Posted by: readerjohn | July 5, 2011

Tasty Tidbits 7/5/11

Here’s some Tasty Tidbits for the day:

  1. Conservative conservatism calls out liberal conservatism.
  2. Crony capitalism and the complicit commentariat.
  3. James Howard Kunstler’s birthday card to America.
  4. Are we really free?
  5. John’s Curmudgeonly thoughts on our history.
  6. Who’s really totalitarian?
  7. Are we “defining” or “banning”?
  8. What does barbecue tell us about race?

***

I respect (and follow) both Distributist Review and Acton Institute, but I don’t mind seeing a little illuminating quarrel.

It’s a shame that liberal conservatism of the Acton Insitute sort is considered, along with general bellicosity, “true conservatism,” while conservative conservatism in the Distributist tradition is politically voiceless. Democrat concern for the “working man” went the way of the Dodo Bird in 1972, and the sexual libertinism and other things that have replaced it are incompatible with “conservative conservatism” as well.

***

The Advance Indiana blog sheds reflected light on two real problems — crony capitalism and shallow journalism that too rarely “connects the dots” about crony capitalism. The light he’s reflecting comes from an unfamiliar blog, Indy Tax Dollars.

I couldn’t say it better so I won’t. I could say that I’m especially offended when the beneficiary of crony capitalism is professional sports, but that would be unAmerican, so I won’t say it, will I? #paralepsis

Indy Tax Dollars appears to be even more obsessed with the sports side of crony capitalism than is Advance Indiana, and that’s saying a lot. #bread&circuses

***

Here you have the North American continent, filled with untold natural riches, splendid waterways, six feet of loam on the trackless prairie, timber galore, gold, silver, borax, buffalo, passenger pigeons innumerable darkening the skies! All in all, a pretty high-percentage deal. And it took only a couple of hundred years to turn it into a set of interconnected parking facilities, that is, to [****] it up royally (even though we are officially opposed to royalty).

From James Howard Kunstler’s Birthday Card to America, July 4, 2011.

***

Sometimes bloggers post things just to be provocative. This is not one of those times.

I’ve been following Front Porch Republic since its beginning, but even before I started moving in a localist/decentralist direction, I would have endorsed this quote from Jeremy Beer in HB1070 and the Limits of Decentralization:

Here’s the truth about early-twenty-first-century America: We are as shackled by thou-shalt-nots as any Victorian ever was — despite the myths we tell ourselves about being free — and even achievement of the decentralist political dream would help little, in and of itself, to rectify the situation. It is a golden age for genital freedom. We have lived to see the Triumph of the Penis, the Victory of the Vagina! But this freedom serves only to distract us from the larger, more profound, and utterly stultifying orthodoxy that grows more rigid with each passing day. The centralized state has less to do with our slavery than we think.

What’s surprising is the reflections on the All-Star Game that lead up to that closing.

***

John at Notes from a Common-place Book is a spiritual brother in several senses. He does not revere the flag, and has some interesting “curmudeonly” comments on 7/4/1776.

***

Robert John Araujo, SJ, notes a challenge to religious freedom brought against Catholic University of America by one of its own professors who wants to prevent a return to single-sex dorms.

Critics may argue that the Church is authoritarian … But is it, is it really? I suggest that the Church is not authoritarian. She is an authority without question, but she is the Body of Christ who seeks that which is good for all members of the human family by propostion rather than imposition. On the other hand, it seems that, for the time being, Professor Banzhaf is intent on imposing his understanding of democracy, which seems an awful lot like a thinly disguised totalitarianism, on the Christian community that calls itself The Catholic University of America.

One only need be a friend of religious liberty to see who’s wearing the White Hat here.

***

I grind my teeth every time I  hear some reporter refer to “banning same-sex marriage,” since that seems such a mindlessly skewed way of describing what’s going on. Unitarians, United Church of Christ and other liberal ministers have been free for a long time, if not forever, to religiously solemnize whatever relationships they want, for instance. In other words, “What ban?”

What I failed to appreciate is how big a difference it makes when the issue is framed that way rather than in terms of “defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.” A recent contrary, but apparently sound, poll illustrates.

***

What does barbecue tell us about race?” Oh, I don’t know. Maybe that we overanalyze things sometimes?

I just know that I look forward to barbecue more during Lent and the Nativity Fast than to any ole “steak.”

Have a ________ Day!


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