Monday, August 25, 2014

Iraqi Christians

The Christians in Iraq are in a desperate situation.  (For reference, see Rorate Cæli which has done much to bring attention to the genocide of these people.)   Please consider Catholic Near East Welfare Association who are able to help with some of our brother Christians' immediate needs.


Sunday, August 24, 2014


But you'd never know it if you were depending upon what you heard at Mass this morning.  Not in the Pauline Rite.  Not in the 1962 version of the Roman Rite. Apostle though he be, he doesn't get a look-in on Sundays.

Fr Hunwicke hopes for better days here.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Not My Town Exactly. . .

. . .but close enough.

As if we didn't have enough home-grown murderers.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Reliving the Worlds

No doubt you were up at 3:30 a.m. last Saturday brewing pots of tea and frying up bacon and eggs so as to breakfast with the livestream of The World Pipe Band Competition last Saturday.  Of course you were.

But in the event you missed a band or two while reconnoitering an extra sticky bun, you can view the whole works again right here.  Or most of it anyway. They seem to be editing Bob Worral's commentary rather severely.  Unfortunate, but the  music is still there.

"By the right. . . ."

[Addendum:  Yes, 3:30 a.m. would be about right here on the left coast of the Benighted States of America, 8 1/2 miles from the Pacific Ocean.  Your time zone may vary.]


Found While Looking for Something Else

The melodeon is my new enthusiasm.   (Do I have time for any more obsessions?Probably not; something may have to give.  But what?)

In any event, this is Katherine and Melanie Biggs as "Freshly Squeezed" playing their tune "Skepparschottis" on piano accordion and a G/D button box.


Friday, August 15, 2014

27 Best J.R.R. Tolkien Quotes

"Best" is more than a little subjective.  27 quotes out of how many volumes?  Nevertheless, most of them are pretty good. 


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Assumpta est Maria in Cælum

August 15 -- the feast of the bodily Assumption of Our Lady into heaven.

One of the few remaining Holy Days of Obligation.


Monday, August 11, 2014

The Caliphate

Three short paragraphs from Jerry Pournelle:

Perhaps the President will call off a fundraiser or two and pay some attention to the situation in the Middle East? The time to have been sending in support for the Kurds has passed; now they are under direct attack from the Caliphate. It will take more than Navy and Marine air strikes to assure the survival of Kurdistan. 
This crisis has been building ever since Bremer the Unsuccessful disbanded the Baathist Iraqi Army, and anyone who has not seen it coming ought to be dismissed as being incapable of service to the United States. Fortunately a number of officers have known this day would come, and we can hope they have been able to make some preparations; but it will be a near thing. 
It is not too late for a combination of US Special Forces and CIS, with plenty of logistic support, to work with the Kurds to roll back the Caliphate; but whether we have the will to do so is another matter.  If Iraqi Kurdistan falls, the Middle East situation become more serious than it has been for a long  time. American meddling has brought about this result; we have a moral obligation to restabilize and then get out.  I have little confidence that the President understands this.

EWTN in California

We've seen the news elsewhere in several places but it made page 2 in the Wall Street Journal this morning.  EWTN is establishing an outpost in California, indeed right in The OC on the campus of the new cathedral.  It says so here.

Um.  O.K.  I guess.

But the article included this:

On a recent day, the campus was buzzing with construction, even as visitors toured the grounds. "Disney donated those bells," said docent Mary Susa, pointing out a cluster of golden bells affixed to one tower. "But they're plastic and they don't ring."
I do hope that isn't symbolic of . . . oh, anything at all.


Ad Orientem

A new video from the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales on the whys and wherefores of Mass celebrated ad orientem.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Heard on the Radio

An actress was being interviewed on the radio as I was driving home from Mass this afternoon.  I don't remember the name; it wasn't familiar to me.  But apparently she is well-known to the rest of the radio-listening population for acting in a television series, probably British, in which she plays a Danish detective who wears a sweater.

But this is the part of the interview that stayed with me.  She had had breast cancer and is now in remission.  She told of how she is continually asked by interviewers, "How did you feel to learn that you might die?"  She found that an extraordinary question.  Of course she's going to die. Everybody's going to die.  She thought the really interesting question was how is it that the majority of the population seems to think that they won't die.

It's really not an if question; it's a when question.

More New Martyrs

From The Telegraph a couple of days ago:
The last day of Qaraqosh’s time as a Christian town, a time almost as old as Christianity itself, began with a mortar shell at nine in the morning.
It came through the roof of Melad and Marven Abdullah’s house on Wednesday, killing them instantly. Melad was nine; his cousin, Marven, four. The mortar struck Marven in the head as it landed. They found his arms and feet, crushed against the wall, but nothing else.
The family’s next-door neighbour, Enam Eshoo, had popped in to deliver some fresh drinking water; she too died where she fell.
The day ended with an order to evacuate. Within a couple of hours, the city’s tens of thousands of inhabitants were crowding the road to Kurdistan, fighting with troops manning checkpoints, trying to find shelter where they could.
The streets of the capital Erbil’s newly Christian suburb, Ainkawa, swelled by exiles from ten years of punishing terror and oppression in northern Iraq, are now full of stunned and helpless people. They are camping on the floors of church halls, in a building site, in the street. An old woman was sleeping in a flower bed. Another begged for help.

Yes, it's a few days old but a gripping read.  And things have not changed for the better.  I'm pretty sure Rorate Cæli is due an "h/t" for this link but I've actually forgotten where I harvested it.  In any event, Rorate has done more to keep us informed about the new Christian martyrs of the Middle East than anyone else I'm aware of.

To be sure, WSJ has several fine articles this weekend about the ongoing persecutions of the "religious minorities" in Iraq.  They seem principally worried about Yazidis, although later on there is mention of another persecuted minority. Begins with a "C" I think.   Chris- something.

V.That there may be peace to thy Church and to the whole world,
R. We entreat thee, O Lord.
    -Evening Prayer


Anthony Trollope Better Than Dickens?

This writer thinks so. and he makes some good points.

. . . .Trollope could truly develop a character throughout a book, making them far more believable than Dickens’, who would change their outcomes on public demand. Trollope’s work can seem like the broadsheet press, compared to Dickens’ tabloid. Trollope’s own economic hardship further lent him a uniquely realist portrayal of money. To quote W.H. Auden, “Of all novelists in any country, Trollope best understands the role of money. Compared with him, even Balzac is too romantic”.
In 1868, Trollope was persuaded to stand as a Liberal candidate for Beverley, deemed the most corrupt constituency in the country. He came last, following votes being bought by the two Conservative candidates, and spent £400 on his election campaign. This experience gave him great insight into the Victorian political world, accurately translated into his work in books such as The Palliser Chronicles and his 1875 masterpiece The Way We Live Now. . . .
I probably agree, at least so far as my own enjoyment goes.  But I can't help thinking the competition framework is a mistake.  They're different, not better or worse.

Although Anthony Trollope was certainly a better human being than Dickens.


Found While Looking for Something Else

"The Power of the Pentatonic Scale" says the title on the Youtube page.  Don't know whether power is the right word but it's rather interesting.  The pipe scale is supposed to be an interworking of three pentatonic scales if I recall correctly.  (And two partial ones?  I think Roderick Cannon explains it all in his book but I'm not sure where it is at the moment.)