Posts tagged ‘G.K. Chesterton’

Merry Christmas!


The 24th Annual Christmas Concert for Charity

That child lying in the manger in our Christmas crèches, then, the Word who will one day speak to us in our own human words, is a singular occasion for love and joy, as are all human children, and touches our hearts with a truth and tenderness that doesn’t grow stale from one Christmas to the next.

The Word was partly hidden, for the moment, however, probably because it would otherwise engulf us with such enormous light and sound in our current state that it would have rendered us even more deaf, more blind to the really real than we usually are.


Angels We have Heard on High

It’s right that we get the warm fuzzies and are comforted at this time of year because we get it almost nowhere else, at any other time. And given what we do to one another and ourselves the rest of the time, we need comforting. Still, that comfort is a pale reflection of what awaits those blessed to someday see its source. There will be many things not so comforting in the meantime, not least the great challenges of the Word, which is why the angels are constantly telling everyone – Mary, Joseph, the shepherds – “Be not afraid!”

Words and the Word


The Holly and the Ivy

[In a live radio broadcast from England to America on Christmas Day, 1931, G.K.] Chesterton pointed out that there is no substitute for Christmas. No new religion has made a new festival anything like it. No new philosophy has been popular enough to make a popular holiday. The pleasure-seekers with their nightclub life are not happy people. Chesterton says it is unfair to call them Pagans. It is unfair to the Pagans.

“The Pagan gods and poets of the past were never so cheap or tenth-rate as the fast sets and smart people of the present. Venus was never so vulgar as what they now call Sex Appeal. Cupid was never so coarse and common as a modern realistic novel. The old Pagans were imaginative and creative; they made things and built things. Somehow that habit went out of the world… The modern Pagans are merely atheists; who worship nothing and therefore create nothing. They could not, for instance, even make a substitute for Thanksgiving Day. For half of them are pessimists who say they have nothing to be thankful for; and the other half are atheists who have nobody to thank.”

. . .

Even though “centuries of misunderstanding” grew between the birth of Christ and the modern world, Charles Dickens captured the “that mysterious revelation that brought joy upon the earth,” and he handed on this tradition “in an uncongenial time, by an instinct that was almost inspiration. He knew enough about it to enjoy it; and to enjoy himself; and now, in the name of all such things, let us all go and do the same.”

G.K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens, and the Joy of Christmas


The King’s Singers – Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Christmas 2016

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Men of action!

These men were men of action; they were hustlers; they were full of vim and pep and snap and zip. In other words, they were deaf and blind and partly mad, and rather like American millionaires. And because they were men of action, and men of the moment, all that they did has vanished from the earth like a vapour; and nothing remains out of all that period but the little pictures and the little gardens made by the pottering little monks.

The New Dark Ages, by G.K. Chesterton

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Dogmas

In truth there are only two kinds of people; those who accept dogmas and know it, and those who accept dogmas and don’t know it. My only advantage over the gifted novelist [Arnold Bennett] lies in my belonging to the former class.

G.K. Chesterton

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President Asterisk Expands the Imperial Presidency

It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.

G.K. Chesterton

Benghazi, IRS, AP, Fast and Furious, NSA, Obamacare.

Mockery and truculence are called for to properly honor the Moral Preener in Chief.

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This beautiful, wonderful world

“Because of this evening, I have learned, my dear, that in this beautiful world of ours, all things are possible.”
Gabriel Axel, quoting a line from Babette’s Feast, a movie he directed


“What a wonderful world,” sung by Louis Armstrong

“We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.”
G.K. Chesterton

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Obama Knows *He* is the Smartest Guy in the Room

Because he’s been told that most of his life and now he listens to his own bullshit without interruption. And lots-o-rubes bought it. Twice.
You just can’t fix stupid.

If you’ve gone to graduate or law school, you know the type. Very special little hothouse flowers.

It’s sad, yes, but America probably hasn’t fully grasped the terrifying truth about President Barack Obama’s upcoming State of the Union speech.

After this one, he has two more to go.

Two more? Ye gods!

The prospect of listening to him blah blah blah his way through three more of these annual speeches is enough to cause the nation to curl up on the floor in the fetal position and start breathing from a brown paper bag. The man is talking the country to death, and we can’t take anymore.

The State of the Union is: We need Hillary now

We have a gangster government, a fascist thugocracy:

Never in the history of this country have we seen such a broad and coordinated abuse of the government’s power to threaten criminal prosecution and ruin the lives and livelihoods of people the president and his party see as political “enemies.” None of the victims above did anything that even smelled like a criminal act act (except, perhaps, D’Souza) before the state came crashing down with the inevitable and purposeful result of ruining their lives. Their only “offense” was publicly opposing the president’s agenda, and putting those dissenters through the goverment’s paces was the whole point.

The Unceasing Political Thuggery of Obama’s Gangster Government

From Biff Spackle, “A Warning Straight Out of 1850” at Doug Ross @ Journal

Biff Spackle Illustrates Bastiat's The Law, from 1850

And Chuck Schumer, the voice of the little man and courtier of plutocrats, is the second smartest guy in the room:

Schumer argued at the Center for American Progress on Thursday that the Tea Party is built on a foundation of deception: “Wealthy, hard Right, selfish, narrow” elites have fooled regular Tea Partiers into hating government. Schumer’s premise is that Big Government is the friend of the regular guy, and only the selfish wealthy elites benefit from more economic freedom.

It seems relevant, then, that Schumer — a dedicated liberal — is the most important congressional Democrat when it comes to fundraising. Schumer headed the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 2006 and 2008 elections.
. . .
Schumer, to fund his own elections, taps deep into the plutocracy he condemns. In the 2010 election, Schumer ran basically unopposed. Still he was the No. 1 Senate recipient of money from the insurance industry, private equity, hedge funds, Wall Street, real estate, the cable industry, and hospitals. Schumer was No. 3 in money from lobbyists, Hollywood, and mortgage bankers.

Schumer’s Senate office seems to have its own revolving door that exits straight onto K Street. He is tied for third place, in all of Congress, for having the most staffers in the Center for Responsive Politics’ revolving door database. Only Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., beat him on the revolving door scoreboard.

And Schumer knows how to profit from this revolving door action. In January 2007, when his party took charge of the Senate, he gathered some of America’s wealthiest hedge-fund managers in a Manhattan restaurant and told them, in effect, start lobbying and giving money to politicians.

A few months later, Schumer’s top banking staffer, Carmencita Whonder left for the K Street firm Brownstein Hyatt, which immediately picked up a handful of hedge fund and private equity clients. Whonder also became a volunteer fundraiser for Schumer, while other hedge fund millionaires raised money for Schumer’s DSCC.

Chuck Schumer: Voice of the little man, courtier of plutocrats

As G.K. Chesterton said, “It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.”

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Quote of the Century and A Powerful Ad

Quote of the century:

It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.

G.K. Chesterton

A powerful ad

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Why Christians Make Great Libertarians

Lord Acton is generally acknowledged to be the first Catholic libertarian.

In 1932, the Christian apologist G.K. Chesterton expressed concern that many people were according the government with a trust and reverence that ought to be reserved only for God. Chesterton’s admonition was not only prophetic, but rooted in the deepest mainspring of Christianity’s past; he was echoing words spoken by the prophet Samuel nearly two thousand years ago.
. . .
A well-established body of Christian scripture and tradition rejects the rule of limited human beings in favor of God’s majesty. In the words of F.A. Hayek, “Individualism, in contrast to socialism and all other forms of totalitarianism, is based on the respect of Christianity for the individual man.” Christians are, for the reasons I’ll explore here, especially predisposed to becoming passionate libertarians – and libertarians would do well do bear this in mind in their outreach.

Why Christians Make Great Libertarians

Worship of the state is statolatry, and it is idolatry, the worship of a false idol. Statists are idol worshipers who desire mastery and domination over other people.

Piers Morgan is not a libertarian, and he is not a Catholic – he is a Protestant. Penn Jillette is a libertarian and has a much better grasp of Catholicism than nominal “Catholic” Morgan. And most Catholic libertarians are big fans of Penn.

But radical libertarians do not assume that humans are wired only to be selfish, nor do they reject cooperation. The opposite is the case. In fact, one of those radical libertarians — me — just this summer published a book arguing that (see if this sounds familiar) “cooperation is the height of human evolution.”
. . .
The idea that the libertarian tendency is identical to the sophomoric cult of egotism found in Ayn Rand novels is more than outdated — it was never true in the first place. Miss Rand’s fiction is part of the libertarian intellectual universe, to be sure, but so are Henry David Thoreau and Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson and Jesus. Citing as examples of libertarian extremism Ted Cruz, the Koch brothers, Grover Norquist, and Rand Paul, [Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu] argue: “It assumes that societies are efficient mechanisms requiring no rules or enforcers, when, in fact, they are fragile ecosystems prone to collapse and easily overwhelmed by free-riders.” Of course societies are complex — that is one reason why you want multiple, competing centers of power and influence rather than a single overgrown Leviathan blundering around your fragile ecosystem. As for the claim of “no rules or enforcers,” I have spent a fair amount of time around Senators Cruz and Paul, have debated Mr. Norquist, and have observed the elusive Koch in its natural habitat, and I have not yet heard one of them make the case for anarchism, which is what is meant by “no rules or enforcers.” Senator Cruz, like most of those with a Tea Party orientation, is intellectually devoted to the Constitution, which is many things but is not a covenant of anarchy. Senator Paul is an admirer of Grover Cleveland. Mr. Norquist believes that our taxes should be reduced. Anarchy should be made of more disorderly stuff.

Capitalism Is Cooperation

Libertarianism is a very big tent, big enough for Andrew Napolitano, Penn Jillette, Ron Paul, Kevin Williamson, and millions of other people. You may be a libertarian and not realize it; see these:

See, “Ask a Libertarian 2012

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Speech Codes and Unlearning Liberty

Contempt breeds unfamiliarity.
G.K. Chesterton

Unlearning Liberty

FIRE defines a “speech code” as any university regulation or policy that prohibits expression that would be protected by the First Amendment in society at large. Any policy—such as a harassment policy, a student conduct code, or a posting policy—can be a speech code if it prohibits protected speech or expression.

What Are Speech Codes?

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