The Daily Eudemon
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Samuel Johnson, The Idler, 4/5/1760




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    Thursday
    May 5, 2016

    Trump

    Catholic Vote has done a pretty good job of capturing my opinion of the current situation. I bold the parts I particularly agree with:

    Catholics of good will disagree about Trump. On the one hand he has pledged to nominate a qualified replacement for the Scalia vacancy. He has pledged to replace Obamacare and restore American jobs. Some even believe his brash style will help break the stranglehold of the “Establishment” on Washington D.C.

    We continue to have our doubts. Until recently Trump was publicly pro-abortion and a major financier of the enemies of the Church. His character and moral judgement remain suspect. He denigrates and ridicules his opponents, and has no foundational principles from which he proposes to govern. In our opinion, Donald Trump is a big roll of the dice that could backfire, and potentially have disastrous consequences on the House, the Senate, and on our politics more generally.

    Then there is Hillary Clinton. Feeling the pressure from her left-wing base, Hillary will be hostile to nearly everything we believe in — from the sanctity of life to religious liberty. She is certain to tip the Supreme Court decidedly to the left. The American family will have no bigger enemy than a President Hillary Clinton and the wreckage she will impose on us from Washington D.C. Hillary Clinton must be opposed by every conscientious Catholic voter. . . .

    As much as we oppose Clinton, Trump remains problematic in too many ways to receive our endorsement. With a suspect record, no clear guiding principles, and a history of unpredictability, all we can do for now is take him at his word and hope for the best.

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    Wednesday
    May 4, 2016

    Taki

    Taki Theodoracopulos has led perhaps the most charmed secular life of the modern era. I just ordered his memoirs, which should make great outdoor reading this coming season.

    His most recent column at his online magazine is worth checking out. I laughed out loud two and a half times:

    How would you, dear reader, like to spend Thanksgiving with Kim and Kanye, or go cruising with Justin? Heaven help us. (I’d rather fail a syphilis test than have a Kardashian as a guest.) . . .

    I once asked an American automobile tycoon (okay, it was Henry Ford II) whom he would have liked to dine with à deux, and he answered, “Paul Valéry.” I was impressed. “How come Paul Valéry? Which poem?” “Poem? What poem? It’s my whorehouse on Rue Paul Valéry in Paris.” . . .

    I’d have Prince Metternich as the fourth—a great seducer. He was late for a conference and a whole province was lost to Austria when the winners were redistributing real estate. When he was informed, he sighed and said, “But she was worth it.”

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    Conan
    May 3, 2016

    In Pennsylvania, a 100-year-old woman has broken the world record for the 100-yard dash in her age group. She won with the record-setting time of “Wednesday.”
    Meyers

    A 100-year-old Brooklyn woman has become the oldest runner to ever cross the finish line in the 100-meter dash. On the down side, she started the race in 2009.

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    Tuesday

    Miscellaneous Rambling

    Ceiling. TrastevereAmazon runs some pretty good daily deals. I’m going to start including a link at the end of my Miscellaneous Ramblings posts, both as a reminder to TDE readers and myself to check them out. Hope you don’t mind. Remember: Every dollar generated for TDE from Amazon sales buys me more vodka, so it goes to a good cause. Many thanks for patronizing. Amazon Deals of the Day

    Ceiling. TrastevereSo, did I use “myself” properly in that last ramble? No. “Myself” is a reflexive pronoun. It’s the object of the sentence that refers back to (reflects) the subject: “I love myself.” Any other use is either redundant (used for emphasis: “I baked the cake myself!”) or pretentiously idiotic (“She took myself to the store with her”). Just use “me” in most situations, and you’ll be fine. (Caveat: Sometimes people will use “myself” after “as” or “than.” I think such uses are incorrect, but you can supposedly find great writers who did it, including Shakespeare, Milton, Poe, Lamb, and Stevenson, so I’m a bit hesitant to condemn such useage, lest someone call me “pretentiously idiotic.”)

    Ceiling. TrastevereI mentioned Robert Payne’s The Holy Fire yesterday and said it might be the best saint book of all time. It prompted to think about what other books I would compete for that title. I immediately thought of Clare Boothe Luce’s Saints for Now and any biography by Henri Gheon. If you have any nominees, please post them below or shoot me an email.

    Ceiling. TrastevereThis week has a pretty good feast day lineup. Tomorrow is Philip and James Alphaeus; Wednesday is Monica, every momma boy’s favorite saint; Thursday is Ascension Day.

    Ceiling. TrastevereSaturday is the feast day of Domitian Maestricht. I don’t know anything about him about this sixth century saint, but his name struck me. I would’ve thought the first century persecutions under Emperor Domitian would’ve made such a name intensely unpopular among Christians.

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    Monday
    May 2, 2016

    Miscellaneous Rambling

    Ceiling. TrastevereSo I’m at Abbie’s Baccaleurate Mass Friday evening. Some doofus was in the front row, wearing a long-sleeve Michigan State t-shirt. It was one of those things that would make a good Seinfeld diner conversation: Jerry: “He was wearing a MSU shirt.” Elaine: “I don’t see what’s the big deal?” Jerry: “It’s a University of Michigan graduation Mass!” Elaine: “So? It’s not like people are there to see him.” Jerry: “It’s not a big deal. In fact, it’s a small deal, but it is a deal. Who does that?” I wasn’t the only one to notice. I said to my son Jack (who doesn’t attend UM), “Is it me, or is that dude a doofus for wearing a MSU shirt to this?” Jack nodded, laughed, and said, “I later saw him take out his laptop at the reception and it had a Bernie bumper sticker on it.” That piece of information put it all together for me.

    Ceiling. TrastevereSpeaking of the Bern, I wonder how his young supporters feel about socialism after they learned it was going to cause an entire country to run out of beer? Surely, that doesn’t sit well with the Leftists in our country? Then again, they’d probably just conclude, “If I were the Socialist President, I’d just take over a bunch of breweries and make the beer myself, pay exorbitant salaries to hire good workers and master brewers, then sell the beer at a steep discount so everyone could enjoy it.” It would be a great plan: Everyone sees the good, cheap beer, but they don’t see the massive market disruptions policies like those create.

    Ceiling. TrastevereThere’s an interesting summary of the history of Venezuelan politics and economics at the Anarkhon sub-Reddit site that struck me as pretty good. I can’t vouch for it, but went ahead and pasted it to the TDE Annex (so you don’t have to scroll through the conversation thread at Reddit to find it). It’s basically the same old story: People who don’t want to produce, steal. Whether it’s a petty criminal with a knife or the central government, it’s ultimately the same thing. The only difference between the Mafia and a centralized government is that the Mafia has a far lesser reach.

    Ceiling. TrastevereSo why do I care if people patronize TDE? I mean, am I really hurting for money that badly? No, I’m not. And truth be told, my return from Amazon referrals covers my annual hosting charges and leaves me with just a few gallons of good vodka annually. It’s not much, but I’ve always found it rewarding. It turns out, I’m not alone. I listened to an interview with Chris Guillebeau on The Tom Woods Show last month, and he pointed out everyone who earns a small amount of money off a “side pursuit” finds that small amount more rewarding than the much larger sums they earn from their regular job.

    Ceiling. TrastevereI was impressed enough by the podcast to buy a used copy of Guillebeau’s The $100 Startup. I thought my older sons might want to read it so they can start thinking more like entrepreneurs, but instead, Max (12) jumped on it and read it in five days. He’s fired up to start an online business. I suggested illicit whiskey selling might be an easy money-maker, but his parochial school priest nixed the idea as a class project.

    Ceiling. TrastevereBig day today: Feast Day of St. Athanasius. It caused me to take Robert Payne’s The Holy Fire off the shelf yesterday and start reading it again. I have plugged this book many times (link to mini-review), so I won’t do so again here. Suffice it to say, it’s possibly the best saint book of all time.

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    Sunday
    May 1, 2016

    Some good late night from last week:

    “Today is Take Your Kid to Work Day. It’s really the most uncomfortable day of the year for the adult film industry.” Kimmel

    “During Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech yesterday, he said when it comes to military action, we have to be unpredictable. Scary news for Iran, but terrifying news for Canada.” Meyers

    “Vice president Joe Biden made a surprise trip to Iraq this morning, and no one was more surprised than him. ‘Last time I use Expedia!'” Meyers

    “Chile’s new giant lasers are so powerful, they can create an artificial star, which is impressive until you remember that Kris Jenner has been able to create, like, eight of them.” Meyers

    “A new practice is undergoing research called postmortem sperm extraction, in which viable sperm is taken from a dead body and stored within 48 hours after a man’s death. It’s what Larry King calls dating.” Meyers

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    Saturday
    April 30, 2016

    streetsign.jpgGraduation and the Jesuit

    Abbie graduates from the University of Michigan today; Alex turns 23 today. Both are in Ann Arbor. The idea of sitting through a two-hour graduation in “The Big House” terrifies me, so I attended the Baccalaureate Mass last night with my Mom and two of my other sons, then drove back home. Groggy morning.

    I met a Jesuit priest who will start working for America magazine shorting. Heckuva nice guy. A liberal, no doubt, but Abbie helped him teach RCIA, and she said he never broached politics. And this is in Ann Arbor, where a person could be left of, say, Stalin or Obama and be in the mainstream. I spoke with him for maybe four minutes, but I think he knows Jim Martin very well. I was tempted to say, “Ah, yes, I used to be a fan, but when he came out with his pro-gay lovefest in the wake of Pope Francis’ peculiar comments, I pretty much wrote him off.” But I wasn’t drinking, so I desisted.

    Besides, I’m not sure I’ve been entirely fair to Fr. Martin. I went back this morning to find the Tweet that had me rolling my eyes, but I couldn’t find it. I seem to recall that he was in the “Reply” section of one of his Tweets, hammering it out with the anti-LGBT crowd, falling back on the “hate argument” with much more vitriol than becomes a Catholic priest. I was thinking he’d kinda lost it. Again, I’m not sure that’s entirely fair, but that was my impression based on some quick scanning of the online exchange. I also remember thinking, “It’s 2015. This guy still doesn’t understand that you don’t engage in digital wars because they always bring out the worse in people, including oneself?”

    Oh well. I really liked this liberal Jesuit priest last night, so I might actually start keeping my eye out for more material from, choke, America magazine.

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    Friday
    April 29, 2016

    IMG_3150Brews You Can Use

    One of the more interesting articles about gin I’ve seen lately: 8 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About Gin.

    The number one “gin-consuming country in the world is the Philippines. They are responsible for almost half of the world’s global consumption. The United States, the birthplace of so many amazing gin cocktails, is actually the No. 2 market for gin in the world.”

    “Gin is massively popular in Spain at the moment. The Gin & Tonic is one of the drinks of choice there, and they have taken its service to new levels. They tend to serve it in giant goblets, and there’s a lot of innovation happening with garnishes [in Spain] to make it a more inviting and interesting drink.”

    “Dorothy Parker, Noël Coward, Winston Churchill, W.C. Fields, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ian Fleming (the author of James Bond who actually drinks more gin than vodka in the books), Franklin D. Roosevelt, Raymond Chandler and Charles Dickens were all well-documented lovers of gin.”

    (That’s a pretty good list of drinkers, if you take out FDR, who was a well-documented ass.)

    “[B]efore Fever-Tree, finding good tonic wasn’t easy. They kick-started a movement of high-quality tonic water, and now you can also find other great brands like Q and East Imperial as well.”

    “[G]in is notoriously always served in cocktails. It’s the quintessential cocktail spirit and has more classic cocktails to its name then any other spirit.”

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    Corden
    April 28, 2016

    There is a new trend in U.K. corporate policy where employees are being given paid time off so that they can acclimate a new pet to their home. They’re calling it “pawternity” leave. You can read more about this story 10 years from now in the book about how China took over the world.

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    Meyers

    During his victory speech last night Donald Trump dismissed the idea of facing a contested convention, saying, “As far as I’m concerned, it’s over.” And by “it,” I assume he means civilization as we know it.

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    Thursday

    I wasn’t going to vote for Trump, but according to Catholic radio this morning, he said last night that we need to do much, much more for the Middle East Christians and we need to stop the in-flow of non-citizen Muslims.

    The man may have just gotten my vote.

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    Meyers
    April 27, 2016

    According to a new study, people with several plants around their homes often live longer. Willie Nelson was like, “Oh hell yeah!”

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