Saturday, October 4, 2014

On the Dante Trail trail: Selfiepalooza

H/T to cailleachbhan for our latest beating: "Florence Diary", which has that journalistically important sound like Berlin Diary but in reality is more the sort of thing your great aunt with the enormous bosom used to abuse you with as a child.

Four, count em', four Rod selfies, each more oleaginously self-indulgent than the last.

This brings our filosofia di suini tote now to:

Total pics: 13 - 100%

Selfies: 7 - 54% of total

Things Rod Ate: 2 - 23% of total

More if anything worth reading breaks, like Rick Steves dropping a Twitter scolding on Rod for cutting in on his action.

(A correction to our previous tote: selfies were 38% of the total, not 25%.)

On the Dante Trail trail: Those Delicious Creamy Boar Squeazins

Following Rod Dreher on the Dante Trail trail we've now arrived at our second Station of the Belly, Taverna San Giuseppe. After a token shout-out to the Madonna as a stand-in for the therapeutic aesthetics of historical locales, Rod professes his true faith, what the Italians in their wisdom refer to as filosofia di suini:

Let me tell you, with no fear of contradiction: after the meal we had today, this place is holy ground.

And, happy day, today we are able to add both another selfie and another picture of what Rod ate to our treasured album of memories.

The first is a real keeper: Rod looking either post-orgasmic as he contemplates his communion

or, now that I think about it, more like Ruprecht after being granted permission to make room for more on site.

The second pic probably was the source generously afforded us as the subtitle of our post.

Incidentally, to reduce clutter from now on we'll only keep score on the selfies and food pics out of the total. To date:

Total pics: 7 - 100%

Selfies: 3 - 25% of total

Things Rod Ate: 2 - 25%  of total

As Rod and Casella depart on the bus like Joe Buck and Ratso headed to Miami, Rod reflects on his Tuscan good fortune

How did this happen? It’s all grace. As Piccardà said, “In His will is our peace.”

True. It could all go away tomorrow, but I would have had this, not deserving any of it, and for that I am grateful. I can hardly tell you how grateful. It’s too much sometimes. Dante teaches that there is no way to work yourself to heaven; all you can do is work to make yourself open to grace when it appears. This is also true, and not only true, but important.

Now as I recall, there was something more to it than grace, or, if it were grace, surely the source of it all was a sad and tragic sort of grace. How Rod arrived at the point pictured above, how this really happened was:

- Rod was in the process of being released from his employment at The John Templeton Foundation

- His agent, who I definitely want negotiating my next new car purchase, managed to snag him a $900,000+ advance for an exploitative, tell-all book about his sister dying of cancer.

- The book hasn't sold all that well, but, hey, there's still a bunch of that grace still in the bank

- Enough to fund an eating vacation to Tuscany, because, given the sales of the sister book, there doesn't seem to have been another advance this time around

Hmmm...I think I've heard of this sort of grace before.

Anyway, what is the real lesson we've learned today at our second Station of the Belly? Right.

That nothing can keep a dark cloud like stinging flies at bay like a heapin' mess o' delicious creamy boar squeazins shared among beloved male companions, far from home under the romantic Tuscan sun.

Grace indeed.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Toobin makes two large errors

“You’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.” This quote is attributed to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and it's true no matter who said it first. With that in mind, we have to make some corrections to Jeffrey Toobin's article praising Ruth Ginsberg for being, oh, so smart and prescient in her Hobby Lobby dissent.

There was an exemption already for religious institutions. Hobby Lobby, a closely held corporation, is a secular, for-profit business, but the Court held that because the owners of Hobby Lobby held a sincere religious belief that certain forms of birth control caused abortions, they could deny employer-paid insurance coverage for them.

Is this just bad writing? Unclear. It's not a "religious belief" at all that "certain forms of birth control caused abortions" or, I think he means to write cause abortions. But syntax errors aside, there are certain forms of birth control which cause abortions. The links here would be useful to Mr. Toobin as sort of a science primer.

One of the problems with the whole debate and discussion is that "birth control" is somewhat of a misnomer. Birth prevention is really the goal of both contraception and abortion. The latter is more morally egregious than the former, but those who approve of contraception but are against abortion may want to consider the continued use of the softer phrase "birth control" as something which dilutes the strength of pro-life/pro-child argument against the anti-child mentality, or the contraceptive mentality as it is sometimes called.

Here's the next "mistake":

What about religious individuals who say that they have sincere objections to conducting business relationships with gay people or immigrants?

Oh stop it. You obviously mean, Mr. Toobin, to indicate illegal immigrants, so why not use the word? The use of the single, neutral word "immigrants" is meant to suppress or diminish the amount of eye-roll from the general public who are tired of the gay whining.

This line should offend legal immigrants tremendously because it implicitly lumps them together with illegals. Why? Because no mainstream religious denomination objects to legal immigration. This article is obviously written from a biased point-of-view, but these errors are either due to sloppiness and laziness or malevolence and they need to be pointed out whichever is the case.

Dale Ahlquist Talks

From the Cleveland Right to Life newsletter.

Week of October 3rd 2014

Dale Ahlquist, EWTN host
Dale Ahlquist, host of EWTN's "G.K.Chesterton: Apostle of Common Sense" and president of the American Chesterton Society, will be giving two local presentations::

"Chesterton's Saints: St. Francis of Assisi & Thomas Aquinas"
Saturday, October 4th @ 6pm
St. Dominic Parish Hall, 77 Lucius Ave., Youngstown, OH 
Admission: $5 (incl. light refreshments: wine, cheese, etc.)

"G.K. Chesterton & Lepanto: The Epic of Catholic History"
Sunday, October 5th @ 2:30pm 
Padre Pio Academy, 12920 Madison Ave., Lakewood, OH 
Admission: Free

I've heard Ahlquist speak before--he's good. I'm planning to attend the one at Padre Pio Academy on Sunday at 2:30pm. (Where my kids attend school.)

Here's the location on Google maps.

On the Dante Trail trail: Week 1 - After The Beans

Bor-ring. Not so much as a Golden Corral in sight.

There hasn't been much to follow since our initial Station of the Belly, mostly some Fodor's type stuff re-branded with Rod's feelings to make it come alive for folks who have difficulty reading Fodor's. The lack of posting suggests Rod's holed up some place after the Buca Mario feeding working things out, so to speak. Interesting fact: according to Google, in Italian Buca Mario means "Buca Mario".

Some highlights of this following for our Dante Trail trail followers:

I knew this before I came to Florence, of course,

It’s that kind of place.

Casella and I are so grateful to Bill Stephany for his generosity this morning. His passion for Dante, and for Florence, were such a gift to us. I said to him, “Bill, my wife asked me the other day at what point one becomes saturated with Dante, and can’t take any more. What do you think?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve never known it to happen to anyone.”

I think this concluding quote gives us much to think about, don't you?

All was not lost, however - there was another selfie! For those keeping score at home, the complete visual record of the Dante Trail to date contains:

Selfies: 2

Pictures of things Rod ate: 1

A picture of a river and some bridges: 1

Both the second selfie and the picture of a river and some bridges were captioned "Bill Stephany, my Virgil today", which has an implicit importance so profound I think I'll jump to another paragraph to fully unpack it for our Dante Trail trail followers:

See, by referring to the third man in the Dante rendezvous as Virgil, Rod is telling us we should think of him on his Dante Trail as Dante himself. However you want to slice it, that's pretty heavy, dude.

But the real question is: will it make the Rod-as-Walker Percy jealous?

Howling Puppies for Friday

It's the first Friday in October. Have some howling puppies.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bad luck, Begich

Speaking of Republican Senators, it looks like we're close to getting a new one in Alaska.

Begich’s campaign promised to attack Sullivan’s record early on. But it was forced to pull down an ad accusing Sullivan of letting “sex offenders get off with light sentences” while he was attorney general, including one who is accused of murdering an elderly couple after that couple’s family demanded the ad be taken off the air.

Yes, the family's reaction to the ad would be exactly my own. There's a gray area with regard to sharing public information, but in my opinion that area ends at or before the exposure level of television advertising.

Begich’s allies found another way to hit the issue by asking Maryland’s tax assessor whether Sullivan had properly claimed tax breaks for his East Coast home. The assessor said on Tuesday that he was entitled to them because he’d been a Maryland resident during that period, triggering a wave of local coverage in the state.

But those attacks, so far, haven’t done much to halt Sullivan’s rise. Though the state is notoriously hard to poll accurately, he seems to have captured the upper hand in public surveys with a month to go.

When you serve in the US Military you are protecting your own state, plus 49 others. Are the Democrats going to attack every veteran of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines on the issue of residency? I surely hope so. Lead balloon city.

In response to Democratic attacks on his positions on women’s issues, Sullivan has rolled out a powerful new surrogate: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who cut an ad for the GOP nominee.

“The Lisa endorsement is big. She’s popular, she’s seen as the voice of reason by a lot of moderates up here,” said GOP pollster Matt Larkin.

Begich has responded with a pair of positive ads, one featuring his mother and wife and another with a Republican former first lady of Alaska touting his candidacy.

Uh-oh. It turns out Sullivan doesn't have the Radical Muslim view of women any more than any other Republican does.

On the Dante Trail trail: Week 1

While I was sleeping off that imaginary gut slug of Chef Boy-Ar-Dee goodness, Coalition of the Dante Trail Trail Followers follower Pikumatti has alterted us to the first Station of the Belly on our Dante Trail trail following quest, so, without further ado, let's get into it, shall we?

For the same reason that many seemingly staid professionals will anomalously hold their conventions in exotic cities populated on such occasions by stunning business women perched on impossibly high heels, the first Station of the Belly on our pilgrimage is, naturally, Buca Mario, where, as Pik has already mentioned, Rod and his Beatrice "Casella" dined on bistecca fiorentina, Tuscan white beans in olive oil, and a Brunello di Montalcino, as well as pappardelle with cinghiale (wild boar) ragu, and a salad of fresh sliced porcini mushrooms, shaved Pecorino, and a kind of greens they couldn’t quite identify.

First the mysterious "Casella", then mystery greens! Is it any wonder Rod Dreher is a far more intriguing subject to himself than Dante or anything else in Creation for that matter? But before we explore the mystery of the greens, I'm certain our Dante Trail trail followers will have some searching if not astringent questions concerning those Tuscan white beans.

To the point, were they properly prepared to rid them of their earthly oligosaccharides? Boiling them too long would render their delicately bland mealy texture indelicate while robbing them of flavor, so prolonged soaking would have to have been mandated. But was it? That's obviously another mystery. To get the full wind of this problem we are fortunate enough to have Pasquale Buonifagio's treasured parchment fragment as our source and guide:

Fagioli , fagioli la frutta musicale
Quanto più si mangia , più si toot
Quanto più si toot , meglio si sente
Quindi cerchiamo di avere fagioli con ogni pasto!

Pedants may quibble about some of the more superficial points raised, But I think Buonifagio has long ago settled this for most rightthinking individuals. Still, in addition to the mystery of the Tuscan white bean preparation there remains the mystery of one single or multiple rooms, obviously a factor in any subsequent revelations on the subject.

And now to the greens. Our Dante follower would have immediately identified kale if it were included, so, given the circumstances, our best guess must point us to some gaily deceiving combo of Swiss chard, escarole, and broccoli rabe, or maybe just rapini alone, whatever any of those happen to be. Me, I'm happy with plain old mustard greens with a little hot pepper sauce.

But, ultimately, our Dante Trail trail following has already pointed us to a potentially lucrative business opportunity: supplying Buca Mario with a steady inventory of cheap and plentiful wild hogs at a ridiculous markup. Unfortunately, we may have competition on this wild hog offshoot leg of the Dante Trail trail.

Stay tuned.

Rand Paul is OK with Abortifacient Drugs

From LifeSite news. Another reason I don't want to support this guy and don't think he merits any consideration as a presidential candidate.

As a doctor, "Rand Paul likely knows that the most likely effect of the high-dose Levonorgestrel-only contraceptive 'Plan B' is abortifacient,” Krista Thomas, communications manager of Human Life International (HLI) told LifeSiteNews. “Though it also has potential effects of thickening of the cervical mucus and prevention of ovulation, let’s face it, this drug is designed to be taken after sex, so the likelihood of these effects stopping pregnancy is very low.”

“Early abortions are its primary, and perhaps only, effect,” she said.

One of the world's leading authorities on the morning after pill – Dr. James Trussell, the director of Princeton’s Office of Population Research – has said that women must be told of the potential for abortion as part of ethical treatment. “To make an informed choice, women must know that [emergency contraceptive pills]…prevent pregnancy primarily by delaying or inhibiting ovulation and inhibiting fertilization, but may at times inhibit implantation of a fertilized egg in the endometrium,” he wrote.

That was further confirmed by a 2014 report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute that found all forms of emergency contraception, as well as the IUD, can cause an early abortion.

So Doctor Paul Junior is likely lying when he says "Hey, people, chill out. It's a pill, therefore it's just birth control." Great. He is slowly turning into as disagreeable a candidate as his whack-job father.

It's stuck in my head... share the wealth. Before you hit play, recognize that Tobuscus is NSFB: Not Safe For Brain. I thought about setting autoplay on, but I decided that would be too mean.

Hat tip goes to my kids, of course.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"Have I changed my pants? No...."

Rest in peace, James "you-don't-rape-my-constituents" Traficant.

New Book. Looks Good.

Hot off the press. The American Catholic Almanac. Booyah!

Here's another page about the book.

On the Dante Trail trail: Week 0.5

Before we dash off in full follow of our Dante follower's full metal quest to debase a milestone in Western Christian literature into a narcissistic pop-cultural self-help seltzer for the soul, I want to set the scene for all of us so that we can begin with the fullest flavor of our Italian vacation indulgence.

Just visualize me staring at my laptop screen, recalling one of my most beloved Italian memories. No, not Sophia. My Mom, smiling as she opens the Chef Boy-Ar-Dee can herself, microwaving it just right, then lovingly pouring the steaming reddish-brown-and-cream-colored whatever onto my plate before finalizing her devotion by tearing open the cheese packet with her own tiny fingertips and expertly sprinkling it so that every morsel of goodness receives at least one atom of cheesy insouciance. Believe you me, nothing will save you from any sort of lurking cloud of darkness around you like stinging flies like a taste of Italy.

Now that I think about it, though, I might have experienced that experience by watching a commercial on TV Land, but it hardly matters. In either case the important common denominator is that I would have been there.

Where were we? Oh, right. Vicariously off to Italy, the birthplace of Dante and the real Chef Boy-Ar-Dee.

At the bottom of a post longer than the Dante trail itself whose purpose is to inform us that our follower can still get in the door in New York City, we're confronted with a mystery even more profound than those of Orv or Ann and the possum we encountered back when we were reading that book I got at a garage sale together.

Who is "Casella"?

It can't be "the famous James C." unless the C stands for Casella, which would obviously be too easy and besides why would someone already identified need a code name?

No, this is a new mystery companion traveling with Rod as he follows in the footsteps of Dante through the sensuous, enveloping romance that is Italy.

Is Casella a man? A woman? A dog? A mutant combination of all three caused by a freakish industrial accident involving a radioactive spider which has left it with super Dante-following powers but also with a tragic, socially alienating dark side and that ennui that descends like a cloud of stinging flies when waiting too long in the DMV?

A ghost?

These days, as long as it's not some ball and chain making you second-guess your tell-all blogging, does it really matter?

And, so, the game afoot, we're off, following the follower on the trail of the Dante Trail with his mystery companion "Casella" through Italy, where sensuality and spirituality converge.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chris Redfern covers his butt WRT Ed FitzGerald

I confess I'm obsessed with watching the slow-motion train wreck of the Ed FitzGerald campaign, but my excuse is that I have never seen any train wreck quite like it. Every article points out that he has no money for television ads and so is relying on grassroots and endorsements. Every article about FitzGerald also contains the prepositional phrase "with a woman who was not his wife", but that's old news at this point.

So in this environment, it doesn't help you if the State Chairman of your party makes jokes at your expense. In a New York Times interview, no less. Chris Redfern tells us how he feels in an obvious CYA move:

The party chairman, Chris Redfern, pointed a finger at Mr. FitzGerald himself. “I’ve never met a former F.B.I. agent who doesn’t have a driver’s license,” he said. “It’s akin to saying, ‘Damn, I should have my umbrella’ after it rains.”

Mr. Redfern, a State House member, said no other major Democrats stepped up to run in a primary. As for vetting Mr. FitzGerald, he blamed an outside group that the campaign hired to research the candidate’s vulnerabilities. Mr. Redfern said he would not hire the company “to clean out my bird cage.”


I keep thinking about how Nancy Pelosi maintained in 2010 that Dems would keep the house. That's what you're supposed to do in politics. You know you're lying, but you keep up appearances. Who knows, it might save you from losing worse. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad to see everyone piling on to a fake Catholic candidate who has turned into a huge loser.

Monday, September 29, 2014

George Weigel on Pope Benedict's Vindication

A must-read for anyone concerned about the (insurmountable?) pathological problems within the religion of Islam. Excerpt:

Pope Benedict went on to suggest that interreligious dialogue between Catholics and Muslims might focus on these two linked questions. The Catholic Church, the pope freely conceded, had had its own struggles developing a Catholic case for religious freedom in a constitutionally-governed polity in which the Church played a key role in civil society, but not directly in governance. But Catholicism had finally done so: not by surrendering to secular political philosophy, but by using what it had learned from political modernity in order to reach back into its own tradition, rediscover elements of its thinking about faith, religion and society that had gotten lost over time, and develop its teaching about the just society for the future.

Was such a process of retrieval-and-development possible in Islam? That was the Big Question posed by Benedict XVI in the Regensburg Lecture. It is a tragedy of historic proportions that the question was, first, misunderstood, and then ignored. The results of that misunderstanding and that ignorance—and a lot of other misunderstanding and ignorance—are now on grisly display throughout the Middle East: in the decimation of ancient Christian communities; in barbarities that have shocked a seemingly-unshockable West, like the crucifixion and beheading of Christians; in tottering states; in the shattered hopes that the 21st- century Middle East might recover from its various cultural and political illnesses and find a path to a more humane future.

How to be unconvincing

A reader sent me this last Tuesday and I promised to post something about it. Better late than never, I guess.

Are you, too, lost in a dark wood spiritually? If not, here are a number of wonderful stories telling you how you could be if you only tried a little harder. Remember, as Rod has told us over and over, stories are the way to really get your cultural marketing across.

And now, successfully lost lamb, are you ready to be found? The Great One is there to help with another, even more powerful dream story. But what's this?

I had enough self-awareness to know that it was impossible for me to read these books lucidly. The cloud of darkness around me was like stinging flies. What I recall learning from all that was that the Catholic case for Roman primacy was not nearly as airtight as I had believed. I had only seriously considered the Roman claim versus Protestant claims. Orthodoxy was a new thing.

Well, Pilgrim, are you gonna keep trying to get the Devil out of those filthy spiritual clothes over and over with that tired old lard-based soap and a rock, or are you going to try new, improved Orthodoxy the way your Dream Teacher has just laid out for you?

Tax-deductible, of course.

Another reader on the sender's email list then delivered this opinion:

Actually, I wouldn’t mind his far-fetched dream-state Orthodoxy stories so much if he focused on the blessings that Orthodoxy has brought to him. But he simply can’t do that except by comparison to the mean old not-as-important-as-it-thinks Roman Catholic Church (“Did you hear about the Scandal? Huh? Huh?”).

And I find it interesting that the Story of The Great Conversion continues to change over time, just like The Day That Rod Was There. It’s always something new, which means what we’ve been told previously (as well as now) is as likely to be false as true.

I see it just as click-bait. What better way to harvest comments by throwing out FOUR threads for people to bash and tout various faiths.

Here's my initial email response:

I likewise find the lack of focus on Orthodoxy qua Orthodoxy in his writing telling. It’s always “Orthodoxy for the doubting and/or disaffected Catholic”. But there is something else missing. Any kind of serious intellectual apologetic effort. He writes:

....Orthodoxy was a new thing. The Orthodox arguments were making some headway with me, but they were far from a slam-dunk, at least with me. What they did was loosen my confidence in the solidity of the Catholic claim. Yet I was highly aware that my own mental and emotional state was inflamed by anger and distrust, such that I was not sure to what extent my deliberations could be trusted.

What is missing is the details on these Orthodox arguments. The only thing we get is “What they did was loosen my confidence in the solidity of the Catholic claim,” so again, his Orthodoxy is relative to the Catholic faith. It isn’t the Eastern Orthodox Church’s/Churches’ claim to positive moral authority, it’s the negative claim against the Catholic Church. And he never even allows us a peek at those. Instead we get a full 15-minutes of exciting dream-footage in technicolor with spiders and magic prayer ropes.

Those were my initial musings, but I'll expound on them here.

Say a person just became a serious Christian and decided he really wanted to follow Christ's teachings. So he decided to study the claims of the ancient Christian communions. He'd heard that there is a blogger who writes prolifically about his conversion out of one ancient Christian communion (Roman Catholic) into another (Eastern Orthodox). So he decided to check out some of these many posts to discover why.

I don't think this person would find any advice for his own spiritual journey from this blogger named Rod Dreher who, by the way, really does write prolifically about his conversion out of Roman Catholicism. He'd learn that the blogger left the Catholic church over horrible abuse scandals which, the blogger doesn't deny, also exist in his current orthodox communion. He'd also learn that the blogger also left over the sometimes horrible mishandling of the scandals, but that the blogger admits that this mishandling sometimes happens in his present communion.

Not only is there not much of an effort at intellectual apologetics for Orthodoxy, but there isn't really any reference to an outside source for said apologetics which were "making some headway" with him *. I think that the this lacuna is possibly intentional for two reasons. The first is that for Rod Dreher, intellectual effort is completely unnecessary—you either get it or you don't. I think that in this case, prattling on ceaselessly about it is sort of pointless so I don't know why he would bother. But smug people doubling down on smugness quite often should surprise no one who has any worldly experience.

The second reason, and one which is more likely to my mind, is that any intellectual argument for Orthodoxy over Catholicism would present a vulnerable target. If regular readers here attack Rod Dreher's decision to leave the Catholic Church it is very easy for Dreher's defenders to dismiss us by saying "You just don't like him." Fair enough; we don't. But by not presenting foundational absolutes or general principles for why he left the Catholic church, his choice to do so comes across as individualistic, relativistic and circumstantial. He might have presented the idea elsewhere that the small and the particular are virtuous attributes, but in the consequential decisions of life, they don't provide for strong arguments.

This would account for another aspect of his famous conversion which I've noticed from the outset. There is no proportional recruiting effort. If indeed Catholicism is so bad and Orthodoxy so good then he should be trying to pull good people that way. But I think this ignores the particularity and individualistic nature of Dreher's conversion. This choice of Orthodoxy, he always seems to emphasize, was tailor made for him, reinforced by many and diverse subjective experiences including even his own dreams which, we all know, men never lie about except in pick-up lines.

Before I converted to Catholicism in the early nineties, I considered Eastern Orthodoxy. I even read Peter Gillquist's book Becoming Orthodox about a group of Evangelical Protestants at a college campus who all joined the Orthodox Church after studying the ancient liturgy. At the time I remember thinking that it was well-written and very convincing about the liturgy and the sacraments, but there was really no substantive reason why their conclusion couldn't have been to all become Roman Catholic. The year after I converted I remember reading the late Father Ray Ryland's article Evangelicals Who Journey East in the magazine This Rock. In this article, Ryland exposes the fact that at many points along during the journey of these Evangelicals, there was a sub- or semi-conscious desire on the part of the members of the group to steer away from considering the Roman Church. This desire was what drove the decision, not objective inquiry, and it made for an easier way forward for the group that avoided the more rigorous stances taken by the Catholic Church which we have before noted. Ryland demonstrates how they even borrowed arguments from protestantism in order to bolster their newly found Eastern Orthodox belief system.

So this is my conclusion. I believe that in the same way as those Evangelicals under Gillquist had a predisposition to avoid Roman conclusions, Rod Dreher as a Catholic had a desire to get out of the church once the going got tough, and the abuse scandal presented the opening he'd been longing for. He breathed a sigh of relief after leaving with seeming integrity, but, as Father Ryland opined, the "breath was not deep." The lack of depth has proved itself ever since through the ever-declining force of his words in his ever-changing narratives.

* - I realize that he discounts these arguments as determinative by stating "[T]hey were far from a slam-dunk, at least with me.... ...I was highly aware that my own mental and emotional state was inflamed by anger and distrust, such that I was not sure to what extent my deliberations could be trusted." But the fact is that he did leave the Catholic Church and he did become Eastern Orthodox. So it is impossible to conclude that he was not convinced to become Orthodox because that church professes the correct ecclesiology—unless you hold to an opinion that Rod Dreher joined the Orthodox church merely on a pretense. I choose to believe the former; it is the more charitable course. Yet the will is supposed to allow itself to be informed by the intellect. It is not supposed to ignore it.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Oh, this is completely insane!

$25,000 Scores Invite to American Conservative Editorial Meeting, Dinner

According to the latest letter, donors who give over $1,000 to the magazine will receive an invitation to a “semi-annual, invitation-only editorial briefing” phone call with The Little Way of Ruthie Leming author Rod Dreher, the American Conservative’s “theater critic and a solo blogger” Noah Millman, and political science professor Patrick Deneen.

I get to meet Rod Dreher! Like, I suppose you could do better than that. No way! Because it seems to me that he would be a pretty decent guy, I must say. What if we became best friends -- best friends in the so I would just like, phone his house up, and say, "Is Rod there? Just tell him it's me!" sense, now that I think of it. Like, I suppose Rod Dreher doesn't have, like, over a million friends, probably. But then again, maybe he doesn't. It's difficult to say. Oh, this is completely insane!

But, wait! There's more!

Top contributors who give over $25,000 will receive an invitation to the magazine’s annual board dinner.

The annual board dinner! What do you suppose they'll have to eat? With Rod Dreher there it has to be pretty decent, I must say. Maybe he'll even cook for us himself! But $25,000! I could sell my car...yes, and take the bus! And then I could be the one who paid Rod's salary for the year! We'd be sure to become best friends after that! But what to wear? They all sound like they dress just like me, I must say. So I'll fit right in!

But is there more?

“By aggressively utilizing online formats and social media, the American Conservative is reaching younger readers exceedingly well,” wrote Allison.

Social media! Younger readers! That means there'll be girls there! Alt-conservative girls who would be sure to find me a decent fellow, I must say. And I could introduce them to my best friends Rod and Noah and Patrick! And we could all smoke pipes together! With Wick! But does he smoke a pipe? It's difficult to say. He must! They're all intellectuals there...they all smoke pipes - even the girls! But I'll bring an extra one, just to be sure.

Best friends with TAC! Oh, this is completely insane!