Here’s today’s tasty tidbits, concurrently Tweeted and Facebooked:
From the Department of Well I’ll Be Darned, I just learned that one of my high school acquaintances (small school makes it more notable), Gerrit Greve, is a world-famous artist in San Diego. I don’t remember him being notably artistic, though I do remember him playing acoustic guitar a little.
I really, really remember his mother, the school nurse, who was a bit of a legend. De mortuis nil nisi bonum. Most of us survived — I with some wounds.
Occasionally, James Taranto’s Best of the Web (at the Wall Street Journal site) is (cover your eyes) complètement de la merde.
I know this because he usually has the good sense to agree with me, so I’m kind of like the press reporting “man bites dog” when I assure you, in all factual sobriety, that Tuesday was a merde day for Monsieur Taranto.
- Andrew Bacevich opens an Op-Ed at the Los Angeles Times: “At periodic intervals, the American body politic has shown a marked susceptibility to messianic fevers.”
- Taranto responds: “Dr. Bacevich’s Quackery: If you think American kids are ignorant about history, wait till you get a load of this historian.“
- “So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.” George W. Bush’s Second Inaugural Address (emphasis added).
The prosecution rests.
Taranto’s disclaimer pretty well explains his hatchet job on a scholar who, in a popular column, elided a few things in critiquing our messianic taste for endless war: “This columnist is a member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board.” I’ll take Andrew Bacevich’s Op-Ed condensations over the Wall Street Journal’s foreign policy any day.
[N.B. Taranto apparently has Google tracking of his unusual last name, so I wouldn’t be stunned if he Tweeted this.]
I’ve flogged the same-sex marriage horse too much, so I won’t mention:
- “Campaign Speech and Gay Marriage: Liberals for Unlimited Political Donations — If the Cause is Theirs.”
- How illegitimi hissy-fits carborundum some wusses into silence, like some at National Review and other ostensibly “conservative” places.
- Or how Chronicles has refused to fold.
- Or the meaning of paralispsis.
There seems to be a consensus among sensible observers that SSM is more symptomatic of marriage disorder than causative. But high fever is symptomatic, too, and that doesn’t mean that it can be safely ignored. Sometimes, the fever must be attacked separately lest it kill the patient.
That’s why, I think, some generally conservative folks have toned down the rhetoric. They still see SSM as a serious symptom, but after some years of states experimentating with it, the institution of marriage hasn’t completely died from it.
What drives me to near-distraction about it is the extent to which the common attitude seems to be
- Marriage is the public recognition of private erotic involvement.
- Private erotic involvement is nobody’s business.
- Therefore the state should recognize all private erotic involvements that seek such recognition, provided they come only in pairs (for now).
From the 30,000 foot altitude, where SSM in the Big Apple is less prominent, the Acton Insitute has posed though-provoking questions about how Christian anthropology should affect public policy — an enthralling topic for me. One Orthodox Source responds preliminarily.
“Bath salts” illustrate a feature of our law: what is not forbidden is allowed — whence the saying “the law isn’t made unless first it’s broken.” General rule: we can ingest or inhale any damnfool thing we want. Exception: We can’t lawfully ingest or inhale things the legislature has explicitly forbidden us to. So another reason the drug war is dubious is that new recreational drugs can be created faster than the legislature can respond.
We really are sheep, and we really need a Good Shepherd because sheep are pretty stupid. Not to say that those who’d shepherd us with bath salts won’t burn in hell (or something) for their mercenary efforts.
It’s the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the preeminent leaders of Christ’s Church in the first generation.
First-enthroned of the Apostles,
and teachers of the universe:
entreat the Master of all
to grant peace to the world,
and to our souls great mercy!
Both Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy commemorate these Saints, but of course the Orthodox do it better. 😉