What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Recent Comments

Choice Devours Itself: Belgian doctors give themselves permission to murder [Updated]

Comment posted by CJ on Apr 23, 08:38:

The Turkish Prime Minister has said that democracy is like a bus: you get off once it takes you where you want to go. It's clear that leftists feel the same way about choice. It's useless to point out their hypocrisy to them, because the principle never held their allegiance in the first place. They will hand-wave this away just as they did Gosnell's horrors. ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by MarcAnthony on Apr 22, 22:29:

He had the title of Ring-bearer as well, but freely gave it up. I thought this once too...but not quite, actually! When it comes time for him to give the Ring back to Frodo, Sam hesitates and tells him that it might be a good idea for them to share the burden. Frodo actually snatches the Ring from Sam unwillingly. Obviously Sam thought his intentions pure, but it just goes to show exactly how powerful the Ring's influence was at that point. Bilbo, by story's end, remains the only Ring-Bearer to give up t ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 22, 22:05:

"...Frodo of the nine fingers and the Ring of Doom..." ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by Sage McLaughlin on Apr 22, 21:43:

Well, he did lose his finger... ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 22, 18:34:

Sage, I agree that we shouldn't try to put an allegorical model on LotR, given TOlkien's distaste for allegory. And I wasn't attempting to draw that sort of parallel with Frodo, sorry if I gave that impression. I don't see Frodo's failure of will at the Cracks of Doom as any more problematic than Peter's failure of will in his denial of Christ in that most important hour. Well, not any more problematic, but not less, either. There is a tradition (or maybe pious myth) that Peter had tear tracks driven in ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by Sage McLaughlin on Apr 22, 12:44:

Oh, one other thought: If we want to look to a character who demonstrates a non-fatalistic, or non-deterministic, conception of grace, we can always look to Samwise. He had the title of Ring-bearer as well, but freely gave it up. But we can't look to that for ultimate or final vanquishing of evil. ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by Sage McLaughlin on Apr 22, 12:37:

I don't see Frodo's failure of will at the Cracks of Doom as any more problematic than Peter's failure of will in his denial of Christ in that most important hour. In both cases, the role of Providence is made more clear and poignant. And in both cases, Providence turns the marring of good things (Roman law & the Levitical priesthood on one hand and Smeagol on the other) into sources of salvation at the precise moment when all appears lost. The Eagles also were a sign of Providence, and it's notable that ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 22, 05:57:

I see Gollum as an instrument of grace too - just grace of a different sort. And explanatorily for the story this comes about because of the mercy shown him. We agree on that part. What do you make of Frodo's comment after the Scouring of the Shire that they went out to save the Shire and indeed the Shire was saved, but it wasn't saved "for" everyone, like him? ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by MarcAnthony on Apr 21, 23:19:

Hmmmm, I'm looking at it differently then, Tony. I look at Gollum as the instrument of grace in this case, made even more symbolically relevant because the mere fact that he exists at this point of the tale is because of the mercy showed to him by people like Bilbo and Frodo and Gandalf. We say that Frodo failed, and in a major way this is true, but God simply did not let his actions be in vain. Perhaps this can be looked at as a particularly Catholic "through works and not by faith alone" interpretation ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 21, 07:17:

Fixed the blockquote. MA, I can certainly see that Tolkien is concerned with the necessity of grace. We CANNOT do it on our own, and you are right that the Old Testament is a picture of that truth writ large. What I doubt is that this makes sense of the way Frodo's choice is depicted. None of us can do it. We're all going to fail in the end. On our own, we are all going to fail. But we are not all on our own. We have grace that lifts us - lifts us not only extrinsically by allowing us to reach the ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by MarcAnthony on Apr 21, 03:07:

Sorry, up until right after the bolded part should be blockquoted. ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by MarcAnthony on Apr 21, 02:54:

An interesting note from Tolkien himself: I think that an effect of [Gollum's] partial regeneration by love would have been a clearer vision when he claimed the Ring. He would have perceived the evil of Sauron, and suddenly realized that he could not use the Ring and had not the strength or stature to keep it in Sauron’s despite: the only way to keep it and hurt Sauron was to destroy it and himself together — and in a flash he may have seen that this would also be the greatest service to Frodo. Frodo in t ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by MarcAnthony on Apr 21, 02:42:

I think what we see at the Crack of Doom is Tolkien's ultimate understanding of grace. Frodo was mortal. He was a creature. He literally could not do it. Frodo, though a hobbit, was really like all humans. None of us can do it. We're all going to fail in the end. UNLESS... Unless... We, perhaps, love our enemies, treat the weak with compassion, and understand that in the grand scheme of things our role is ultimately slight, and creatures like Gollum are a part of God's creation as well. Yes, Frodo fail ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 20, 23:42:

And, very importantly, the mercy he repeatedly showed to Gollum. That's quite true, the mercy shown earlier is critical. From Gandalf's foreshadowing of Gollum's role to Frodo's mercy to Sam's reaction to Gollum, this is a very important role. I have, in the last few years, been troubled by Tolkien's portrayal of what appears to be Frodo's moral failure in the last moment of his trial, as if Tolkien were suggesting that grace cannot not "make good" by fixing the defect in the will, but rather (at leas ... [More]

CO Democrats try to lock the door

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 20, 22:21:

As Titus pointed out, it is legally unconstitutional under all state constitutions for a mere law, enacted by a present legislature, to prohibit future laws enacted by later legislatures. The state constitutions vest the power to make legislation in the current legislature. These Democrats pretending that they can "prohibit" later changes (in a direction they don't like) to existing policies are playing a giant constitutional game of bluff. As I said above, what it would be, then, is chiefly a *psychologica ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by MarcAnthony on Apr 20, 21:41:

It's also interesting that alone of all the heroes in the story, Frodo actually fails, his quest being achieved only by Providence and the friendship of Samwise Gamgee. And, very importantly, the mercy he repeatedly showed to Gollum. Indeed, in a way Sam jeopardized the whole quest by treating Gollum the way he did. I believe Tolkien said that if Sam has treated Gollum well he still would have bitten off the ring, but instead of trying to steal it for himself he would have cast himself into the fire willin ... [More]

CO Democrats try to lock the door

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 20, 21:31:

However, upon questioning he affirmed that any changes to existing laws or policies would be forbidden -- a significant hindrance to update policies to deal with new situations. KJJ, I am not sure what that means. Does it mean that, for example, the existing law that limits teen abortions by requiring consent of a parent "cannot be changed", or that THIS law would forbid further amendments to itself so that future situations could not unseat this law's main thrust? Or something else? The first seems unl ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by Sage McLaughlin on Apr 20, 17:38:

Tony, I thought it was a really bracing work. It's He is Risen (1896), by Arthur Hughes. I wish very much I had a print of it for my house. Thank you for that explication, too. It's made for interesting discussion here. :) As for Tolkien, there's also Gandalf's passage into the black tomb of Moria, during which he descends into the abyss, does battle with the Balrog, and arises again in the second act, transfigured and clothed in white. It's interesting that he does not settle on one "Christ figure," ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 20, 12:41:

Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen! Thus the empty tomb is not only a Fact of history, but a mythical Sign of the door left open to us which, if we but follow Christ, will lead us out from this present darkness to light and life eternal. Not since the flight of the Israelites from Egypt was so great a hope given such sweet and simple sustenance. I had before never noticed quite so distinctly the descent of the Israelites into the bed of the Red Sea as a type of the tomb. Certainly the "redness" of the ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 20, 12:28:

Thank you, Sage, for an excellent Easter meditation. He is risen indeed! ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by Latias on Apr 20, 12:25:

Don't touch me! Noli me tangere ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by Jeffrey S. on Apr 20, 11:50:

Thanks so much for this Sage and a belated thanks to Lydia for her powerful Good Friday post. I'm lucky to have such wonderful colleagues. God bless you all and Happy Easter! ... [More]

CO Democrats try to lock the door

Comment posted by KJJ on Apr 20, 03:11:

At the Senate hearing the legislature's staff attorney said that in typical jurisprudence, past laws are not repealed by a bill unless explicitly stated in the bill. However, upon questioning he affirmed that any changes to existing laws or policies would be forbidden -- a significant hindrance to update policies to deal with new situations. Other witnesses made the point that the existence of the law could scare local governments, school boards, etc. into changing their policies for fear of lawsuits, even ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Apr 20, 02:47:

He is Risen! Happy Easter, Sage (and all our friends here). ... [More]

Easter, 2014

Comment posted by Beth Impson on Apr 19, 23:07:

Thanks for such a lovely Easter meditation, Sage. A glorious Easter to all! ... [More]

Suffocated by Diversity: A Review of “Against Inclusiveness” by James Kalb

Comment posted by Carl on Apr 19, 00:40:

Like Robert Bork's "Slouching Toward Gomorrah" (1996), this book is a highly polarizing jeremiad against modern liberalism. Sometime author James Kalb hits the mark, especially against the Great God of Diversity and Inclusion. All too often, however, he sounds like a weirdly dyspeptic and despotic nanny wagging his finger against any and all expressions of individuality. As Kalb's reactionary traditionalist Catholic sensibility would have it, self-expression constitutes a revolt against God. Speak for ... [More]

Good Friday, 2014

Comment posted by Latias on Apr 19, 00:04:

Thank you Lydia... Before Mass, I was very distracted doing stuff such as reading comments at Lion of the Blogosphere. I do feel much more saturnine, somber, and meditative now. There is no separation between the great truths of the Gospel and the prosaic truths of history, between the massive miracle of Jesus risen and the all-too-human, bureaucratic hand-washing of a harassed Roman official two thousand years ago. I certainly did appreciate the perspective of the accusations of Jesus' trial both presen ... [More]

Good Friday, 2014

Comment posted by Lauran on Apr 18, 23:56:

The picture of Christ hadn't finished loading, yet I just knew this post was yours, Lydia. Thank you and Happy Easter. ... [More]

Good Friday, 2014

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 18, 20:41:

Well done, Lydia. Thanks for bringing these to light for us. I wish my meditations for today were more recollected, but I will have to settle for scattered instead. ... [More]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 18, 20:34:

I don't know if there is any meaning behind those numbers It doesn't matter whether the predicted event is starting even now, or is off in the future. The problem is that the event is unavoidable without a major change in behavior. ... [More]

Code words: Comfort care

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 18, 16:17:

I agree. And good for you for having asked the right questions. I believe that the system corrupts everyone in it. This is a reason why I am not sure how or if one could advise a Christian young person considering entering the medical profession. ... [More]

Code words: Comfort care

Comment posted by Zippy on Apr 18, 14:53:

You have to ask the right questions, and bluntly, or you will be led down the garden path to execution by "comfort care." ... [More]

Code words: Comfort care

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 18, 13:11:

I was communicating with a young Christian nurse recently, a young man, as it happens, and it was interesting to see how his training has made him quite comfortable with giving no nutrition and hydration by tube while at the same time he doesn't want to mislead or confuse the family. I asked him what "palliative care" meant, stating that if I ever had a power of attorney for health care and were offered "palliative care" for the patient, I would want to know the meaning. He _strongly_ encouraged me to ask q ... [More]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Andrew E. on Apr 18, 13:10:

Latias, Compare 2013 to previous three years: 2010: +$456B (over 12 months) 2011: +$426B (over 12 months) 2012: +$386B (over 12 months) Last 12 months (mostly 2013): -$31.2B http://fofoa.blogspot.com/2014/04/yoy-structural-support-now-negative.html Surely you don't think this absurd system where the rest of the world settles trade with US Treasuries is going to continue indefinitely. Russia and China are in the news daily working on various fronts to shepherd in a new economic/geopolitical order. ... [More]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Latias on Apr 18, 12:55:

I don't know if there is any meaning behind those numbers... Japan, China, and Belgium (the EU?) have increased Treasury holdings, and logically since there is a net 1% loss in overall Treasury positions, other countries lost Treasuries. The "all others" account for 30 billion of the 40 billion in the decrease in the net position, thus the listed countries below Japan, China, and Belgium have decreased their Treasury positions. Russia, Switzerland, Singapore, Thailand and diminished their position by 38 bil ... [More]

Code words: Comfort care

Comment posted by Zippy on Apr 18, 12:41:

"Comfort care" unequivocally means "hurry up and die already": euthanasia by dehydration. They tried that routine on an in-law of mine and had the family convinced, until I asked a few questions and got the proposal translated into honest language. This has been standard practice in medicine for decades: to offer to kill loved ones by dehydration in the most conciliatory, ambiguous, this-is-what-all-compassionate-people-do tones. ... [More]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Andrew E. on Apr 18, 10:57:

But they are still taking paper dollars as if that were worth something. Eventually, they won't. Such a change would "portend something". Something rather significant - like the collapse of our standard of living. This is the key in my opinion, foreign central banks choosing to settle trade by storing dollar surpluses in US Treasuries. And according to the TIC data the net Treasury position of foreign official holders has decreased year-over-year for the first time in decades. Has foreign official suppor ... [More]

To whom do we belong?

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 18, 10:45:

Here is the new link to the article by Smith linked in the main post. His archives have been moved to National Review since this post. http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism/324076/call-organ-conscription-begins ... [More]

Good Friday, 2014

Comment posted by Beth Impson on Apr 18, 09:02:

Thanks for this, Lydia. A compelling meditation for Good Friday. A blessed Easter season to all. ... [More]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Dunsany on Apr 17, 12:45:

>'s funny how you can have many elements of the truth in an elaborate theory but still not get major ideas right. Neither China nor India, two of the most important examples in economic development since 1970, brought about their development by "suppressing the wages of domestic workers". Well, that's not quite true. China artificially devalues its currency in order to lower manufacturing costs and keep its exports more competitive. That has the effect of artificially reducing the wages of average workers. ... [More]