Thursday, January 26, 2012

One Cent




Canada has been on route to getting rid of the penny.

From wikipedia:

"There have been repeated talks about getting rid of the penny as it is estimated that it costs the Royal Canadian Mint 1.8¢ to produce a 1¢ coin, even though the Royal Canadian Mint claims it costs only 0.8¢ to produce a penny. The Canadian penny costs at least $130 million annually to keep in circulation, estimates a financial institution (the Desjardins Group) that called for an end to the penny. The Mint refuses to release the cost, citing competition, despite having a monopoly. According to a 2007 survey, only 37 percent of Canadians use pennies, but the government continues to produce about 816 million pennies per year, equal to 25 pennies per Canadian.

"On March 31, 2008, NDP MP Pat Martin introduced a private member's bill that would eliminate the penny from circulation. The Swedish rounding system is the suggested replacement for cash transactions. In mid-2010 the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance began a study on the future of the one-cent coin.

"On December 14, 2010, The Senate finance committee recommended the penny be removed from circulation, arguing that a century of inflation has eroded the value and usefulness of the one-cent piece. Presently it costs more to produce each penny (1.5¢) than it is worth monetarily. The Royal Canadian Mint has been forced to produce more such coins because pennies disappear from circulation as Canadians hoard these coins, or just cannot be bothered to use them."


While it may be true that it would save money (But what does that mean for rounding at stores? Rounding up? But what if you're Scottish?), I think it's just the preliminaries to getting rid of cash altogether and making it all electronic credit.

I say keep the penny. Hah!


Linkthanks for video: Catholic and Enjoying It!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Worth the Watch



Bill Still says Ron Pauler "Gold Bugs" address the problem rightly, but have the wrong solution. Watch from the 1:00:00 mark to the end. Fun!

Milton Friedman: "Boy, if you kill the Fed and you don't do anything about fractional reserve lending, you've done nothing!"

Doing something about fractional reserve lending would, what, fall under government regulation?

Medium: Pencils 2H, 6B, HB and might have used F

Monday, January 23, 2012

Misc.

We fear not living long enough, not having a long life, and yet we fear old age and the loss of youth.

*

If a teacher were to swat the head of one of his students in anger then that teacher would be immediately reprimanded and likely removed from his position, either indefinitely or on suspension with a great list of counseling sessions to go through - if not jail or some such. Superficially, we like to think that children are so much more protected than they were in the savage days of yore in which a parent or teacher wouldn't think twice about physical punishment. Yet children today are indoctrinated from the earliest ages into sexualization, through the same school systems (and mind-controlling culture) that would reprimand the teacher for swatting one of his students, many of whom are set upon a path towards objectification, abortion, sexually transmitted disease - in short, a life of ruination. Oh, that and the fact that this present age is likely the worst history has seen in regards to the harm of children. Oh, and the fact that we murder children in the womb.

*

Some people who say abortion is wrong actually think we need to retain the choice of abortion, for otherwise if we were to outlaw it, then how could we possibly say that a woman who kept her baby was truly exercising virtue? Such are the broken thoughts from false prophets who would have us believe that Roe vs. Wade was created on the sixth day and then God rested.

*

There are a number of certain things, of which we can be most certain that they are certain; and some of these have to do with the uncertainty of things.

We can be certain that one day we will die, which is the uncertainty of the longevity of our life. Even such sad deluded people like Ray Kurzweil prove by dint of their very fighting against it and the likelihood that their efforts will fail, that one day, they will die. And their efforts will indeed fail.

One could die before even getting to the end of this blog post. Some may be thinking yes, please, let it be so.

The other thing of which we can be certain is that we ultimately have no control over the manner in which we will die. There is some wiggle room here; we can reduce the likelihood of dying in some manner by avoiding certain things or doing certain things, but ultimately we have no control or say in the manner in which we will die.

The evil of the suicide is that in saying he will determine the manner in which he will die, he in fact gives a great big fat middle finger to the Goodness of the fact that he was brought into existence and had no say in it.

*

There is a funny little strain of Inquisitorial Eroticizers of the baptismal faith who like to flatter themselves with the thought that they are making people uncomfortable. If they only knew how mind-blowingly boring they actually come across.

*

An artist cannot break or twist a symbol without committing suicide on some level of his relational being (and thus his creative being).

*

Of late, I keep coming back to the thirteenth apostle. He scares me, in the way that the Good scares; not because of him per se, but because of his conversion, the confession to which he clung. In a way, he never really stopped falling from that horse: from the moment he hit the ground, his mission began and never ceased until his head was chopped off. That's the power of Christ. It's said that in later life he really bore the stigmata. I can see that. For whether he bore the stigmata or not, the other saint he is most akin with is St. Francis of Assisi.

You have to know him in order to see it. Those who regard him as the unpleasant hardcase have scales yet to fall from their eyes.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Worth the Watch





"Money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money...of all modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural." --Aristotle - 325 B.C.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Medium: Pencils 2H, F and 2B

Which is based on which?

Say, if the dollar were to be totally backed by the gold standard, which is based on which?

So a man one day says, "Damn it, I want the real thing! Only gold for me! None of this fake money baloney! Gold is gold through all the ages!"

So he buys a gold bar.

"Say you, what's that gold bar worth?"

"I say, it's worth 25, 000 smackers - yeehaw!"

"25, 000 smackers of that fake money baloney?"

"Wait, what?"

So how can the gold be said to back the dollar? Which is backing which?

The only way Joe can buy some farm equipment with his gold coins is that the seller trusts he can exchange those gold coins for...dollars! How about that!

That's all well and good. Gold is nice. You can do so much with it; it never corrodes. But clearly gold is not what truly backs the currency, nor can it truly ever - that is, if one wants a healthy economy.

Money Question

Here is a question:

How does backing the dollar with the gold standard suddenly turn the dollar into "honest money" (into the veritable, the real)?

Explanation?

Whatever one's explanation is, it won't be any better than this one: Gold has great magical powers that will make the dollar "honest money".

Here's another question: how does backing the dollar with the gold standard create true wealth other than through impoverishing the vast majority?


Update: I changed the phrasing a bit to hopefully avoid confusion of meanings of the words, "honest money".

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chichikov

FIFTY MEGATONS
By Pavel Chichikov


Lopshenga is a settlement alongside the White Sea,
Rolling tundra, sand and shingle, inaccessibility,
A dozen houses, kitchen gardens, potatoes and some greens,
But people live by fishing, according to their means


A radio for medical removal or advice,
Say a body breaks a hip by slipping on the ice,
A coffin for a burial is carried by flatbed,
There is no formal carriage for the isolated dead


I flew in once by helicopter one long summer day
Only for some hours before I went away,
That is how they liked it when the Oblast or Moscow
Stretched out an arm and finger to the people long ago


Excellent it is to be remote and out of reach
When government is well-disposed to sanction or to preach,
Hopeful were the villagers that Moscow could forget
Their minimal existence where the sea and tundra met


But over the horizon once, near Novaya Zemlya
A giant detonation lit the sky like an aurora,
The burst of an effusion rose of fifty megatons—
No matter how remote they were, they were the closest ones



PROVE THAT SANITY HOLDS ON
By Pavel Chichikov


The law has ratified abortion
But demonstrate to us the dead child’s showing
And see the most of us recoil in horror and disgust


If that fetus is no child, why should they recoil?
Why revolt to see a simple mass of cells?
Even Romans at the Coliseum had more guts


They watched and cheered as mutilated losers
Were dragged out by the hooks of roustabouts—
We will not see a child hooked living from the womb


We turn our eyes away, cover up our eyes
Though eyes are closed when nightmares come
And we will see them in the dark, as in the light


It is still possible to draw the gasp of rage
To make the viewer turn away, in fury and disgust
To prove that sanity holds on to us, but just

________


The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov

That youtube religion is bad video

So that fella with the doggerel and rather dogmatic and self-righteous youtube video about religion - which is to say, about the religious institution known as the Catholic Church - and how Jesus apparently destroyed it on the cross...yee-aaaaawwwwwn.

One could get into the scriptural passages and everything (oh yeah, the Bible! which we wouldn't have were it not for institutional religion), you know, do not think I came to abolish the law and all that jazz with Him being the New Covenant and to do this in memory of Me...

But really, getting down to the gnitty, what is his rant but Gnosticism? Heresies come in pairs. Like in the way holding forth an opposing division between nature and grace can lead one not to becoming a Manichean but to becoming a pantheist - if only a closet pantheist (watch The Tree of Life to see this in operation). One heresy gives birth to its opposite. So it goes: saying that Christ destroyed institutional religion on the cross and that the reality of doctrines, creeds, dogmas etc. are abolished as man-centered codes, leads not to the free and steady application of God's salvation of man, openly received (indeed, in such a world there would ultimately not be any "application" or "receiving"), but rather it leads to the reduction of Christ's manifestation and of His wide open grace to secret, self-applied - you might say, Pharisaical - coded knowledge: to Gnosticism.

It is precisely an institution founded by Christ (with its religious practices and observations) that preserves His operative grace (indeed, makes operative) being freely open to all men from becoming Gnosticism - Gnosticism, which is sundered from the saving action of Christ's sacrifice on the cross; the self-righteous knowledge of the Pharisees.

Funny how it works like that, no? As they say, truth is stranger than fiction. That fella is rather self-righteous in his little video too, is he not?

If Christ's singular acts of death and resurrection have no formation of a Church, of a singular, concrete religious institution, then why the bother with even becoming incarnate and dying? Did God simply don a man's body in order to get the sacrifice done? If instituting a church, instituting an institutional body, was not His plan, then why not? Why not just say He was God who only donned a man's body but wasn't truly fully man? That all those Jewish religious customs He observed was just make-believe, was all pretend - Him just sort of faking it? Why didn't He just wave a magical Harry Potter wand from the clouds and go zap, your sins are destroyed?

God seeking man? What do you think Sacred Doctrine is? Where do you think your very notion of God seeking man comes from? A spontaneous magical Harry Potter thought? It comes from Sacred Doctrine you fool. Given from the martyrdom of the minds of countless fathers and doctors of the Institutional Church who conformed their minds to Revelation which in turn flowers to us as Sacred Doctrine whose one subject is God - Who became man, was crucified, died, and was buried and rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven and sent forth His Holy Spirit to institute His Church that flowered, and continues to flower, with said Sacred Doctrine making manifest to us the truth of His mysteries in Jesus Christ.


Update: Owen has a related post worth reading: Confession: I am not a 'follower of Jesus'


I like Rubinstein playing Chopin. He "gets" him. Though I'm no expert.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Listening

"Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."

Isn't that one of the best phrases, one of the best prayers - so simple, so powerful, so direct? The very first word, "speak", takes away from the one speaking and puts the imperative on the One being spoken to. By the word, "speak", the speaker is already fallen silent. And the speaker addresses himself as "your servant", referring to himself only through the Master he is speaking to.

How much better are these words than something like, "Here I am, Lord, I come to do Your will." Gah, how horrid! Ta da! Here I am! With my trumpet! Now hand me that crosier! I'm here to do Your will - too-ta-too-ta-tooooooooooot!

"...and you do not belong to yourself; for you were bought with a great price..."


Medium: Pencils (can't remember which ones)


Medium: B Pencil

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Signature of the World



The destruction to the Our Lady of Lourdes statue at the front of our parish was first noticed on the feast of the Mother of God. Perhaps it was done late the night before.




When I came out of morning Mass the Monday after the feast day, not knowing what had been done, I went up to our Lady to make a prayer and was dumbstruck with horror - and then frustrated, angry weeping.

Say what one wants about the randomness of vandalism; this is not random. Such an affront, however unconscious, is not arbitrary mischief. It is the signature of the world, for those to see who have eyes.

This is how the world regards its Mother.

So go ahead, make all the concessions to it that you want; seek out its praises and its honours.

I must be posting this because I'm practicing "easy virtue", or some such thing, and what I need is to be "challenged". After all, it's easy to post this because I am merely confirming myself in my righteous paradigm. Which is why I also post Vortex videos.
Mark Shea's and Elizabeth Scalia's Folk Hero joking about partial-birth abortion:



Because it's only comedians now who give us the truth, so say some.

Linkthanks to Spirit Daily.

Update: Graphic abortion ads will air during Super Bowl XLVI. Good.

Linkthanks to Crescat.

Medium: 2B Pencil

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Misc.

A little story a priest once told in a homily:

There was a group of students in a large woodshop and one of the students lost his watch. They spent a good amount of time looking for the watch while the woodshop was running, and couldn't find it. After everyone left, one student remained behind and laid himself down on the floor of the woodshop. In the stillness and silence he listened - and he heard the faintest ticking. By that ticking he located the watch.

*

I do not believe that those who were brought to Jesus to be delivered, who scriptures say were possessed by demons, were epileptics and that Jesus healed them of their epilepsy. Nope, I think there really were numbers of people possessed. Because there are signs that go along with both possession and the demon being excorcised. Names are spoken and the demon exposed and words of authority commanding the evil spirit to come out.

What evidence is there that people back then did not know that epileptic seizures were not demonic possession? We're very stupid to think they were primitive.

*

I remember a priest - a good priest - who spoke in his homily about Christ calling, indirectly, that Canaanite woman a dog. The priest attempted to soften it by referring to how things were socially in that time. I can't remember exactly what it was he said, but he ended up only making it look worse. And at no point did he simply mention that Jesus was testing the woman's faith. Would have saved a lot of trouble. Fact is, the passage doesn't even look bad from the get-go. It's only politically correct people constantly aware to discrimination who bring up such things, where there are none.

*

But you see, even the thought that Jesus would analogously align a woman with a dog even as a front, as a testing repertoire - indeed, actually leading the woman to her wonderful response of humility and faith - is unthinkable to certain people.

*

People rely on labels in a fundamental way in their attempts to be non-labeling, or in their attempts to show how arbitrary are labels; and so they end up entrenching labels into our language beyond what any bigot could do. Like those who avoid the Left and the RightTM. Or like those who love to blather about how no creed can contain God or how no name can limit God: they do not end up thereby enlarging our view of God; they end up diminishing our view of words into something worse than barbarism.

*

Religion is not just a crutch for the weak-minded. It is an entire hospital. At least the Catholic Church is like a hospital - in fact, the only hospital.

Those who say religion is a crutch for the weak-minded are oblivious to the fact that they themselves go through life on an array of various crutches; they go from one crutch to the other with such rapidity and unconsciousness that the crutches simply do not appear as such. It makes one think of that Simpsons episode where the doctors discover that Burns is being kept alive not through a healthy body, but because of the perfect balance of innumerable diseases.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Blogosphere:



which would include this blog as well.

Blah this and blah that; a cannonade of canonists; Santorum-Paul-Gingrich-Romney-making-sure-Obama-becomes-President-for-second-term; the Unofficial Lay Ministries are tunneling under Mark Shea's house - whatever.

Well, this piece from Marc Barnes on how Descartes' false dichotomy between soul and body ruined sex is worthwhile reading.

Okay, okay, so everything is fascinating! I lied.

Tarkovsky Tuesday

The Pacific Cinematheque (pronounced cinemateck) in Vancouver has launched its screenings of most of Tarkovsky's films. I saw Stalker there a while back, which was my first time seeing it on a theater screen, and it was like seeing it for the first time.

Here is the Cinemateck's synopsis/official blurb for its Tarkovsky screenings:

"The seven features “sculpted in time” by Russian master and mystic Andrei Tarkovsky in a career cut short by lung cancer in 1986 (Tarkovsky was 54) are among the most influential, acclaimed, audacious, and awe-inspiring film works to emerge from postwar Europe. Meditative, metaphysical, uncommonly lyrical, remarkably textured, and incomparably visual, Tarkovsky’s is a cinema of moral and spiritual questing, of powerful apocalyptic poetry, of tour-de-force long takes and tracking shots, of expressive monochrome and muted colour, of unforgettable images and dreamlike landscapes. Steeped in Eastern Orthodox mysticism, abounding in elemental symbolism, sometimes venturing forth into hauntingly enigmatic science fiction, Tarkovsky’s films conjure up a hermetic, hallucinatory world that often speaks, forcefully, resonantly, mysteriously, more directly to the subconscious than to the rational mind. The result is cinema of the rarest order: transcendent, transfixing and transformative, rigorous and redemptive, utterly singular..."


I almost want to backhand the person who wrote that gobbling piece of garbage - three times over. "Master and mystic", "powerful apocalyptic poetry", "tour-de-force long takes", "Eastern Orthodox mysticism" (gotta love that one), "hermetic, hallucinatory world"...the whole thing; the higher it attempts praise, the more wrong and perverse it goes.

It makes me think of this other sort of slobbering swine-talk from Robert Johnson (a.k.a., "a spiritual elder") that I recently read, as quoted by Heather King in her comment box:

"The Catholic Mass is a masterpiece of balancing our cultural life. If one has the courage to see, the Mass is full of the darkest things: there is incest, betrayal, rejection, torture, death—and worse. All this leads to revelation but not until the dark side has been portrayed as vividly as possible. If one went to Mass in high consciousness one would tremble at the awfulness of it—and be redeemed by its balancing effect…One ought to pale with terror at the Mass."


One ought to pale with terror at the thought of unfathomably insulting Christ through one's own slobbering swine-talk. You know, like those who slobber all over themselves about the "eroticism" of the poetry of St. John of the Cross.

But anyways, the Pacific quote reminded me most of all of something Tarkovsky himself said about the very same thing:

"I have to admit that even when professional critics praised my work I was often left unsatisfied by their ideas and comments--at least, I quite often had the feeling that these critics were either indifferent to my work or else not competent to criticise: so often they would use well-worn phrases taken from current cinema journalese instead of talking about the film's direct, intimate effect on the audience."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Max Monday



Resting Woman with Carnations - Max Beckmann

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Medium: Pencils F and 2B

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Medium: Pencils HB and 2B

The Hobbit Trailer

Check out the new The Hobbit trailer:





I have to say, it looks freaking awesome.



Hat tip for the trailer to the Shrine of the Holy Whopper, which is back up and running.

Yep



Put Christ back in Christmas.

It's okay to say Merry Christmas to me.

Wear the right buttons.

And don't say happy holiday.

Go, say Merry Christmas to someone this week of January.

Bet you can't do it.

Tarkovsky Tuesday

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Peach Pit Carving - Holy Name and Fish

This one is not finished but I thought I would show where it's at so far. Both sides need refining; I just put some food-safe oil on for now. When the carving is done I'll probably stain it. I don't have a digital camera that does good close-ups, so these shots will have to do for now (click on them to enlarge).







Then the other side of the same pit:






Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year


Medium: HB Pencil and maybe some others, can't recall