Month: January 2017


Miscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereWe made it! The worst month of the year is over. It’s too bad the forecast is worse than anything we experienced in January.

Ceiling. TrastevereNot a bad set of feast days this week: The Eastern Orthodox recognized the Cappadocians yesterday, we recognize St. John Bosco today, then Perpetua and Felicity tomorrow and Blaise on Friday. The fourth decade of the Joyful Mysteries is commemorated on Thursday.

Ceiling. TrastevereI find Gavin McInnes’ stuff uneven. Fortunately, the quality goes from a low of 5 to a high of 10, so it’s never bad. His most-recent at Taki about the ludicrous Women’s March is in the 8-9 range. Excerpt: “What the hell has all this Muslim propaganda got to do with women’s rights? Are they marching for the girl in Pakistan who was recently burned alive by her mother for shaming the family? Are they marching for this new trend of Muslim women in Nigeria using babies as bombs? Did they express concern about Muslim women being banned from looking up while crossing the road? How about the Yazidi girls sold as sex slaves while these women were marching? No, they were marching because they support all women, especially Muslim women, but not those who are pro-life, which is all Muslim women. What a shitshow.”

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misc-rambling-picMiscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereI grealty enjoyed James Martin’s My Life with the Saints, so for years I’ve always kept my eyes out for things he writes. At this point, however, I’m writing him off as an unhinged leftist. I remember being disturbed by his “pro gay” positions when the Obergefell fallout was raging, and now he’s comparing Trump’s temporary ban on Syrian immigrants to the Holocaust. His Tweet: “We shut the door on Syrian refugees on the same day we marked Holocaust Remembrance Day and the March for Life.”

Ceiling. TrastevereMartin loves the leftist approach of watering down the definition of “pro-life,” in hopes of excoriating everyone who doesn’t agree with him on anything. “You’re against Syrian refugees? You’re not pro-life!” “You think sanctuary cities ought to be lose funding even though it’ll hurt the most vulnerable? You’re not pro-life!” “You think welfare gives people an incentive not to work? You’re not pro-life!” “You think soup kitchen bathrooms should be stocked with single ply instead of the softer double ply? You’re not pro-life!”

Ceiling. TrastevereAll those people should be forced to spend time with Hillary’s former OB-GYN (I can’t spell “gynecologist”), who was Arkansas’ leading abortionist and claimed he was “pro-life.” “He waxed religious in searching for words to characterize it. He described his patients as ‘born again,’ even while conceding, ‘I am destroying life.’ He candidly called himself an ‘abortionist’ — a term of derision employed by abortion foes. ‘You don’t understand,’ he reprimanded me. ‘I consider what I do very pro-life. I am saving lives when I do abortions.'” Link.

Ceiling. TrastevereSurely, a Wharton grad and Jesuit-trained priest like Fr. Martin can see the … Read the rest

A Request


I don’t ask TDE readers for many favors. Over the course of fifteen years, I think I’ve asked you to help me on two occasions (excepting, of course, my continuous Amazon kickback campaign).

But I’m asking for your help now: Please email the White House, asking President Trump to give assurances to the peaceful, law-abiding illegal (yes, oxymoron noted . . . and explained below) immigrants in our country. President Trump stated on the campaign trail that they are “terrific people” and something would be “worked out.” I think it’s time he give assurances in this regard. Not only is it right to give these people some peace of mind, but I think it’d also be a great counterpoise to the Wall and refugee orders he issued last week (and it’d confuse the hell out of the leftists).

You can write to him here. You, obviously, can say whatever you want, but here’s a letter you can paste/adapt/whatever:

President Trump:

I applaud your efforts this past week, but at this time, can you give assurances to the peaceful and law-abiding undocumented persons in our country? During your campaign, you properly pointed out that they’re terrific people and something would have to be worked out. I think it’s time you give them assurances. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it might serve as a good balance to the immigration steps you’ve taken this past week.

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Illegal and Law-Abiding

Okay, let me explain my term “law-abiding, illegal” immigrants. It wasn’t a typo or poorly thought out.

Premise: A law that isn’t enforced isn’t a law. Illustration: If a town outlaws gardens but then allows its citizens to have gardens, punishing only those whose gardens exceed 500 square feet, it’s obvious the law really just prohibits large gardens.

The Premise Applied to the Mexican Immigration Situation:

1. For many generations, Mexicans used work visas to cross into the United States and work half the year in the U.S. agricultural industry. After the harvest was finished, they went back to Mexico for six months, then came back here the next year, worked six months, then went back to Mexico. This went on for many, many years, to everyone’s satisfaction.
2. Except the unions’. They didn’t like it. They thought Mexicans were driving down wages or taking away union jobs, so President Clinton eliminated the work visa program, making it criminal for the Mexicans to continue to come here. (He didn’t eliminate the program, but made it far more difficult and costly to comply, thereby effectively eliminating it in large part.)
3. But the United States ag industry (shocker, shocker) kept growing crops and didn’t have workers to do the work, so they told the Mexican workers to sneak over and they’d give them jobs anyway.
4. Once the Mexicans successfully made the perilous trip, they didn’t want to go back to Mexico then re-attempt the trip the following year, so they stayed. (Am I the only person who sat around with his buddies in the mid-1990s, drinking beer, and saying, “Man, where the $*(@! did all … Read the rest

On Genius and Suffering


“I have known no man of genius who had not to pay, in some affliction or defect either physical or spiritual, for what the gods had given him.” Max Beerbohm.

True? I don’t know, but fascinating: Does God only afflict his own? He sends troubles commensurate with what can handle, often making his saints suffer intensely. Does Beerbohm’s observation about genius have theological implications? The genius, too, are God’s elect? Or are the saints simply geniuses? The likes of John Vianney and Joseph Labre would seem to exclude the latter possibility, but then again, if genius transcends secular standards, who’s to say? … Read the rest


London Underground 1890

A friend sent me one of those “old picture” emails. I really enjoy those emails, but I never know if the pictures (much less the descriptions) are real/accurate. The one above is supposedly the London Underground in 1890. I think it’s real, primarily because it kinda looks like the Underground today. … Read the rest



I had a BYCU ready for today, but then I saw this article at Modern Farmer: “Modern Farmer’s Best of 2016: All About Alcohol.”

Booze, hooch, tipple, wobbly pops. There are as many nicknames for alcohol as there are different kinds and ways to prepare it. In 2016 Modern Farmer covered a lot of alcohol-related stories, from the discovery of a 5,000 year-old Chinese beer to the rise of American craft gin to a how-to on growing your own hops. It’s enough to make your head spin (and not from overindulging).

I haven’t had a chance to review the individual stories, but it looks like there’s a lot of good stuff. I’m particularly interested in this story: Gin may be the quintessential British spirit, but small-batch distillers in the United States have begun producing some fantastic bottles worthy of our erstwhile overlords.

When you’re in London, you’re pretty much required to drink beer or gin, just like you’re pretty much required to drink red wine in Rome. Because I can’t drink beer, I drank a lot of gin and was stunned at how much better the London gin drinks tasted. Since then, I’ve been reading occasionally about gins and tonics, learning that Britain is simply better at making both and, even if you can find gins with the same names over here, they’re often not the same product. I’m curious to know what the American entrepreneur is doing to level this playing field. … Read the rest


misc-rambling-picMiscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereSpeaking of ESPN, I’m officially boycotting their sponsors. I figure, what the heck. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’ll much feel the sting, since I don’t buy many of their sponsors’ products, but Captain Morgan will! It’s sold by Diageo, who also sells Smirnoff. Man, when I get this boycott in full swing, they’re gonna feel it . . . and my liver will thank me.

Ceiling. TrastevereMy ideological core recoils in horror, but I have started buying iBonds again. They’re paying 2.76%, the income is tax-deferred, and the federal government guarantees payment. Sure, the federal government can default, but if that happens, we all have more to worry about than the 2.76% interest.

Ceiling. TrastevereAnother public service announcement: Researchers reveal how far the 50 most popular cars in America will REALLY drive on empty – and it could be anywhere between 25 and 114 miles. My minivan isn’t listed, but I’m guessing it can go about forty miles, based on what I’m seeing at that link.

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