Wednesday 8/24/16

  1. The danger of strong opinions
  2. 3rd-Grade nicknames
  3. Cockamamie legal theory du jour
  4. Strangest coincidence …
  5. If you’ll bow down and worship me
  6. Comprehensive Cogi review


Newspaper Fires Staff Writers Amid Allegations That They Had Opinions.

The more I read about certain Roman Catholic infighting, the madder I get at the side that appears to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the GOP.

Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher (I wasn’t previously familiar with Fischer) apparently profess a “seamless web” prolife position that prevents them becoming shameless cheerleaders for the GOP (which is feckless at best on abortion, bad on capital punishment, torture, adventuristic wars and such).

Their residual sense of appropriate shame deeply offended and offends John Zmirak (and others?), who have lost their own senses, including that of shame. Zmirak, for instance, published the prolife equivalent of a blood libel against Shea: that his seamless web was there to disguise that he’s soft on abortion — and that he is a Democrat. This is insidious stuff because there really are pretenders, who pretend they’ll oppose abortion if and only if people currently labeled pro-life will oppose capital punishment and embrace every progressive position on education, welfare, etc.

Zmirak is deluded if he actually believes Shea is one of them.

When people can utter the sentence “Mark Shea is a leftist” with a straight face, the whole world shudders in horror at what America has become.

(Anonymous Aussie)

Shame on Zmirak & Co., who have done a Brendan Eich on Shea and Fischer, who have not the wealth of Eich to endure the attack cheerfully. I note that the Ten Principles of The Stream where Zmirak is Senior Editor do not include scrupulous truthfulness, though one might hope that “Every human being has equal value and dignity” might spill over into truthfulness about people.

The pretext for Eiching Fisher included simulated Vapours by fellow Catholics when she made metaphorical use (on Facebook) of the term bl*wj*b to describe the worshipful kneeling before Donald Trump of certain Republicatholics (or is it Catholicans?).

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time “conservatives” have purged troublesome writers to make lebensraum for neo-conservatives (i.e., liberal hawks) and all their works and all their angels and all their service and all their pride. Some of those so purged have gone down to the grave quite literally.

I have forsaken my benign opinion of Zmirak. You’ll probably not see me mention him again.

UPDATE: I have been informed that Mark Shea is voting for the American Solidarity Party, but that he has encouraged people in states where the vote is close to vote for the lesser evil, which he thinks is Hillary Clinton.

UPDATE 2: I now have some information that the dismissal was not political. The basis is that some Trump supporter also was dismissed. Perhaps the National Catholic Reporter just doesn’t want to be a forum for hotheaded political debate, which is fine.

UPDATE 3: Updates 1 and 2 cast my political spin into doubt at least as to the leadership of National Catholic Register. That Zmirak smeared Shea still appears to be true, but it may have been unrelated to Shea’s dismissal.


On a much, much, much lighter note, my grandson by his fourth day at his new classical school has been bestowed with a nickname: Thesaurus. He and his grandpa are both well pleased.


In yesterday’s Glass v. Paxton (W.D. Tex.), a federal judge refused to block the new Texas law that lets people with concealed-carry licenses carry on university campuses … A quick summary:

1. Texas lets pretty much all law-abiding adults age 21 and above get a license to carry concealed handguns in public places … Texas, like some other states, does allow “campus carry.”

Because of this, the president of the University of Texas at Austin set up a policy that let students who have concealed-carry licenses carry their guns in classrooms.

2. Some faculty members challenged this, claiming that allowing students the right to carry violates those faculty members’ own rights. One such right was the First Amendment right to academic freedom; the court responded … :

… Plaintiffs assert that classroom discussion will be “circumscribed by the near-certain presence of loaded guns” and that their ability to “make [their classrooms] truly a marketplace for the robust exchange of ideas will be impaired.” They argue that they are now “incentivized to err on the side of ‘trimming their sails,’ academically speaking, when they push for classroom debate.”

Sounds quite right to me, and I expect the decision to be upheld on appeal.

(Eugene Volokh) I do so hope that Plaintiff idiots were not law professors.


[A]s of today, you can pre-order The Benedict Option on  Publication date is March 14, 2017 …

UPDATE: I just realized that March 14 is the Feast of St. Benedict on the Western calendar and Orthodox New Calendar. I had forgotten, because I’ve been observing the Old Calendar for the past few years. Stunned by this, I contacted my editor at the publishing house (secular) and asked if they had any knowledge that the book was going to be published on the Feast of St. Benedict. They had none whatsoever. It was just a coincidence.

A “coincidence.”

(Rod Dreher) I’m surprised at how mention of Dreher’s name can serve as a sort of Rorschalk Test. I’ve been following him long enough, in various contexts (including brief personal conversation), that I can confidently say a lot of the negative opinion in hooey.

I cannot say that of the opinion that he’s alarmist. There’s some built-in media bias to feature the arresting or alarming developments of life, combined with what I think is the arc of his opinion over the years, so that even I, perhaps not often enough, shake my head and close a browser tab.

I remind you, however, that Dreher moderates comments on his blogs, with the blessed result of the commentary being symbiotic to the blogs, and not at all  the usual internet cesspool. Some of the smartest discussion you’ll find on the web.


In some corners of “conservatism,” the cesspool is considered a feature, not a bug. Do click through to see the cover and title of Ann “Cesspool” Coulter’s latest book.

“I’ll tell you one thing: I get elected president, we’re going to be saying ‘merry Christmas’ again. Just remember that,” he said. “And by the way, Christianity will have power, without having to form.”

He added: “Because if I’m there, you’re going to have plenty of power. You don’t need anybody else. You’re going to have somebody representing you very, very well. Remember that.”

And he led American Conservative Christians to an exceeding high mountain and showed them all the kingdoms of the earth, saying, “All this will I give you if you will bow down and worship me.”  And American Conservative Christians said, “Awesome!”

(Mark Shea)


Another quick pivot. If you have a smartphone and attend meetings or lectures, go take a look at Cogi. Very cool.

Here endeth the comprehensive software review.

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.

About readerjohn

I am a retired lawyer and an Orthodox Christian, living in a collapsing civilization, the modern West. There are things I'll miss when it's gone. There are others I won't. That it is collapsing is partly due to calculated subversion, summarized by the moniker "deathworks." This blog is now dedicated to exposing and warring against those deathwork - without ceasing to spread a little light.
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