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Thank you Fr. Clement.

The quandary that we conservatives find ourselves in is that corporations and industrialists have invented the quandary to begin with.

I wish that I would not have to opt for the federal government determining healthcare. I am always suspicious of the state, but I am more suspicious of national and multi-national corporations.

I really wish that the libertarian myth of health care self-determination and self-provision were feasible.

But it is not.

I, as a conservative far, far more conservative than little puerile dweebs like Beck and Limbaugh and unclothed anorectics like Coulter, am utterly sickened by the corporate frenzy defending poor victims like Aetna, Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente and other health care turf defenders. They are all like urban gangs with graffiti marking their boundaries with canine urine.

I care nothing at all for the boundaries of modern corporations, since they are all gaseous phenomena, and should have no purchase in the thinking of good and worthy Fathers like you.

Pax on this planet,


Father Bless!

I do so enjoy your writings.

I consider myself a conservative; of what variety I cannot say since I have never felt so inclined to take the pains to properly classify it.

Be that as it may, your comments on the universal health care brought to the forefront something that those who are engulfed in the shouting matches would do well, I think, to clarify.

It is not that we are opposed to the "provision of decent subsistence living – food, water, shelter and health – for everyone" as you say.

We are opposed to the federal government owning and operating the provision thereof.

Further, it is not a matter of the wealthy protecting their wealth from the poor, it is a matter of protecting their wealth from un-Constitutional taxation so that they may more freely give to the poor of thier own initiative.

+Clement, OCB

There is much in this post that is good, Father, and I am certainly no fan of Limbaugh or Beck.

However, please do not imply that we should at all worry about what would cause that "Marx of the Master Class," John C. Calhoun, to go bald (or vomit).

For now, I remain,
Stuck in South Carolina

The story on Twitter that I saw the other day was that someone was staging a viral attack on it, as is often done against Web sites. Basically, the idea is to overwhelm the site's capacity with spam or some such thing so that it can't function.

Where it gets really interesting is that the cause was suspected to have something to do with the anniversary of the Russian-Georgian conflict, though they didn't know which side the perp was on. So Orthodox fighting each other is probably what shook Twitter. Go figure.

About 15 years ago just before everything went online I ordered an Orthodox book catalogue from the US and went through it with my friend, a former Baptist. “This is just the weirdest thing,” she said, “there must be Baptist churches in America that like icons.” I eventually convinced her it was Orthodox and her reply was, “Yuk, if I'd wanted all that bilge I would have stayed where I was.” Still I suppose it's better than the gin and lace and bitching of my own original tradition most of the devotees of which are probably now contributing yuk-words to the Romans.

You know Father, that these days all true lovers of humanity who are paying attention end up misanthropes. When you know what we are, and what our true vocation is, it's only human to end up somewhat despising us for what we've done. Who we've actually become.

I consider virtually all the Church Fathers to have been (contrary to the common accepted wisdom of our contemporaries who have never actually read them, not misogynists but) misanthropes.

Excepting maybe Origen (but then he was a goofball) and the likes of the rarefied Polycarp, who was way too holy, avuncular and cheerful. I heard Saint Polycarp even offered snacks to the crew that martyred him, and apologized for only having antidoron and a quarter skin of leftover sacramental wine, on hand..

I mean, nobody's asking you to be that magnanimous.

So please consider me calling you a misanthrope a kind of compliment. It's actually a very respectable thing for an Orthodox priest to be.

As for the 3,0000 channels, I'm sure that Father only got them because he wanted the SwissCom package that finally includes both EWTN and Vatican TV.

The Phanar's not actually on the air yet, but when the Ecumenical Patriarch finally gets around to it, Father'll be sure to get him, too. And since they'll likely only be broadcasting in Greek, that'll be great for Father's brushing up, preparing for his work in ecumenical outreach..

Like I say, all in the advance of holiness.

So again, no worries.

I will take "gimlet eyed misanthrope" in the best possible way.

3000 channels on a clerical TV. Hmmmm.

I wrote that last bit too quickly. Didn't milk it quite enough.

Should have worked that obvious angle on humble priests having good livers, because no good Christian should ever be forced to watch cable news sober.

Every time I tune in with less than three shots in my gullet, I tend to commit multiple cardinal sins.

Whereas being somewhat soused, disinterestedly amused, and capaciously accepting of all humanity's foibles and faults is no sin at all.

Gee, Father..

I have a suggestion.

Maybe if you just kept your wish-list simple, like most the rest of us..

Just ask Santa or Chase Manhattan for one humongous flatscreen HDTV, the latest x- box, and a life supply of Coors Light (or make it Schlitz "kiss of hops" or Pabst "blue ribbon" if you insist on being a connoisseur and all hi-falutin' about it)..

Then maybe you wouldn't be such the gimlet eyed misanthrope about the coming apocalypse.

I mean, watching Fox n' CNBC on one of those fuzzy little 19" screens is just depressing.

It's only with the latest digital clarity, and 96" that the porous pits in Chris Matthews' nasal maquillage take on Brobdingnagian scale. Mute the sound, and shoot spit balls his various visible orifices. It's almost as fun as GTA.

I also have rules for a really cool drinking game you might want to try, while watching Glenn Beck, btw. Just beware: every time he says he wants to poison Nancy Pelosi, you're supposed to chugg a third a bottle of Old Gran' Dad.. (I may have to change that one, cause the last game I played was over in five minutes ..) Anyway, it's very rabelasian, much funner that really actually listening to him, for like serious..

Anywayz, drinking games aside: I say just sit back, relax, pop the tab on your specially insulated can, slap in Grand Theft Auto, and stop being so annoyed.

Being annoyed just takes way too much energy.

My best friend, who works for a Catholic NGO here in Switzerland, recently had a conversation with a priest in Ticino (papist presbytr, don't worry) who boasted to him that he'd just had a new satellite dish installed, and now has 3,000 channels.

You know what that means, my friend said.

And I was like, yeah. Lot's o' high quality porn.

And I thought to myself, way to go, Faddah.

Like, I just finished reading Pope Saint Gregory the Great's Pastoral Rule, and I remeber the part where he says that the presbtyr should be, through humility, a companion of good livers.

Very sage. No better way of doing that than 3,000 channels of the very best contemporary vaudeville.

Good living, indeed. Yessir.

Least until the mobs cut the powergrid in your particular corner of metropolis, which is likely to happen sooner in Pittsburg than it is in Locarno..

I'd say that's a bummer, but there's a bright side.

Just so long as you don't mind warm Coors, it ought not be too bad. They'll come for you soon enough, just like in the zombie movies.

I say stash 40 cases, max. Should be ample enough to remain well and soused until the end.

This is kind of odd and comic in a tragic way. As soon as I posted this, the following comment was scrawled on my TypePad management screen:

Attention: Recent attacks to Twitter are affecting the performance of our 'Share this Post' feature. TypePad is working with Twitter to remedy this issue. Thank you for your patience.

What can it all mean?

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