Month: October 2013

Franz II

If you want to see a Catholic historian implement some of Franz Oppenheimer’s findings (purposefully, I don’t know), check out Christopher Dawson’s essay, “Warrior Peoples and the Decline of Archaic Civilization” (found in Dynamics of World History), in which he points out the warrior class “was always in a sense parasitic” on the settled pastoral society around it.

I have no idea whether Dawson agreed with Oppenheimer, but I read a lot of Dawson as a younger man. He was easily the historian I read the most of, unless you put Voegelin under the category of “historian.” If Dawson’s historical conclusions correspond well to the libertarian’s, I’m wondering if I internalized a lot of Dawson’s ideas, with the result that, 20 years later, the historical worldview of the libertarians resonated with me.

Addition to academic bucket list: Go back and read Dawson. … Read the rest



More late night

The Jonas Brothers have broken up. The music industry is in mourning. It’s kind of like when the Beatles announced they were breaking up — minus the part where people gave a crap. Ferguson

The Red Sox are up 3-2 in the World Series with the last two games at home in Boston. Cardinals fans are not feeling good, but it ain’t over until the lady who is actually a healthy weight but made to feel fat adhering to impossible standards set by advertisers sings. Kimmel… Read the rest

The Man

Uncommon Valor

Heroes are made every day: “Six adults and two young children were inside watching television when the room began filling with smoke. After the children were rescued and everyone made it outside safely, Walter Serpit told WVTM television that he went back inside to retrieve his beer. He said he went back inside ‘like a dummy’ and the door shut behind him. He said he was able to escape without being burned and managed to save several cans of beer.” Link. … Read the rest

Halloween Thing

St. James Sag

I often put books for the season in our family room. During December, there are books about Advent and Christmas. During Lent, books about the Passion. This year, I put out a book about ghosts. The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

No one read it, of course, except me.

I stumbled across a great entry about “phantom monks”: “Ghosts of monks and other ecclesiastical persons that haunt various religious sites: abbey ruins, modern-day cathedrals and churches.”

Freaky stuff, especially the story about phantom monks at St. James Sag, near Chicago, which apparently are the subject of a Cook County police report. The following is from an online ghost site, but it matches the account in the Encyclopedia:

A very interesting encounter came from a Cook County Police Officer and a two-page report submitted by him. The event occurred on the Friday before Thanksgiving in 1977. The officer was on patrol about 2:30 a.m. when he drove past the cemetery. As he looked through the opened gates, he observed eight or nine hooded figures dressed in monk-like habits walking slowly up the hill towards the church and rectory.

Knowing there should be no one in there at that hour of the morning, he called out to them to come out and be arrested for trespass. The figures just continued to walk to the top of the hill. He then grabbed his shotgun from the car, called for back up and began to pursue these individuals himself. The figures quickly entered into the pitch-black cemetery and all the while being chased by the police officer that was stumbling

Read the rest



Good late night

According to a new report, more than 700 fake Obamacare websites have been created. Security experts say it’s simple to identify the phony sites because they are easy to log on to. Leno

Kanye West went to a baseball stadium in San Francisco with Kim Kardashian, and he popped the question right there. He said to her, “Why are you famous?” Letterman

One poll says 74 percent of Americans will hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. While the other 26 percent plan to spend three hours hiding in the living room with the lights out. Fallon… Read the rest

Humorous and Frustrating


So if I’m reading this story correctly, this African priests starts dorfing a woman on Fridays, then decides he wants to marry her. He finds a group of other priests who want to dorf, and they get together and name him Archbishop of their group. The group then says priests within their group can marry, with the dorfin’ Archbishop nodding assent.

And the article’s title? “We’re Catholic priests who want to marry”

I’m no expert on canon law, but I’m guessing they automatically incurred excommunication by marrying and naming a schismatic bishop. Therefore, the journalist may want to doublecheck the adjective before “priests” in that headline. Or change the present tense indicative “are” to the past tense. … Read the rest


I’ve never really understood the appeal of Franz Oppenheimer’s The State, yet it is the seminal work of the political worldview I adhere to: the State constitutes a class within society.

From this, a person logically concludes that, if you’re within the class, you want more State. If you’re not in that class, you don’t (or shouldn’t, unless you’re too ignorant to see the us-versus-them problem, which is growing so huge in America that anyone with a modicum of eyesight can see it).

So The State is an important work, I gather, since it was one of the first books (1908) to gather together “newly formulated sociological and economic data” (Robert Crunden, The Mind & Art of Albert Jay Nock) to point this out. Still, the work itself is opaque, at least as far as I’m concerned. I read it, and I hope to re-read it, but it’s not a proselytizing tract, as much as what appears to be a scholar’s attempt to make sense of the data. And it reads as such.

Still, a person can find great nuggets in it, like this one that I ran across last week online:

According to Hume, some people will always resist a new government, and these people must be forcibly suppressed. Over time, however, the government will assume an aura of legitimacy, and most people will obey as a matter of habit. It is therefore correct to say that people acquiesce to a government, but this should not be confused with consent. Consent is possible only where there is choice, and no government can permit obedience to become a matter of choice.

Read the rest

Interesting and Humorous


The best pithy parenthetical of the month comes courtesy of Zero Hedge, which posted today that Ohio does not have enough of the lethal injection drug pentobarbital to carry out a scheduled execution next month. Zero Hedge writes:

Ohio is the latest U.S. state to face a scarcity after the European manufacturer banned its sale for lethal injections of prisoners sentenced to death. The European Union is opposed to the death penalty (physical as opposed to economic) and has put pressure on US States to stop the practice.

Read the rest