Monday, December 31, 2007

새해 福 많이 받으세요!

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Tomorrow's Solemnity and a Parish in the Nearby Russian Far East

In honor of tomorrow's memorial of Mary, Mother of God, I invite the reader to learn about this historic parish, a former cathedral in pre-Communist times, dedicated to her ─ Welcome to the Vladivostok Mission.

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President-elect Lee Myung-bak Is Not a Conservative

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The Bhutto Assassination and the Case for Non-Interventionism

"The Bhutto assassination demonstrates anew the folly of the administration's efforts to manage history," says Andrew J. Bacevich ─ Bush's best-laid plans.

"We should not, Paul said, either subsidize or work to undermine other governments because such policies invariably only empower our enemies," report David T. Beito and Scott Horton ─ Ron Paul Is Right About Pakistan.

[link via Antiwar.com]

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Kurisumasu

"In the land of the Rising Sun, signed by secularism and commercialism, misery and suicide, Christianity offers 'a trustworthy hope' of which the pope speaks in his encyclical," begins Pino Cazzaniga ─ From desert to oasis: the miracle of Christmas in Japan. A sign of that "trustworthy hope:"
    On the afternoon and evening of Christmas Eve, 6 masses are celebrating din order to cope with attendance.

    “This year, Vitali told me; over 10.500 people took part in the celebrations: three quarters of them weren’t even Christians”. What lies behind this non-Christian affluence? Curiosity? No… All of those people were willing to withstand hours of queuing in the cold because they felt, instinctively, that Christmas is celebrated in the Church and not in restaurants or hotels.

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There Is No God But Allah Redux

In Malaysia, the "Ministry of Internal Security backs away from trying to reserve the word ‘Allah’ for Muslims only" ─ Catholic weekly allowed to publish using the word ‘Allah’.

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Fred Reed on Fundamentalist Darwinism

From the LewRockwell.com Blog come links to these two "devasting" articles by the non-religious writer ─ The Metaphysics of Evolution and Compulsory Evolutionism.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Keeping State From Church


Another truth-to-power-speaker and martyr for religious liberty remembered today ─ Saint Thomas a Becket.

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AIDS Is a Gay Disease

A poltically incorrect inconvenient truth quietly revealed in this Psychology Today article ─ Five Shocking Stats About Men and Sex:
    But the truth is that HIV isn't nearly as easy to spread through heterosexual sex as many people think. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, men almost never get HIV from women. A healthy man who has unprotected sex with a non drug-using woman has a one in 5 million chance of getting HIV... And though it's easier for men to infect women, the odds that an HIV-positive man will transmit the virus to a woman through sex are less than one in 1,000.
[link via A conservative blog for peace]

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Atheist Brendan O’Neill Says, "Bring Back God!"

After "listening to the bishops' drab, eco-pious Christmas sermons" ─ Mankind is more than the janitor of planet Earth. An excerpt:
    Christian teaching was once concerned with man, meaning and morality, with questions of free will, inner life and human destiny. As it happens, atheists, at least progressive ones, were concerned with exactly the same things. The chasm-sized difference between atheists and Christians occurred over the question of whether the moral meaning of man came from within or without; whether, as some atheists believed, the purpose of humanity was to be found within humanity itself; or, as Christians believed, humanity achieved meaning only through an external deity, God.

    Where Christian morality granted man a diluted form of free will – underpinned by the idea that, yes, we make free choices, but God is the ultimate arbiter of our destiny – progressive atheists emphasised complete free will, arguing that only through full freedom of thought and a human-centred morality could humans remake the world in their own image and according to their own needs and desires.

    Christians and atheists may have spent much of the past 200 years at each other’s throats, but they inhabited the same moral plane. Theirs was literally a struggle for the soul of humanity. Today, by contrast, Christian leaders have abandoned questions of morality and free will.
[link via The Bride and the Drgaon]

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Ron Paul, Isolationist?

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What Christianity Gives Us

"All Americans have a huge stake in Christianity," says Paul Craig Roberts ─ The Greatest Gift For All. "Whether or not we are individually believers in Christ, we are beneficiaries of the moral doctrine that has curbed power and protected the weak."

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The Upcoming Week for the Sanctification of the Family

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Economic Collapse and President Ron Paul to the Rescue

Denmark's Saxo Bank has predicted that he will be elected next year ─ New Year 2008 may destroy USA’s struggling economy. Here's the scenario:
    Saxo Bank experts believe that oil prices will hit the level of 175 dollars per barrel in 2008, whereas grain prices will double. The U.S. and the Chinese markets will collapse by 25 and 40 percent respectively by the end of the summer of 2008. Every third of ten U.S. large building companies will go bankrupt. The British economy will also start declining.

    The bank has its forecast on the new U.S. president too. The bank predicts that Ron Paul, the Texan Republican, will take the office in 2008.
[link via the LewRockwell.com Blog]

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Politics as Usual in Pakistan

I watched this appalling story unfold before retiring last night ─ Benazir Bhutto assassinated in attack at campaign rally. May she rest in peace, and may her country find peace.

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More Viśva Hindū Parişad Violence

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Defending Will Smith

The actor has "stunned the world" by saying that Hitler, "using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was 'good'" ─ Smith: 'Hitler was a good person'. I've heard the same thing said before, and at least by one Jewish man. It's a popular idea and invoking Hitler is only taking the it to its logical extreme.

This is where the Dictatorship of Relativism then-Cardinal Ratzinger spoke of comes into play. Helping one's people is a relative good, but not by exterminating millions of ethnic minorities and launching wars of aggression. Reducing poverty is a relative good, but not by slaughtering poor babies before they're born. Protecting one's soldiers from harm is a relative good, but not by annihilating civilians in deliberate attacks on cities.

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Justice Served

The international adoption business is often quite a lucrative racket ─ Chad court sentences French to 8 years forced labor.

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The Viśva Hindū Parişad's War on Christmas

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The Disgrace in the Whitehouse

The Bride and the Dragon links to this Andrew Sullivan article on the "hundreds of hours of videotape" that have been destroyed ─ The torture tape fingering Bush as a war criminal.

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"You, sir, have no business being president."

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Jeffersonian Conservatism

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Royal College Of Music Chamber Choir Sings Good King Wenceslas

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Peacenik Pope

"May the child Jesus bring relief to those who are suffering and may he bestow upon political leaders the wisdom and courage to seek and find humane, just and lasting solutions," prayed the Vicar of Christ ─ On Christmas, pope urges end to wars.

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Mao or Monarch?

The "line of kings that have been traditionally considered reincarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu" is coming to end ─ Nepal to Abolish Monarchy. Adding insult to injury, the decision was made as "part of a deal to bring former communist rebels back into the government."

That said, the Shah dynasty, "that dates to 1769, when a regional ruler led an army down from the hills and conquered the ancient city of Katmandu," is not exactly the paragon of the Divine Right of Kings: "Gyanendra came to the throne in 2001 after a palace massacre in which the crown prince is accused of gunning down Gyanendra's older brother, the late King Birendra, and much of the royal family and then killing himself."

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A Progressive for Paul

Rob Kall, "publisher of one of the top five progressive media sites (based on traffic stats from alexa.com), OpEdNews.Com, "is endorsing Ron Paul for Republican presidential candidate" ─ Endorsing Ron Paul, and Why Progressive Dems Should Support Ron Paul.

Posting the same article on Daily KosI Endorse Ron Paul & Why Progressives Should Support Him ─ Mr. Kall was "attacked and villified by well over 100 comments" and "given a formal warning by an editor."

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Meяяy Soviэt Chяistmas!

Faux Cyrillic seems appropriate for a link to this page offering some Cold War nostalgia ─ Old Soviet Christmas card collection. One of my most prized possesions as a kid was a Christmas QSL card in return for a reception report I sent to what was then Radio Moscow.

[link via CounterPunch]

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Musica Sacra vs. Contemporary Christian Music™

"The idea of David Geffen serving as liturgist for thousands of American churches is more than a little disturbing," says Aaron D. Wolf ─ Solemn Joy and Hot Gospel. The author references Martin Luther, the founder of the ecclesial community in which I was raised, a few times, first, informing us that "Josquin was Martin Luther’s favorite composer—the 'master of notes,' as he called him?" Mr. Wolf cites the phrase attributed to Luther: "Why should the Devil have all the good music?" He explains:
    As for “the Devil,” the Reformer often used that word in reference to Leo X, and “all the good music,” more often than not, would have meant the Masses and motets of Josquin Desprez, who knew nothing of Hot Gospel. For he belonged to a different age, one in which Christians—and their music—were still inspired by the Serene Virgin’s great Conception and filled with solemn joy.
I agree with Mr. Wolf that "Bach’s most famous Ave Maria pales in comparison with Jos­quin’s." Listen for yourself ─ Josquin Desprez - "Ave Maria".

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Christmas Mass at Korea's Mother Church

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There Is No God But Allah

Strangely, however, Che Din Yusoff, a senior official at Malaysia's Internal Security Ministry, "has ordered a Catholic newspaper to drop the use of the word 'Allah' in its Malay language section," saying that "Christians cannot use the word Allah" and "Allah is only for the Muslim god" ─ “Allah” is only for Muslims, Malaysian official says. Father Lawrence Andrew responds "We follow the Bible. The Malay-language Bible uses Allah for God and Tuhan for Lord. In our prayers and in church during Malay mass, we use the word Allah."

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Christmas in Korea

If interreligious dialogue is your thing, you enjoy this latest offering of The Seoul Times of mine ─ It's Season of Interreligious Dialogue. The editor saw it fit to change "'Tis" to "It's" and drop the definite article in the title.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

For Unto Us a Child Is Born


Glory to God by Kim Ki-Chang, a.k.a. Woonbo (1914 ~ 2001); image from World's Great Madonnas

A very blessèd Christmas to all!

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Ron Paul Speaks Truth to Power

Or least to fellow Buffalonian Tim Russert in this clip in which the good doctor, in the words of Lew Rockwell, "stood against a powerful TV newsman, his show and all its researchers, and triumphed" ─ Ron Paul Beats the Press.

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De-Christianized Bethelehem

Yehonathan Tommer interviews Dr. Uwe Graebe, propst (provost) of the Evangelical German Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in the Old City of Jerusalem ─ The Holy Land's Dwindling Christians. Dr. Graebe says that the exodus is caused by neither the "clash between Western Christian civilization and Islam" nor "the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories," but by the fact that "have better opportunities to emigrate because their families are significantly smaller, economically stronger and better educated and more highly skilled than their Moslem counterparts."

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A Ron Paul Defense From Down Under

Our colleague Matthew Rowe of Occidentalism has a new article on LewRockwell.com that is well worth a read ─ Ron Paul and the 'Nazi Money' Smear.

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"Kimchi Westerns"

The premise behind The Good, the Bad, and the Weird (2008), a Western set in Japanese-occupied Manchuria in the 1930's, looks pretty good to me ─ Korean Westerns Coming to the Theatre Nearest You.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Korean War Christmas

The venerable Cho Se-hyon shares his memories of a "chance encounter with... American soldiers on the battlefield [that] turned out to be a big turning point that helped change the course of [his] life" ─ The Christmas I remember.

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Another Catholic Finds a Place Under Ron Paul's Big Tent

The Distributist Review's John Médaille "will likely vote for Ron Paul, even though... not in complete agreement with him" ─ Ron Paul and Hilaire Belloc. It turns out the good doctor has written the forward to a soon-to-be-republished 1911 Chesterbellocian classic. Mr. Médaille notes "that a distributist state would more resemble the libertarian ideal than it would resemble anything else."

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Straight Talk on Evolution

Boilogist Kathryn Muratore, Ph.D, injects some common sense into the debate ─ Stop the Name-Calling (But Continue the Debate).

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Friday, December 21, 2007

VU-Kamerkoor Sings Arvo Pärt's Dopo la vittoria

A conservative blog for peace reminds us that yesterday was the "the Russian observance of his feast-day, the same date as Western Catholicism only according to the Julian calendar" ─ St Ambrose revisited.


The above-posted video is of a Dutch choir singing an Estonian Orthodox composer's commissioned piece for the Archdiocese of Milan's commemoration of the 1600th anniversary of St. Ambrose's death, its lyrics being the Italian translation of a Russian Orthodox liturgical text for the memorial.

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For Whom Would Confucius Have Voted?

"Even when times are bad, even when the economy is growing slower than it might, you can't forget the ethics, you can't ignore Humanity," says sinologist Sam Crane ─ Lee Myung-bak as a reminder that Korea is not as Confucian as some would want us to think. He concludes, "Confucius would not have voted for Lee."

My guess is that the Sage would have voted for Moon Kook-hyun, who, as CEO of Yuhan-Kimberly, during the The IMF Crisis of 1997, "developed a new shift system where workers worked twelve-hours shifts for four days running, then took four days off" rather than laying off his workers. Mr. Moon garnered a mere 5.8% of the vote, perhaps proving Prof. Crane's point.

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Eva Ósk Arnardóttir May Not Be a Norwegian Grandmother...

But she was nevertheless "handcuffed and chained, denied the chance to sleep, been without food and drink and been confined to a place without anyone knowing my whereabouts, imprisoned" ─ A young blonde Icelandic woman's recent experience visiting the US. All this because it was discovered that she had overstayed her visa for three weeks on a visit twelve years ago.

But we would be fools to misunderestimate the threat of Icelandofascism. The Althing, the world's oldest parliament, is nothing but an 1100-year-old ruse; the 300,000 Icelanders are hell-bent on imposing their brand of Lutheranism on the rest of the world. Ms. Arnardóttir should have been sent to Gitmo for waterboarding or rended to an ally whose "enhanced interrogation" methods offer more creative ways of making blonde Scandanvian lasses talk.

[link to article via Vox Nova]

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The Newly Re-Independant Lakota Nation

A conservative blog for peace brings us some very important news today ─ Lakota Indians Withdraw Treaties Signed With U.S. 150 Years Ago. Hurrah!

"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," says Indian activist Russell Means, quoted in the article. In this video I posted a while back ─ "We're All Living on the Reservation Now" ─ he says that "libertarians" are "the only group of non-Indians... in the United States of America that think Indian."

Back to the empire-shattering news, after the "delegation of Lakota leaders... delivered a message to the State Department," they "visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies." And here's something to consider: "The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free - provided residents renounce their U.S. citizenship."

"It is about time someone took the first step, and who better than those that felt the boot of the American Empire most profoundly," says secessionist El Cid of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, linking to the site ─ Lakota Freedom Delegation.

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Vive le Franco-American!

Among the many truths in Charles A. Coulombe's essay is the author's discovery that "what united the world’s various Catholic (and in truth, as I would discover, Orthodox as well) cultures was far greater than what divided them" ─ Learning to Love the French.

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Why John Derbyshire Is for Ron Paul

"If those people are crazy," says a voice of reason at NRO of Dr. Ron Paul's supporters, "I want to be crazy with them" ─ Liberty! Liberty! His last sentence speaks volumes: "And why do we have 75,000 soldiers in Germany?"

[link via LewRockwell.com]

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Christian Zionism and Anti-Catholicism Go Hand in Hand

I had realized that the Rev. Chuck Hagee was bad news, but not "the Pope is the anti-Christ, and that the Catholic Church is 'The Beast'" bad news ─ Mike Huckabee to speak at strongly anti-Catholic preacher's church.

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Cleaning Up the Diocese

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Neocon Threat to Establishment Checked by the NIE

From the Left, Saul Landau offers much food for thought in this article ─ Is the NIE Bush's Watergate? The first two paragraphs:
    In early December, an intelligence report served as the instrument to disgrace Bush and Cheney. Behind this apparently benign act stood the relieved super rich and their government guardian who saw the reckless policies of Bush and Cheney as a threat to their power and fortunes.

    In the early 1970s, the Establishment worried about Nixon. He brought a California crowd into the White House who didn't consult the bastions of old power and wealth. Then, "Deep Throat" serendipitously emerged to reveal to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein details of Nixon's involvement in a criminal break- in at Democratic Party Headquarters in Washington's Watergate complex, and of a subsequent White House cover up. In August 1974, Nixon ­ facing impeachment -- resigned. The power structure breathed a collective sigh of relief.
I think Mr. Landau is right on both counts, but I have a far less negative view of the "the bastions of old power and wealth." In fact, I thank God for them in this case.

Mr. Landau goes on to say that "the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report... humiliated Bush and Cheney." He continues, "By making this NIE public, the CIA further weakened Bush's already damaged credibility. He no longer intimidates and stands exposed as a fraud."

This is the job of the Establishment, the aristocracy if you will pardom my use of an unfashionable term, in a functioning organic society. The current administration has been called the most ideological one in American history. Russell Kirk reminded us that "[b]eing neither a religion nor an ideology, the body of opinion termed conservatism possesses no Holy Writ and no Das Kapital to provide dogmata." The Neo-Jacobins that formed the Bush Régime posed a threat not only to the world but to America herself. The Establishment did good in stopping them.

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New on My Shelf

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Jeff Culbreath on Ron Paul

Another Catholic non-libertarian declares that he "will be voting for Ron Paul" ─ Huckabee, Paul, and the System. An excerpt:
    In addition to being a man of unflinching principle and Christian integrity, Ron Paul is without question a libertarian ideologue. But in an ideological age, I suppose a libertarian ideologue is the right kind to have. For all of his flaws, he believes doggedly in subsidiarity and would return “democracy” to a meaningful scale, giving little pockets of decency a chance at survival. In the long run that’s probably the best we can hope for: little pockets of sanity here and there, with spiritual and moral resources sufficient to weather the storm and to provide the seeds of renewal when it’s all over. Yes, it seems clear to me that the system as we know it is more or less doomed. Let’s try to make the inevitable crash as gentle as possible and preserve what we can for posterity. I don’t much like sharing a political coalition with pot-smokers, brothel owners, white supremacists, and porn-addicts, but there you have it.
Brilliant! I have to confess to feeling a bit excited in "sharing a political coalition with pot-smokers," but not with the rest.

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Nukes Are Evil

Stephen Hand, like yours truly, is "often shocked at how many will defend the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan on the grounds that it saved the lives of so many American soldiers," an argument he says "is as neat and simple as it is horrific" ─ The Intrinsic Evil of Nuclear Weapons.

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Another Liberal for Ron Paul

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Best AmConMag Cover Ever!

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It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (in Iran)

This article by William Wedin is both a must-read and a must-seeA Christian Christmas in Snowy Iran. He is the man behind Photo Activists for Peace, "a new photo-sharing website to counter the current war propaganda on Iran." These two galleries are very seasonal ─ Snowy Tehran and Christmas in Iran. And here's a gallery for the gentlemen ─ Women of Iran.

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Hey, Sports Fans!

The venerable Clyde N. Wilson offers a list of the "many things that I experience almost every day that remain for me unfathomable mysteries defying all comprehension" ─ Unsolved Mysteries. In addition to "the magical communion of cold, gin, vermouth, and olive," among them, I also find this one unfathomable: "grown men who spend hours speculating on the qualities and prospects of various coaches, teams, and athletes." Playing sports I understand. Watching games from time to time I also understand, although I usually seem to find something more entertaining to do. But people for whom spectator sports are their raison d'être are puzzling. José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1956) was right to cite spectator sports as one of the phenomena associated with the Mass Man.

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The Archdruid on Industrial Agriculture

Another fine article by John Michael Greer on the "modern faith in progress" and its "rich harvest of ironies" ─ Agriculture: closing the circle. Below is the introductory blurb:
    Conventional wisdom holds that modern industrial agriculture is "more advanced" and thus by definition better than the alternatives. From an ecological standpoint, the reverse is true -- and understanding the primitive, backward nature of industrial agriculture offers a model that helps make sense of other transitions facing us.

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Potempkin Underground Churches

Only North Korea would think of something like this ─ Fake Underground Churches Established by the National Security Agency for Money. Apart from monetary racket, they also were established "to unmask underground Christians."

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Nennolina and Flannery, Pray for Us


Pictured above is A Little Servant of God whom I just learned about this morning ─ Antonietta Meo - Nennolina. During her fight with bone cancer, the young girl said, "I offered my leg to Jesus for the conversion of the poor sinners."

From the Catholic press, here's more on the "6-year-old Italian girl who wrote letters to Jesus in the final stages of her illness" ─ Six year old Saint? And from the secular press, more on the girl who "bore her sufferings cheerfully and offer [sic] them up in union with those of the crucified Christ" ─ Italian girl who died aged six is set to be made youngest ever saint by Vatican.

My daughter, Joy, who has ambulatory difficulties, has just gained a powerful intercessor. On the day she was born, I was in the midst of reading Good Country People by Flannery O'Connor, a story about a young woman named Joy who had lost her leg in a hunting accident at age twelve. Upon reaching adulthood, Joy legally changed her name to "Hulga," her mother, Mrs. Hopewell, "certain that she had thought and thought until she had hit upon the ugliest name in any language." She comes back a nihilist from college in the big city, and the story centers around her attempt to make a fool out of a young door-to-door Bible salesman, who, [spoiler alert] shows himself to be an even greater nihilist when he attempts to rape her and is beaten off by the stunned young woman wielding her artificial leg as a weapon.

Literary critics, when not suggesting the author was a lesbian because she never married, have said the Joy Hulga character is semi-autobiographical, as the author suffered from crippling Lupus. Whatever the case, when my daughter's difficulties in walking came to light, I thought back to Joy-Hulga's story as a providential cautionary tale, and even asked and still ask for the intercessions of Flannery O'Connor, my favorite American author.

But now, I can't help but think that stumbling upon Serva di Dio Antonietta (Nennolina) Meo today is even more providential, and certainly much more joyful and hopeful than stumbling across the nihiistic Joy Hopewell the day my daughter was born. I will ask for the intercessions of the little girl who prayed thusly: "Dear baby Jesus, you are holy, you are good. Help me, grant me your grace and give me back my leg. If you don't want to, then may your will be done."

Nennolina and Flannery, orate pro nobis.

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Ron Paul on Eastasian Wars Past and Future

The good doctor says we "can't use force of arms to invade other countries to make them better people" in this interview with John Stossel ─ Ron Paul on War. Some excerpts:
    The Korean War?

    Totally unjustified.

    [....]

    Vietnam?

    A horror.

    [....]

    You'd pull American troops out of Korea, Germany, the Middle East, everywhere?

    I would. Under the Constitution, we don't have the authority to just put troops in foreign countries willy-nilly when we're not at war.

    If North Korea invades South Korea, we should just leave it alone?

    Sure, but it's not going to happen. South Korea's about 10 times more powerful than North Korea.

    If China invaded Taiwan?

    That's a border war, and they should deal with it.

    If Canada invades Montana?

    I think that might be a little bit different. Montana probably could take care of it, but we'd probably help them out from Washington if that happened.

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A Son of Pohang

The end of "10 years of liberals in the presidential Blue House" ─ South Korea's Lee Myung-bak wins presidential vote: TV.

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Tolkienian Cinema

Good news for this non-fan of LOTR, the trilogy and film ─ Peter Jackson to produce `The Hobbit'. The shorter work was better, in my opinion.

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Is the Surge Working?

"Take it from Iraqi citizens -- no mere observers -- who experience directly with tears and suffering the all-too-brutal brunt of our failed foreign policy in Iraq" ─ The Woeful Plight of Iraqi Christians.

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Jews for Christian America

"As a human being and a Jew, I fre­quently feel real fear living in a post-Christian coun­try," says Dr. David C. Stolinsky ─ America: A Christian Country?.

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Papal Pilgimage

It has been canceled "due to a variety of reasons, which include conflicts with the Israeli government over policies detrimental to Christians in the region" ─ Pope Benedict will not visit Holy Land, Vatican spokesman says. How do you say Dhimmi in modern Hebrew?

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The Return of Dr. Frankenhwang

A report that "disgraced scientist Hwang Woo-suk and other Korean cloning experts has requested approval from the government to initiate a study on stem cells" ─ The false “cloning pioneer” wants to work on stem cells again. The former "national hero" is loathed by students and researchers at the science and technology university at which I work.

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The Feng Shui (Pung Su) War

It looks like the latest Sino-Korean Internet War is baseless, as "both the Korean and Chinese governments do not have any plans to register the topography divination theory in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage" ─ Origin of Topography Divination.

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"The Way of the Emperor"

I had no idea that "[t]he Ethiopian ruler Haile Selassie took a sidetrip to Geoje Island during a state visit to Korea in 1968" ─ The island that pleased an African king.

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Yet Another Ethical (Adult) Stem Cell Advance

Pewsitter.com has the link to a story about a treatment using "injections of stem cells derived from [patient's] own fat tissue" ─ Stem Cells Reshape Breasts After Cancer.

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Poet Laureate of the Old Right

The American Conservative carries Justin Raimondo's tribute to "a seer of singular insight, whose divinatory art has survived the transient fashions of politics and stood the test of time" ─ Robinson Jeffers: Peace Poet.

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Scientia et Traditio

The Bride and the Dragon's Stephen Hand posts a review of what looks like a must-read book ─ The Wisdom of Ancient Cosmology: Contemporary Science in Light of Tradition. An article by the author, Wolfgang Smith, long ago earned a permanent place on this blog's side bar ─ The plague of scientistic belief.

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Another Catholic for Ron Paul

Caelum et Terra's Daniel Nichols, despite his assertion that "Dr. Paul's political philosophy is badly flawed in light of Catholic teaching," nevertheless comes to the conclusion that "he is so far beyond what many of us had come to expect that it is startling" ─ Further Thoughts on Ron Paul. Says Mr. Nichols:
    [R]egardless of the philosophical source of his ideas, many of the practical proposals he makes would serve as a healthy corrective to the excesses of the Leviathan State.

    And where he is right--on the war and foreign policy, on abortion, on torture, on the restoration of the historic rights of Americans--he is very right, and uniquely right.
As to the claim that "Dr. Paul's political philosophy... is an American individualism that falls far short of the communitarian Catholic vision of the common good," I would just say that Dr. Ron Paul is communitarian in that he supports freedom for Tocquevillean voluntary associations, and that his economic philosophy dates back to the monks of The School of Salamanca.

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Jincheon Anglican Parish

The new church is impressive only for its size, as every Anglican parish I'm familiar with outside of the cathedral in Seoul in tiny ─ 진천성공회성당. But scroll down to the old church, which is as wonderfully inculturated as is the famous Ganghwa Anglican Church.

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A Little Servant of God

Antonia Meo, "known by her nickname 'Nennolina,' ... "had one of her legs amputated in 1936, when she was 5 1/2 after doctors diagnosed a malignant tumor" [and] "died a year later," leaving evidence of "a life of truly extraordinary mystical union" ─ Pope approves 'heroic' virtues of 6-year-old girl on her possible path to beatification. She would "be the youngest, non-martyr saint." I have found a new intercessor for my daughter. Nennolina, pray for us.

[link via Vox Nova]

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Korean Anti-Semitism?

One Gong Jong-sik, a Korean reporter stationed in New York, dares to suggest that The Lobby is "making Washington act contrary to US national interests" and ignites the ire of the righteous gentiles among the American expat community in Korea ─ More ‘The Jews Control America’ Shit. Here's an unsympathetic translation of the hate criminal's thoughtcrime ─ More Korean American Antisemitism.

"Pro-Israel Lobbying Groups have super-strong power," said Mr. Gong. How is this anti-Semitic, much less even controversial? Has Pelosi's Betrayal been flushed down the memory hole? Have we forgotten how The AIPAC Girl "gets booed by the Israeli lobby, then runs back to the Hill and gives Bush a blank check for war on Iran, because that is what the lobby demands." This is but one recent example that comes to mind; take a look at the Wolfowitz Doctrine, which commits our country's military to "the security of Israel and to maintaining the qualitative edge that is critical to Israel's security."

Every country of import has its lobby in Washington and it is natural that Americans feel affinity toward the "old country" ─ or in this case the very "new entity" ─ as well as for America. "Actually, dual loyalty would be an improvement," said Joseph Sobran in In Defense of Dual Loyalty; "It would mean putting American interests ahead of Israeli interests every once in a while."

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Chinese Nuns in Violation of Beijing's Birth Control Policies

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"Is the Era of $100 per Barrel Really Coming?"

That was the title of a pollyannish report issued yesterday by the Korea National Oil Corporation, saying that "it would take at least 80 more years before oil is used up" ─ `Peak Oil’ Theory Flawed: State-Run Oil Firm. Very well, but Peak Oil refers not to when "oil is used up," but to "the point in time when global production of crude oil reaches in pinnacle and then enters into a permanent decline."

The report argues "that it will be difficult in the foreseeable future for people to see oil prices beyond $100." We'll see. With the price of light sweet crude going from $28 per barrel before the Mr. Bush's War to $99.29 a month ago, will it be that difficult in the foreseeable future for people to see oil prices go an additional 71¢ beyond the previous peak?

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Death Row Conversion

The Rev. Carroll Pickett's "personal journey from death penalty supporter to ardent abolitionist" ─ Texas Preacher Pushes the Gospel of Mercy for Death Row Inmates.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

The Youth Choir of Petcherskaja Lavra Kiev Sings Nikolai Kedrov's Our Father

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Богородице Дево

Do yourself a favor and go to the MP3 Audio Samples at the Arvo Pärt website and download the Slavonic Ave Maria at the top of the page ─ Bogoróditse Djévo ("Rejoice, Mother of God"). The climactic last line ─ "For you have borne the Savior of our souls" ─ is sublime:
    Богородице Дево радуйся,
    благодатная Марие,
    Господь с тобою:
    блогословена ты в женах
    и блогословен плод чрева Твоего,
    яко Спаса родила еси душ наших.

    Bogoróditse dyévo, raduisya,
    Blagodatnaya Mariye
    Gospod s Toboyu.
    Blagoslovenna Ty v zhenakh,
    I blagosloven plod chreva Tvoyevo,
    Yako Spasa rodila yesi dush nashikh.


    Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos,
    Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you.
    Blessed are you among women,
    And blessed is the fruit of your womb
    For you have borne the Savior of our souls.

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Arnold Schoenberg's Weihnachtsmusik


A 1921 arrangement of Es ist ein Ros entsprungen for two Violins, Cello, Harmonium, and Piano.

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Mike Huckabee, Americanist

"Even if antiwar dissent isn't illegal during the reign of the Huckster," speculates Justin Raimondo, "it will surely be considered sinful, if not downright blasphemous" ─ The Huckster's Foreign Policy.

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Two-Hundred and Thirty-Four Years After the Boston Tea Party

Americans are again taking up the cause of liberty ─ Paul raises $6 million in 24-hour effort.

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Congratulations, Kim Yu-Na

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Vino Aromo

If you have a chance, try the cabernet sauvignon from Chile's Viña el Aromo. Sold at Homever, at ten bucks a liter-and-a-half, it's a bit pricier than the other wines I've recommneded ─ The Vino Andino Challenge and Vino Laguna ─ but much, much higher in quality. It'll be a staple in my house.

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The Official Language of the Church to be Taught to Priests

Damian Thompson reports some good news ─ Pope: seminaries must teach Latin Mass.

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Jincheon Parish

On of the prettiest little country churches I've ever seen here ─ 천주교진천성당.

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Stewardship

"Christianity is inherently environmentalist," says The Distributist Review's John Médaille ─ The Church and the Environment. Noting that "the environmental movement... is frequently dominated by anti-life liberals and that it frequently tends towards an anti-human rhetoric," he correctly states that "the human person is not the problem; rather, the human person viewed as pure consumer is."

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Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, Right and Wrong

A profile on the man who "successfully turned adult skin cells into the equivalent of human embryonic stem cells without using an actual embryo" ─ Risk Taking Is in His Genes. On the motivation behind his breakthrough:
    “When I saw the embryo, I suddenly realized there was such a small difference between it and my daughters,” said Dr. Yamanaka, 45, a father of two and now a professor at the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences at Kyoto University. “I thought, we can’t keep destroying embryos for our research. There must be another way.”
He began his research because, in Japan, "restrictions are so tight that he says he cannot use human embryos." And sadly, while "he had never handled actual embryonic cells himself," he runs an "American lab [that] uses them only to verify that the reprogrammed adult cells are behaving as true stem cells."

[link via Catholic and Enjoying It!]

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The Magna Carta of 1215 vs. the Military Commissions Act of 2006

Prof. Peter Linebaugh on Khaled A.F. Al-Odah et al v. U.S.A.A People's Penny for the Magna Carta. The plaintiffs cite chapter 39: "No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or disseised, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon or send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land."

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Rest in Peace, Baby Hei Min

"[D]ays after a Dutch diplomat in Hong Kong drew public fire for allegedly abandoning a seven-year-old South Korean-born girl he and his wife adopted as an infant," another horrendous story ─ American woman charged with murder of baby adopted from S. Korea.

UPDATE: An article with photographs of the alleged murderer and her little victim ─ 미국 입양아 살해 "용의자는 양모" 충격!.

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Time

A report that "the latest study" has found that "[t]he sensation of time bogging down is just memory playing tricks on you" ─ Why we feel “slow motion” during crisis. A much more compelling answer was given a millennium-and-a-half ago ─ Augustine on time and eternity.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sushi Etiquette


At the LewRockwell.com Blog, the man himself links to the above "funny video on eating at sushi restaurants in Japan that nevertheless shows the importance of ritual" ─ 日本の形 The Japanese Tradition - 鮨 sushi.

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Ron Paul in the Land of the Rising Sun

Across the East Sea, a new blog by an e-quantiance ─ Friends of Ron Paul in Japan.

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Surge, Schmurge

John Ross reports that "the usual unholy alliance of Bushites, Democrats, and Big Media are doing their damndest to skam a skeptical electorate into swallowing the lie that the surge has worked" and further that "the Iraqi displacement doesn't have the visibility that the Darfur Crusade, bankrolled by Hollywood moguls, has had" ─ Iraqi Refugees Return.

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President Lee Myung-bak

If you are at all interesting in the South Korean presidential election next week, this piece by Donald Kirk is the article for you ─ Clouds over South Korea's president-to-be. The good news is that it looks to be "a shoo-in when voters go to the polls next Wednesday to get rid of ten years of liberal, if not leftist, leadership." The bad news is that the next president will be a big government "conservative."

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Friday, December 14, 2007

More on Jade

GI Korea and the Marmot, two expat-in-Korea blogging colleauges, have posts updating us on the Korean girl adopted at age four months and abandoned at age six years by a Dutch diplomat and his wife ─ “Could Not Adapt to Dutch Culture” and Adoptee Group Demand Action. The first link contains a picture of the victim and perpertrators of the outrage.

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That's Some Cephalopod!


The squid pictured above was caught just north of here ─ '초대형 오징어 다리'사람 다리 보다 크다.

[link via The Marmot's Hole]

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Songtan City's Songhyeon Catholic Parish

This parish on the other side of the country is almost identical to Pohang's central parish, 천주교 대구대교구 죽도성당, where I often assist mass, and was built in the same year, 2004 ─ 천주교송탄송현성당(단국대,김정신).

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Mrs. Ron Paul

Carol, the good doctor's wife of fifty years, on her husband ─ The Ron Paul I Know. Her piece is a moving glimpse into the personal life of a man for whom the personal is not poltical. It is also imformative; I had no idea that Dr. Paul and I started off in the same line of work and approached it with the same degree of professionalism:
    Ron delivered newspapers in grade school early in the morning. He had to put the newspapers inside the screen doors and not just throw them in the yard.
Paperboys for Paul!

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Hillary Clinton, Warmonger

Stephen Zunes has two articles published by Antiwar.com on la grande dame of The War Party.

In the first, he exposes the "strident backer of the invasion who only recently and opportunistically began to criticize the war and call for a partial withdrawal of American forces" ─ Hillary Clinton on Iraq.

In the second, Prof. Zunes moves from the particular to the general and examines "Mama Warbucks" and "her foreign policy record regarding other international conflicts and her apparent eagerness to accept the use of force" ─ Hillary Clinton's Illiberal Belligerence.

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Shotguns Are Green

Steven Rinella reminds us that "hunters are the original locavores" ─ Locavore, Get Your Gun.

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Hijab Hysteria

Crunchy Con Rod Dreher succumbs to it ─ Killed for not wearing a hijab. The story is terrible, but who among us knows the details of the case? What else was going on? Was clothing the only issue, as the media report, or was it a symptom of other issues? Filicide is never excusable, but sometimes even unpardonable crimes are understandable. It would be best for those of us not in the know to refrain from arguing the general from the particular or using this case to score cheap points against another religion.

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In Defense of Saturi

A sad story from England ─ Parents discourage local accents. The same is true here in Korea, where local dialects are called saturi. But I'm happy to say that many people remark on my daughter's very pronounced Gyeongsang accent. I've always lived in this region of Korea (and wouldn't live anywhere else), and only recently learned that arae ("the day before yesterday") was not standard Korean. Vive la dfférence!

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Chun Doo Hwan's "Three S Policy" and Ours

Koreanologist Andrei Lankov on the film that "hit the theaters in 1982 as the most explicit of all Korean movies ever made" and the "tidal wave of erotic movies" that followed ─ Dictating Sex.

This was part of the "sex, screen, and sport" policy of Chun Doo Hwan's military government, which dictated that "[m]ass entertainment should distract the people from politics." Mr. Lankov notes the two happy endings to this story: (1) "this emphasis on the 'pleasures for the masses' did not save the military government" and (2) "[t]he erotic video boom did not outlive the military regime which was largely responsible for it."

The genius of the American system is that its "three s policy" is not promulgated directly by the State but by its collaborators in Hollywood and the Mob or whoever it is that runs professional sports, all under the billing of "give the people what they want." Both Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 - 1859) and José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1956) would have a lot to say about this.

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A Call for Conscientous Objection

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The Fall of the Almighty Dollar

Paul Craig Roberts reminds us that "the dollar is not the reserve currency due to oil exports being billed in dollars," but that "[o]il exports are billed in dollars, because the dollar is the reserve currency" ─ Shrinking the US Dollar from the Inside-Out.

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American Antigone

Mandolyna Theodoracopulos offers ancient Greek wisdom ─ Patriotism: An Anarchic Imperative.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Huh Kyung-young for President!


Why South Koreans aren't taking the man pictured above more seriously I do not know ─ Herald Biz Interviews Huh Kyung-young. Here's what he says of himself:
    Like a light from the east, I have appeared for this era, and since I can see the future, I have planned my Internet strategy way back in the past. With my 430 IQ, I can also control the spiritual domain.

    I have also read 35 religious scriptures from several religions, and feel they have no value. The religions have prepared for my coming and I’m the one who will complete them.
He hasn't even registered on the polls! His platform includes moving the UN HQ to the Korean DMZ and building a canal from Lake Baikal, which he claims the South Korean government secretly purchased from the Soviet Union.

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There is No Political Solution

Dr. Samuel Gregg of Acton Institute analyzes the latest papal encyclical ─ The Pope’s Anti-Political Politics.

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The Sins of the World

Father Jose Manuel Pacheco reminds us that our priests truly are alter Christi and that we must never forget to pray for them ─ Portuguese priest 'ruined' by McCanns.

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Father Nicolaus Kao Se-tsien, Requiescat in Pace

He is remembered as "a kind priest who had been blessed with longevity" ─ Oldest Chinese priest dies one month before 111th birthday.

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Hanacpachap Cussicuinin, Quechua Baroque

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An Iraqi Bishop's Eastern Wisdom for the Western Family

"In Germany the Muslim women push children in prams along the streets while German women have their dogs and cats," says Msgr. Louis Sako, Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk ─ Iraqi bishop: West, rediscover the family as a school of peace. Continues His Excellency:
    The west is loosing all sense of family communion through its insistence on individualism. Here in Iraq, the idea of living alone is inconceivable. We cannot live outside of the family. While a westerner easily accepts the condition of being single and sees only personal advantages, an easterner thinks of his family and seeks common advantages.

    In Christian theology, above all eastern theology, the family represents the image of the Trinity; the Holy Spirit is considered by some Syrian Fathers to be a mother. Therefore the relationships within a family must reflect the relationship between the three beings of the Trinity. Thus the Christian family grows, the Church grows and society is renewed. The family is a domestic Church, but also a solid base for society. For eastern Christians, having a family is a vocation, a blessing and a mission. I don’t wish to make it seem that we are perfect and that the West is evil.

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The End of Sprawl

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Religion and Poltics

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"Don't Kick the Habit"

Stephen Hand on modernized vs. traditional nuns ─ Every Religious Order That Has Left Off the Habit is Dying; and Conversely... Mr. Hand recalls when "nuns seemed to be everywhere, in the schools, in the hospitals, on the buses and trains... living works of mercy." Here in Korea, with its Catholic population at 10%, nuns are habitted and still seem to be everywhere, omnipresent if you will.

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The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

John Médaille reports "that Ron Paul is not quite ready for prime time" ─ ABC News "Spikes" Ron Paul Interview.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Townhall.com Fair to Dr. Ron Paul

"[T]he first in a series of columns on my talk with Ron Paul," by John Stossel ─ My Interview with Ron Paul. Says Mr. Stossel:
    It's refreshing to interview a politician who doesn't mince words. It's even more refreshing to interview one who understands the benefits of limited government.

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A Kiwi Choir Sings Arvo Pärt's Bogoróditse Djévo

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"Can Husbandry Be Called Evolution?"

That was the intelligent response from a colleague to this story (covered more extensively a few posts down) that "people today are genetically more different from people living 5,000 years ago than those humans were different from the Neanderthals who vanished 30,000 years ago" ─ Rapid acceleration in human evolution described. From the article: "Many of the recent genetic changes reflect differences in the human diet brought on by agriculture, as well as resistance to epidemic diseases that became mass killers following the growth of human civilizations."

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Fast for Health

It's good for the soul... and the body ─ Study: Monthly Fasting May Help Heart.

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Pope Benedict XVI, Confucian Sage

The Holy Father echoes the quote that graces this blog's header ─ Pope says protecting family fosters world peace. An excerpt:
    “The family is a divine institution that stands at the foundation of life of the human person as the prototype of every social order,” the Pope said.

    “It enables its members in decisive ways to experience peace.

    “The human community cannot do without the service provided by the family.”

    The Holy Father reiterated the Church’s stance against homosexual marriage and abortion saying everything that weakens the family is an obstacle to peace.

    “While some people live with the attitude that mankind lives alongside one another purely by chance, the Christian worldview is one in which society is progressing along a common path as men and women, and thus as brothers and sisters,” he said.

    “Without the family, society is a mere aggregation of neighbours, not a community of brothers and sisters called to form one great family."

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The Evolutionary Conservative Is on a Roll

Lots of interesting stuff over at Steve Sailer's iSteve Blog, as per usual.

First, loads of coverage "the big Cochran - Harpending - Hawks - Moyzis - Wang paper" ─ Are humans evolving faster?; "Recent acceleration of human adaptive evolution"; More press coverage; and Here's the link.

Second, discussion of the report that "the DNA pioneer who claimed Africans are less intelligent than whites, has been found to have 16 times more genes of black origin than the average white European" ─ Is James Watson black?

Even yours truly ─ "A Young Earth Creationist for Fun" ─ finds this all very interesting and thought-provoking. Physical Anthropology is fascinating. Vive la dfférence!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Vaya con dios

Dappled Things' Fr. Jim Tucker is hanging up the keyboard ─ Some Changes. Missed will be his take on the "humane, civil, and fundamentally optimistic side of Catholicism and Catholic civilization, grounded in the Person of Jesus Christ and informed by the history and traditions of our ancestors." Says he:
    At a time when acrimony and a bellicose spirit often characterize the interactions of religious and non-religious people, I have tried to keep the tone of this blog irenic and to show the worldly folk the riches of Catholic tradition, and the Catholic folk the contributions of the worldly or non-Catholic, and to look at the positive ways in which different people express both their common humanity and their different spiritual visions.
Words to 'blog by. Fr. Tucker has been and will remain an inspiration. I'm reminded of what Russell Kirk (1918 - 1994) said of Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797): "Burke was liberal because he was conservative."

[link via A conservative blog for peace]

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Ave Maria in Classical Nahuatl

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A Catholic Non-Interventionist

Daniel Larison quotes the first Catholic to run for president from 1927 on the situation of "Catholics in Mexico being persecuted by the revolutionary government" ─ Al Smith, Non-Interventionist:
    My personal attitude, wholly consistent with that of my Church, is that I believe in peace on earth, good will to men, and that no country has a right to interfere in the internal affairs of any other country. I recognize the right of no church to ask armed intervention by this country in the affairs of another merely for the defense of the rights of a church.

    [....]

    I believe in the principled noninterference by this country in the internal affairs of other nations and that we should stand steadfastly against any such interference by whomsoever it may be urged.
[link via A conservative blog for peace]

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Ron Paul on post-NIE Iran

The good doctor on a country that "poses no quantifiable imminent nuclear threat to us or her neighbors" ─ Bombed If You Do, Bombed If You Don't.

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Truman vs. Cleveland

In my latest bit for the "progressive and tough liberal" OpEdNews.Com, I take a look at my leqast and most favorite presidents after Jefferson, both Democrats ─ Enough of the Truman Democrats, Where are the Cleveland Democrats?

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Make Music, Not War

"In the latest sign of the thaw in U.S.-North Korean relations the New York Philharmonic orchestra will perform in Pyongyang in late February" ─ Bach and Beethoven to play a role in diplomatic opening.

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Ron Paul's Tea Party Goes Global

Jennifer Reynolds explains that "the folks at the Ron Paul campaign have ironed out the issues and now overseas Americans can donate to Ron Paul online just like the folks at home" ─ Americans Living Overseas Can Join in Ron Paul's Tea Party Sunday.

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Te Quatlasupe

I've written a piece for Spero News for tomorrow's solemnity focusing on what th United States might learn from her ─ The Empress of the Americas: Our Lady of Guadalupe.

I was a guadalupano before I became a Catholic; I visited her shrine in Mexico City twice as a pre-Catholic, once as a backpacker in 1991 and once on my honeymoon in 2000. In the article, I mention how her intercession could help America avoid a clash of civilizations, just as she had done when she first appeared in 153. I saw a glimpse of this once in Taos, New Mexico, in a parish dedicated to her, where I assisted at the most reverently said novus ordo mass I have ever experienced. Solemn and devout, the liturgy was in English, but had some Spanish, Latin, and Greek elements.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Her Name Is Jade

"A high-ranking Dutch diplomat and his wife, who adopted a 4-month-old Korean girl in 2000 when he was posted in Korea, gave up the child last year" ─ Couple gives up girl, 7, adopted here as a baby. After more than six years of raising the girl, the unnamed diplomat ─ I refuse to use the word "father" ─ was quoted as saying that "the adoption had gone wrong."

I'm at a complete loss for words, ones that can be printed on a family-friendly blog like this one, at least.

[link via Lost Nomad]

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But You Teach English, Not Latin

An English teacher in Korea has learned that "the Ministry of Education believe[s his]... honors degree from a respected university in the United Kingdom... to be 'suspicious'" because the "degree parchment is written in Latin" ─ Korean government's incompetence. I once had to clarify the same issue my previous university employer about a graduate from Princeton.

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The Holy Father on Christmas

Not only is he wearing a great hat, he's also on target with this message ─ Pope says Christmas consumerism exploits children.

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Their Holinesses' Non-Meeting

"In the past, every time I came to Italy I met the Pope," said Tibet's spiritual leader ─ Dalai Lama "sorry" he didn't meet Benedict. His Holiness was gracious about the matter, saying, "This time the Pope has had some difficulties." It is also reported that "he misses John Paul II."

That the Pope "has made improving ties with China a goal of his pontificate" won't win any affection from the average Westerner, who couldn't care one iota about the normalization of the situation of the Church in China and for whom the Dalai Lama is a canonized figure.

Perhaps we also need to question this canonization of the Dalai Lama. Writing for Antiwar.com back in 1999, Bevin Chu, a name familiar to LewRockwell.com readers, in writing about the "omnipresent Dalai Lama, always in the right place for a photo-op, called him "a racist" and "a Tibetan Al Sharpton" ─ The Dalai Lama's Politics of Race.

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More than the Man

KoreanCatholic's Jason Choi sends along this "reference location for candidates who are running on the Ron Paul platform" ─ RonPaulsAcrossAmerica.com.

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Alexander Cockburn on the NIE

He calls it "[t]he latest, fatal instrument of Bush’s public humiliation" ─ The Coup Against Bush and Cheney.

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Saturday, December 8, 2007

In Memoriam Ddoriam


Ddori (또리)
October 14, 1992 - December 09, 2005

Two years ago tomorrow, our beloved yorkie shuffled off this mortal coil. My thoughts written on that sad day can be read in here ─ Farewell... In Ddori's honor, this Epitaph to a Dog by Lord Byron, my alterations in italics:

Near this spot
Are deposited the Remains
of one
Who possessed Beauty
Without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man
Without his Vices.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning flattery
If inscribed over Human Ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of
"Ddori," a Dog
Who was born at Ulsan,
October, 1992,
And died at Pohang
Dec. 09, 2005.

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Mike Huckabee, Anti-Distributist

The Distributist Review's John Médaille has two posts on the governor's economics ─ The "Fair-Tax" Fraud and More on the Huckabee Hoax. In the second, Mr. Médaille concludes, "Mike Huckabee might make a great candidate for president—of the Southern Baptist Convention."

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Die jungen Tenöre, "Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen"

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"How Many Divisions Does the Pope Have?"

The monster Stalin's infamous quip somes to mind reading this Vox Nova post ─ The Vatican and the Iraq War Revisited. Here it is in its entirety:
    This is pretty much common knowledge at this point, but it is a tale still worth telling. Before Bush's Iraq war, a Vatican delegation led (I believe) by Cardinal Pio Laghi came to America to try and dissuade the administration from invading and occupying Iraq. They made two main points. First, there was no way the just war theory applied, especially as the threat was not imminent. Second, the Vatican's sources stated that Saddam Hussein possessed no weapons of mass destruction, and they were pretty confident that this was the truth.

    The response? The Bushies totally ignored the point on weapons of mass destruction, and instead proceeded to lecture the Vatican delegation on Michael Novak's heterodox just war theory. The Vatican delegation left in a state of shock and disbelief. I believe, but am not certain, that Condi Rice was in the room. Kind of adds a new twist on Benedict's refusal to meet with her this summer, no?

    (This information comes from an impeccable source, who spoke to somebody on the Vatican delegation who was in the room at the time.)
File in the "speaking truth to power" department.

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Friday, December 7, 2007

"Que soy era Immaculada Concepciou"


Tomorrow is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, among other titles, the Patroness of the United States. (Ora pro nobis.) I've often wondered, does ours being "a new nation, conceived in liberty" having anything to do with this patronage?


"EX VOTO IMMACULATAE CONCEPTIONI" reads this shrine in my archdiocese of residence ─ The Grotto of Our Lady in Daegu, South Korea.

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The Sage of Batavia Has a New Book Coming Out


Mark April 15, 2008 on your calendars, folks ─ Ain't My America: The Long, Noble History of Anti-War Conservatism and Middle-American Anti-Imperialism.

The venerable Andrew J. Bacevich offers the following endorsement: "Here begins the effort to restore a principled conservatism after the havoc wreaked by George W. Bush." It will be remembered that Prof. Bacevich was an anti-war conservative long before he lost his son to "the havoc wreaked by George W. Bush."

The book is part of The American Empire Project , which also includes these two Chomskyian works read recently by me ─ Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance and Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy.

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A Confucian to the End

Prof. Lee Ki-yong "had insisted he would undergo surgery only after finishing this semester’s lectures" and "suddenly collapsed and died after giving his last lecture on Wednesday" ─ Committed Academic Dies on His Feet.

Prof. Lee taught at Sungkyunkwan University, Korea's oldest univesity, founded 600 years ago to promote the study of Confucianism. We extend our condolences to his family and students and pray for the repose of his soul.

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"From Skin, Not Embryos"

Another ethical scientific breakthrough ─ Scientists Cure Mice Of Sickle Cell Using Stem Cell Technique.

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"Renouncing the Electronic Grid"

Robert Michael Pyle on the "swapping [of] the rites of fort-building and crawdad-catching for the rights of a high-speed wireless connection" ─ Pulling the Plug.

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Kim Jong-il's Latest Racket

Propping up his régime by exploiting the pain of separated families ─ South Korea to pay the North US$1,000 per reunion message.

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Small Solutions are Beautiful

"Proposals for dealing with the onset of peak oil often focus on large-scale, ideologically defined solutions. A more modest piecemeal approach may offer more options in the unpredictable future ahead of us." ─ Solvitur Ambulando.

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A Quaint Document


If we are to adopt the view taken of The United States Constitution by the Bush Régime, how much more of the document pictured above ─ Magna Cartas on show for first time in 800 years. [Magnae Cartae is the proper plural form.] Read it here ─ Magna Carta.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Saint Ambrose Speaks Truth to Power


Sir Anthony van Dyck St. Ambrose Repulsing Emperor Theodosius from his Church in Milan 1620

One of the great moments in the history of freedom was when, in 390 A.D., Saint Ambrose of Milan, whom we commemorate tomorrow, excommunicated the Roman emperor for his massacre of seven thousand Thessalonian civilians. For several months, the most powerful man on earth dressed himself in rags and knelt in public penance outside the cathedral in Milan. Here's the story told by a near-contemporary ─ St. Ambrose Humiliates Theodosius the Great.

The Ambrosian tradition has persisted until our present times.

In Nazi Germany, there was Der Löwen von Münster ("The Lion of Muenster"), Blessed Clemens August von Galen, who protected Jews and fought Hitler's euthanasia program to end lebensunwertes Leben, "life unworthy of life." He publicly called Der Fürher an "immoral bastard," only to have his cathedral bombed in an Allied war crime. In El Salvador there was the great Archbishop Oscar Romero, who shortly before his martyrdom said, "It is my hope that my blood will be the seed of freedom and the sign that hope will soon be reality." More recently, in 2002, siding with the Pope in the lead-up to Mr. Bush's War on Iraq, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said, "[T]he concept of preventive war does not appear in the Catechism."

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Ole Saint Nick


Saint Nicholas of Myra

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas now that his memorial has come around.

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A Ron Paul Endorsement in Mandarin

Dr. Ron Paul seems a natural choice for an entrepreneurial people like the Han Chinese:


[link via the LewRockwell.com Blog]

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A Victory for Peace (and the American Way)

American intelligence has overruled the president and his neocon handlers ─ Details in Military Notes Led to Shift on Iran, U.S. Says.

Robert Sheer's analysis is spot-on as always ─ It Turns Out Ahmadinejad Was the Truthful One.

One of the more revolting of the un-American neocons is not happy ─ Bolton Calls For Congressional Witch-Hunt Into Anti-Bush ‘People In The Intelligence Community’.

Nor is the final authority on American foreign policy ─ Israel challenges report on nukes.

[links via Antiwar.com]

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The IMF and Me

My latest for The Seoul Times looks back ten years and offers some Austrian School insights ─ I Survived the IMF.

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Anti-Lincolnianism

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Pro-Life Photo of the Year


"[T]he world's most premature living baby, Amillia Sonja Taylor's, feet" ─ Reuters Pictures of the Year on Yahoo! News Photos.

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You Reap What You Sow

"Farmers were once known for their fierce independence," note by Jordan Ballor and Ray Nothstine ─ Farm Subsidies: Sustaining Dependency. "Today, the American agricultural lobby has successfully labored to make farm subsidies a staple of the federal budget -- and farmers clients of the corporate welfare system."

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Ontogeny and Human Life

Modern embryology, not "the theories of fetal development proposed by Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas [which] are comical in their simplicity," tells us that life begins at conception ─ More than Just a Debate about Cells.

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North Korea, anti-Market and anti-Woman

"After the Inter-Korean Summit held in October, the North began to place age limits for females who can do business in the market" ─ The Situation of North Korea Markets and the Market Regulation.

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A Marian Indulgence

A public service announcement ─ Plenary Indulgence granted for 150th anniversary of Lourdes. Assuming you're not in Lourdes, here's how to obtain yours:
    If the faithful are not in Lourdes, but wish to receive the plenary indulgence, then during the week of the anniversary of the first apparition, which is the week of February 2, 2008 through February 11, 2008, and they must visit "in any church, grotto or decorous place, the blessed image of that same Virgin of Lourdes, solemnly exposed for public veneration, and before the image participate in a pious exercise of Marian devotion, or at least pause for an appropriate space of time in prayer and with pious meditations, concluding with the recital of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith, ... and the invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary."
God willing, I'll make the trip to The Grotto of Our Lady in Daegu, South Korea.

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Enough Stuff

"Are you brave enough to say no to a high-stress holiday?" asks Bill McKibben ─ The Problem With Christmas.

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Drunken Mover and Shaker Delays Flight

A report on Park Yen-cha, "one of the major financial backers of Roh Moo-hyun’s presidential campaign in 2002... who accompanied Roh to Pyongyang in October for the second inter-Korean summit" ─ Officials: Drunk businessman delayed flight 1 hour.

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An Antiwar Leftist Rejects Dennis Kucinich in favor of Ron Paul

Sent by a reader, this article by Joshua Frank is a must-read ─ Embracing a New Antiwar Movement. Excerpts:
    Dennis Kucinich failed us four years ago as well by abandoning his antiwar platform in favor of Kerry’s pro-war campaign. There is little reason to believe ol’ Dennis won’t do the same thing again this year if Hillary is the nominee. It was party politics before issues. Kucinich wasn’t an activist but a pawn in the Democrat’s game. And the antiwar movement, or at least those who supported his bid, felt the damaging tremors for months afterward.

    [....]

    I think your largest, and perhaps most telling mistake is your unwillingness to move beyond an appraisal of the usual suspects of failing movements: mainly UFPJ and the like. The antiwar sentiment in this country is large, yet, as you correctly point out, there is no real visible “moving” movement on the ground. In many ways this is the so-called Left’s fault, as they are not willing to actually reach out to antiwar folks across the lines. A movement will never move forward with sectarian factions.

    Case in point being the most visible and enthusiastic antiwar candidate in the country, which you completely ignore: Rep. Ron Paul. Whether we agree or disagree with Paul’s privatize the world solution to every problem, we cannot ignore that his campaign is literally exploding owing to a broad coalition (some racist, others loony) of people who oppose the war in Iraq. Paul, for whatever reason, has built a real campaign, one I hope moves beyond the Republican primaries and in to the general election, despite who it may attract. The more independent antiwar voices we have the better we’ll all be.

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Boobicus americanus

The venerable Prof. Clyde N. Wilson has an observation or two ─ A Peculiar People.

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How Do You Say Dhimmi in Hebrew?

Conservative Heritage Times links to a Haaretz article on a story mentioned on this blog a while ago ─ Christians in Jerusalem want Jews to stop spitting on them. More background:
    According to Daniel Rossing, former adviser to the Religious Affairs Ministry on Christian affairs and director of a Jerusalem center for Christian-Jewish dialogue, there has been an increase in the number of such incidents recently, "as part of a general atmosphere of lack of tolerance in the country."

    Rossing says there are certain common characeristics from the point of view of time and location to the incidents. He points to the fact that there are more incidents in areas where Jews and Christians mingle, such as the Jewish and Armenian quarters of the Old City and the Jaffa Gate.

    There are an increased number at certain times of year, such as during the Purim holiday."I know Christians who lock themselves indoors during the entire Purim holiday," he says.

    Former adviser to the mayor on Christian affairs, Shmuel Evyatar, describes the situation as "a huge disgrace." He says most of the instigators are yeshiva students studying in the Old City who view the Christian religion with disdain.

    "I'm sure the phenomenon would end as soon as rabbis and well-known educators denounce it. In practice, rabbis of yeshivas ignore or even encourage it," he says.

    Evyatar says he himself was spat at while walking with a Serbian bishop in the Jewish quarter, near his home. "A group of yeshiva students spat at us and their teacher just stood by and watched."
Not surprising considering theirs is an anti-Christian religion; recall these words from Francis Cardinal George to the Jews about requests to change the prayer for the conversion of the Jews from the Traditional Latin Mass's Good Friday liturgy:
    Maybe this is an opening to say, 'Would you care to look at some of the Talmudic literature's description of Jesus as a bastard, and so on, and maybe make a few changes in some of that?' [emphasis mine]
As I said, "Let us pray for their conversion and let them call Our Lord a bastard, and let us be demonized for praying for their salvation." Say what you will about The Qur'an, it may not call Our Lord the Son of God but it does not call Him a bastard. In fact, as Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen noted, "The Qu'ran... has many passages concerning the Blessed Virgin [and] believes in her Immaculate Conception, and also in her Virgin Birth" ─ Mary and the Muslims.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Anseong City's Yangseong Catholic Parish

The exterior and the stained-glass windows are beautifully inculturated with Korean elements, but the crucifix leaves a lot to be desired ─ 천주교안성양성성당.

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The Siren of China


A new 334-page English-language novel of that title tells the tale of "one of the four ancient beauties of China" ─ Story of ancient "beauty spy" Xi Shi retold.

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Why I'm Still Here

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Left and Right

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Is Noam Chomsky's Failed States a Failed Book?

No, but Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy failed to rise to the heights of the earlier work, Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance. A more cynical reader might suggest that the MIT linguist is simply repackaging old material to make a quick buck. The book's final chapter promises to turn the "failed state" label back on the United States, but ultimately, in championing Democracy, fails to do so. Had the author championed instead a more organic society going beyond mere majority rule, he may have succeeded.


Still the book is a good read. It covers familiar ground, but gets novel with the situation in Iraq, the book's highpoint, which alone makes it worth the cover price. Chomskyian prose, with its scrutiny, clarity, and sardonic wit, never fails to inspire. On a few occasions, the author attacks the "statists who defame the term conservative," which was most welcome.

This book is more tangential than others I've read by the same author, an approach I like. The reader finds himself in Iraq, then Guatemala, then in a discussion of drug advertising. The style reminded me of Bill Kauffman's Look Homeward America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals; the reader is propelled through the text not by a logical, linear argument, but by the joy of discovery.

Karl Marx has been called "the last of the old Testament prophets," but "America's most useful citizen" is even more deserving of that title (secularly speaking, of course).

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.