Friday, November 29, 2013

Limbaugh and Sirico take issue with Benedict XVI

"It is alarming to see hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism....

".... Peacemakers must also bear in mind that, in growing sectors of public opinion, the ideologies of radical liberalism and technocracy are spreading the conviction that economic growth should be pursued even to the detriment of the state’s social responsibilities and civil society’s networks of solidarity, together with social rights and duties. It should be remembered that these rights and duties are fundamental for the full realization of other rights and duties, starting with those which are civil and political.

"One of the social rights and duties most under threat today is the right to work. The reason for this is that labour and the rightful recognition of workers’ juridical status are increasingly undervalued, since economic development is thought to depend principally on completely free markets. Labour is thus regarded as a variable dependent on economic and financial mechanisms. In this regard, I would reaffirm that human dignity and economic, social and political factors, demand that we continue “to prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone.” If this ambitious goal is to be realized, one prior condition is a fresh outlook on work, based on ethical principles and spiritual values that reinforce the notion of work as a fundamental good for the individual, for the family and for society. Corresponding to this good are a duty and a right that demand courageous new policies of universal employment."

--Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace, January 1, 2013 

Just reading Francis through Benedict - that's all.

Monday, November 25, 2013

3B, HB and another one

Saturday, November 23, 2013

HB and the nub of another one

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bill on Bitcoin again - Feds Love Bitcoins

"Guess who the newest supporters of Bitocin are? The Obama gang! The FBI, Justice Department, and today, even the Fed!"

"It's eminently traceable."


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013



Tarkovsky Tuesday

A painting and a drawing that Andrei Tarkovsky did in his younger days:

Sister, by Andrei Tarkovsky (age 15)

War, by Andrei Tarkovsky (age 11)

Found here

Monday, November 11, 2013

Christopher West, etc.

"Flowers are nature's most beautiful reproductive organ."

Christopher West said that at the seminar in the sanctuary after going up to the altar and pointing at it, saying in a high-strung tone, "Do you know what this is?! Do you know what this is?! This is the marriage bed where the bridegroom comes down to the bride!"

Of course, with all things analogical which West penetrates: yes in a different context, but absolutely no in West's penetration; in West's utterly depleting and deleterious use of analogy - or, to be more accurate, his wrenched and tortuous abuse of analogous language. He is what I call a "reverse processor". It would initially sound like a compliment, like he was some kind of genius, except that it's not.

Anyways, it was after this that he picked up the bouquet of flowers sitting in front of the pulpit and proclaimed, "Do you know what flowers are? Flowers are nature's most beautiful reproductive organ! Why does a bride walk down the aisle with flowers? They are reproductive organs. When we visit someone in the hospital we bring them reproductive organs."

And on and on, being the breathless example of how "When you have the ears to hear it, the eyes to see it, the Song of Songs is everywhere!"

It was while he was talking about how flowers are nature's most beautiful reproductive organ (of course if he said "vagina" or even "genitalia" it would have been game up for Christopher West) that my mind went back to first walking into the church where in the narthex piles of Christopher West's latest book were waiting to be sold.

This book.

Which kind of reminds me of this:

That's what you call subliminal messaging.


Sunday, November 10, 2013


"Because of this, it is important to go to Communion, it is important that children be baptized soon, that they be confirmed, because the sacraments are the presence of Jesus Christ in us, a presence that helps us. It is important, when we feel ourselves sinners, to approach the sacrament of reconciliation. Someone might say: “But I’m afraid, because the priest will thrash me.” No, the priest won’t thrash you. Do you know who you will encounter in the sacrament of reconciliation? You will encounter Jesus who forgives you! It is Jesus who awaits you there; and this is a sacrament that makes the whole Church grow." --Pope Francis' address, On Sacraments, Charisms and Charity

Christopher West part 2

Remember that story about the bishop who - having Christopher West's bogus version of "mature purity" which has nothing to do with what Pope John Paul II wrote about in TOB - gazes upon a half-dressed prostitute and sheds tears over the beauty of her body being so wasted? Remember that Christopher West totally made this story up and that the actual story he cited has absolutely nothing whatsoever resembling West's mutilated "extrapolation"?

Yesterday, on Saturday the 9th, at a parish in my hometown, Christopher West told what he called an "apocryphal" story about St. Francis. He said we can't know if this story is true or not, but that it doesn't matter because the story itself has such meaning to it as you will see. This is the story he told about St. Francis.

One day St. Francis was walking along with one of his brothers and a woman who was a prostitute approached St. Francis and said to him, "Let's go into the woods over there and I'll show you what you're really looking for."

To this St. Francis says, "No, come with me into the woods over there and I'll show you what you're really looking for."

When Christopher West said those words by both the prostitute and St. Francis - about showing each other what they're really looking for - he spoke the words with particular sexual relish. It was quite creepy.

So the prostitute goes with St. Francis into the woods, where St. Francis proceeds to build a big bonfire. Then St. Francis takes off all his clothes - as was his wont to do (Ha ha! So funny Chris!) - and begins dancing naked around the bonfire before the gaze of the prostitute.

As she gazes upon St. Francis' body glowing warmly in the firelight she was overcome, and she finally says, "Yes, you have shown me what I'm really looking for."

And then Christopher West adds with baloney reverent breath, "And she became a nun."

I didn't add any details.

And, well, the fact that he even pretended that this story could even remotely possibly be true about St. Francis...what a joke, what a fraud.

Update: See Terry's post and my comment. West butchered the original apocryphal story.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Christopher West

Remember a number of years back when one of the criticisms made about Christopher West was that during his talks/seminars he would take a person from the audience and bring that person on stage and then he would tell the audience to look at that person's body?

Today while he gave a seminar at a parish in my hometown he asked if there were any "consecrated celibates" in the audience. There were two. One was a Carmelite nun and one was a Redemptorist priest. He brought them on "stage", which was before the sanctuary of the church. Then Christopher West walked a ways down the center aisle so that he was with the audience, and then he told the audience, "Look at their bodies."

He did that to a priest. And a nun.

A nun.

He brought them forward for the express purpose of saying to hundreds of people, "Look at their bodies."

Anyways, there's quite a bit to tell. This seminar was done today, which is Saturday the 9th of the month of November, year 2013. You know how all those disciples of Christopher West try the old, "Oh, you're making criticisms of one of his older books - that's so passe; maybe you should read his latest book and attend one of his talks to get in on what he's actually saying."

Yeah, well, I'm here to tell you that Christopher West has not changed one damn thing.

Anyways, just to make note, among other things: at the start of the second half, Christopher West said that during the lunch break he asked the parish priest if the Blessed Sacrament could be put back into the tabernacle for the second half of his seminar. The Eucharist had been appropriately removed for the seminar. Though even then, there's a church hall on the property. The seminar could not have been done in the hall?

So the Blessed Sacrament was put back for the second half of Christopher West's seminar which involved all sorts of profanations and him saying "S-H-I-T" several times, as though saying it that way, saying each letter of the word, excused him from the profanation of saying "shit" multiple times in the very sanctuary of the church in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

Friday, November 8, 2013



So, financialization is nothing other than the translation of production, labour, GDP, capital, into terms of debt, into the terms used by the octopi monster that is the debt-money system, with parties being owed and parties owing - the parties owed being owed more and more, and the parties owing, owing more and more. And the insistent force of this translation goes to show how debt is the number one problem, and not financialization, which is basically just the symptom of the underlying cause.

I'm pretty sure that is a correct summation.

I mean, Michael Hudson explains it right here (from Wikipedia):

  • Michael Hudson described financialization as "a lapse back into the pre-industrial usury and rent economy of European feudalism" in a 2003 interview:

"only debts grew exponentially, year after year, and they do so inexorably, even when–indeed, especially when–the economy slows down and its companies and people fall below break-even levels. As their debts grow, they siphon off the economic surplus for debt service (...) The problem is that the financial sector’s receipts are not turned into fixed capital formation to increase output. They build up increasingly on the opposite side of the balance sheet, as new loans, that is, debts and new claims on society’s output and income.
[Companies] are not able to invest in new physical capital equipment or buildings because they are obliged to use their operating revenue to pay their bankers and bondholders, as well as junk-bond holders. This is what I mean when I say that the economy is becoming financialized. Its aim is not to provide tangible capital formation or rising living standards, but to generate interest, financial fees for underwriting mergers and acquisitions, and capital gains that accrue mainly to insiders, headed by upper management and large financial institutions. The upshot is that the traditional business cycle has been overshadowed by a secular increase in debt. Instead of labor earning more, hourly earnings have declined in real terms. There has been a drop in net disposable income after paying taxes and withholding "forced saving" for social Security and medical insurance, pension-fund contributions and–most serious of all–debt service on credit cards, bank loans, mortgage loans, student loans, auto loans, home insurance premiums, life insurance, private medical insurance and other FIRE-sector charges. ... This diverts spending away from goods and services."

"A lapse back into the pre-industrial usury and rent economy of European feudalism."

Financialization is  just a membranous "middle-man" between the inception and final chapter of the epic story of money-as-debt. It is merely debt enabling itself into the myriad and natural complexities of our economic activities to be our final overlord.

The problem is not "finance", but money-as-debt.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Saturday, November 2, 2013


“Tradition is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. And, I suppose I should add, it is traditionalism that gives tradition such a bad name.” --Jaroslav Jan Pelikan

Quick sketches from times waiting in car

Ballpoint pen

Friday, November 1, 2013