What’s Wrong with the World

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Recent Comments

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Lydia on May 28, 16:45:

Al: While I do not have a precise date in August of 2015, the explicit statement in repeated documents is that the conversation with the USDA inspectors about the break room document took place in August, 2015. See here, for example: http://www.adfmedia.org/files/WestMichiganBeefLetter.pdf That same letter indicates that, as of February 15, 2017, 18 months had passed since VanderBoon made his formal complaint, which strongly implies that he made the complaint immediately after the incident. Moreover, this ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by al on May 28, 14:40:

"VanderBoon apparently made a formal complaint about the 2015 incident *well before* the alleged incident concerning slaughter practices. About a year before, in fact." I read this as all happening in August of 2015 and see nothing referring to 2014. I don't see a date for the alleged conversation and all i see for the placement of the offending article is sometime in August 2015. Have you found references for the exact dates for these conversations? All we know for sure is that WMB was cited verbally f ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Lydia on May 28, 12:23:

Gallagher also points out the extreme legal weirdness of the injunction in the letter to USDA agents to "take immediate and appropriate corrective action." Pace Al, that is *not* standard civil rights boilerplate. In fact, it contravenes the usual requirement for a harassment complaint, etc. It's entirely explanatory of the action that VanderBoon says was taken. ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Lydia on May 28, 08:47:

Still, I think it is well within the authority of Perdue to issue a statement simply affirming the First Amendment; and renouncing, on the part of anyone in his Department, any notion of entering into a dispute with a farmer over the literature he puts on his tables. It obviously is since the Vilsack letter was in Vilsack's power to begin with. But I see what you mean as well about Perdue: At this point, if the agency did launch complaints about slaughter in order to persecute VanderBoon as retaliation, ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on May 28, 08:02:

By the way, I would not hold out hope for the enterprise and resourcefulness of Mr. Perdue. A likable and well-meaning gentleman, in Georgia as Governor he generally conducted himself with complacency toward the social conservatives of this state or any other. His successor has vetoed or otherwise quashed various liberty bills and quailed at the first sighting of wealthy capitalists who had come tidings that growth for the state depends on appeasing the Inquisitors. Quailing at the sight of wealthy capital ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Lydia on May 28, 00:18:

Oh, by the way: According to the timeline here http://www.adfmedia.org/files/WestMichiganBeefLetter.pdf VanderBoon apparently made a formal complaint about the 2015 incident *well before* the alleged incident concerning slaughter practices. About a year before, in fact. So he really would have been making up the entire incident for no good reason whatsoever, _prior_ to the USDA claim that he had some sort of violation. Which makes no sense. The timeline is well explained as retaliation against him. It is ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Lydia on May 28, 00:10:

Gallagher also discussed one of the alleged humane slaughter complaints at some length. It appears frivolous on the face of it. And it happened *after* the alleged events in 2015. Hence one has to consider the possibility of drummed-up charges due to the "offensive" pamphlet back in 2015. If anything, this is an abuse of power and further offense against the farmer, not evidence that the farmer made up the whole story about the pamphlet. ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on May 27, 22:20:

I guess according to Al, Trump's guys could write a letter, on the authority of the USDA, forbidding jihad, shariah, and public promotion of the same; and then they could fill the hills with alt-right goons to shut down mosques, based on the clear and sacred principles of the latest USDA Anti-Harassment Policy Statement. Why, it turns out that, over in the UK, there is a rather shocking scandal concerning the "humane slaughter practices" of halal slaughterhouses. Perhaps Al could take his precious fussines ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Lydia on May 27, 20:14:

There is absolutely no evidence presented that the alleged conversation between the USDA folks and WMB ever took place. "Zero evidence" means VDB is probably just lying through his teeth, I take it, Al? In 2015, Dr. Ryan Lundquist, the USDA’s inspector in charge, saw the offending article. He removed it and reported it to USDA Frontline Supervisor Robert Becker. The two men then called Vander Boon on the carpet. Behind closed doors, and without witnesses, they told Vander Boon three times he had to remove ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by al on May 27, 18:13:

There may be a problem here: 1. "This ban on Don’s speech appears to have been grounded on the USDA’s “Anti-Harassment Policy Statement” issued in July 2015, which prohibits written or oral communications that USDA officials consider “disrespectful” or “insult[ing]” on the basis of sexual orientation." I would venture that "appears" is doing a lot of work here. The USDA letter reads like a standard HR document relating to employment conditions internal to the USDA. I would urge you all to read the lett ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Tony on May 27, 17:22:

It wouldn't surprise me either, given that the unified two-parent traditional family has been shown to be an enormously productive social unit. The economics of having (at most) one parent work away from home and the other work primarily at raising the kids is difficult to measure correctly, (how do you measure properly the benefit of there being 2 more people in the world than there would have been had Mom had to work 9 to 5?), but even the parts that are easier to measure (fewer costs of mental illness a ... [More]

Further push for killing for organs

Comment posted by Tony on May 27, 17:11:

I will not say that it is logically required that one endorse bare-faced murder if one becomes a real enthusiast for vital organ donation. There are many well-intentioned and even pro-life people who are such enthusiasts. But I will say that unscrupulous bioethicists like Zoe Fritz will be only too happy to use that enthusiasm for their own ends. Right. The stance of being a real enthusiast for vital organ donation requires that one either look the other way about how difficult it is to be sure a person i ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on May 27, 00:03:

Tribalism is a powerful motive in politics. Always has been, but it's particularly resurgent today. That's an aspect of the "Team Red" loyal soldiering stuff. If ten companies with ten divisions each all have the same culture across all divisions, it is much easier - and therefore less expensive -- to move people and product lines and technologies/capabilities around within this market in response to environmental pressures, opportunities, emergent synergies, etc. This may be sometimes true, but the drawb ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Lydia on May 22, 13:39:

How to explain Gallagher? Probably a mix of ignorance, satisfaction with the conservative movement status quo, weariness and a desire to be seen as a good soldier for Team Red, meaning the Republican Party. This isn't anything new. We've come to expect this from conservative organs like National Review. Thanks for the info. I can't get my head around that. To me it doesn't look like being a good soldier for Team Red to be constantly carping at Congress for not taking on what is a simple job for the executi ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Ben Carmack on May 22, 13:03:

Ms. Gallagher was not a supporter of Trump during the campaign. She came around after he won. Here's an excerpt of something she wrote in May 2016, after it became clear Trump was going to be the Republican nominee. "Donald Trump’s supporters tell me that he fights political correctness and they assume he will fight this [this, meaning, the Left's fight to eliminate Christianity from public view], too. But he has signaled pretty strongly his unwillingness to fight anything the Left deems 'anti-gay.' Trum ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Lydia on May 21, 18:47:

But since it is a hassle to officially dispute administrators' actions (or inaction), they tend to win by default. We shouldn't have to take action against this sort of nonsense, but of course this is part of the vigilance necessary for preserving due order in any society: you have to take actions that shouldn't be necessary but are, both for your own good and for the common good. That's part of what so greatly annoys me about Gallagher's recommendation for "what we can do." She wants Congress to pass *an ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Tony on May 21, 17:14:

Thomas Vilsack, issued a letter in July of 2015 against all "harassment" based upon, inter alia, sexual orientation and gender identity, including "disrespectful" speech on these matters. Pursuant to this letter, USDA officials in Michigan have threatened to shut down a farm (by refusing to inspect the beef) if the owners put an article in the break room that opposes homosexual "marriage"--an article, by the way, which no employee was obligated to read and which appeared alongside articles supporting homose ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Lydia on May 21, 14:54:

Agreed about Ivanka. Though when it comes to that I'm not sure the apple fell far from the tree. Yes and no. They share the same underlying worldview, of course. (If "worldview" isn't too high-falutin' a term.) But he is so completely bored by the nuts and bolts of policy-making that he can scarcely be bothered to come up with definite policy goals and discipline himself to do what has to be done to bring them about. She doesn't have those limitations. This makes her a very effective and dangerous adviser ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by zippy on May 21, 13:29:

Agreed about Ivanka. Though when it comes to that I'm not sure the apple fell far from the tree. ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by zippy on May 21, 13:25:

If ten companies with ten divisions each all have the same culture across all divisions, it is much easier - and therefore less expensive -- to move people and product lines and technologies/capabilities around within this market in response to environmental pressures, opportunities, emergent synergies, etc. If that culture is shallow hedonistic PC or something like it, as opposed to (say) traditional Christianity, then this operating liquidity won't be opposed by the substance of that culture itself. If ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Lydia on May 21, 11:55:

I admit to being disappointed in someone like Price, though. Surely he doesn't need to wait for Trump's word to start work on getting rid of the HHS contraception mandate. One of the whole oddities of these largely independent bureaus is that they are one-man law-making machines that can act on their own. A POTUS appoints someone, and then the someone lets rip with what he wants to do. ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Lydia on May 21, 11:53:

Someone like Ivanka is (IMO) an ideologue on social issues for its own sake. Those who are committed to the ideology, including many (all?) policy makers, may have convinced themselves ex post facto of some sort of "good for business" slogan concerning "diversity," but if so, it was, IMO, as a justification for something they embraced in a more purely ideological fashion already. ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by zippy on May 21, 10:35:

Trump is basically Bill Clinton with a speech impediment. As for the PC Tyranny - business liquidity connection, I do think it is true; but more important than that in this context is whether policy makers think (or implicitly assume) that it is true (not that they would phrase it the way I do). ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by Lydia on May 21, 08:50:

Whether the premise (that this PC policy is good for business) is true or not (as you know from our past discussions, I'm inclined to disagree), I think that rationale gives *way* too much credit to the Trump administration for thoughtfulness and care. For one thing, I doubt he's even realized that this issue is on the horizon. Apparently it doesn't serve the ends of his advisers to bring it to his attention. For another, he's actually pretty much in favor of the "LGBT" agenda, just ideologically and not fo ... [More]

Paging the new Secretary of Agriculture

Comment posted by zippy on May 21, 07:48:

One possible explanation for why the letter hasn't been rescinded is that the Trump administration is inclined to leave in place policies that are good for business; and PC tyranny is good for business because it drives liquidity: http://whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2007/11/pc_tyranny_sticking_it_to_the.html ... [More]

Classical Liberalism and Conservatism

Comment posted by Lydia on May 20, 09:58:

Yeah, that's definitely not accurate! In fact, someone who identifies himself as a "classical liberal" is more likely to have libertarian sympathies, a la Hayek, whereas someone who identifies himself strongly as "conservative but not a classical liberal" is more likely to favor laws in areas such as vice (e.g., outlawing pornography and prostitution, which I think is fine) and even (in more extreme cases) direct establishment of religion (which I don't think is fine). ... [More]

Classical Liberalism and Conservatism

Comment posted by Rachael on May 17, 19:17:

This was a great article. I have been wondering about the differences between conservatism and Classical Liberalism. The main difference that is usually emphasized is how Classic Libs want the size of government to be large while Conservative want it to be small. I like this analysis better. ... [More]

If everything is holy, nothing is holy

Comment posted by Lydia on May 17, 08:59:

Yes, particularly when a writer's entire creative oeuvre consists of rejecting distinctions, such as the distinction between *actual* consecrated bread (the Sacrament) and "everything," the distinction between *actual* miracles and events that occur by secondary causes. And referring to the former as a second-rate hand-me-down. This sort of talk has theological implications. And they are inaccurate. It's really that simple. Anyone who is orthodox (yes, whether big O or little o) ought to know that you can' ... [More]

If everything is holy, nothing is holy

Comment posted by Tony on May 16, 21:29:

Well, God is also the most famous conservative of all time. Who is it who conserves the Earth and the Sun in their revolutions? It is God. Who is it who conserves the Angels in their brilliance as they stand before the throne of God singing hymns of praise? It is God. Who is it who conserves the worms in the dirt beneath our feet, who conserves the dirt and the microbes that make life possible, and the air that we breathe with which we exclaim His goodness? It is God who conserves all these things. ... [More]

If everything is holy, nothing is holy

Comment posted by J. Mark Worth on May 16, 14:00:

You refer to God, who "is absolutely holy, and who is strongly Other than and separate from His Creation." I've always been taught that God is both transcendent and imminent. You seem to reject God's imminence, God's presence in the world. I believe Mayer is singing about God's immanence in the world. "Water into wine is not so small, but a better magic trick is that anything is here at all." Isn't our existence, and the existence of the universe, a wonderful, holy thing? And yes, we liberals are pro ... [More]

Classical Liberalism and Conservatism

Comment posted by Tony on May 15, 07:58:

Yes, humans are an odd sort of creature. On the one hand, our nature entails a physical dimension that puts us squarely in this physical world, our lives are lives of doing physical things with physical consequences. On the other hand, we are pilgrims here, and our ultimate goal is not this life but another. Though whether we come to that end is found precisely in how we act in this life. We are strange things, bestriding two worlds. they have been shaking up the religious traditions of the country. ... [More]

Classical Liberalism and Conservatism

Comment posted by Lydia on May 14, 23:02:

I think Christopher has nailed the sense in which I was taking "inherently." Tony is also right, though, that I was concerned about a failure to ward off the danger of collectivism. Good use of bees vs. wolves. I also appreciate the point about martyrs. Some paleoconservatives and others who view themselves as being against classical liberalism place such a high value upon tradition that one wonders how they deal with the fact that, wherever Christian missionaries have gone, they have been shaking up the ... [More]

Classical Liberalism and Conservatism

Comment posted by Tony on May 13, 21:37:

Nevertheless, it is quite true that "man is a social animal" can be used in an extreme or distorted manner. The communists and national socialists did that. So, man is a social animal, in a sense at least somewhat similar to wolves or lions: any wolf or lion can leave one pack and join another. He is individual enough and complete enough to be real full wolf or lion - able to start a new pack or pride with one other. He is not a social animal in a manner similar to ants or bees, though. A worker be ... [More]

Classical Liberalism and Conservatism

Comment posted by Christopher McCartney on May 13, 17:56:

It seems odd to me that you would think the _literal_ meaning of "man is inherently a social" somehow conflicts with the notion that a man raised by wolves has real human worth. Perhaps you are taking "inherently" to mean "essentially" and taking "essentially" to mean what it is understood to mean in 20th c. analytic philosophy, so that "man is essentially a biped" means "necessarily, every man actually has two legs". But I don't know why you would think that the only possible literal meaning for "inherentl ... [More]

Classical Liberalism and Conservatism

Comment posted by Lydia on May 13, 17:11:

This post takes me back twenty-some years to a time when I used to argue with some of my less classically liberal friends. At the time I was very literal-minded. I used to balk at phrases like "man is inherently a social animal" or "the family is the smallest unit of society," because I took them literally. I took them to mean that, for example, the individual would not have any meaning or value, or would literally be deprived of humanity, if he were separated from society or if he had no family. Similarly ... [More]

Classical Liberalism and Conservatism

Comment posted by Tony on May 12, 23:11:

Urban, I believe that most people, including conservatives, are thinking of the period of the late 1600s and the 1700s for "classical liberalism". The question is, are they thinking generically of "all those people who opposed the excesses of absolute monarchy and upheld individual liberties", or are they thinking of "specifically those people who in the late 1600s and 1700s who invented new theories of politics that unhinged individual rights from a hierarchy of goods that imply man is inherently a social ... [More]

Classical Liberalism and Conservatism

Comment posted by Urban II on May 12, 21:41:

The entirely new strain of liberal thinking with the early moderns, that of severing political principles from explicit advertence to God and ordering within society, is quite in contrast to the conservatism of Bellarmine and his predecessors like Vitoria and Aquinas... Very good summary. When I think of classical liberalism it is the early modern strain I'm thinking of. I certainly wasn't thinking of Aristotle and Aquinas. I guess the question is when conservatives talk of classical liberalism, which stra ... [More]

Anniversary Post - Conservatism and Nationalism or “Patriots, Please Stop Your Moral Preening and Start Singing Our National Anthem!”

Comment posted by Jeffrey S. on May 10, 19:30:

Lydia, I liked this comment of yours: I can quite easily imagine such a thing. For example: It is not within the authority of any government entity to regulate a person's mental act of coveting his neighbor's cow. If, in some imaginable sci-fi universe, some level of government or other (I really don't care how local) were to develop a "coveting sensor" that let off a beep when a particular person was engaging in the mental act of coveting, and that correctly identified the person engaging in it, it would ... [More]

Anniversary Post - Conservatism and Nationalism or “Patriots, Please Stop Your Moral Preening and Start Singing Our National Anthem!”

Comment posted by Lydia on May 10, 16:46:

In the case of letting people do things that are wrong, this is a matter of practical judgement, not abstract rights. A right to do wrong implies that it is not within the authority of any government (Federal, State, or local) to regulate the particular wrong behavior. I can quite easily imagine such a thing. For example: It is not within the authority of any government entity to regulate a person's mental act of coveting his neighbor's cow. If, in some imaginable sci-fi universe, some level of government ... [More]

Anniversary Post - Conservatism and Nationalism or “Patriots, Please Stop Your Moral Preening and Start Singing Our National Anthem!”

Comment posted by Urban II on May 10, 14:40:

And it also meant that there are times when it is *really good* and even *important* to let people do things that are wrong and not to use force to stop them from doing so. The precise limits and extent of those times remain to be worked out... I do not have an allergic reaction to rights talk. The Catholic Church uses rights talk, so I do not deny that sense can be made of such talk. In the case of letting people do things that are wrong, this is a matter of practical judgement, not abstract rights. A rig ... [More]