Month: September 2018



Whew, I’m back off the wagon. The temperatures have plunged, and so has my dehydration level. I threw back a healthy number of drinks last night, and I feel pretty bad this morning, but it’s a fitting hangover: I’m not on death’s door, and an energy drink and 600 mg of ibuprofen ought to put me straight. Give thanks.

A paean to one of my favorite places on earth, Cedar Point. The place is great. I might make it a subject in tomorrow’s podcast.

“Here, on a small, pretty peninsula on the edge of Lake Erie, a group of free people has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into building a spaghetti junction of vast, glittering, noisy machines, the sole purpose of which is to fling human bodies in every conceivable direction. And they have done so of their own volition. No dreary central planner or cocksure busybody would ever have consented to such a thing, and no orchestrated economy could ever have hosted it. This is a triumph of imagination, of rebellion, and of evolution — a joyful illustration of what eccentrics do when left alone. Only by trial and error could this niche have been found; only by happy accident could it have grown to such proportions. I had two destinations on my trip: Cedar Point and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Is anybody surprised that neither is located in Moscow?”

I’m kind of ashamed of it, but it didn’t dawn on me until I read this article that the new liberalism (the one that juggernauted into public life after 2008) is simply totalitarianism. “I don’t use the “T”-word lightly. I’ve spent years pushing back against those who fling it about in free societies like ours. But totalitarianism doesn’t require cartoonish, 1984-style secret police … Read the rest


Brews You Can Use

I tuned in for about three minutes of the Kavanaugh testimony. It was hard to watch, but at least I got to see one Senator inquire in his youthful drinking exploits. That was enough for me to conclude it was all pomp and circusness. There were apparently many more questions about him drinking, whether he had ever blacked out, etc. One article I read (which has since been revised) said he admitted to drinking a lot “as a child.” I got a chuckle out of that.

Grand Rapids’ neat Art Prize competition is going on right now. It’s a competition of pop art, where artists from around the world compete for some pretty big monetary prizes. I have a seminar in GR next Friday, so I’ll get to check it out. I’m going to look for this piece of drinking art.

I’m a pretty big fan of Meijer. Yes, it’s a little more expensive than Walmart, but I don’t feel like I need to check myself for bed bugs when I leave the store. Plus, they’re now delivering alcohol, at least in Ohio: “Meijer announced that customers in Ohio can now have beer and wine delivered right to their door as part of its home delivery service.” Link. … Read the rest


Circus Day

C-SPan starts coverage at 9:45. I’m ashamed to admit, I wish I could watch . . . and I might end up streaming it from my computer at work for a little while. This is nothing but soap opera dressed up as politics. Or to draw from Russell Kirk, it’s something for the uneducated dressed up as something for the quarter-educated.

Yesterday’s allegations against Kavanaugh, incidentally, are more serious, but weird: “I attended parties where it appears girls were getting gang raped, and I saw him in one of those lines.” I honestly don’t know what to make of such an allegation, except to point out that time does funny things to a person’s memory, as does fevered ideology. That’s such an amorphous claim from so long ago, I wouldn’t be surprised if she actually believes it at some level. (“Well, those parties occurred . . . in that geographic area . . . and he probably ran around with some of those guys I saw in line . . . I think he probably was in one of those lines . . .”).

Another accuser says Kavanaugh whipped it out at a Yale party. Given the decadence that I hear Ivy League colleges were in the 1980s, I believe it’s possible, but again, it was so long ago, I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if she’s just conflating a bunch of episodes and putting Kavanaugh’s, ahem, face on them. Back in the early 1980s, I knew a fun guy who would get drunk at a party, wobble exaggeratedly up to a few girls and slur, “You gals ever see a one-eared elephant?” He’d then pull out one pant pocket and start tugging at his belt buckle. The girls would screech and look away, and he’d just laugh. He … Read the rest


And More Rambling

Wow, Der Spiegel is even turning on Pope Francis. Vatican Cardinal: Pope Francis Is ‘Ice-Cold, Cunning Machiavellian’

According to Der Spiegel, Francis, who started as a “brilliant reformer,” now threatens to squander his legacy because “he often speaks at inopportune moments, yet in important moments remains silent.”

TDE readers might recall that I raised a similar point right after he counseled everyone to consider silence, to wit, “What!? Now he’s counseling silence!?!?:

I, for one, am leaning more and more to the idea that this is a bad man . . . cloaked in the Papacy and therefore free from heresy . . . but a bad man nonetheless.

That’s not remotely my final conclusion, I hasten to add, but more and more signs point to the idea that we have a bad man in the Chair. That, or a terribly cunning, massive, and malicious defamation campaign is being waged against him. There are a few other possibilities (maybe he’s simply not terribly bright?), but I think those are the two leading explanations.

I don’t think these words, incidentally, violate St. John Bosco’s three pillars of Catholicism: the Eucharist, Mary, the Pope. I realize my words are disrespectful, but I intend them for the man, not the office. It’s no different than leveling criticism at the incestuous Alexander VI, who was a terribly wicked man . . . but also pope. The only difference here is that we really don’t know what the story with Francis is.

Fr. Matthew Spencer referenced a priest who recently said in a lecture that smart phones are leading people to hell, and that, if you want to be a saint, get rid of your smart phone. He thinks it’s related to the fact that online services and apps want to … Read the rest


misc-rambling-picMore Miscellaneous Rambling

misc-rambling-picI’ve long dabbled in 1960s history, but I’d never even heard of the Celebration of Life rock festival in McCrea, Louisiana, which turned into a festival of death. The gist of it appears to be, promoters were trying to make money at the expense of hippies and didn’t do things right: “[H]ealth department officials found that the site had, at least, toilets for a little less than half the expected numbers . . .”. Link.

It kind of reminds me of Nassim Taleb’s definition of a loser: someone who talks about how stupid the system is, but then fails to exploit it for fun and profit. A lot of Americans were railing against the stupidity of hippies, but didn’t do anything to profit from them. This promoter did.

misc-rambling-picAnother interesting piece: “Death at Delta Sig: Heiress Wages a Million-Dollar War on Frats.” It’s about a rich woman whose son died during a hazing incident. She has spent more than $1 million in private investigators and lawyers, going after the fraternity and university.

I remember a college administrator telling me that hazing would be fine, if the kids would keep it from escalating. He said the problem is, every class escalates the hazing a little bit every year, until the hazing goes from an uncomfortable experience that gives the boys a common bond to a dangerous ordeal. I’m not sure what to think, but I remember seeing it. My hazing experience was more than uncomfortable, but not nearly dangerous. I heard five years later that my fraternity was doing some atrocious things, far worse than anything I experienced.

misc-rambling-picRandom Blurb from the Notebooks: I remember reading about a Hindu convert who made a Hindu pilgrimage to the Cave of Amarnath, a shrine to the Hindu … Read the rest


Miscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereThe newest episode of The Weekly Eudemon is posted. Autumn, The Virgin Eye, Magic, and More. I spent a fair amount of time working on this episode, relearning Audacity to produce it. The content is no better, but the listening aesthetics should be far better. Please Tweet about it, post to Facebook, tell friends and family. I’m ready to start trying to launch it for real.

Ceiling. TrastevereAmen to my Jewish colleague on my left: “Every civil libertarian in the country, liberal, conservative, Republican, Democrat, led by the Civil Libertarian Union should be outraged by this demand. It is so un-American. You’re the accuser. You get on the witness stand. You testify. You make your accusation. You get cross-examined. THEN the accused responds. It turns the entire legal system on its head. It is INSANE to ask an accused person to deny the accusation before he has heard the accusation being made and cross-examined. Sure, the FBI should continue its background check. It should also call everyone else who may have been at this party. All of that is true. But the idea that he goes first? I want to hear from the American Civil Liberties Union. Where are they? This is the most fundamental denial of due process.” Alan Dershowitz.

Ceiling. TrastevereI’m re-commencing the Theology on Tap sesssions this Wednesday. The advertisement: “Sodomy and Beer.” Criminy. I’m part-way through Vigano’s letter as I type this. If anyone see any links between now and Wednesday, please send them to me or post them in the comments below so I can be up to date two nights from now. Thanks.

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Welcome to the first day of fallthe eve of the first day of fall, my favorite time of year. I’m celebrating its arrival tonight. I want to have gin and tonic, but that’s not a fall drink, so I might have Sam Adams’ Octoberfest. I’m still mulling it over.

Wow, talk about being torn: Lourdes University offers a craft beer degree. On the one hand, it’s just another milestone on the road to Idiocracy, further evidence of the dumbing down of America that is turning colleges and universities into laughingstocks. On the other hand, it’s beer. I like beer. I don’t like colleges and universities. So, on balance, I applaud it.

Lourdes University crafted The Full-Bodied Degree program in response to industry needs. The curriculum offers an interdisciplinary approach to the craft beverage industry. Lourdes is the only U.S. university to offer budding microbrewers and vintners the opportunity to master the art, science and business of winemaking, brewing and distilling.

Lourdes is also a Catholic university, so it’s fitting that it offers a degree steeped in the monastic tradition. Obviously, it shouldn’t be a scholarly degree as much as it should be a master-apprentice craft, but what the hey. Pretty much all degrees are jokes these days.

For the man who has everything: The shirt with a beer pocket.

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