anything else) and to slavery reparations for blacks. You can say that makes me a racist. Go ahead. As I have said, neither that word nor the preceding one (homophobia) has much meaning to me.
A lot of this comes down to "If you don't agree with me and give me what I want, you are evil."
Been wandering through some Vatican II-loving Catholic blogs. God, do these folks never catch on? Same old same old routines and demands and dusty ideas of "renewal", wanting to turn Roman Catholicism into the Episcopal Church and stamping their feet because it doesn't seem to want to. Dudes. 1968 was a long time ago. Give it up. You can't make Catholicism be whatever you want it to be. You lost.
Found an old article by a Catholic theologian, taking on another Catholic theologian about homosexuality. Pretty bright, pretty civil. The writer is traditional and after doing an assessment of the various arguments pro and con, asks a interesting question: how can specifically homosexual sex acts be said to support the goals of the Catholic tradition?
Leads me to wonder about how any sexual act except penile-vaginal intercourse with ejaculation, performed by a married man and woman, could support those goals? Which raises the question of what constitutes a sexual, as opposed to a non-sexual, act? The Bill Clinton problem: when is sex sex?
So, if a married couple starts in, kissing and stroking and rubbing. And then it moves to lots of skin-on-skin contact. And then genital contact. Oral sex, say, the woman on the man. Is the oral sex wrong? What if it's stimulation without ejaculation? Does it then become foreplay, like kissing and ok? Or is it a sin? What if the man ejaculates and then after his recovery, has penile-vaginal intercourse?
The traditional theologian notes the current Catholic morality rejects homosexual sex because it is forbidden by positive divine law, does not fulfill the requirements of natural law, breaks the gender complementarity of the act of sexual love and is not a genuine communion of self-giving persons.
We all know, I think, that marital intercourse can be an act of communion, giving and generativity. And it can be an act of disconnected duty, selfishness and manipulation. Its "saving grace" is that even in the second case, a human being can be conceived. (Hence the medieval opinion that rape -praeter naturam- is less evil than masturbation -contra naturam-, because it least in rape the aim of nature is achieved, despite the illict mode.)
The traditional theologian, even if he grants that in a particular instance sex between two men can be subjectively experienced by them as intimate communion, self-giving, even a moment divine grace --and it can, I'm here to tell you-- he does not see how the acts themselves can be read in this way. I guess we are talking here not of the kissing, the caressing, etc. as much as of those activities where there is penetration and/or ejaculation.
That's where the primary problem lies, I suspect. Where it's always been.
Even if a lot of people have found sexual intercourse between man and woman vulgar or dangerous or impure or animalistic, no one seems to find it unnatural. No one says that it is degrading to the man as a man, or denaturing to the woman.
Especially in male-male sex, the very acts place at least one of the males' nature in question.
Male sex with a woman can be situationally turned into an act of humiliation, but it is not thought to be so in itself...except insofar as women, being thought very widely to be inferior to men, are naturally secondary to him.
But for a man to be on the receiving end of anal sex or on the oral end of oral sex has been very widely thought to be a kind of humiliation specifically of his maleness. After all, who is in that position by nature? Women.
Even in societies where male-male sex is condoned, it is almost universally the case that it is arranged on an age-grade or another hierachical gradation.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Pretty well tells you what to expect. I was not disappointed.
and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.
Some people really are too stupid to live.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
After the years of self-righteous shark-pit feeding-frenzy behavior in the White House press room during the terms of W, stuff like this makes the top of my head crack with accumulated steam.
My opinion of journalists in general continues to plummet, though how much lower it can go I can't imagine. I hope to God none of my nieces or nephew ever decide they want to earn a living whoring like this. Such crap.
Do you have to be an economist to have the blood run out of your head on seeing this?
Monday, March 23, 2009
Toward a Global Shift: Seeding the Field of Collective Change
The time is now, to join together in community, to share our dreams, celebrate and take action -- co-creating a new vision for our shared future.
- Explore the forefront of positive transformation
- Learn to co-create a sustainable future
- Gain penetrating insights from pioneers
- Engage in creative dialogue with people from all over the globe
This stuff sounds like it was put together out of a New Age text generator program.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Evan Sayet, former liberal, makes a nice connection between relativism and the liberal narrative:
"if nothing is better than anything else,He opines that the basic conservative/liberal difference is that conservatives accept the difference between good and evil. Liberals only consider evil those who accept the difference between good and evil. And racists. White racists.
then that which failed must have been victimized."
I had a friend who was a passionate uber-liberal. He was in seminary with me. He became obsessed with discovering the theoretical foundations of Church authority, the power to determine what the Church believed and who belonged to the Church. Being Catholic, all that seemed pretty obvious to me, but not to him.
Of course, he decided that no one had that power, especially the people who said they did. And as for criteria of Church membership, he came to hold quite vehemently that the Church was meant to be an inclusive community and that the only ground for exclusion was that you excluded someone else. As you can see, his relativism was driven by his moralism, a hatred of authority (although he later became a devoted supporter of his liberal bishop) and rage over the fate of the excluded.
As theology, Catholic theology, it is, well, kinda silly. But very popular among the Vatican II types (of which I used to be one, full disclosure and all), especially "feminist theologians".
Anyway, I digress. But once you become a relativist, you are a liberal.
"if nothing is better than anything else,
then that which failed must have been victimized."
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Cortez conquered the Aztecs starting in 1519. Two huge epidemics in the 1540's wiped out 80% of the native population. Eighty percent, over sixteen million people, died, leaving only two million. Demography is destiny.
It had been commonly assumed that one of the European illnesses, such as smallpox or typhus, was the killer, partly because most Spanish, priests excepted, were little affected by it. But it seems now that it was a hemorrhagic fever, like hanta, native to the New World. The outbreaks followed the same pattern as the 1993 hanta: several years of drought followed by wet weather.
The disease is called Cocolitzli.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
You may imagine how sympathetic I am to this career pain-in-the-ass. I wonder how Hamas or Fatah or any of the other would treat an American whom they wounded while s/he was protesting against the Palestinians? Any guesses?
A note here on the ethical restraints at play when Israeli soldiers use force. They actually exist and can be enforced.
Can anyone tell me of any internal investigation about improper use of force by members of any Arab or Muslim state or non-state group in the Middle East?
Does that say something about the moral standing of the combatant groups? Anything?
And since I am in the mood, any of these "activists" who get killed there have only themselves to blame.
Monday, March 16, 2009
HBO knew this, went ahead and showed the episode and then disingenuously apologized to any offended Mormons.
Mormon reaction has been to criticize HBO, some Mormons have cancelled their subscriptions. Angry, but entirely within the traditions of American civility.
I cannot help but wonder how HBO would act were the religious sensitivities at issue those of Islam.
Would it be paranoid or cynical of me to opine that since the Mormons are a white, Christian and American religion, that they may be offended with impunity, but that nonwhite, foreign Muslims would have to be carefully kowtowed to?
Saturday, March 14, 2009
The liberal school that attempts to fortify religion by minimizing its expression, both theoretic and devotional, seems to be merely impoverishing religious symbols and vulgarizing religious aims; it subtracts from faith that imagination by which faith becomes an interpretation and idealization of human life, and retains only a stark and superfluous principle of superstition.
For meagre and abstract as may be the content of such a religion, it contains all the venom of absolute pretensions; it is no less cursed than the more developed systems with a controversial unrest and with a consequent undertone of constraint and suspicion. It tortures itself with the same circular proofs in its mistaken ambition to enter the plane of vulgar reality and escape its native element of ideas. It casts a greater blight than would a civilized orthodoxy on any joyous freedom of thought.
For the respect exacted by an establishment is limited and external, and not greater than its traditional forms probably deserve, as normal expressions of human feeling and apt symbols of moral truth. A reasonable deference once shown to authority, the mind remains, under such an establishment, inwardly and happily free; the conscience is not intimidated, the imagination is not tied up.
But the preoccupations of a hungry and abstract fanaticism poison the liberty nominally allowed, bias all vision, and turn philosophy itself, which should be the purest of delights and consolations, into an obsession and a burden to the soul.
In such a spectral form religious illusion does not cease to be illusion. Mythology cannot become science by being reduced in bulk, but it may cease, as a mythology, to be worth having.
Interpretations of Poetry and Religion
Preface, pp vii-viii
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Pervert that I am, I began to muse on other possibilities. Although not a huge fan of intergenerational stuff, (these two guys are only four years apart in age), there is a big guy/smaller guy, older brother/younger brother thing there...
Well, I got what I wanted.
I am approaching another birthday. More than two decades ago I left the ministry and set out on my own, with pretty well next to nothing. In the intervening years, I have had my struggles and my victories. I have done well and I have failed. I have prospered and I have been broke. I have learned what human love is and I have had my heart broken...more than once. I worry about all the things that ordinary people worry about, having become one of them.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Apropos, since I was chatting with a fellow non-practicing Catholic about faith, etc. We are both "religious, not spiritual." Ironically, since I used to be a preacher and a theologian, a man for whom words were paramount, it is words about religion which bore me. I could happily attend a well-done Catholic ritual, but it is when the priest opens his mouth to preach that I begin to look for drugs or an exit. The worst, and most common, tendency among preachers is cheerleading, the kind of folksy uplift which is endemic to American Protestantism and which has infected a couple of generations of the holders of the apostolic succession.
When I do go to religious ceremonies over the last several years, outside of family obligations, I go to a Gnostic temple in the South Bay. The woman who presides there, who has become a good friend of mine, has had the great sense to make her homiletic remarks before the liturgy. She can be informal, humorous, professorial, etc. as she is moved. The talk stands on its own. Then she retires, vests and returns to begins the ritual...and never bothers us again. Nor does she try to. She retires into the ceremony, allowing us to do the same.
The service, although it is deeply heretical in content, is very traditionally Catholic in form and although a lot of the music is certainly not to my taste, I can sink into the ancient archetypal stream of sacramental consciousness without fear of being offended by some joke or exhortation. Once the ritual commences, it is the Soul that speaks and responds, that moves and acts, not any individual. Balm for me. If only the orthodox clerics would learn a similar modesty and respect.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
“romantic notions that are false, based on the idea of making yourself look good to other people. That’s why most men—Bill Clinton is a good example—are liberal, because they need to get laid. If you look at most left-wing guys, they’ve made a deal with the devil. They don’t really believe that shit—they’re going against their own innate nature, because liberalism is anti-man. If you believe that peace and love work, you’re not a man, because this world works on war. The only people who respect you are people who are scared of you—and that’s why Reagan was a great President. And the idea that you can negotiate with people who want you dead is a complete lie. That’s why the left is the most self-absorbed, vanity-driven enterprise. These are people who would rather feel good about themselves at a cocktail party that actually protect people’s lives. If you’re at a party and you say, ‘The war on terror is the most important thing in the world’—you won’t get a nod. But if you say, ‘Global warming is the biggest threat,’ you will get laid.”
OTTAWA (AFP) — A Chinese immigrant who beheaded and hacked to pieces a Canadian bus passenger in front of horrified travelers was found not guilty of murder Thursday after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
Vince Weiguang Li, 40, had been charged with murdering 22-year-old Tim McLean on a Canadian Greyhound bus on July 30, 2008.
Li had repeatedly stabbed McLean, who had been asleep on the seat next to him, sawn off his head, removed his internal organs, pocketed his nose, tongue and an ear, and taunted police and bystanders with the severed head.
Police said in court documents Li "appeared to smell, and then eat parts of Tim McLean's flesh" and "lick blood from his hands" as they surrounded the bus on a desolate highway 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of Winnipeg, in western Canada, soon after the attack.
Authorities found body parts littered throughout the bus, some in white plastic bags. McLean's eyes and a third of his heart were also missing, and it is presumed Li ate them, said a pathologist in court files, though Li denies this.
The other 35 passengers and the driver were jolted by "blood-curdling screams" and fled, said witnesses, bracing the door after their escape to trap Li inside the bus. He was subdued by police after a three-hour standoff.
Justice John Scurfield of the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench described the killing as "grotesque" and "appalling," but ruled Li was not criminally responsible for the murder because of his mental disorder.
During a three-day trial, psychiatrists testified Li suffers from schizophrenia and did not know what he was doing when he killed McLean.
The court heard Li had auditory hallucinations on the day of the attack, that he heard God's voice telling him to board the bus from Edmonton to Winnipeg, and kill McLean.
Li dismembered McLean's body, psychiatrists testified, because he feared McLean could otherwise resurrect from the dead and seek revenge.
His mental health is to be evaluated within 90 days, the judge ordered. Thereafter, he may be released or confined to a secure psychiatric hospital for treatment.
Outside the courtroom, McLean's mother Carol Dedelley expressed her disappointment at the verdict and her fears for public safety.
"This isn't the right result," Dedelley told reporters. "Knowing that that killer might get out sometime soon is very hard."
"A crime was still committed here, a murder still occurred, and (this) ruling seems to negate that fact."
"A major illness took my son's life, and he was never sick," she said.
"Mr. Li should be held accountable for it," she said. "Whether he was in his right frame of mind or not, he still did the act. There was nobody else on that bus holding a knife slicing up my child."
McLean, according to his family, was on his way home to Winnipeg from a job as a carnival worker in western Canada, when he was attacked.
He "struggled and tried to escape" his attacker, but "eventually either fell or was thrown to the floor of the bus," said court files.
Investigators said friends described the former computer programmer who had immigrated to Canada in 2001 as having had mental problems since 2004, but said they never knew him to be violent.
Li was admitted to a mental hospital in 2005, where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, according to court testimony.
Doctors identified his auditory hallucinations and offered him medication, but he declined treatment at the time.
"Unfortunately, he appears to have left the treatment facility without permission," the judge said.
Friday, March 06, 2009
Turns out that in this instance it is some asshat Democrat in West Virginia.
Barbies tell girls that they have to be pretty, not smart, and so they should be banned.
I have one thing to say to the WVa "legislator": Harrison Bergeron.
And then he should be banned.
Oh, and to my RB friend, this.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Again, what kind of self-respect does a pastor have to allow a sacred space to be used like that?
Also, I am glad I am not black. Why? Because I would see people who looked like me being the object of endless inspirational uplift projects and tragic stories of my suffering where I was rescued thru the tough love kindness of people like Rosie O'Donnell. That'd make any black man wanna turn white.
Monday, March 02, 2009
What's important is The Narrative. That's The Story that keeps getting told over and over again. Ironically, there is pretty well nothing as old as the news.
PS. Over at American Thinker, a writer points out to the electorate that Obama does not really love America like you do. True of the left. "He's just not that into you. He loves the idea of what you could become."
The Black History Month ads with Obama's voiceover show a black woman on a bus and he is saying that the great thing about America is that it can change. Which is to say, the great thing about America is not what it has been..which is pretty awful..but what it might become when it repents.
That's progressive patriotism.
And this from a man who, were he NOT half-black, would not be President.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
In the province of Ontario, the smug capital of Smugland, aka Canada, my second country, it is now illegal to smoke in a car if you have a minor in it. The police can stop you and fine you.
Now it may not be nice or wise, etc to smoke in the car with...well, anyone who is not a smoker. But is it really the proper role of the State and its Police to invade this area of human choice and behavior?
Is there any limit at all to what the State can enforce on you for your own good or to protect "the children"?
This is not a rhetorical question. On the question of alcohol, where we now only have moral rhetoric campaigns, zoning laws, increased liability for bartenders (!) and lots of anti-DUI campaigns, we once had a constitutional amendment, a frikkin amendment to the constitution of the United States forbidding anyone to drink! Remember how well that one turned out.
Since all health care in Canada is paid for by the taxpayers (ratepayers, they call them), how you conduct yourself becomes an interest of the State, no? If a smoker or a meat-eater or an obese person or a skydiver is more likely to be a drain on the already overtaxed system, is it not simply fair to the rest of the population, the virtuous, to prevent them from their bad behavior?
Why not make certain foods illegal, too? Really, I am not kidding at all.
We all know about the Muslim religious police in Iran or Arabia, the Committees for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Laughable, no? But it they showed up here
as part of Healthy Lifestyles Legislation or Child Protection, etc...? Who would resist them?
In Marxist countries, few left now, the State owns everything. Everything. Because the State owns the means of production of goods and services. In the half-assed denial-based Marxism of the liberals, the State increasingly controls the services, which it pays for by taxing the goods.
The net result is similar. If my taxes pay for everyone's services, then shouldn't I have a say in how people live and thus access those services? If you think I am joking, have you never heard an evangelical non-smoker angrily denounce tobacco users for driving up the cost of medical care for all of us? Since we all feel that we fund the State, which provides us with so many of our essential services, then we all own the State and the State has the right to tell us all how to live.
It is an irony that Canada, with great effort and fanfare, liberated itself from any ties to Britain when it created its own Charter of Rights and Freedoms...and since then the limitations on freedom have jumped exponentially and show no sign of stopping.
De Tocqueville was right.
And what happens is the people forget a time when their behavior was not so regulated and totalitarianism comes closer. What's next, fined for smoking during Ramadan?