What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.

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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

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Step2 on Sep 24, 15:41:

Is there a federal power to prevent states from "fighting over critical supplies", and if so, how? Trump could have invoked and used the authority of the Defense Production Act to prepare back in February so that the shortages would not have been so severe. The feds could also have directed those supplies based on objective criteria of cases per population, hospitalizations, etc.. There are all sorts of situations, and especially emergency situations, where the federal government acts in either a leadin ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 23, 18:55:

So, setting aside what Trump has said, The next most important thing was to lead a coordinated national response. But taking into account what is a federal role and what is a state role, what is it that constitutes "a coordinated national response"? That's kind of what I meant. Trump could not, for example, invoke state governors' powers to push a lockdown in NYC and then not in North Dakota, could he? I have been saying since Day 1 that Trump could have used federal money to get testing kits out an ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Step2 on Sep 23, 17:02:

Tony, The most important thing was to be honest with the public. We know from the Woodward tapes that the White House, including the President, knew specific details about how dangerous the disease was back in early February. All the happy talk since then has been an exercise in deceit. The insipid defense that Trump didn't want to create a panic is absurd, his Twitter feed is filled with panic-inducing conspiracies and wild accusations of every sort. The next most important thing was to lead a coordina ... [More]

Some posts from this summer, mostly on New Testament

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 23, 16:48:

Oh, and hey guys, here's a Youtube link where I talk at length with a Christological heretic who is (as it happens) *way* more reasonable on the issues of Gospel historicity than the literary device theorists. An odd mix, right? That's what makes the discussion (from last evening) so long and interesting. First we talked about the literary device views and found we were agreeing too much, so we switched to debating about whether or not Jesus is God. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPDqacoxzKA&featur ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 23, 10:11:

Step2, setting aside what our blathering President has said, what specifically is it that you think the federal government should have done differently in these last 7 months? Keeping in mind the difference between federal roles and state roles? ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Step2 on Sep 22, 14:36:

But why bother with transmission mitigation efforts while excluding major concentrations of human close-contact activity? Who has suggested there should be major exclusions? It certainly wasn't me or anyone else motivated by public health, which clearly does not include the mayor of NYC who is at best an inept, craven politician. Might as well just go Full Sweden. As far as I'm concerned that is the official policy of the US federal government. During his recent town hall Trump mangled the concept by ... [More]

Some posts from this summer, mostly on New Testament

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 22, 10:16:

Yes, a prior is really just your probability on other evidence. That other evidence may be totally a priori in nature (e.g., Thomistic reasoning about the nature of God or something) or it may be heavily empirical. It's very useful to bring out the things that a person/scholar considers plausible and to get them to say why they think that. ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 21, 15:18:

But the laws are what they are. I suppose it would be possible to challenge them, constitutionally, via the Incorporation Doctrine; possibly a lawsuit along those lines will percolate out of this mess. I have a fairly strong sense that this HAS been dealt with in Con Law arenas, and is settled. I can't point to a specific ruling, though. But take the 1st amendment provision for free speech: there is a whole LIST of exceptions to it: lying, libel, incitement, and selling secrets to the enemy are all forb ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Sep 21, 14:56:

I agree, Tony. These emergency-powers laws are quite comprehensive. Alarmingly so. Maybe they shouldn't be. Maybe public health crises should be excluded. Maybe CV-19 doesn't rise to that level. But the laws are what they are. I suppose it would be possible to challenge them, constitutionally, via the Incorporation Doctrine; possibly a lawsuit along those lines will percolate out of this mess. Step2: surely you're aware of how thorough has been the discredit of public health authorities vis-a-vis the prote ... [More]

Some posts from this summer, mostly on New Testament

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 21, 00:04:

Too many so-called “critical scholars” have an unwarranted high prior probability for the idea that the authors made things up without factual warrant. I get the feeling that these scholars really don't have any good notion how to even think about the "prior probability", and in particular where to start with the starting level. Actually, now that I think about it, offhand it almost seems to be one of those essentially "not-well-defined" concepts. I might have this wrong, I am just winging it, but roug ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 20, 23:58:

Right now, there isn't any provision in the current mandate even for people who can show by copious documentation that they have had and recovered from Covid-19 to "live normal lives." E.g. There is no exception in the face mask requirements or the social distancing requirements in executive orders and other rules. OSHA won't refrain from fining a small business if it doesn't require masking but can show that all its workers have had and recovered from the disease, etc. I know. This is another in long tr ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Step2 on Sep 20, 17:14:

These are matters of prudence and tradeoffs. Fine, name some involuntary tradeoffs regarding COVID you would consider prudential. And "no shirt, no shoes" is much different from "no mask." You were the one who originally complained about being forced to wear a particular item of clothing. Businesses can require particular clothing or they can't. The deflection about social interactions doesn't matter a bit in that regard. But yeah, just go ahead and make analogies to whatever else you want to make an ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 20, 15:44:

No. I'm not saying that. Obviously. These are matters of prudence and tradeoffs. There are constitutional ways of passing public safety laws. Some of them that you think are not unduly burdensome, I might think are. Perhaps even vice versa. And so forth. That's what we have legislatures for. That's what we have a legislative process for. That's what we have legislative debate for about how burdensome and unnatural a rule is. That's why even public health authorities to whom (in my opinion unwisely and with ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Step2 on Sep 20, 13:47:

I frankly feel like I'm occupying the Twilight Zone when the radical measures, imposed upon all *perfectly healthy people*, that are actually in place, are not recognized as the dystopian, society-altering overreactions that they really are, by otherwise, previously sensible people. So are you opposed to any and all public safety measures? Because it sure seems like that is where your argument quickly leads. If you want to say there should be no seat belt laws, or limits on building occupancy, or that ev ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 20, 12:38:

You cannot seriously talk about dystopian loss of American freedoms and then turn on a dime to say, "Of course I would sacrifice those for the greater good if only...". I actually kind of went on and addressed that in the very next comment there. Yes, the legal imposition of the things would still unconstitutional power-grabs even if it were the bubonic plague. *Some* things vaguely *in this neighborhood* might make more sense as *voluntary* risk-mitigation strategies if it weren't. Others wouldn't. But ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Step2 on Sep 20, 10:10:

Lydia should just openly post a "Don't tread on me" flag as the banner on her blog. :) At ~90% accuracy the risk migration is enormous, not to mention the peace of mind. If someone pops a positive, immediately seek out the more sensitive PCR test. The only thing with 90% detection is a CT scan of the lungs. The PCR is technically accurate but only somewhat sensitive, approx. 30% of tests give false negatives. A related factor regarding testing is that after exposure it takes at least three days for the ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 20, 09:05:

But that principle allows for all manner of fine-grained prudential decisions on the part of the person in question who has a common cold, etc. If nothing else, it allows him to decide to stay home for only a couple of days, not *fourteen days*. It also allows him to decide to go to the grocery store if he has no family to bring him food, taking legitimate precautions like hand-washing, rather than literally quarantining. It allows his own friends to decide to see him if they want to risk his cold (which he ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Sep 20, 08:28:

Sorry, I meant "what bothers me about some among the COVID doves" and it occurs to me that the whole terminology itself may be obscure. COVID hawks want strong anti-pandemic measures, including tests, masks, contact tracing and even, off at the end, lockdowns. COVID doves, suspicious of all that, think the situation, while serious, is very much overblown. ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Sep 20, 08:11:

I should add, Lydia, that I thought very highly of your "Live right on" post. Here's an anecdote that may be of interest. For several years until he left the company, an employee with decades of service reported to me; often in his review session, he would boast of having never called out from work. To him this was emphatically a badge of honor. To a degree it was. But never in 30 years? Calling out from work for dishonest or frivolous reasons, like ... say, a hangover, works out as jackass conduct in my f ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 19, 17:32:

Well, I mean, no, that wouldn't happen, even if the tests were made widely available for voluntary use. For many reasons. For one thing, widespread testing would probably lead to higher case counts, leading to greater restrictions on everybody. For another thing, widespread testing (including voluntary) would mean that a bunch of people were forced either by their employers, children's schools, or by government to be quarantined. And that would include tons of people who were merely "contacts," not just tho ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Sep 19, 16:24:

Your concerns are entirely legitimate with respect to government mandates, but again I'm struck by the variance across regions. Georgia's mandates, since late April, are minimal, with almost all public health orders now on the order of a recommendation. Gov. Kemp has regularly used legal devices to undermine municipal mandates. How do you feel about mask mandates emanating from private enterprises? Those are the ones I encounter, though I have never personally seen an attempt at enforcement. The shutdowns ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 19, 10:26:

I will go farther: The shutdowns shouldn't even be an option. They are blatantly unconstitutional and wrong on so many fronts that I probably can't even list them all. Right on their face, the shutdowns are in flagrant violation of the due process clause, the takings clause, freedom of religion, and the freedom of assembly clause. It's not a matter of "let's force everybody to do x so we don't 'have' to do more draconian things." Bullshit. The "more draconian things" shouldn't even be on the table. And I ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 19, 10:14:

It pretty much defines "dystopian" for innocent people, not even accused of any crime whatsoever, to feel that they have a moral obligation (much less for them to be coerced by legal sanctions of any kind) to tell the government (!) the names of *every person with whom they had a 15-minute face-to-face conversation recently*. It's all the more dystopian for people to be pressured to do this when they know full-well that those officials will then make contact with those also-innocent friends, acquaintances, ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 19, 09:53:

"In light of these things, I find very puzzling the suggestion that it would be better not to know where the virus is spreading." If we had greater wisdom and fewer totalitarian instincts among our leaders, maybe it wouldn't be. It would just be neutral information. But even you and I disagree about what counts as "wisdom" and "totalitarian" in this context, so all the more so I disagree *strongly* with the actual governors and health officials who are making use of that information. Information is power. ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Sep 19, 01:32:

Agreed on that last point. The isolation is indeed horrific and needs to stop. I also agree that focusing on the case count in most situations is less than useless. Changes in case counts over time provide some valuable data -- rolling 7-day averages and so forth -- but hospital utilization and deaths are the key measures. That said, we have good reason now to believe that even many "mild" cases are only mild in a clinical sense -- they required no hospitalization. To the person infected there's nothing "m ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 18, 20:05:

And if it were the bubonic plague, the horrific isolation we have imposed on sick people, denying them even the presence of a family member when they are dying, denying them the Sacraments, etc., is inhuman to the point of being evil. Denying human contact, Sacraments, and religious meeting even to *healthy* people in the form of lockdown is both evil *and* insane. ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 18, 20:03:

I have a much stronger negative view of the effects of "universal masking" on freedom, society at large, etc. And the whole "real contact tracing" thing is dystopian and is precisely the problem with casual testing of apparently healthy people. If the family wanting to visit the beach gets tested "just because" or "for peace of mind," and one child tests positive, they massively disrupt not only their own lives but the lives of all sorts of perfectly healthy children who just happened to be unlucky enough ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Sep 18, 19:25:

It's interesting how much experience varies based on what state you're in. In Georgia, where the lockdown began easing in late April, all the grueling stuff appears fairly distant in the rearview mirror. My children have been in school for a month, with sports practices beginning a month before that. I called the lines at a daughter's volleyball match and ran the pitching machine at Little League earlier this week. The school still restricts the crowd to immediate family, but even that has eased a bit to al ... [More]

Some posts from this summer, mostly on New Testament

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 18, 09:55:

Yeah, I think his bishop may have silenced him as well, if I'm thinking of the same one. ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 18, 09:54:

Right now, there isn't any provision in the current mandate even for people who can show by copious documentation that they have had and recovered from Covid-19 to "live normal lives." E.g. There is no exception in the face mask requirements or the social distancing requirements in executive orders and other rules. OSHA won't refrain from fining a small business if it doesn't require masking but can show that all its workers have had and recovered from the disease, etc. And just yesterday a news story emerg ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 18, 02:49:

The question of whether you can "get it again" is a very live one, and we get crossed signals all the time about how long-term the immunity is. Yeah, I have heard that debate a little, but I tuned it out very quickly. It was manifest that it was cooked up, out of whole cloth, by those with an agenda - perhaps several different agendas, I don't know. It hasn't a SHRED of basis for it, and EVERYTHING we know about the mechanisms of vaccines stands against it. As far as I am concerned, people who want to m ... [More]

Some posts from this summer, mostly on New Testament

Comment posted by Scott Waddell on Sep 17, 23:39:

A little Dearborn news: Catholic priest calls out Antifa/BLM in homily. His pastor apologizes and pulls the video. Thankfully it was saved and uploaded by others: https://youtu.be/oHO1sNfuNOw ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Scott Waddell on Sep 17, 23:36:

I tried to register for Facebook but screwed up the photo part and now I apparently can't get past the Level 5 security clearance to have an account. Probably just as well. Another place I can't be tempted by Wrath if I can't see it. ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 17, 20:59:

My publisher is actually much faster than a lot of other presses that do academic books. The chief reason for delay is that we want to give blurbers lots of time. It's a hefty book, and if a busy scholar accepts a review copy and you want his endorsement, it's best to give him a generous amount of time. That also makes it clear that you're seriously wanting him to have a good look at it. Not necessarily to read every word but to read a decent portion of it, possibly even all of it. This shows that I'm not a ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 17, 20:38:

Tony, people *have* talked about that, but of course it's considered unethical. Moreover, there is so much controversy about how long-lived the immunity is, and so much politicization to the answer, that (literally) a local lab that had an antibody test available couldn't get enough interest in it to manufacture them. When you mention to anybody that you think you've had the illness, they just casually state as if it's a known fact, "Wellll, but you can get it again, you know." The question of whether you c ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Scott on Sep 17, 18:25:

I'm a little curious: Are there readers who 1) don't want to join Facebook (and hence cannot "follow" to see all public posts automatically but 2) are willing to click on a link to a specific post that is set to public and 3) would like to know when something really meaty goes up in that form? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!! ... [More]

Money in the Garden of Eden?

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 17, 11:36:

In the Garden of Eden and unfallen man, there is no: death, disease, inordinate desires, uncontrollable passions, attachment to worldly goods, ambition, pride, envy, greed, covetousness, self-glorification, etc. Agreed Man's life would consist mostly of ease and contemplation. Tending the garden would be mostly an artistic and leisurely endeavor. Agreed also - for the most part. It is JUST this sort of thinking that led me to where I ended up in the OP. Men, free from any sort of worry about today's ... [More]

It's been a long year already: My blogging update

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 17, 10:26:

I for one do not have a facebook account and at this point will not get one. Since it seems to be slowly dying the same death as Yahoo and other forerunners, investing time and energy into it seems less than ideal. I would definitely find it useful to have links to your posts. Twitter is for twits, and whatever my shortcomings, that's not one. Human communication, even before Twitter, was suffering from an immense superficiality. That medium, with its premium on short messages and photos, and the impo ... [More]

Why atheism can be respectable

Comment posted by Edwardtbabinski on Sep 10, 10:39:

And Romans 1 is merely Paul mirroring the Wisdom of Solomon, an apocryphal work, ... [More]

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

Comment posted by tm19 on Aug 16, 22:23:

Came across this example that you can add to your abusers-of-Lucian database. Arthur Kinney took the view that the inveterate satirist was obviously pulling our leg. He really intended historians to write "truthful and instructive fiction" (Kinney, Arthur F. Continental Humanistic Poetics. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1989, p. 204). Lol. ... [More]