A new poll about the 2016 election shows that just 27 percent of voters would be likely to support Chris Christie. And only 4 percent of chairs.
After closing their final session, the outgoing 113th Congress has an approval rating of just 16 percent. To give you some perspective, Cosby is at 17.
Today a trailer was released for a new documentary about the Backstreet Boys. Unfortunately it was the one they were living in.
A Salvation Army bell ringer in Virginia was injured when an 87-year-old man accidentally ran him over. He was taken to the hospital once the applause died down.
A TDE reader sends along this email:
"I sent my brother that Talib quote: 'Never listen to a leftist who does not give away his fortune or does not live the exact lifestyle he wants others to follow.'
"He used it with co-workers, a flurry of emails followed (e.g., "What about conservatives with 'family values', they don't follow those," etc.)."
I figured it was worth a response, which is pasted below.
Well, for what it's worth, I don't trust conservatives who don't follow their own family values either.
Talib's analysis, if I recall correctly, was directed specifically to the monetary phenomenon of having "skin in the game." If I had to guess, his quote was especially directed at Al Gore and Hollywood stars and their environmentalism. They espouse an environmentalism that imposes drastic economic costs on everyone else, but then conduct their personal economic affairs in an opposite manner.
There are parallels to the philandering family-values politician, sure, but they're not economic ones. A maritally-unfaithful conservative can push for fewer divorces without imposing economic costs on everyone. A fornicating Republican that doesn't use effective birth control can push to end abortion but still rightly consider abortion murder.
You also have to look at the respective programs of the "right" and "left." The liberal proposes huge social programs that can't be ratcheted back down, which impose a permanent (or nearly permanent) economic cost on the country. The conservative merely proposes to continue with a form of morality that has been in existence for over 2,000 years. There's a huge difference.
There are parallels, yes, but I think they're dwarfed by the differences.
Background: When I was the editor of Gilbert Magazine, I was responsible for the "Tremendous Trifles" column. It was occasionally hard to find a sufficient amount of interesting GKC material to fill the page, so John Peterson sent me a file full of Chesterton ancedotes. They were idiosyncratic, historical, and Chestertonian. He gave me permission to use them here. I hope y'all find them as interesting as I have over the years. Most of them have never been published.
It remains for the true master of Chestertoniana to list all the books that have been dedicated to GKC. At the head of this list, or near it, will be the great 1913 mystery novel, Trent's Last Case, by Chesterton's lifelong friend, Edmund Clerihew Bentley. (Yes, he's the originator of the clerihew verse form). The dedication reads, in part, "I dedicate this story to you because the only really noble motive I had in writing it was the hope that you would enjoy it."
I keep a handful of books on my Kindle that I read from sporadically. These aren't books that I dive into, but rather books that I read at odd moments when I don't feel like reading anything else.
One of them is E. Michael Jones' little book, Benedict's Rule: The Rise of Ethnicity and the Fall of Rome. From what I can tell, it's about how Benedict saved western civilization after Rome's fall (or, how I would be more inclined to phrase it, "how Benedict and his successors inherited the soul of western civilization from Rome as its imperial apparatus shrunk away"). There's undoubtedly going to be a twist in Jones' account ("the rise of ethnicity"), but so far, it's about the fall of Rome and the rise of monasteries.
The Introduction drew comparisons to the fall of the Roman Empire and the fall of the American Empire. His basic point is that, just as Rome rotted internally as it concentrated on regions far removed from Rome, American is rotting internally as it concentrates on regions far removed from, say, Ohio. The American rot is embodied in its inner cities.
He might have a point, which isn't surprising because Jones always has a point that makes you stop and think, even though those points sometimes veer too closely to uncomfortable subjects (is he an anti-Semite? I doubt it, but I haven't looked at the evidence either way; if I declined to read everything that might contain inappropriate thoughts, I couldn't even read my own TDE archives . . . or my own soul, for that matter).
Just as the monks saved western civilization, Jones thinks the monks could help revitalize our innter cities. If you read accounts of Groeschel's grey friars in the South Bronx, you know Jones has a point.
I especially liked this proposal from his Introduction:
What I'm proposing is very simple. Let one or two or three Benedictine monks take over one or two or three abandoned parish buildings in cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, New York, or Boston and turn them into monasteries which could provide affordable housing for young Catholic couples who want to live according to the 21st century version of the rule of St. Benedict.
Such a project, of course, comes with a lot of economic and regulatory hurdles. If the Church owns the buildings, they could simply convey them to the Order for $1.00, but the rehab costs would be astronomical in light of the Americans with Disabilities Act and ordinary housing codes. And if there are any environmental concerns . . . well, good bye. The project ain't gonna happen. You'd hope there would be no environmental concerns in an old church building, but in light of ground water migration and other potential pollutants, you never know.
But the project isn't quixotic. It deserves consideration. And who knows, it might just save a few inner-city neighborhoods . . . and maybe America. Hope springs eternal.
I kinda feel like Gaudete Sunday ushered in the Advent season for me. Everything from Thanksgiving through Saturday was crunched and rushed, from a flurry of meetings and appointments at the office to social obligations. While at Mass Satuday night, it dawned on me that the sailing looks pretty smooth for the rest of Advent. I'll still be busy, but not rushed; I'll have obligations, but days won't be crunched. I say, "far out." * * * * * * *Dan Bourdreaux at Cafe Hayek says this is his favorite quote ever: "The saddest life is that of a political aspirant under democracy. His failure is ignominious and his success is disgraceful." I can't say it's my favorite ever, but man, it's great. Definitely in my top 100. * * * * * * * He also made reference this past weekend to a great Thomas Sowell quote: "Freedom is not simply the right of intellectuals to circulate their merchandise. It is, above all, the right of ordinary people to find elbow room for themselves and a refuge from the rampaging presumptions of their 'betters.'" Amen to that. * * * * * * * By the way, if you've never read Mencken, give him a try. I have found something soothing in reading essayists from previous eras. When I sit down with such a book of essays, I kinda feel like I'm going to read something and somone irrelevant, giving my reading session no set purpose. It's calming for some reason, but then the calm reading is often rewarded with something great. If you want to try Mencken, you could do worse than starting with his Chrestomathy. It's the first collection of essays I bought and read. * * * * * * * Speaking of old essayists, why did the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries use so many flipping commas? I find it distracting to read, say, the Federalist Papers, or, better, the Anti-Federalist Papers, with all those commas. They even mar the prose of Cardinal Newman. It looks like the comma orcs were on their way out by, say, 1900 or so, thereby preserving the unorthodox prose of Chesterton and acidulous prose of Mencken, but boy, pretty much everything before them is polluted with those punctuation gnats. * * * * * * * Please continue to patronize TDE through the Amazon box in the upper-righthand corner. It's been a pretty decent season so far. I appreciate it. * * * * * * * There will be special Christmas edition of BYCU this Friday. Tell your friends (especially if you don't like your friends).
A TDE reader sends this is, with "Beyond Parody" in the subject line. Presented with no further comment:
"Toledo Councilman Jack Ford, a non-Catholic, said the Pope’s comment compelled him Friday to move forward with calling for a program he had been mulling over. The councilman, who was once Toledo’s mayor, publicly urged the director of Lucas County Canine Care & Control to embrace giving dogs sentenced to death a second chance and start a pilot program that uses an outside evaluator to help assess the animals.
"Mr. Ford, who was joined by councilmen Mike Craig and Rob Ludeman for a news conference, said the pound should consider “a stronger sense of basic fairness,” or due process, for dogs before the canines are killed.
“'I would like the dog warden to implement a pilot program for dogs, similar in concept to the guardian ad litem program we currently have for children, that would take the dog warden and her team out of the role of total evaluator, prosecutor, and ultimately executioner, and bring in an individual from the outside to evaluate the dog prior to final disposition of its life,' Mr. Ford said."
A Random Passage
Another piece of Hudge and Gudge history: "Another group that was overwhelmingly supportive of Italian fascism was American big business . . .". Thaddeus Russell, A Renegade History of the United States.
Russell then goes on to provide an impressive (disturbing?) list of examples.
Yousafzai inspires young girls around the globe, even in spite of constant death threats, and earlier this year made history by becoming, at only age 17, the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
No less remarkable are the accomplishments of Cena, whose work inside the ring has rightfully earned him praise and respect the world over. Just as Yousafzai survived an assassin’s bullets, the fearless WrestleMania headliner has endured hundreds, if not thousands of suplexes, backbreakers, and steel chair blows to the head, and yet has refused to submit to a three count time and time again. And like the Pakistani activist, Cena also proved his bravery, standing tall in the face of a range of foes every bit as vicious as the Taliban, including Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, and Kane. . .
The best drinking story of the month so far: Ale mail.
"Some beer aficionados have turned to mailing beers with each other. So a person in, say, Arizona who has access to a West Coast IPA that isn't sold here can trade with a Clevelander for, say, a Great Lakes Christmas Ale. Two things about this arrangement: It's on the honor system, and it's illegal."
Two other things about this arrangement: It's cool and it shouldn't be illegal.
So why is it illegal? I don't know. I know that, when the Volstead Act was repealed, the 21st Amendment returned broad control over alcohol to the individual states. The states jumped on it and many of them (read: Michigan, though I hear Pennsylvania is the worst) have legislated and regulated the hell out of it. The result: you can't sell a beer without jumping a parade of hurdles, and you can't ship in interstate commerce without permission from each of the states involved in the exchange.
That, anyway, is my (semi-) educated guess about why such a swell past-times as beer swapping is illegal.
And if those are the reasons, it shouldn't be illegal, but good luck getting the legislators and regulators to take their jackboot off the beer drinkers' necks any time soon.
Catholic Men's Quarterly, a one-of-a-kind general interest men's magazine written by Catholic men for Catholic men. Makes a great Father's Day gift.
"The Daily Eudemon is the sort of thing
that Chesterton or Mencken would be doing, if they were
alive today. It's what, in saner times, was called journalism.
In the writing and in the reading, it's exactly the sort
of leisure we should want at the basis of culture."Mike
Aquilina, Author of The Fathers of the Church
and TV Talk Show Host.
Catholicism-urbane, witty, engaged-is alive and well!
If you can read, you should be reading The Daily Eudemon!"David
Scott, author of A Revolution of Love: The Meaning
of Mother Teresa
you like your blogs pithy, nimble, pointed, high-spirited,
and waggish, then bookmmark Eric Scheske's The Daily
Eudemon. Ooops! You want prolixity, density, meandering,
dull, and sober? Then run (do not walk!) to the blogs
of the major news outlets. They have just what you want.
Honestly they do." John
Peterson, Editor, G.K. Chesterton: Collected Works,
Volumes 12 and 13.
Scheske's web site is full of information and insight.
Always worth a read."James
V. Schall, Author of Another Sort of Learning.