Tuesday, May 31, 2022
The analysis revealed 198 GBS cases (20% of 966) occurred within six weeks of the first-dose COVID-19 vaccination in England, equating to 0.618 cases per 100,000 vaccinations. Of these, 176 people had had an AstraZeneca vaccination, 21 Pfizer, and 1 (one) Moderna. Only 23 GBS cases were reported within six weeks of any second vaccine dose.
Monday, May 30, 2022
Sunday, May 29, 2022
So Bill Gates thinks that only views he approves of should be made public. Who made him the arbiter of truth? I used to admire him. Not any more.
Saturday, May 28, 2022
As Fox notes, the annual odds that an American child will die in a mass shooting at school are nearly 10 million to 1, about the odds of being killed by lightning or of dying in an earthquake. Those are also about the same odds that any American will die in a mass public shooting like the recent one in Buffalo. Such numbers, of course, are no consolation to the grieving parents and families in Uvalde and Buffalo, but neither is the frenzy to manipulate these tragedies for ratings and political gain.
My thesis, then, is that classical theism is a type of idealism; it is onto-theological absolute idealism. If everything concrete is created originally and sustained ongoingly ex nihilo by a purely spiritual being, an Absolute Mind, and by purely spiritual activity, then this is better denominated 'idealism' than 'realism.' Is that not obvious?
This brings to mind Exodus 3: 14. When Moses asks God who he shall tell the Israelites sent him, God answers: “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you’” This has always struck me as philosophically centuries ahead of its time, the sort of thing that no one at that time could have made up. (I studied scholastic philosophy and existential phenomenology under a great and wise Jesuit; so I am at least philosophically literate.)
Friday, May 27, 2022
The NSBA wanted to send in a military presence to intimidate parents into submission. The investigation findings brought about a decision by the TASB board of directors to leave the national organization on Monday.
Could one imagine a president of the United States deeming a novel so important that he would spend three days reading it and give his verdict in the presence of ocials in charge of the economy and the army? But in Russia literature is more important than anywhere else. The poet Osip Mandelstam famously remarked that only in Russia are poems important enough for people to be shot for them.
Thursday, May 26, 2022
… I’ll take the Highet road (to playfully echo a famous Scottish song) in my unwavering zeal to keep alive the flame of the first celebrity Classicist, a truly extraordinary teacher and scholar. Beyond his love for teaching and writing, Highet pursued a lifelong passion for learning, which fueled his teaching – a passion one may find in the passage reproduced here, projecting values that still ring true:
Why is it, for example, that 75% of the most recent school shooters, including the 18-year-old in Uvalde, were raised in broken homes without fathers? Indeed, this background is so common among perpetrators that criminologists Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi concluded after the Sandy Hook school shooting that the absence of fathers is one of the “most powerful predictors of crimes.” Boys raised without a fatherly presence are more likely to act impulsively, irrationally, and, yes, violently. They were deprived of the discipline, structure, authoritative role model, and sense of identity that a father is supposed to provide, and they suffered for it.Unfortunately, 75% of black children are born into similar situations , along with 61% of Hispanic children and 39% of white children. But instead of advocating a cultural revival and policies that would encourage it, today’s leftists insist that there’s nothing wrong with eliminating the traditional family structure of a mother and father. In fact, they argue that getting rid of it is a good thing. Just a couple of years ago, Black Lives Matter vowed to “dismantle the patriarchy practice” of appointing men as the heads of homes and “disrupt the Western prescribed nuclear family structure.”
Makes you wonder why they wanted those multimillion dollar homes.
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Taking advantage of our cocktail-party acquaintance, I started sending Angell submissions: not proper short stories, but (supposed) humor pieces. None were accepted, but each time Angell responded sympathetically, with specific and smart comments and suggestions.
“I did not expect everyone to agree with me, but what I did expect is the right to express my own opinions,” Robinson wrote in his Daily Mail editorial. “I had always been taught that the Church of England was a broad church.”
When The New Yorker declined to publish any of Woiwode’s more explicitly Christian novel Poppa John, citing it would require a “shift in New Yorker policy,” Woiwode had an acid observation: “the magazine could not appear to condone a serious expression of Christianity.”
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Monday, May 23, 2022
… the liberal editorial board blasted the Catholic leader for "punishing" Pelosi, instead of "right-wing politicians" who "[vote] against health care or funding for the poor."
Abortion is considered by the Catholic Church to be murder, a violation of the fifth commandment. There is no Catholic doctrine regarding the politics of heath care, though Catholic Charities has been praised for giving a greater percentage of what it collects to those in need than any other charity. The archbishop is obligated to deny communion to anyone who lobbies for something in opposition to Catholic doctrine. It is called scandal. I doubt if the Pope will give a damn what the Examiner has to say on the matter. Obviously, the religion of the editors of the Examiner is politics. Pathetic. Plenty of people do not agree with the Church about abortion. That is their right. They just can’t consider themselves Catholic.
“12 years of Catholic school, altar boy, family deeply involved in our church, and never saw anyone banned from receiving communion," Scuitto said. "This is a deep fissure in the church — and a position Pope Francis himself doesn’t support."
I suspect he didn’t do all that well in religion class. Is he still practicing the faith? Seems like he could sure in hell use some. I had four years of theology at a Jesuit college
I see that Whoopi Goldberg has weighed in on this, telling the Archbishop “this not your job, dude.’ Sorry Whoopi, that is his job.
… There have been dozens of biographies of Keats and about as many critical introductions as you would care to read, but Miller’s Keats is different in a couple of useful ways. The nine chapters are keyed to the poems, which are roughly sequential, starting with “Chapman’s Homer” in 1816 and ending with “Bright star!” composed in 1820. The volume ends with a short note on Keats’s epitaph on his gravestone in Rome, where he died in 1821. Each poem is quoted in full at the beginning of the chapter, followed by Miller’s biographical and contextual commentary.
I feel obligated to point out that Chaucer wrote in Middle English, not Old English, which was Anglo-Saxon.
In his essay, “Can Poetry Matter?” (1991), Gioia rankled many vested interests when he called attention to the ill-formed poetry produced in reams by America’s academic establishment. “Seeing so much mediocre verse not only published but praised, slogging through so many dull anthologies and small magazines, most readers … now assume,” he wrote, “that no significant new poetry is being written. This public skepticism represents the final isolation of verse as an art form in contemporary society.” Yet in “Autumn Inaugural,” he relents and treats his refractory critics to a lesson in song. He practices what he preaches. If they will not concede the points he makes in his essay, they might at least listen to his music, a music replete with form’s enrapturing alchemy.
The first two lines of “The Road” are slightly misquoted. They should read:
He noticed then that no one chose the way—
All seemed to drift by some collective will.
Sunday, May 22, 2022
Saturday, May 21, 2022
… Wittgenstein’s thought steadily undermines middle-class individualism. We are not isolated beings sealed within our own private, incommunicable experience. On the contrary, the way in which I come to know you is pretty much the way in which I come to know myself. How can I know that what I am feeling is jealousy unless I have been reared within a language which contains the concept? And language is nobody’s private property. Behind this distaste for the cult of the individual one can feel the disdain of aristocratic Vienna for the stout burgher.
This sounds a little, since Wittgenstein sounds like quite an individualist himself.
tells us that EFA “stands against oppression, racism, and the exploitation of humans, non-humans, and the land.” Art itself goes unmentioned but “art practices” that agitate for “accountability, reform, equity, justice, and abolition” are grant-worthy. EFA commits to training young adult social justice warriors to organize against “mass incarceration and the police state.” Naturally, EFA means in the U.S., not countries like Myanmar, Cuba, or China.
My lady friends — and I have a few — regard me as male. I go along with them. But bear in mind my friend Katherine and I had power for a gay couple. So we’re obviously not homophobic. Just ordinary people.
But as word of the original letter spread people were outraged. By the end of October, the NSBA had apologized for “some of the language” in the letter. But the apology was too little, too late. Within days five state school board associations had withdrawn from the NSBA. By December the number of state associations leaving the national organization reached seventeen. That represented about 40% of the NSBA’s annual dues. By January the number had climbed to 19 and the Washington Post reported the NSBA was on the verge of a total collapse
Friday, May 20, 2022
… Book Review: 'The Dumbest Generation Grows Up' Explains Higher Education Failures | National Review.My favorite chapter in the book is the one on “the psychological novel.” Using an Orson Wells film, novels by Graham Green and Sherwood Anderson, and other resources, Bauerlein explains in powerful and illuminating ways how cultural treasures at once deepen the soul and shatter utopian illusions. It’s a rich and fascinating way of understanding the link between literature and politics, and well worth your time.
Eliot wasn’t trying to dismiss Marx so much as draw a connection between Shakespeare and Groucho, Siegel argues; in his imperfect way, the poet was offering Marx “subtle homage to his intellect.” Their encounter has the feel of a tragic Modernist fable about the impossibility of communication; two radically different men—one an iconoclast, the other an elitist—both geniuses in their respective domains, forever blown about on the winds of their own insecurity and anger.
Thursday, May 19, 2022
Here’s where, in my best curmudgeonly style, I say that Aubrey’s time (or, more broadly, the long aftermath of the Reformation) is not so different from our own. Of course, human nature being a constant, no time or culture can be entirely alien to any other, but perhaps there are special parallels between England in the seventeenth century and life in the Anglophone West today.
He is so acute an observer of social trends that he sometimes appears almost prophetic: He foresaw the terrorist attack in Bali and the advent of the gilets jaunes in France. He has long held that the threat of Islamism to the West comes not so much from Islamism itself, with its nugatory intellectual resources, but from the weakness, the doubts, the cowardice, and the venality of Western society’s response, itself the result of the spiritual vacuity from which the West suffers and which he describes so well, without—of course—offering a solution (it is not the place of novelists to be constructive, except in the sense that criticism is the first stage of taking thought for the morrow).
I will be reading this as soon as the English translation is available. I think Houellebecq is the great contemporary novelist. I may just reread some of his books or get one I haven’t read.
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Mere days after a racist and anti-Semitic teenager shot up a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., members of the notorious “Squad” have introduced a blatantly anti-Semitic resolution calling on the federal government to describe Israel’s founding with the Palestinian term “Nakba,” which means “catastrophe.”
I often think of the opening of Genesis, with the Creator shaping a universe out of nothing. Then streams of molecular light bounding about, then the forms beginning to take shape, but only as word connects to word and line to line. And always, the effort to make it new, to move on to the next step in the journey.
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
rwell had gotten his essential currency of beliefs and valuations from traditional English culture, whose nineteenth-century and subsequent capitalist-imperialist developments he documented, despised, and critiqued with great eloquence in his novels and expository prose works. The culture he loved was represented by writers such as Shakespeare, Swift, Dickens, and Chesterton, not by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, or Stalin—or even by H. G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw. In 1936, when he tried to get a letter of recommendation to fight in Spain from Harry Pollitt, the leader of Great Britain's Communist Party, he was turned down. In Spain he fought the fascists (and was badly wounded) but was horrified by the communist purges of fellow Spanish Republicans, including the party of anarchists in whose ranks he was serving. Orwell’s documentary account of his experience in Homage to Catalonia was not initially popular, but Trilling’s 1952 introduction to an American edition did much to make Orwell’s modern reputation, and not only in America.
Still in the body, the great gift.
Body Gestalt, Chi exercises, narcissism.
We are headed towards a horizon
on which there will be a light
that is not the light of the sun.
No museum will house the artifacts.
What did they think they were doing,
when they played their games of power?
Monday, May 16, 2022
Sunday, May 15, 2022
John Gross, theater critic and from 1974 to 1981 editor of , has compiled a wonderfully rich compendium. Nobody reads an anthology; that’s not what it’s for. It is a book for the bedside table. It is a definition and illustration of its subject. The s (, , presumably, in time, of everything under the sun—one on is in the works) are medieval (or Victorian) in their enterprise: a diligent editor’s selection (“anthology” means in Greek a bouquet, or garland, of flowers) of what many writers have most sharply said about a topic. would not greatly surprise me, though it might indicate that they are getting near the bottom of the barrel
Orwell was suspicious of pleasure and especially of ease. The pivotal decision of his life was to decline the scholarship to Oxford that would have gained him admission to England’s elite in favor of an especially unpromising post as a colonial police officer in Burma. The choices he made after that—to live a tramp’s life, “down and out” on the streets of Paris and London; to fight for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War; and ultimately to turn against his former comrades on the Stalinist left—all seem like a coda to the first.
Saturday, May 14, 2022
Friday, May 13, 2022
Thursday, May 12, 2022
J.R.R. Tolkien and G.K. Chesterton, two great champions of the modern fantasy genre, understood literary creation, and art in general, as somehow expressing God’s creativity in the world. Alison Milbank has written the book exploring the work of these towering figures. In this interview, we delve into how beautiful art, and specifically great works of fiction, can kindle in us a sense for the mystery of beauty, until the whole world resembles a grand work of art
While the Soviet Union presented a single, state-enforced tribe, our COVID-era tribes are largely dispersed. Even though certain views of the disease received a state imprimatur through the CDC recommendations, there were many contesting views of the virus from the beginning. Everyone instantly became a scientific expert by deciding which set of scientific authorities were the only true scientists. When the scientists at the CDC and the scientists who signed the Great Barrington declarationdisagreed, everyone knew which group was the real scientists and which group was people just engaged in political theater. Suddenly, everyone had scientific expertise on biology and mathematical models of infectious diseases and thus knew which set of scientists were right. It was only the other side that was denying the science.
During the nineteen-tens and twenties, Millay achieved the kind of fame that was unusual for a poet then and unthinkable now. Before the age of the movie star, she became America’s first starlet. Her books of poems sold out their print runs. She wrote feverishly, working on short stories, plays, a libretto, a novel. She was photographed and interviewed; she was invited to lecture; she won the Pulitzer Prize and became rich. When she published the sonnet sequence “Fatal Interview” (1931), which was inspired by an affair with the much younger poet George Dillon, it sold fifty thousand copies, Great Depression be damned.
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
How can we connect with bygone poets and make their words resonate today? In his debut collection My Hollywood as well as in his Russian translations, Boris Drayluk explores this question and succeeds. Through an interplay of ever-present loss, happenstance, and humor, the work is a meeting place between artists past and present; between a real person and other real people he admires. “I’ve always known that one can’t dwell in the past,” Drayluk writes. “But that doesn’t stop me from dwelling on it. It does hold lessons for us, cautionary tales. And it holds its treasures – among them verbal objects that seem as alive to me as anything uttered this very minute, perhaps more so.” Another key to his practice is form: not only does it add integrity to the work, he tells us, but through structure we can find surprise.