Huge Friday Linkaround

I so much wanted to do a podcast of morning prayer, but time got away from me. Will try to get a podcast up for Vespers, this afternoon. Meanwhile, this may keep you reading into tomorrow.

For your linkaround, first let me talk about me, me, me; Yesterday’s Daily article on the murder of George Tiller, and the musings of some Christians as to whether Bonehoeffer made a case for such a terrible killing, garnered many comments, a few of which suggested the commenter had not read the thing, a few others that signaled some First Things readers wonder why they’ve let me in to play, and some other commentary that was thoughtful and challenging. 15 rounds, no decision? You decide.

Being a fan of Dorothy Sayers, today’s Daily Article by Nick Baldock, was one I liked very much, and you will too:

Sayers would have treated with contempt Susan Sarandon’s exultation that President Obama ‘is a community organizer like Jesus was. And now, we’re a community and he can organize us.’ She recognised this philosophy as, at the very least, providing justification for a gradual assault on freedom. In the ‘Wimsey Papers,’ which appeared in the Spectator in the early months of World War Two, Sayers’ characters drew morals she felt in danger of being ignored. From ‘somewhere in France,’ Peter Wimsey wrote to his wife, Lady Harriet, exhorting her, as a writer, to ‘tell the people’:

They must not continually ask for leadership—they must lead themselves. This is a war against submission to leadership, and we might easily win it in the field and yet lose it in our own country.

I have seen the eyes of the men who ask for leadership, and they are the eyes of slaves . . . they must not look to the State for guidance—they must learn to guide the State. Somehow you must contrive to tell them this. It is the only thing that matters.

Sayers’ fondness for the detective yarn may devalue her intellectual gifts in the sight of some, but she was one smart cookie whose translation and notes of The Divine Comedy are still considered the standard by which all others are judged. Like Chesterton’s Fr. Brown, Sayers’ Lord Peter is the entertaining spoon by which the sharp medicine of reason goes down.

Sayers was an Anglican convert to Catholicism, and if I may recommend a great (if sadly out-of-print) book covering her journey, Joseph Pearce’s Literary Converts tells it well.

Speaking of men who ask for leadership: American Thinker asks, “Do Liberals Crave a Master?

To Obama’s Credit: He corrects Brokaw’s willingness to find a moral equivalency where none may be found. Good for President Obama. And Brokaw, who probably thought he was feeding Obama a soft opening, should be ashamed. Then again, in Obama’s speech yesterday, after decrying the Holocaust, he did sort of go “moral equivalent” on Palestine. But I’m still going to give Obama props for this exchange.

Not yet tired of reading about Obama’s “Speech to the Muslim World” (why is everything he does is made to sound like God speaking from on high?) Well, here’s another mini-round-up of thoughts on it:

Obama Should Address the Muslim World from New Delhi. That will only happen if they can offer him a really natty stage, I think.

Toby Harnden: Obama’s 10 Mistakes in Cairo

Benjamin Sarlin: Write your own Obama speech. I guess he’s calling the speech “formulaic.” Well, America likes formulas, if our recent popular entertainments are any indicator.

If you missed the NRO Symposium:
take time to read it.

Amir Teheri: Meek President Rolls Over & Let’s Fanatics Set Agenda

Krauthammer: The Settlements Myth. American shouldn’t dictate to anyone…except Israel. And her own people.

A Thumbs Down: From a military wife

WSJ: What will Obama say in Dresden?

More here.

No Stimulus for You!: Southern States that voted McCain get ignored. They might be better off that way.

Tony Blankley: In a very grim mood; Death by Deficit. This is not happy, either

Hey, raise our taxes, and we’ll move and take our people and our revenues with us

Unemployment: Approaching double digits; would probably be there, were it not for federal hiring. While we wait for the press to start screaming about the “jobless recovery” as they did in 2003, when unemployment was 6.3% before the Bush expansion, let’s look at Ed Morrissey’s helpful graphs. And Ace is linking to some depressing graphs, too: The news is terrible. The unemployment trend appears to still be spiking higher, faster, not flattening out yet.

Government Benefit Spending: At record highs. Unsustainable. But you already know that.

Democrats blasting Republicans for releasing classified information! Hey, only Democrats are allowed to do that, no matter who is president or what the subject! In this case:

GOP members on the Intelligence Committee on Thursday told The Hill in on-the-record interviews that they were informed that [enhanced interrogation] methods have led to information that prevented terrorist attacks. When told of the GOP claims, Democrats strongly criticized the members who revealed information that was provided at the closed House Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing. Democrats on the panel said they could not respond substantively, pointing out that the hearing was closed.

If the Dems are okay with the president releasing intelligence about what has been done in the name of the country-ie, waterboarding-why are they so not-okay with releasing intelligence about its effects? It’s a tiresome double-standard.

Speaking of “enhanced interrogation” or torture: Yes, I will put my thoughts down on paper, soon, but in the meantime, Spengler adds some afterthoughts to his recent musings on the matter.

Read also Archbishop Chaput on using each other as tools.

The Cult of Obama:
He’s bigger than Che!.

The Genius of Obama:
Triangulating the Catholics. He’s “the most effective spokesman…for ‘the spirit of Vatican II’”. Egad, I can’t wait for that “Spirit of Vatican II” rhetoric to dry up. Those who used it did so much to teach it so badly.

The Femaleness of Obama:
Well, why not?

Remember the Constitution?: Read it and weep

Air France: Probably not terrorism but unwilling to wholly dismiss the notion

Healing wounds With Essence of Maggots. Hey, Folk Medicine has been around a lot longer than the AMA. Lots of healing gifts in nature go untapped because we put so much stock in relatively young Western Medicine. Western Medicine is great. But Granny’s methods had their wisdoms, too.

Beatifying JPII: Clearing the hurdles

Going to the movies this weekend? I’m not. President Obama may feel okay about spending tens of thousands to take his wife to a play, but this girl is not in the mood to spend $30.00 to sit in a theater where people are text messaging and yelling that they’re going for a popcorn refill. If you don’t mind that, though, Mary Rose Rybak offers an interesting review of Away We Go (with spoilers). And I can report that Buster and his girlfriend loved Pixar’s “Up,” although they called it “sad” and perhaps more moving than an animated flick has a right to be.

Videos for your Friday afternoon:
Elie Wiesel: at Buchenwald
Sarah Palin: US Gov’t wants to control the people
How to Answer an Atheist
Lake Champlain: Monster Mystery
Deacon Greg: How to build a Catholic News Broadcast Widgets

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Gayle Miller

    And today is the fifth anniversary of the death of our great president Ronald Wilson Reagan. How he would weep could he see what we’ve come to with Alfred E. Neuman in the White House. I think his ignorance of history is astounding and his complete lack of awareness of the impact of his words (as in the impact on the military wife whose husband left to serve in Iraq just as Dumbo was apologizing for our involvement). He is truly our first “dork” president.

  • Herman Goodden

    Dear Anchoress – I know Dorothy Sayers’ photo made the front cover of Joseph Pearce’s Literary Converts (as did Hilaire Belloc’s who was born Catholic and never converted) but in fact she never made the leap from the C of E. That she would’ve by now (had she lived) seems near-certain, not just for reasons of her own orthodoxy but because of her very fruitful infatuation with Dante through which she produced arguably the finest ever English translation of The Divine Comedy. Pearce himself produced a subsequent volume asserting that C.S. Lewis would have crossed the Tiber by now and I suspect he could credibly devote a similarly themed study to Sayers.

    [Thanks for the correction; it's been a while since I read Pearce's book, (I remember looking forward to bedtime so I could meet my new friends therein), but you're correct, Sayers and Lewis did not convert, nor - if I remember correctly, did TS Eliot? - admin]

  • Mimsy

    well, drat. I was just hoping that I had been wrong about D Sayers all these years. I do agree that she certainly would have converted, along with CS Lewis, by now. By my bedside, I have a partially read copy of Sayers’s Notes to a Diminished Church. Of course, I have long adored the Lord Peter Wimsey (yes, by my Mimsy!) mysteries, and I’m sort of in love with Lord Peter (except that I prefer a tall guy).
    And please, pay no attention to the jerks who make demeaning comments. I can’t see as how those comments raise the level of anything remotely as excellent as your blog, which I heartily recommend to all whose spiritual life needs a charge.

  • Emilio III

    Although I didn’t know it myself until reading _Busman’s_Honeymoon_, when Harriet Vane married, she became Lady Peter, not Lady Harriet. :-)

    [Right, just like Princess Michael of Kent or, actually, Fergie, had she been referred to as Princess rather than Duchess of York; she'd have been Princess Andrew of York. -admin]

  • lauran

    Not sure if the left wants a master; evidently, they are interested in a god, just not The God.

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  • Nick

    Mea culpa – as an Englishman, I really should have known that Harriet Vane became Lady Peter Wimsey on the occasion of her marriage. I don’t know what I was thinking; possibly I wasn’t. I’d like to think that I was avoiding the construct ‘Peter Wimsey wrote to his wife, Lady Peter Wimsey…’

    I can however confirm that Sayers and Eliot remained Anglo-Catholics to the end of their days. Eliot was a convert; Sayers delighted in recounting how, when asked by fiercer Protestants ‘when she became a Christian,’ replied ‘when I was baptised.’ That said, she made a number of less-than-enthusiastic comments about Catholics, mainly in her private correspondence.

    The fact that the Anchoress liked my piece has made my week :-)