Friday, November 30, 2007

Ralph Nader, Traditionalist

On The Seventeen Traditions, "the only book [he] ha[s] written that everyone loves" ─ The Lost Art of Family Traditions.

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Abandoned Elderly

In the World's Most Confucian Country™ ─ For elderly, a lonesome death may lie in wait. "There are an estimated 880,000 elderly living alone currently, but the government expects the number to rise to 1 million by 2010."

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Save Darfur's Oil

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Henry Hyde, Requiescat in Pace

"The white-maned, physically imposing Hyde was a throwback to a different era, a man who was genuinely liked by his opponents for his wit, charm and fairness" ─ Former Illinois Rep. Hyde Dies.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Eco-Paulianism

Amanda Griscom Little "called Paul up on the campaign trail in Iowa to get the skinny on how the environment figures into his small-government agenda" ─ Ron Paul's free, green market. An excerpt:
    On environment, governments don't have a good reputation for doing a good job protecting the environment. If you look at the extreme of socialism or communism, they were very poor environmentalists. Private property owners have a much better record of taking care of the environment. If you look at the common ownership of the lands in the West, they're much more poorly treated than those that are privately owned. In a free-market system, nobody is permitted to pollute their neighbor's private property -- water, air, or land. It is very strict.

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Remember the Liberty City Seven?

Those seven guys in Florida who were on the brink of bringing down the Sears Tower and the rest of America with it? Well, here's a report about the ringleader saying that "[i]t's increasingly obvious that the bullsh*tting Batiste was playing a cat-and-mouse game with FBI informant Abbas al-Saidi in the hopes of bagging big money from people he thought were connected to al Qaeda's money" ─ The Tao of Brother Naz.

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Kill your cellphone...

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Morbidly Obese America

"'You can only get so fat,' one physiologist says" ─ For the first time in more than 25 years, Americans aren't getting any fatter. When will we simply explode?

A while back, I was accused of anti-Americanism by a parishioner of St. Blog's Parish. I countered that I loved my mother, America, but that she was morbidly obese and I simply wanted her to go on a radical diet and lose weight lest she die! Now, finally there is a man ─ a medical doctor no less! ─ who can give my mother the treatment she needs: Dr. Ron Paul.

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Our Culture's Serial Monogamy Can Be Fatal to Children

"[T]he [two-year-old] girl was beaten with leather belts, had her head held underwater in a bathtub and then was thrown across a room, her head slamming into a tile floor" by her step-father "because she wouldn't say 'please' and 'yes sir'" ─ Lawyer: Discipline led to girl's death. He was "overwhelmed by his sudden fatherhood and didn't know what behavior to expect from a toddler." May Baby Grace rest in peace.

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Korea Has Lost Her Way


If anti-modernist screeds are your thing, you might find my latest offering for The Seoul Times right up your alley ─ O Korea, Turn Back to the Tao. The article begins with a meditation on the above-pictured "Taegukki (太極旗), the national flag of the Republic of Korea, [which] is perhaps the world's most beautiful... [and] certainly the world's most philosophical."

I submitted the article last week. Had I written it this week, I'd have included a bit of wisdom gleaned from a conversation with a Ph.D. candidate, a mechanical engineer who has not lost touch with the Tao; he explained that the Korean educational system ─ with its exclusive focus on testing and ranking ─ results in a society obsessed with salary figures and stock returns.

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You Look Like a Million Bucks, Mr. President


Were America to print a $1,000,000 bill, she could do no better than to grace it with the image of fellow Buffalonian Grover Cleveland; the last Jeffersonian to sit in the White House, he "opposed imperialism, taxes, corruption, patronage, subsidies and inflationary policies, while adhering to the principles of classical liberalism" ─ Man tries to deposit fake $1M bill.

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"I Dread Our Own Power and Our Own Ambition"

So said the Father of Conservatism, Edmund Burke, 1729-1797, quoted in this article by William Norman Grigg ─ Imperial Dread. The full Burkean quote:
    Among precautions against ambition, it may not be amiss to take one against our own. I must fairly say I dread our own power and our own ambition. I dread our being too much dreaded.... Sooner or later, this state of things must produce a combination against us which may end in our ruin.
[link via LewRockwell.com]

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"Buy Gold, Young Man, Buy Gold"

So advises military analyst William S. Lind, looking at the "likely results of US aggression in 2008" ─ In the Fox’s Lair.

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Yong-in City Has Some Architecturally-Sound Parishes

Here are two more in addition to the one to which I linked to yesterday ─ 천주교용인천리요셉성당 and 천주교용인원삼성당.

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"Meet the Only Two Candidates Worse Than Bush and Cheney"

The former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration weighs in ─ Rudy or Hillary: Pick Your Poison. An excerpt:
    Both Hillary and Rudy are creatures of ambition, not of principle. Both are one up on Karl Marx. Marx said truth serves class interests. For Hillary and Rudy, truth is what serves their individual interests. They both wear black hats, and the horse they ride is called power.

    Yet in November polls, Republicans prefer Giuliani by a margin of five or six to one over Ron Paul, the only principled Republican candidate and a person who without any doubt believes in the Constitution and would protect it.

    Democrats prefer Hillary by a margin of twenty to one over Dennis Kucinich, the only member of Congress sufficiently concerned and courageous to introduce impeachment against the notorious war criminal Dick Cheney. By margins as much as forty-four to one, Democrats prefer Hillary to Senator Christopher Dodd, who promises to give America back its Constitution in the first hour of his administration. Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel does not even register in the polls.

    Obviously, the American people haven't a clue...
When will we get a clue and get rid of the one-party rule, chasing The War Party out of town?

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Filosofía de la historia en Christopher Dawson

An interview with Jaime Antúnez Aldunate, Chilean author of a book with the above title ─ What Christopher Dawson Lamented in Modernity. An excerpt:
    Even though he says in "Progress and Religion" that the new synthesis of modern man is superior in relation to the physical world compared to the synthesis of the 13th century, in its totality it is inferior. Human beings not only lost their central place in the universe as the link between the superior reality of the spirit and the inferior reality of matter, but "they were left in danger of being expelled from the intelligible order." This is due to the fact that the universe is conceived as a closed mechanical order, governed by mathematical laws, in which there is no room for the spiritual and moral values that were previously considered as the absolute reality.

    However, Dawson's critique of modern culture does not imply -- thanks to human freedom -- an irreversible or a predetermined process. As with everything human, its persistence or defeat depends on human will. Nor does this necessarily imply a regress in the field of scientific and technological advances. On the contrary, considering them as positive results of the civilization in which they came to light, the Christian one, they are elements, among many, to be reintegrated into a search for a spiritual unity of culture.

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Congratulations, Im Kwon-taek

One of my favorite film directors honored ─ Great filmmaker Im to get French Legion of Honor. I saw Seopyeonje (1993) before I had any idea I would visit, much less reside in, Korea. The film made a Pansori fan of me.

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The Father of Medicine Was Right About Abortion

A timely reminder ─ 700 Portuguese Doctors Sign Petition Urging Medical Association to Continue Opposing Abortion:
    The doctors remind the Association that the 2,500-year-old Hippocratic Oath exists to resist the moral fashions of the times, which have often been a threat to the dignity of human life. They wish to avoid "the subjection of this Code to a changing 'ethic', molded to the taste of the interests, conveniences, ideologies or convictions of those who happen to have power or influence at the time."
If the West won't listen to the Church, will it listen to the virtuous pagans?

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Spiritual Semites

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Dorothy Day as Trojan Horse

The first draft of my article that appeared in Spero News yesterday is up ─ Anarcho-Catholicism: Dorothy Day's Day Has Come. I wrote the original article for the "Progressive and Tough Liberal" crowd at OpEdNews.Com as a kind of trojan horse, hoping to sneak some much needed religion on the site. However, my article runs with an ad about "The Dark History of the Church." The first comment, however, was favorable, from an old CW Hand, Peter Michaelson.

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The Church and Palestine

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Servant of God Dorothy Day, Pray for Us

Here is my appreciation in honor of the anniversary of her passing ─ Dorothy Day's anarcho-Catholicism: The way of love.

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Intermediate Technology and Free Markets

Salvadoran Rene Nuñez Suarez made "a stainless-steel cooker that uses about 95% less fuel than conventional wood stoves, with minimal pollution," but "his acclaimed invention has cost him his family and savings" after he "gambled that the government or nonprofit groups would finance production of the appliances to distribute to low-income people" ─ This stove cooks -- but burns. He should have followed his hero Edison and started up his own small business.

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Entangling Alliance in the Works

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Is the Pope the Last Hope for Peace?

"According to several well-placed Rome sources, Iranian officials are quietly laying the groundwork necessary to turn to Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican diplomats for mediation if the showdown with the United States should escalate toward a military intervention" ─ Iran's Secret Weapon: The Pope. This is bound to cause the AmChurch neocon cafeteria Catholic crowd to blow a gasket.

The rest of the article is fascinating. We learn of "a Nov. 16, 1561, letter in Latin from Pope Pius V to Shah Tahmasp I" and that "only the Dominican Republic has more diplomats accredited to the Holy See." Down the memory hole for many is the fact that "the current Pope was firmly behind John Paul II's opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq." Also mentioned is that "Catholicism and Shi'a Islam have a surprisingly similar structure and approach to their different faiths."

[link via Lew Rockwell.com Blog]

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Peak Oil Gets Even Crunchier

"One of best articles to appear yet in the MSM," says EnergyBulletin.net of Rod Dreher's piece ─ Reaching our peak oil supply.

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The Science of Life

Science weighs in on the Orwellian language used in the ESCR debate ─ Embryologists to Media: There are no Such Things as Human "Fertilized Eggs". In fact, as to when life begins, it's old news:
    Despite what many refer to as the "debate" over when a human being begins to exist, the facts have been known for more than a hundred and thirty years. In 1875, the German zoologist Oskar Hertwig showed definitively that penetration of a spermatozoon into an ovum was the beginning of independent life and that the terms "conception" and "fertilization" are therefore interchangeable terms.
Any other definition of "life" is unscientific, not to mention evil.

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"Democratism, the Gospel of George W. Bush"

Patrick J. Buchanan on his new book ─ Ideology Was Bush’s Undoing.

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Yong-in City's Songjeon Catholic Parish

Here's a modern church that nicely incorprates elements of traditional Korean architecture ─ 천주교용인송전성당. Now if they'd only remove the banners!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Charity Toward the North

A report on the tenth national meeting of the Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People ─ South Korean Church: Charity towards North road to reunification. The South Korean Church is right in providing charity to the people; the South Korean government is wrong in proving cash and business deals to prop up the north's régime.

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The De-Catholicization of Buffalo

This is not an easy read ─ WNY Catholics grieve at church closings. "[I]n many cases the churches where they were baptized and from which they expected to be buried." The fact that the bishop officially called the church closing process "Journey in Faith & Grace" is Orwellian.

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So Much for Max Weber

"The work ethic, before which our culture bows down in adoration, can result in failure perhaps as often as it does success," writes Gene Logsdon ─ The lovely, life-saving virtue of laziness.

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Hope for Korea

Of course, the authors of this article and most Koreans probably don't see it that way ─ Korea to See Weak President.

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The Paleoconservative and the Progressive

The Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration makes the same comparison I did yesterday ─ Good-Bye to All That. The first two paragraphs:
    Pat Buchanan is too patriotic to come right out and say it, but the message of his new book, Day of Reckoning, is that America as we have known her is finished. Moreover, Naomi Wolf agrees with him. These two writers of different political persuasions arrive at America's demise from different directions.

    Buchanan explains how hubris, ideology, and greed have torn America apart. A neoconservative cabal with an alien agenda captured the Bush administration and committed American blood, energy, and money to aggression against Muslim countries in the Middle East, while permitting America's domestic borders to be overrun by immigrants and exporting the jobs that had made the US an opportunity society. War and offshoring have taken a savage economic toll while open borders and diversity have created social and political division.

    In her new book, End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, Wolf explains America's demise in terms of the erosion of freedoms. She writes that the ten classic steps that are used to close open societies are currently being taken in the US. Martial law is only a declaration away.

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How North America Could Have Been

Lew Rockwell links to a fascinating map ─ Decentralized North America. In my "alternative history of America under the Articles," I envisioned a similer thing ─ Scrap the Constitution!

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Monday, November 26, 2007

From Bodhisattva to Catholic Saint

My latest for Spero News is about Barlaam and Josaphat, just in time for tomorrow's memorial, and how "the Sanskrit 'Bodhisattva' became 'Bodisav' in Persian, 'Budhasaf' or 'Yudasaf' in Arabic, 'Iodasaph' in Georgian, 'Ioasaph' in Greek, and 'Josaphat' in Latin" and my feeble interpretation of what it could mean to the Church ─ The Feast of Saint Bodhisattva.

Not until after finishing the article a few hours ago did I realize that I have adopted the "reader responsible" discourse style of the East, i.e., I do not present my thesis and give examples supporting it as in the "writer responsible" discourse style of the West. In other words, I expect my reader to be intelligent enough to figure out what I'm saying without having to beat him over the head. That said, I expect both theological liberals and theological conservatives to be unhappy with what I say.

Back to discourse styles, I find it strange that I should have unconsciously adopted an Asian discourse style even though I read nothing in any non-European language and continuously teach students to adopt the Western style. Perhaps more than a decade in the Far East has taken its toll. Or perhaps it is an Asian cognitive pattern that led me to come to this continent in the first place.

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What do Pat Buchanan and Naomi Wolf Have in Common?

A less than optimistic view of the survivablity of America qua America─ NEW BUCHANAN BOOK DECLARES 'END OF AMERICA'. Sent by a reader with whose assessment I agree entirely: "Don't know if I agree with him on everything—the immigration stuff strikes me as a bit nativist—but a lot of this strikes a chord, including the urgency."

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Conservatives Against Atomic Mass Murder

"Mainstream American conservatives – not leftists, as we are led to believe – have been among the most vocal critics of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima," ─ Conservative Revisionists and Hiroshima.

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Stable and Unstable Verbs

A conservative blog for peace links to an article on "linguistic conservatism" from which many real-life lessons can be drawn ─ Use It or Lose It: Why Language Changes over Time. The deatils of the study:
    The Harvard researchers specifically studied the roots of English, tracing verb conjugations in the language from the time of Beowulf 1,200 years ago through Shakespeare in the 16th century to its current form. Over the years, several past tense forms of verbs have died out in English and now only one persists as a rule: adding "-ed" to the end of verbs. (Verbs that end in "-ed" in their past tense form "regular verbs" in modern English.)

    Researchers scoured grammatical texts dating back to the days of Old English, cataloguing all the irregular verbs they came across. Among them: the still irregular "sing" / "sang," "go" / "went" as well as the since-regularized "smite" which once was "smote" in Old English but since has become "smited," and "slink," which is now "slinked" but 1,200 years ago was "slunk." They located 177 verbs that were irregular in Old English and 145 that were still irregular in Middle English; today, only 98 of the 177 verbs have not been "regularized.'"

    After calculating the frequency of use of each of the 177 irregular Old English verbs, researchers determined that the words that evolved most quickly into regular conjugational forms were used significantly less than those that went unchanged over time. In fact, their statistical analysis determined that given two verbs, if one was used 100 times less frequently than the other, it would evolve 10 times faster than the verb employed more often. They predict the next verb to fall into line will be wed, the past tense of which will regularize from wed to wedded.
The so-called irregular verbs were once "regular," before the -ed marker came into the picture about 800 years ago. It's interesting to note the forms in transition, like the variant past tense forms of "dive" ─ "dove" and "dived."

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Agrarianism vs. Environmentalism

Scott P. Richert on those who grow ─ In the Garden. An excerpt:
    We never talk, though, about “the environment” or “global warming” or “greenhouse gases” or “carbon emissions.” More often than not, the people who chatter on endlessly about such things would have to answer “How’s your garden doing this year?” with “I don’t have a garden.” Too busy worrying about “the environment” while spending most of their day engaged in activities that increase carbon emissions and greenhouse gases, they do not have any time left to spend with, and in, nature. They have never consciously reduced nature to the abstraction of “the environment”; the very structure of their lives has done it for them.

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A Call to End the Petrodollar

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tomorrow's Holy Day

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Yours Truly Coming to the Defense of Mike Huckabee (With the Help of William Jennings Bryan, William Saleten, and Steve Sailor)

Against the claim by Matt Taibbi that he "may talk about poverty and trade, but the wild-eyed Baptist goofball doesn't believe he is evolved from primates" ─ Mike Huckabee Is Not a Sane Man.

I titled my comment So He's Against Social Darwinism:
    Just like the Progressive William Jennings Bryan, who argued in the Scopes Monkey Trial that evolution meant elevating "supposedly superior intellects," "eliminating the weak," "paralyzing the hope of reform," jeopardizing "the doctrine of brotherhood," and undermining "the sympathetic activities of a civilized society."
I acknowledge Steve Sailor for quoting William Saleten with compiling the above ─ A Watson Defender. Let us rememeber, after all, that Darwinism Is Social Darwinism, and that there is a direct line from From Darwin to Hitler.

As you know, I support Dr. Ron Paul, but I feel no enmity toward The Other Man From Hope, although I disagree with him on many issues.

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Family vs. Peak Oil

From EnergyBulletin.net, this link to a proposal "to increase the average size of households again, by both promoting the stability of nuclear families and promoting extended families living together under one roof" ─ Can Shrunken Families be Reflated?

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The Church Cracks Down on Naju

A report on "the fourth time since 1998 that the archdiocese [of Kwangju] has made official announcements on St. Mary's Garden in Naju" ─ Catholic Church Raps 'Weeping Virgin' Worship. It doesn't get more definitive than this:
    We reaffirm that the gatherings and rituals held arbitrarily by Julia Yoon and her associates at St. Mary's Garden and the so-called 'shrine' have nothing to do with the Catholic faith.

    Allegations and propaganda about the so-called 'miracles' or 'revelations' have nothing to do with the Catholic Church. We make it clear that visits to, and rituals at, those places by priests, monks or believers from any diocese violate Catholic canon law. The church bans all priests, monks and believers from visiting those places and officiating or participating in any kinds of rituals there.

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Are Things Improving in Iraq?

This article by the Bishop of Kirkuk notes "a tangible improvement in security" ─ The fears and hopes of Iraqi Christians. It would be wrong for those of us opposed to the war to feel a species of un-Schadenfreude at this news, even if it is a result of The Surge™, or, more likely, as His Excellency notes, of the fact that "the country is turning into ethnically homogenous ethnic areas based upon a design pursued and backed by the United States."

I feel as I did after the war began; I was opposed to it from the beginning, but in the first weeks welcomed what seemed to be good news (Dios eſcrive derecho con lineas torcidas ─ God writes straight with crooked lines). But having seen my optimism crushed in '04, I remain pessimistic. We should leave.

These links today from the venerable Antiwar.com give fuel to my pessimism ─ Bin Laden talks of victory, not defeat and Sleight of Hand Surge.

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Confucian Cuisine

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Голодомор

Not a natural disaster, the Holodomor was "engineered by Soviet authorities to force peasants across the former U.S.S.R. to give up their privately held plots of land and join collective farms" ─ Great Famine anniversary in Ukraine.

As many as ten million were murdered in this attempt to wipe out private property and immanentize the eschaton. I suspect this atrocity does not provoke the outrage it should because it was a sacrificial offering to the false god Égalité, to whom most moderns pay homage.

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The Grey Lady on John Gray

A review of the philosopher's latest book ─ What Price Utopia? A biographical sketch:
    In the early 1980s, Gray, who teaches European thought at the London School of Economics, was the most capable defender of Friedrich von Hayek as a social philosopher rather than just a propagandist for free-market policy. But he later became decidedly critical of any notion that the future belonged to liberal democracy. In 1989, as the Soviet Union was reforming itself out of existence, he wrote that this would not inaugurate “a new era of post-historical harmony” but rather “a return to the classical terrain of history, a terrain of great-power rivalries, secret diplomacies, and irredentist claims and wars.” Over the following decade, he advanced a critique of globalization that sounded, at times, profoundly anticapitalist, if by no means Marxian.
Here's something with which we agree entirely:
    The irreducible plurality of human “needs and illusions,” Gray argues, means it is utopian to imagine that any single kind of political or social order could ever be good for everyone. “If there is such a thing as spontaneous social evolution,” he writes in “Black Mass,” “it produces institutions of many kinds.”

    Alas, conservatives have completely lost track of this crucial point, at least by Gray’s lights, which is why “traditional conservatism ceased to exist” at some point over the last few decades. What has emerged instead is a faith that the marketplace and the values of liberal society are universal in principle, if not yet in geographical distribution. Resistance is futile. And if people in benighted lands resist anyway, the use of military power can force the pace of progress.

    The likely (indeed almost inevitable) consequence of doing so would be a cruel parody of the norms being exported. “Illiberal democracy,” Gray writes, “rests on the belief that the common good is self-evident. Everyone who is not deluded or corrupt will support the same policies so there will be no need to protect personal freedom or the rights of minorities. It is enough that the popular will, which is identical with the common good, can be fully expressed.” Thus the heirs of Rousseau will join hands with those of bin Laden, to dance around a bonfire consuming the intractable variousness of human notions of “the good.”
The reviewer tells us that the book illustrates that "the doctrines of Soviet Communism, Nazi racism, Al Qaeda’s technophile fundamentalism and the Bushian 'war on terror' are various forms (however incompatible) of an essentially utopian impulse derived from an Enlightenment notion of progress."

Be sure to read the rest of the review; you won't be disappointed. The book ─ Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia.

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Pederasty Returns to Afghanistan

Registan links to a reprt on "one of the... unintended consequences of the invasion" ─ Boys in Afghanistan Sold Into Prostitution, Sexual Slavery.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Corrupt Korea

A particularly shocking personal experience leads me to agree with Cho Se-hyon on this one about his countrymen ─ Corrupt to the Core.

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Asteroids

They don't make 'em like they used to:Clink on the screen and then use your arrow keys to turn and move and your space bar to shoot.

[link via Occidentalism]

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God Is Kind, Not Nice

"Niceness is the highest moral expression of bourgeois society, a society that sees comfort and ease as the highest goods," says Christopher Zehnder in this gem of an essay ─ God is not nice. Another exceprt:
    Oddly, the guardians of niceness invoke Jesus against those who speak in His name. One wonders where they get this Jesus, whether they draw their image of him from Jefferson’s reduction of the Gospels instead of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Theirs is not the Jesus who called the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites, who cleansed the temple with a whip, who told the woman taken in adultery to sin no more, who charged the rich, young ruler to sell all he had, give to the poor, and “follow me,” or who said, “if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.” Their Jesus came not to bring a sword, but peace.
[link via A conservative blog for peace]

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Contemporary Korean Traditional Music

Here's s video of a group I've been listening to a lot again ─ 슬기둥의 참소리.

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So-Called Persistent So-Called Vegetative So-Called State

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A Schumacherian Appreciation of Ron Paul

My latest Paulian propaganda piece ─ America Needs a Crank. The first paragraph:
    The usual neoconservative and neoliberal suspects have been informing us lately that Dr. Ron Paul is a "crank." "Well, you have to remember that a crank is small, safe, cheap, comprehensible, nonviolent, and efficient, a perfect tool for intermediate technology," said E.F. Schumacher responding to the same charge, as reported by Kirkpatrick Sale in his preface to the 1989 edition of Small Is Beautiful. The Good Doctor, too, is "small, safe, cheap, comprehensible, nonviolent, and efficient." Paul is Beautiful.
The article was turned down by LewRockwell.com, so I submitted it to OpEdNews.Com with its "Progressive, Tough Liberal News and Opinion," probably a good thing since the piece is aimed at a crunchier crowd.

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How Would Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu Conduct Foreign Policy?

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Passing the Gauntlet

Mary MacElveen sees through the scam ─ Is Pres. Bush endorsing Senator Clinton?

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

If Israel Can Live With Iranian Nukes, Why Can't We?

Leon Hadar reports that "Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said... Iranian nuclear weapons 'do not pose an existential threat to Israel'" ─ Look Who's Downplaying Iran's Nuclear Threat.

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Vino Laguna

A while back, I asked readers to "buy a bottle of Martins Andino, and tell me it's not the best three-dollar bottle of wine you've ever had in your life" ─ The Vino Andino Challenge. Well, I'm happy to report that at the same price, "Vino Laguna" from Chile's Viña Siegel, also available at your local E-Mart, is even better.

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Subsidiarity Against AIDS

"Amid reports that the United Nations has been grossly overestimating the scope of the global AIDS pandemic," begins Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, "a new book points to what may be an even greater miscalculation: AIDS relief efforts have failed to understand the crucial role of family and community networks in controlling the disease" ─ Fighting AIDS with African Common Sense.

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Shame on Seoul

"Afraid of angering Pyongyang, Seoul abstained in a vote Tuesday on a United Nations resolution condemning the human rights situation in North Korea and calling for the international community to take steps to improve the situation" ─ Seoul sits out UN rights resolution.

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Catholicism and Science

It's high time for all those who said the Church was anti-science during the ESCR debate to eat their words ─ Stem Cell Breakthrough Hailed by Catholic Think Tank and Stem cell breakthrough praised by bishops.

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Dr. Thomas Fleming Is Back from France

"The French must be a very conservative people," he begins, exposing as the myths they are the usual anti-French canards ─ Abroad Thoughts From Home. Arriving home to "four morbidly obese women who shouted into their cellphones, oblivious of the people around them," he concludes:
    I find my own country an alien place inhabited by people who think Letterman is funny and Charles Krauthammer profound. Some of them even used to think George W. Bush is heroic for talking tough on terrorism. I no longer fear estrangement, as I used to, from the world around me. When the city of man is in collapse, our hearts are more inclined to the city of God.

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Ron Paul and Catholic Social Teaching

Mark Shea links ─ Interesting Checklist Squaring up Various Candidates of Both Parties Against the Church's Teaching.... Said checklist:
    Ron Paul (R): 99 points
    Alan Keyes (R): 70 (not on the ballot in all states)
    Mike Huckabee (R): 69
    Duncan Hunter (R): 50
    Tom Tancredo (R): 48
    John McCain (R): 36
    Chris Dodd (D): 25
    Dennis Kucinich (D): 22
    Mitt Romney (R): 10
    Joe Biden (D): 5
    Fred Thompson (R): 4
    Hillary Clinton (D): (-11)
    John Edwards (D): (-13)
    Bill Richardson (D): (-15)
    Barack Obama (D): (-15)
    Rudy Giuliani (R): (-28)
Also, don't miss Thomas Woods' piece ─ An Open Letter to the Catholic Community in Behalf of Ron Paul.

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The Conservative Fascination with Homosexuality

Fr. Steve Hayes has dug up something very interesting ─ What are conservatives looking for?

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Today's Tearjerker

A very moving article about "a group of photographers [that] gives parents cherished images of their dead or dying newborns" ─ Capturing final, precious moments.

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The End of Dollar Hegemony

"The Chinese government has indicated that it will cut down the size of its dollar reserve while increasing that of other foreign currencies such as the euro" ─ Weak Dollar Could Lead to Dollar Sell-Off.

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Hatred and Hate Crimes Legislation

Kari Konkola on why it is not a contradiction for Christians to oppose both ─ Meditations on Hatred.

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Stephen Hand on Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

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Libertas et Caritas

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A Brief History of Catholic Nagasaki

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Reform of the Reform Is Underway

"The Young Fogey" reports that the Holy Father is "requiring Roman Catholic seminaries to teach" the Old Rite ─ Motu news: apparently the Pope means it! Deo gratia!

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War on Iran Is Anything but Conservative

CIA veteran Philip Giraldi explains why ─ A Conservative View of Iran.

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North Korea's Unholy Trinity

"God is Kim Il Sung. Jesus is Kim Jung Il and the Holy Spirit is the Workers’ Party," explains the former tutor of North Korea’s ruling family ─ Defector Decries N. Korean ‘Cult’. "The Great Leader" was a Protestant churchgoer as a boy.

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A Glimmer of Hope for Iraq's Christians

KoreanCatholic's Jason Choi has forwarded me "an interesting article regarding Iraqi Christians (and the local Muslims who want them to come home)" ─ Come Home. More than half have left since democracy went on the march in 2003.

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Christian Charity Toward Both Victims of Abortion

"The Christian community must help women who might find it difficult to accept children; it must also be open to those who repent the great sin they committed" ─ Abortion is never justified but women who repent should be welcomed, says Pope.

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Sayanara, Nippon

"The dwindling population of Japan will threaten the 'foundation of communities,' -- police, fire, and other basic services -- an impending white paper by the Japanese government will report" ─ Japan faces population implosion. This is heart-breaking: "some lonely seniors pretend child-like robot dolls are substitute grandchildren."

This is a case of the chickens coming home to roost:
    Brian Clowes, writing for Human Life International, declares "if a government promotes 'family planning' for decades, if it drills into the people's heads the idea that children are messy, noisy, expensive, and bad for the environment, once it has promoted and funded millions and millions of abortions, there is really no way back."

    He cites as most problematic young Japanese women's aversion to marriage. Seventy percent of young single women say they have no intention of getting married.

    "The only solution to the plague of depopulation is to rekindle the love of God and children in the people's hearts. The Japanese must undo three decades of anti-natalist propaganda with an intensive program of teaching the people the value of family, the beauty and joy that children provide, and the satisfaction of fidelity to a husband or a wife until death," Clowes writes.

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Blessed War Resister

Fr. Bernard Survil was present ─ Account of beatification of Franz Jagerstatter. An excerpt:
    Franz would have been 100 years old had he lived to see his giant-sized photo raised behind the main altar of the Cathedral in Linz, Austria the 26th of October, 2007, to the applause of some 5,000 people, including several Cardinals and dozens of Bishops. Most of these are the successors to those Austrian prelates who "were not given the grace"– as Franz often observed -- to refuse to cooperate with the Nazi Regime.

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Peter Hitchens in North Korea

Christopher's younger and wiser brother offers his account of his recent visit to the dystopian state, a must-read ─ Prisoners in Camp Kim.

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Norman Mailer, Self-Described Left-Medievalist

The late writer could have been counted among Bill Kauffman's Reactionary Radicals, if one is to judge by this appreciation from his long-time friend Taki ─ Norman’s Conquests. The first paragraph:
    Three months before the Americans committed their greatest foreign policy blunder ever, I had gone up to Cape Cod to interview my friend of fifty years, Norman Mailer. Towards the end of his life Norman called himself a Left- Conservative, and went as far as to agree that losing one’s culture through immigration was not a good thing. But he remained adamant about the evils of American corporations. He blamed them for making America an uglier place to live in since World War II, a country full of “50 - story high-rise architecture as inspired in form as a Kleenex box, shopping malls encircled by low level condominiums, superhighways that homogenise our landscapes, and plastic, ubiquitous plastic, there to numb an infant’s tactile senses.” He told me he was opposed to the notion of an American Empire because of the all-pervasive aesthetic emptiness of the most powerful Americans corporations. “There are no cathedrals left for the poor - only sixteen-story urban renewal housing projects that sit on the soul like jail. Sometimes I am tempted to think that I am not so much a left-conservative as a left-medievalist.”

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The End of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

ESCR will be ended for scientific, not ethical reasons ─ Dolly scientist abandons cloning. The article begins thusly:
    Professor Ian Wilmut, of Edinburgh University, believes a rival method developed in Japan holds the key to curing serious medical conditions.

    The new method creates stem cells from fragments of skin and could remove the need to use human embryos.
[link via The Bride and the Dragon]

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Dr. Ron Paul and the Common Good

"No other candidate running, or in recent memory encompasses the principles of Catholic Social Teaching and the necessary conditions for the Common Good" ─ Why Every Catholic Should Vote for Ron Paul.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

The Rehabilitation of the Sage

The story has been covered countless times before, but never as well as in this piece by Alberto Serna ─ China embraces Confucius again.

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The Basic Unit of Society

Richard Bastien explores its rôle in "keeping in check the growth of the State" ─ Families: source of despotism or bulwark of liberty?

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South Korean National Assembly Fails to Enshrine Homosexuality

"If homosexuality is allowed, the morals of our society will immediately collapse and the society will become a world of animals," said Professor Gill Wonpyong of Pusan University, director of the Assembly of Scientists Against Embryonic Cloning ─ Concerned Korean Scientists Beat Back Mandatory Homosexuality and Multi-Culti B.S.

Professor Gill is referring to the Anti-Discrimination Act, which the South Korean National Assembly passed, but only with the removal of references to what moderns call "gender minorities." An earlier petition from the Assembly of Scientists Against Embryonic Cloning stated that if the originally worded law had passed, "homosexuals will try to seduce everyone, including adolescents; victims will be forced to become homosexuals; and sexual harassment by homosexuals will increase."

The above quotes probably lose a bit of nuance in translation, but Professor Gill and the Assembly of Scientists Against Embryonic Cloning are right. Whenever Equality is enforced, this is the result: All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. Let us remember the stark choice Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1909–1999) described: Liberty or Equality.

[link via The Marmot's Hole]

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Austrian Bishops Turned Away from the Wailing Wall

"If I must be frank, the relations between the Catholic Church and the state of Israel were better when there were no diplomatic ties," said Archbishop Pietro Sambi ─ Ties with Israel worsening, Vatican diplomat admits. The Austrian bishops can count themselves lucky they were not spat upon ─ Jews Spitting on Christians in Jerusalem.

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A Church in Qingyang

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Agricultural Fascism

Department of Agriculture Fascism was the title of one of the last posts at my former blog; here's a story in which "a half-dozen state trooper SWAT team members and three emergency medical vehicles" were sent against a small farmer trying to "fulfill contracts in time for the holidays to the couple dozen friends and neighbors who prize the specially bred grass-fed beef he produces" ─ Old McDonald Had a Farm…and He Got Arrested?

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Ron Paul's Got Seoul

The Good Doctor took half the vote in the poll at the Republicans Abroad Korea Annual Thanksgiving Dinner, which, living as I do in the boondocks, I was unable to attend ─ Ron Paul Wins Seoul Strawpoll. Don't miss the cute photo of e-quaintance George Whitfield's daughter.

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Wisdom from the Sage of Kentucky

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You Can't Go Home Again

El Cid pays a visit to his native South Carolina ─ Irony. Some of his thoughts:
    I mentioned in an earlier post my frustration with the changes that have occurred over the last two years in my home and my disappointment with the pace at which ordinary, otherwise good people have accepted - lock, stock and barrel - the lifestyle of the empire. By that I mean of course the live for now consumerism that so defines "American" culture. The sort of thing that allows a person to be happy selling their soul for a mortgage in a subdivision, commuting a hour or more to a job that keeps them away from the important things in life, i.e. home and family. I am talking about the sort of attitude that sees nothing wrong with blind loyalty to an institution that no longer follows its own rules or serves the people that it was created to serve. Yes I am talking about a people forsaking wholesale the legacy their ancestors bequeathed them in in turn accepting the lifestyle and values of their conquerors.
I'm sure what El Cid says of South Carolina could be said of just about anywhere in the United States. While I hold out hope, I'm afraid these words of Chesterton for "Little England" may not hold true for Little America:
    The British Empire may annex what it likes, it will never annex England. It has not even discovered the island, let alone conquered it.

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Steve Sailer on Bob Marley

Or rather, a fascinating article departing from one line of a song not even written by Marley ─ "In the government yard in Trenchtown". I'm one of the few who prefers the upbeat studio version.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Woman Who Prays Always

That is the name given by the Pottowatomi Indians to the American saint we remember tomorrow ─ Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne.

I'll repost my year-old report on my disappointing visit to her national shrine ─ An American(ist) Shrine:
    Today is the memorial of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne. Less than a year ago, I chanced upon The Shrine of St. Philippine Duchesne on a drive through Missouri. Devotional feelings surged when I approached this imposing, if austere, 19th Century church:


    Alas, it was next to impossible to maintain any religious sentiments after opening the door and walking into the "renovated" shrine, complete with AmChurch felt banners and modernistic stained-glass windows:


    All I could muster were a few perfunctory prayers. Is that the purpose of modernistic church architecture, to deaden our religious feelings? I know I'm not the only one to smell brimstone. It is helpful to remember that today's saint's patronage includes "opposition of Church authorities" and also to remember the opposition, often from church authorities, to those of us resisting the desacralization of Sancta Mater Ecclesia as exemplified by the interior of that shrine. Let us invoke her intercession:


    Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
    Pray For Us
Woman Who Prays Always, Pray for Us Always!

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My Appreciation of the Church in Korea

The Seoul Times has decided to run it ─ Korea's Confucian Catholicism. I like this version because it includes Chinese and Greek scripts.

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Politricks As Usual

"This thing is snowballing on them. They can no longer control it, and they know it" ─ Colorado Straw Poll Cancelled Because of too Much Support for Ron Paul.

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Stargazing Tonight

After this evening's blogging, I'll be heading to the roof of my fifteen storey building for these two events ─ Full moon will soon overshadow comet and Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend. My wife and I have been a fan of the latter for years now, and I've often thought that of conception were to occur during the celestial show, Leonid or Leonida would be a fine name.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

La folia y la viola da gamba

I saw Tous les matins du monde (1991) in an art house in Santiago de Chile in '93─where and when the only movie theatres were art houses, I recall─and the film's theme, La Folia, and the instrument on which it was played, the Viol or Viola da Gamba, have stuck with me ever since:
    Tous Les Matins du Monde - Improvisation sur les Folies
The tune is called "the most lasting and famous tune in western music" at this site─Homepage of La Folia, a musical cathedral (1672-present).
My current favorite variation is this the eighth track from the above album, interpreted here below by Ernst Stolz:
    Diego Ortiz Recercada Ottava (Folia)

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Heil Paul?

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Give Peace a Chance

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Eumseong County's Samseong Catholic Parish

It's modern, but it works─천주교음성삼성성당.

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Lions For Lambs Panned

"A splendid opportunity to mobilize the anti-war impulse has been nullified by a gifted director who should have known better than to prioritize politics over artistic form," says Kaveh L Afrasiabi─Dying with an anti-war whimper.

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Samsohoe

If interfaith dialogue is your thing, then this article will surely warm the cockles of your heart─‘Three smiles’ ― lessons in faith and true spiritual understanding. The women pictured above are Buddhist, Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant religious, and are, at least, properly attired. The article reports on their pilgrimage around the world to sites holy to various religions. The story is as touchy-feely and wishy-washy as you might expect, but the minor conflicts that arise are heartening, as was the avoidance of scandalous syncretism from the Catholic nuns when they refused to bow to a pagoda in Varanasi.

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Ron Paul's Non-Interventionism

"We need to understand that a simple, humble foreign policy makes us less vulnerable and less targeted on the world stage"─Entangling Alliances.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Will the Generals Prevent the Next Preventative War?

"The last, best hope for averting a war with Iran lies with the United States military," begins Chris Hedges─In the Hands of the Military. He continues:
    The Democratic Congress, cowed by the Israel lobby and terrified of appearing weak on defense before the presidential elections, will do nothing to halt an attack. The media, especially the electronic press, is working overtime to whip up fear of a nuclear Iran and tar Tehran with abetting attacks against American troops in Iraq. The American public is complacent, unsure of what to believe, knocked off balance by fear and passive. We will be saved or doomed by our generals.
America's looking more and more like Turkey. Click on the link to read the rest.

[link via A conservative blog for peace]

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Jews Spitting on Christians in Jerusalem

"Christians in Jerusalem have attacked what they say is the increasingly common phenomenon of ultra-orthodox Jews spitting on them"─Israel's Christians spitting mad. From the article:
    The statement followed a brawl between an orthodox Jewish yeshiva (religious school) student and an Armenian archbishop.

    They clashed in Jerusalem's Old City after the student spat at a cross being carried by the clergyman during a procession near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

    Archbishop Nourhan Manougian slapped the student and in the ensuing scuffle, his 17th century ceremonial medallion was broken.
Also included in the article is a report of "a senior Greek Orthodox clergyman who has disclosed that he was recently approached by an elderly man wearing a skullcap who spat in his face."

[link via New Oxford Review]

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Speaking Truth to Power About Korean Reunification

Koreanologist Andrei Lankov's latest is a fascinating read for anyone with even the slightest interest in the goings-on on this divided peninsula─Working through Korean unification blues. He begins by stating a truth that is obvious to any observer of the Koreas, but denied by virtually every Korean:
    For six decades, the myth of unification as Korea's supreme goal has been enshrined in the official mythology of both nations. The lip service to this myth is still paid by virtually all political forces in both Koreas, but the actual policy of both Pyongyang and Seoul nowadays is clearly based on a very different set of assumptions and hopes: both sides try to avoid situations which might lead to unification.
Some of his more striking observations:

(1) "Perhaps nowhere in the world one can find two neighboring countries whose income levels would be so vastly different - and in this case the two countries happen to speak the same language."

(2) "South Korean politicians are doing everything possible to support the dictatorship in Pyongyang, assuming that 'stability' in the North is necessary for South Korean economic prosperity."

(3) "North Korean leaders have made a rational decision: to keep stability and their own privileges, in recent years they have used foreign aid to roll back the changes which happened in the mid-1990s."

(4) "Despite the government's resistance to reform, the North Korean system is gradually crumbling from below, and this slow-motion disintegration might turn into an uncontrollable collapse in any moment."

(5) "Alas, any open media discussion of this subject remains taboo in the South."

(6) "It is not incidental that North Korean officials and guides in Pyongyang ask one foreign visitor after another about the fate of former East German bureaucrats."

Prof. Lankov advocates a "provisional confederation" to which "only a post-Kim government can be realistically expected to agree." It will be necessary "to control cross-border movement." Also necessary will be "unconditional amnesties to all Koreans," "large admission quotas for North Korean youngsters at major South Korean universities" and other "affirmative actions."

Concludes the venerable professor, "The current policy of Seoul administrations merely helps to postpone the problems created by Korea's division, and the disastrous choices made by the North half of the country."

[link via The Marmot's Hole]

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Mearsheimer and Walt’s Exposé Reviewed

By the one and only Paul Craig Roberts─The Lobby. Concludes the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration, "American patriots who glorify in their country’s status as the 'sole superpower' have much to learn about the subservience of their country’s foreign policy to a tiny state of 5 million people."

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North Korea's Anti-Distributivism

Here's what happens when people are given a taste of real Juche ("self reliance," the DPRK's offcial state ideology)─North Korea, "Inspect Markets, the Hotbed for Anti-Socialist Activity".

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Healing the Great Schism of 1054

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"Israeli State Eroticism"

Attention American Christian Zionists! This is with whom you are in bed─Sex, Sex and More Sex in Israeli Government.

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"Ron Paul for John Paul"

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Thoughts on Confucianism and Catholicism

These two Spero News articles of mine explain the compatibility of the philosphy and the religion─Ancient Chinese wisdom for the modern Catholic Church and Savior meets Sage: Korea's Confucian Catholicism.

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The Founding Fathers Endorse Ron Paul

Not since seeing Red Dawn (1984) as a teenager have I felt as patriotic as I do seeing this─Full-Page Ad in USA Today.

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Kwon Young-ghil for President!

The perennial Democratic Labor Party (Minjoo Nodong Dang) presidential candidate is correct on the only issue that will have a positive impact on the average American; he "has pledged an end to the Korea-US Mutual Defense Pact should he get elected"─Hey, Maybe the Pinko Ain’t Such a Bad Guy After All.

For why Americans should hope that both Mr. Kwon and Dr. Ron Paul can work together to get the USFK off this peninsula after more than six decades, you need go no further than this article by yours truly─America's Entangling East Asian Alliances. As a permanent resident, I'm able to vote locally, not nationally in Korea (the exact opposite is true for America), and I plan to vote a straight DLP ticket.

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Our Lady of Naju on Television

Last night's documentary on the supposed apparitions of Our Lady of Naju and the supposed eucharistic miracles experienced by the supposed seer Julia Kim was the top-ranking show of the evening─'PD수첩' 성모동산 실체 시청률 1위 이변.

Shortly after I was received into the Catholic Church here in Korea, our parish priest read a letter from the bishops advising the faithful to take no interest in the events in Naju. That, of course, is the correct course of action for the bishops to take, until the claims can be substantiated, which to my knowledge they have not yet been. Still, I hold out hope that Korea might have been the location of a Marian apparition. In fact, I've been thinking about visiting Naju.

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The Li of Summorum Pontificum

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Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill the Poor

Before they're born─How to Eliminate the Poor. "Do certain liberals secretly believe in a 'Master Race,' one that can be achieved by killing blacks and Hispanics via abortion?" Of course they do! The article cites as evidence an unearthed letter to President-elect Bill Clinton by the man who argued Roe v. Wade:
    I don't think you are going to go very far in reforming the country until we have a better educated, healthier, wealthier population.... Start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country [through abortion].... There, I've said it. It's what we all know is true, but we only whisper it, because as liberals who believe in individual rights, we view any program which might treat the disadvantaged differently as discriminatory, mean-spirited and...well...so Republican.
Of course, this comes as no surprise to those who know the history of the abortion movement─Margaret Sanger, Racist and Pro-Abortion and The Negro Project and Margaret Sanger.

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Jubilee Year and Sesquicentennial

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Media Compliance With the Culture of Death

Just like the story that oral contraceptives were behind intersex fish and dead rivers─Contracepting the Environment─, this story is not worthy of coverage─Media Ignore Major Insurance Report Stating Abortion is "best predictor of breast cancer".

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Blessed Ceferino Namuncurá

A report on "the first of the Mapuche indigenous peoples to be beatified"─Argentine Village Witnesses Beatification of Native.

One of the highlights of my student days in Chile was a pow-wow of sorts of The Mapuche Nation to which I was somehow invited. It was oddly very similar to the pow-wows of The Seneca Nation Of Indians near where I grew up.

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The Beatification of a War Resister

From LewRockwell.com, this link to a very moving eye-witness account by Fr. John Dear, S.J.─The beatification of Franz Jägerstätter was consoling, inspiring and uplifting.

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Corporatism = Socialism

AnarchoCatholic reminds us that "[a] potentially undying legal entity which separates ownership from control, is created by, sustained by, and subject to the state, and removes liability from human beings conducting affairs which affect all of society doesn't seem to jive with anything resembling a free market"─Corporations Aren't Capitalism.

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Asan City's Gongseri Catholic Parish

Built in 1921, this a real gem─천주교아산공세리성당. Like most of the churches of this period, it is built of red brick, and like many, it has sadly lost its original stained-glass, perhaps during the war. Gothic architecture with 1970's stained glass is a bit strange.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My New Article on Ron Paul's Marketing Secret

Marketing has never interesting me in the least except in the negative, but a student's fascinating presentation on the subject was the inspiration for my latest LewRockwell.com article─Ron Paul’s Long Tail.

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Priests vs. The Republic of Samsung

This type of muckraking is one of the reasons the Catholic Church is so highly respected in South Korea─`Prosecutor General Nominee Took Samsung Money’. Some excerpts:
    The Catholic Priests' Association for Justice (CPAJ) disclosed the names of the three in a press conference in Seoul Monday, urging the prosecution to investigate the conglomerate's alleged bribery, slush fund creation, and other irregularities.

    [....]

    The priests also disclosed an alleged Samsung internal document, which recorded the wealth accumulation history of the group chairman's only son Jae-yong, including his purchase of stocks of S1, Samsung Engineering and Cheil Communications.

    The CPAJ claimed Samsung systematically helped Jae-yong take control of the group through illegal stock and convertible bond (CB) deals. It said the document was made in 2000.
[link via The Marmot's Hole]

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The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Carmel in Tianjiajing

The good news is that it won't be dynamited as planned earlier; here's the bad news─Chinese shrine off limits to pilgrims.

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Korean Race Suicide Slows in the Year of the Golden Pig

Folks "believe that babies born this year will experience a prosperous and wealthy life"─Pig-fueled birthrate continues to rise. Interesting that a traditional belief, not a government program, is responsible for the turnaround.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Classical Liberals Get a Patron

Sandro Magister on the beatification of a "great classical thinker [who] was under condemnation by the Holy Office until six years ago"─Blessed Liberty: The Posthumous Miracle of Antonio Rosmini.

    He was a dyed-in-the-wool liberal during a period – the mid-19th century – when liberalism, for the Church, was synonymous with the devil. In his book "Filosofia della politica [Philosophy of Politics]," Rosmini expresses his admiration for "Democracy in America," the masterpiece of his contemporary Alexis de Tocqueville, a founding father of faith-friendly liberalism.

    Rosmini anticipated by more than a century the statements on religious freedom affirmed by Vatican Council II. He was a critic of Catholicism as a "religion of the state." He was a tireless defender of the freedom of citizens and of "intermediate bodies" against the abuses of an omnipotent state.

    It is not surprising, therefore, that those spreading Rosmini's thought in the Catholic camp today are above all the proponents of a form of liberalism open to religion, which in Europe has its leading figures in the "Vienna school" of Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich von Hayek.
This will surely be greated with enthusiasm by the Acton Institute and the many Catholics at LewRockwell.com. Others will not be so enthusiastic, and it may even be a sure sign to some of apostasy, but it comes as no surprise, as these old posts of mine indicate─Pope Benedict XVI - Classical Liberal? and A Classical Liberal in the Vatican?

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Joy Osmanski's Newest Fan

Pictured above is Joy Osmanski, the up-and-coming Korean-American adoptee actress with the same given name as my daughter─한국 입양아 출신 배우 조이 오스만스키. We wish her a successful career.

I don't watch television and have never seen her work, and I've only heard of her a few minutes ago, but I'm now a fan. Her face has that quirky, unique beauty I've always found attractive. She could never make it here; she's not "white" enough and her face just isn't plastic enough, i.e., no double eyelids. But Koreans will laud her success abroad, just as they did with that of Sandra Oh.

And her family name is interesting; might it have something to do with The Ottomans?

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¡Viva el Rey!

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"Towards Peace in Korea"

That is the theme of the Worldwide Anglican Peace Conference─Anglicans call for world peace meeting in Korea.

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Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige on the Rebellion Within

The Sri Lankan prelate, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, "has accused dioceses that try to sabotage the Pope’s Motu Proprio of 'prejudices of an ideological kind' and 'pride, one of the gravest sins,'" reports Damian Thompson─Rome’s fury: Motu Proprio mutiny 'sinful'. Here, His Excellency, who, we learn, celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass in his own private chapel, is quoted at length on the subject:
    The Church cannot be the arena of confusion, philosophical or moral relativism, sophistry and casuistic dilution of the revealed truth which is the foundation of its Credo, the Word of God as revealed in the Sacred Scriptures and the Tradition of the Church and interpreted by the official magisterium of the Church and open dissent or public debate even in the name of the freedom of theological research.

    My mind goes back to the story of the construction or shall we say the attempted construction of the Tower of Babel. Its constructors felt confident that they could scale the heavens with their own resources and strength without God. Hasn’t that same spirit re-appeared perhaps in a more sophisticated form in the world and the Church today?
[link via A conservative blog for peace]

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Brother Nimo on State Control

    How to pacify a nation in order to rob them of purse and virtue? Keep them stupified with constant sex in the name of liberty and the State.
Quoted by Stephen Hand─Worth Noting.

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The Decline of Buddhism in America

"A meditation on how to stave off decline" from Buddhist Clark Strand─Buddhist Boomers. An excerpt:
    One estimate puts the average age of Buddhist converts (about a third of the American Buddhist population) at upwards of 50. This means that the religion is almost certain to see its numbers reduced over the next generation as boomer Buddhists begin to die off without having passed their faith along to their children...

    The basic problem is that non-Asian converts tend not to regard what they practice as a religion. From the beginning, Buddhism has been seen in its American incarnation not as an alternative religion, but as an alternative to religion.
[link via Fat Outliers]

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Wisdom from the Late Norman Mailer

A 2002 interview from The American Conservative with the self-described "Left-Conservative"─"I Am Not For World Empire". An excerpt in which he begins by discussing "elements in the remains of left-wing philosophy... that are worth maintaining" and then discusses the necons at length:
    The idea that a very rich man should not make 4,000 times as much in a year as a poor man. On the other hand, I am not a liberal. The notion that man is a rational creature who arrives at reasonable solutions to knotty problems is much in doubt as far as I’m concerned. Liberalism depends all too much on having an optimistic view of human nature. But the history of the 20th century has not exactly fortified that notion. Moreover, liberalism also depends too much upon reason rather than any appreciation of mystery. If you start to talk about God with the average good liberal, he looks at you as if you are more than a little off. In that sense, since I happen to be—I hate to use the word religious, there are so many heavy dull connotations, so many pious self-seeking aspects—but I do believe there is a Creator who is active in human affairs and is endangered. I also believe there is a Devil who is equally active in our existence (and is all too often successful). So, I can hardly be a liberal. God is bad enough for them, but talk about the devil, and the liberal’s mind is blown. He is consorting with a fellow who is irrational if not insane. That is the end of real conversation.

    On the other hand, conservatism has its own deep ditches, its unclimbable walls, its immutable old ideas sealed in concrete. But lately, there are two profoundly different kinds of conservatives emerging, as different in their way as the communists and the socialists were before and after 1917, yes, two types of conservatives in America now. What I call “value conservatives” because they believe in what most people think of as the standard conservative values—family, home, faith, hard work, duty, allegiance—dependable human virtues. And then there are what I call “flag conservatives,” of whom obviously the present administration would be the perfect example.

    I don’t think flag conservatives give a real damn about conservative values. They use the words. They certainly use the flag. They love words like “evil.” One of Bush’s worst faults in rhetoric (to dip into that cornucopia) is to use the word “evil” as if it were a button he can touch to increase his power. When people are sick and have an IV tube put in them to feed a narcotic painkiller on demand, a few keep pressing that button. Bush uses evil as his hot button for the American public. Any man who can employ that word 15 times in five minutes is not a conservative. Not a value conservative. A flag conservative is another matter. They rely on manipulation. What they want is power. They believe in America. That they do. They believe this country is the only hope of the world and they feel that this country is becoming more and more powerful on the one hand, but on the other, is rapidly growing more dissolute. And so the only solution for it is empire, World Empire. Behind the whole thing in Iraq is the desire to have a huge military presence in the near-East as a stepping stone for eventually taking over the world. Once we become a twenty-first century version of the old Roman Empire, then moral reform will come into the picture. The military is obviously more puritanical than the entertainment media. Soldiers can, of course, be wilder than anyone, but the overhead command is a major pressure on soldiers, and it is not permissive.
[link via Eunomia]

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tomorrow Is Martinmas and Armistice Day


In honor of both Saint Martin of Tours and Armistice Day, what could be more appropriate than Simone Martini's 1321 fresco, "Saint Martin Renouncing the Sword," pictured above?

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Quixotic Dr. Paul

Our colleague in Japan, Mark Sunwall, has written a brilliant piece on the good doctor─Ron Paul: The New Knight of Liberalism.

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Out of Africa

Or, rather "US Out of Africa!" Reports Deacon Steve Hayes from Tshwane, Gauteng, South Africa, "In an ominous development, the USA has started establishing military bases in Africa"─US quietly garrisons Africa.

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Ron Paul on the Monetary System and Abortion

Two videos were posted today by Catholics for Ron Paul. The first shows "the Main Stream Media... asking Ron Paul about how to fix our monetary system"─Catholic Convert Kudlow Gives Ron Paul a Fair Shake. The second "shows how deeply informed Ron Paul is with natural law arguments on the life issue" and "how deeply he holds them"─Ron Paul & The Primacy of Life.

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Debtor Nation

You know the situation is bad when our friends on the Left note that "Puritan ideals -- to work hard, to save for a better life -- didn't die from the natural causes of age and obsolescence"─Pay It off Later: Debt Is the New American Dream.

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Blessed Bartolomé Blanco Márquez

His letter to his "dearest Maruja" stands as an indictment of those darlings of the Left, the Spanish Republicans─A Martyr's Letter to His Girlfriend. An excerpt:
    My sentence before the court of mankind will be my soundest defense before God's court; in their effort to revile me, they have ennobled me; in trying to sentence me, they have absolved me, and by attempting to lose me, they have saved me. Do you see what I mean? Why, of course! Because in killing me, they grant me true life and in condemning me for always upholding the highest ideals of religion, country and family, they swing open before me the doors of heaven.
Amen.

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Welcome to South Korea

An article on the liunguistic difficulties facing North Korean defectors in the South, which adopts many words from English─A wordy problem faces the Koreas. An example faced by one Lee Chul-min:
    In the year Lee arrived, Ha Ri-su, a Korean transgender entertainer, was the talk of the town. But Lee couldn’t converse about the subject. He did not understand the word “transgender” and felt humiliated for his ignorance.
I can't help but be reminded of what Judge Robert Bork said after seeing blue jeans in East Germany: "You almost began to want to put the wall back up."

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Der Speigel on America's Decline

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Paul's Platform

"First we stop the killing, and then we restore the Constitution," begins CounterPunch's Mike Whitney─Ron Paul, Big Media's Invisible Candidate.

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Friday, November 9, 2007

"Wars Are the Death of Republics"

Peacenik Patrick J. Buchanan invokes the Father of the Constitution against "America's Mayor"─Is a Vote for Rudy a Vote for War?

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Parents These Days

The story of a "leftist woman who adopts a girl from a different race and culture for purely selfish reasons, and with fetishist assumptions (African themed rooms, African concerts and activities)... [and]... dumps the child back on the adoption market when those assumptions are proven to be wrong"─Leftist gives up adopted daughter. She was already a single mother to begin with.

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Anti-Distributivism in North Korea

Juche, schmuche; P'yŏngyang is hell-bent on squashing any attempt at self-reliance of its people, starting in the markets─Threatened N.Korea Cracks Down Female Merchants.

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It's Genetic

This came as a surprise, but "Snyder" is, after all, a Dutch surname:And I've always wanted to visit Amsterdam after seeing Cheech & Chong's Still Smokin' (1983).

[link via Crunchy Con]

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Ron Paul in the "Live Free or Die" State

From the LewRockwell.com Blog, an ad and an "extraordinary interview with the Nashua, NH, newspaper's editorial board"─Ron Paul TV Ad #3 and Ron Paul Keeps Getting Better.

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The De-Christianization of Iraq

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Dollar Dump

EnergyBulletin.net links to this Currency Trading.net article─7 Countries Considering Abandoning the US Dollar (and what it means). South Korea is among them.

"The dollar’s status as a cheaply-produced US export is a vital part of our economy," notes author Jessica Hupp. "Losing this status could rock the financial lives of both Americans and the worldwide economy."

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Fox's Faux Conservatism

"Fox News shows more sexualized violence and humiliation than probably any other network -- all in the name of condemning it -- while under-showing violence in Iraq, all in the name of supporting it"─Fox News Attacks Decency With Bill Leading the Way

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Catholicism, Capitalism, Consumerism

This article by the Acton Institute's Andrew V. Abela, which answers the question it poses in the affirmative, is quite refreshing─In Consumerism Harmful? Free-market anti-consumerism is an idea who's time has come.

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The Real Anti-Americans

The neocons exposed by CIA veteran Michael Scheuer─The Anti-Americanism of the Israel-Firsters. Will it take a Sen. Joe McCarthy to root out these traitors?

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Don't Count the Japanese Out Just Yet

Eamonn Fingleton on "one of the most consequential illusions of contemporary American economic thought: the idea that by dint of its unique creativity alone, the United States can count on remaining the world economy’s top dog in perpetuity"─The Creativity Conceit.

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Who Are These Neocons?

JMM posts the answer─Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought on Neocons:
    The first generation of neoconservatives were a group of close-knit New York intellectuals, mostly Jewish, with roots in the political left of the 1930s and 1940s. Initially they were described as "right-wing liberals" and "new conservatives" before "neoconservatism" became the settled appellation in the 1970s. The name is an indication of their origins on the political left, as many had begun as Social Democrats or even Trotskyists...

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Dollar and Empire

The latest from the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration─Dollar's Fall Collapses the American Empire; Bring Those 737 Overseas Military Bases Home!

It looks like some insiders are standing to make a killing─Did Cheney Bet Against The Dollar?

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Confucian Capitalism Here in Pohang

"The world’s third largest steel maker said Wednesday that it ranked 30th in CSR [corporate social responsibility] among a list of 500 global companies compiled by the news magazine and British CSR consulting firm Ethical Investment Research Service (EIRIS)"─POSCO Ranked Korea's Most Socially Responsible Firm.

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The History of Thanksgiving

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Bioethics in the News

A report on the newly openned Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Highly Specialized Institute for Bioethics in Asia─Korean Catholic university opens new bioethics institute.

And Dr. Leon Kass says 632 A.F. is just around the corner─“Train to Huxley's Dehumanized Brave New World has Already Left the Station”.

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Ron Paul, a Uniter Not a Divider

Andrew Sullivan on the good doctor─The Bush Legacy vs Ron Paul:
    What I find energizing is how Paul has managed to talk many on the "left" into appreciating the benefits of smaller government and limiting executive power. What they now share with the paleocons and the crunchy cons and the conservatives of doubt is a resistance to and skepticism of the imperial impulse to control countries we do not understand and to indefinitely occupy whole regions of the world to defend ourselves against an enemy that knows no geographical boundaries.
Very well, but let us also give credit where credit is due and also acknowledge that the current administration, with its monstrous statism and unchecked powers, "has managed to talk many on the 'left' into appreciating the benefits of smaller government and limiting executive power."

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Pat Robertson Sells His Soul

Any respect I ever had for the man, and I had close to none, is gone─Robertson Endorses Giuliani -- Without Mentioning Abortion. Protecting the Party is more important than protecting the unborn, it appears.

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Confucian Catholic Vocations in Asia

"The quality of family life can either make or break a vocation to the priesthood or religious life"─Asian Prelates Cite a Key to Vocations. This comes as little surprise, as does this: "The bishops said an emerging global culture that fosters individualism, self-assertion and ambition brought a negative influence to Asian families and vocations as well."

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Peking and Bombay Are Fine Names, as Are Moscow, Prague, Rome...

The venerable Peter Hitchens on those who "absurdly and selectively accept the renaming of foreign cities because they think it is politically correct"─Been to Zhongguo lately? Or perhaps to Bharat? What to say to people who do the cultural cringe to China and India.

[link via The New Beginning]

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Paulian Paleocons

Jack Ross, "a Kirkian—and Burkean, skeptical of libertarian gospel and loathing of revolution," on the good doctor─The Ron Paul Revolution.

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AuH2O

I've only come to a recent appreciation of the subject of this essay by Daniel McCarthy, by way of Karl Hess, his speechwriter─There’s Something About Barry.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Ron Paul International Brigades

My last LewRockwell.com article, Ron Paul, the Expatriate's Patriot, failed to mention two important countries, kind emailers have informed me─Swiss Friends of Ron Paul and Portugal for Ron Paul.

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Ron Paul and Korea

My second article for the The Seoul Times (my first offering, Ron Paul Tzu, brought 10,000 hits to their site) won't sit well with those who hold the Albrightian delusion that ours is the "indispensable nation"─Ron Paul, Hope for a Reunited Korea.

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German Malt Liquor Is Still Malt Liquor

Much to my dismay, the only virtue of Oettinger Super Forte is its 8.9% alcohol content.

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Enola Gay Pilot Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., Was Wrong

And some of America's top brass were right, as evidenced by this article by Leo Maley III and Uday Mohan─Not Everyone Wanted To Bomb Hiroshima:
    Take, for example, Adm. William Leahy, White House chief of staff and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the war. Leahy wrote in his 1950 memoirs that "the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender." Moreover, Leahy continued, "[I]n being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children."

    President Eisenhower, the Allied commander in Europe during World War II, recalled in 1963, as he did on several other occasions, that he had opposed using the atomic bomb on Japan during a July 1945 meeting with Secretary of War Henry Stimson: "I told him I was against it on two counts. First, the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing. Second, I hated to see our country be the first to use such a weapon."

    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey, the tough and outspoken commander of the U.S. Third Fleet, which participated in the American offensive against the Japanese home islands in the final months of the war, publicly stated in 1946 that "the first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment." The Japanese, he noted, had "put out a lot of peace feelers through Russia long before" the bomb was used.

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Good Wines for the Common Man

Karen DeCoster has an exhaustive list and review─Non-Plonk Wines that Don't Empty Your Wallet. I'm still bummed that I can't find the three-dollar-a-bottle wine I posted about this past summer─The Vino Andino Challenge.

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.