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

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At the Senate hearing the legislature's staff attorney said that in typical jurisprudence, past laws are not repealed by a bill unless explicitly stated in the bill.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]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 17, 08:41:

Would anyone here be willing to significantly reduce military spending in order to maintain (or even reduce) the deficit for more tax cuts? If not, then this demonstrates that military spending is an ideological commitment of most American conservatives, I don't know what caricature of conservatives you hang around with, but I know plenty of conservatives who would decrease spending on military in a heartbeat if you could convince them that this would not jeopardize national security. Especially conserva ... [More]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Latias on Apr 16, 22:20:

Given that I am not a Democrat or Republican, I could ask this question without having to assume any ideological position myself and being liable to partisan criticism. Would anyone here be willing to significantly reduce military spending in order to maintain (or even reduce) the deficit for more tax cuts? If not, then this demonstrates that military spending is an ideological commitment of most American conservatives, leaving aside that the military-industrial complex is a major part of the economy in so ... [More]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 16, 18:37:

But it is important to keep an eye on the ball and note that deficits are no longer expanding, they are contracting. The country's fiscal position is improving -- faster, in all likelihood, than the position of most American households. Deficits are contracting means, in reality, that we are no longer going into debt at the same rate that we used to be going into debt. But the amount of debt keeps increasing. Much of that debt is to foreign nations. Somewhere, that has to stop. Not: "it should stop". ... [More]

CO Democrats try to lock the door

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 16, 16:23:

The bill itself is, to put it mildly, legally weird. Its actual probable effect if passed occupies a grey zone of legal conjecture. My thought is that I never yet knew a pro-abort lawmaker or lawyer who didn't have a purpose in what they did. They think they can use this for evil, or they wouldn't be trying to pass it. And all the conjectures as to how it could be used are bad news. So good for Archbishop Aquila. May we prevail against this thing. ... [More]

CO Democrats try to lock the door

Comment posted by Paul Cella Sr on Apr 16, 15:15:

Lydia, Archbishop Samuel Aquila of the Archdiocese of Denver has been outspoken about his fear that this will pass, both houses and the Governor are Democrats. The danger of passage is very real. Yesterday Archbishop Aquila led hundreds of people in prayer for defeat of the bill on the steps of the capitol. Immediately afterwards at the scheduled hearing, the Democratic majority postponed the hearing because one of their number was sick and they have only a one vote majority. ... [More]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Dunsany on Apr 16, 13:22:

I actually have some sympathy for fiscal conservatism, but I think you are living in a dream world if you think that we are going to make sustained and permanent spending cuts. People like Medicare, Social Security, and having a strong military. Those three areas of spending are the primary drivers of federal debt, and substantially cutting them is politically impossible. So you are going to have to choose between higher taxes or larger deficits. You might think it would be better to cut spending and taxes, ... [More]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Sage McLaughlin on Apr 16, 12:48:

Lydia, what's really hilarious is to watch their reaction to any proposal that would bring spending back into line with what it was in, say, 2007. "Draconian," "cut to the bone," etc., are the words that you'll hear. ... [More]

CO Democrats try to lock the door

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 16, 12:45:

One could actually argue that the case for implicit repeal of earlier laws makes *more legal sense* than the case that this would place any objective restraint upon future legislatures. Implicit repeal, as Titus points out, is a known legislative concept and fits with the idea that the present legislature is enacting something *here and now*, whereas the present legislature's ability to restrain future legislatures from enacting laws is legally highly questionable in terms of a clause present in the state's ... [More]

CO Democrats try to lock the door

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 16, 10:09:

Then there's the retroactive issue. CO has a parental notification law on the books. Now, suppose that this "law" were to pass, and subsequently some minor girl is unable to get an abortion because of the parental notification statute. Her parents are notified and stop her from getting an abortion. Then the girl, helped by Planned Parenthood, brings suit in state court arguing that the parental notification statute should not have been applied to her because she was seeking an abortion subsequent to the pas ... [More]

CO Democrats try to lock the door

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 16, 10:04:

when a subsequent legislature attempts to introduce a bill "prohibited" by this statute, the statute won't actually stand in the way. Insofar as laws and legal structures have objective meaning, I agree completely. Insofar as laws and legal structures have turned into a giant set of bluffs and head-games, I'm not so sure. Which is presumably why the bad guys are trying to pass it. ... [More]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Apr 16, 08:56:

Jeff, I fear the ambiguities of the term tend to aid liberals most of all. That said, I do decidedly insist that tax hikes be classified as austerity policy; precisely because their very design is to extract more revenue out of the private sector -- a more austere climate for business by definition. As you know, it is not uncommon for Republicans to compromise on taxes (thus allowing Democrats to raise them) in exchange for budget cuts -- distant promised cuts concentrated in the "out years," which (conven ... [More]

CO Democrats try to lock the door

Comment posted by Titus on Apr 16, 08:49:

How does that constitutionality question work at the state level? Would such laws be unconstitutional according to the federal constitution because of the clause in the federal constitution about "guaranteeing a republican form of government"? That seems to be your implication. I don't know that anyone's ever litigated this under the republican-form-of-government clause, and I doubt the federal courts would be able to apply that clause if you put them in a paper bag with its proper interpretation. It would ... [More]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 16, 08:47:

Yes, I think Jeff is right to mention the ambiguity on the term "austerity." It is the liberals who want to act as though they just _have_ to spend what they are spending and the only way to cut taxes is to go further in the red. They act like cutting spending to match tax cuts is literally impossible, is beyond the realm of thought. I know it's a slightly far-out comparison, but the way a liberal talks with contemplating tax cuts is much like the way a pro-abortionist talks when contemplating a woman's not ... [More]

CO Democrats try to lock the door

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 16, 08:40:

Strategically, though, do they not know what they're doing? When they use the courts to lock the doors, of course they know what they are doing very well. And it works extremely well for them. What about this kind of thing? Would it work to their advantage if passed? I agree that it's going to feel legally less binding to a later legislature than some court opinion that such-and-such a law is unconstitutional. But would it in fact make later good legislation significantly less likely? I think myself that i ... [More]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Jeffrey S. on Apr 16, 08:29:

Paul, You just mentioned one of my hobby horses: "This austerity needs to stop." Well, it all depends on just what you mean by austerity!!! If you mean, like the liberals, that government balance sheets must be in the black -- then I agree. But if we instead agree that tax rates are too high as well as spending, then we are talking about a different kind of austerity -- one that gleefully looks at what government does and says 'this is too much', takes out the scissors and starts cutting -- in a sustain ... [More]

CO Democrats try to lock the door

Comment posted by Sage McLaughlin on Apr 16, 07:50:

It's just bad legislating, and to that extent it certainly shows that whoever actually put the bill together doesn't know what the heck they are doing. Yes, and in fact it's part of a peculiar pattern you may have noticed on the Left, which is constant attempts to enact what amounts to constitutional amendments--through the courts, through regulation, and even through ordinary legislative action, as here--without ever actually amending the constitution. In short, it's an attempt to outlaw ordinary politi ... [More]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Apr 16, 07:45:

All good points, Tony. It is the moral problem of a government (and a whole people) who thinks printing explicitly empty new money to lend to foreigners is an actual solution rather than a temporary band-aid that necessarily carries a bill to pay later. I agree that it is a moral problem. I agree that expansive deficit spending cannot go on indefinitely. I most emphatically agree that financial assets, whether currency, securities, swaps, options, whatever, all rest on this social capital you speak of. B ... [More]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 16, 05:24:

I am aware of the validity of the data he is using, and I agree that the additional period feeds into the same trend. I have no problem with intentionally printing new money, or, to put it more precisely, intentionally printing money at a a rate that exceeds the rate at which dollars are physically lost, damaged, and otherwise no longer available in the economy. If you are going to have a paper currency that actually works for an economy, you have to plan to print money that stands for the new wealth crea ... [More]

Fiscally Insane

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Apr 15, 22:53:

I don't have time examine it carefully, but I believe his arguments would be largely confirmed by the addition of the last eighteen months to his graphs. Inflation is still, over half a decade later, a lesser concern than deflation. The deficit is down, in part due to the New Years budget deal, which broadly raised taxes, in part due to the more stable economy, and in part due to the maturation of investments the Treasury made in financial firms. Binder is right that a want of aggregate demand makes hyperi ... [More]

Philosophy of time post

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 15, 22:00:

Which is precisely where the view you are espousing differs from presentism. I didn't think presentism implied that the Now is causal to the reality being, I thought it only implied a necessary condition. Necessary conditions can be causal or consequent to the thing, can't they? ... [More]

Philosophy of time post

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 15, 20:06:

The Now doesn't lend reality to the thing. One might say, it is not "because we are standing at the Now that the ball IS real," Which is precisely where the view you are espousing differs from presentism. So, yes, the Now cannot be dimensionless in presentism. This problem really is not acute for other theories in the way that it is for presentism. ... [More]

Philosophy of time post

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 15, 19:59:

Depending on how tight your accuracy needs to be, that limit might be reached at an astonishingly low number. Right. Or the opposite, a quite high number. Sample size needed to provide SUFFICIENT conclusiveness is a function of (a) population, (b) confidence level required, and (c) confidence interval that is tolerated. That's clear. Sample size as a function of population alone is not a linear function: If you graph required sample size as a function of population and hold the other 2 constant, the c ... [More]