Halloween Candy edition

  1. Genius, not smart.
  2. What soaking the rich can’t do.
  3. When “terrorism” isn’t.
  4. Brutalist Religion.
  5. Cute ad.
  6. Thinking Outside the Box on Vatican Supranational Authority Idea.
  7. American Oligarchy.
  8. Opposition Research.

1

So was Mr. Jobs smart? Not conventionally. Instead, he was a genius.

Walter Isaacson, The Genius of Jobs.

2

“Soaking the rich can’t fix a broken government” is the editor’s summary of a fine Ross Douthat column at the New York Times Sunday.

Remember that those tax dollars, once collected, would not be disbursed with perfect effectiveness to the most deserving members of the American middle class. Instead, they would be used to buy a little more time for our failing public institutions — postponing a reckoning with unsustainable pension commitments, delaying necessary reforms in our entitlement system and propping up an educational sector whose results don’t match the costs.

This point makes me about 1% less hostile to the GOP fetish about not raising taxes. I could be made less hostile still if the GOP had a plausible plan for fixing the broke, and broken, government , but they don’t. In fact, they’ve been quibbling about soaking the poor (which, for Republicans who are a little slow on the uptake, can’t fix a broken government).

3

I’m obliged to Mollie at GetReligion for noting that “terrorism” may be nothing more than “the rantings of a schizophrenic” brown-skinned middle-eastern person, or even the exercise of free speech.

4

Rod Dreher observes how translation can ennoble or enervate, especially in matters religious, comparing the King James Psalm 148 to the New International Version.

It’s a sign of hope that dumbed-down translations can be abandoned and better translations introduced. Anthony Esolen compares the Roman Catholic Novus Ordo mass – from translators “ideologically committed to diminishing the mass’s holy dimension, and thereby re-forming the religious consciousness of the people according to their miserable Brutalist vision” (Dreher’s gloss on Esolen) – to a new translation with some actual dignity, which (may it please God) bodes to be introduced if not mandated for Anglophone Catholic Churches.

I have no predictions on what the new Mass will do to attendance, but those who do attend the new Mass will over time be changed by it. Lex orandi, lex credendi is the original of my poor preceding paraphrase, and thus worthier prayers are a hopeful marker not only for Catholics tired of aping low Protestantism, but for Catholic-Orthodox relations as well.

5

(HT Rod Dreher)

6

I’m catching up on reading, and this deceptively short item seems to be begging for some commentary, but I’m having trouble finding the bullseye.

All I can say is that European monarchs were tickled pink at the Reformation, and did all they could to encourage it, including misappropriating Church property. The result has been a mixed blessing at best.

7

Der Spiegel asks (rhetorically) if America has entered a second Gilded Age, with Investment Bankers replacing Oil Barons. (HT The Browser)

8

I knew Barack Obama had no sex scandals in his past. If he had, Team Hillary would have whispered them in the ears of favored reporters in a timely fashion during the race for the Democratic nomination.

(Rod Dreher commenting on Politico’s Herman Cain story)

* * * * *

Bon appetit!

Having become tedious even to myself, I’m Tweeting more, blogging less. View this in a browser instead of an RSS feeder to see Tweets at upper right.

I also have some succinct standing advice on recurring themes. Maybe if I link to it, I’ll blog less obsessively about it.