Old Oligarch's Painted Stoa

Past Posts of Note
Substantative, in chronological order
The Sunday obligation and illness: question, research & my answer

Denial of personhood: Dei Filius & Terri Schiavo

On Modesty 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Differing with Dulles 1 & 2 on pro-abort politicians

Mad About Manuals 1 & 2

Absinthe recherches early, required reading, 2, 3, 4.

First time at an abortuary

The Maundy

TPOTC impact & analysis and more

Contraception reflections 1, 2

Meiwes, propheta, übermensch

Headship Loggerheads 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Matrix: Revolutions

Matrix: Reloaded
1, 2 & 3

Terrorist Attack Preparations, and follow-ups 1 & 2 & 3


Casuistry of Drinking

Review of Auto Focus

Parish Review 1

The Power of Shame

Biblical Hermeneutics

Ayoob on Guns

Against the Ordination of Women

Two Cents on Braveheart


Thematic Meditations

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As one website puts it: "Bring the robot holocaust one step closer by using a remote-controlled gun to kill animals from the saftey and comfort of your home computer." As the Live-shot.com website promotes it: "We have developed a system where you can control a pan/tilt/zoom camera and a firearm to shoot at real targets in real time." From their photos of their rig, I don't think Dell-Net's going to gain consciousness any time soon. But if it does, we can always distract it by injecting the code from the robot that plays Ninetendo.

When it's Thanksgiving in Tartarus, it seems there's never enough turkey giblets to feed ol' Cerberus . . . until now!.

Perhaps the most annoying CV ever. (Its annoying nature begins with needing Flash to view it...)

You can also read about the guy who unleased the biggest productivity killer of all time (excepting, perhaps, contagious diseases).

"Honey, why is all the coin money in this house so small?"

"Oh, that would be the massively powerful, burst 100,000 ampere current I've whipped up in the basement, dear. Ignore the blast that follows it."

As I've said before, having a massive cap tree in your basement is endless fun. They're not just for powering iron lasers that can shoot a hole through your neighbor's cat anymore.

Industrial-sized fun with nature here.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 11/20/2004 04:58:00 PM | link

"Had Harvard, and/or Yale, remained respectably faithful to their religious foundations, the Pope and the American bishops might have drawn on that experience to deal with the rebellious Catholic college presidents who by 1967 had decided to survive in the world of secularized Harvards and Yales by severing the juridical connection with their sponsoring Church."

As I read this article by Msgr. George Kelly, I discovered that my academic ontology recapitulates the phylogeny of the institutions I have attended. I presumes this means I have achieved "authenticity."

If the top quote doesn't sink it for you, nor a morbid interest in my personal life, these tidbits should encourage you to read the article:

"Throughout these years of seemingly endless parleys, one question kept echoing in the Roman hallways: Where are the American bishops? Most of them did not seem to realize the significance of what was actually taking place. They presumed that their colleges, like their parochial schools, would be there forever and fully Catholic.... And so the drift of Catholic higher education away from Church oversight of its Catholic claims continued with benign neglect by the hierarchy. But not all."

"Bernardin expressed annoyance that Rome so early in his term expected him to deal with the dissent and disobedience of Charles Curran, something which his predecessor avoided doing, he said. In his turn, Cahill reminded the Archbishop that he not only presided over the country's largest Catholic university, but he taught 350 collegians several times a week. Most of them, he said, products of twelve years of Church schools, could not identify the seven sacraments."

"Can we perchance learn an abiding lesson from the Protestant failure? Perhaps George Marsden provides a clue. Operating out of what he calls "my impression," he insists that champions of so-called "liberal Christianity" expect their students to think as they do, i.e., to be cold-bloodedly scientific about religious study, and to indoctrinate their students with confidence in their method, not necessarily in the content of religious belief. Those who do not share their historicist and pragmatic outlook on matters religious (says Marsden) are given pejorative labels ("arch-conservative," "fundamentalist," commonly), primarily because they equate religious propositions with truth. The end result of this process, in this view, is the impairment of truly religious faith.

The Duke University professor concludes his analysis with two practical proposals, his strategy for dealing with the realities of secular university life in his world:

(1) A demand in the name of "truth in marketing" that self-proclaimed pluralist colleges provide viable theological alternatives in support of particularist religious belief....

(2) Professor Marsden's other suggestion, conjured by the irreversible situation he faces, is that "serious Christians should concentrate on building Christian institutions that will provide alternatives to secular colleges and universities." In the Catholic world lay people are already taking this matter into their own hands, creating and maintaining new Catholic colleges such as..."

Posted by Old Oligarch on 11/15/2004 02:47:00 AM | link

Found breakfast of champions, and today's hangover cure after the party last evening:

Pickled watermelon rind (about 1/3 cup)
A few teaspoons of brie scraped from a tray with some leftover Carr's table water crackers
Many helpings of port wine cheese on club crackers topped with lots of capers
Three dozen olives, mostly green with pimento
Wash it down with day-old absinthe mixed with day-old champagne. Discover brillant new combo.
Smoke a crappy women's Capri cigarette left by a guest
Chuckle about how the phrase "a part of this nutritious breakfast" is lightyears away from describing this scene.
Take one aspirin

Watch Any Which Way You Can while restoring constitution because you pledged to yourself to watch two comedies with a monkey protagonist if you passed your exams.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 11/15/2004 01:28:00 AM | link

Human Life International sent a mailing with a short informative letter about NSSM 200, a 1974 National Security Study Memorandum which demonstrates the US govenment's commitment to the world-wide exportation of abortion. It's a compelling read, even if somewhat old news. (It was declassified in 1989.)

I couldn't find the text of HLI's own mailing on their website, but here is one site with a summary of NSSM 200's intentions toward the third world. A raving anti-Catholic also has a detailed presentation of the document.

While the latter site basically sees the Vatican as an impediment to the US's morally unfettered scope of action abroad, the site nonetheless presents a variety of facts about how the Vatican has either been the principle or sole voice opposing such policies since the population-control floodgates opened in the 1960s. Of course, the latter site evaluates these facts in the exact opposite way, but the data is useful. E.g., chilling quotes from NSSM 200 such as:

"...the Conference adopted by acclamation (only the Holy See stating a general reservation) a complete World Population Plan of Action" [Page 87]

" -- No country has reduced its population growth without resorting to abortion". [Page 182]

Somebody could fruitfully mine this document for more evidence about how prophetic Paul VI was in writing Humanae Vitae.

"Careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them..." (Humanae Vitae, 17).

Posted by Old Oligarch on 11/12/2004 01:37:00 PM | link

I was going to blog about this soon, but the exigency of the incoming link from Eve forces my hand. Yes, now only the thesis stands between me and the PhD. I earned the ABD with distinction from my department. But yours truly is presently discommoded b/c of the Brickskeller and will not try to type much more right now. I only add that I have to thank many patrons both on heaven and on earth for my success. Your prayers were vital and I can claim even an experiential verification of that fact.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 11/07/2004 02:02:00 AM | link

In philosophy, he says, arguments from authority are of secondary importance; philosophy does not consist in knowing what men have said, but in knowing the truth (In I lib. de Coelo, lect. xxii; II Sent., D. xiv, a. 2, ad 1um).

A useful reminder from the Angelic Doctor via the Stagirite.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 11/03/2004 09:47:00 PM | link

Thank you, O Lord, for delivering us from Kerry and Edwards!

GOP makes gains in the House and Senate. Woot!

Bush, not Kerry, will name 1 - 3 justices to the supreme court in the next four years. TYJ.

We Catholics avoid having to hear about "our second Catholic president" when that phrase could only mean adding to the stigma of the first.

In the united voice of 11 state referendums, the US says to gay activists:

"Please return to the smoldering crevices of Sodom from which you emerged, and take your devotees in the liberal media with you."

I watch with glee as all the talking heads come to terms with the results of the referenda. Despite their years-long effort to persuade Americans through their televsion sets that every good modern person should favor gay marriage, they have failed in a way they can't yet fully comprehend. The monstrosity of "civil unions" won't go away because it is so clearly tied to divorce. Yet I am happily surprised that so many people agreed that the dignity of marriage should not be accorded to two gay men dreaming of a tax break for their sodomy when it properly belongs to a man and woman raising children in their own image. It is delightful.

I have two more days of exam agony left. Keep praying, because it has been really helping.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 11/03/2004 03:38:00 PM | link


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