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Liberal openness

There’s something admirable in a liberal outlook that maintains interest in new ideas and sympathy with other ways of life. It shows an awareness that the world is bigger than what we think about the world, which is all to the good. It’s not an outlook that can be turned into a final standard, though, since it would lose all definition and become useless. Any answer it gave would have to include the proviso that every other available answer is most likely at least as good, or at least there’s no reason to think otherwise.

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I’ve been reading Plutarch

I’ve been reading Plutarch lately, in the Dryden translation. 10 years ago he bored me, now I think he’s wonderful.

He’s a cultivated and broadminded moralist who knows men and affairs. Already that sounds dull, I’m afraid. I don’t think people read him much today although Harry Truman liked him.

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Why care about copyright

Why care about copyright anyway? It’s a dry topic, but in a world of mass media and computers it’s an absolutely fundamental issue.

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There’s something odd about

There’s something odd about intellectual property. Rules are necessary to prevent conflict in the case of tangible property but not intellectual property. So unlike other kinds of property, which would be found in almost any society, patent and copyright are visibly things we made up. The phrasing of the U.S. Constitution reflects the situation: Congress is empowered “[t]o promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries”.

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A “professional liturgist” is

A “professional liturgist” is somewhere between a “professional writer of love letters” and a “professional composer of sacred scripture.” There’s no such thing, and if someone claims to be one it demonstrates he has no idea what he’s talking about.

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I went to a

I went to a Latin mass here in Brooklyn today, so far as I know the only one celebrated in the borough. I liked it very much, and will continue to attend.

One reason is that the traditional mass is not specially about the priest or the congregation, it’s about God, the saints, the church everywhere and always, and only then about those particular people who happen to be present and would like to be part of the picture.

The priest’s role is entirely formal. From the standpoint of someone who until recently attended a church in a thoroughly corrupt Episcopal diocese that just had two insane rectors in a row, that’s a huge benefit. In the traditional mass it becomes unimportant who the priest or the bishop or your fellow worshippers are—the visible participants and what they do is the least important part of what’s going on. I can’t help but think that approach stands up better than the current notion of liturgy as mainly a communal celebration.

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Why the obfuscation?

An oddity of the coverage of the current sex scandals in the Catholic Church is the persistent use of the term “pedophilia” for homosexual predation that involves adolescents and young men rather than children.

Another is the mantra that homosexuals are no more likely to be pedophiles than heterosexuals. If that’s so why is there no North American Man-Girl Love Association? A footnoted study by the National Association for a Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) covers what I think are the basic points:

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Now that I have

Now that I have a blog, I decided to look around and see what was out there. It’s not a random collection of views. So far as I can tell, most of the prominent blogs (vpostrel.com, andrewsullivan.com, The Instapundit) are libertarian or at least have sympathies in that direction—fiscally conservative, less government regulation, socially liberal.

Why is that? I suppose in part it’s the general tendency of net political discussions toward libertarianism. On the internet people who like technology and the idea of spontaneous order have always led the way. Also, libertarianism has a wonderful way of giving provocative and very clear answers instantly to almost any question. A traditionalist or even Marxist instapundit is almost unimaginable. The web is a setting in which stimulating brightly colored fragments that can be taken in immediately without reference to context are at a premium. Hence what we see.

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An oddity of the

An oddity of the coverage of the current sex scandals in the Catholic Church is the persistent use of the term “pedophilia” for homosexual predation that involves adolescents and young men rather than children.

Another is the mantra that homosexuals are no more likely to be pedophiles than heterosexuals. If that’s so why is there no North American Man-Girl Love Association? There’s a footnoted study by NARTH that covers what I think are the basic points:

Gay advocates correctly state that most child molesters are heterosexual males. But this is a misleading statement. In proportion to their numbers (about 1 out of 36 men), homosexual males are more likely to engage in sex with minors: in fact, they appear to be three times more likely than straight men to engage in adult-child sexual relations (footnote). And this does not take into account the cases of homosexual child abuse which are unreported. NARTH’s Executive Director Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, for example, says that about one-third of his 400 adult homosexual clients said they had experienced some form of homosexual abuse before the age of consent, but only two of those cases had been reported.

While no more than 2% of male adults are homosexual, some studies indicate that approximately 35% of pedophiles are homosexual (footnote). Further, since homosexual pedophiles victimize far more children than do heterosexual pedophiles (footnote), it is estimated that approximately 80% of pedophilic victims are boys who have been molested by adult males (footnote).

So it appears once again that media sympathies, pressure groups and political correctness are uniting to keep the obvious off the public stage.

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Off to the races!

Off to the races!

A problem with being a right-winger is that we’re constantly being drenched in what we reject. The media and experts are always with us, and on the whole they’re on the left. They like centralized rational solutions—the media want to tell a story that applies to everything and has a punchline, and experts like arrangements that make expertise important. It’s hard to see what will change that.

So we right-wingers are always having to edit, supplement and reformat the things we’re presented with. That of course is healthy mental exercise, but one man can’t do it all. So whatever any of us can do, it seems to me he should share.

Hence this weblog. Every day I’ll be adding comments on passing events, links worth pursuing, grand speculations—whatever seems interesting. The exposure should at least keep me on my toes, and if anyone finds something of interest that will be all to the good.

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