Month: August 2015


Miscellaneous Rambling

So I’m listening to a recent Open Line Wednesday with Mitch Pacwa yesterday while gardening. A caller asked about Charlie Johnston. Johnston is a supposed seer who supposedly communicates with (supposed-heavenly) angels, and he says massive economic and military disruptions are coming soon. Pacwa said he has met Mr. Johnston and found him to be an ordinary, likable guy. He also said that Johnston discusses his locutions with three priests before disclosing them, just to make the locutions are in accord with Church teaching in general. That being said, Pacwa emphasized that he (Pacwa) has no role to determine whether a seer is legitimate, so every person needs to come to their own conclusions. I’ve never much gone in for the contemporary mystic stuff, even Fatima. So even though I believe what occurred at Fatima and stuff like Charlie Johnston intrigue me, my interest pretty much stops there. I guess my general feeling is, even if they’re right, it all comes down to timing, and I’m simply never comfortable with open-ended predictions like “soon” or “after the Pope dies.” Such things could mean 200 years down the road. And on top of that, you got the obvious problem: Mr. Johnston might be delusional. * * * * * * * If you’re interested in seers and mystics, what might be driving them, and whether they can be trusted, I recommend Fr. Benedict Groeschel’s Spiritual Passages. * * * * * * * I really dig Fr. Pacwa. Whenever I hear intellectual snobs bash EWTN for its “anti-intellectual” content, I wonder if they listen to Pacwa. Granted, Pacwa is answering ordinary laymen … Read the rest


From the Notebooks

Common, overlapping, theme: “The Importance of Doing Nothing” (Forbes), provides empirical evidence for the anecdotal evidence Albert Jay Nock laid out in “Snoring as a Fine Art,” which brushed up against the philosophy underlying Joseph Pieper’s Leisure, the Basis of Culture. And all of it, at one level or another, reminds of this summarizing honorific by Chesterton: “the most precious, the most-consoling, the most pure and holy, the noble habit of doing nothing at all.”… Read the rest


peggy noonan

Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal has written possibly the most important op-ed of the election season. It’s a must-read. America is So in Play. I read it last night and proceeded to dream about it (literally). America is fed up and Trump is saying the things no one was willing to say.

The passage I found most fascinating is posted below. All these years, I thought I was somewhat unique, bringing my GKC “Hudge and Gudge” loathing and combining it with von Misesian libertarianism to produce another Catholic crank voice. It turns out I’m not different and, in fact, am probably mainstream.

On the subject of elites, I spoke to Scott Miller, co-founder of the Sawyer Miller political-consulting firm, who is now a corporate consultant. He worked on the Ross Perot campaign in 1992 and knows something about outside challenges. He views the key political fact of our time as this: “Over 80% of the American people, across the board, believe an elite group of political incumbents, plus big business, big media, big banks, big unions and big special interests—the whole Washington political class—have rigged the system for the wealthy and connected.” It is “a remarkable moment,” he said. More than half of the American people believe “something has changed, our democracy is not like it used to be, people feel they no longer have a voice.”

Mr. Miller added: “People who work for a living are thinking this thing is broken, and that economic inequality is the result of the elite rigging the system for themselves. We’re seeing something big.”

A further twist I’d add to Noonan’s analysis: The RNC and … Read the rest

Get Your Loan On

My eldest son, Alex, is now a mortgage banker with Quicken Loans. If you know of someone looking to buy a house and they want to use a nice young Catholic man to help with the financing, try Alex. Even if you’re just mildly interested and merely want information, give him a call.

He’s licensed to lend in Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan, Illinois, and Tennessee. He will also be licensed shortly in California and Louisiana.

And also: He speaks Spanish.
1-800-226-6308 x. 50205

quiken loansRead the rest



That’s the good thing about booze: You drink when you’re happy and you drink when you’re sad. You drink when you have plenty of money, you drink when you don’t have enough money to do anything else.

And you drink when the market is up, and you drink when the market is down:

“You definitely have spikes when the market does something interesting,” says Peter Poulakakos, whose company, HPH, owns the Dead Rabbit and other prominent New York watering holes, including Harry’s, Pier A Harbor House and Ulysses’ Folk House.

Which is not to say that sustained bad market news is good news for the bar business. While the liquor industry itself has long been considered recession proof — in 2008 and 2009, booze brands actually saw sales growth of 1.7% and 1.4%, respectively, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the U. S. — bars aren’t as insulated from downward economic trends. From 2007 to 2009, bar revenue dropped 10% to $17.9 billion, according to industry researcher IBISWorld.

The phrase, “bars aren’t as insulated from downward economic trends,” correlates with my expectations. When money is tight, people continue to drink, but they won’t do it at the bar. Between the mark-up and the tip, it gets awfully expensive, and as Frank Rich at Modern Drunkard Magazine has pointed out, if you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to drink at the bar. … Read the rest



Epstein on jokes about Jewish wives:

“Jewish wives have been the target of enough jokes to warrant establishing a special branch of the Anti-Defamation League. What does a Jewish wife make for dinner? Answer: Reservations. ‘A thief stole my wife’s purse with all her credit cards,’ Rodney Dangerfield (born Jacob Rodney Cohen) used to remark, ‘but I’m not going after him. He’s spending less than she does.’ . . .

“Ira Silverberg, walking up the stairs of a nearby bordello, discovers his father coming down the stairs, and, in dismay, asks him what he is doing there. ‘For three dollars,’ his father says, ‘why should I bother your mother?'”… Read the rest


KerouacRomanticable Me

Friday evening, I sat on the front porch, enjoying a nice late summer evening and some drinks. I was streaming Pandora from my iPhone into my (splendid) bluetooth Sony wireless speaker. The channel: 70s Lite Rock Radio.

I was really digging it, which was no surprise. It’s long been one of my favorite Pandora stations. But on Friday, I was vodka-waxing over it, trying to figure out why I was digging this music so much.

My conclusion: I’m the Kerouac type. A guy with a “romantic” or dreamy streak. And that 70s Lite Rock Radio station brings memories of my youthful romanticism to the surface.

I started high school in 1980, so I first heard those 1970s lite rock artists–James Taylor, the Carpenters, Bread–when I was just a little kid, before I could cruise around town and hang out with the cool kids at high school. I remember, with reasonable clarity, how cool I thought the high schoolers were and how it would’ve been great if I could drive and hang with them. It seemed exciting, like something cool was always happening.

Such, of course, are the idealized notions of a youngster who doesn’t realize that high school kids are just kids, with their own problems and angst and boredom.

But still, that’s how I thought high schoolers in the 1970s lived.

And when I heard those songs (and I heard a lot of them, my clock radio always on and frequently listening to my older brothers’ albums), I knew those were the songs the high school kids were listening to while they were out living the high life in my little … Read the rest