Archive for April 18th, 2013

Yesterday my eldest, soon to be 19 and trying to find his way, visited the local Marine Corps recruiting office, much to my dismay. They suggested that he take their entrance exam, just to see if he would pass it. For this they took him into a back room. He said the room was splattered with red paint, like blood. On one wall there was an image of a skull and the slogan “Kill them all and let God sort them out.”

The quote is a paraphrase of the advice the Cistercian monk Arnald Amalric gave to Simon de Montfort, who was suffering scruples as he prepared to sack a French town during the crusade against the Albigensians. Comforted by this counsel, Simon and his army proceeded to slaughter some 20,000 men, women and children. The slogan has been invoked in one form or other to justify indiscriminate killing ever since.

The Pentagon, of course, professes to observe international law regarding conduct in warfare and claims to attempt to minimize civilian casualties. Either that is dishonest, a PR ploy, or this is a local aberration, the proverbial bad apples, apparently intent on recruiting sociopaths. But it is hard to believe that no commanding officer ever saw that room.

I intend to write to the commandant of the Marine Corps and tell him what my son saw. I’ll let you know if I get a response.

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Come the Revolution

The happy couple

Yesterday on NPR I heard a story about Sean Parker, who made billions from Facebook and Napster. Steve Inskeep was saying that Mr Parker was spending 10 million on his upcoming wedding.

Actually, that was not true. He is “only” spending 8.7 million, and it isn’t on the wedding. It’s on the wedding decorations.

The overconspicuos overconsumption of the overrich has gotten out of hand; it is like the Bourbons or the Robber Barons, all at a time when workers and the poor languish, making their way the best they can on low wage jobs and a pittance of government assistance, burdened by easy debt and limited opportunities. And if one looks at the even more desperate poverty of the rest of the world the gap is even greater. Nine million dollars on wedding decorations, while there is such need in the world?


If this doesn’t make you angry there is something wrong with you.

If revolution is not justified in the face of such unprecedented economic disparity it has never been justified anywhere.

 Revolution, of course, is highly unlikely. Modern American workers are among the most complacent in history, lulled by cell phones, American Idol, the NFL, and a host of other diversions.

But should revolution finally come, if it is violent I cannot in conscience participate.

But I won’t be neutral.

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I’m not sure what this is about; the website said something about “entrepreneurial” solutions to poverty. I am pretty sure they will not be addressing economic injustice, wealth disparity or redistribution of  goods.  The insufferable Fr Sirico continues to seduce Americanists wherever he can find them. And the Orthodox don’t even possess the antidote that Catholics have in the long authoritative canon of Church social teaching, though Lord knows that has not stopped Catholics of the conservative persuasion from swallowing the sweet poison of capitalist propaganda….

Lord, have mercy. Or should I say “Gospodi pomiluj”?

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Not-so-young-Turkesses: the leadership of the LCWR.

“The Vatican said Monday that Pope Francis supports the Holy See’s crackdown on the largest umbrella group of U.S. nuns, dimming hopes that a Jesuit pope whose emphasis on the poor mirrored the nuns’ own social outreach would take a different approach than his predecessor.”

So begins the AP report.

Of course the pope isn’t going to dismantle the “crackdown” on the Leadership  Conference of Women Religious. To do so would be to invite all the wrong conclusions; immediately the mass media would jump to the conclusion that Francis was a friend to every aberration that has floated down the Tiber in the last fifty years.

I said when the thing began that it was unwise; these are old ladies in dying congregations, and their influence is minimal. It may have made sense to try and straighten them out twenty or thirty years ago, but it makes little now.

I doubt very much that Francis would have initiated this, but he is not going to be seen contradicting his predecessor, let alone giving solace to those intent on jettisoning the Faith.

After all, duh, the pope is Catholic.

And also, duh, this has nothing to do with the  poor; God bless the sisters for their love of the poor, but one can love the impoverished without flirting with heterodoxy.

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