The next Pope

Back in 1997, I read a very freaky masterpiece of paranoia and prophecy entitled APOCALYPSO. It was extremely entertaining, combining elements of the prophecies of Nostradamus, St. Malachy, the Bible and astrology. It would have made for a much better novel than the LEFT BEHIND books or THE DAVINCI CODE, and made me think of a religious Umberto Eco writing on acid.

One thing interesting was how it predicted that John Paul II would be followed by a Jewish Pope, namely, Jean-Marie Lustiger, the cardinal and former Archbishop of Paris. The writer viewed this as something intimately related to the end times; one interesting synchronicity that I discovered independently was that a new political leader in a country the writer had identified as being of particular interest, Azerbaijan, had a nickname noted as The Coming Man by the CIA World Fact Book.

Now, I regarded – and regard – this as nothing more than idle speculation. Back in the year 998, many Christians across Italy were terrified that Duke Romantius Crescentius was the Antichrist, and considering that he’d actually chased the Pope from Rome and installed his own creature on the Throne of Peter, they had very good reason to fear him, if not on Biblical grounds. The end is always nigh, and still it has not yet appeared.

But the value of a prophecy is in the accuracy of its predictions. If the conclave names Lustiger, that will be a rather interesting and unexpected turn of events.

Back in the EUSSR

Jay Nordlinger finally discovers that the EU isn’t so wonderful:

Begin with a quick word about the EU — about which I am awakening, at last. Years ago, I would hear my British friends — very bright, very balanced — talk about the EU in the most severe terms. They said it was a kind of Soviet Union in the making, and would lead to a host of ills. Frankly, I thought this talk was a little overblown. I thought it could be interpreted as hysterical. But my friends knew far more than I, and I was given pause.

Now I am something like a believer. As David Pryce-Jones tells us in our current issue — his piece is found here (subscription required) — Vladimir Bukovsky and Pavel Stroilov have put out a pamphlet on the EU. It bears the arresting title EUSSR. I wish to quote from the introduction (and bear in mind that Bukovsky was one of the leading Soviet dissidents, a great, clear-eyed man):

For anyone even remotely familiar with the Soviet system, its similarity with the developing structures of the European Union, with its governing philosophy and “democracy deficit,” its endemic corruption and bureaucratic ineptitude, is striking. For anyone who lived under the Soviet tyranny or its equivalents across the world, it is frightening. Once again we observe with growing horror the emergence of a Leviathan that we had hoped was dead and buried, a monster that destroyed scores of nations, impoverished millions, and devastated several generations before finally collapsing. Is it inevitable? Is the human race bent on self-destruction and doomed to repeat the same mistake time and again until it dies in misery? Or is the EU, indeed, simply a clone of the USSR imposed upon reluctant nations of Europe by the same political forces that created the first one?

Look, if Bukovsky talks this way, who am I to scoff? He may not be right — but anyone who ignored him would be a fool.

Hitler used tanks, the EU used banks. But the end result is the same, fascist rule across Europe. It is a mystery to me why it is considered more desirable that one’s totalitarian rulers be faceless bureaucrats instead of ranting lunatics. At least with the ranting lunatics, they’ll tell you what they’re going to do ahead of time.

Wilkommen aus Amerika

RIP Terri Schiavo.

The Unborn: check
The Disabled: check

Next Up: The Elderly

Maybe she can date her scissors

Mike Adams writes about intellectually mutilated women:

“I am 23 years old, and I am what a feminist looks like. Ever since I learned to embrace my feminist nature, I found great joy in threatening men’s lives, flicking off frat brothers and plotting the patriarchy’s death. I hate men because they are men, because I see them for what they are: misogynistic, sexist, oppressive and absurdly pathetic beings who only serve to pollute and contaminate this world with war, abuse, oppression and rape.”

Other members of the FAL [Feminist Action League] wore scissors around their necks and sang a song about castration.

The amusing thing is that within seven years, this loser will be lamenting the mysterious fact that no man wants to date her despite an education she no doubt considers impressive. And what do you suppose the chances are that she’s even remotely attractive? 1 in 20? 1 in 50?

Feminism is the last resort of the ugly and unpleasant college girl. Their bitterness colors their view of that about which they know nothing. The attractive and personable women, on the other hand, have enough experience of men to know better, even in the midst of their indoctrination by Women’s Studies professors.

The conservative media is the liberal media

Jonah Goldberg writes on NRO:

Maybe it’s the nitrogen bubbles in my brain or the afterglow of reading Bob Samuelson’s column today, but I finally feel willing to float a trial balloon in the Corner which, I admit, has been launched more times than the Goodyear blimp: Increase gas/oil taxes.

Admittedly, current high oil prices have caused pain for some and are probably a drag on the economy in significant respects (the airline industry, for example), but the negative effects certainly don’t track with the predictions of doom and gloom which typically accompany fuel tax proposals. Clinton’s 4.3 cent a gallon tax elicited howls that the economy would go off the rails, for example. Well, now gas prices are much higher than they were in 1996, though still lower — adjusted for inflation — than they were in the early 80s. And, more to the point, the economy seems to have absorbed high gas prices better than most would have predicted.

They really are taking this strong government Republicanism to new heights, aren’t they? Why not just exhume Nixon in 2008 and prop him up in the White House while you’re at it since the current inhabitant appears to be a walking revenant of FDR.

Big Brother Bush

From WND:

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN McCLELLAN: In terms of the issue of the Minutemen that you bring up, again, the president spoke to that issue last week. And it’s one thing if people are working along the border, simply to report suspicious activity, and that activity should be reported to the proper authorities — the Department of Homeland Security officials, who are there to enforce our borders. If people are operating outside of the law, that cannot be tolerated. That’s a different —

WND: Well, that’s my point. That’s what they’re doing — they’re neighborhood crime watch.

McCLELLAN: Hang on. Hang on. That’s a different matter. People cannot take things into their own hands. But if they see suspicious activity, they should report that suspicious activity to the proper authorities

And here I thought power in this country derived from the people. Apparently Mr. Bush sees it very differently. This also leaves unanswered what people are to do when the “proper authorities” refuse to act, in complete dereliction of their duty.

Shocked, I am

The Washinton Post discovers grass is green:

College faculties, long assumed to be a liberal bastion, lean further to the left than even the most conspiratorial conservatives might have imagined, a new study says. By their own description, 72 percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal and 15 percent are conservative, says the study being published this week. The imbalance is almost as striking in partisan terms, with 50 percent of the faculty members surveyed identifying themselves as Democrats and 11 percent as Republicans. The disparity is even more pronounced at the most elite schools, where, according to the study, 87 percent of faculty are liberal and 13 percent are conservative.

This is because conservatives don’t want to be professors… and if they do, they’re not qualified… and anyways, professors are trained not to let their biases influence their teaching. Or was that journalists?

Given the devolution of the academic mind, grade inflation and the general uselessness of a college degree, it’s almost time for the home university, I’d say.

Steroids on Number 73 on the offense

60 Minutes throws a yellow flag:

A list obtained exclusively by 60 Minutes Wednesday reveals that three Carolina Panthers professional football players had prescriptions filled for a banned steroid less than two weeks before they played in the 2004 Super Bowl.

Contributor Anderson Cooper also reports that two of the players repeatedly refilled their steroid prescriptions — in one case, 10 times…. The prescription records, obtained by 60 Minutes Wednesday, show that offensive lineman Todd Stuessie got 11 prescriptions for testosterone cream over an eight-month period in 2004.

This made me and every other Minnesota Vikings fan laugh. OF COURSE it’s Steussie who was caught. It will be interesting to see how the league responds to this following the weird and embarrassing performance of Major League Baseball and its players.

Discuss amongst yourselves

I don’t know if it was the spill or the new Fedora Core 2 kernel, but my laptop is no longer booting in Linux. Fortunately, I’m still functional in XP – oh, the irony – but I need to get a backup of some mission-critical going on my old Dell before I start fixing my Linux partition. As it happens, FC 4 test 1 is out, so I may give that a whirl.

Anyhow, I don’t have access to yesterday’s emails, so I won’t be posting any responses to them for another day or two.

Mailvox: lots of mail, little hate

Jessica’s email is fairly representational of the many responses to today’s column.

Excellent article. You told it exactly like it is.

For the first time in our lives, my husband and I are ashamed to be Americans. We are in our late 60’s and have always been Republican. We are now ashamed of the Republican party, especially the Bush brothers. Our opinion about the Bush’s has turned from trust to disgust.

When a probate judge has more power than congress, the governor and the president of the USA, it is clear that the cause is one of two things or perhaps a combination of both.

#1. Our court system has too much power and we must take steps to diminish that power
#2. Our elected officials are cowards

JL loudly echoes similar sentiments:

AS I READ YOUR COMMENTARY TODAY, IT WAS CREEPY. IT WAS LIKE YOU HAD LITERALLY GOTTEN INSIDE MY HEAD AND READ MY MIND. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. WE KNOW FOR CERTAIN THE BUSH BOYS COULD STOP THIS AT ANY TIME. WHO DO THEY THINK THEY’RE FOOLIN’? THEY ARE COWARDS, AND I DON’T KNOW HOW YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT KNOWING THIS ATROCITY HAPPENED ON YOUR WATCH AND YOU DID NOTHING. THEY SHOULD BE TOTALLY ASHAMED

COD sums up her opinion in a succinct manner that will strike fear in many a Republican analyst:

I can’t believe I voted for Bush….

And for once, even regular critics are in accord, however briefly. TP drops this brief missive:

It may not mean much, but as one who once criticized you, I want you to know that I think this latest column was a magnificent effort.

Actually, I don’t mind being criticized at all. I depend on regular criticism to keep me from floating free into absurdity, as so many of the bigger names in commentary seem increasingly prone to do. Sometimes I find my critics’ cases persuasive, more often I don’t, but the frequent testing of my thinking is something I find quite valuable. I understand why most of the bigger blogs are nervous about allowing comments, but I think the benefits far outweigh the negatives. A little mild policing goes a long way towards weeding out the recalcitrants and the crazies and prevents the blog from devolving into a mere echo chamber.

The mere fact that nearly everyone is writing in support of the assertions made in my column today instead of, as is more often the case, taking vociferous exception to them, indicates to me that the Bush brothers may have badly miscalculated on this one. George Bush simply doesn’t have much credibility left with the conservative half of the Republican party, which is why he couldn’t successfully skate on this issue as he has on so many others. It is also why the mere mention of the possibility of a third Bush running for President makes many Republicans feel nauseous.