Sunday bright spots

If with all your heart you truly seek me …

… ye shall ever truly find me. Thus saith our God. (Mendelsohn, Elijah, paraphrasing Jeremiah 29:13)

Martin Shaw, a notable in British Neo-Paganism, went out to to the woods for a 101-day vigil (!) of some pagan sort, roughly around the beginning of Covidtide. At the end, he had an attention-getting vision, and then began having the dreams — like Christ coming to him like a stag:

Shaw says he used to think Christianity was dull and domesticated. “I was wrong.”

His problem was that he thought the tame bourgeois Evangelicalism in which he was raised was the be-all and end-all of Christianity. He says, of that church, “What on earth would they have done with Blake?”

Shaw says that he believes he was in contact with the One who made the universe. It rendered him speechless. “I have been appropriately silent,” he tells Mark Vernon, adding that this is the first time he has revealed in public his conversion.

“You could not have argued me into Christianity,” Shaw says. It took this overwhelming experience of awe.

He goes on to say that Christianity is the fulfillment of all kinds of pagan myths.

“There was this deep interior announcement: ‘You knocked, and now I’m here. What should we do?”

On modern Christianity:

“We seem to have lost our saints, we’ve lost our monks, we’ve lost our connection to our bush soul, we’ve lost the angular, strange, weirdness of Christ.”

Shaw describes the call to Christ as “an invitation, not an imposition. … It’s chucking keys into cells to try to get you out into fresh air.”

He tells Mark Vernon that he’s been trying to figure out which church to embed himself in. He’s visited a Baptist church, an Anglican church, and a Catholic Church. “People will forgive almost anything except for becoming a Christian,” he says, alluding to the anti-Christian propaganda that’s everywhere. He found in all those churches “really kind, gracious, invested people.”

“But last Sunday, I walked into the Eastern Orthodox church, into the Divine Liturgy. I walked into a kind of Christian dream that was so deep. It had no beginning, and no end. It was absolutely unlike any form of Christianity I’ve yet come across.”

“It was as if every 15 minutes that passed, the door through the centuries was opening. I found in an almost unimaginably deep way a contact with … a sort of Christian dreaming.”

Shaw says he had never thought about Orthodoxy’s “aboriginal presence in Britain” before the great schism of 1054.

Vernon, a former Anglican priest, suggests that Orthodoxy, not having gone through the Reformation, could be more about drawing us into participation with the mysteries — doing something, rather than having something done to us.

Shaw responds by saying the last time he felt like he did after that liturgy was when he was in a sweat lodge with an American Indian twenty-five years ago. He was so dazed after the Divine Liturgy that he drove through a stop light, and almost caused a crash. Everybody was yelling at him. He rolled down his window and yelled, “I’ve just been to church! And I don’t know what’s going on!”

Shaw, who is best known says the truth about myth is that it’s not about the past at all, but about something always present. This resonated with me in light of what the Cambridge cultural anthropologist Paul Connerton said about the qualities traditional cultures that have successfully resisted modernity have in common. As I recall, they all 1) have a sacred story that tells them who they are; 2) celebrate the sacred story in an unvarying liturgy; 3) use their body in their liturgy; and 4) experience the liturgy as taking place in some sense outside of time.

Rod Dreher, writing about the conversion of Martin Shaw, "a big name in the neopagan/neopagan-ish world, who recently converted to Christianity." It appears that he isn’t going to be satisfied with anything less than the fulness of the faith that’s found in Christian Orthodoxy.

I would suggest that God saw Shaw’s heart and said "time to reclaim my own."

I also would suggest that Protestantism (perhaps Catholicism, too) may "have a sacred story that tells them who they are" and "use their body in their liturgy," but they vary their liturgies, which in no sense take place outside time.

Paul Kingsnorth and now Martin Shaw. God is up to something He hasn’t shared with me. He’s like that, you know. I have no other explanation for how Shaw could apprehend the timelessness of the Divine Liturgy on first exposure than that his paganism has kept his intuitive powers sharper than most of ours.

Elizabeth Oldfield perceives some commonalities in these and other "later in life" conversions:

[T]hey are slowly losing the youthful idealistic sense that they alone can locate the levers of change. They are butting up against the limits of their own intelligence and agency, and looking for something other than themselves to have faith in.

… Men who are arrogant or apathetic cause harm, and a path that requires humility, courage, vulnerability and service might just act as an antidote.

There was some of all that in my conversion, from deracinated to primal Christianity, at 48-49.

I’ve subscribed to Martin Shaw’s Substack, and it looks as if it could rise very near my favorites. He’s doing something I think is unique, valuable, and congruent with Orthodoxy (assuming that’s where he settles for a spiritual home).

A remarkable execution

I’ve never read last words like these:

First, thank you, my precious Father, for shepherding me for over 20 years and leading me to the edge of Paradise. I want to thank my beautiful wife who has loved me with everything she has. I want to thank my friends and legal team, and, most of all, Jesus Christ, through this unfair judicial process that led to my salvation. I pray the Lord will have mercy on all of us and that the Lord will have mercy on me. Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me! Panagia Theotoke soson me! [All Holy Mother of God save me].

Last words of Monk Ephraim, formerly known as Frank Atwood, before his recent execution in Arizona for a murder which I doubt he committed:

on june 8, an american orthodox monk was executed for murder. how did this come to be? in 1987 frank atwood was convicted in arizona for the murder of a child. at the time of his arrest & trial, & ever since, he insisted on his innocence of the crime. (i have no way of knowing whether he was guilty or not, but that may also be true of those who tried & convicted him.) in prison, he read the mountain of silence: a search for orthodox spirituality by kyriakos markides. powerfully moved by it, he wrote to metropolitan athanasios of limassol in cyprus, who appears in the book. a correspondence began, which led to frank’s coming under the spiritual care of fr paisios at st anthony the great monastery in arizona. he was baptized & began to practice a life of prayer & asceticism. a few days before his execution, he was tonsured a monk & received the name ephraim, after fr ephraim, founder of st anthony’s monastery. his spiritual father paisios said that, regardless of his guilt or innocence, he had undergone a "complete transformation of life".

the case received great attention in greece, but as far as i know was ignored by american secular media outside of arizona. this account of his execution includes a powerful first-hand report from the arizona republic. you can see photos & video of his funeral at st anthony’s monastery here. metropolitan athanasios, who first received frank’s inquiries, has some remarks here.


as it happens, the assembly of canonical orthodox bishops of the united states of america has just published a "statement on the sacredness of human life & its untimely termination". it offers a whole-life teaching, rejecting abortion, euthanasia, & capital punishment.

o lord, remember us in thy kingdom.

From the rags of light monthly newsletter of my cyber-friend, John Brady, an Orthodox fellow of about my age (original formatting). You can subscribe here.

I formerly opposed the death penalty because our criminal justice system is more error prone than the powers and dominions want to admit. I’m aware, obviously, of the Innocence Project, but this is the first case I can recall where an innocent man was executed (rather than conclusively exonerated while on death row).

Now, with a push from my nation’s bishops, I’m opposed because it’s morally wrong even when they get the right guy.

From a reporter who witnessed the execution:

The Department of Corrections protocols ensure that few people see an execution, and there is little public awareness of this most serious and final act of justice. The death penalty is presented as a clean, sterile, administrative procedure carried out flawlessly and by the book. Now I know what they were trying to hide.

I have looked behind the curtain of capital punishment and seen it for what it truly is: a frail old man lifted from a wheelchair onto a handicap accessible lethal injection gurney; nervous hands and perspiring faces trying to find a vein; needles puncturing skin; liquid drugs flooding a man’s existence and drowning it out.

I have written extensively about Atwood’s case. I listened to the victim’s family talk about the pain and suffering the murder of Vicki Lynne, and subsequent court case, caused them — the generational trauma it left with their family and the community of Tucson. I talked with every attorney I know about the process and asked questions about what I was about to witness.

But I was not prepared to see the act of capital punishment carried out in front of me.

The state of Arizona conducts executions in all of our names. I thought I understood the weight of that process, but now I feel the reality of it. We killed a man today. I killed a man today. And I will live with that realization for the rest of my life.

If people have always said it, it is probably true; it is the distilled wisdom of the ages. If people have not always said it, but everybody is saying it now, it is probably a lie; it is the concentrated madness of the moment.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes

You can read most of my more impromptu stuff here (cathartic venting) and here (the only social medium I frequent, because people there are quirky, pleasant and real). Both should work in your RSS aggregator, like Feedly or Reeder, should you want to make a habit of it.

Mixed bags

Public Affairs

Public Intellectuals

If you are an intelligent and thoughtful young American, you cannot be a progressive public intellectual today, any more than you can be a cavalry officer or a silent movie star.

Michael Lind. An arresting thesis, elaborated to a fair degree, beginning with:

That’s because, in the third decade of the 21st century, intellectual life on the American center left is dead. Debate has been replaced by compulsory assent and ideas have been replaced by slogans that can be recited but not questioned: Black Lives Matter, Green Transition, Trans Women Are Women, 1619, Defund the Police. The space to the left-of-center that was once filled with magazines and organizations devoted to what Diana Trilling called the “life of significant contention” is now filled by the ritualized gobbledygook of foundation-funded, single-issue nonprofits like a pond choked by weeds.

He eventually recounts how the same thing happened to conservatism shortly after the collapse of Communism, concluding on a hopeful note:

What survives of intellectual politics in the United States today consists of a growing number of exiles from establishment wokeness on Substack and an assortment of dissident leftists, conservatives, and populists, some of whom have come together in new publications like American Affairs, Compact, and The Bellows, and in quirkier couture shops like Tablet.

John Henry Ramirez

One SCOTUS case we all seemed to agree on (except for Justice Thomas) was that involving John Henry Ramirez, who wanted his clergyman in the death chamber, praying aloud with hands laid on John Henry. Texas said “no” (Texas is a very mixed bag), but it lost.

But there’s now a strage twist:

When a judge in South Texas signed an order this past week setting an execution date of Oct. 5 for John Henry Ramirez, it seemed like the end of the road.

Mr. Ramirez was convicted in 2008 for the murder of a convenience store worker, a crime he has acknowledged committing. He was sentenced to death and appealed his case to the Supreme Court — not to stop his execution, but to prepare for it. He asked to have his Baptist pastor pray out loud and lay hands on him in the execution chamber, a request that brought his case national notoriety. Last month, the court ruled in his favor, clearing the path for his execution to proceed as long as the state of Texas complied with his request.

But in a surprise turn of events on Thursday, District Attorney Mark Gonzalez of Nueces County filed a motion withdrawing the death warrant for Mr. Ramirez, citing his “firm belief that the death penalty is unethical and should not be imposed on Mr. Ramirez or any other person.” His own office had requested the execution date just days earlier, but Mr. Gonzalez, a Democrat, wrote in his motion that an employee in his office had done so without consulting him.

In a broadcast from his office on Facebook Live on Thursday afternoon, Mr. Gonzalez, whose district includes Corpus Christi, where the crime occurred, explained his decision.

“For a while now, I’ve said that I don’t believe in the death penalty,” he said. “My office is not going to seek the death penalty anymore.” He said he would be a hypocrite if he advanced Mr. Ramirez’s execution even as he instructs his office not to pursue the death penalty in new cases. Mr. Gonzalez and his office did not respond to requests for comment.

New York Times (emphasis added).

It just goes to show you never can tell.

Gender nonconformities

Why the surge?

After I scanned New York Times Opinions yesterday morning, Ross Douthat dropped a bombshell analysis of what’s going on with the surge in self-reported cases of various gender nonconformities (and a few related things). It came to my attention via Alan Jacobs’ succinct response.

If it’s not already clear, I fall in Douthat’s third “possible reading” of Gallup polling on the surge:

This trend is bad news. What we’re seeing today isn’t just a continuation of the gay rights revolution; it’s a form of social contagion which our educational and medical institutions are encouraging and accelerating. These kids aren’t setting themselves free from the patriarchy; they’re under the influence of online communities of imitation and academic fashions laundered into psychiatry and education — one part Tumblr and TikTok mimesis, one part Judith Butler.

Add to the surge the readiness of many doctors to hormonally and surgically “confirm” kids’ brand-new-but-vehement genders and it’s a real mess.

Douthat closes thus:

I will make a prediction: Within not too short a span of time, not only conservatives but most liberals will recognize that we have been running an experiment on trans-identifying youth without good or certain evidence, inspired by ideological motives rather than scientific rigor, in a way that future generations will regard as a grave medical-political scandal.**

Which means that if you are a liberal who believes as much already, but you don’t feel comfortable saying it, your silence will eventually become your regret.

Jacobs doesn’t entirely agree:

I think this prediction will partly, but not wholly, come true. I do believe that there will be a change of direction, but for the most part it will be a silent one, an unspoken course correction; and on the rare occasions that anyone is called to account for their recklessness, they’ll say, as a different group of enthusiasts did some decades ago, “We only did what we thought was best. We only believed the children.” But they won’t have to say it often, because the Ministry of Amnesia will perform its usual erasures ….

I took the bait and followed his links on “believing the children” and the “Ministry of Amnesia,” and I’m glad I did. I intend to add “children’s crusades” and “Ministry of Amnesia” to my rhetorical armory, thought the first seems more perfect that the second:

One clever little specialty of adult humans works like this: You very carefully (and, if you’re smart, very subtly) instruct children in the moral stances you’d like them to hold. Then, when they start to repeat what you’ve taught them, you cry “Out of the mouths of babes! And a little child shall lead them!” And you very delicately maneuver the children to the front of your procession, so that they appear to be leading it — but of course you make sure all along that you’re steering them in the way that they should go. It’s a social strategy with a very long history.

So, for instance, when you hear this:

“It’s the children who are now leading us,” said Diane Ehrensaft, the director of mental health for the clinic. “They’re coming in and telling us, ‘I’m no gender.’ Or they’re saying, ‘I identify as gender nonbinary.’ Or ‘I’m a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I’m a unique gender, I’m transgender. I’m a rainbow kid, I’m boy-girl, I’m everything.’”

— certain alarms should ring. No child came up with the phrase “I identify as gender nonbinary.” It is a faithful echo of an adult’s words.

Alan Jacobs, children’s crusades

Raccoon gender vibe

Even as the Biden admin goes hard on pushing for medical interventions for gender dysphoric teenagers (green-lighting double mastectomies and the like), the mainstream media is finally listening to trans clinicians and trans adults who have been sounding an alarm: The teenage transitions are out of control. 

Here’s a profile in the Los Angeles Times this week of the brave Erica Anderson, a clinician and trans woman (Abigail Shrier quoted her in her groundbreaking Common Sense story last year). Anderson lets the LA Times reporter sit in on a session with a kid who is not sure about their gender and who talks about how their friends identify as things like raccoon gender vibe: “One friend says that their gender is the same vibe as a raccoon. They’re saying that their gender has the same, like, chaotic, dumpster vibes as raccoons.” 

Also this week, adult trans woman Corinna Cohn wrote a heartbreaking essay for the Washington Post about sex reassignment surgery and what it has been like to never have experienced orgasm, warning young people not to do this so quickly, not to give up that part of life so quickly. “From the day of my surgery, I became a medical patient and will remain one for the rest of my life,” she writes. And: “I chose an irreversible change before I’d even begun to understand my sexuality.”

And in a third vibe shift this week: JK Rowling hosted a boozy lunch with England’s greatest old world feminists. Critics call these women TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) because they do not want mixed-sex prisons or sports. The TERFs may have been hounded out of jobs and polite liberal society, but they are having fun.

Nellie Bowles, ‌But the dam has broken on trans issues in her weekly newsletter.

Ultimate things

Just, merciful, humble … and smooth

It occurs to me that over the last 30 years or so, I’ve been repeatedly exposed to Evangelical Protestant types who center their public expressions of faith on Micah 6:8.

Now that’s is a perfectly lovely verse:

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

But it is part of the Old Testament, and the immediate context is God wanting justice, mercy and humility rather than empty sacrifices:

Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

I suspect, knowing some of the Micahphiles, that this verse is a kind of virtue-signaling, a way of saying “We’re not fundamentalists or Religious Right crypto-Theocrats.

But it’s getting a little bit old. Might I commend a substitute: Genesis 27:11?

You’re judging me?

I was in Jerusalem, and in the morning I was at the Holy Liturgy in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. I am not a good friend of the early morning, but it was very early. There were Russians, Greeks, Romanians, Muslims, Catholics, Copts, and all the people in there. And I was judging God: if we are the right faith, the right confession, why couldn’t you give to us this sacred place? One of the consequences of my conversion was that I was becoming very strict. God told me, in the same way as the first time, ‘I’ve been struggling for many years to bring them together, and you’re judging me?’ I realized it was the only place on earth where everybody is in there together around God, even if they’re fighting each other, they are there with God.

Father Chyrsostom, a Romanian Monk, to Rod Dreher

Sholasticism versus Orthodoxy

Orthodox often feel that Latin scholastic theology makes too much use of legal concepts, and relies too heavily on rational categories and syllogistic argumentation, while the Latins for their part have frequently found the more mystical approach of Orthodoxy too vague and ill-defined.

Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church.

I encountered this distinction long ago, when I was investigating what the Orthodox Church was, and I’ve found it very durable and fruitful. However, I recently encountered a possible caveat:

Orthodox theology is often described as “mystical.” I suspect that what is actually going on is that Orthodox theology is not “linear.” Rather, it is “everything at once.” This is actually how the world is. Things do not take place in a linear fashion, but together, and at once. History is not so polite as to “take turns,” waiting for one thing to lead to another. It is, undoubtedly the reason that all human plans fail in the end: we never “see coming” the train that hits us because we are too busy monitoring the linearity of our own expectations.

The Orthodox insight is that theology is “everything at once.” Although events may be described in a linear fashion, they are yet more fully understood when they are allowed to inform one another. The Annunciation is Pascha, if you have ears to hear. …

Fr. Stephen Freeman, The World as Grand Opera

Putting things in perspective

The Elder Cleopa from the Sihastria monastery, who is now in the process of canonization, had the habit of recommending patience as the greatest virtue. He would say, “Patience! Patience!” harder and harder, many times.

People would say, “But Father Cleopa, how long?” He would say, “Not so long — just until the grave.” After that, you will see beauty that eye hasn’t seen and ear hasn’t heard, and your heart has never felt. Those beauties are eternal.

Via Rod Dreher

You can read most of my more impromptu stuff here (cathartic venting) and here (the only social medium I frequent, because people there are quirky, pleasant and real). Both should work in your RSS aggregator, like Feedly or Reeder, should you want to make a habit of it.

Religious Calvinball

My first reaction to the Pope changing the Catechism on capital punishment was pretty much a yawn. It’s only slightly to the left of my own, though its reasoning differs much from mine.

But now I’m thinking I was wrong, and that it is a big, big deal because it repudiates earlier church teaching. Repudiates, not clarifies.

Consider first that the Church teaches that Scripture is divinely inspired and cannot teach error on matters of faith and morals. Yet there are a great many passages in Scripture that teach the legitimacy of capital punishment. For example, Genesis 9:6 states: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.” Romans 13:4 teaches that the state “does not bear the sword in vain [but] is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer.” Many other passages could be cited. The Fathers of the Church understood such passages to be sanctioning capital punishment, and the Church has for two thousand years consistently followed this interpretation. The Church also teaches (for example, at the First Vatican Council) that Catholics are obliged to interpret Scripture consistent with the way the Fathers understood it, and consistent with the Church’s traditional interpretation. Taken together, these teachings logically entail that the legitimacy of capital punishment is regarded by the Church as a divinely revealed doctrine.

Every pope who has addressed the subject of capital punishment up to Benedict XVI has reaffirmed this traditional teaching. For example, Pope St Innocent I taught that the state’s right to execute offenders has been “granted through the authority of God,” and that to condemn capital punishment in an absolute way would be to “go against the authority of the Lord.” Pope Innocent III made acceptance of the legitimacy of capital punishment a matter of Catholic orthodoxy when he required the Waldensian heretics to affirm its legitimacy as a condition of their reentry into the Church. The Roman Catechism issued under Pope St Pius V solemnly taught the legitimacy of capital punishment, as did the catechism issued under Pope St Pius X. Pope Pius XII affirmed the legitimacy of capital punishment on several occasions, and taught that a murderer has, by virtue of his crime, “deprived himself of the right to live.”

Even Pope St John Paul II explicitly reaffirmed in the Catechism he promulgated that “the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty” under certain conditions. It is true that John Paul thought that capital punishment was in practice best avoided, but this was a non-binding prudential judgment rather than a doctrinal matter. Cardinal Ratzinger, John Paul II’s doctrinal spokesman and later to become Pope Benedict XVI, made this clear when he stated in 2004 that:

If a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment…he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities… to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to…have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about… applying the death penalty. [Emphasis added]

Edward Feser, last October when a change was foreshadowed..

But it gets worse. The attempted change of doctrine on capital punishment doesn’t stand alone:

It’s important for Catholic advocates for LGBT equality to take note of this change because for decades Catholic opponents of LGBT equality argued that it is impossible to change church teaching. They often pointed to the fact that condemnations of same-sex relationships were inscribed in the Catechism, and so were not open for discussion or change. Yet, the teaching on the death penalty is in the Catechism, too, and, in fact, to make this change in teaching, it was the text of the Catechism that Francis changed.

Frances DeBernardo. DeBernardo is not a doom-and-gloomer from the fringes of the Catholic Right. He’s a gay rights activist within the Church, as his opening implies.

Michael Brendan Dougherty is not impressed:

(Calvinball explained if you are among the uninitiated.)

Since I recognize my tendency to be a glass-half-empty kind of guy, let me point out the silver lining in this cloud. If Pope Francis prestidigitates a similar change in the Catechism on sodomy, we Orthodox will have been handed high trump for the next time some Catholic triumphalist gloats that we have changed 2000 years of doctrine (on contraception, particularly).

* * * * *

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Bringing closure

In Hidalgo County, Texas, an 85-year-old ex-Priest has (finally) been convicted of murdering a beautiful and accomplished Latina, Irene Garza, in 1960. The Washington Post story ritually pronounces “closure” before probing “why so long?”

What is this “closure” that gets trotted out in news and commentary after every murder conviction?

It’s some relief that I’m not the only one asking, though until I Googled it, I feared I was. Here’s one exploration:

The idea of closure is powerful. It’s something Arkansas invoked in an April 15 motion that tried to fight a temporary restraining order that McKesson Medical Surgical, Inc., has used to block the use of its drug vecuronium bromide in state executions. (The drug is typically used as general anesthesia to relax muscles before surgery).

“The friends and family of those killed or injured by Jason McGehee, Stacey Johnson, Marcel Williams, Kenneth Williams, Bruce Ward, Ledell Lee, Jack Jones, Don Davis, and Terrick Nooner have waited decades to receive some closure for their pain,” it read.

But even when executions take place, a surviving family’s pain doesn’t disappear with the perpetrator’s pulse.

Death penalty advocates and politicians, including Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, argue that when the state executes a person who has committed a terrible crime, the act brings closure to victim’s family. But it’s not that simple.

If you ask murder victims’ families, “closure is the F-word,” said Marilyn Armour, who directs the Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue at the University of Texas at Austin. She’s researched homicide survivors for two decades. “They’ll tell you over and over and over again that there’s no such thing as closure.”

Hypothesis: “Closure” is something politicians and society generally invoke to mask revenge (maybe there’s a better word) as altruism.

Alternate hypothesis from Mrs. Tipsy: It brings closure only to journalists, who don’t have to report on this case any more. (I should solicit her thoughts more often.)

* * * * *

I would a thousand times rather have dinner with secular liberals of a certain temperament than with a group of religious conservatives who agreed with me about most things, but who have no sense of humor or irony.

(Rod Dreher)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.

Saturday 9/10/16

  1. America’s new blasphemy laws
  2. No True Conservative
  3. Partisan realignment
  4. Potentially licit, but imprudent
  5. Trump and Putin
  6. Phyllis Schlafly, rogue commando
  7. Designed for outliers

Continue reading “Saturday 9/10/16”

Unromantic Potpourri 2/14/14

  1. Belgium: rogue nation, human rights violator
  2. Who should be “humiliated at the dry cleaners”?
  3. It never happened (and you went along)
  4. If you like your morality, you can keep it
  5. Same thing, time after time (Orthodox insider humor)
  6. Dathan, Abiram, Corvettam

Continue reading “Unromantic Potpourri 2/14/14”

Wednesday, October 10, 2011

  1. Did you hear the one about the old maid?
  2. Why Handwriting Matters.
  3. On voluntarily leaving the center of the cosmos.
  4. Critiquing the Critics
  5. Redoubling efforts.
  6. Death to smart alecks!
  7. Substance-free foreign policy prattle.

Continue reading “Wednesday, October 10, 2011”