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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Try to Contain Yourself, My Dear

Update: apparently the linguistic pathology cited below is a nationwide phenomenon (h/t to Christopher Johnson).

If there were a Bulwer-Lytton award for non-fiction, this jewel of an item by one Cintra Wilson would surely be a contender.

After shaving its head and driving drunk around the globe with no panties, calling itself the Antichrist, and finally abandoning its children, totaling its SUV and getting its ass kicked in the parking lot of the Persian Gulf, America is realizing that it is internationally loathed, broke, soulless, tasteless, fat, drunk, malicious, greedy and stupid, and has been generally behaving like a lousy excuse for a world superpower for long enough to lose all its friends and position.

In the chance you wonder what in God's name Ms. (we assume) Wilson's point is, apparently it's an explanation why many of the Oscars went overseas this year. Silly me, I thought it might have had something to do with the pictures.

(h/t OpinionJournal)

Requiescat in Pace


William F. Buckley, Jr. (1925-2008)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Extraordinary News


(Image from the American Guild of Organists, NYC Chapter)

The Church of the Holy Innocents, 128 West 37th Street in Manhattan, has announced it will offer the extraordinary form of the Holy Mass on Mondays at 5:15 pm in April, date not yet determined. This is happy news for your Bloviator, who doesn't work far from that church, but all Catholics (and even non-Catholics who love the Latin Mass) should try hard to attend; good attendance may encourage other parishes to consider offering the extraordinary form of the Mass. You will not, however, find a venue more splendid than Holy Innocents. Wow.



The above bit of intelligence comes courtesy of the website Aufer a Nobis, the exemplar for this one had your Bloviator any ambition (bovines, alas, are only passively industrious). Go visit it, it's a feast of information and resources: there for the taking, you might say.

Thugs



Just in case you had any doubts on the wisdom of the United States recognizing Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia (from Fox News):

Rioters stormed the U.S. embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, on Thursday and started a fire in protest of Kosovo's declaration of independence earlier this week.

The situation in Belgrade is serious, but the embassy building is secure and the fire has been extinguished, U.S. officials tell FOX News.

Sources have provided conflicting reports on how extensive the breach of the U.S. Embassy was. Some told FOX News that no protesters made it into the building, which has been closed this week.

Other reports from the Associated Press noted masked attackers had gained entry and tried to throw furniture from an office. The reports also said a blaze had broken out inside one of the offices.

The neighboring Croatian Embassy also was attacked by the same group.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

That's OK Pal, Nobody Else Can Either

Poor fellow here was asked to name some of Barack Obama's "legislative accomplishments."



He's the candidate for change and his amplifier goes to eleven.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oh, Hear Us When We Cry to Thee, for Those in Peril on the Sea

Can you think of a worse fate than being trapped aboard an Alaskan Cruise ship with 460 readers of the Nation? Nope, neither can your Bloviator. The New York Times, of course, felt differently and sent a reporter to cover the event. Herewith excerpts from a dispatch filed from floating hell:
During a weeklong cruise from Seattle up the Alaskan coast last August, Ms. Mapes and 11 other speakers — mostly Nation contributors and journalists, but also Ralph Nader, Richard Dreyfuss and Rocky Anderson, then the mayor of Salt Lake City — tackled the Big Topics, all within the confines of the Holland America Line’s amenities-drenched Oosterdam. Cultural dissonance was much in evidence — picture a self-described “atheist Socialist Quaker” marveling at an ice-carving demonstration; picture Birkenstocks in the piano lounge. (“Do you think we’ll ever see Ralph Nader in the hot tub?” I asked a fellow cruiser at one point. “I don’t think so,” he told me. “Every time I’ve seen him he’s disinfecting himself at the Purell hand-sanitizer station.”)

Pretty grim, huh? By the way, "Ms. Mapes" would be Ms. Mary Mapes (remember her?) who no doubt leaped at free passage on a cruise ship in exchange for being stood drinks and chatting up people who actually believed her, seeing it as quite a deal for someone in reduced circumstances like her. It gets worse.

I was made aware of this hobnobbing for the first time over lunch on Day 2, when my seatmate, Marlena, a five-time Nation cruiser, told me that on one Nation cruise she had brought sheet music. She told me: “David Corn, the writer, played piano and Bud Trillin — all of us who know Calvin Trillin call him Bud — started singing ‘Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.’ We had 400 people singing until 2 in the morning.”

And worse.

Later, the Nation columnist Patricia Williams told me that Daniel Ellsberg, a guest speaker, did magic on one cruise — “He was pulling coins out of people’s ears. I wondered, did he learn this in prison?” (I didn’t point out that Mr. Ellsberg, did not in fact serve time for releasing the Pentagon Papers to the news media. Why ruin a good story?)

Why indeed, sir, and spoken like a true liberal. There was more mirth and merriment to be had. Who could resist pounding down a few with the party animals below?

The fireworks of the [Robert] Scheer-Nader discussion seemed to carry over into the Crow’s Nest that night — the partying and the dancing took on a slightly harder edge. At 2:30 a.m. I found that two Nation cruisers — one in his 30s and one in his 50s — had grown anxious that the bar was about to close, and had started to stockpile drinks. One had three screwdrivers lined up in front of him, and the other, two Heinekens, causing a third drinking companion to comment, “You’re like the Costco of alcohol: three drinks, two beers, eight rolls of toilet paper. ...”

Ah, but scratch a liberal and you'll find a didact: our intrepid reporter was able to make this fabulous cruise a learning experience after all; squeeze in a little re-education and share his gleanings with the reader.

The museum was dimly lighted and wonderfully quiet, a perfect antidote to the pressure cooker of the Nation seminars. Nevertheless, on looking at a diorama called “The Buffalo Jump,” whose placard read, “The Indians stampede the herd over the cliff to their death,” I couldn’t help but get all over-analytic and Nation-y by thinking, “Even out on the prairie and operating under his own terms, man oppresses whatever he sees fit to oppress.” My days aboard the cruise ship were starting to pay off.

(h/t the Bloviator's brother.)

Morning Palette Cleanser

Our boys take out a sniper (while using language that's not safe for work).

(h/t The Jawa Report)

My Brother Rowan is an Hairy Man...

I am indebted to Dr. Mabuse for reminding me of a sketch from "Beyond the Fringe" even more apropos the Archbishop of Canterbury than the one quoted in the posting below: the sermon given by the dithering clergyman (Alan Bennett) based on the text, "My brother Esau is an hairy man but I am a smooth man." Dr. Mabuse also provides an excerpt from it new to me; it apparently didn't make it into the version that played on Broadway but is Rowan Williams to a tee (minus a few academic degrees, perhaps).

Perhaps I might say the same thing in a different way by quoting you the words of that grand old English poet, W.E. Henley, who said:

"When that One Great Scorer comes
To mark against your name
It matters not who won or lost,
But how you played the game."

'But how you played the game.' Words very meaningful and significant for us here, together, tonight. Words which we might do very much worse than to consider. And I use this word 'consider' advisedly. Because I am using it, you see, in its original sense of 'con-sid—er', of putting one's self in the way of thinking about something.

I want us here, together, tonight to put ourselves in the way of thinking about ... to put ourselves in the way of thinking about, ummh ... what we ought to be putting ourselves in the way of thinking about.


Another fictional cleric who comes to mind when thinking on His Grace Rowan is the doddering Rev'd Henry D'Ascoyne ("The Parson"), played so brilliantly (as are the seven other D'Ascoynes) by Sir Alec Guinness in the picture "Kind Hearts and Coronets."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Do You Have any Brains in that Head?

Taking a break from expounding on the virtues of integrating Sharia into the British legal system, the Archbishop of Canterbury, at the General Synod of the Church of England, contributed to a "Debate on a Covenant for the Anglican Communion." Here are but a few sentences from opening of that address but they are more than sufficient to convey its tone.

I wanted to make three points as briefly as I can, partly in response, partly to open up one dimension of the language of covenant itself. The first point is what we heard concerning mechanisms of exclusion. That is a very unpleasant term, and I agree with those who said that they feel that discomfort and that unpleasantness in it. Behind it lies the very difficult but I think unavoidable question 'Are there limits plurality infinitely extendable?'

A question so many of us have pondered, your Grace; here's hoping you'll share the answer with us someday.

*****

Every time the foolish Archbishop open his mouth or puts pen to paper, your Bloviator is reminded of a sketch from the British comedy revue of the early 'sixties, "Beyond the Fringe," where Jonathan Miller (who wrote the sketch) impersonates a feeble minded intellectual forebear of Rowan Wilson, Bertrand Russell. The sketch was in the guise of a BCC radio program of the time.

Presenter: This is the BBC Third Programme. We have in the studio Bertrand Russell, who talks to us in the series, “Sense, Perception, and Nonsense, Number Seven: Is this a dagger I see before me?" Bertrand Russell.

Bertrand Russell: One of the advantages of living in Great Court, Trinity, I seem to recall, was the fact that one could pop across, at any time of the day or night, and trap the then young G. E. Moore, into a logical falsehood, by means of a cunning semantic subterfuge. I recall one occasion with particular vividness. I had popped across and had knocked upon his door. “Come in,” he said. I decided to wait a while, in order to test the validity of his proposition. “Come in,” he said once again. “Very well,” I replied, “if that is in fact truly what you wish.” I opened the door accordingly, and went in. And there was Moore, seated by the fire, with a basket upon his knees. “Moore,” I said, “Do you have any apples in that basket?”. “No,” he replied, and smiled seraphically, as was his wont. I decided to try a different logical tack. “Moore,” I said, “do you, then, have some apples in that basket?” “No,” he replied, leaving me in a logical cleft stick from which I had but one way out. “Moore,” I said, “do you, then, have apples in that basket?” “Yes,” he replied. And, from that day forth, we remained the very closest of friends.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

She Has Not Yet Begun to Fight

If Barack Obama were overweight, clumsy, balding and white would the media be in such a swoon over him? His and Hillary Clinton’s positions on issues are essentially monolithic so his appearance and demeanor can be the only explanation for fourth estate puppy love. This infatuation, however, is forcing the media into a big mistake with their recent dismissals of Mrs. Clinton’s chances of winning the nomination.

Hillary has craved the presidency before Barack was born and her and Bill’s attack machine is second to none in efficacy; look, for example, to hear a whole lot more about Barack’s youthful drug use. Moreover, there is a slew of delegates in Michigan and Florida we soon will hear Hillary claiming are hers after all. No matter how many people are outraged by it, she will likely get them. Ambition trumps prettiness just about every time and it’s a long way to the convention. As long as Hillary has a pulse, we are foolish to count her out.

Obviously He Dresses Left

Chris Matthews on MSNBC, gushing away on Barack Obama:

"It's part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. Me, I felt this thrill going up my leg."

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

(h/t The Jawa Report).

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Education of a Pundit

The question now is how much more racial friction the Clinton campaign will gin up if its Hispanic support starts to erode in Texas, whose March 4 vote it sees as its latest firewall. Clearly it will stop at little. That’s why you now hear Clinton operatives talk ever more brazenly about trying to reverse party rulings so that they can hijack 366 ghost delegates from Florida and the other rogue primary, Michigan, where Mr. Obama wasn’t even on the ballot. So much for Mrs. Clinton’s assurance on New Hampshire Public Radio last fall that it didn’t matter if she alone kept her name on the Michigan ballot because the vote “is not going to count for anything.”

In case you're wondering, that's Frank Rich in the New York Times, gobsmacked at discovering the Clintons are opportunists, race mongers and liars. We feel your pain, Frank, but be of good cheer: Hillary may indeed steal the nomination but come fall, when she and Bill start going to work on John McCain, you'll find yourself asking, "Why on earth was I so upset?"

(h/t Tim Blair)

Now From Even a Less Impeachable Source! Sort of.


Remember, though, you read it here first!

Who Will Rid Us of This Troublesome Decade?


From the Barack Obama campaign headquarters in Houston.

(h/t the Instapundit)

Articles We Never Finished Reading

Patty Hearst's Bulldog Wins At Westminster

(New York Sun)

Monday, February 11, 2008

How +Cantuar May Save His Neck

The Archbishop of Canterbury seems still to be in a bit of a spot over his recent remarks on Sharia. While many have called for his resignation, that shouldn't concern him unduly; most of those calls (so tarsome) come from traditional Christians and may be safely ignored. No, the real problem for the Archbishop is he has pissed off some of his pals from the left and if they aren't pacified, His Grace could have a problem on his hands. Critics from the left require special handling and your Bloviator is only too pleased to offer the Archbishop a job-saving tip.

His Grace should immediately embark upon a speaking tour and lambaste the west, the United States and President George Bush (not necessarily in that order) in no uncertain terms, at every stop, as the "root cause" for every single possible evil in the world. In no time his critics on the left will rally round him (or at least will silence themselves), being assured His Grace is still on their side. This campaign will, of course, do nothing to mollify the Africans, Asians and other third-worlders but that hardly matters because they are poor and have zero caché. +Cantuar will be restored in the eyes of those who count, liberals with prestige and money, and all silly talk of his resignation should cease. If the Archbishop has any doubts about this, he may wish to consult Bill Clinton and discuss how that former president got a pass from the feminists for some rather anti-feminist behavior while he was in power.

Old Man, Look at Your Life


It's a fair bet when a folk-rocker's age is eponymous with the decade, people don't care about what he thinks anymore (from Breitbart.com):

Canadian folk rock legend Neil Young said he has lost all hope that music can change the world, as he presented a documentary about his 2006 anti-war concert tour at the Berlin film festival on Friday.

"I know that the time when music could change the world is past. I really doubt that a single song can make a difference. It is a reality," Young told reporters.

"I don't think the tour had any impact on voters."

Shed a quiet tear.

Bonus fun-fact: The breaking story above, originating from Agence France-Press, also contains the following, which could only come from the left-wing French media:

But the silver-haired frontman of the sixties supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young nonetheless dealt US President George W. Bush a stinging, back-handed insult (emphasis added) and said his own "naive" urge to make people think remains intact.

"What is wrong with George Bush? That would take a really long time. Let's talk about what is right with him, it is a much shorter answer.

Oooh! You know the president must still be smarting from that one.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Tolerable is Preferable to the Abhorrent

From the Washington Post:

Fred Thompson Backs McCain

By Michael D. Shear
Fred Thompson, the one-time Republican presidential candidate, endorsed Sen. John McCain Friday, calling on the party to "close ranks" behind the presumed nominee.

"This is no longer about past preferences or differences. It is about what is best for our country and for me that means that Republican should close ranks behind John McCain," Thompson said in a statement reported by the Associated Press.

Yep. And if he's good enough for Thompson, he's good enough for your Bloviator. Still...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Fate of Useful Idiots

From the Evening Standard website:

The Archbishop of Canterbury has today said that the adoption of Islamic Sharia law in the UK is "unavoidable" and that it would help maintain social cohesion.

Rowan Williams told BBC Radio 4's World At One that the UK has to "face up to the fact" that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.

His Grace Canterbury apparently argues Muslim extremists come to England from their failed states in search of employment or subsidized existence from the British taxpayer and England, in turn, must revamp her ancient justice system in order to accommodate the barbaric legal code of the newly-arrived Muslim extremists.

******

The left has always been of two camps: the much smaller one containing the hard-core element who actually believe in, argue and work for the implementation of a Marxist-Leninist state and world government. Being an exceptionally unattractive lot, in the west they find refuge in the academy where their activities seem mainly to be forming "ad hoc coalitions" to promote "peace and justice" and slapping stickers on lamp posts advertising upcoming (and ill-attended) marches on Washington. But they can dream. In the west the hard left may appear harmless: they have no friends, are never invited to parties and must rely on others to further their agenda. Alas, however, the others are there, in quantity.

Those others, who vastly outnumber the hard left, are the more socially desirable sympathizers ("fellow travelers" in former days) found in the media, government, financial institutions and, of course, the church. Most sympathizers are not absolutely persuaded the efficacy, nor terribly knowledgeable the economy, of collectivism but kinda-sorta think it's the"fairest" way, thus are willing to embrace causes and actions that weaken and bring down existing western institutions; making it easier for the Marxists to fill the vacuum. The Soviets had an expression to describe these well-placed enablers: "useful idiots." Idiots they were, for they were the first to be liquidated once the Bolsheviks took over.

These days it's the multi-culturalists who are the useful idiots and the Archbishop of Canterbury, with his fine-tuned left wing sentiments and the recent driveling on the moral equivalence of Sharia, is proving to be a choice example among the species. He, along with so many other fools in the church, Protestant and Catholic alike, don't seem to realize not only do they not win favor with Muslim extremists with their appeasement, apologies and general sycophancy but that they are also being played for chumps by their supposed friends on the left.

The problem for the Archbishop and company is the hard left's only interest in multiculturalism is its ability to annihilate western traditions, thus their unholy (literally) alliance with Muslim extremists. If the Muslims can destroy our western institutions, that will save the hard left some considerable trouble; should western intelligentsia scramble to hold open the door for the Muslim invaders, so much the better, the hard left will ride in with them on their backs. But here is the bitter rub for liberal clerical tools who suck up up to the Muslim extremists in their war against western civilization: should they be victorious, the extremists will dispose of them regardless how loudly they proclaim the shallowness of their Christian faith; an infidel is an infidel, especially those that sell out their own religion. And should the Marxists be the eventual winners over their temporary allies, the Muslims, in the war against the west, they surely will not protest as their proxies dispatch the formerly useful idiots.

Monday, February 04, 2008

How Firm a Foundation, Ye Manhattan Schist

Last April your Bloviator reported the trustees of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, which is going broke, had leased out two large swaths of the 11.5 acre spread for development. It's time for an update. Take a look at the first stage of development on the southern part of the leased property, a 296 unit luxury apartment building, viewed from the southeast corner of Columbus Avenue and 110th Street.

Peeking out on the right are the transept and apse of the Cathedral. Now take a look at the new building a block further west, from the southeast corner of Amsterdam and 110th.

The Cathedral website states

The Cathedral set strict development guidelines for what could be built, which were recorded in a Restrictive Declaration with the City of New York. The guidelines set a limit on the height and bulk of new development, require that open space surround the structure and views of the Cathedral be protected.

Judge for yourself the success of these guidelines and note the implication the building could have been even bulkier and higher than it already is (the finished product will look like this). Also bear in mind the parcel of land to the north is about twice the size of the one built on here, allowing for an even bigger building. A couple of ironies: 1) It is unlikely many of the residents of these luxury rentals will be worshipers at St. John the Divine. 2) The number of residents could far outnumber the declining number of present worshipers at the Cathedral. It's looking more and more the future of the Episcopal Church is getting out of the business of saving souls and into real estate development.

Correction: the southern portion of the Cathedral grounds were leased to AvalonBay Communities, Inc., a real-estate investment trust, not Columbia University which has signed an eight-year option agreement "to lease the land and build an academic facility" on the northern portion of the Cathedral grounds. There are no specific plans for building on it at present. The posting above has been altered to reflect this correction.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Poseur Alert

For some reason I just couldn't bring myself to read this piece, featured on the home page of the New York Times website.


Opinion »

Judith Warner: Another Cup

The sense of loss and yearning in a cup of java seems to be universal.


But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.