Daily Archives: May 26, 2011
Andrew Klavan And Islam
This is not really new anymore, but in my eyes it touches themes and a way of seeing religion that is at the same time still actual and very well argued. The comparison with the “gigantic german mouse” is powerful, the one with the carmelite nuns even more so.
Enjoy this brilliant video of Andrew Klavan.
Sonogram Now Mandatory In Texas
Following on the Pro-Life Final Weapon blog post, it is now official that in Texas a sonogram will be mandatory before an abortion.
There are still unpleasant limitations to the measure. The mother is not obliged to see the sonogram or to hear to the heartbeat, but she will have to hear to the doctor’s description of how the baby looks like. Also, the baby result of rape does not have the same right and in this case, the mother will not even have to listen to the doctor (unless I am mistaken, expect an increase in cases of rape).
See above an example of the image generated by the sonogram. Truly impressive. The possibility of hearing the baby’s heartbeat will add to the experience.
Astonishingly, though, there are people who are against the measure because (please sit before you read this)
the law interferes in the doctor-patient relationship by adding a government requirement for a procedure that could be traumatizing to women going through an already difficult situation.
So, the mother should not be traumatised by …… letting her know that she is killing her own baby.
What sensitive Nazis we have there.
Kudos to the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, who put the measure on a legislative fast track as “emergency legislative priority”, and to the heavily pro-life majority in the state legislative which made the bill possible in the first place.
Catholic Blogging In 17.5 Easy Steps
I don’t like talking about my blog, which is the reason why I never write blog posts like “this is my 300th post” and the like.
Still, I have been blogging for almost one year now and have, I think, learned one thing or two about what – at least in my case – goes and what not.
As I have written a couple of times in the recent past about Catholic blogging, I thought that I may write here a couple of suggestions that might be obvious to the already experienced blogger, but not so obvious to the person thinking of starting a Catholic blog for the first time.
If you were to ask me for advice about how to start a conservative Catholic blog, I would – based exclusively on my personal experience; your mileage may vary – suggest the following steps. Others will, no doubt, have different opinions. Still, here we are:
1) anonymity. It is pure illusion to think that future employers – or people relevant to one’s business – will not trace all your activity whether you want it or not; and this without you having any control about the matter and without you ever knowing what damage this has done to you. If you are like me you’ll seek wisdom, not martyrdom.
2) No public stat counter. To have a public stat counter means to make an emotional investment in how many page views you get, in front of all your readers. This can easily lead – human nature being what it is – to a perversion of the scope of the blog and you might end up writing what you think might bring more page views, rather than what you think is more deserving of a blog post. Do your own thing. It’s not an exercise in popularity.
3) Activate comments. People like to comment and yes, you will like to answer to them. It doesn’t take much time. Only a very tiny minority of readers comments, but many more enjoy to read the comments. Comments also help to clarify and expand the blog post material. In time, you’ll receive many useful hints about further posts, too.
4) Moderate comments before they are posted. It is astonishing how every blog is visited by people whose only apparent scope in life is to annoy others. Don’t be a Pollyanna, it’s full of rubbish-spitting trolls out there. You will have a “trash” button. Use it.
5) Variety. Blog about a mixture of news and general issues. A blog is very useful for themes of general Catholicism because, contrarily to what you may think, your blog posts do not get buried. See below about this, point 7). Use your blog to propagate Catholic devotions. Particularly the Rosary. And Fatima. Ah, and Padre Pio. Oh, and Pius XII. You get the drift……. 😉
6) Post just a few blog links. Too many links is the same as no links. Have just a limited number of links that work as a real endorsement and whose profile well complements your own blog. Escape the temptation of the “I link to you if you link to me”-mentality. It doesn’t even work, because being buried among 200 links against your burying others among your 200 links is, I think, not going to help much. I would also opine that Google is, very probably, smarter than that. Ah, and don’t be an ass: link to the right blogs even if they don’t link to you. You are trying to give a service to your readers, not to wage a link war….
7) Be patient. A blog must grow like a tree, with the slow accumulation of concentric circles of blog posts. The accumulation of good, serious content is at least as important as the issue of the day. A blog slowly builds on the foundation of a growing number of posts your readers will love to browse around. I see this on my own (hidden to you 😉 ) statistics, with a surprising percentage of page views daily devoted to old posts. This I hadn’t expected. A blog doesn’t work – as I thought initially – like a pile of magazines, with the older ones being buried under a ton of newer material; rather, it works more like an electronic archive always accessible – and continuously accessed – through individual clicking and search engines. You’ll do well to link to older posts within new ones anyway, as it shows to your new readers that there is a lot to read around.
8 ) Method. A blog can’t eat your life, because if you do you’ll soon abandon the effort after the first enthusiasms. Rather, the decision to devote so and so much time to the blog every week – something reasonable, but “visible” and half way constant – will help you to make of this a long-term project. Those who start a blog for the stat counter – and those who think that the world has been waiting for what they have to say – will be disappointed and will soon stop blogging.
9) Honesty. Make every blog post something uniquely yours. If you link to external material, write your own thoughts about it. If you take the habit of merely posting external documents that hey can easily google you don’t give anything unique to the reader. Readers don’t visit your blog for the text of, say, “Universae Ecclesiae”, but for your take on it. The first can be had everywhere, the second from you only.
10) Images. Post images whenever you have time. Make the image relevant and striking; or use it to bring some irony, or a joke, or even to administer some cod liver oil when appropriate. Pay attention that you do not infringe about other people’s copyrights. Still, don’t be a slave to the pleasant layout: if there’s no time, it’s better to post good content with a simple layout than no content at all.
11) Tags. Post all tags you think relevant to the post. Don’t neglect this part because tags are an important part of your ability to be reached through internet searches. Whenever I saw a sudden decrease of pageviews the reason was, without a single exception, my forgetting to write the tags.
12) Technology. Make your readers as comfortable as your technical savvy allows. Post on twitter and facebook, allow internal post search, etc. Similarly, use the technology available to you. The “timer” function – allowing you to write when you have time, and to publish when you think it’s right – is a very useful tool.
13) Bite. Make your blog unique, not just another “let us get along” product. Give it assertiveness, substance, chuzpah. Write an opinion, not merely a fact. Tell clearly what you want to say. Don’t be afraid of being harsh with people who deserve to be treated harshly. You are blogging, not having afternoon tea, so stop being so English 😉 and take inspiration from the chap in the photo above 😉
13b) Bite part II, or political incorrectness. Don’t be afraid of exercising your rights. Tell it as it is. For example, don’t say “gay” unless you mean “happy”. Use “homosexual” or “sodomite” instead. You may want to sprinkle with “faggot” and “poof” whenever a harsher reproach sounds appropriate, but that’s up to you. Don’t be pussyfooting around. You have an agenda that must be said loud and clear, not whispered. Show your readers that you eat meat, not tofu. Ridicule the enemy, as this has always been an extremely effective weapon. Una risata li seppellira’ (“a laugh will bury them”).
14) Blog profile. Do your own thing. Don’t ask your readers how they’d like your blog to be, and don’t try to fathom how they would best like it. This is nonsensical; tot capita, tot sententiae. Write your blog as you like it, and other people will like it too. There’s no blog which, when properly cared for and written from the heart, doesn’t attract the readership congenial to it. Even sedevacantist sites, when properly made, attract readers! It is better to have a product with a real, individualised character, that one which tries to be all things to all people. The first gives a very good service to a limited few, but the second no added value to anyone.
15) Keep your ego outside as much as practicable. Blog anonymously and if you can (no spouse around, say) don’t tell anyone you’re blogging. Train yourself to think that you write to fight the good fight, not for human recognition. Your service is twofold: a) to God, who sees you even if no one else knows, and b) to your readers, to whom you give a service if you give a unique and instructive product instead of a copycat, or a collection of common places. This is also useful for point 1) above.
16) Accuracy. Write your blog posts in correct, proper English. If you don’t know the difference between “their”, “there” and “they’re”, “its” and “it’s”, “Popes” and “Pope’s” and the like, do not expect to be taken seriously. If you are, like me, a foreigner, do make an extra effort. “He who [writes] badly, thinks badly” (Nanni Moretti).
17) Seek remuneration. The thing with the free meal, and all that. You put a lot of work in your blog and give your readers a service which some of them will find valuable. Don’t be a wimp, and ask for your readers’ prayers (I suggest the “about the author” page for that; we don’t want to be a nuisance; or perhaps we should be a nuisance?). With the years, think of how many they might become. One day, this will be a very useful currency, and certainly worth every minute of your time, and the best compensation for your effort you may desire. Most people are honest folks: when they see added value, they are glad to give back for it; and don’t think you don’t need prayers because, if you are any similar to me, you most certainly do.
Salesian Herman Spronck Apparently Suspended, Possibly Defrocked.
I have written here about the unspeakable Herman Spronck, the Dutch Salesian Superior being on record with saying that sex with a child of twelve is fine with him.
It would now appear that this evil man has been suspended, and that a decision of the Pope is pending whether he should be defrocked.
The source of this is, says here, the Dutch journalist Roland Strijker.
If this news is confirmed (and the source seems to be credible, if even Messa In Latino doesn’t hesitate to echo it) this would show, semel in anno, a remarkable speed from both the Salesians and the Holy Father in reacting to the events.
It is true that the declarations of the Spronck man were openly evil. Still, it is a pleasure to see that a new praxis is paving its way in the corridors at least of the Vatican, that grave scandals are now punished without the slowness traditionally abused by bastards and heretics of all kinds.
If it can be of interest, the pedophile organisation called Martijn, of which the suspended Salesian at the origin of Spronck’s interview was a member, complains with the Pope and the Vatican and showers lauds on the Spronck man. Nothing else to say, really.
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