Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fyodor Dostoevsky the "Most Harrowing..."

"Harrowing". It is why we need him, he shakes and tears up our shallow ground...

"[Former Princeton critic Joseph] Frank says: "It is this union of uncommon social sensitivity with agonized religious probings that gives his work its properly tragic character and its unique place in the history of the novel." "The Brothers Karamazov" certainly belongs on the same shelf as the Book of Job and "The Oresteia," "King Lear" and "Paradise Lost." Such works are fundamentally psycho machias— representations of battles within the soul, titanic struggles between good and evil, with human salvation and redemption hanging in the balance.

After all, when you read Dostoevsky, you know that he isn't writing for the sake of social advancement, intellectual vanity or even material gain (though he always needed money, often desperately). He is writing because the Lord has touched his tongue with a blazing coal, and he must go forth and bear witness. His detractors, like Vladimir Nabokov, maintain that Dostoevsky is vulgar, sentimental and melodramatic. In fact, he makes most other writers seem precious, fussy and minor. Here, says Dostoevsky, is the human heart, racked by suffering and pain, lost in the wilderness of this fallen world, hungry for God. Until we rest in Him, our lives are simply ordeals, feverish nightmares, torment....Read it all

--->Speaking of Harrowing: Cardinal Manning: Christ And Antichrist. It was the 19th century, an eventful century in Church history. "They were face to face with an anti-Christian horde, which the King of Italy disowned. Some ten thousand men of all parts of Italy, and of many other countries, armed and organised, without authority of public law, and in direct violation of the same, invaded the States of the Church. They made a private war in the name of the Red Revolution. This horde was led by the man who in 1848 stained Rome with innocent blood, and the other day demanded the overthrow of the Christian religion as essential to the welfare of the world. They were on their way to Rome to dethrone, not the Pontiff only, but Jesus Christ...

--->Hegel and the Idolatry of the State...(click) "We must ... worship the State as the manifestation of the Divine on Earth." ---From G.W.F. Hegel, Philosophy of Law in Jacob Loewenberg (ed.), Hegel: Selections (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1929), pp. 443-444, 447.

--->Benedict XVI on Permanent Relevance of the Spanish Mystics...

Now the Neocons

--->New York Daily News, 2010: White House dreamers Rahm Emanuel, Mayor Bloomberg and Sarah Palin thrive in age of Barack Obama..."The smart guys, and there is nobody around smarter than Emanuel, understand this has become Attention-Deficit America now, our society flattening out faster than it ever has in history, voters unable to distinguish between message and messengers in the age of Twitter and the Internet and the demagoguery, left and right, of cable TV. You think Rahm Emanuel doesn't think he can be President someday? Think again. You think Michael Bloomberg doesn't see a way to the White House for him in 2012 with the country this dizzy? Think again....

--->Imagine the Makeover: Mayor Bloomberg's Nanny State Agenda Could Become America's...

--->The Climb Revisited. Counterpunch: How Rahm Emanuel Has Rigged a Pro-War Congress...

--->NRA Worried about Rahm Emanuel's Chicago Mayoral Bid As "Terrorism" Definition Expands? Revisited: Bloomberg and Emanuel took on the NRA in name of terrorism at Election Time... "Michael Bloomberg's coalition against illegal guns placed a full-page ad in the Washington Post urging lawmakers to prevent suspects on a federally maintained "terror watch list" from being allowed to purchase guns..."We got to make this a number one issue, as a test vote, and take it into the election." He added, "If it's between that terrorist list and the NRA, I know where America is going to be every time..."

See NRA's response to the Nanny mayor: "He's not after illegal guns," Cunningham continued. "He's after...(click)"

[Consider: Every woman ever raped and / murdered in NYC very probably wished in those last horrible moments she had a gun to at least give herself a chance---and I speak as a near pacifist.]

--->In sharp reversal, U.S. agrees to rebuke Israel in Security Council. "The U.S. informed Arab governments Tuesday that it will support a U.N. Security Council statement reaffirming that the 15-nation body "does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity," a move aimed at avoiding the prospect of having to veto a stronger Palestinian resolution calling the settlements illegal..."

--->Iranian warships' plan to use Suez Canal 'cancelled'...; but then again, maybe not...

--->Opinion: Swedish Welfare State Collapses as Immigrants Wage War..."It is interesting to note that these Muslim immigrants state quite openly that they are involved in a 'war,' and see participation in crime and harassment of the native population as such..."

--->A fourth historic building in Miami Beach’s Collins Park went up in flames Wednesday - heightening alarm that the blazes are the work of arson... "Just a few hours after Miami Beach officials called a press conference to address fires that charred three historic buildings in less than a week, fire trucks rushed to the scene of another blaze Wednesday evening at 1817 James Ave. "If I were Miami Beach, I’d call the National Guard,” said Ray Breslin, a Collins Park resident and activist"...

--->Vatican cardinal: Adopted children need both a father and a mother...

"Man and woman are "two different expressions of human nature. Their difference has a specifically complementary character. Man and woman are spiritually ordered toward each other and a much closer communion and ultimate love is between a man and woman engenders a unique I-thou intense longing for union and blissful enchantment with the spouse." --- Dietrich von Hildebrand writing in "Man and Woman" (click)."

--->USA Today: 'Kill Switch' Internet bill alarms privacy experts...(click) Note: Of course when in the name of "security" Mubarak in Egypt killed the Internet even more people took to the streets. I imagine many millions would do the same and march on Washington as in days of old in the event of such ill-advised measures.

--->FBI: 100 Percent Chance of WMD Attack. "The probability that the U.S. will be hit with a weapons of mass destruction attack at some point is 100 percent, Dr. Vahid Majidi, the FBI’s assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, tells Newsmax..." (click)

Note: 100%? That strikes me as a reckless prediction. If we are serious, would it not be wiser to spend taxpayer dollars striving to make peace around the world, than spending it in preparation for blowback? Is it not endless wars and foreign occupations which are the true threats to our national security? Isn't it time we reevaluate the way we deal with the rest of the world? The popes have said "If you wish for peace, strive for justice". Vote peace and justice candidates who will reconfigure our foreign policy, for the love of God, not the Neocons who are bringing the world to disaster.

See Chalmers Johnson on The Blowback Syndrome...

"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them".--Eph. 5:11

--->From Canada and the US to Greece and Other Nations, Globalized Chicken Coup. Canadian Study Finds Superbugs in Two-thirds Samples of Retail Poultry. "...bacteria resistant to at least one antibiotic, raising new concerns about the pervasive use of antimicrobials in food animal feed..."This is the most worrisome study I've seen of its kind," Rick Smith, head of Environmental Defense, a consumer advocacy group told CBC Canada. "Drug-resistant bacteria in food won't diminish until we reduce the amount of drugs that food animals receive while they are raised." ...More

71 year old Ray McGovern--->House passes a three-month extension of parts of Patriot Act, 279-143, President Obama is expected to sign it. Move only postpones debate on the issue, which has created unusual political allies..."There's going to be a tension between those who want to put some very modest checks and balances in the law and those who might use this as an opportunity to seek more spying authority," said Michelle Richardson, legal counsel at the ACLU..."

--->As Hillary Talks About Tolerating Free Expression in Egypt, Police in Front of Her Brutalize Ray McGovern, peace activist who spent 27 years in the CIA and who delivered presidential daily briefs, for Turning His Back... (See video here...)

We need to appeal to the residual moral sense of our representatives, not demonize them.

--->Non sequitur: Giving Pregnant Women’s Relatives Legal Defense in Killing to Protect Unborn Baby Could Mean ‘License to Kill’ Abortionists, Planned Parenthood Says. "A proposed change to [South Dakota's] "Justifiable Homicide Law," one that would condone murder [murder?] if someone was trying to save the life of an unborn child. Pro-choice advocates say the way this proposal reads, it could make killing abortion doctors legal. But the bill's primary sponsor tells me that is not what he intended at all. He says this is needed for cases of domestic violence where a man may beat up a pregnant woman and kill her unborn child. The way the bill reads, it would be justified for someone to kill another person in the defense of an unborn child"... (emphasis mine)

--->The art of good writing...

--->"Sharing is a Trap". Privacy? Going, going...We are becoming the "WikiLeakers of our own lives..." (click) [What a line!]

Speed reading: I know a speed-reading trick which I have seldom used in my life, but it works quite remarkably. I learned it in the old days of radio reporting when on deadline. But should I share it? I don't want to teach young people bad habits. Well, Ok, but only if you promise never to make it a substitute for serious reading. Here goes: Read the first paragraph of, say, any newspaper account (don't try this with novels, it won't work), and then only the first line of each subsequent paragraph. The first line of paragraphs in most reports is generally the whole point, the rest is usually filler (though obviously the filler can sometimes be critical, so use the method only in a crunch). That will be ten dollars, please.

--->Self-medicating? "The biggest boozers are mostly found in Europe and in the former Soviet states..."

Fulfilled? "If the world should apostatize from Christianity, it then may be that God would scourge it by the fulfillment of its heart's desire... Truths perverted are the worst of lies"---Cardinal Henry Edward Manning, 1867


  1. Balderdash. You're a writer and a half. Your writing on a subject that didn't exactly enthrall me, enthralled me, drew me in, gave me a little more hope in mankind. If that's not good writing, then I must be a rutabaga. One writes down a thought fully, then one goes in to take out the unnecessary. Then one goes in to take out the unnecessary. Then one goes in to take out the unnecessary. I don't do any of those 3, but a writer does. The art of good writing is writing until the writing's good. I'll be pretty disappointed if your book-writing is at an end.

  2. Heck, gyp, whatta ya trying to do, make me soften to ya after all these years? It's almost working. Thank you. But honestly, I wasn't fishing for a compliment, the Lord knows. I know bad writing when I see it; and when it comes from me as often as it does I cringe twice over, nay thrice ---x two. But then I console myself, because it's only a blog after all. At least the thoughts and information some might find helpful.

    It's not false humility, because I am happy with the novella's. Those stories are close to my heart and I'd like to think the grandchildren one day when they get older... Here at the blog it's mostly about pointing to information that might console and assist, especially assisr---I'd like to think young people especially. God knows they get little enough spiritual food from the culture.

  3. PS --- Should I write rewrite that comment? :-)