Archive for August 1st, 2011

Burlap to Cashmere

Granted, highly derivative;  pure  early Simon and Garfunkel.

But then I love early Simon and Garfunkel, and this is easily more beautiful and true on a lot of levels (and thanks to Donald Westcott and Fr Gregory Jensen).

In a lot of ways not much new has been done in  American music since, oh, 1971; it’s all just variations on a theme.

Though sometimes the variations transcend the theme:

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“If more people would know such things as how much Islam honors and reveres the Virgin Mary and her holy son; if more people knew that Islam condemns all acts of violence against innocent people; if more people knew that we Muslims are not like the criminals who act in the name of our faith, it would go a long way to bring harmony and peace among all the faith communities in our great nation.”

More: http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/eboo_patel/2010/12/love_for_the_virgin_mary_runs.html

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About Ron Paul

I supported Ron Paul in the 2008 presidential primaries, and he looks far better than anyone else in the current sorry batch of candidates, but I have never had any illusions about his economic ideology, which is counter to Catholic social doctrine on any number of essential points.

I could probably vote for him again in spite of this, based on the fact that he is the only national candidate opposed to our imperial wars and abortion, and based on the fact that to all appearances he is a decent man in a field full of knaves and scoundrels.

Mark Shea did me the favor of articulating this in a very eloquent way; this is sort of the Catholic Last Word on Dr Paul:

Ron Paul is appealing because Ron Paul is an antidote to current statist and collectivist ills of a metastasizing corporatist and national security state. He’s quite incisive about what is wrong. The trouble, as is often the case with revolutionaries, is that his solutions are as blind to some essential aspects of Catholic teaching as are the things he criticizes. Just as they forget subsidiarity, so Libertarianism tends to forget solidarity and conceive of the individual—atomized, isolated, unbeholden to all communal ties—as the the basis of civilization.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/a-question-about-ron-paul/#ixzz1TpomHEpD

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Anders Breivik, Neo-con

When I posted, in the aftermath of the horrors in Norway, that the man behind the atrocities was associated with the American Right and with anti-Muslim bloggers,  who bear some responsibility for the consequences of their rhetoric, I achieved the near-impossible.

I angered my old friend Maclin Horton, who is almost preternaturally laid back.

We went back and forth in the comboxes at his blog (http://lightondarkwater.typepad.com/lodw/2011/07/norway.html). Eventually, he came up with this scenario: I have for years criticized the neoconservatives, beginning in the pages of Caelum et Terra, the magazine. At that time, in the early 90s, my criticism was mostly of the neo-con Catholics for their attempt to hijack Catholic social teaching in the service of capitalism. I was not too attentive to the larger agenda of the movement, as they had little political power. Eight years of Bush and Cheney, a spat of wars, and talk of a “Pax Americana” cured me of that blindness, and indeed the whole ordeal of those eight years reawakened my dormant political radicalism. Unfortunately, the ship has not veered from its course under Obama, and the imperial project continues.

What if, Maclin asked, some unstable person, citing my words, had started shooting the Catholic neo-cons, maybe attacking a youth conference they had sponsored? How would I feel if journalists then blamed me?

I would be horrified, of course. And I would think it unfair.

And how would this be different? After all, our hypothetical shooter would profess the same ideas that I have, just as the Norwegian shooter’s words read like a neo-con manifesto, with a big dose of Knights Templar romanticism thrown in.

It is different because I never advocated violence against neo-cons, or against anyone else. The neoconservatives on the other hand not only have urged violence, they have orchestrated it in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other places in the Islamic world. Indeed, they are personally responsible for the deaths of perhaps a million dead Iraqis.

To be fair they never advocated shooting Norwegian schoolkids just because they were associated with a Leftist political party, but violent rhetoric begets violence.

I stand by my original post.

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