Saturday, January 12, 2019

Points to Ponder:
(This is a continuation of the series started HERE. Without further ado...)

"...I have been trying for decades to get my fellow Democrats to realize how unchecked bureaucracy, in government or academe, is inherently authoritarian and illiberal. A persistent characteristic of civilizations in decline throughout history has been their self-strangling by slow, swollen, and stupid bureaucracies. The current atrocity of crippling student debt in the US is a direct product of an unholy alliance between college administrations and federal bureaucrats — a scandal that ballooned over two decades with barely a word of protest from our putative academic leftists, lost in their post-structuralist fantasies. Political correctness was not created by administrators, but it is ever-expanding campus bureaucracies that have constructed and currently enforce the oppressively rule-ridden regime of college life.

In the modern world, so wondrously but perilously interconnected, a principle of periodic reduction of bureaucracy should be built into every social organism. Freedom cannot survive otherwise." [Camille Paglia]

Friday, January 11, 2019

Points to Ponder:
(This is a continuation of the series started HERE. Without further ado...)

"...The deep state is no myth but a sodden, intertwined mass of bloated, self-replicating bureaucracy that constitutes the real power in Washington and that stubbornly outlasts every administration. As government programs have incrementally multiplied, so has their regulatory apparatus, with its intrusive byzantine minutiae. Recently tagged as a source of anti-Trump conspiracy among embedded Democrats, the deep state is probably equally populated by Republicans and apolitical functionaries of Bartleby the Scrivener blandness. Its spreading sclerotic mass is wasteful, redundant, and ultimately tyrannical..."

To Be Continued...

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Report: Kamala Harris Expected to Enter 2020 Presidential Run Around MLK Day

Washington Post Columnist: The Networks Need To De-Platform Trump

Aristotle call your office!

"...Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that the media rallied around Jim Acosta to ensure he wouldn’t lose his press access to shout things at the President? Now the same people want to take the public microphone away from the President himself. And they expect us to believe partisanship has nothing to do with it."
When The Shelter Sues To Take Your Pet Away 

I am sure this shelter has gotten all those pets in their care adopted to good forever homes before wasting their time and that of others on this nonsense, right?


Points to Ponder:
(This is a continuation of the series started HERE. Without further ado...)

"...As for Hillary, she’s pretty much damaged goods, but her perpetual, sniping, pity-me tour shows no signs of abating. She still has a rabidly loyal following, but it’s hard to imagine her winning the nomination again, with her iron grip on the Democratic National Committee now gone. Still, it’s in her best interest to keep the speculation fires burning. Given how thoroughly she has already sabotaged the rising candidates by hogging the media spotlight, I suspect she wants Trump to win again. I don’t see our stumbling, hacking, shop-worn Evita yielding the spotlight willingly to any younger gal.

Most Democrats have wildly underestimated Trump from the get-go. I was certainly surprised at how easily he mowed down 17 other candidates in the GOP primaries. He represents widespread popular dissatisfaction with politics as usual. Both major US parties are in turmoil and metamorphosis, as their various factions war and realign. The mainstream media’s nonstop assault on Trump has certainly backfired by cementing his outsider status. He is basically a pragmatic deal-maker, indifferent to ideology. As with Bolsonaro in Brazil, Trump rose because of decades of failure by the political establishment to address urgent systemic problems, including corruption at high levels. Democrats must hammer out their own image and agenda and stop self-destructively insulting half the electorate by treating Trump like Satan..."

To be Continued...

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Points to Ponder:

"If the economy continues strong, Trump will be reelected. The Democrats (my party) have been in chaos since the 2016 election and have no coherent message except Trump hatred. Despite the vast pack of potential candidates, no one yet seems to have the edge. I had high hopes for Kamala Harris, but she missed a huge opportunity to play a moderating, statesmanlike role and has already imprinted an image of herself as a ruthless inquisitor that will make it hard for her to pull voters across party lines.

Screechy Elizabeth Warren has never had a snowball’s chance in hell to appeal beyond upper-middle-class professionals of her glossy stripe. Kirsten Gillibrand is a wobbly mediocrity. Cory Booker has all the gravitas of a cork. Andrew Cuomo is a yapping puppy with a long, muddy bullyboy tail. Both Bernie Sanders (for whom I voted in the 2016 primaries) and Joe Biden (who would have won the election had Obama not cut him off at the knees) are way too old and creaky..."

To be Continued...

I see some #Clownservatards claiming Bre Payton was taken out Godfather style because "she knew too much." The irony is many of these same folks probably think it was a bad idea to empty the psychiatric wards.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Remembering John and Bill:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

It came to my mind a few months ago to write something about my old friend F. John Loughnan when I had discovered to my horror he had died almost five years previously. It really bothered me and I begin thinking of a way to publicly remember John with the idea being pitched to Pete Vere to collaborate on a project on this matter. The idea occurred in the days of the aborted WherePeterIs project{1} and originally we talked about using that platform for the remembrance but life has a way of getting in the way of one's best intentions and thus, the idea languished about a bit. With the news of Bill Grossklas' passing back in October, it really marked the definite end of an era in traditionalist apologetics surrounding the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). While it is a subject I rarely like to talk about anymore, an exception will be made here out of necessity since it is through those controversies that I first encountered John Loughnan and Bill Grossklas as well as Pete Vere, Miki Tracy, and some others.

More than twenty years ago, I made the acquaintance of Bill Grossklas online whose work I had become familiar with during the 1990's. It was Bill's SSPX Agenda publications coupled with the Fidelity Magazine feature on my former pastor Fr. John Rizzo that really begin agitating me and put me in a situation where I was very uncomfortable with a lot of what I was discovering about the SSPX and about the true nature of who they were and their status with regards to the Church at the time.{2} I was spurred by these matters to spend a lot of time reading and researching and in the process became convinced through reason, logic, and objective evidences that I needed to part company with SSPX. One of those who helped me in this realization was F. John Loughnan who Bill introduced me to. I had shared some ideas I had to pull together into one source a whole plethora of subjects related to the issue of the SSPX and so-called "traditionalism" in general with Bill. It was a much different time then as I have explained in no small detail elsewhere in many respect and will relegate some of that to a footnote now{3}so I do not lose my train of thought here.

Getting back to Bill, upon realizing the extent and scope of what I intended to do and perhaps that I was biting off more than I could chew, he introduced me to John who had made his exit from SSPX a few years before and who had from what I recall expressed some interest in the project. I begun drafting some very rough sketches of writings on those and other subjects{4} I was working on as well as beginning to get an idea of how I wanted the project to come together. In retrospect, I sought to do too much originally{5} and as a result, the original project was a combination refutation of false traditionalism as well as an apologetic for Catholicism.{6} The two themes weaved too closely together and in spots made for a tough slog to get through. However, to the extent this was possible, it is owed to the fine editing work John did for me. I had up to that point not written anything of significance paper-wise since college so my chops were very rusty. I also had admittedly some deterioration in my familiarity with grammar and sentence structure and a one time classroom spelling champion found himself relying a lot more on Microsoft Word spell check than I should have.

John and I settled into a routine in our correspondence and collaboration where I would draft a text and send it to him and he would do a thorough proofread of it. When he was done, he would send it back to me with needed structural and grammar corrections made or noted as well as suggestions for modifying parts of the content. I would make changes and resend to him and at times would think of additional material to add to a draft, etc. This sequence could happen several times on a given draft text. The original project debut date was moved many times because John was elderly and could only work so fast on this stuff{7} but this also taught me some much needed patience on these matters which would benefit me in the years to come. So its no exaggeration to say that when it finally debuted on June 6, 2000, it was truly a collaborative effort. I was the writer of the material but as God is my witness, I could not have done it without John's help both in editing as well as being a sounding board for ideas.{8} John also in spirit was a guide when that work was subsequently revised but that is neither here nor there.

It also happened that from time to time when waiting on a response from John with the original project, I would when there was time for it write other material on other subjects and in the process utilize some of the lessons I learned and re-learned from John which benefited those subsequent pieces substantially when they were eventually published{9}or republished. The more we worked together, the more confident I became in my own ideas and abilities. John was a retired school teacher but in a very real sense he was also my teacher in these areas as I relearned stuff I had forgotten as well as learned stuff I did not know. I also had him review other writings of mine for a couple of years after that{10} as well and he was involved in at least one group weblog project along with Pete and myself.{11} We were also on some discussion lists where he would share stuff he was working on, I would share stuff I was working on, etc. but those lists gradually died down and became for all intensive purposes extinct.{12}

As I generally just tired of the traditionalist subjects in particular as well as apologetics in general since early 2004 or thereabouts{13} and contributed less to those lists as well, there was some drift in our communications. John's involvement at the group weblog was mostly in the first six months but his contributions there were invaluable because I started a project I did not want to do{14} but felt in conscience I had to do. If not for John's numerous contributions to it in those first six months (and the contributions of others like Pete Vere later on), that weblog would not have lasted even a fraction as long as it did. But with changes in life as well as changes in the overall landscape ecclesially and otherwise, that weblog saw its day and was finally closed down when it was no longer relevant.{15} I am no less tired of these subjects now than I have been for a long time. However, in conscience I felt the need since learning of John's passing to say something on my debt to him and with Bill's passing as well, something of my debt to Bill.

So to Bill Grossklas and F. John Loughnan: may you both enjoy your well deserved rest. I owe both of you and you will always be in close proximity of my prayers as well as from time to time in my mind when I come across something that reminds me of you guys and of that time in my life.

Until we meet again...

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine
Et lux perpetua luceat eis:
Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei,
Requiescant in pace.



{1} On My Resignation From Where Peter Is, General Concerns For The State Of Public Discourse There and Elsewhere, Etc. (circa August 6, 2018)

{2} I say at the time because there have been a number of changes in this area the past twenty odd years and I touched on some of them in a posting from early December which was a bit of intentional foreshadow of the material you are reading now.

{3} In surveying the landscape today, we would do well to consider the prudence of using such terms in light of at least three factors (i) the ecclesial environment is not what it was many years ago when the term had far greater potential currency value, (ii) too many of those who have recourse to those expressions misuse and misapply them which causes no small amount of unnecessary angst by those unfairly marked by such expressions, and (iii) differences in the current ecclesial environment with that previous era make the use of such terms far more likely to do damage today than was previously the case. Let us touch on each of these starting with the ecclesial environment of a decade ago.

I remember the ecclesial environment ten years ago very well and it was different than today in many ways. For example, the Fraternal Society of St. Peter (FSSP) was still an experimental entity, the Tridentine liturgy was licit only when the local ordinary gave direct faculties for its celebration, and the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) was still under the excommunications they incurred as a result of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's unfortunate consecrations of four bishops without a papal mandate. I could list more examples but those three alone should suffice to make it clear that the environment back then was markedly different in key respects...

It was a far more combative era for those reasons among others and we were not at the time above using terms of derision to seek to make the demarcations we felt were necessary. Our concern in large part was to ensure that the growing Ecclesia Dei movement was not tarnished by those who were doing the Indult movement a grave injustice. In essence, my public uses of the word were directed at manifest schismatics, heretics, and/or the smug self-righteous sorts who attacked the Indult movement to promote schismatics and heretics." [Excerpt from a Guest Editorial (circa August 9, 2013)]

{4} From that one font of an idea directly or indirectly within a couple years time came about almost two dozen odd eventual writings on a number of apologetical and theological subjects.

{5} Let us just say I had more than one motivation at the time.

{6} A subsequent revision removed the apologetical material which was used to make essays in their own right either in proximate substance thereof or at times in exact or near-exact content.

{7} I can remember hearing John tell me at times to explain delays something along the lines of "remember, I am an old retired teacher on a pension with poor eyesight" or something akin to that. While I am even now nowhere near John's age back then, I do realize in the intervening twenty years my capacities for large project multitasking are nothing akin to what they were back then.

{8} There were times in the process that I would bounce an idea off of John for another section or he would say something to me that gave me an idea to write on a specific subsection of the project. I have tried to remember which of these places this happened but nearly two decades later, I honestly cannot recall with certainty which ones they were.

{9} The first of those pieces was published about a month after the larger project John helped me with made its debut in original form.

{10} On those projects I do not recall him having any specific editorial or other criticisms to offer; presumably because I had absorbed so much from him from our collaboration that I was instinctively making some of the corrections he would have made. Even to this day, I almost never use contractions in writing (unless quoting something where they are used) whereas previously, I used to use them a lot. The reason? John hated contractions. So that is one of the many ways that he continues to influence my writing to this very day.

{11} Namely, an old weblog I used to oversee which dealt with these same matters subsequent to the formation of this humble website.

{12} John's last contributions to St. Anselmo were in early and mid 2013 -his last posting was in June of that year. The site itself more or less was dying at the time judging by monthly contributions and since February of 2015 has been little more than a ghost town.

{13} My original reason for founding the group weblog spoken of earlier was to no longer write on those subjects here at Rerum Novarum which I wanted to go in a different direction altogether.

{14} To be quite frank about it fifteen odd years later.

{15} I have posted exactly twice to it since it was formally shuttered on July 21, 2007 and in both cases, it was because of changes that required updates pertaining to material posted on that site and elsewhere in the interest of both obligation as well as accuracy. Otherwise, it remains suspended in perpetuity.