Thursday, May 31, 2007

Today's Holy Day


Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary


O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who didst descend from the highest heavens io the womb of the Virgin Mary, didst therein rest for nine months, and with her didst condescend to visit and sanctify Saint John, grant that we, by the practice of good works, particularly of humility, may become partakers of the fruits of Thy incarnation.

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Just Who Is the Governor of New Mexico?

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Love of Country, Not Empire

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Half a Million Dead Iraqi Children

'Worth It'─the revolting response of Madeleine Albright on the collateral damage "during the Bush-Clinton murder-sanctions." Comments Lew Rockwell, "Few Americans remember this moment. A huge number of people around the world do."


They hate us for our freedoms. Pass the soma. Pass the Kool-Aid. They hate us for our freedoms...

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The Popes and Dialogue with Islam

Dr. Jeff Mirus has a thoughtful piece for those who see the above as "departure from the true Faith and embracing a new religion"─Style and Substance: A Confusion of Targets.

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Mrs. Dennis Kucinich, Localist

The "gorgeous, slim, 6-foot-tall redhead" is the subject of this article, which includes a photo, on her thrift-store shopping habits─Clothes shopping with Mrs. Kucinich. From the article:
    "The people who own the shops are just lovely, and they and the people who give or sell their clothing to the shops are all local," she says. "So when you shop at these stores, you're supporting the community."
[link via the Crunchy Con]

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Prof. Clyde Wilson on the New Morality

A hard truth from the southern gentleman's latest, The Way We Are Now—More Melancholy Observations:
    VP Cheney’s lesbian daughter is now a proud mother, through artificial insemination. We were in the past urged to tolerate the “alternative lifestyle” because what took place between consenting adults was none of our business. But now we are talking about non-consenting children.

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John Wayne, Jeffersonian Liberal

Doug French offers a centennial appreciation─John Wayne's 100th. An excerpt:
    Wayne liked to think of himself as a Jeffersonian liberal, according to biographers Donald Shepherd, Robert Slatzer and David Grayson, "subscribing to the principle that government is best which governs least." He told Dean Jennings of the Saturday Evening Post: "I think government is the natural enemy of the individual, but it’s a necessary evil, like, say, motion-picture agents."
Mr. French says "[t]he love of John Wayne is passed down from generation to generation." I will pass the love to my son.

Let us also remember that the Duke "converted to Catholicism two days before he died." [See The religion of John Wayne, actor.]

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Ralph Nader, Paleocon

"Big Government and the Empire of Big Business"─Taming the Giant Corporation. An excerpt:
    More and more conservatives believe that Big Business (Wall Street vs. Main Street) is out of control and stomping on conservative values. They don't like corporate welfare, corporate eminent domain against the little guys, commercial invasion of privacies, WTO and NAFTA shredding our sovereignty, corporate crimes (Enron, Worldcom, etc.) or Big Government on behalf of Big Business Empires around the world.

    They are appalled by corporations directly selling bad things and violent programming to their children, whom these companies teach to nag parents.

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Erasmus on the Neocons

Prof. Jacob Boas offers a fascinating article─What Erasmus Knew (And We Didn’t). The article describes the book written the year after "Suleiman the Magnificent had stood poised to take Vienna." An excerpt:
    It was against this backdrop of fear and anxiety that the acclaimed author of The Praise of Folly wrote On the War against the Turks (De Bellum Turco). In it Erasmus, a life-long opponent of war, urged his fellow Christians to think twice before rushing off to war against the Ottoman Turks. “Merely to clamor for war against the Turks,” he wrote, “calling them inhuman monsters, traitors to the Church and a race tainted with all kinds of crime and villainy, is simply to betray the ignorant mob to the enemy.”

    Erasmus did not rule out such a war altogether. But if war was to be made - and with the mob howling for Muslim blood, he knew it well might — it was imperative, he stated, “that our intentions be pure and honorable.” Nothing good can come of a war against the Turks, he argued, “if we take up arms without correcting the errors which have provoked God to punish us through their barbaric cruelty.” Among the errors he decried among his Christian contemporaries was a taste for cruelty that was the equal of, if not greater than, that manifested by the enemy. Another was a desire to possess the Turk’s riches and “to rule his subjects,” risking “the danger that we ourselves shall degenerate into Turks rather than bring them into Christ’s fold.”

    A further danger of making war on the Turks, Erasmus warned, was that it could serve as a pretext for a “tiny clique” to seize power and use that power to undermine our freedoms, abrogating the rule of law, “removing the authority of parliaments,” and plundering the people, so that by “overthrowing the tyranny of the Turks, … we bring a new and worse tyranny upon ourselves.”

    A third danger, according to Erasmus, is that the money it takes to make war winds up in the pockets of the few. There are many “holy sermons” about “crusading expeditions” and “valiant deeds and boundless hopes,” but in the end, remarked the humanist, noting how the collection monies and taxes have disappeared into the pockets of the war profiteers, “the only thing that has triumphed has been money.”
I wonder, did the neocons of his day brand the humanist theologian a "Europe-hater"?

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OhmyPaul

OhmyNews, the unfortunately named South Korea-based "citizen journalism" pioneer, has a good introduction to Dr. Ron Paul by Jeremy Jacquot─Ron Paul: Another Kind of Conservative.

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The Pope's Address on Tertullian

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Lina Joy Loses

The Malay woman who "after being baptised a Roman Catholic in May 1998, wanted to remove the word 'Islam' from her identity card in order to marry her Catholic fiance" has lost her case─Malaysian court refuses to recognise convert. The Malaysian Federal Court has ruled that her case "is beyond its jurisdiction and remains the province of the Shariah courts."

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Another Permanent Alliance in the Works

This is bad─Bush sees South Korea model for Iraq.

UPDATE: The Marmot's Hole is hosting a lively discussion of this topic─Bush envisions long-term, Korea-like deployment in Iraq? WTF? Click on the link if only to read people who actually believe that "Iraq will be peaceful quite soon."

Also, Prof. Sam Crane has a thoughtful post─International Relations Lesson of the Day: Iraq is not Korea.

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Serifs, East and West

Serifs are the "non-structural details on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols." I came upon them mentioned in two places today.

First, LewRockwell.com links to a disturbing slide-show essay about "the ubiquitous sans-serif font that some have called the official typeface of the 20th century"─The Helvetica Hegemony.

Second, Mutantfrog Travelogue offers am informative post about the "Chinese Song or Japanese Mincho typeface (similar to serif typefaces in European languages)"─Why horizontal strokes are thinner than vertical strokes.

One of the hats I wear is that of the copy-editor of the Asian Journal of Ergonomics. Two years ago, I edited an article─mentioned in my post Template Hopping─"which compared the ease of reading of the Times New Roman [used on this blog] and the Ariel fonts [and] found that the former, with serifs, was much easier to read than the latter sans-serif font." This blogger has from that time forward been convinced of the superiority of the traditional Serif in any script.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Uncle Gilbert Answers Why

The first paragraph of G. K. Chesterton: Why I Am a Catholic, from 1926:
    The difficulty of explaining "why I am a Catholic" is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true. I could fill all my space with separate sentences each beginning with the words, "It is the only thing that . . ." As, for instance, (1) It is the only thing that really prevents a sin from being a secret. (2) It is the only thing in which the superior cannot be superior; in the sense of supercilious. (3) It is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age. (4) It is the only thing that talks as if it were the truth; as if it were a real messenger refusing to tamper with a real message. (5) It is the only type of Christianity that really contains every type of man; even the respectable man. (6) It is the only large attempt to change the world from the inside; working through wills and not laws; and so on.

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Prince Eui-wha Runs Amok in Turn-of-the-Century America

Robert Neff, historian and long-time resident of Seoul, spins a fascinating and colorful tale─Korean Prince Charming Woos America.

The story can perhaps be summarized by this contemporary newspaper account:
    He had eighty-seven suits of American clothes, with a beflowered vest for every suit, and he had experienced love suits and once [a] considerable lawsuit. His imperial highness left his divided heart in three American maidens' keeping.
Back in '96 at the UB Graduate School of Education, when I entered the world of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, my senior (先輩님) advised me that there were two kinds of Korean students in America: either very, very good or very, very bad. His Imperial Highness would seem to have fallen into the second category.

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La passion de Jeanne d'Arc

In honor of today's memorial of Saint Joan of Arc, I present in its entirety The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928):


Noted critic Pauline Kael said lead Maria Falconetti's "may be the finest performance ever recorded on film."

I found a bargain bin copy of this film with Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light as a soundtrack. The piece was composed in 1994 to accompany the film, and has as its libretto the writings of Mediæval female mystics. The score sounds like Carmina Burana with the motor rhythms of Dmitri Shostakovich and the sweeping riffs of Sonic Youth.

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Ron Paul en français

The LewRockwell.com Blog links to a blog from Our Oldest Enemy our oldest ally─Ron Paul France - Le Journal de campagne. Vive la France! Vive Ron Paul!

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Cindy Sheehan, Old Rightist

In yesterday's open letter─Why I Am Leaving the Democratic Party─the "Peace Mom" speaks of "borrowing money from our new owners, the Chinese" and rejects "our government's violent meddling in sovereign countries." Sounds like she'd be in favor of following The Original American Foreign Policy.

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Don't Believe the Motu Proprio Hype

Vaticanologist John L. Allen, Jr. on how the upcoming decision by the Holy Father to expand use of Traditional Latin Mass "will be hyped beyond all recognition, because doing so serves the purposes of both conservatives and liberals within the church"─The Pope’s Language Lesson.

Says Mr. Allen, "Sources close to the pope I have spoken to say his modest ambition is that over time, the old Mass will exert a 'gravitational pull' on the new one, drawing it toward greater sobriety and reverence." That's fine by me. The Church has been around a while and weathered a storm or two.

When it some to religious matters, I've given up on using any label such as "conservative" or "traditionalist" for myself; "Catholic" is enough. Or maybe I should call myself a "catholic Catholic." After all, even "progressive" and "liberal" Catholics bring something to the table. What was it the Apostle said about factions?

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Cindy Sheehan, Mater Dolorosa

An excerpt from her resignation from the movement, "Good Riddance Attention Whore":
    The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried every since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.

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"Has Congress given George Bush a green light to attack Iran?"

So asks Patrick J. Buchanan─Does 'The Decider' Decide on War? "Whether one is pro-war or antiwar, ought we not—if we are going into another war—do it the right way, the constitutional way, with Congress declaring war?"

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Neocon Atheist vs. Progressive Theist in Berkeley

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Honey Lee Beats Cho Seung-hui



Search queries for Miss Korea, third runner-up in the Miss Universe contest, have brought more daily unique visitors to this blog─set to pass two-thousand today─than did the previous record-holder, the Virginia Tech mass murderer. In fact, the former is beating the latter by a margin of more than three-to-one. If there is a lesson to be drawn from this, it is that in the end, Beauty always triumphs over Evil.

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Rudy Must Fail

Mini-Mussolini is exposed by Keith Preston, a long-time radical writer and activist from Richmond, Virginia─The Significance of Rudy Giuliani.

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Another Old Rightist Comes Out of the Woodwork

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The Joy of Drinking

Barbara Holland, an authoress who's "so old that I remember when we all used to sing all the time," has written a book of that title "as a protest against the decline of social drinking and the rise of broccoli, exercise and Starbucks"─She'll Drink to That. Booze, says she, is "the social glue of the human race."

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Even the Counterculture Is Going Down the Tubes

"Gutter punks roam where, 40 years ago, flower children protested the war in Vietnam," reports John M. Glionna─There's not a lot of love in the Haight. The best quote is from Arthur Evans , 64, who said, "I used to be a hippie. I wore beads and grew my hair long... But my generation had something these kids do not: a standard of civilized behavior"

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Teaching Trash Talk

Sarah Miller is shocked─shocked!─that teaching her Korean-American sixth-graders "a common euphemism for fellatio" and how the act was performed would cost her her job─Too sexy for my students.

She plays the martyr and calls the kids "little Judases" because they told their parents about what was happening in the classroom after she had instructed them not to. Referring to another case in Chicago, she asks, "If you're old enough to call someone a faggot, aren't you old enough to watch 'Brokeback Mountain'?"

No, Miss Miller, you're not. [Neither should you be calling someone a "faggot."] In saner times, Miss Miller, you would have been tarred, feathered, and carried out of town on a pole.

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Altruism, Confucianism, Catholicism

The Useless Tree's Professor Sam Crane discusses a study that suggests that altruism is "not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable"─This Just In: Mencius Is Right!

He quotes this Mencian passage:
    ...without a heart of compassion we aren't human, without a heart of conscience we aren't human, without a heart of courtesy we aren't human, and without a heart of right and wrong we aren't human. A heart of compassion is he seed of Humanity. A heart of conscience is the seed of Duty. A heart of courtesy is the seed of Ritual. And a heart of right and wrong is the seed of wisdom.

    These four seeds are as much a part of us as our four limbs. To possess them and yet deny their potential - that is to wound yourself...(3.6)
From Mencius Chapter 6 comes my favorite argument supporting the innate goodness of Man (created in the image of God):
    When I say that all men have a mind which cannot bear to see the sufferings of others, my meaning may be illustrated thus:-- even now-a-days, if men suddenly see a child about to fall into a well, they will without exception experience a feeling of alarm and distress. They will feel so, not as a ground on which they may gain the favour of the child's parents, nor as a ground on which they may seek the praise of their neighbours and friends, nor from a dislike to the reputation of having been unmoved by such a thing.
The article Prof. Crane discusses cites that Taoist Sage, Saint Francis of Assisi: "For it is in giving that we receive."

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Reactionary Morality

"Curzon" of ComingAnarchy.com posts the results of a "survey [that] appears to show that the more conservative you are, the more sophisticated [a] moral compass you have"─Morality: Left and Right.

The survey focuses on Harm/Care, Fairness/Reciprocity, Ingroup/Loyalty, Authority/Respect, and Purity/Sanctity. As a reactionary, I must be off the chart he posts.

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Cindy Sheehan Joins the Politically Homeless

The text of her must-read "Open Letter to the Democratic Congress"─Why I Am Leaving the Democratic Party.

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Turks Against Darwinism

Nicholas Birch with a fascinating story─Turkey: Mid-east center for Creationism. A 770-page book has been published, which
    blame[s] evolutionary principles for Communism, Nazism and – under an A3 photo of the Twin Towers in flames – Islamic radicalism and the September 11 terrorist tragedy. "Darwinism is the only philosophy which values conflict", the text says.
As I said before, Darwinism Is Social Darwinism.

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South Korea's "1987 Regime"

The above refers to "the four successive administrations that followed the democratization process based on the promise made in 1987," as reported on by Professor Kim Gi-bong in this fascinating article─What defines Korean identity - nation or state?

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More Stem Cell Research!

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4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days

"People should be aware of the consequences of their decisions," says director Cristian Mungiu of his film 4 luni, 3 saptamini si 2 zile (2007), titled for the age of the aborted baby─“Harrowing” Romanian Abortion Film Wins Cannes’ Palm D’Or; Second Abortion Film to Win a Prestigious Film Festival.

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Peak Oil and Doom

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Collectivist Agriculture

When will the North Koreans follow the Cubans and realize it is one of the deadliest ideas ever spawned?─North Korea's Spring Farm Supporting Activity, Students Suffering Greatest Damages.

A few years after the Soviet Union collapsed into the dustbin of history and Cuba lost her sugar daddy, the island returned to small-scale organic argriculture and was able to feed itself.

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The Pope and Free Markets

A report on His Holiness' address to young Italian entrepreneurs─Good to make a profit, Benedict agrees.

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Palæo Milblogger Reports Back to Duty

After a long absence, the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel has some new posts.

The latest post─It is not Hero Worship When the Man is Right─is a tribute to his fellow Carolinian Professor Clyde N. Wilson, a man who has earned the respect of this Yankee blogger. If I feel as strongly about anyone, it would be fellow Western New Yorker Bill Kauffman of Reactionary Radicals fame. There's a lot more to geography than we acknowledge.

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Post-Memorial Day Myth-Busting

Perhaps not entirely appropriate for yesterday's solemn remembrance, these links from A conservative blog for peace I've saved for the day after─The Troops Don’t Defend Our Freedoms and The Troops Don’t Support the Constitution.

Both articles were written by Jacob G. Hornberger of The Future of Freedom Foundation, who means no disrespect to our men and─alack!─women in uniform. Rather, he wants to remind us of The Original American Foreign Policy, What the Founding Fathers Meant by the "Militia", and that Standing Armies Stand in the Way of Freedom.

Our freedoms cannot be defended overseas by needlessly opening new fronts in which our troops are slaughtered and even beheaded. “America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” Our freedoms must be preserved at home, by us!

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Collateral De-Christianization in the War on Terror™

Sandro Magister on "the only country where the liturgy is still celebrated in Aramaic, the language of Jesus"─A Final Appeal: Save Christian Iraq.

The evangelicals among the architects of Mr. Bush's War may─or may not─be among those who say "there are some Christians in the Catholic Church," but whatever the case, it appears that little or no consideration was made as to what effect the removal of the strongman might have had on the Catholic Chaldeans, Syro-Catholics, Syro-Orthodox, Assyrians from the East, Catholic and Orthodox Armenians, and Greek-Melkites, not to mention on the Sunni-Shi'a divide. Criminal negligence. War criminal negligence.

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American Folk Art and Culture Documentary Heaven

Folkstreams » The Best of American Folklore Films came to my attention via public radio─NPR: Folkstreams Documents America, An Hour At a Time─and I just spent fourteen very enjoyable minutes with this film from 1973─It Ain't City Music. There are scores of others to watch.

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Greenhouse Heresy

Alexander Cockburn dares to utter it─The Greenhousers Strike Back and Out. An excerpt:
    The greenhouse fearmongers explode at the first critical word, and have contrived a series of primitive rhetorical pandybats which they flourish in retaliation. Those who disagree with their claim that anthropogenic CO2 is the cause of the small, measured increase in the average earth's surface temperature, are stigmatized as "denialists," a charge which scurrilously combines an acoustic intimation of nihilism with a suggested affinity to those who insist the Holocaust never took place.

    The greenhousers endlessly propose that the consensus of "scientists" on anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming. By scientists they actually mean computer modelers. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and their computer-modeling coterie include very few real climatologists or atmospheric physicists. Among qualified climatologists, meteorologists and atmospheric physicists, there are plenty who do not accept the greenhousers' propositions. Many others have been intimidated into silence by the pressures of grants, tenure and kindred academic garottes.
A remarkable statement for a Leftist, ¿no?

I'll offer my own greenhouse heresy as well; I'm a reactionary greenhouser. Like at least 99% of the folks who comment on this issue from either side, I have not studied up on the science. I can agree with Mr. Cockburn that the jury is still out on the issue, and like him I absolutely reject internationalist climate socialism. But I was raised to believe that wasteful living had consequences. I think the best course would be for folks to act as if global warming were a fact and act on an individual and local basis.

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Prof. Bacevich's Memorial Day

Mourning the loss of his son, the Vietnam veteran, professor of foreign relations, and conservative critic of the war offers this absolute must-read for the day─I Lost My Son to a War I Oppose. We Were Both Doing Our Duty.

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Bill Maher Redeems Himself

This time around, he asks Dr. Ron Paul some serious questions:
    Ron Paul on Bill Maher Show 5-25-07
[link via the LewRockwell.com Blog by way of Eunomia]

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If Only!

Here's the most misleading headline I've come across in ages─Pope considers return to Latin mass. How is a move to "relax the restrictions on celebrating the Tridentine Mass" a "return"?

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Congratulations, Miss Jeon!

One of my favorite Korean actresses does good─Jeon Do-yeon Wins Best Actress at Cannes.



I have yet to see the movie for which she won this honor, Milyang (2007), which I understand deals seriously with difficult religious and philosophical themes. It never dawned on me that name of the city from which the movie gets its title, Miryang, comes from Sino-Korean characters that literally mean "secret sunshine" (密陽). What a beautiful name for a beautiful town, which also happens to be my wife's clan's ancestral seat. The town is nestled in the mountains, and its name makes perfect sense.

Chang-dong Lee is also a director that I cannot recommend highly enough. His Bakha satang (2000) and Oasis (2002) are two of the best films of the past decade.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Today's Holy Day

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Humane Economist

Wilhelm Röpke's A Humane Economy, published in 1960, fills the reader with both hope and despair: hope, because his diagnosis is so clear; despair, because as sick as the patient was forty-seven years ago, she is much, much sicker today.

The book begins with an analysis of the disease, Mass society. The author is keener than his fellow Austrian School Economists on how much we lost with the Proletarianization that accompanied The Industrial Revolution. But he is like his fellows not only in rejecting Scientism in his field, but also in rejecting Statism in the market. He would rather have the market regulated by a myriad of corps intermédiares ranging from family, to local community and government, to church.

Roepke laments the end of the Gold standard and warns against resignation to an Age of Inflation. He looks forward to the time when John Maynard Keynes "will be recognized as one of the great intellectual ruiners of history─like Rousseau and Marx."

His remedy calls for Decentralization in accorance with The Principle of Subsidiarity. My reading of the book was that it gives some gravitas to the ideas that go under the name of Distributivism.

Roepke draws on the thought of Edmund Burke (1729–1797), K. Wilhelm Freiherr von Humboldt (1767–1835), Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859), Christopher Dawson (1898–1970), Friedrich August von Hayek (1899–1992), Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1909–1999), and Russell Kirk (1918–1994).

The book is also superbly written; every sentence is a joy to read and every train of thought a joy to follow.

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Church vs. State

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"The New Hitler" Mistranslated

Arash Norouzi's discovery is not new─I posted a link to an article saying the same thing more than a year ago, Translating Ahmadinejad─but it is timely─'Wiped off the Map' – The Rumor of the Century.

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Thirty-Six North Korean Martyrs

A story from the nearby Waegwan Abbey, South Korea, which exercises ecclesial jurisdiction over the North Korean Abbacy of Tokwon─North Korean Martyrs, the first process for beatification gets underway. The story:
    According to Abbot Simon Petro Ri Hyeong-u, Apostolic Administrator of Territorial Abbacy of Tokwon, “At the moment, the community of Order of St. Benedict Waegwan Abbey is full of aspiration to honour the witness of faith shown by our predecessors. Hereby, this abbey announces that it will play the role of 'actor' in the case for promoting the beatification and canonization”.

    The initiative also has to some extent a “political” value. Upon till now, in fact the Seoul government has always exerted its influence to avoid the commemoration of these martyrs in order not to provoke a “diplomatic incident” with the present regime, led by Kim Jong-il, Kim Il-sung’s son.

    The process is entitled “beatification Abbot Bishop Boniface Sauer (O.S.B.), Fr. Benedict Kim (O.S.B.) and companions”. These men underlines Sabas Lee Seong-geun (vice-postulator for the cause), “all died in the North Korean communist death camps during that terrible wave of anti-Catholic persecution after the communists came to power. We remember them together because in some way they are all linked to the Tokwon Abbey”.

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Röpke on Centrism and Decentrism

Wilhelm Röpke, in 1960's A Humane Economy, faced with the imprecision of words like "progressivism," "conservativism," "collectivism," "individualism," "liberalism," and "socialism," comes up with an "unusually comphrehensive" contrast between "centrism" and "decentrism:"
    Clearly we are faced by two types of social thought to which most specific conflicts may be reduced without difficulty. We seem to be standing on a ridge from which we have a wide view into the valleys on both sides. Here is the parting of minds. Some are attracted toward collectivity, the others to the members which compose it. The former look at the structure of society from the top downwards, the latter from the bottom upwards. The first seek security, happiness, and fulfillment in the subordination of the individual and the small group to a deliberately and strictly organized community, which, from this point of view, is all the more attractive the larger it is; the others seek these benefits in the independence and autonomy of the individual and the small group. The difference in social outlook closely resembles another difference between the two modes of thought: one which has a strange predilection toward everything contrived, man-made, manufactured, organized, and intricately constructed, for the drawing board, blueprint, and ruler; and another which prefers what is natural, organic, time-tested, spontaneous, and self-regulating, and which endures through long eras. Still another difference in outlook is connected with this. On the one side are those who believe that society and economy can be reconstructed from above without considering the fine web of the past. They believe in radical new beginnings; they are reformers inspired by an optimism that is apparently proof against any failure. On the other side are those who possess a sense of history and are convinced that the social fabric is highly sensitive to any interference. They deeply distrust every kind of optimistic reforming spirit and do not believe in crusades to conquer some new Jerusalem; they hold, with Burke, that the true statesman must combine capacity for reform with the will to prudent preservation.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

The New Republic on that Gentleman from the Old Republic

A surprisingly relevant article by The New Republic's Michael Crowley─The surprising relevance of Ron Paul, the GOP's libertarian gadfly. Some excerpts:
    At its outset, Paul's campaign promised to be a curiosity. The nominee of the Libertarian Party in his previous run for the presidency (in 1988), Paul seemed likely to play a predictable gadfly role--using his stage time to press hoary libertarian bugaboos like the abolition of Social Security, the legalization of drugs and prostitution, and--Paul's special obsession--a return to the gold standard. Instead, thanks mainly to his adamant opposition to the Iraq war, he has assumed a far more serious role. In a Republican field that has marched in lockstep with George W. Bush on the war, Paul's libertarian isolationism has exposed an intraparty fissure over foreign policy that is far wider than has been acknowledged, encompassing not only disgruntled libertarians but some paleocons and social conservatives, as well as such GOP lions as William F. Buckley, George Will, and Bob Novak. As populist-isolationist Pat Buchanan wrote in an op-ed last week, Paul was "speaking intolerable truths. Understandably, Republicans do not want him back, telling the country how the party blundered into this misbegotten war."

    Paul, for his part, thinks his view is commonsensical. "This is a very Republican position," he told me. "I just think the Republicans can't win unless they change their policy on Iraq."

    [....]

    Paul seems only to relish his newfound notoriety. "I enjoy dealing in the area of ideas," he told me over lunch. "And I want to make a difference." Paul also carries with him a certainty that he will be vindicated--and not just on Iraq. He is utterly convinced, for instance, that the United States is headed for an economic disaster that can only be averted by the adoption of the gold standard, a topic that has obsessed him for years. When I ask him why, at 71, he's putting himself through the ordeal of a national campaign, this--not Iraq--is the point to which he returns: "If there's an economic collapse," he says almost wistfully, "maybe I'll be in the right place at the right time." It's another slogan not suited for a bumper sticker, and another you would only hear from Ron Paul.

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A Profile in Cowardice

The network Justin Raimondo dubbed the "Clinton News Network" back during the air jihad against Serbia is back to to its old colors. Today's report began thusly, "Make no mistake about it, the Democrats are angry about compromising with President Bush..." The rest of the story was a pathetic attempt to give the slightly left-leaning wing of The War Party the moral high ground in its capitulation on every one of its demands.

"What kind of democracy is this, when the people do speak, and the people's voice is unambiguous, but nothing happens?" asked Andrew Bacevich just last week, after his son had been killed in Iraq.

Here is some analysis from the opposition, both left and right:

Pat Buchanan─Why Congress Caved to Bush.

Norman Solomon─Democrats Collapse on the War.

Rabbi Michael Lerner─Funding and Crying: Why The Dems Capitulated To One of The Least Popular Presidents in US History to Support One of The Least Popular Wars in US History—A Response From The Religious Left.

John Nichols─This Is Not a “Compromise,” It’s a Blank Check.

"Corporate Crime Reporter"─House Democrats Buckle to Big Oil.

Of course, the man, Dr. Ron Paul, has a plan─Fixing What’s Wrong With Iraq.

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¡Viva Cristo Rey!

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Miss Korea Honey Lee Plays the Korean Zither

    Miss Korea Universe Honey Lee "The Music is her Life"
Her use of the name Hananim for the True God gives her away as a the nice Protestant girl that she is.

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Bill Maher Is My New Hero

Not really, but now that he says of Dr. Ron Paul 'He's My New Hero' the man has redeemed himself a bit:
Don't miss the montage three minutes into the video.

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Chronicles Delivers

The venerable ChroniclesMagazine.org posts three must-read articles today.

Joe Sobran, one of my favorite writes, on a man I looked up to as a kid─Was George Will Wrong?

Thomas Fleming on the birth of the veep's test-tube grandchild─Imitation of Life.

R. Cort Kirkwood on the "apology rage [as] another front in the culture war against the South"─Still Sorry After All These Years.

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Why do the heathen rage?

This article does not answer that age-old question; it just describes the age-old phenomenon─Angry atheists are hot authors. Yawn and move on.

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A Korean Baritone in Nairobi

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September Eleventh, 1857

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New Blog

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Buddha's Birthday, the Bodhisattva of Mercy, and the Mother of God

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English Teachers of Korea Unite!

You have only your chains to lose─Are English teachers ready to unionize here?

I'm compelled by my inner Wobbly─believe it or not, when I was about five I came up with a scheme I later learned was essentially Anarcho-Syndicalism, which either says much for me or little for the program of the Industrial Workers of the World─to post these two videos:
    Billy Bragg - "There Is Power In A Union"


    We Stand on the Shoulders of Giants - Labor Union Version
[Notice the many Reactionary Radicals that appear in that second montage.]

In all seriousness, unions, for all their faults─Abusus non tollit usum─are one of the vital corps intermédiares that buffer the individual from the State. Remember, it was a trade union, Solidarność, that brought about the end of the Soviet Empire.

[link to article via Lost Nomad]

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Two True Patriots

The next president of the United States from the floor of the House─On Patriotism - by Ron Paul.

A southern gentleman on "the collision between the honourable Ron Paul and the vulgar demagogue Giuliani" that occured in his home state─Weep for Carolina by Clyde Wilson.

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The Neocons Did Not Read The Art of War

And neither have I, but Sinologist Sam Crane has, and has this to say─Sun Tzu on the "Surge".

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Some Great American Music

TCRNews Musings brings to our attention some great West Virginian music from the man behind catholicanarchy.orgM Iafrate (& the Priesthood).

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I had no idea that Richard Cœur de Lion had tried to betrothe his sister to Saladin's brother.

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An Atheist on the Church and the Civilization She Made

"Let's face it, without the Roman Catholic Church, there would be no Western civilization," says Robert W. Wilson─Atheist Wilson Gives $22.5 Million for Catholic Fund. The money is for a program for needy inner-city students attending Roman Catholic schools.

[link via New Oxford Review]

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What America Can Learn From Muslims At Home and Abroad

Two polls today─Muslims 'well integrated' in US and Negative Attitudes toward US in Muslim World.

The reason for the discrepancy is obvious. While the United States is slouching in that direction, it is not yet a police state. By and large, the government does not intervene in the private lives or religious affairs of the people living there. Such is not the case in the Dar al-Islam. There, by and large, the United States government either props up allied tyrannical régimes or makes threats at hostile tyrannical régimes.

In short, we have non-interventionism at home and interventionism abroad. We could save ourselves a lot of headaches by listening to Ron Paul on Peace and Freedom and returning to The Original Foreign Policy, which was, of course, Non-interventionism.

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Dr. Paul Craig Robert's Latest

A question from the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration─Will Republicans Destroy Themselves Before They Destroy America?

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Andrew Bacevich, Sr. Speaks

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Dr. Paul in 2008, or 1984 by 2012!

"The attempt by Congressman Ron Paul of Texas to discuss what happened and why--to account for the 9/11 terrorist attacks--is an enormous breakthrough on the American political landscape," begins The Unauthorized World Situation Report's author Patrick Foy─Ron Paul’s Patriotic Crimethink.

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The Perfect Tyranny

"The quality of life in other totalitarian countries is excellent compared to life in North Korea," says Kongdan Oh─North Korea: The nadir of freedom. Why so little dissent?
    That there has been no revolution is attributable to the Confucian culture, based on strong family ties. No one wants to get his family in trouble, for males up to the eighth cousin level will be punished for anything you do. Most people have little information about other towns or other countries and no basis to compare their lives to others’. People cannot gather to plan a revolution, and in any event they tend to believe the party propaganda, which holds that Americans and Japanese are killers and rapists; South Koreans (at least the officials) are the dogs of American imperialists; and the outside world is hostile to North Koreans. Borders are blocked, although it is possible to get into China for business by paying bribes. The border with China is the only porous one, but under a secret agreement entered into in 2003, China is committed to return defectors, and its police pay citizens to report defectors. The South Korean government does not welcome defectors, feeling burdened with just the few thousand there already.

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Prof. Clyde Wilson on the Two Parties

The venerable Southern gentleman begins his latest─Refusal of Truth─with this:
    The Republican party is thought to be the party of free enterprise, small government, and family values. It is actually the party of state capitalism.

    The Democratic Party is thought to be the party of the common people. It is actually the party of international finance and elitist social engineering.
Click on the link for more examples of what poet and Lincoln biographer Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950) called "that refusal of the truth that is written all over the American character."

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Religion Poisons Everything?

The Purest Neocon is dissected by "The Reactionary Utopian" in the latest of the latter's must-read pieces─The Sanctimony of the Atheists. An excerpt:
    Too often today, the high and holy cause of unbelief is threatened by the smug sanctimony of the atheists.

    Consider Christopher Hitchens, author of the new book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, whose title is perhaps self-explanatory. Religion poisons everything? Everything? Bach and Mozart? Thomas Aquinas and John Henry Newman?

    And what about atheists like Stalin? Hitchens is ready for that one, citing Orwell: “A totalitarian state is in effect a theocracy.” Besides, we may note, Stalin went to a seminary, where maybe he picked some bad thinking habits, which he couldn’t shake off when he stopped believing in God. Even bad atheists, it seems, can be chalked up to religion

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Reagan, Thatcher, Wojtyła

Greatest Hits of the Eighties is the title of Peter Hitchens' review of The President, the Pope, And the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World By John O'Sullivan.

The able reviewer argues that "grown-up stories of heroism and triumphant goodness" must sometimes be dispelled "if only to make sure that the good old causes are not all defeated in the end, thanks to unwise complacency or self-delusion." Some excerpts:
    What did Prime Minister Thatcher and President Reagan do for the institution of marriage, rigor in education, adult authority, or the idea that people are responsible for their own actions? Far too little.

    What did they do for the idea of national sovereignty without which no proper conservative positions can be defended?

    [....]

    By contrast, the pope and his less-beloved but more dogged successor did hold fast against the satanic optimism of the free market and opposed both vainglorious Gulf Wars despite the unpopularity it caused them.

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"Contractors"

Christopher Brown speaks with the author of a the new book on America's corporate mercenary army─Blackwater Runs Deep.

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Saint Matthew the Apostle in Kyrgyzstan?

"'The intact body of the Saint Apostle and evangelist Matthew, who died in Syria, has been found on Kyrgyz soil,' said Vladamir the Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church of Bishkek and Central Asia"─Mysteries of apostle's final resting-place draw tourists to IssykKul.

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"Russia's Golgotha"

"The Russian Orthodox Church consecrated a temple on Saturday at a site of mass Stalinist executions in a symbolic act of unity after an 80-year rift between the mother church and a rival faction, writes the prodigiously surnamed Dmitry Solovyov─Unified Russian church honors Soviet era martyrs.

Belated congratulations to my Russian Orthodox readers on the healing of your schism!

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The African Re-Evangelization of Protestant America

Michael Gerson offers an interesting account of how the "intense, irrepressible Christianity of the global south" is influencing America─Bringing the faith to American Christians.

Here's an excerpt on how this exciting development is being received by the American Protestant religious right and left:
    Some American religious conservatives have embraced ties with this emerging Christianity, including the church I attend. But there are adjustments in becoming a junior partner. The ideological package of the global south includes not only moral conservatism, but an emphasis on social justice, an openness to state intervention in markets and a suspicion of American economic and military power. The emerging Christian majority is not the Moral Majority.

    But the largest adjustments are coming on the religious left. For decades it has preached multiculturalism, but now, on further acquaintance, it doesn't seem to like other cultures very much. Episcopal leaders complain of the threat of "foreign prelates,'' echoing anti-Catholic rhetoric of the 19th century. An activist at one Episcopal meeting urged the African bishops to "go back to the jungle where you came from.'' Not since Victorians hunted tigers on elephants has the condescension been this raw.
Scratch a liberal, find a racist.

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Three Centuries of Official Anti-Catholicism in England to End?

"It is unacceptable that in 2007 we still have ridiculous laws on our statute books that, for example, prevent a Catholic from marrying the heir to the throne," says Lorely Burt, Liberal Democrat equality spokesperson─Lib Dems call for end to discrimination against Catholics.

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Maryknolls Head North

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Anti-Tao of American Messianism and the Tao of Ron Paul

My fellow citizens, of whatever political persuassion, who like to flatter themselves with the notion that ours is The Indispensable Nation might do well to ponder these words from Chuang Tzu:
    Tsech'i of Nan-po was traveling on the hill of Shang when he saw a large tree which astonished him very much. A thousand chariot teams of four horses could find shelter under its shade. "What tree is this?" cried Tsech'i. "Surely it must be unusually fine timber." Then looking up, he saw that its branches were too crooked for rafters; and looking down he saw that the trunk's twisting loose grain made it valueless for coffins. He tasted a leaf, but it took the skin off his lips; and its odor was so strong that it would make a man intoxicated for three days together. "Ah!" said Tsech'i, "this tree is really good for nothing, and that is how it has attained this size. A spiritual man might well follow its example of uselessness."
Moral of the story: make yourself indispensable and you are likely to get cut down. Earlier in the text, our philosopher also contemplates just such a tree:
    Hueitse said to Chuangtse, "I have a large tree, called the ailanthus. Its trunk is so irregular and knotty that it cannot be measured out for planks; while its branches are so twisted that they cannot be cut out into discs or squares. It stands by the roadside, but no carpenter will look at it. Your words are like that tree -- big and useless, of no concern to the world."

    "Have you never seen a wild cat," rejoined Chuangtse, "crouching down in wait for its prey? Right and left and high and low, it springs about, until it gets caught in a trap or dies in a snare. On the other hand, there is the yak with its great huge body. It is big enough in all conscience, but it cannot catch mice. Now if you have a big tree and are at a loss what to do with it, why not plant it in the Village of Nowhere, in the great wilds, where you might loiter idly by its side, and lie down in blissful repose beneath its shade? There it would be safe from the ax and from all other injury. For being of no use to others, what could worry its mind?"
America's geography has been her greatest blessing, far away as she is from the rest of the world, in the "Village of Nowhere" if you will, all the more reason to follow the wise advice from John Quincy Adams on U.S. Foreign Policy: "she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy."

Let us not imitate the "wild cat" that "springs about, until it gets caught in a trap or dies in a snare." Let us rather remain contentedly at home "in the great wilds" to "loiter idly" and "lie down in blissful repose." Let us follow the tao of Ron Paul on Peace and Freedom and reinstate The Original Foreign Policy!

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Miraculous Coincidences, or Coindidental Miracles?

"As G.K. Chesterton comments in Orthodoxy, the more coincidental things seem, the less coincidental they are," reminds Mitchell Kalpakgian. "It may be Divine Providence"─Modern Catholics: Don't Knock the Miraculous Medal!

Mr. Kalpakgian recounts a remarkable series of events surrounding that particular devotion. I recounted mine almost two years ago─Thanks be to God...

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

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American Mahatma

    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.
Gandhi on Ron Paul, from the LewRockwell.com Blog.

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Ten Thousand Chinese Peasants Revolt Against One Child Policy

Our Colleague Roy F. Moore of The Distributist Review brings this important news to our attention─Villagers riot in China, attack officials, burn cars. An excerpt:
    "The family-planning officials were just like the Japanese invaders during the war. They took everything away, and destroyed or tore down the houses if people could not pay the fines," said one villager surnamed Wu.
The one child policy, not to mention the the forced abortions by which it is enforced, is against human nature and cannot last long.

UPDATE: Revolts in Guangxi against forced sterilisation

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Is Venus Getting Brighter?

Elena Maria Vidal of Tea at Trianon with a lovely photo and a link to an article that should be "read with discernment" about a phenomenon that I've been noticing for some time─Venus Chasing the Moon.

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The American Empire Will Never Conquer Vermont!

The thoughts of Chesterton for "Little England" come to mind reading this appreciation by Ron Jacobs of his home state─Green Mountain Days. An excerpt:
    Vermont is unique in a number of ways, with its small size being prominent among those differences. This size enables people to actually feel that they have a say in their government. Of course, like everywhere else, this say is merely an illusion, but at times it truly makes a difference. In addition, Vermont has the highest number of per capita deaths in from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This latter fact is most certainly part of the reason for the intensely antiwar feeling that runs across the state's population. In order to get elected in Vermont, politicians have to at least come out in opposition to the war.

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Teaching Torture

Fathers Louis Vitale and Steve Kelly claim that is what is going on at Fort Huachuca─Priests Claim Torture; Arizona Army Post Says No.

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Recordando Monseñor Óscar Romero

Monseñor Ricardo Urios, the Servant of God's former secretary, offers a lengthy reflection─Text: Archbishop Romero - a saint for the 21st century.

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Roma locuta est...

Cause finita estGender grounded in biology, Vatican says. Our denial of this simple fact will be one of the many reasons for which our descendants will deride our times.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Agricultural Mercantilism: Jefferson Would Be Appalled

From the LewRockwell.com Blog this post about how government subsidies prop up "agribusiness" at the expense of smaller, ecological, more efficient farms─Big Ag vs. Free-Market Food. "[W]e would have a more local, organic food in a free economy."

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Linguistic Links from Lew

LewRockwell.com, in addition to its links to "anti-state, anti-war, pro-market" opinion and news, often links to stories of a more general interest, like these two:

First, "evidence that modern Chinese script is thousands of years older than previously thought"─Chinese writing '8,000 years old'. I took a semester of Mandarin and spent three rewarding years teaching myself Hanja. Chinese characters are the anti-modernist's written language; they are as wondefully deep in meaning as they are diffcult and unwieldy to use.

Second, a bit about the "hierarchy of modifiers: determiner, quality, size, age, color, origin, material"─Rules no one teaches but everyone learns. These rules no one teaches are precisely the ones I had to learn so as to impart them to students whose first language is not English. Learning them gave me a deep appreciation of our tongue.

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Ron Paul Says Koreans Should Decide the Fate of the Korean Peninsula

Dr. Ron Paul calls for the removal of the "tripwire" and the long, long overdue withdrawal of American troops from the peninsula (roughly two minutes into the clip):
    Ron Paul CNN Late Edition (05/20/07)
The good doctor defends himself well in another character assassination attempt interview. He suggests that the Koreas would be unified if it were not for the American presence here. His non-interventionist foreign policy would have constitutionally-mandated congressional approval for any war. He notes that it is not in the American interest to intervene in a civil war in Korea, China, or any other part of the world.

Come to think of it, I don't recall Korea being mentioned in the Constitution of the United States of America. Nor do I remember Korea being mentioned in George Washington's Farewell Address as an exception to "our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world." Neither is Korea mentioned as an exception in these wise words from John Quincy Adams on U.S. Foreign Policy: "She [America] is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all[; s]he is the champion and vindicator only of her own."

The world's twelfth largest economy is more than capable of being the "champion and vindicator" of her own liberty. American forces have been here for sixty-two years, which is as close to a "permanent alliance" as can be imagined.

[link via The New Beginning]

UPDATE: This post is being discussed by the readership of The Marmot's Hole, the premier blog of the expat-in-Korea blogosphere─Ron Paul: the Kang Jeong-koo of the Republican Party?

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The Lily of the Mohawks Blooms in the Desert

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha is the subject of a book review by Anne Barbeau Gardiner, Professor Emerita of English at John Jay College of the City University of New York─Mohawk Virgin─, which ends with this fascinating news:
    Today the heartland of devotion to Tekakwitha is not French Canada or New York, but New Mexico, home to dozens of "Kateri Circles," in which Pueblo, Apache, and Navaho women revere the Mohawk virgin "for her ability to remain fully native while becoming fully Catholic." Greer visited them and also the Tekakwitha Conference, in Great Falls, Montana, which is dedicated to her canonization and is under the control, since the 1970s, of "Indian laity."

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Honey Lee, Miss Korea

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Defending Korean Traditional Liquor

An article about the reactionary Park Rock-dam─A traditionalist defends a fragile culture. An excerpt:
    “Traditional wine culture is about taking time and patience to relish the taste and fragrance, not gulping down a mix of cheap soju,” Park said last week in his office at the Traditional Korean Wine Institute. “Koreans in the past used to drink a small amount of wine and took time to relish the flavor.”

    Denouncing today’s drinking culture as “vulgar,” Park continued, “Many Koreans drink cheap boilermakers for the sake of getting drunk.” Park said this is a custom from the poor old days when Koreans had little money but lots of stress from excessive economic growth.

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The Christian Love of Rev. Jerry Falwell

This LA Times piece by the pornographer whom he sued is a most fitting obituary─Larry Flynt: My friend, Jerry Falwell.

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Whaling and Peace

Yesterday, I was happy to see that the Japan Whaling Association was present at the Ulsan Whale Festival. It is precisely through this kind of people-to-people contact and cooperation that relations between the two countries will improve.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Taking AIM at Fox

Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid offers two excellent articles─Why Are They Lying About Ron Paul? and Fox News' Pro-Giuliani Conflict of Interest.

Here's the clip in question, in which the viewer is treated to the absurd spectacle of Michelle Malkin stating that Dr. Ron Paul should be disqualified from future debates:

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Viva la Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino!

The world's oldest constitutional republic and the fifth-smallest sovereign state in the world, a model if there ever was one, has something else to boast about─Report: San Marino men live longest.

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Motu Proprio in the Mainstream Media

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From Mad Max to Brave New World

Here's an interesting article from the LA TimesIraqis finding a haven in Sweden. A quote:
    "We have safety and freedom here, but our tradition differs so much from the Swedes'," said Amer Mazin, a Palestinian born in Baghdad, who paid a smuggler $13,500 and arrived here in December. "From my balcony, I can see into other balconies. I see a man in an apartment living by himself, and on the balcony next to his a woman is living by herself. They don't believe in marriage like we do, they don't believe in family. My language teacher tells me he has a dog and doesn't need a child. It seems strange."
Back in the early '90s, I was a volunteer with Journey's End, a Buffalo-based Christian refugee resettlement organization. Among the many fascinating people I met were two Shi'ite brothers from southern Iraq who took Bush I's call to rebelleion seriously and ended up paying a heavy price. They spent their days listening to casette recordings of sermons. On one the occasions I drove them to get them much-needed dental care or to try to help the elder brother get a job in the refrigeration business, upon seeing the many fresh potholes of the Buffalo spring, the elder brother told me that he did not expect America to look like that. Other than that realistic impression, I think these Shi'ites got a rather better impression of America from the good Christians who took them in.

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Some Good News from the Military

Reported on by envious soldier "GI Korea"─Marine Corps Drops Drinking Age. The idea that someone might be mature enough to die for his country but not have a drink is the height of stupidity.

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The Moon Over Washington

Father Jim Tucker has an informative post about South Korea's most famous religious export─The Reverend Moon at the Times. Included is a link to a MotherJones.com article─Bush Sr. To Celebrate Rev. Sun Myung Moon—Again─that documents just how deep the links are between the Bushies and the Moonies.

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Father Kim Hwa-tae's Concert

His story is told here─Rev. Kim cares for leprosy patients. The article offers these details of "the 25th charity concert titled 'Because You Are There' tomorrow to help leprosy patients, not only in Korea, but also those in Asian and African countries including China, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Kenya and Sudan::
    Tomorrow's concert will start at 4 p.m. at the Grand Hall of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul. Renowned musicians will present memorable performances, including Anna Maria Kaufman, who starred as the famous female character Christine in "Phantom of the Opera," and Baritone Kim Dong-gyu. Kaufman will also visit St. Lazarus Village to attend mass with patients and sing special songs for them.

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Applied Anti-Globalization

There's more to it than throwing a brick through the windoe of the local McDonald's. Here are two stories, one from Oregon and one from South Jeolla Province.

EnergyBulletin.net links to this keynote speech at the Lane County Reolocalization Conference that took place April 27-28 at two churches─Relocalizing Eugene.

The JoongAng Daily the Usan Slow World Committee in Jangheung, South Jeolla─Life in the slow lane helps body, mind.

The second article informs us that Pohang is in the process of enlisting in the Slow City Movement. This is something I need to be involved in.

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Restoring Civilization, One Breakfast at a Time

I took this wise advice this morning─Bring Back the Breakfast Drink by Jeffrey A. Tucker. This is but one of many traditions from better times we need to restore.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Russell Kirk on War, Empire, and Blowback

Thomas E. Woods, Jr. delivers an absolute must-read─Do Conservatives Hate Their Own Founder?

An inconvenient truth about Russell Kirk (1918–1994) is that he "became contemptuous of Republican militarism" and was a vocal critic of the Gulf War. He was appalled at the "carpet-bombing the Cradle of Civilization as no country ever had been bombed before" and suggested that the motive for war was that "the American national interest required low petroleum prices." And here, the great man says what the only conservative running for the GOP nomination, Dr. Ron Paul, said in the debate:
    We must expect to suffer during a very long period of widespread hostility toward the United States – even, or perhaps especially, from the people of certain states that America bribed or bullied into combining against Iraq. In Egypt, in Syria, in Pakistan, in Algeria, in Morocco, in all of the world of Islam, the masses now regard the United States as their arrogant adversary; while the Soviet Union, by virtue of its endeavors to mediate the quarrel in its later stages, may pose again as the friend of Moslem lands. Nor is this all: for now, in every continent, the United States is resented increasingly as the last and most formidable of imperial systems.

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Antiwar.com Picks

"Out of the crisis come new leaders," says Justin Raimondo ─The Season of Hope. He is, of course, speaking chielfy of Dr. Ron Paul.

Patrick J. Buchanan asks─But Who Was Right – Rudy or Ron? The answer is "the only man who was right from the beginning on Iraq."

Doug Bandow asks─Who Would Jesus Kill? Notes the author, "The strongest opposition, according to a recent Gallup poll, comes from black Protestants, 78% to 18%, and Jews, 77%-21%. Catholics followed, with 53% to 46%."

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Stephen Hand Endorses Ron Paul

The venerable editor of Traditional Catholic Reflections & Reports gives a hand to the next president of the United States─Ron Paul for President 2008---A Personal Endorsement.

This is great news! Those familar with Mr. Hand's writings will know that he defies simplistic political categorization. He is simply a Catholic, and one who takes the Faith seriously enough not to compromise on any issue. This is an extremely important endorsement. Please click on the link for the reasons behind it.

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The GOP Is Deathly Afraid of Dr. Ron Paul

He's now been smeared a "racist" and an "anti-semite"─The Attack Machine Goes After Ron Paul.

To the spinners I cautiously offer this Menckenian advice with a Bushian twist: never misunderestimate the stupidity of the American people. What I mean to say is, we're just not that stupid as to fall for this ploy.

[link via Catholic and Enjoying It!]

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Expats for Paul

Occidentalism, a fellow K-blogger, posts a great collection of absolute must-see videos following the debate, and some excellent commentary─Ron Paul speaks the truth. Says our colleague:
    Looks like the American people agree with Ron Paul, and not the other republican candidates that think they are running for “Warlord of the United States” and not the office of President.
He posts a disturbing Fox clip that "has to be one of the most blatant, no the most blatant, political hit piece that I have ever seen."

Liberal Japan also has an excellent post─Ron Paul, American Nationalism, and the Japanese Constitution.

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Tony Blair, Catholic

"According to the Associated Press, a priest close to Tony Blair says that the prime minister will declare himself a Roman Catholic on leaving Downing Street"─Prime Minister Tony Blair contemplates becoming Catholic.

This has been talked about for some time. A few months ago, I posted about a TV show called "The Trial Of Tony Blair" in which the PM "convert[s] to Catholicism to seek forgiveness for his sins."

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The Modernist Program and Its Legacy

    The core of our old cities, with their domes and cathedrals, must be broken up and skyscrapers put in their place.
─The monster Le Corbusier, quoted by Wilhelm Röpke on page 85 of A Humane Economy , as an example of "the revolutionary destructive spirit proper to modernism."

New Urbanism's James Howard Kunstler offers this assessment in A Reflection on Cities of the Future:
    Le Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret; 1887 – 1965) [was] the leading architectural hoodoo-meister of Early High Modernism, whose 1925 Plan Voisin for Paris proposed to knock down the entire Marais district on the Right Bank and replace it with rows of identical towers set between freeways.

    Luckily for Paris, the city officials laughed at him every time he came back with the scheme over the next forty years – and Corb was nothing if not a relentless self-promoter. Ironically and tragically, though, the Plan Voisin model was later adopted gleefully by post World War Two American planners, and resulted in such urban monstrosities as the infamous Cabrini Green housing projects of Chicago and scores of things like it around the country.
How much despair and crime resulted from LBJ's vertical Bantustans? Corb was, indeed, a monster.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Family as Domestic Church, Little Platoon, and Pocket of Insurrection

Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States is a book whose first page I could never get past. The author's cartoonish juxtaposition of the Noble savage of the Americas with the "Europe of the Renaissance, dominated as it was by the religion of popes, the government of kings, the frenzy for money"─what's wrong with the first two? [My college friends from The Seneca Nation Of Indians taught me to have little time for latter-day Jean-Jacques Rousseaux.]

Still, I've been meaning to get around to reading the yellowing book with its crisp spine that sits on my shelf, but this quote from a post over at catholicanarchy.orgHoward Zinn on families as “pockets of insurrection”─despite the kernal of truth amidst its many errors, leaves me lukewarm:
    In the problem of women was the germ of a solution, not only for their oppression, but for everybody’s. The control of women in society was ingeniously effective. It was not done directly by the state. Instead, the family was used — men to control women, women to control children, all to be preoccupied with one another, to turn to one another for help, to blame one another for trouble, to do violence to one another when things weren’t going right. Why could this not be turned around? Could women liberating themselves, children freeing themselves, men and women beginning to understand one another, find the source of their common oppression outside rather than in one another? Perhaps then they could create nuggets of strength in their own relationships, millions of pockets of insurrection. They could revolutionize thought and behavior in exactly that seclusion of family privacy which the system had counted on to do its work of control and indoctrination. And together, instead of at odds — male, female, parents, children — they could undertake the changing of society itself.
The idea of "millions of pockets of insurrection" appeals to me greatly, but the author gets the first part all wrong. The family was chief among Edmund Burke's Little platoons, "the spontaneous social groupings that people create for themselves as bulwarks defending civil society against despots and revolutionaries" or "the glue that holds society together and makes it tolerable." The family was the most fundamental of the corps intermédiares and voluntary associations that Alexis de Tocqueville knew to be the only buffer between the individual and the State. The ideal of the family is even more deeply enshrined in Confucianism, as the five relationships are not voluntary. To whatever tradition one turns, the family, not the individual, is the basic unit of society.

In Mr. Zinn's "liberation" is the germ of the destruction of the family, the very "pocket of insurrection" he advocates. Why does Mr. Zinn suggest that "to be preoccupied with one another, to turn to one another for help" are not good things? He advocates "women liberating themselves, children freeing themselves," but from whom? From the father, thereby leaving women and children in poverty? From the family itself, thereby leaving them as atomized individuals defenseless against the State? Was it not in the Garden of Eden where "men and women beg[an] to understand one another"? Is not this "Battle of the Sexes" a modernist creation? Of course, it is true that in some familes, members "do violence to one another," but we must remember that even if this were more often the case, Abusus non tollit usum.

Bill Kauffman, in Look Homeward America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front-Porch Anarchists, reminds us that both Mother Jones and Emma Goldman opposed women's suffrage and knew that having wives institutionalize their children so that they might join their husbands in Wage slavery was not "emancipation." The early labor movement fought tooth and nail so that their women would not be forced into the factories. Mr. Zinn should be made aware of this inconvenient truth.

Rosie the Riveter won out in the end with a little help from FDR. Consumerism then lead to the creation of Youth subculture, and parents and their children not only bought different things, they now spoke different languages and belonged to different cultures. The Great Society's War on Poverty was really a war on the black family, which, despite some pockets of insurrection, has largely been defeated, and, like the losing side in the Indian Wars, has been reduced to being a client of the State.

Yeah, I'm all for making The Domestic Church into "millions of pockets of insurrection." Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

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Rota Nipponica Update

The Roman Catholic-run Jikei Hospital's anonymous drop box for unwanted babies, which I dubbed the Rota Nipponica, has gotten off to a rather sad start─ Japan irked toddler put in baby drop box.

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Behold an American indeed, in whom there is no guile.

This is a follow-up on my Ron vs. Rudy on 9/11 post from yesterday, about Dr. Ron Paul's stating of the obvious in the debate─that the 9/11 terrorists were motivated by our foreign policy. Here's what others are saying:

The Nation's John Nichols notes that "[u]nlike Giuliani, the Texan has actually read the record"─Rudy Giuliani v. Ron Paul, and Reality.

Traditional Catholic Reflections & Reports' Stephan Hand offers the best headline and a must-see video─Ron Paul Smacks Down Imperial Republican Policies / Sean Hannity With Truth in GOP Debate.

And of course LewRockwell.com, where one can find the Congressman Ron Paul Archives, has a thing or two to say on the matter.

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. himself notes that "[w]hat's really strange is when one reasonable position is completely and forcibly excluded from the public debate"─Ron Paul Said It.

"The people are to be endlessly flattered, spoken to in bumper-sticker slogans, and in general treated like seven-year-olds," notes Thomas E. Woods, Jr.─Ron Paul Violated the Rules.

Others have some things to say about the man in contrast to some other non-Guilianian candidates.

The New Beginning's T. Chan on a man who's never done much for me─One reason why I became disappointed with Tancredo.

W. James Antle III at Taki's Top Drawer contrasts the Hagelian and Paulian WeltanschauungsWho’s the Real Peace Candidate?

Finally, Eunomia's Daniel Larison reports on a former Paul staffer who is now looking to usurp the good doctor's seat─I am declaring for Congress against Ron Paul in Texas CD-14.

[Mr. Dondero has trolled the combox of this blog before. In these Comments, he refered to me as "Miss Confucious Lady."]

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.