Saturday, September 27, 2014

On the Dante Trail trail: Week 0

No, friends and readers, the title of the post doesn't contain a redundant typo, it describes the upcoming gratuitously self-indulgent journey we are about to embark on following in the footsteps of Rod Dreher as he follows in the footsteps of the famous Italian poet Dante Alighieri, whose footsteps have repeatedly been followed in since sometime after his death in 1321. That's a lot of footsteps following if you ask me.

So since there cannot possibly be anything new and interesting to learn about Dante himself which hasn't already been documented far more richly elsewhere, it's fairly obvious that what we'll be discovering along our journey will be Rod's and, derivatively, my own aesthetic sensibilities as they are variously stimulated along the way.

If you can imagine a Rick Steves food and architecture tour focusing our breathless anticipation on someone like Oprah Winfrey's overstated moment-by-moment account of their overall sensible experience as they bite into a creamy gelato while their bottom explores the contours of an antique Italian chair, I think you'll have a good idea of the excitement to come.

Not only will we be following a follower, we'll also be following the follower's followers as they follow him themselves, giving us the richest aesthetic Moralistic Therapeutic Conservative sensibility experience possible .

I can't wait.

Friday, September 26, 2014

"And it makes me feel so fine I can't control my brain"

I got married in 2001, so I decided to post this Weezer video. Always liked the guitar lick. Laura Ingraham used to use it as bumper music for her show all the time.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hold the Mayo

My two takeaways from this piece on Ed FitzGerald's continued freefall. First, Nina Turner's absurd "bottum-up" remark:

"The best way to build a house is not from the top, but from the bottom," said the state senator from Cleveland. "When you go to the polls, vote from the bottom up."

Right, because voting is soooooo much like construction work. We're staffing the house, Nina, not building it. And no one wants a chamberlain chasing the chambermaids.

Secondly, I had to love this comment from The_Irish_Independent:

Both Ed Fitz (County Exec of Cuyahoga County) and Joanne Grehan (CEO Mayo County's Local Enterprise Office) have been DROPPED from the upcoming Cleveland Mayo Bash.

New AGENDA has been put up on line here -

That's sort of like the Vice President and Speaker of the House not being invited to the SotU speech.

"Another chip in my tooth"

I think 1999 was the year that the bottom dropped out of my hopes to really ever personally do anything big in music. I notice when looking through the 1999 list that there were a lot of songs released that year which I today continue to make fun of including, but not limited to, She's so high, Slide, Nookie and the vacuous Kiss Me.

But I always loved this song. The video is properly ridiculous and features just about everything: the cool guy with a dead-end job, cute girl, fruits and veggies, aliens, the Men in Black, police harrassment and a rock band playing in a walk-in freezer.

Primer on Catholic Church teaching regarding homosexuality

If you have some time and want to read what I feel an excellent summary of the Church's teaching on homosexuality, what it is and why it's wrong, read this essay: I am not gay...I am David. It avoids both extremes of homophobia and acceptance of sin, and is written by a faithful Catholic, David Prosen. Here are some parts of the essay, but it is best to read the entire thing since it is building an argument which leads to the conclusion that being gay is not an identity or a choice, but an experience.

I used to believe I was a "gay" person. I had been attracted to the same gender for as long as I could remember. Because this attraction was present from early on in my life, without my conscious choice, I concluded that I must have been born this way. After all, that’s a logical conclusion . . . right?


By defining myself as a "gay" male, I had taken on a false identity. Any label such as "lesbian," "bisexual," or even "homosexual" insinuates a type of person equivalent to male or female. This is simply not true. One is not a same-sex attraction, but instead experiences this attraction.


At the beginning of this article, I mentioned the discussion over whether persons are born homosexual or if they choose to be. Neither is true because same-sex attraction is an experience—not a type of person. Accepting homosexuality as an identity, which has largely been affirmed in our culture, brings so much confusion. In order for a Christian to justify homosexual behavior, he or she needs to alter and contort Sacred Scripture.

Many individuals from within are trying to force the Catholic Church to change her stance toward homosexuality because it seems like discrimination against those who are just "being themselves." But it is not discrimination when we identify and seek to correct falsely held beliefs.

I really feel bad for people who insist on the deceitful identity model to deal with homosexuality because it ultimately leads to complete self-absorption. This model is a lie that needs to be fiercely combated because of the confusion it causes among young people.

A good thing about this essay is that it avoids inaccurate analogies to other behaviors or sins. These are always unhelpful; I'm not sure there is a good analogy for what a person experiences in same-sex attraction. Instead, Prosen confronts the issue boldly without props and explains the wisdom of the ages through scripture and the teachings of the Church.

Political Correctness Trumps Science

Wow, just wow. This weirdo is a man. (Click the link if you want to see a pic of him wearing a bikini top.) He is allowed to box actual women and beat them up and break their eye-sockets, ostensibly because political correctness trumps science entirely now, even if it endangers people.

Transgender mixed martial arts (MMA) competitor Fallon Fox is facing new criticisms after breaking the eye socket of his last opponent.

On Saturday, Fox defeated Tamikka Brents by TKO at 2:17 of the first round of their match. In addition to the damaged orbital bone that required seven staples, Brents received a concussion. In a post-fight interview this week, she told Whoa TV that "I've never felt so overpowered ever in my life."

“I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because [he] was born a man or not, because I’m not a doctor,” she stated. “I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life, and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right. ”

I can’t answer whether it’s because [he] was born a man or not, because I’m not a doctor. I'm not a doctor either, but fortunately I don't suffer from political correctness. When these weirdos swarm onto college campi in the coming years, will Title IX cover them and enable them to hurt real women? not to mention outperform them? Sadly, the answer to that appears to be 'yes'. Get the stretchers ready.

Hat tip Director Blue.

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Because we believe in human dignity . . . "

Last week, Keith suggested that the comment "We ought to defend the ME Christians from persecution not because they are Christians, but because we are Christians" was worthy of a post in lieu of commenting on the latest hi-jinks of TAC and Dreher.  In that spirit, a great man spoke on this topic ten years ago yesterday at the UN, saying it much better than I can say it myself: 

... Both the American Declaration of Independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaim the equal value and dignity of every human life. That dignity is honored by the rule of law, limits on the power of the state, respect for women, protection of private property, free speech, equal justice and religious tolerance. That dignity is dishonored by oppression, corruption, tyranny, bigotry, terrorism and all violence against the innocent. And both of our founding documents affirm that this bright line between justice and injustice, between right and wrong, is the same in every age and every culture and every nation…

…These rights are advancing across the world. And across the world, the enemies of human rights are responding with violence. Terrorists and their allies believe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the American Bill of Rights and every charter of liberty ever written are lies to be burned and destroyed and forgotten ...

… All civilized nations are in this struggle together, and all must fight the murderers. ... 

... And the commitments we make must have meaning. When we say serious consequences, for the sake of peace there must be serious consequences. And so a coalition of nations enforced the just demands of the world. Defending our ideals is vital, but it is not enough. Our broader mission as U.N. members is to apply these ideals to the great issues of our time. . .

Because we believe in human dignity, America and many nations have established a global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. 

Because we believe in human dignity, we should take seriously the protection life from exploitation under any pretext. …

Because we believe in human dignity, America and many nations have changed the way we fight poverty, curb corruption and provide aid. …

Because we believe in human dignity, the world must have more effective means to stabilize regions in turmoil and to halt religious violence and ethnic cleansing…

Because we believe in human dignity, peaceful nations must stand for the advance of democracy. No other system of government has done more to protect minorities, to secure the rights of labor, to raise the status of women or to channel human energy to the pursuits of peace. We've witnessed the rise of democratic governments in predominantly Hindu and Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish and Christian cultures. …

… When it comes to the desire for liberty and justice, there is no clash of civilizations. People everywhere are capable of freedom and worthy of freedom. … The desire for freedom resides in every human heart. And that desire cannot be contained forever by prison walls or martial laws or secret police; over time and across the Earth, freedom will find a way. Freedom is finding a way in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we must continue show our commitment to democracies in those nations. The liberty that many have won at a cost must be secured.

President Bush gave this speech only ten years ago. But in comparison with the recent statements of his successor, this affirmation of belief in human dignity sadly seems like ancient history.