Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why Church and State Can't Remain Separate

Politics flows from theology; the two are inseparable.  Try as they might, those who want a religiously neutral politics will not succeed in the end.  Gary North shows why in a short essay

(Thanks to J.A. for the link.)

A Little Less Tech

I do not advocate getting rid of all technology/machines, but those who are less reliant on them do seem to have more joy in their lives, as illustrated in the poem below about tending sheep by Rev William Barnes.  This is more than likely because machines direct our attention no higher than the men who make them and the matter they are made of, while care of animals or farming of any kind tends to direct our attention toward the Creator Who has made and sustains all the living things that are in the world - and Who is also the source of true happiness.


Oh! I be shepherd o' the farm,
Wi' tinklèn bells an' sheep−dog's bark,
An' wi' my crook a−thirt my eärm,
Here I do rove below the lark.

An' I do bide all day among
The bleäten sheep, an' pitch their vwold;
An' when the evenèn sheädes be long,
Do zee em all a−penn'd an' twold.

An' I do zee the friskèn lam's,
Wi' swingèn taïls an' woolly lags,
A−playèn roun' their veedèn dams
An' pullèn o' their milky bags.

An' I bezide a hawthorn tree,
Do' zit upon the zunny down,
While sheädes o' zummer clouds do vlee
Wi' silent flight along the groun'.

An' there, among the many cries
O' sheep an' lambs, my dog do pass
A zultry hour, wi' blinkèn eyes,
An' nose a−stratch'd upon the grass;

But, in a twinklèn, at my word,
He's all awake, an' up, an' gone
Out roun' the sheep lik' any bird,
To do what he's a−zent upon.

An' I do goo to washèn pool,
A−sousèn over head an' ears,
The shaggy sheep, to cleän their wool
An' meäke em ready vor the sheärs.

An' when the shearèn time do come,
Then we do work vrom dawn till dark;
Where zome do shear the sheep, and zome
Do mark their zides wi' meästers mark.

An' when the shearèn's all a−done,
Then we do eat, an' drink, an' zing,
In meäster's kitchen till the tun
Wi' merry sounds do sheäke an' ring.

Oh! I be shepherd o' the farm,
Wi' tinklèn bells an' sheep dog's bark,
An' wi' my crook a−thirt my eärm,
Here I do rove below the lark.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Could the Banking Crisis Mean an Independent South?

Jack Douglas, in a recent essay by him at, thinks it may.  He mentions in this context what is happening in the province of Catalonia in Spain

The richest, industrial province of Catalonia is planning to hold a referendum on secession because the central government is taxing them severely to help faster sinking provinces, pushing Catalonia into ever deeper debts it cannot pay. Roughly 75% of the people in Catalonia tell pollsters they want a referendum on secession. Just yesterday the federal government moved to take more direct control over Catalan education to Hispanicize the people more, which was already a major reason the people want to go free.
and also in some other European countries

The societies that have already been decentralizing and disintegrating faster and faster, such as the .K [sic], will very likely disintegrate into their more tightly, culturally knit local, provincial societies, especially along the ancient lines of earlier nations. The Irish are already free, Wales and Scotland have been growing in power with "devolution" of power from the UK, and now Scotland is becoming more nationalistic. I expect Italy will likely break up in part, at least losing the Northern League nations.
These would indeed be healthy developments, as nations can become too big (like an overweight man, for instance), and one hopes that something good would come of the currency inflation, real estate crash, and other disorders that have resulted from the scheming of the megabanks.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Singular Importance of King Alfred for the South

Few historians will deny that the culture of the United States in general is of British origin.  About the people of the Southern States we may be more specific:  We are largely the Kingdom of Wessex planted in North American soil.  Professor David Hackett Fischer says it plainly enough.  Speaking of the area from whence came the early settlers of Virginia who were to stamp the South with her particular character, Prof Fischer says, ‘It more nearly resembled the ancient historical Wessex of Alfred and Athelred, which with its Mercian protectorate reached east as far as Canterbury, and north beyond Warwick and Northampton’ (Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America, New York, Oxford UP: 1989, p. 241).  And again, ‘Its language and laws were those of the West Saxons [i.e., of Wessex, the short form of West Saxon - W.G.], rather than the Danes who settled East Anglia, or the Norse who colonized the north country, or the Celts who held Cornwall and Wales’ (p. 241).  (For a fuller accounting of the connection between Wessex and the American South, see the chapter entitled ‘The South of England to Virginia’, pgs. 207-418.)

Knowing this, and also remembering that the saints of a particular place pray and act on behalf not only of those who live in that particular place but also of those who have left it for another land, and a spectacular light dawns in the mind, a wonderful and warm and luminous light.  For now we Southrons realise that we have in Heaven a great intercessor before the Lord God, even this:  a patron saint of our Southern nation, the best of English kings, King Alfred the Great - defender of his Christian homeland against pagan invaders; not despairing completely in defeat and humble and generous in victory; enlightener of his people; a lover of beauty in word and craft; begetter of saints; a strong tower for the weak of the realm; great in wisdom; mighty in asceticism.

There is certainly a strong Celtic and African presence in the South, and in some places French and Spanish also.  The saints of these places must be venerated and entreated often as well:  St Michael the Archangel, St Genevieve, St Moses the Black, St Columba, Sts Brigid, Cybi, Ninian, and others besides, together with the saints of North America - those who are physically nearest to us.  Saint John Maximovitch, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, one of these North American saints, taught us to do this by his own holy example: ‘Now that he [St John Maximovitch - W.G.] was an apostle, he called upon each local saint he learned about, each new brother or sister in the Body of Christ, to provide heavenly help in evangelizing new lands’ (Hieromonk Damascene, Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works, 3rd ed., Platina, Ca., St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood: 2010, p. 316).

As has been mentioned in an earlier post, the South has produced no saints of her own that we know of, so the saints of Africa, Wales, etc. - who laboured among our ancestors - are our local saints for now.  As we await the first blossoming of Southern saints, then, let us rejoice in the happy revelation of our close kinship with Wessex, and pray continually to our highly exalted patron saint, King Alfred - devoted intercessor and heavenly protector of the Southland - for our deliverance from all oppression and for all that is good and proper for our souls and bodies.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

They're Not Looking Out for You

If you think either President Obama or Governor Romney have the best interests of the 'little guy' at heart, a quick look at their top contributors will quickly dispel that notion.  It is time we replaced the two-party oligarchy with a better system.

Pres Obama:

University of California $706,931
Microsoft Corp $544,445
Google Inc $526,009
Harvard University $433,860
US Government $389,100
Deloitte LLP $369,401
DLA Piper $367,027
Stanford University $327,942
Kaiser Permanente $315,817
Sidley Austin LLP $312,278
Time Warner $295,030
Columbia University $264,588
Comcast Corp $261,274
University of Chicago $228,925
IBM Corp $218,761
Skadden, Arps et al $214,766
US Dept of State $213,906
Wells Fargo $202,216
National Amusements Inc $197,342
University of Michigan $191,662

Gov Romney:

Goldman Sachs $891,140
Bank of America $668,139
JPMorgan Chase & Co $663,219
Morgan Stanley $649,847
Credit Suisse Group $554,066
Citigroup Inc $418,263
Wells Fargo $414,750
Barclays $403,800
Kirkland & Ellis $393,667
Deloitte LLP $355,390
HIG Capital $338,000
PricewaterhouseCoopers $333,600
Blackstone Group $308,725
UBS AG $308,130
Elliott Management $281,175
Bain Capital $268,470
EMC Corp $257,250
General Electric $214,450
Ernst & Young $213,525
Sullivan & Cromwell $197,150

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Help from a Poet

Andrew Marvell helps deliver us from the ugliness and sterility of the modern world with his poem 'Bermudas':

Where the remote Bermudas ride
In th’ ocean’s bosom unespy’d,
From a small boat, that row’d along,
The list’ning winds receiv’d this song.

         What should we do but sing his praise
That led us through the wat’ry maze
Unto an isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own?
Where he the huge sea-monsters wracks,
That lift the deep upon their backs,
He lands us on a grassy stage,
Safe from the storm’s and prelates’ rage.
He gave us this eternal spring
Which here enamels everything,
And sends the fowls to us in care,
On daily visits through the air.
He hangs in shades the orange bright,
Like golden lamps in a green night;
And does in the pomegranates close
Jewels more rich than Ormus shows.
He makes the figs our mouths to meet
And throws the melons at our feet,
But apples plants of such a price,
No tree could ever bear them twice.
With cedars, chosen by his hand,
From Lebanon, he stores the land,
And makes the hollow seas that roar
Proclaim the ambergris on shore.
He cast (of which we rather boast)
The Gospel’s pearl upon our coast,
And in these rocks for us did frame
A temple, where to sound his name.
Oh let our voice his praise exalt,
Till it arrive at heaven’s vault;
Which thence (perhaps) rebounding, may
Echo beyond the Mexic Bay.

         Thus sung they in the English boat
An holy and a cheerful note,
And all the way, to guide their chime,
With falling oars they kept the time.