Saturday, June 30, 2007

Attachment Parenting

Dr. Thomas P. Shubeck of Byzantine Catholic Family Matters offers a very informative three-series, the first two of which follow─Extended family and personal development and Parenting through the lens of attachment II. He examines cultural changes that have resulted in "a strengthening of attachments between children/teens (peer attachments) and a weakening of those between parents/other significant adults and children/teens (adult attachments)."

I know parents with kids as young as two who institutionize them in day-care centers so that they can be "socialized." This makes as little sense to me as a socialized economy.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Noon Today, Rome Time

Bookmark and Share

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Inconvenient Truth About So-Called Sectarian Violence in Iraq

    Let the Iraqis kill each other, but let the occupying power get out, because they are not killing each other because they are Sunni or Shiite, but because they are with the Americans or against the Americans. [emphasis mine]
─Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim of the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle, quoted in ‘Let Iraqis kill each other,’ Catholic bishop says, calling for U.S. withdrawal.

His Excellency also says that "he does not believe the Muslims killing and threatening Christians are from either of Iraq's two Muslim groupings – Shiites or Sunnis – but rather al-Qaida terrorists from outside Iraq."

This begs the rhetorical question as to whether al-Qaida was in Iraq before the invasion.

His Excellency's opinion is that "U.S. troops should at least withdraw from the cities, and he believes the warring factions would eventually reach some sort of power-sharing arrangement" and that "[t]he current situation puts Christians in the hazardous position of being perceived as being allied with the foreign occupiers, but the Americans provide no special protection for them."

[link via TCRNews Musings]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

A Childhood Photo of Zhang Ziyi Wearing a Korean Hanbok

Bookmark and Share

Impeach the Veep

From Mark Shea─A Conservative Makes the Case for Impeaching Cheney. Says Mr. Shea, "I think he should be tried for war crimes too."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Two Very Unattractive Women and the Death of Conservatism

Dr. Thomas Fleming on "a pair of blond would-be bombshells who get their names in the paper by doing (in Paris’s case) or saying (in Ann’s) outrageous things"─Paris Coulter. "There are differences, of course," says Dr. Fleming, "almost all of them in favor of Paris."

The clincher is the last sentence: "If bad manners and bad taste are now conservative virtues, I am happy, more than ever, not to be a conservative." Coming from Dr. Fleming, that pretty much says the term "conservative" is dead.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

The One Drop Rule in Identity Politics

Margaret Kimberly is outraged that "a white actor [sic] is portraying a black [sic] character"─The Whitening of Marianne Pearl.

"Anyone who sees Marianne Pearl knows she isn't white," says the authoress. Back in 2002 when her husband was beheaded, I assumed she was Sephardim.

Mrs. Pearl, we learn, "was born in France to a Cuban mother and a Dutch father." Will Ms. Kimberly be upset if Mrs. Pearl is not played by someone "born in France to a Cuban mother and a Dutch father"? Why not just make a law that everyone must play himself in a biopic?

Mrs. Pearl, unsurprisingly, takes a less rigid approach: "This is not about skin color. I wanted her to play me because I trust her. Aren't we past this?"

Labels:

Bookmark and Share

Metric Tyranny Comes to Korea

Starting next week, traditional Korean measures will be criminalized and only the metric system will be allowed. "In typical fashion, the government is introducing this policy without any of the public debate or forewarning you would expect in a democratic society," says Micael Breen─Farewell to Pyeong.

Mr. Breen is referring to the very humane unit of measurement that is equal to "the space your average chap would take up if spread-eagled on the floor like Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man." Gone also next week will be the don, for measuriung gold, and the inbun, for measuing food portions. Only grams will be allowed from now on.

Here's an eight-month-old post of mine─An Attempt at the Abolition of Korea─that expresses my anti-metric feelings:
    In Big Brother Watches Britain, Mr. Peter Hitchens, England's greatest contemporary thinker, reminds us that both the Huxleyan and Orwellian dystopias employed the metric system, the significance of which was not lost on readers in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. Mr. Hitchens cites the criminalization of traditional weights and measures as just one of many examples of what he termed 'The Abolition of Britain'.

    These thoughts came to mind learning of the latest fiat from the Jacobinical "Participatory Government" of Pres. Roh Moo-hyun: Korea Bans Use of Traditional Weights and Measures [link via The Asia Pages].

    Granted, the metric system is better for scientists, but traditional measures ─ whether pounds or miles or don or li ─ are better for human beings. Let them have their metric system for their atomic bombs, abortifacients, and Auschwitz. Let us keep our traditional measures for apple pies, ales, and American football. Even metric zealots I have come across tell me that cups, tablespoons, and ounces are much better for cooking. The same is true for measuring the heights and weights of people or the things they use, as well as the distances they cover. And fractions are much more human and logical than decimal points. Yet traditional measures and their manifold benefits are being sacrificed on the altars of the false gods Progress, Efficiency, and Standardization.

    The Ministry of Fear Commerce, Industry and Energy said "it will... crack down on violators starting in July next year." That is when we will learn a lot about the Korean character. Will Koreans need to establish a chapter of the Metric Martyrs Defence Fund? I doubt it. When the Korean government has threatened to "crack down" on something in the past, at the end of the day it usually caves and opts for the more human option in the Rule of law vs Confucianism debate.

    When I was a kid during the dark night of the Carter years, I remember being taught that the metric system would replace our traditional measures. Then, when it was again morning in America, the much wiser actor who replaced the nuclear scientist in the Oval Office put a stop to such foolishness, or so I assume.

    My oppostion to the metric system is longstanding, as evidenced by these posts from my previous blog from three different years: Down with the Metric System! Long Live the English Imperial System!, Metric News, and Dystopias and Metric Measures.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

A Lesson for Michael "Sicko" Moore

From the Austrian School─Do not ask "the question 'should this policy be implemented?', but rather 'if this policy is implemented, will it have the effects you intend?'.

If you really think an even more centralized bureaucracy will have the intended effect of taking care of the health care needs of three hundred million people, you should take a look at the FEMA response to Katrina.

Alternatively, since you want to make all three hundred million of us wards of the State, visit your local "Welfare" office to see how the State treats its current wards. I used to take refugees to our local office to get enrolled; the experience was enough to make them want to get out of the system as soon as they could.

Not surprsingly, a man who practiced medicine both before and after the advent of health corporatism has a better idea─Lowering the Cost of Health Care by Ron Paul. An excerpt:
    We should remember that HMOs did not arise because of free-market demand, but rather because of government mandates. The HMO Act of 1973 requires all but the smallest employers to offer their employees HMO coverage, and the tax code allows businesses – but not individuals – to deduct the cost of health insurance premiums. The result is the illogical coupling of employment and health insurance, which often leaves the unemployed without needed catastrophic coverage.

    While many in Congress are happy to criticize HMOs today, the public never hears how the present system was imposed upon the American people by federal law. As usual, government intervention in the private market failed to deliver the promised benefits and caused unintended consequences, but Congress never blames itself for the problems created by bad laws. Instead, we are told more government – in the form of “universal coverage” – is the answer. But government already is involved in roughly two-thirds of all health care spending, through Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs.

    For decades, the U.S. healthcare system was the envy of the entire world. Not coincidentally, there was far less government involvement in medicine during this time. America had the finest doctors and hospitals, patients enjoyed high-quality, affordable medical care, and thousands of private charities provided health services for the poor. Doctors focused on treating patients, without the red tape and threat of lawsuits that plague the profession today. Most Americans paid cash for basic services, and had insurance only for major illnesses and accidents. This meant both doctors and patients had an incentive to keep costs down, as the patient was directly responsible for payment, rather than an HMO or government program.

    The lesson is clear: when government and other third parties get involved, health care costs spiral. The answer is not a system of outright socialized medicine, but rather a system that encourages everyone – doctors, hospitals, patients, and drug companies – to keep costs down. As long as “somebody else” is paying the bill, the bill will be too high.
Click on the link to learn how Dr. Ron Paul would work to solve this problem.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Róng Băo Luó for President!

An article I came across today─Candidates' names are tough in Chinese─has led me to seek out how Dr. Ron Paul's name is rendered in Mandarin. The answer: 榮·保羅 (Róng Băo Luó), which means "Glory Keeps Fowler's Net."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

South Korea Quits Iraq!

Not that the third-largest deployment of foreign troops in the "Coalition of the Willing" ever served any real funtion, for good or ill, this is still a wise and symbolic move─S Korea to withdraw all troops from Iraq.

[link via Occidentalism]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

From Iceland to England to Sumatra in the 16th and 17th Centuries

Robert Koehler offers some Ottoman Navy Highlights. The very thought is enough to make one spontaneously offer The Litany of Our Lady of Victory.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Green Toryism

The Torygraph Telegraph newpaper online has a Think Local section. Here are a few articles that caught my eye:

MPs Daniel Hannan and Douglas Carswell have an important reminder─You don't have to be Red to be Green. The article begins thusly:
    Why should environmentalism be left to the Left? Aren't conservatives, as the etymology suggests, obvious conservationists?

    It was, after all, Karl Marx who wrote that nature was a resource to be plundered - a philosophy brutally realised in the smokestack Comecon states. Tories, by contrast, are natural champions of the countryside and its traditions.
The honourable gentlemen make the case that "contemporary environmentalism, in short, is intrinsically anti-localist" and demonstrate that free-market solutions are superior, citing Aristotle─"that which no one owns, no one will care for"─and common law─"sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas" - "so use your own property as not to injure your neighbours".

The above article leads nicely into this one by Christopher Carter, which examines the disastrous effects of "crude one-size-fits-all planning regulations" coupled with "lack of autonomy at the local level, and the lack of local fiscal incentives to promote sustainable development" ─How the planning system damages the environment. The solution:
    The localist response would be to devolve tax-raising powers along with planning controls to the local level, which would restore the link between local economic development and tax revenue while removing the dead hand of central control. Other, more radical, changes would see the system replaced entirely by a system of restrictive covenants and nuisance law - which, as the Adam Smith Institute argues, would be the best way to protect the environment, instead of the current system, which promotes harmful agricultural production and protects substandard scrub land in cities’ greenbelts.
Finally, echoing The Principle of Subsidiarity, Siân Berry notes that "[a]t the heart of the Green creed is a belief that decisions should be taken at the closest practical level to those affected by them"─Going local must start with our food.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Three From Common Dreams

Andrew Bacevich tells us how "we may yet end this disastrous war while salvaging some semblance of honor"─What America Owes The Iraqis.

Firmin DeBrabander writes on "the great irony that one of this nation’s most bullish proponents of spreading democracy abroad- especially in the Middle East- is one of the greatest opponents of democracy at home"─Cheney’s Real Opinion of Democracy.

Paul Waldman notes "that potential disaster lurks behind what we had previously assumed to be a grand virtue"─Bush’s Loyal Mess: How the Bush Years Have Showed Us The Dark Side of a Grand Virtue.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Catholic Legal Center Defends Alleged American War Criminal

Caelum et Terra's Daniel Nichols posts about an American serviceman charged with war crimes whose "defense indicates that the killing of civilians is so unremarkable that he saw no need report it," and the legal center defending him whose "Catholic identity", says Mr. Nichols, "has been absorbed in their nationalism"─Very Strange.

Even accused war criminals have the right to a legal defense in our Anglo-Saxon tradition, but this seems a strange choice for a center whose stated mission is "[d]efending the religious freedom of Christians, restoring time honored family values, and protecting the sanctity of human life."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Late Mrs. Graham's Religion

A conservative blog for peace informs us that Rev. Billy Graham had a mixed marriage─Ruth Bell Graham: RIP:
    Though the wife of a famous Baptist minister, Ruth Graham declined to undergo baptism by immersion and remained a lifelong Presbyterian.
I also read that it was she who said, "If God does not judge America, then He owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology."

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Why War on Iraq?

Bookmark and Share

Nine Days Left

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor ("Moonlight") Played By Kim Kyeongmin, Who Has Cerebral Palsy

Bookmark and Share

Out of the Mouths of Babes

A conservative blog for peace links─High Schoolers Get In Bush's Face About Torture. Our dear leader "guaranteed the young people that the United States does not mistreat its prisoners." Is waterboarding the president what it will take for him to admit the truth?

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

New England Is Really, Really Weird

Charles A. Coulombe has an amazing reflection on the region that has played the most prominent role in shaping our national identity─In Darkest New England.

Here's some of what we got: "our innate Calvinism—the Puritan work ethic, suspicion of the arts, and the need for moral crusades"; "Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and James Russell Lowell"; "H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King"; "WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants)"; "Unitarianism, Shakerism, Universalism, Mormonism, Spiritualism, and Christian Science"; "Brahmin gentility still to be found in such places as Boston’s Somerset and Union Clubs, Symphony Hall, Locke-Ober Restaurant, and, of course, Harvard University"; "Commons—green spots in their centers that in the time of settlement were common land"; "determining eternal truth by majority rule in good democratic fashion"; "the Town Meeting"; "the descendants of foreign Catholics" and "waves of Irish, Polish, Italian, French, Portuguese, and other foreign immigrants".

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Islamic State of Iraq

Brought to you by Messrs. Cheney and Bush─Christians forced out of Baghdad district.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Pope Tries to Tie Bush's Hands in War on Terror

There will be some, Catholics among them, who read this story that way─Holy See Denounces Use of Cluster Bombs.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Ron Paul Tzu

Bookmark and Share

Peacenik Conservatives

"The fetishization of all things martial by the bulk of 21st-century conservatives is inescapable and worrisome"─Conservatives Must Oppose Militarism and War - by Philip Primeau. Notes the author:
    Until quite recently, conservatives – that is, people who support limited government, controlled spending, low taxes, individual liberty, rule of law, decentralization, restrained executive authority, and cautious foreign interaction – were skeptics of the military. They regarded it carefully and from a distance, knowing full well its shameful influence on past republics.
Another article: "That the rhetoric used to justify war against Iraq sounds eerily similar to the case being made to start a war against Iran and Syria is not purely a coincidence"─Neoconned Again? - by Philip Giraldi.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Anti-Subsidiarity in South Korea

"President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday intervened in an ongoing dispute over university admissions, calling for schools to accept government guidelines"─Roh steps into college admissions brouhaha.

With all due respect, Mr. President, you are a self-educated lawyer like your hero, whom some of us call The American Lenin. What makes you think that you, who have never attended one, could possibly know more about how to run a univresity than men who've spent their lives in one?

The Principle of Subsidiarity, which "holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization," is essentially unknown here.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

We Are Attachment Parents And Never Knew It!

A comment over at a Vox Nova to a post asking Are you a Wage-Slave? has led me to discover that The Snyders of Pohang are practicing something called Attachment parenting.

Indeed, many if not most Korean families, it seems, practice the Eight ideals of attachment parenting. Particularly, we practice Co-sleeping, a "standard practice in many parts of the world outside of North America, Europe and Australia" which "was widely practiced in all areas up until the 19th century."

Yes, the West can learn from the rest, especially when it comes to things we've thrown out in the past three-hundred years or so.

A while back, my initial reaction to reading this horrific story─Rats Chew Off Newborn Baby's Nose, Upper Lip in Kansas City, Mo., Apartment─was, "Why in God's name weren't the parents sleeping in the same room as their preemie baby?"

My mother, God bless her, upon visiting our home expressed some mild reservations that our kids─then aged three and two─were not yet sleeping alone. But if "the advent of giving the child his or her own room and the crib" was indeed a Modernist development, then I am all the more happy to go native and skirt it.

It's late; it's time for me to go join my wife and kids sleeping under a mosquito net on mats on the living room floor.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Ron Paul and Tax Resistance

This is one of the most comprehensive interviews with Dr. Ron Paul I've yet seen, full of ideas, not soundbytes─Lee Rogers interviews Ron Paul.

This article quotes Dr. Ron Paul's answer to a question about two tax resisters─Browns commended for civil disobedience:
    People who point this out and fight the tax code and fight the monetary code are heroic... I compare them to people like Gandhi, who was willing to speak out and try to bring about change in a peaceful manner. Martin Luther King fought laws that were unfair and unjust, and he suffered, too.
We might also mention Henry David Thoreau. I'm glad that as an expatriate I don't pay taxes.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Hillary the Hypocrite

Senator Mike Gravel takes on the The War Party's grand dame─Why Hillary Scares Me. A stinging excerpt:
    In an indignant voice she decried the Bush administration's ''stunning record of secrecy and corruption, of cronyism run amok. . . It is everything our founders were afraid of, everything our Constitution was designed to prevent.'' Actually, our Constitution grants Congress the power to prevent these ills but Hillary and her colleagues weren't up to the task.

    Our founders' legacy did not stop Hillary from voting for the Patriot Act and then supporting its renewal in 2006 despite revelations that the government was using it to infringe on the very liberties that our founders held sacred. Where was her commitment to our founders when she voted to gut our habeas corpus protections?
The gentleman from Alaska goes on to denounce Mrs. Clinton's authorization of "billions that the Pentagon gave in no-bid contracts to Halliburton" and her idiotic and immoral blaming of the Iraqis for the mess their country is in.

[link via the LewRockwell.com Blog]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Tom Cruise as Claus Philipp Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg?

Not if patriotic Germans have anything to say about it─No Thanks, Tom.

On another anti-Hitlerian note, mark October 26, 2007 on your calenders─Franz Jägerstätter beatification date set.

Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg and Franz Jägerstätter are two personal heroes. One an aristocrat, the other a peasant, both Catholic patriots.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Destruction of America

Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, starkly reports that it's being acheived not by terrorists but by our enemies at home─Goodbye to the City on the Hill. The first two paragraphs:
    America is being destroyed. Many Americans are unaware, others are indifferent, and some intend it.

    The destruction is across the board: the political and constitutional system, the economy, social institutions including the family itself, citizenship, and the character and morality of the American people.
And those who dare point these truths out are labelled not patriots but "America-haters." Strange.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Sage of Batavia Speaketh

Bill Kauffman, of Reactionary Radicals fame, does not write often, making his each and every article all the more pleasurable. His latest, linked to by LewRockwell.com, is on "the sweet smell of secession"─Bye, Bye, Miss American Empire.

He files a report from the Second Vermont Republic on a meeting that took place in which "hippies, good-naturedly radical Vermonters, and anticorporate leftists broke bread with southern Christians and men wearing Confederate flag lapel pins" and whose heroes were "Martin Luther King Jr., Robert E. Lee, community organizer Saul Alinsky, Thomas Jefferson, and the strategist of nonviolence Gene Sharp."

Some Kauffmanian sagacity:
    If Marin County wants to serve joints with school lunches and Tupelo, Mississippi, wants the Ten Commandments in the classroom, well, that’s up to the people of Marin and Tupelo. Ain’t none of my business. Yours, either.

    Let Utah be Utah, and let San Francisco be San Francisco. The policy will drive busybodies mad with frustration, but for the rest of us, it just might be the beginning of tolerance.

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Mencius to the American Congress

Sinologist Sam Crane asks, "So....Why Not Impeach Cheney?" He quotes what "Menicus says the 'royal' families should do if the ruler is lacking:"
    If the sovereign is making grave mistakes, they admonish him. If they have to admonish him over and over, and he still refuses to listen - they replace him. (10.9)
Says Prof. Crane, "In a democracy, the people are supposed to rule" and "[t]hey serve a function analogous to that of the aristocratic families in ancient, pre-Qin, China."

However, ours is a rebuplic, not a democracy nor an empire. Sadly, our representatives have failed us. What would Mencius have us do? Support this vision, I think─GOP candidate Ron Paul's dream: To restore the Republic.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Nancy Pelosi in 2007!

So argues The Unauthorized World Situation Report's Patrick Foy─Bush & Cheney: It’s Time to Resign:
    I realize that with Cheney and Bush out the door, that puts Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, into the Oval Office. But that’s just one of the rules of the game--it’s called the Constitution--which must be followed. Maybe Pelosi would appoint her friend, Congressman John Murtha, as Secretary of Defense. That would be a start and a plus. Murtha is a straight talker. And perhaps in the interim Nancy would knock Hillary out of the box as the Democrat’s next disaster in the making for an already overloaded Uncle Sam. In any case, it appears most unlikely that President Pelosi could do more damage than what the co-consulship of Cheney & Bush has already. Nearly impossible, in fact. The “neocon” foreign policy legacy of Cheney & Bush is a disaster with a capital D, thanks to their own malfeasance--due in no small part to the establishment Democrats who enabled the disaster.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

William Pfaff on American Torture

A must-read essay─Tortured morality and tortured lives. The author begins:
    Probably the most disturbing -- to an American -- of the developments in the United States since 2001 has been the manner-of-fact way in which torture has been adopted by the United States as a normal aspect of its military and intelligence operations.
Indeed. Our nation shall be judged on its "eagerness to see the electrodes, waterboards and nail pliers in use."

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

The Three-Thousand-Year-Old Amaknak Ondol

A remarkable discovery─Ancient 'Ondol' Heating Systems Discovered in Alaska:
    What are believed to be the world's oldest underfloor stone-lined-channel heating systems have been discovered in Alaska's Aleutian Islands in the U.S. The heating systems are remarkably similar to ondol, the traditional Korean indoor heating system. The word ondol, along with the word kimchi, is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. The ondol heating system is widely recognized as Korean cultural property.
It appears "that the two systems seem to have been developed independently."

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, June 25, 2007

Chastity Contra Consumerism

Christopher W. Decker takes up an issue that has always seemed obvious to me─Chastity as a Form of Economic Subversion. An excerpt:
    The logic of chastity is fatally opposed to the logic of consumerism. To live chastely requires that one master and control one's desires. As St. Thomas Aquinas points out, "chastity takes its name from the fact that reason chastises concupiscence." The logic of chastity implies an ascetic attitude toward life.

    The logic of consumerism is quite the opposite. Advertising, the propaganda of the consumer society, attempts to arouse desire and to convince us that a certain purchase will satisfy it. Most large-scale adver­tising campaigns appeal to desires for gratification. We are told, subtly or not, that a certain purchase will feel good or taste good, or make us look good and enhance our appeal to others.
As I said, this issue has always seemed obvious to me, and I've never understood why many of those on the left fail to see the virtue of the former and many of those on the right fail to see the evil of the latter.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole blogosphere, and suffer the loss of his soul?

The New Beginning recently posted that "[p]utting forth oneself as an authority is a rather dangerous thing to do, even if one believes one's self to be merely repeating the teaching of the Church"─The dangers of blogging. And Abbey-Roads2 has posted about what happens when "people get in over their heads when it comes to liturgy and dogma, spirituality and religious life"─Blogger apostasy.

If the Catholic blogosphere represented the Church─and thank God it doesn't─I'd think the recent spate in Catholic bloggers renouncing the Church to be a sign that The Parousia were at hand. There is an extreme danger in focusing one's every attention on Church matters. There is also an extreme danger in posting one's every difficulty with faith issues online for public discussion. The Smoke of Satan entered the Catholic blogosphere at its very inception.

Call me old-fashioned, but I see little wrong with the laity being to called to Pray, Pay and Obey. Leave theology to the theolgians and Church governance to the Catholic-Hierarchy. Let us go out into the world and, keeping in mind the warning from the first post above, attempt to Catholicize the cultural, societal, and poltical spheres, having the faith that when it comes to the Church, the the gates of hell shall not prevail.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

The Prime Minister and the Vicar of Christ

The New Oxford Review links to two articles on the meeting that took place Saturday.

"Tony Blair received a tough dressing down from Pope Benedict XVI during his audience with the pontiff yesterday"─Pope takes Blair to task over Iraq, abortion and stem cells.

The PM's pledge that "he will 'dedicate himself' to peace in the Middle East and towards inter-religious dialogue" is nice idea, but a more suitable penance could be found─Blair tells Pope: I'm ready to become a Catholic.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

The Da Vinci Shroud?

A new "documentary" claims that "Leonardo had not only the means to create the Shroud, he also had the motive"─Leonardo: The Man Behind The Shroud.

Today, "means" and "motive" are enough to convince a post-literate public. The motive? "He also despised the excesses of the Catholic church - though he moved among the upper reaches of its hierarchy." There you have it, folks.

Never mind the agreed upon facts about the Shroud of Turin, that the "known provenance of the cloth now stored in Turin dates to 1357," ninety-five years before the birth of Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The People vs. Vang Pao

An update on a story posted earlier on this blog─Laos Liberation Foiled in Sacramento─by author and film-maker Roger Warner─On exaggeration, context and the wages of a covert war. An excerpt:
    But almost everyone I've talked to who is deeply knowledgeable about Laos is dismayed by the indictments and accompanying press releases coming out of the U.S. Attorney's office in Sacramento. The feds boast about having stopped a massive attack on the Laotian government. The Hmong resistance in Laos is too scattered and beaten down for that, and the Hmong-Americans are simply too disorganized. And the feds don't exactly advertise that the leaders of the Lao People's Democratic Republic are buddies with the North Koreans, because that would weaken their moral argument.

    If you read the prosecution's papers on the Web, you also will find that the government's case is typical of the post-9/11 John Ashcroft-Alberto Gonzales Justice Department. You've seen the pattern before: At first, big, ringing announcements of a clear victory over evil are made. Later, it turns out the charges have been exaggerated or distorted. Months or years later, the cases are dismissed or the charges are greatly reduced. And that is probably what is going to happen with Vang Pao and the Sacramento group.
    [emphases mine]

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Baroque Public Service Announcement

If you live anywhere near the Korean capital, which I don't, do yourself a favor by not missing this incredible opportunity on Monday─Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra Revisits Seoul. This is enough to recommend the performance:
    Comprising 16 musicians, the orchestra has established a reputation for its Bach interpretations and has attempted to liberate the music from the influence of the Romantic Age ever since it was founded by Karl Munchinger in 1945.
I was just listening to the ensemble's exquisite orchestral arrangement of the Goldberg Variations today.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Remembered Tomorrow

Bookmark and Share

Allied War Crimes in the Second World War

Fr. Richard Umbers reviews a book that examines the morality of the Allied bombing campaigns that killed 800,000 civilians in Germany and Japan─Among the dead cities. The good father notes that the Allies were "targeting certain German cities for bombing, not because they had any strategic importance, but simply because they had yet to be bombed!"

The review includes some moving contemporary voices of dissent:
    Pacifists like Vera Brittain wrote stern condemnations of this campaign that resonated with Londoners who knew at first hand about the horrors of civilian bombing. Her anti-bombing tract "Seeds of Chaos: What Mass Bombing Really Means" (1944) closed with the following claim, "the callous cruelty which has caused us to destroy innocent human life in Europe’s most crowded cities, and the vandalism which has obliterated historic treasures in some of her loveliest, will appear to future civilisation as an extreme form of criminal lunacy with which our political and military leaders deliberately allowed themselves to become afflicted."

    [....]

    Father Gillis, then editor of the Catholic World, had pointed out the logic of this argument [saying that the Germans were only reaping the whirlwind of what they had sewn] at the time by stating that Vera Brittain’s opponents were arguing "missionaries should eat cannibals because cannibals eat missionaries".
Why is it that the losers are asked to do perpetual penance for the atrocities they committed while the victors dare not utter a peep about theirs?

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Scientism as Magic

Joe Woodard gives us a fascinating article on "the 50th anniversary of both renegade Marxist Sinologist Karl Wittfogel's magnum opus, Oriental Despotism, and Catholic historian Christopher Dawson's The Dynamics of World History"─Indiana Jones and the prophets of doom.

The former comes to the conclusion that "the Western development of a free market, liberal culture and democratic politics was actually an historical aberration" while "the global norm is a monolithic bureaucratic despotism, an administrative sclerosis that would actually be encouraged by any Marxist revolution." The latter suggests that "the modern West... was founded upon reason and nature-affirming Christianity, and the modern effort to substitute a purely scientific culture is self-destructive." Both authors issue a warning:
    Dawson and Wittfogel warn that all this civilisational progress can in fact be lost. Morally speaking, we can indeed slide back into a regime and culture of magic.
Our new high priests will be different from those of the ancients, but "the sacrifices mandated by their eugenic and population control measures may ultimately be just as life-threatening."

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Richert on Regensberg and Reason

"The complete capriciousness of Allah with respect to the physical world leads to a moral fatalism"─Pope Benedict XVI and Islam: Allah the Irrational.

Mr. Richert masterfully examines "the differences between the Christian conception of the Godhead and the Muslim conception of Allah" and "the importance that these differences hold for even the average believer."

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

South Korea, "Abortion Paradise"

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies has just published a survey of college freshman─Premarital Sex 'Hangs in the Balance'. The results aren't pretty:
    The survey found 66.1 percent of respondents in favor of abortion and 31.7 percent against. Some 71.7 percent of female students were for abortions, compared to 59.4 percent of male students.
Here are some articles on the topic of abortion in South Korea:

A country with one-sixth the population of the United States has more abortions per year─South Korea Aborts 1.5 Million Unborns Yearly.

And yet, abortion is illegal here─The criminality of abortion in Korea.

This "entirely different approach to life issues" and "one of the highest abortion rates in the developed world" leads directly to other evils─Why does Korea lead the world in cloning research?

The Church fights against a situation in which even Catholics are "swimming with others in society on the wave of the culture of death"─Korean Catholic bishops criticize gov’t for failing to promote culture of life / Abortion and embryo manipulation tools of economic progress causing society’s death, say bishops.

The resulting gender imbalance is such that "11.9 per cent of all South Korean males will not be able to find a mate to marry within ten years"─Abortion and female feticide destroy society, warns South Korea’s National Statistical Office

Finally, an article that notes that "Korea has often been called an 'abortion paradise' by many social commentators"─Rites for the Unborn Dead: Abortion and Buddhism in Contemporary Korea. I found this bit interesting:
    There is no common or public practice of rites for aborted fetuses in Korea as is practiced in Japan. There are no red bibbed statues of Ksitigarbha (Japanese: Jizo; Korean: Chijang) to be found on streets and cemeteries in Korea like you can observe in Japan. Nor are there commercial newspaper ads for mizuko kuyo ("water baby offering rites") as found in the Japanese press. Japan has thousands of temples where aborted fetuses are memorialized; Korea probably has no more than ten or twelve sanctuaries where ceremonies for aborted babies are performed.
I remember seeing the "red bibbed statues of Ksitigarbha" at many temples in Japan, but at only one temple here in Korea, which also had the "water baby offering rite." At least that's what I thought it was; near the Ksitigarbhas, one could pour water over little statues of Buddha.

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Man for All Seasons


Saint Thomas More

Patron of Politicos
Ora Pro Nobis

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Allegri's Miserere Mei Deus

Bookmark and Share

Five From Antiwar.com

Each of today's five featured Antiwar.com articles is a must read.

On the life and death of Father Ragheed Ganni and the "blame [that] must fall heavily upon the men who conceived this misbegotten war"─The Martyr of Mosul - by Patrick Buchanan.

On the recently passed congressional resolution calling on the UN to bring charges of "genocide" against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad─The End of Dissent?- by Justin Raimondo.

Two articles on the failed war─Deluded Presidential Promises of Progress in Iraq - by Doug Bandow and Why the Surge Failed - by Martin Sieff.

On the admonition of Lord Acton (1834-1902) and those who've forgotten it─The Curse of Power - by Thomas Gale Moore.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Between Liberty and Equality, South Korea Chooses the Latter

The Marmot's Hole posts a link to a story about a law this freedom-loving Anglo-Saxon just cannot comprehend─Posting election messages banned:
    From today, citizens could face prosecution for posting messages on internet websites in favor of or against specific presidential candidates, the nation's election watchdog said yesterday.

    [....]

    "So far, writing messages on portal sites supporting or opposing specific contenders were allowed. But the act is prohibited from today. Similar acts on personal homepages or blogs are also disallowed," it said.
Endorsing a candidate. How unequal!

The words of John Adams to Thomas Jefferson come to mind. The second president noted that in a “Republick,” the “natural Aristocra[t] among men” is one who “commands or influences true Votes in Society.”

Koreans, I have observed, are parodoxically both naturally hierarchical and fiercely egalitarian. Korea, is seems, having lost her Yangban class of Confucian scholars, now seeks to destroy her natural aristocracy.

"Liberty or Equality?" asked Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1909–1999).

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Nanny State Gone Wild

Clare Boothe Luce once suggested that those who think the State should take care of our every need would be wise to look at the American Indian. An even starker lesson can be learned Down Under─Australia to ban alcohol for Aborigines.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

This is What "Renovation" Means



The heart-breaking, stomoach-turning, gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, mind-numbing "before and after" photos above are from a post by Terry Nelson─Protestant Catholicism.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Deus Est Caritas

Stephen Hand with a very succint analysis─The Mistake of Progressives: God is Love, But "love" is Not God.

Labels:

Bookmark and Share

Church and State in Ethiopia

Prof. Ezana Habte Gabr offers some very interesting analysis─Catholic and Orthodox approaches to the State.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

My Parish's Patron Honored

For the 2000th anniversary of his birth─Benedict XVI to Proclaim a Year of St. Paul.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

"Where does the buck stop when it comes to torture?"

Onnesha Roychoudhuri reviews a book that attempts and answer to that question─Exposed: The Anatomy of a Torture Scandal.
    Was it just a few bad apples -- a crazed night shift of sadists that raped, sodomized, beat and electrocuted prisoners (including women and children) -- or was it systemic, based on orders that came straight from the top?
The book, Monstering: Inside America's Policy of Secret Interrogations and Torture in the Terror War, suggests "that it took both lower-level bad apples, and high-level hypocrites to produce such violence."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Life Unworthy of Life Watch

This should give pause─Permanent Vegetative State (PVS) Diagnosis Often Inaccurate More Data Shows.

Just yesterday, as I took my daughter to her daily physical therapy, I ran into a young man in such a state. I spoke English to my son, and the young man turned his head my way and we made eye contact. As an American, I cannot break myself of the good habit of greeting those with whom I make eye contact, so I gave a slight bow and said, "Annyŏnghaseyo." He looked back, expressionless, but I felt a certain contact had been made. He was dutifully cared for by his elderly father, God bless him.

If you feel so inclined, please read my thoughts on this topic─So-called Persistent So-called Vegetative So-called States.

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Anti-Distributism in South Korea

Those who agree that Small Is Still Beautiful will find this trend disturbing─Big Chains Growing at Expense of Small Retailers. Some excerpts:
    The number of small retailers and food and beverage shops in Korea has shrunk by 10.6 percent, from 107,365 in 2001 to 95,967 in 2005.

    [....]

    The study found that the number of chain convenience stores grew by 143.8 percent, while large wholesalers like Home Plus grew by 32.8 percent and supermarkets increased by 12.1 percent.

    [....]

    Small tea shops dwindled more than 30 percent, while the number of large coffee shops with 10 to 49 employees such as Starbucks grew by 89.6 percent, from 125 to 237.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Our Lady of China, Pray For Us!



The humbly beautiful Marian shrine pictured above is to be dynamited─Henan government: destroy the sanctuary of Our Lady of Carmel in Tianjiajing.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, June 21, 2007

George Bush, Confucian

The most interesting commentary on this story─Bush Vetoes Embryonic Stem Cell Bill─was this─George Bush, Taoist. Says Prof. Sam Crane of The Useless Tree, "The whole project behind stem cell research - the 'harvesting' and use of embryos, the manipulation of stem cells, etc. - would likely rub a Taoist the wrong way."

I took issue, however, with his description of "the Confucian stance, which" he said, "would accept stem cell research if it serves a broader social purpose." I've never seen much in common between Confucianism and Utilitarianism. As Taru Taylor succinctly put it in Confucianism Is Philosophy Not Religion:
    Unlike Utilitarianism, which sees the individual as a pleasure-seeker, Confucianism sees him as a moral agent. The Confucian does not pursue happiness. He does the right thing.
These were the comments I left on Prof. Crane's post:
    Here in South Korea (the most Confucian society on Earth, they say), the main Confucian body joined the Catholic Church in strongly condemning embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). Protestant demoninations were divided and Buddhists supported ESCR.

    The qualifier "embryonic" is extremely important here -- there is no major opposition I am aware of to adult stem cell reasearch, with umbilical cord blood or other cells. The word "embryonic" is the key to why Confucians opposed ESCR, if one thinks of the second of the Five Relationships.
[The second of the Five Confucian Relationships is The Father / Son Relationship.]

While I'm greatly pleased by the president's decision, I'm nonetheless puzzled by it, but not for the obvious reasons─his incongruous support for the death penalty and preemptive war. Rather, I'm puzzled as to why George W. Bush on Abortion, who makes "exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother," does not make a similarly arbitrary decision on ESCR. I mean, if one is willing to kill a baby for the crime of its father, why not kill a baby to save its father's or mother's life?

Such conundrums led me to see A Consistent Life Ethic as the only option.

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Dr. Ron Paul's Voice Cries out in the Wilderness

The text of his speech to his house colleagues on preemptive war with Iran─Have We Forgotten 2003 Already?

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

The Department of Homeland Dissolution

Alan Weber on the "war’s impact not only on Santa Fe, but also on much of small-town America"─‘All War Is Local’.

The detrimental effect of the American Empire on Small Town America is a theme taken up by Bill Kauffman, author of Look Homeward America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals, in a chapter that relies heavily on the fiction of Wendell Berry. I posted about these two sages just last week─Wendell Berry on War and Community.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

I am not an animal! I am a human being!

This idea is about as counter-cultural as it gets these days─So What if Animals Have Gay Sex? They Also Practice Polygamy, Pedophilia and Incest.

I'm reminded of an eye-opening conversation I had in Chile when I was a student there in 1993. My interlocutor was an atheist. At the time, I could best be described as a liberal Protestant. The atheist uttered what some would call a "homophobic" remark. I got into a bit of a debate, and stated that homosexuality exists among animals, thinking this was a trump card. However, I was the one who was trumped; the atheist responded, "We are not animals."

Looking back, I realize that the atheist had an essentially Catholic view of Man, having grown up in Chile, while I, the Protestant, had a Darwinian one, having grown up in America. It was an educational moment.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Holy Roman Empire Comes to the Land of the Morning Calm



Diego Velazquez' "Infanta Margarita Teresa in a White Dress" and Gerard ter Borch's "Women Peeling Apples" are but two of the masterpieces that will be on display in Seoul until the end of September─Habsburg Collection Comes to Seoul.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Democracy Comes Back to America

In its purest form, the lynch mob─Crowd kills man after car hits child . God help us.

UPDATE: As I suspected, this appears to have been racial, specifically a black-on-brown lynching, if one is to read between these lines buried at the end of this local report─Mother Mourns Her Son's Death In Mob Beating:
    The League of United Latin American Citizens joined together with the American Civil Liberties Union to speak out about David Morales' murder Wednesday.

    Members said the community should not to look at this as race-on-race violence.

    "We also want them to know that it is not black versus Hispanic or any type of racial situation," said Rita Gonzales Garza of LULAC. "We want the community, both black, brown and white, to work together to help solve this crime and bring justice."

    Like Austin police, the group said this murder had nothing to do with the Juneteenth celebrations.
David Rivas Morales, requiescat in pace.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Chinese Philosopher on "The Great Writ" of Anglo-Saxon Law

    Personally, I think that one writ of habeas corpus is worth more than all the Confucian philosophy ever written.
Lin Yutang, quoted by Jacob G. Hornberger in Tyranny and the Military Commissions Act.

I'd bet that my favorite Chinese philosopher, Chuang Tzu, would say the same thing. Who knows, even Confucius himself might agree. What a shame that the current American régime, which lost the Mandate of Heaven long ago if it ever had it, is so unwise.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Dr. Ron Paul Silenced in Iowa

Catholics for Ron Paul has the details and what you can do to help correct the error─Censorship American Style.

The sponsorship of the debate to which Dr. Ron Paul was not invited was most ironic─Iowans for Tax Relief and Iowa Christian Alliance. Ironic, because he is the only candidate who has called to Repeal the 16th Amendment and Abolish the Income Tax and spoken of Christian Just War Principles.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Pope Benedict XVI on Conversion

Signore Sandro Magister has compiled two papal homilies which treat not only their subjects, Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Augustine of Hippo respectively, but other great converts, namely King David and Saints Peter and Paul, as well─Why Saint Francis “Is a True Master” for Today’s Christians.

It's enough to send this sinner back again for The Sacrament of Penance.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Whatever Happened to Democracy on the March™?

The Decider has decided for the Palestinian people─Abbas only legitimate Palestinian leader, Bush, Olmert say.

So much for that election that put Hamas in power. Hypocrisy is not surprising from elected leaders, but it is when it is this blatant.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Who Killed Rasputin?

"Grigori Rasputin, the infamous Siberian mystic, was murdered as part of a British Government plot to depose Tsar Nicholas II and replace him with a malleable Anglophile bisexual"─Britain killed Rasputin, claims Russian film. Why? The monk was "using his influence over the Royal Family to push for an armistice between Russia and Germany."

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Every Child a Wanted Child?

"Illegitimacy has risen despite--indeed, because of--legal abortion"─It's Not Enough to Be 'Wanted'.

One of the most far-reaching consequences of Roe documented in the article is one that I have blogged about before─"No More Shotgun Marriages". Here's what author John R. Lott, Jr. has to say:
    Many men, feeling tricked into unwanted fatherhood, will likely wash their hands of the affair altogether, thinking, "I never wanted a baby. It's her choice, so let her raise the baby herself." What is expected of men in this position has changed dramatically in the last four decades. The evidence shows that the greater availability of abortion largely ended "shotgun" marriages, where men felt obligated to marrying the woman.
Is it any wonder that college-age males as a demographic group are the most fervent supporters of a "woman's right to choose?"

The genocidal monster Margaret Sanger's disgusting slogan, Every Child A Wanted Child, would be no less sinister, no less reminscent of life unworthy of life, if it were valid, but it turns out to be grossly invalid.

[link via Steve Sailer]

Labels:

Bookmark and Share

The American Conservative on the American Conservative

Dr. Ron Paul is the subject of two articles from the latest edition of The American ConservativeLone Star and Stupid Party.

In the first, Michael Brendan Dougherty suggests that "Ron Paul finds that being right is the one thing his party won’t forgive" and offers an excellent introduction to his every stance, ending with a reminder that "until the day when scores of Ron Pauls overrun the Capitol Building in sneakers, we have one man who heats his own soup and fights for the Republic, not the Empire."

In the second, Kara Hopkins concludes that "the party he's bidding to lead has lost the ability to distinguish between a constitutionalist and a crackpot"

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

South Korea's Leftist Nationalistic Romanization System

Kim Seong-kon on another legacy of Roh Moo-hyun's leftist nationalist "Participatory Government"─Egocentric, confusing signboards:
    When the National Institute of the Korean Language abolished the McCune-Reischauer romanization system and implemented a new one a few years ago, many foreigners strongly opposed it. For foreigners the new system was hopelessly confusing, awkward and incoherent. When I pointed it out to the person who was responsible for the project, he poignantly retorted: "The romanization system is supposed to be designed for the Korean people. Why then should we care about foreigners?" I was not only appalled by his impudently egotistic mind, but also despaired at his vast ignorance and incorrigible obstinacy. How dare he say such a thing! It is common sense that romanization is primarily for the convenience for foreigners, not domestic people.
The Korean language is extremely difficult to render into the Roman alphabet, but it is this blogger's firm opinion that the McCune-Reischauer Romanization System is superior.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Buchanan Fisks Bush

Mr. Buchanan masterfully dissects the president's "latest epistle on democracy as mankind's salvation," offered at Czermin Palace in Prague last week─The Democracy Worshiper. An excerpt on one of the president's tired themes:
    "Freedom," declared the president, "is the design of our Maker and the longing of every soul. ... Freedom is the dream ... of every person in every nation in every age." Interesting.

    Did Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Fidel, Uncle Ho and Pol Pot long for freedom in their souls? Did Churchill long for freedom, as he fought to preserve the British Empire and British rule in India?

    "Expanding freedom," said Bush, "is the only realistic way to protect our people in the long run." That is another way of saying that, if we abandon the Bush crusade for global democracy, we can never be secure.

    Yet America has always been among the most secure nations on earth, even when the world was unfree. Has invading Iraq to expand freedom made us more secure? For it has surely gotten more Americans killed than died on 9-11 and served as the No. 1 recruiting poster for al-Qaida.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Dr. Ron Paul, Founding Father Material

Video of a speech by a man who would have us avoid "entangling alliances" and "not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy"─Nonintervention: The Original Foreign Policy.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Abu Ghraib and Rummy Were Much More Sinister Than We Thought

"The sexual humiliation of a father with his son"─Happy Father's Day from DOD.

Your tax dollars also funded more conventional forms of abuse: "a male American soldier in uniform sodomizing a female detainee." And in the end "when Gen. [Antonio] Taguba, ... a strict Catholic, investigated it, Rumsfeld and his men saw to it his career was ended when he was forced into retirement."

But let us not allow this to cause us to forget that we are the good guys and that our leaders are committed Bible-believing Christians, and that the "Islamofascists," who incomprehensibly call us "The Great Satan," hate us for our freedoms. We must also never forget that those who oppose this war and what it has done to our country are "America-haters."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Here Come the Young Fogeys

"[A] growing number of young priests push for a revival of pre-Vatican II customs"─A Return to the Latin Mass. From the article:
    In addition to restoring the Latin mass, young priests are calling for greater devotion to the Virgin Mary, more frequent praying of the rosary, and priests turning away from the congregation as they once did.
For non-Catholic readers, the last point refers to the Celebration of Mass Ad Orientem in a Parish Setting, i.e., "facing the East rather than facing the people." The title of this post comes from Father Andrew Greeley's 2004 article on "[y]oung reactionaries, aging radicals—the U.S. Catholic Church's unusual clerical divide"─Young Fogeys.

[link via New Oxford Review]

Labels:

Bookmark and Share

Prof. Clyde Wilson Looks Back

The southern gentlman's latest is "a sad realization of what might have been better if I knew then what I know now"─Regrets.

Labels:

Bookmark and Share

Prof. Andrew Bacevich to the Big Three in Each Wing of the Republicrat Party

"Candidates Who Call For Beefing Up Our Armed Forces to Deter Terrorism Show a Profound Misunderstanding of the Mideast"─More Troops, More Troubles.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto

If I'm supposed to be impressed, I'm not─Robot hosts South Korean wedding.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, June 18, 2007

"Liberated" Iraq Is Hell-on-Earth for Christians

A very disturbing report on the de-Christianization of Iraq, much of it carried out by the "good guys," American allies the Kurds─Report Outlines Ethnic Cleansing Campaign Against Iraq's Assyrians. The "executive summary" follows:
    Assyrians are the only autochthonous people of Iraq, having lived in their ancestral lands in north Iraq since 5000 B.C. Assyrians are Christians, belonging to three main denominations: The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Chaldean Church of Babylon. The native language of Assyrians is neo-Syriac (neo-Aramaic). This distinct identity of Assyrians, especially their Christian faith, sets them apart from the rest of the population.

    Assyrians comprised 8% (1.5 million) of the Iraqi population in April of 2003. Since then 50% have fled the country. Of the 750,000 Iraqi refugees in Jordan up to 150,000 are Assyrians. Of the 1.2 million Iraqi refugees in Syria, 70,000 to 500,000 are Assyrians.

    From 1995 to 2007 287 Assyrians were killed. For the years 1995-2002 there were 19 murders, averaging 2.37 per year. After the liberation of Iraq in 2003, the average number of murders for the years 2003-2007 was 67, 2827% higher than for the years 1995-2002. The geographic distribution of the murders was 35.54% in north Iraq, 61.67% in central Iraq and 2.79% in south Iraq. Kurds, Sunnis, Shiites and al-Qaeda engaged in murdering Assyrians. Examples included:

    • A 2 month old infant kidnapped, beheaded, roasted and returned to its parents on a bed of rice
    • 14 year old Ayad Tariq decapitated because he is a "dirty Christian sinner"

    • A 14 year old boy crucified in his own village in Mosul

    • Fr. Paulos Iskander (Paul Alexander) kidnapped, beheaded and dismembered

    • 5 priests were kidnapped and released after ransom was paid. 3 priests and 3 deacons were murdered, for a total of 11. 5 of these occurred in Baghdad, 6 in Mosul.

    33 churches were attacked or bombed since June, 2004: 23 in Baghdad, 6 in Mosul, 3 in Kirkuk and 1 in Ramadi.

    At least 13 young women were abducted and raped, causing some of them to commit suicide.

    Female students were targeted in Basra and Mosul for not wearing veils; some had nitric acid squirted on their faces. Elders of a village in Mosul were warned not to send females to universities.

    Mahdi Army personnel circulated a letter warning all Christian women to veil themselves.

    Al-Qaeda moved into an Assyrian neighborhood and began collecting the jizya and demanding that females be sent to the mosque to be married off to Muslims.

    Assyrian businesses were targeted. 95% of liquor stores were attacked, defaced or bombed. 500 Assyrian shops in a Dora market were burned in one night.

    Property was confiscated by Kurds in the north and Shiites in Baghdad.

    Kurdish authorities denied foreign reconstruction assistance for Assyrian communities and used public works projects to divert water and other vital resources from Assyrian to Kurdish communities. Kurdish forces blockaded Assyrian villages

    Children were kidnapped and forcibly transferred to Kurdish families.
[link via New Oxford Review]

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Oppressed Peoples and Song

Mrs. Clare Krishan, a dear reader, sends two remarkable and inspiring links, one of the lyrics of a folk song documenting the sad cultural decline in Québec, and the other of a working-class tenor from Cymru─Sign of Hope - Mes Aïeux and Another quiet Welshman with a big voice.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

The LewRockwell.com Blog on the Symbolic Sinking in Washington

"I get the feeling there's a deep, providential metaphor in this story"─Jefferson Memorial Sinking into the Mud.

"Here's another urgent call for a Ron Paul presidency, this one by a great liberty-minded former President. The Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Post reports, is beginning to sink"─It really is time for Ron Paul!

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Joseph Sobran's Old Conservatism

"The Reactionary Utopian" ends with a simple question, "How would honest Americans be worse off if the Federal Government, in its present form, just ceased to exist?"─Wanted: A New Conservatism. Another fine excerpt:
    The truncated, perverted version of conservatism now called neoconservatism in the media is “conservative” only in the sense that sodomy is “sex.” The real thing can be found in the American Founders and, in England, in the writings of such men as Samuel Johnson, Edmund Burke, John Henry Newman, and C.S. Lewis.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

A Tale of Two Sippy Cups

Two sippy cup stories in the news today, only the first of which is one about which to be outraged─TSA Detains Mother, Threatens Arrest Over Sippy Cup Full of Tap Water and Restaurant Serves a 2-Year-Old a Margarita in a Sippy Cup.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Australian Greens Attempt Censure of Cardinal Pell

Over His Eminence's comments that "Catholic MPs who supported a bill to overturn a ban on therapeutic cloning 'must realise that their voting has consequences for their place in the life of the church'"─Pell slams "stalinist" parliamentary contempt probe.

This blogger supports a lot of what environmentalists stand for, but I fail to understand their support of cultural leftism, which is about unnatural as it gets. They really are like watermelons, green on the outside and red on the inside. Perhaps they would oppose ESCR if it were conducted on an endangered species.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, June 16, 2007

How Many Dukes?

How does an official of the court apologize for burying evidence and attempting to railroad people he knew were innocent─Duke lacrosse prosecutor apologizes? Sadly, Michael Nifong isn't the only one with some explaining to do; there are eighty-eight Duke professors who need to offer mea culpas:

"The spirit of the lynch mob lived in that house on Buchanan Boulevard, regardless of the truth of the most serious charges," said Duke Professor Tim Tyson, quoted by Richard Bertrand Spencer─Rotten in Durham. Professor Tyson and the other eighty-seven refuse to see the lynch mob which they formed, and would doubtfully by assuaged of the opinion that "assaults on poor black women by preppy college students is a pressing national problem" even by these stark statistics:
    According to the Department of Justice’s most recent National Crime Victimization Survey, 15.5 percent of white rape victims were attacked by blacks, while 0.0 percent of black victims were raped by white males.
That said, from the numbers that swell our prisons, one has to wonder how many other Nifongs there are across the country. Many, if one is to judge by the 940 names of the "[w]rongly convicted innocents and other individuals abused by the Criminal Justice System" documented on this list─Victims of the State. How many others are undocumented? With the Wars on Crime, Drugs, and Terror, we are in danger of inverting Blackstone's formulation to "better that ten innocents suffer than that one guilty person escapes".

The lacrosse players' defense was ironically aided by the noise made by those who wanted to make their case into an indictment of America, and, of course, by the fact that they could afford someone other than a public defender. The Bard famously has one of his characters say, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers". But before we follow that advice, we should find out who's doing pro bono work on behalf of the poor, and spare them. In better times, law guilds would have seen this as part of their duty. Closer to our dark times, high-minded individuals would have. Where are you, Atticus Finch?

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

America's Great Soul

I called him American Mahatma a few weeks ago, as Gary North does today─Ron Paul, the Mahatma.

Like the author, who watches the film every year or two, I rank Gandhi (1982), considered by some to be the last epic film, as one of my all-time favorites. I own the DVD and watch key scenes every so often.

Says Mr. North: "Ron Paul is convinced that self-government is the wave of the future. Empire isn’t. That was Gandhi’s message in 1915. It did not seem plausible back then. By 1947, it did."

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Wisdom from Han Dynasty China in Today's Korea Herald

[WORDS TO THE WISE] Lying in wait ...:
    Once, there was a giant tree in a garden on which rested a cicada. It was enjoying dew as well as singing its favorite song; apparently, the jolly cicada was unaware of a praying mantis right behind it.

    The mantis craved the cicada so badly, so its preoccupation with the yum-yum food caused him to pay no attention to an oriole behind it.

    Just as the bird opened its rigid bill widely enough to pick off the tilted mantis, a child with a catapult, from quite a great distance, shot the oriole.

    Since the boy was too excited about catching an oriole, he didn't realize there was a huge hole right behind him; if he took one false step, he would fall right into a dark, cavernous place ...

    Like all these creatures only focused on the profits they could muster, many people who are obsessed with obtaining what they crave are of the blind to all the consequences. They may not notice the danger that lurks behind it.

    Note: This story was recorded from the collection of Han Shi Wai Zhuan, an 'outer commentary' written by Han Ying during the Han dynasty in China.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

A Review of The War Between the State and the Family

"The decline of the family in welfare states is no accident but the result of an ideological cocktail, argues a British author"─Family at war. The end-result: "complete atomisation, with individuals left to fend for themselves."

In the news today, a report from the front that has sustained the most casualties in this war─Father absence "decimates" black community in U.S.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

A Tear-Jerker

"A palliative care physician remembers an unexpected request from the husband of a dying patient"─Can’t you give her a needle?

Labels:

Bookmark and Share

Rosa Brooks on Nowhere Man

"Courts, conservatives, military officers and everyone outside Albania can agree on one thing: They're tired of the president"─United, not divided -- against Bush.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Abolishing the Korean Pledge of Allegiance

Wiriting for the leftist Hankyoreh, lawyer Jeong Jeong-hun call for the above─A pledge to a nation, or a gang oath? Some excerpts:
    The essence of the problem here is that state is forcing people to be "loyal." Is the state something to be loyal to? There is not going to be a correct answer to that question as long as it is left to personal judgment. Whether the state can force loyalty, however, is a different matter. Forcing people to have loyalty towards the state takes the relationship between the state and the citizenry and its reciprocity of rights and obligations and turns it into a hierarchical relationship where the people must live up to all their duties to country. This takes the unique regulatory kind of relationship like that which exists in the military and unduly applies it to the whole population....

    Those in favor of the pledge say they are worried about "individualism" on the part of young students these days. However, it would be fatal poison for the health of the community to prescribe collectivism and or nationalism for dealing with individualism. Collectivism is merely an expanded form of individualism. The right approach would be to instill, through history education based on a perspective of peace, the idea that the individual exists in a social relationship and that the state and the Korean people as an ethnic group are one of those relationships, thereby bringing back the spirit of inter-relatedness.
The same criticism can be applied to our own socialist-written pledge─The Strange Origin of the Pledge of Allegiance and What's Conservative about the Pledge of Allegiance? Strange that folks who get worked up about kids not pledging allegiance to the flag don't give a hoot about the chief law enforcement officer calling the country's founding document "quaint."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Friday, June 15, 2007

For Tomorrow's Memorial

A Solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
    Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.

    Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.

    O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.

    We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home.

    Amen.

    --Venerable Pope Pius XII

Labels:

Bookmark and Share

"Gelding Moby-Dick"

John Liechty on mutilating the classics─Literature Is Not Supposed To Be Convenient.

A friend who self-describes as a "flaming socialist"─no surprise─once suggested that Herman Melville's incomparable classic would benefit from an editing. My friend is particulary appalled by the lengthy passages devoted to describing the contemporary controversy between classifying the whale as a fish or a mammal, which then authoritatively dismiss the latter camp. [As a skeptic, I'd say the jury is still out.]

I cringe at any suggestion to "geld" this great book or any other. One of my favorite Dickian passages, in which the Great Lakes next to which I grew up are ponderously defended by a Lakesman to be the seas they are, would likely find itself on the socialist-rationalist editing floor. Perhaps neocons editors would find the last scene as something that could only have been written by an "America-hater."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Paulian Portal

Bookmark and Share

Patrick J. Buchanan on America's Third Middle Eastern War

In his latest offering for Antiwar.com, the venerable Old Rightist analyzes the recent surge of "grim words of serious U.S. diplomats and soldiers not usually given to bellicose rhetoric"─On the Escalator to War With Iran. His concusion:
    What is going on? The most logical explanation is that the White House is providing advance justification for air strikes on camps of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that are allegedly providing training for and transferring weapons to Afghan and Iraqi insurgents. And if the United States conducts those strikes, Iranians will unite around Ahmadinejad, and Tehran will order retaliatory strikes against U.S. targets in Iraq and perhaps across the Middle East.

    President Bush will then have his casus belli to take out Natanz and all the other Iranian nuclear facilities, as the Israelis and the neocons have been demanding that he do. This would mean a third Middle Eastern war for America, with a nation three times as large and populous as Iraq. Perhaps it is time to begin constructing a new wing on Walter Reed.

    Which raises the question: Where is the Congress? Why is it not holding public hearings and sifting the evidence to determine if Tehran is behind these attacks on Americans and if the United States has not itself been aiding insurgents inside Iran?

    Or is it all up to George W. as to whether we launch a third and wider war in the Middle East, which could result in an economic and strategic disaster for the United States?
Back in 2002 and 2003, during the build-up to the War on Iraq, I was reluctant to believe that my country would attack another on such flimsy grounds. Such naïveté is a thing of the past and this is beginning to feel like déjà vu all over again.

Labels:

Bookmark and Share

Catholics for Ron Paul

While "not be endorsing any candidate for the presidency," catholicanarchy.org makes a very strong case for the man this blogger has endorsed─Why are the republicatholics ignoring Ron Paul? Some excerpts:
    While some of the loudest voices of the Catholic blogosphere get worked up over the possibility of Rudy Giuliani gaining the Republican nomination, I find it scandalous that most Catholics of the “Oh no, I’m not beholden to the Republican party, I just don’t know how else to vote because of the abortion issue” variety are continuing to ignore Ron Paul, the Republican Texas congressman who tore Giuliani to shreds (it doesn’t take much, of course) during recent Republican debates.

    [....]

    It seems to me abundantly clear at this stage of the game (and I do mean “game”) that Ron Paul probably represents the best that a Catholic could hope for, assuming the Catholic in question takes seriously the entirety of her Church’s teaching. And it makes one wonder what might happen if Catholics spent more time supporting someone like Paul and less time worrying about a fraud like Giuliani. Unfortunately, this won’t happen because most Catholics who lean faithfully to the Republican side are, in fact, solidly in favor of war, as much as they protest that fact. There is no other explanation for the way they ignore Ron Paul.

    But more than having a seemingly better tally on some hypothetical Catholic voting issues scorecard, Paul’s stances are firmly rooted in a theological understanding of the problem of idolatry of the nation-state. He exposes that idolatry for all to see, a temptation that few American Catholics really want to grapple with. And that’s enough to make any Republicrat uncomfortable.
UPDATE: The comments to the post above worked me up a bit, and I decided to set up a new blog, only to see someone had beat me to the name and URL I had decided upon by five days─Catholics for Ron Paul.

Check out the most recent post─"Abortion on demand is the ultimate State Tyranny".

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Roma Locuta Est

Bookmark and Share

Because Yesterday Was Flag Day

Bookmark and Share

The Pilgrimage of Marquise Immacolata Solaro del Borgo

"An Italian noblewoman gives a fragment of Our Lady’s robe, and relics of six other saints, to the Russian Orthodox Church in Kazan, Tartarstan, in the heart of Russia"─Catholic and Orthodox relations improving? From the article, the very moving account:
    An aging Italian Roman Catholic noblewoman, her grey hair covered with a white veil, in a church packed with nearly 1,000 Russian Orthodox, today, in a simple but moving ceremony, handed over to the Russian Orthodox bishop of the city seven precious relics of saints -- including a tiny fragment of the robe of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Some women in attendance wept openly.

    "I bring these relics as my gift to you, and to the people of Russia, as a sign of my respect and love for Russia and all her people," the Marquise Immacolata Solaro del Borgo, 77, a member of Rome's historically powerful Colonna family, said to Bishop Anastasi as she handed over the gift to him at 10 a.m. today in a packed church. "I hope the relics can enrich the new Marian sanctuary you are building around the icon of Our Lady of Kazan."

    "We appreciate these gifts very much," Bishop Anastasi later told "Inside the Vatican." "We are grateful to Immacolata that she made this long and tiring journey to bring us these gifts personally. The city of Kazan will appreciate them forever."

    Showing the seriousness with which today's gift of the relics was treated in Russia, the ceremony was broadcast live throughout the country on the main national television channel, NTV.

    The ceremony took place in Kazan's Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul.

    In the ceremony, the Marquise Immacolata (a "marquise" ranks above a countess and below a duchess) gave Bishop Anastasi a fragment of the robe of Mary and relics of six other saints: St. Basil the Great, St. Blaise, St. Nicholas, St. Daria, St. Natalia and St. Pancratius.

    The relics were contained in a single reliquary made by a Neapolitan jeweler in 17th century, a small silver box in the center of which was the fragment of Our Lady’s robe surrounded by the six saints’ relics, with their names inscribed there in Latin.

    The reliquary came to Marquise Immacolata from Princess Giovanna Barberini, the widow of Prince Augusto Barberini, whose relatives included many cardinals and Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644).

    The head of the internal affairs and tourism committee of the Kazan City Council, Vladimir Leonov, said that Marquisde Immacolata is an old friend of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    She was prominent in Italy in the 1980s in arranging for medical treatment for the children from Chernobyl, Ukraine, and in the past has given a relic of St. Nicholas to Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia, and a relic of St. George to the Nikolo-Ugreshsky Monastery near Moscow.

    Bishop Anastasi invited Marquise Immacolata to a lunch at his residence after the ceremony. She will remain in Kazan for two more days, visiting the holy sites of Russian Orthodoxy in Tatarstan.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Peace in the Holy Land

The full text of a message issued yesterday─Urgent call from Heads of Churches in Jerusalem to Fateh and Hamas.

American Catholic ziocons will surely cringe at expressions like "40th Anniversary of the Occupation," "our brothers in Fateh and Hamas movements," and "an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its Capital."

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

No Blood For Oil

"How wars of the future may be fought just to run the machines that fight them"─The Pentagon v. peak oil. Currently, "the estimated annual oil expenditure for U.S. combat operations in Southwest Asia [is] greater than the total annual oil usage of Bangladesh, population 150 million."

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Where are you, Dear Leader?

Two article from Asia Times Online take a look up north─Kim Jong-il's vanishing act, which ponders rumors that he is seriously ill, and North Korea's Dear Film Buff, which examines the use of film in propaganda.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Dissent in Iran

"In an open letter to newspapers 57 Iranian economists blamed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s economic policies for soaring inflation (almost 20 per cent) and increased poverty"─Economists tell Ahmadinejad he is impoverishing the country.

I'm sure I'm not alone in being struck by the similarities between the Iranian and American presidents. Both are end-timers. Both hastily spew rhetoric that ends up damaging the prestige of their respective countries in the world at large.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Crazy Eights

"The Young Fogey" has tagged me for The "eight things about me" meme:
    Here are the rules...

    1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
    2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
    3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
    4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.
Here goes:

1. Hardly a day has gone by since the age of five on which I have not had a peanut-butter sandwich, no jelly. Thank you, George Washington Carver.

2. Hardly an evening, and sometimes a morning or afternoon, has gone by since the age of thirty in which I have not had a drink.

3. Although in my teens I was an avid comic book collecter who at one time had in his possession Daredevil #2 and The X-men #7, I cannot recall a superhero movie that I have seen since Superman II (1980).

4. The first time I voted, in 1988, I incomprehensibly split my ticket between the Right to Life Party, whose sole issue I believed in, and the Workers World Party, whose presidential candidate I had met at an anti-Klan rally in Philly.

5. The second time I voted, in 1992, I wore a tie for one of the few times in my twenty-two years because the solemnity of the occasion had been impressed upon me by a group of Haitians who had been slaughtered wearing their Sunday best on the way to the polls in their country.

6. I once rented a beautiful turn-of-the-century place in Buffalo, NY in a neighborhood that had become a turf war zone between 'Ricans and Blacks. There were three driveby shootings within earshot during one hot summer.

7. Having lived in Korea for ten years, I now find sleeping on anything but the floor uncomfortable.

8. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party. But I might join to cast a primary vote for Dr. Ron Paul.

I hereby tag, without obligation, The New Beginning, Tea at Trianon, Antes de la caída, Discalced Yooper, KoreanCatholic, Memoirs of a Neophyte, Potpourri for Sixteen Hundred, and The Roving Medievalist.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.