Monday, March 31, 2008

Don't Trust the G.O.P. on Abortion

Daniel McCarthy with a reminder to avoid "that particular flavor of Kool-Aid" — No, McCain Won’t End Abortion.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

What They're Saying

The email responses to my latest LewRockwell.com article — The Emperor and the Peasant — were mostly positive. A sampling:
    "The Emperor and the Peasant" was an excellent article, Mr. Snyder. It was shared with me by a Muslim Shi'a friend and the CEO of the Lady Fatimah Charitiable Agency out of Great Britain, Mr. Karim.

    I have copied it and shared it with three of my religious email groups consisting of 600+ members. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

    Rev. S______


    Thank you, thank you, your article is so beautiful and so Catholic. I am actually in tears, we forget so easily what true heroes are. J___ L C_____


    Fascinating bit of historical lore. Psalm 2 comes to mind. Thanks for
    enlightening many Christians on the issues, even us Calvinists.

    t__


    We have a local Catholic radio host who definitely qualifies as a "neocon war apologist." He has never met an American military adventure he couldn't defend; in fact, he puts us noninterventionists on the defensive. This guy is forever invoking that unlucky 13th chapter of St. Paul's epistle to the Romans and that trump phase about submitting to the prudential judgment of the powers that be.

    I don't get it. If we're to submit to the civil authorities because they alone may act for the common good, why bother with the rest of the Just War theory? Why devote an hour of your radio program to the subject? Let's just let blood-crazed maniacs like Bush and Cheney inflict their disproportionate response to fabricated threats and slaughter civilians by the tens of thousands.

    T___ P______


    I agree with you. The mere presence of the Holy Father will "heap coals of fire" upon Bush's head and those of his war-crowd followers. Benedict won't even have to say a word for he is like the gorilla in the living room.

    All the best,
    B___

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

One Man Against the Culture of Death

God bless Tong Phuoc Phuc and the sixty babies he's saved — Vietnam man runs 'abortion orphanage'. His is not an adoption agency, rather "his goal is to reunite each child with its mother or to raise them as his own."

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Rockwellian Analyses of Events in the Persian Gulf

The LewRockwell.com Blog offers two very alarming posts today. Charles Featherstone cites local reports that "Washington used the recent visit to West Asia (Middle East) by Vice-President Dick Cheney to alert the House of Saud the U. S. has completed preparations for a missile-air attack on Iran's nuclear facilities in April" — Planning for Iran Attack? Michael S. Rozeff reports that "[t]he attack by al-Maliki on al-Sadr was... without knowledge of the U.S.," that "Sadr is a de-centralist (at present), and thus the enemy of the Iraq centralizers," and that the attacks mean "[t]he U.S. then is further away than ever from stabilizing Iraq either as one state or as several" — Al-Maliki will fall.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Wall Street Extortion

"Wall Street, which historically has been a bastion of vehement opposition to government intervention in the so-called free market, now takes it as a matter of right that the U. S. government and its central bank (as well as the central banks of other countries) will come to its rescue," writes Kurt Cobb — When socialists take Wall Street. He calls this an "interesting form of extortion:"
    "We'll bring down the world economy unless you bail us out. Never mind that we paid ourselves huge bonuses using other people's money while creating this mess."
"Capitalism will never fail because Socialism will always bail it out" — The wit and wisdom of Ralph Nader's dad. And Binoy Kampmark and Samuel Gregg respectively take up the "Socialism for the Rich!" theme — Free Market Apostates and Heal thyself, businessman!

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Wages of War

A particularly sad example of how the War on Iraq is, in the Pope's words, "a war that provoked the breakup of their civil and social life" — Damascus, young girls the victims of prostitution - almost all of them Iraqis. "The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration," says the Catechism of the Catholic Church. At best, the architects of the War on Iraq and those that enabled it are criminally negligent, war criminally negligent.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Karl und Franz

Bookmark and Share

Friday, March 28, 2008

Confucian Familial Medicine

From a report on medical ethics — U of R researchers say few doctors influenced by code of ethics — this interesting tidbit:
    In western society, we view an individual as a person, an entity unto themselves, so when a physician is giving good news or bad news to a patient, assuming the patient has the cognitive capacities, they will address the patient and then the patient will talk to the family... In a Confucian society, they perceive the individual as a family member so when information is being given by a physician it's given to the family and then the family decides whether it's information that should be given to the patient. [emphases mine]
I've heard of several cases here in Korea of patients with terminal diseases being unaware of their condition, as the family thought it best to keep it that way. That seems very reasonable and humane to me.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

"The Old Right and the New Left... Morally and Politically Coordinate"

An interview by Bill Kauffman of former Students for a Democratic Society president Carl Oglesby, who wrote the above back in 1967 — Writer on the Storm. Said Mr. Oglesby, "Just by looking at the things that those right-wing guys said... I always thought that principled conservatives had as solid a reason to oppose the Vietnam War and to oppose racism as anyone within the conventional left."

Hear! Hear! But it's a bit disconcerting that the author of so astute an observation forty years later joins "Hillary Girl1" and says "she’s my guy" of the racist2 warmonger3 Mrs. Clinton. To be fair, Miss Rodham was Mr. Oglesby's "old friend4" and he assures us "that she is honest and she’s good-hearted." I'm sure she was as a flower child back in the freewheelin' sixties, but since that time she has tasted power, and let us remember Lord Acton's aphorism: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." And one thing that we all can agree on is that Mrs. Clinton certainly is a great man.

1 See Coulter: I'll campaign for Hillary if McCain is the nominee.
2 Not that one needs evidence to hurl this accusation in this day and age, but nevertheless this should suffice for sticklers — Did Clinton campaign darken Obama's skin tone?
3 See Hillary the Hawk and Defense Industry Embraces Democrats, Hillary By Far The Favorite.
4 See The Personal Is Political.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

A Very Tangled Foreign Entanglement

"Their sacred Surge has turned into a mere splurge – of resources, lives, and misplaced hope," notes Justin Raimondo, wondering "why in the name of all that's holy are we supporting the pro-Iranian parties and factions in the Iraqi government, whilst Our Glorious Leader is coupling Tehran and al-Qaeda as 'twin' evils to be fought and defeated in Iraq" — The Mystery of American Foreign Policy.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Signs of Civilization in Korea

A report on a conferenece held by the newly-established "Korean Affluence Studies Academy" and a talk given by "Choi Yeom, 75, a descendant of the Gyeongju-based Choi family, which has been wealthy for 300 years and is known for practicing noblesse oblige" — Old-rich patriarch lectures on how to be wealthy and good.

The article observes that "the wealthy in Korea do not have the respect of society, a situation aggravated by many high-profile corporate scandals." Korean society was decimated by internal decadence followed by Japanese colonization followed by the Korean War followed by rapid industrialization, all resulting in a radical levelling of society. The riches here all seem to be nouveaux riches, and while there's plenty of noblesse, there's precious little oblige. Families like the Chois are few and far between.

Not unrelated perhaps is this report on the newly-established "Seoul Cigar Aficionado Society" — The burning issue of a big, fat cigar. Unlike America, cubanos are readily available here.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

"The Emperor and the Peasant"

Here's how I begin my next LewRockwell.com piece, which I'll link to once it's up: "For my fellow Catholics on what Bill Kauffman called the 'peace-and-love left wing of paleoconservatism,' no two beatifications have done more for our faith in recent years than those of Blessed Charles of Austria and Blessed Franz Jägerstätter."

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Austria-Hungary, We Hardly Knew Ye

"A very good case can be made that the cultural achievements of Mitteleuropa in the generation before the First World War reached a height of imagination and excellence that has never been surpassed," says James Kurth — The Tragic Death of the Habsburg Empire. An excerpt on said "tragic death:"
    However, the United States was now in the war and was steadily becoming the leading Western power. Then, in January 1918, President Woodrow Wilson announced his famous Fourteen Points as the principles for a peace settlement. Point ten called for “limited self-government for the peoples of Austria-Hungary.” A month later, he expanded this into full “self-determination,” which meant the actual dissolution of the Habsburg Empire. He soon backed this up by giving aid and recognition to exile nationality organizations.

    Wilson saw himself as representing the most advanced liberal and progressive opinion of the time; he had been a leader of the Progressive reform movement and he called his domestic program “The New Freedom.” Like other liberals and progressives, then and now, Wilson rejected hierarchy and tradition in general and the Roman Catholic Church and old Europe in particular. The Habsburg Empire was the very embodiment of what he despised. Moreover, like other liberals and progressives, then and now, Wilson believed that any old order of hierarchy and tradition could easily be replaced by a new order of freedom and universal rights. Wilson’s ideas in 1918 live on in the ideas of the neo-Wilisonians of our own time, especially in the worldview of President George W. Bush and his “neoconservative” supporters (who are not really conservative at all, but are rather some kind of hyper-progressive).

    Wilson’s ideas about self-determination and national independence were attended by certain paradoxes and ironies. Wilson was a Democrat, but many Republicans were also very much proponents of an assertive American nationalism. Indeed, in the election of 1912 which brought Wilson to the Presidency, the ex-President and ex-Republican, Theodore Roosevelt, ran as a Progressive and called his own program “The New Nationalism.” Moreover, the Republican Party had promoted an assertive American nationalism ever since its founding in the 1850s, and it deployed its ideology—and its vast armies—to crush the self-determination and national independence of the Southern states in the Civil War. Wilson himself was born and reared a Southerner (and was the first Southerner to be elected President since the Civil War). His obsession with self-determination drew its ideological justification and political support from the liberal and progressive movement, but its psychological animus derived from his roots in the Old South.

    Wilson thus torpedoed any possibility of a separate peace with Austria-Hungary. He also greatly encouraged the national movements in the Empire to push for full independence. He consequently was the most important figure in bringing about the Habsburg Empire’s dissolution and death. As we shall see below, this put Mitteleuropa and the world on a very fateful, and fatal, path indeed.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Naderite Retroprogressivism

The message in my mailbox today from the Ralph Nader for President in 2008 team says it's time we stopped "amusing ourselves to death" and "got off the couch" and "put away the screens, and the video games" and "beg[a]n an outdoors movement to take back the country." As of now, he's got my vote in '08.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Aborigines, Church, and State

I can only imagine the pain, bewilderment, and apoplectic rage the left-liberal secularist must feel reading these words from Northern Territory indigenous leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu — Missionaries better than government: Yunupingu.

Anyone who thinks the State should be charged with solving social problems should visit a welfare office (or, as Clare Boothe Luce once suggested, an Indian reservation). As a volunteer many years ago with Journey's End Refugee Services, Inc., I often did. The adjectives "appalling" and "humiliating" are the first to come to mind, then "degrading."

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Polyphony's Not Dead!

The New Beginning posts the music of the "former director of the Sistine Chapel Choir" — 2 compositions by Domenico Bartolucci. You may recall my linking to this interview with the maestro — I Had a Dream: The Music of Palestrina and Gregory the Great Had Come Back.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Buffalonian Libertarian Folkie Bringing Woodstock to Korea

Melanie Safka "came up with the idea for a Woodstock-type festival in Korea after visiting the DMZ in 2006" — Neil Young? Rod Stewart? Don McLean? Donovan? It Can’t Be! I knew she was a homegirl, but I had no idea that she was "a total Libertarian... not a Democrat, a Socialist, or a Republican" — Melanie - Libertarian.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Iraqi Body Count

Justin Raimondo gives us "the number of Iraqis murdered by the neocons to date" — One Million, One Hundred and Ninety-Three Thousand, Four Hundred and Eighty.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Easter in Japan and Korea

Fr. Pino Cazzaniga draws on ten years of experience to note that "Easter in Japan and Korea is not a feast integrated into the popular culture" but, "instead, lived with intense spiritual participation inside the churches" — Easter in Karatsu, faith in the Resurrection. This contrast is interesting:
    [I]f we consider the two countries from a geographical perspective, the paschal panorama is different between the one and the other. In Korea, no difference in participation can be seen in the various churches, whether they are in the city or the countryside. But in Japan, the situation is different.

    Attendance at the countryside churches, all of them created after the war, has dwindled year after year, and the sense of duty seems to prevail over the enthusiasm of faith in the celebrations. An exception is the diocese of Nagasaki, where Christian identity is strong and the fervour of the faith can be seen everywhere. Nevertheless, I believe it is a mistake to use statistics as the element of reference for judging the status of a Christian community. And the experience of Easter this year confirmed this conviction in me.
The rest of the article describes the padre's experience of Easter "in a little town more than a thousand kilometres from Tokyo, where the anti-Christian persecution of feudal Japan was born."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Lines Drawn in the Germanosphere

"Apparently, Switzerland, Austria, and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg are standing up for the Principality of Liechtenstein" in its tax battle with Germany — Liechtenstein Not Alone.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Tamar Hennessey, Requiescat in Pace

Sad news today — Daughter of Dorothy Day dies. Baby Tamar brought her saintly mother into the Church; after she was born out-of-wedlock, Dorothy Day felt the need to baptize her little girl, so sought instruction in The Catholic Faith.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Pacifist Assassin?

About the Korean Catholic "who shot and killed Ito Hirobumi, the man behind Japan’s modernization," Kim Yeong-ho, Joint representative of the International East Asian Community Association, views "An Jung-geun not as a hero of the Korean independence movement but as a East Asian pacifist, or, rather, the 'Jean Monet,' [sic] the father of European integration, of the construction of an East Asian community" — Vision for an East Asian Community. What's Mr. Kim been smoking?

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Faded, Austere, Yet Modern

Buildings age quickly in Korea's climate of extremes, and this modest Benedictine mission church from 1965, not too far from where I blog, gains from exposure to the elements — 천주교선산성당내고공소(성베네딕도수도회,알빈신부).

It's a gongso (公所), a chapel in a rural location with no regular priest and administratively under a nearby parish, and its lack of pews — a Protestant innovation — is refreshing. Push the "Cranmer Table" up against the wall and I daresay the space is ideal for a celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Buffalonian Wisdom on Obama's Speech

"It’s a sign of our decadence that such an unimaginative piece of writing as Barack Obama’s speech on race could receive rave reviews," begins my homeboy James Ostrowski — Obama’s Foolish Consistency. I agree, but the man may well get my support, if never my vote.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, My New Spiritual Advisor


Well, not quite yet, but seeing "the whole context" of this now-controversial sermon above makes me agree with Anthony Gregory that it was "quite humane, with a very reasonable and spiritual conclusion" — What Jeremiah Wright Said. Take note of his use of the word "we," my fellow Americans.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

We're All Neocons Now

Well, some of us are not and never will be, but LewRockwell.com reminds us that "Left-Neocon to Right-Neocon" is "the respectable range of opinion on US foreign policy" in linking to this article by Glenn Greenwald — The ongoing exclusion of war opponents from the Iraq debate.

And the venerable Justin Raimondo reminds us that the "limousine liberal[s]" and "the neocons – the very ones who brought us the Iraq war – are united on the Tibet issue" — Why They Hate China.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

A Wilsonian Travesty

J.K. Baltzersen of Wilson Revolution Unplugged reminds us that "89 years ago today, the Austro-Hungarian Imperial and Royal Family arrived at the Austro-Swiss border in an Imperial train and departed Austria" — Austria Departed. As an American, I apologize to the world for the crimes of that monstrous predecessor of Bush. Blessed Charles of Austria, ora pro nobis.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Here's to Turkish Islam

I am of two minds reading this excellent and informative article by Fazile Zahir — Turkey seeks a more modern Islam. The René Guénon-esque Traditionalist in me sees nothing good coming from a modernist heresy arising from The Great and Enduring Heresy of Mohammed. However, the Catholic blogger behind these posts — A Muslim Classical Liberal?; Classical Liberals Get a Patron; Pope Benedict XVI - Classical Liberal?; and A Classical Liberal in the Vatican? — sees this as the possible fruition of the Vicar of Christ's recent visit to the country.

The idea of taking "the theologically radical step of ignoring later conservative texts in favor of earlier more liberal ones" is one that appeals to me, as does the idea that "the Hadith... obscures the original values of Islam." That in the past century "Western classics... [were] embraced not just by the secular young Turks, but also by more open-minded Islamists" is welcome news. The "Sufi tradition... based on the philosophy that all creatures should be loved as God's physical reflection and objects of the Creator's own love" is laudable.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

A Home for the Climatically Homeless

Finally, some folks who are talking some sense in the debate — Global warming: Just deal with it, some scientists say. I've never felt at home with the deniers, who place ideology above science, nor with the alarmists, who place ideology above science.

I could, however, find a home among the "non-skeptic heretic club," the "radical middle," who "believe that it is cheaper and more effective to adapt to global warming than to fight it." The "simple equation: Build more, lose more" makes perfect sense to this conservative conservationist. From the article:
    Instead of spending trillions of dollars to stabilize carbon dioxide levels across the planet -- an enormously complex and expensive proposition -- the world could work on reducing hunger, storm damage and disease now, thereby neutralizing some of the most feared future problems of global warming.
It is self-evident that "the world's problems [are] already so big that the added burdens caused by rising temperatures [will] be relatively small." Let us then "accept the scientific consensus on the causes and effects of climate change" but focus on "irrigation systems, drought-resistant crops and more-efficient food transport systems."

I hate to be an optimist, but I truly think that Peak Oil will remedy the threat of global warming. In the meantime, let's work for radical Relocalization.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Godless Gorby, Marxist-Lennonist

Reports of his faith were greatly exaggerated — Gorbachev Dispels 'Closet Christian' Rumors; Says He is Atheist. This blogger was duped, too. Hope, the second of the Theological Virtues, will do that to you sometimes.

It has been clear for some time that the last Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet had left the Leninist atheism of the Soviet Union for the even more dangerous Lennonist atheism of Imagine, a seductive song whose author confessed was "virtually the Communist Manifesto." The nightmarish vision of "no Heaven," "no countries," "no religion," and "no posessions" is clearly the globalist agenda that Gorby has worked for since he dismantled his own office; he had to destroy State Atheism in order to save it.

The Gorbachev Foundation, aims to "help assert democratic values and moral, humanistic principles... in building a new, more equitable international order." The Green Cross International that he founded seeks to "to help ensure a just, sustainable and secure future for all by fostering a value shift and cultivating a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility in humanity's relationship with nature." His involvement in the Club of Rome and its Neo-Malthusianism is perhaps most problematic.

Just as the Lennonist vision is wrapped in a beautiful melody, the goals outlined above all appear to be laudible, unless one finds oneself among the populations that need to be culled in order to achieve the vision.

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Tasan in Gold


One of my heroes and the subject of my recent article — Tasan, Nineteenth Century Korea's Paleo-Confucian Classical Liberal — appears on the bottom left medal pictured above.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

They Hate Us for Our Foreign Policy, Not Our Freedoms

That obvious truth is the conclusion of Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think, "the largest, most comprehensive study of contemporary Muslims ever done," reported on here in this article sent by commenter "Jonny H" — Proof Ron Paul is right, John McCain is wrong.

Looking back, it's amazing that anyone fell for the argument that because they hated us for our freedoms, we had to fight wars to impose on them the very same freedoms for which they hated us. As observed H. L. Mencken, "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." In this case, maybe we should speak of "mis-underestimating the intelligence of the American people."

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Pride Goeth Before a Fall

Steve Sailer has a great post today on the American vice — Hubris. He mentions how in Republican Rome, a triumphal procession for conquering general would include "a slave stand[ing] behind the hero and whisper[ing] in his ear deflating words about how the general was only mortal." He also mentions how Papal coronations "are thrice interrupted by a monk... meant to remind the Pope that, despite the grandeur of the ceremony and the long history of the office, he is a mortal man."

"We need similar ceremonies here in America," he suggests, concluding:
    We see examples of hubris everywhere: Bush and Iraq, Americans treating their homes like lottery tickets, financial institutions thinking they can permanently outsmart the risk-reward tradeoff, Spitzer and his whores, Obama and his minister, the list goes on and on. We can get away with anything.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Bacevich in Commonweal

The conservative antiwar veteran and professor of military history calls for "rethinking the premises of U.S. military policy" and examines the "overarching themes that have shaped the narrative of American military experience since Vietnam" — The Great Divide.

Most interestingly, Prof. Bacevich notes that "one very clear result of ending conscription" was "a new professional military with an ethos that emphasized the differences between soldiers and civilians." The result: "In the lexicon of the Founders, the nation now relied on a 'standing army,' although Americans during the last quarter of the twentieth century chose to call it the all-volunteer force."

Rather than take this as a call to restore conscription, I read it as a call to follow the lead of Costa Rica and simply abolish the military.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Bush Legacy

Nat Hentoff, our favorite pro-life Jewish atheist civil-libertarian, says that "the United States, by validating torture as a tool of interrogation, has become a less civilized nation" — The Torture President.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Graduate School for Life

This is a needed and welcome development — First bioethics graduate school against 'culture of death’ in the whole of Asia. Said the school's namesake, "I hope this new school can help people respect human dignity, the only weapon against the culture of death."

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Ron Paul on War and Peace

"Five years later, with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and nearly 4,000 Americans dead," the good doctor calls for "a return to a non-interventionist foreign policy that emphasizes peaceful trade and travel and no entangling alliances" — The Iraq War Ledger.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The NRO and Me

National Review Online's Kevin D. Williamson found my article Tasan, 19th C Korea's Paleo-Confucian Classical Liberal "interesting" and was happy to "come across the word 'liberal' used in its true sense" — From Tomorrow's "Seoul Times". Mr. Williamson said that I "had [him] with the opening quote," which has always been one of my favorites: "Burke was liberal because he was conservative" — Russell Kirk (1918 - 1994) of Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797).

It's a bit disconcerting, however, to share favorable mention with Jonah Goldberg. I am not now nor have I ever been a reader of National Review, and not to be a snoot, but if I might echo the Sage of Mecosta, I say, "The neoconservatives are not conservative because they are not liberal." In fact, in writing about a "Paleo-Confucian " whose "[c]hallenge to [o]rthodox Neo-Confucianism.... sought to show that "this prevailing 'orthodoxy' was, in important ways, unorthodox," I sought to make an implied comparison to the conflict between Neoconservatism and Paleoconservatism.

Perhaps I should have stated the comparison explicitly, but after twelve years in the Orient, I find myself thinking and writing in a more inductive rather than deductive manner. In fact, I find the deductive reasoning one finds sometimes at neocon blogs like Against The Grain or OneFreeKorea and in their occasional comments on this blog as tiresome as reading the instruction manual for some ultimately useless electronic gadget. All the logical syllogisms in the world won't hide the fact that you can't answer a simple question like, "Why did we invade Iraq?"

Richard E. Nisbett, in The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why, pointed out that Asians see such "rationalist approach[es] to reasoning" as "immature." Prof. Nisbett reminds us that Lin Yutang noted that the "educated man should, above all, be a reasonable being, who is characterized by his common sense, his love of moderation, and his hatred of abstract theories and logical extremes," reminding me of the Traditionalist Conservatism as championed by Russell Kirk (1918–1994). Poets persuade paleos as logicians never will.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

1929 All Over Again

William Pfaff reminds us that "the present credit crisis [is] the most serious since 1929" — The Swindlers.

Sharon Astyk doubts "the magic of nationalized debt will fix everything" and looks to our grandparents for advice — "Hard Times Come Again"- voices of those who have been there before.

My friend Jeff Culbreath approaches the question of "how to survive the coming economic chastisement" from his Catholic and Agrarian perspective — Hard times ahead?

I can't resist this musical interlude and its call to "never surrender, never go down" — Cro Mags - Hard Times.

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Democrazy in Bhutan

It would seem the the Buddhist kingdom's lamentable experiment with modern electoral politics could have turned out worse — Bhutan's First Election Sees Landslide Win for Royalists. The article quotes Karma Tsheweng, a 35-year-old mechanic, on the Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party's taking of 44 of the 47 seats in the new parliament: "His majesty is like our father. We all prefer our father."

I am of the same opinion as William Dalrymple, expressed in this beautifully written article by a man lucky enough to have had visited — What use is democracy to idyllic Bhutan? He describes a country "dotted with large white Tibetan-style farmhouses made of stone and wood, with intricately carved balconies and verandahs" whose capital once had "a traffic light, but it was taken down when the Bhutanese complained it was too impersonal."

[links via Wilson Revolution Unplugged]

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Lincolnism in China

Lew Rockwell offers advice to Beijing — China, Don't Make the American Mistake:
    I am sure the Tibet trouble was stirred up at this time by US security organs and the neocons and Christian rightists who want a new Cold War with your country. And it is true that you get no credit for perhaps the largest, fastest increase in liberty and prosperity in history, from Mao to now. And the China-Tibet story is far more complicated than the Western media admit. But don't follow the path of Lincoln. Do what you have done so successfully with Hong Kong: allow Tibet to have internal self-government.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

How War Was Averted Between Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela

Bookmark and Share

Heroic North Korean Women Marketeers

A report on the "collision between young women wanting to do business and the market guards" — North Korea's Young Female Merchants in Chongjin Resists Business Prohibition Policy.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

An America First Appeal from an Expat in South Korea

My latest LewRockwell.com piece examines the six-decade "entangling alliance" — Seouled a Bill of Goods.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Koreans and Their Illegal Aliens

The Marmot's Hole reports that here in Korea the local reaction to "the major dailies and broadcasters... ignoring [of the] the story" of the "the murder of [a] middle school girl in Yangju by an illegal alien.... is transforming into hatred toward left-wing authorities" — Enoch Powell Would Have Been Proud. And that's bad how?

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Real Anti-Christians

Taki Theodoracopulos minces no words in denouncing a certain Barry Gottlieb for his LA Times screed "making fun of the Vatican’s campaign against excessive wealth, pollution, war and so on" — An anti-Catholic catamite. Even more enlightening are these comments to the article:
    What many neo-cons refuse to acknowledge is that Muslims consider Jesus a great prophet and his mother Mary the holiest of all women. They are not behind the leftist destruction of our culture. They have intact families. They never utter the name of Jesus without saying “peace be upon Him.” Now, I’m not saying there are no differences, but that’s a far cry from the Talmud’s treatment of Jesus and Mary.

    I’ve noticed all over the TV this weekend programs that purport to tell the “real” story of Jesus.

    The attack is subtle, but it’s there. The narrator repeatedly says things like “although the Bible says that Jesus did x, most scholars now believe that Jesus never really ... “

    Muslims don’t control the media.
Said Francis Cardinal George to the Jews , "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?"

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Chris Hedges on the "New Atheists"

The author of a book titled American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America turns his sights on the "New Atheists" — The Dangerous Atheism of Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris. An excerpt:
    The New Atheists embrace a belief system as intolerant, chauvinistic and bigoted as that of religious fundamentalists. They propose a route to collective salvation and the moral advancement of the human species through science and reason. The utopian dream of a perfect society and a perfect human being, the idea that we are moving towards collective salvation, is one of the most dangerous legacies of the Christian faith and the Enlightenment. Those who believe in the possibility of this perfection often call for the silencing or eradication of human beings who are impediments to human progress. They turn their particular good into a universal good. They are blind to their own corruption and capacity for evil. They soon commit evil, not for evil's sake but to make a better world.
I take issue only with the assertion that "[t]he utopian dream of a perfect society and a perfect human being" is a "legac[y] of the Christian faith." It is a legacy of heretical sects that arose time and time again from the Christian faith.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Pope Accomplice to Capital Offense

Bookmark and Share

On Butchering Animals

Small-scale experimental farmer Gene Logsdon on the "severe disconnect between our society today and the realities of the food chain" — Yes, I care for animals and then I eat them.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Holy Saturday

Bookmark and Share

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

Bookmark and Share

Iraqi Passion Play

"One ancient Christian Church will have no difficulty identifying with the Passion of Jesus during Holy Week," begins Damian Thompson — The martyrdom of the Iraqi Church.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Capitalism and Welfare Statism

The Distributist Review's John Médaille explains how "welfare, whether to families or businesses, is co-extensive with the capitalist system" — Bear Stearns and the Moral Hazard . An excerpt on the origin of the system:
    Capitalism is the one system which has a fixed starting date, 1535. This is the date that the monastery lands (and later the guild lands) were seized by the British Crown and transferred to private owners, usually for pennies on the pound, immediately creating a new class of capitalists with decisive power over economic and political affairs. One of the immediate results was a collapse of wages and a huge increase in crushing poverty. In order to prevent social chaos, it was necessary to establish the “Poor Laws,” the foundation and prototype of modern welfare systems. At the same time, the Capitalist system, which begins with an act of government violence against traditional rights, sustains itself only by granting greater and greater privileges and subsidies to the rich. Indeed, by 1776, Adam Smith devotes 3/4ths of the Wealth of Nations to documenting, in excruciating detail, the amount of subsidy and privilege given to the “mercantile” class.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

$10 Billion Downsize

Donald Kirk reports on the dispute over "whether Seoul is prepared to pick up the tab for an extra US$10 billion in connection with the relocation of a US base in the country," and who's winning the propaganda war — Pyongyang cashes in on US row. My thoughts on the topic from last year — America's Entangling East Asian Alliances.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

A Vote for Hillary is a Vote for Theocracy!

A certain Barbara Ehrenreich is apoplectic that Mrs. Clinton is linked to a group that — brace yourselves — "operates sex-segregated group homes for young people... foreswearing sex, drugs and alcohol" — Hillary's Ties to Religious Fundamentalists. The Left is always good for a good laugh.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Requiem for Chantal Sébire

The Frenchwoman "whose plea for doctor-assisted suicide was rejected by a court earlier this week" has gotten her wish — Chantal Sebire found dead at home. May God's mercy be upon her and may she rest in peace.

I cannot fathom the suffering she must have experienced. If merely seeing her pictures caused me to question my own weak faith, I can only imagine what experiencing such horrifying pain and disfigurement must have done for whatever faith she may have had before her ordeal. None of us are in a position to judge her.

But we are in a position to pray for her soul and to judge the court that ruled on her case, and to judge it to have set emotionalism aside and to have ruled correctly, unlike those of its neighbors, on a case with very wide implications. Vive la France! Had it granted her the "right" to doctor-assisted suicide, it would have legislated a de facto duty for a doctor to violate that most sacred tenet of The Hippocratic Oath, to "give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel."

Providential, perhaps, that stories like Mme. Sébire's, Terri Schiavo's, Pope John Paul II's, and Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho's should come to us at this time of year.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

10th Anniversary of the War on Iraq

"The occupation of Iraq began five years ago today, but few realize that the march to war began ten years ago under Bill Clinton, when regime change became official U.S. policy," reminds the good doctor — Ron Paul on the 10th Anniversary of the War on Iraq. And here he speaks on the floor of the House in 2003 — We've Been Neo-Conned.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

"[He] Was Liberal Because He Was Conservative"

Bookmark and Share

Slouching Towards Sodom

If true, these allegations represent a gross violation not only of the Geneva Conventions but also of the Clintonian "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy — Canadian says U.S. interrogators threatened rape.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Lowering Interest Rates

Oskari Juurikkala on what it really means — Printing Money for Wall Street. An excerpt:
    When a central bank lowers interest rates, it engages in an activity that is loaded with moral meaning. The jargon of the macroeconomist can be misleading. Lower interest rates are achieved by increasing the money supply, which is basically equivalent to “printing money out of thin air,” and selling it cheaply to the banking community (although technically it is now achieved by creating fictitious accounting entries).

    The moral dimension becomes plainer if we consider a private person doing that. It is called fraud. Counterfeit money enriches the fraudster at the expense of the rest of the society. Creating more paper slips does not bring about more economic resources (production or consumption goods), but only serves to redistribute them. The counterfeiter immediately acquires additional money at his disposal, whereas the purchasing power of the money balances of the rest is slowly eroded.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Mark Shea on the Bush Régime

"[W]hen you are engaged in bringing freedom to oppressed people you can't let things like the occassional torture and murder slow you down" — An Administration of War Criminals.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

"Spiritual Perestroika"

"It was through St Francis that I arrived at the Church, so it was important that I came to visit his tomb," said the last Communist leader of the Soviet Union — Mikhail Gorbachev admits he is a Christian. From the article:
    Mr Gorbachev's surprise visit confirmed decades of rumours that, although he was forced to publicly pronounce himself an atheist, he was in fact a Christian, and casts a meeting with Pope John Paul II in 1989 in a new light.
[link via Catholic and Enjoying It!]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

America's National Religion

Aaron D. Wolf looks at "the most serious of our sacred holidays" with incisive humor — National Religion.

An oriental character in Younghill Kang's 1937 magnum opus East Goes West: The Making of an Oriental Yankee suggests a different national religion for Americans, the one represented by this Chinese ideograph:
Buddhism is the ideal religion for Americans because it is symbolized by a man (the radical "人" at the left) standing next to a dollar sign (弗).

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Babykiller

Comments made at the National Education Association of all places — Abortionist Tiller Admits to Performing Abortions the Day Before Delivery.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

No "Magic of the Marketplace" for Wall Street

Tom Piatak on the revolting hypocrisy of "federal efforts to prop up a financial sector in trouble as a result of its own avarice" — Faith-Based Economy. The first paragraph:
    It is fitting that one of the signal events of what will likely become the second Bush recession has been the Federal Reserve’s propping up of the Wall Street firm Bear Stearns. For years, Wall Street has opposed any such bailouts of old-line manufacturing firms being swept away by the tsunami of free trade, and has applauded as employers have cut back their workforces, the benefits they provide, and even their presence in the United States. The Wall Street mantra has been, layoffs good, outsourcing better. But when the time comes for Wall Street speculators to experience the “magic of the marketplace,” the tune has been different, with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson saying Sunday that “I really support the Fed’s work here.” Of course, the Federal Reserve’s bailout of Bear Stearns, followed quickly by JP Morgan’s acquisition of the firm, comes hard on the heels of many other federal efforts to prop up a financial sector in trouble as a result of its own avarice, including the federal bailouts for foolish subprime mortgages contained in Bush’s stimulus package.
"Capitalism will never fail because Socialism will always bail it out" — The wit and wisdom of Ralph Nader's dad.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

One Day on the Road

That's the title of a soon-to-be commercially released South Korean documentary film "largely shot from the perspective of the animals as they make their attempts to cross the road" — Roadkill is not just on the roads.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Food vs. the Ideology of Nutritionism

This is an absolute must-listen interview discussing "the line between 'real' food and some sort of artificial pseudo-food-substitute" — Michael Pollan: In Defense of Food.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

How Do You Say Dhimmi in Sanskrit?

With all the talk one hears of the horrors Christians suffer under Muslim rule, stories like these that appear almost every day seem to go unnoticed and undiscussed — Mob of Hindu radicals attacks nuns, teenage girls.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Speech

Gerald L. Campbell calls it "perhaps the most important political speech on race since Martin Luther King gave his I Have A Dream speech on the Mall in Washington, D.C. 45 years ago" in this post where it can be watched — Obama: "A More Perfect Union".

Perhaps because the pastor's remarks didn't offend me that much — I've heard and perhaps said worse — the speech left me cold and I find myself with the same impression as that of Steve Sailer, who said, "Obama is equating his own grandma, who was the main breadwinner in his dysfunctional family circus, and who is still alive, with Rev. Dr. God Damn America" — Obama throws his own living grannie under the BS Express.

As my self-described "flaming socialist" colleague and friend said today, the fact that he had to give this speech signals that his race his run. (And I always thought "President Barack Hussein Obama" had a certain ring to it, if only to confound American stereotypes.) It was the Democrats' race to lose and they've lost it. Make way for President John McCain. God help us, not that we wouldn't need His help given someone from the other wing of The War Party.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Cost of "The Worst Strategic Débâcle in American History"

Patrick J. Buchanan used those words to describe Mr. Bush's War last year — This Is How Empires End. Today, Robert Pollin and Heidi Garrett-Peltier examine the economic costs — The Iraq War Is Killing Our Economy. And Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, says, "Washington in its hubris seems to believe that the US can forever rely on the Chinese, Japanese and Saudis to finance America's life beyond its means" — The Collapse of American Power.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Contra Contraception

An instance of the sheep having to lead their shepherds — Canadian Catholics Ask Bishops to Retract Winnipeg Statement - Recomit to Humanae Vitae. From the letter:
    Once contraceptive sex was accepted in principle, it led the way to all of the other sexual abominations our country is currently experiencing, not the least of which is same-sex 'marriage' - which, at its core, is merely contraception in its final form. Contraception blurred the distinction between men and women by robbing women of their femininity and subverting their fertility. The psychological effects of this over 40 years came to fruition with the normalization of same-sex unions. A sterilized woman is, in one fundamental respect, another man.
The article quotes this remarkable 1990s volte-face and mea culpa from the Philippine episcopacy:
    Afflicted with doubts about alternatives to contraceptive technology, we abandoned you to your confused and lonely consciences with a lame excuse: 'follow what your conscience tells you.' How little we realized that it was our consciences that needed to be formed first.
The two documents in question — Humanae Vitae and The Winnepeg Statement.

Said Flannery O'Connor on the subject, "The Church's stand on birth control is the most absolutely spiritual of all her stands and with all of us being materialists at heart, there is little wonder that it causes unease."

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Don't Get Depressed

"It’s becoming increasingly likely that 2008 will go down in history as the year the Second Great Depression began," begins Richard Heinberg, turning to the bright side — Making the most of a global depression.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

ᛣᚱᛁᛋᛏ ᚹᚫᛋ ᚩᚾ ᚱᚩᛞᛁ ᚻᚹᛖᚦᚱᚨ / ᚦᛖᚱ ᚠᚳᛋᚨ ᚠᛠᚱᚱᚪᚾ ᛣᚹᚩᛗᚳ / ᚨᚦᚦᛁᛚᚨ ᛏᛁᛚ ᚪᚾᚢᛗ

    Krist wæs on rodi. Hweþræ'/ þer fusæ fearran kwomu / æþþilæ til anum.
    "Christ was on the cross. Yet / the brave came there from afar / to their lord."
The above is the inscription found on Ruthwell Cross from the Dream of the Rood, "a poem told by a dreamer who dreamt of talking with the cross upon which Christ was crucified." The poem was brought to my attention by a reader of my article Anglo-Saxon Anarcho-Traditionalism and the Spontaneous Order of English Spelling, "an old retired lady who taught mostly fourth grade for 34 years." Of the poem, she says, "I even have a favorite poem about the crucifixion of Christ from what I regard as a quite unusual viewpoint -- the Cross is telling the story and a very moving story it is from that angle."

I hope she won't mind my printing this excerpt from her message to show how education was not long ago:
    From time to time, in trying to give the children more feeling for their language I'd bring in some acetate sheets for the overhead projector to show them what their language looked like long ago and tried to speak it for them by parroting the record. It was always most gratifying to see how much they enjoyed the experience.

    Our school didn't have "talented and gifted" types of children, but we did have those who were willing to work harder and perform better, and each teacher was expected to give as much special attention as possible to those students. One year, I had Steven in such a group. He was intelligent and well-behaved but hated reading. At that time, our 4th grade reader presented a story about Beowulf, so -- one day I read some of the poem in Old English to his two-person reading group in hopes that the blood and guts might make him interested in the story. Instead, to my astonishment, he began to read with real interest, and not only that selection, but everything else from then on. His mother, who had despaired of his ever reading for pleasure, almost cried at our next parent conference, she was so happy.

    Chalk up a big one for Anglo-Saxon English! It also goes to prove that our children are quite capable of absorbing deeper studies than they are given credit for, since it was in another class somewhere around that year in time that my #1 reading group wanted to know "Miss G_______, who was that Shakespeare anyway?!" in response to a reference to him in another story.

    Well, I opened my always-at-hand copy of the Master and read the witches' speech from Macbeth. These children, who came from what I call lower middle-class and upper lower-class homes and who had no experience with this, took to it immediately. In fact, they wanted to know if they could "do" some Shakespeare. As a result, that night I found myself editing the play in a manner that they could handle (but not changing one of his words -- they were entitled to speak those words).

    Their enthusiasm infected the entire class, and it didn't take long until they were all speaking Shakespeare and sounding quite authentic. They and their parents took charge of the scenery and costumes and left me with little more to do than to supervise the rehearsals. (another surprise since our parents were largely lacking in education themselves)

    They devised the stage business and got all the props with little help or prompting from me, and the boys totally devised the battle at the end. They were extremely creative in using the gym and the stage to present the action, and on play-day, they were simply wonderful. I can't say how proud I was of them, and it proved again that young children are more than capable of handling our language in all its glory.
Back to the poem, which is, of course, fitting reading for this week; here is a wonderful electronic version — The Dream of the Rood.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Seeds of Destruction

Bob Fertik ponders the report that "an estimated 50,000 prostitutes, some as young as 13, are among the 1.2 million Iraqis who fled to Syria after Bush invaded" — How Many Child Prostitutes Is Bush Responsible for?

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Buddhist Useful Idiots?

"The Buddhist Human Rights Committee of South Korea has strongly criticized the [sic] Lee Myung Bak’s government for pressuring North Korea to improve its human rights situation at a recent meeting of the UN Human Rights Council," according to this report denouncing the statement — Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Never Discriminated against North Korean People.

Author Kim Jun Yop asserts that "the so-called Buddhist Human Rights Committee still remains ignorant of the universal values of human rights" and concludes:
    Christians has a mission to spread the Good News to the end of the earth. Similarly, Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is trying to liberate all sentient beings even if he has to suffer retribution in the hell realm.

    The Committee should know what Jesus and Sakyamuni (referring to the historical Buddha) sought to achieve during their lifetime on earth is to treat everyone as a human being.
As a non-interventionist, I agree with the Buddhists in question that condemnation by Seoul of P'yŏngyang's abyssmal human rights situation should not come about "at the instigation of the U.S.," but if anybody should raise a voice against the abuses up north, it is their compatriots to the south.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

茶山

Bookmark and Share

1950s Fashion in Korea

Korea's premier expat fashion blogger explains that "the trend of dainty and demure.... is a look that's never gone out of fashion" — March Issue of SEOUL Magazine: The Demure Look. He observes, "The apparent look of the 50's is something that is far from retro on the streets of Korea, especially in the winter, which for more conservative dressers who are professionals in their late 20's and up, are par for the course."

One of the things I love about Korea is this continuation of the style of what Paul M. Weyrich and William S. Lind termed "the last normal decade" (vid. The Next Conservatism). Sadly, you rarely see anyone other than older gentlemen wearing a proper hat.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Prophet Jeremiah White

Greg Moses on "Palm Sunday in the Empire" — Jeremiah was a Bullhorn.

"But when my late father — Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer — denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr." — Frank Schaeffer Decries Double Standard.

"At best, this is a radically different kind of Christianity than most Americans acknowledge; at worst it is an ethnocentric heresy," says Spengler — The peculiar theology of black liberation.

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Another Obamacon

Andrew J. Bacevich, Vietnam veteran and antiwar conservative before he lost his son to Mr. Bush's War, makes "[t]he conservative case for Barack Obama" — The Right Choice?

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Peak Oil News

Alice Friedemann makes an interesting connection — How shipping containers shortened the life span of petro-civilization.

From Britain, John-Paul Flintoff reports on "the only political party making this an issue at the moment" — Is peak oil theory only for fascists?

Sharon Astyk asks a question more of us should be pondering — Dinner, And Whether You’ll Be Getting Any, to 2050.

From Hawai'i, a review by Juan Wilson of James Howard Kunstler's novel — ‘World made by hand’ offers a glimpse into future.

[link via EnergyBulletin.net]

Labels:

Bookmark and Share

Oil and War

In the cover story for the latest issue of The American Conservative, Robert Bryce notes that "[a]fter invading one of the most petroleum-rich countries on earth, the U.S. military is running on empty" — Oil for War.

The WaPo's Steven Mufson examines the claim that "the war was waged chiefly to secure U.S. petroleum supplies and to make Iraq safe -- and lucrative -- for the U.S. oil industry" — A Crude Case for War?

The Gray Lady's Richard A. Oppel, Jr. on what's fueling "our enemies" — Iraq’s Insurgency Runs on Stolen Oil Profits.

[links to last two articles via EnergyBulletin.net]

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Saudi Church?

This headline comes as a bit of a welcome shock — First Catholic church for Saudi Arabia. The article reports that "King Abdullah [is] lending his support." That meeting at the Vatican seems to have borne fruit.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wu Wei, not Ppalli Ppalli

Taru Taylor's latest, a call for Koreans to "stand on the shoulders of Confucius and Lao Tzu," is well worth a read — Korean Renaissance. The article is similar in theme to this one of mine from last year — O Korea, Turn Back to the Tao.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Economic Doom

Things look grim — Global markets tumble. The Austrian in me is troubled by the news that "the JP Morgan deal... was completed with the backing of the U.S. government" and even more by this news:
    In an extraordinarily move, the Federal Reserve cut the discount rate, its lending rate to financial institutions, to 3.25 percent from 3.5 percent, effective immediately. The Fed also created another lending facility for big investment banks to secure short-term loans that would be available to big Wall Street firms on Monday.

    The Fed was also widely expected to again cut its headline interest rate, the fed funds rate, by as much as a full percentage point to 2 percent at a regular meeting set for Tuesday.
Back in 1959, Murray N. Rothbard reviewed a book which applied "the Misesian theory of business cycles" to show how "bank credit expansion... drove the civilized world into a great depression" — Did Capitalism Cause the Great Depression?

Rod Dreher thinks we're in for bad times — Are we going to have another Depression? So does Steve Sailer — So, are we still going to have our 401ks by April Fools Day?

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

"Celtic Spirituality"

'Twould be Saint Patrick's Day 'tweren't for Holy Week, so I'll skip me traditional The Wearing o' the Green in the Ireland o' the East post and instead post a link to this article by Fr. Liam Tracey on "a screen on which is projected many contemporary desires, anxieties and preoccupations, little to do with the past and more especially with the past of these islands" — Celtic Spirituality: Just what does it mean?

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Liberalism Defined

By the late Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Austrian Catholic aristocrat and self-described "extreme conservative arch-liberal" — Liberalism in America. After quoting Confucius, he reminds us that "the authentic meaning of liberalism is un­derstood correctly throughout the world, with the possible exception of contempo­rary America" and defines his subject thusly: "the exercise of power should not prevent citizens from enjoying the greatest amount of liberty compatible with the Common Good." This paragraph is helpful:
    Democracy can be liberal or illiberal, but while an absolute monarchy cannot be democratic, it can be liberal. The monar­chy of Louis XIV, who allegedly said “I am the State,” was in many ways far more liberal than a number of modern democ­racies. He could not require an annual income tax or conscript his subjects for military service, nor could he issue a law banning champagne from dinner tables. Conversely, many of the horrors of the French Revolution were democratic (but not liberal).
He notes the "gradual and problematic syn­thesis of democracy and liberalism" and how "this union suf­fered from the democratic principle of equality, the antithesis of liberty." He then devotes the rest of the article to "why a certain leftist ideology in the United States had been named 'liberalism' by supporters and enemies alike" and delineating "the basic content of American liberalism" as a "compendium of nearly every nonsense that we in the West have produced since the Enlightenment and the French Revolution."

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Patriotism vs. Nationalism

A post from Daniel Larison contrasting "love of one’s land and its history" with the "viscous cement that binds formless masses together" — Lukacs, Patriotism And Nationalism. He also quotes Orwell:
    By “patriotism” I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one…has no wish to force upon other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unity in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.
Among my students, I have had many nationalists but far fewer patriots. The nationalist student begins by expressing envy and disdain for "powerful" countries and then expresses his desire to make Korea one of them.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Holy Week and Nonviolence

Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy reminds us that this week we commemorate the "victorious and salvific Nonviolent Coming of God into His Nonviolent Kingdom through the Nonviolent Messiah Jesus" — The Nonviolent Palm Sunday and the Nonviolent Holy Week of 33 AD.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

A Papal Denunciation of the War on Iraq


The Vicar of Christ, beautifully vested above, issued a Palm Sunday "appeal to the Iraqi people, who for the past five years have borne the consequences of a war that provoked the breakup of their civil and social life" — Pope: Enough with slaughters in Iraq. Roma locuta est; causa finita est.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tibet

Bookmark and Share

Powerblogs

This blog is not one of them — The world's 50 most powerful blogs. However, no. 40., Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish, did once approvingly link to an article of mine — Ex-Pats For Ron Paul.

[link via Notes from underground]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Gold

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, the "Father of Reaganomics," remembers when "gold was $35 an ounce" — Watching the Dollar Die.

Dr. Ron Paul reflects on the situation with the "price now over $1000 an ounce" — What the Price of Gold Is Telling Us.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

"Bad Moon Rising"

John Gorenfeld exposes "one of the strangest and least scrutinized figures in the conservative media world" — Who Is Rev. Moon? 'Sex Lord,' 'Messiah,' Publisher of the Washington Times.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Work of Mary and China

Bookmark and Share

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mencius on Homeschooling

Sinologist Sam Crane quotes the sage — Three by Mencius on Teaching:
    Kung-sun Ch'ou said: "Why is it that the noble-minded never teach their own children?"

    "The way people are, it's impossible," replied Mencius. "A teacher's task is to perfect the student and if the student doesn't improve, the teacher gets angry. When the teacher gets angry, the student in turn feel hurt: 'You demand perfection, but you're nowhere near perfect yourself.' So father and son would only hurt each other. And it's a tragedy when fathers and sons hurt each other.

    "The ancients taught each other's children. That way fathers and sons never demand perfect virtue of one another. If they demand perfect virtue of one another, they grow distant. And nothing is more ominous than fathers and sons grown distant from one another." (7.18) (4A.18)
Something to consider... Click on the link for the other two.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Forty Years Ago This Week

"The only unusual thing about the My Lai Massacre was that it was eventually found out" — The My Lai Massacre Revisited.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Certainty in Uncertain Times

From Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy as we apporach the sixth anniversary of an objectively unjust war — War & the Requirement of Moral Certainty.

Dr. Ron Paul to his fellow congressmen — Intervening Our Way to Economic Ruin.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Cho Se-Hyon on His Countrymen's Lose of Civility and Expat Jane on Peasant Egalitarianism

Our favorite Korean crank is worried that "because of our unquenchable greed and insecure outlook on life in this increasingly materialistic society.... we will only be an uncouth and ill-mannered people" — The Courteous Nation in the East.

Similar thoughts came to mind today when an ajumma (middle-aged woman) tried to push me out of line in order to redeem a gift at a supermarket. I stood my ground and claimed the last complimentary cushion of the day. I buy the "she's-had-a-hard-life" argument with the old ladies who survived the war, but not with women my own age who should know better.

I think the root of such boorish behavior lies in something first explained to me by my colleague "Expat Jane" but about which I have an opposite opinion from hers — Something I Like About Korea: Peasant Egalitarianism. Here's her perceptive insight:
    I chose to use the term "peasant egalitarianism" because it covers the post-Korean War South Korean mentality. The country was decimated. It was also split and families are to this day still separated. The rich were poor and the poor were also poor. In a very fundamental way, South Korea had a rebuild from nothing. What weaved its way into that was egalitarianism.
Unlike Expat Jane, I don't like it one bit, but I think she hits the nail on the head about "it cover[ing] the post-Korean War South Korean mentality." The country, only just liberated from colonial rule, was levelled by what some have called World War III, and along with it its millennia-old social structure. Suddenly, every peasant, uprooted from his place, forgot his place and thought himself a nobleman. Boorishness prevailed. One doesn't find said boorishness in the few neighborhoods that have genuine class.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Liu on Lincoln's War

Bookmark and Share

Ron Paul on Torture

"It is anti-American, immoral and counterproductive" — No to Torture, Yes to the Constitution.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

It Takes a Cluster Bomb to Kill a Child

Bookmark and Share

The Martyred Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul



Da nobis, Domine, ut animam famuli tui Pauli Episcopi, quam de hujus sæculi eduxisti laborioso certamine, sanctorum tuorum tribuas esse consortem. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

Grant, O Lord, that the soul of Thy servant, Bishop Paulos, whom Thou hast delivered from the toil and strife of this world, may be received by Thee into fellowship with Thy Saints. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Martyrdom Comes for the Iraqi Archbishop

Said Bishop Rabban al Qas of Arbil, "It is a heavy Cross for our Church, ahead of Easter" — The archbishop of Mosul is dead. From the report:
    The Chaldean archbishop of Mosul is dead. Archbishop Faraj Rahho was kidnapped last February 29 after the Stations of the Cross. His kidnappers have given word of his death, indicating to the mediators where they could recover the body of the 67-year-old prelate.
Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Communitarian Survivalism

"James Kunstler's vision of life post-peak gives even the most thoughtful doomers new things to think about and new ways to think about them," says Keith Thomas — Review: Kunstler's World Made by Hand. This sentence stands out:
    If Kunstler is right, most of the “survivalists” today with their “stocking up” are locked into 2008 thinking in a thing-centric way when more complex, subtle and long-term preparation is required: real physical health, having the qualities that make one welcome as a community member, the ability to take and hold a leadership role, genuine kindness under stress, craft and music-making skills, stoicism and practical knowledge of the natural world are what will serve people and communities far better in 2025 than guns and ammo.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

American Christian Zionists Come to Jordon

And the Jordanian Christians are understandably not happy — Unholy row in Jordan over missionaries. Said former MP Odeh Kawwas, a Greek Orthodox, "These groups don't belong to any church, but they try to hunt followers of other churches and trick some of our Muslim brothers to convert them." Also quoted is Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem and Jordan, who said recently that some foreign missionaries "have undeclared political positions and we do not want the image of Christianity to be distorted."

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

A Self-Described "Progressive" Priest Celebrates the Tridentine Rite

Fr. Michael Kerper's story is reported on here — First Impressions Are Often Correct. Here's what motivated him to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass in the first place:
    In August, I met with a dozen parishioners who wanted the [Tridentine] Mass.... As a promoter of the widest range of pluralism within the church, how could I refuse to deal with an approved liturgical form? As a pastor who has tried to respond to people alienated by the perceived rigid conservatism of the church, how could I walk away from people alienated by priests like myself -- progressive, 'low church' pastors who have no ear for traditional piety?
And his reaction:
    The old Missal's rubrical mic­romanagement made me feel like a mere machine, devoid of personality; but, I wondered, is that really so bad? I actually felt liberated from a persistent need to perform, to engage, to be forever a friendly celebrant.... I suddenly recognized the [Tridentine] rite's ingenious ability to shrink the priest.... I was...dwarfed by the high altar.... I felt intense loneliness. As I moved along, however, I also heard the absolute silence behind me, 450 people of all ages praying, all bound mysteriously to the words I uttered.... I gazed at the Sacrament and [experienced] an inexplicable feeling of solidarity with the multitude behind me.

Labels:

Bookmark and Share

More Persian War Clouds

Asia Times Online's Kaveh L Afrasiabi on a situation "ominously reminiscent of the sabre-rattling before the invasion of Iraq" — Israel raises the ante against Iran.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

First Fat Osama, Now Black(er) Obama

The alledgedly fake 9/11 confession video (vid. Taking the fat out of the fat bin Laden confession video) comes to mind learning about this — Did Clinton campaign darken Obama's skin tone? "Too black, too strong," from Public Enemy's "Bring the Noise" comes to mind as well.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

That Elusive Cure for Cancer

Kathryn Muratore quotes Sen. Arlen Specter as saying, "If we had continued the War on Cancer, I wouldn't have gotten cancer" — The War on Cancer. (I remember a male college English prof welling up with tears, saying, "We could have cured cancer.") Like Ms. Muratore, I "was unaware that this war had ended." I won't take issue with her libertarian arguments against this particular war, but I will with her agreement with the following statement: "In biology, if we are given enough money, we can accomplish anything."

My last biology class was in high school, but I have gained a lot of knowledge in the last year tutoring life science graduate students and researchers at one of Asia's premier research univeristies. About a decade ago, the press reported that a cure for cancer was on the horizon. This was due to the fact that the protein involved in tumorogenesis had been identified. It was thought that by destroying the protein a cure for cancer could be found. Well, it turned out that it was not that simple. Later research showed that tumors were, unlike previously thought, heterogenous rather than homogenous, and that said protein acted in different ways in different parts of the tumor. From what I took away, there may never be a cure for cancer.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

It All Started with Subprime

Bookmark and Share

Antiwar McCainiacs?

"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people," said H. L. Mencken, and he was right — Antiwar Voters Trust McCain to Make Decisions About 'War on Terror'.

Tragically, Dr. Ron Paul dropped the ball on this one by focusing his ads on illegal immigration rather than on war and empire, as David Weigel suggests — Evolution of a rEVOLution. Sure, we savvy Internet folks knew all about the good doctor's Non-interventionism, but "John and Mary Six-pack" as we called them in Buffalo still respond to TV ads. Daniel Larison points out that the good doctor "routinely fell behind both McCain and Romney among antiwar voters" — Some Thoughts On The Paul Campaign. This tells me the antiwar "Johns and Maries Six-pack" may not have heard his message of peace and freedom. After all, the MSM wasn't carrying it.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Iran's Rejection of the Petrodollar

Zeenia Satti offers some analysis of what "could serve a death blow to the American economy" — Is it a currency war? Does this put the recent UN sanctions and the firing of Admn. Fallon into context? If the bombs start falling, we'll know it's a petrowar.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

This Year's Templeton Laureate

Michal Heller, "whose research on the origins of the universe and the tension between religion and science was conducted for decades under intense Soviet-era repression" — World's richest prize won by Polish physicist and Catholic priest.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The "Seven Modern Sins" Misreport

This report shows how the media "botched this social sin story" — Sensationalist Reporting Muddles Catholic Social Teaching. From the report:
    Having worked in the Vatican for several years, I know many of the beat reporters, including some of those who botched this social sin story. Most have absolutely no interest in the larger theological or philosophical issues discussed at high levels, so in a way this is all the fruit of culpable ignorance.

    But real damage is done to the Church and her flock by such slipshod reporting. Knowledge of Catholic social doctrine has surely suffered and people who may otherwise be interested in the Church have been driven away, all in the name of an eye-catching headline.
Linked to is this excellent piece by John L. Allen, Jr. — Irresponsible reporting on religion is dangerous. I also recommned this lecture by the same journalist — Top Five Vatican Myths.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Say No to Ethanol!

Prof. Walter E. Williams clearly explains why we should reject an energy source "so costly that it wouldn't make it in a free market" — Big Corn and Ethanol Hoax.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

A Call for Peace Between Paleo-libertarians and Neo-distributists

John Zmirak begins his latest with a thorough description of the economic philosophy that "draws on the deepest insights of genuine conservatives from Edmund Burke to the Agrarians, as well as the highly perceptive critiques presented by Catholic social teaching from Leo XIII through Pius XI" — A Road Not Taken: Distributism. He reminds us that this is a system that does "not call for a potent bureaucracy to ameliorate social problems" but rather "the empowerment of individuals, especially fathers of families, that they might find their own answers to life’s challenges."

Then, noting that often "knives have been drawn between the paleo-libertarians and neo-distributists," Mr. Zmirak suggests "it really is possible to square the circle here." Here's how:
    Those of us who understand the importance of economic independence, the virtues of independent farms and mom and pop businesses (and here comes the radical step) should patronize them. And convince our friends to join us. And boycott everything else. We should spend the extra money to shop downtown instead of driving to the mall, buy vegetables at farmers’ markets, and fund all this by eschewing our least important luxuries. That’s how the thriving organic food industry came into existence, and the home-schooling movement, too. Each happened by private initiative, without the heavy (corrupting) hand of the State ever getting in the way. There are now thousands of independent farms that would have otherwise closed down, and thriving downtowns (like Nashua, New Hampshire, where I’m happy to say I shop), supported by consumers who think it’s important that they exist. And thanks to home-schooling, millions of kids who can actually read.
John Zmirak is rapidly becoming one of my favorite writers. I need to buy his book on my favorite economist, Wilhelm Ropke: Swiss Localist, Global Economist.

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Attack on Iran On the Table?

In a brief post two days ago with a title quoting the man, Attack on Iran "Off the Table", I said, "Admiral William Fallon speaks truth to power, and may soon lose his job." He did — Fallon falls: Iran should worry.

Here are suggestions of "a conspiracy to oust the outspoken top military officer in the Middle East" — Did Washington Set Up Admiral Fallon?

Justin Raimondo uncharacteristically uses foul language to express his horror at what this might well mean — 'Fox' Fallon Fired.

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

A Three Followed by Twelve Zeroes

And they say we elected a "conservative" in 2000 — Iraq War will cost $3 trillion. But it was worth it, some say, because we had to get 'em back for what they did to us on 9/11... or not — Pentagon-sponsored exhaustive review finds no link between Saddam and al Qaida! I wonder how much that "exhaustive review" review cost, given that anyone with any common sense knew there could be no link between a secularist like Saddam and an Islamist like Osama.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Hope for Agriculture

Small-scale experimental farmer Gene Logsdon predicts "that the best days of farming are yet to come" ─ Bouncing in the wool sack. The author notes that "the wise men of agribusiness did not predict that pasture farming— raising animals on pasture with little or no grain, would become the trend that it is today." This "allows for a return of small scale agriculture because it is a low-cost way to get started in farming" and such farms have "little need for power equipment."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Confucian Monotheism

I continue to be enthralled by my reading of Chong Yagyong: Korea's Challenge to Orthodox Neo-Confucianism.



The book tells us that Jeong Yak-yong (1762-1836), a.k.a. Tasan ("Tea Mountain"), and his colleagues "were all monotheistically inclined, and their depiction of the Confucian Heaven as a personal being stood in sharp contrast to Chu Hsi's interpretation of Heaven as principle." (Chu Hsi (1130-1200) was the central figure behind Neo-Confucianism.) Of course, the Korean philosopher not only "took an active interest in Catholicism" but was baptized in his twenties, only to later renounce the Faith over what has come to be known as the Chinese Rites Controversy.

The book notes that "early Japanese kogaku figures, as well as Yun Hyu, seem to have been heading in a monotheistic direction before Western Learning had directly impacted the world of East Asian literati." (The Korean Paekho Yun Hyu (1617-1680) and the Japanese Kogaku ("Ancient Learning") School were two influences on Tasan.) We later learn that "Tasan pointed out that Shang-ti, or 'supreme ruler,' was a term in common use prior to the late Chou" and that, as he saw it, "Shang-ti came to be referred to as 'Heaven' just as the ruler of a state was referred to simply as 'state' in Chinese, the impersonal nature of the appellation 'Heaven' eventually attributed to its ruler."

This suggests interesting interpretations from the perspective of Natural Theology; could the Sinitic tradition, which seems so often to entirely ignore the question of God, have been monotheistic in the beginning, then lost the idea only to slowly grope its way back toward it?

The reader is informed of "Tasan's monotheistic interpretation of Shang-ti as an entity with ethical predilictions responsive to, and involved in, human affairs." This led Tasan to speak of "human beings as a subtle combination of spirit and physical form, their natures being the appetites or propensities exhibited by these dual aspects." He was wary of cosmologies that "denigrated man's status as a unique being with capacities unparalled in the animal and plant kingdoms." For Tasan, our "moral nature, which is transcendent in form" is what makes us unique. Recognition of the resulting "internal struggle" led to "the great, and unprecendented, importance that Tasan placed on the role of free will, and particularly kwŏnhyŏng, the faculty or power of deliberation, which gave human beings the power to decide on moral courses of action."

What strikes me about the ideas above is that they are a near-restatement of Catholic Philosophy. That the author, a Westerner, failed to mention this, especially given the fact The Catholic Faith was a formative influence on his subject, seems to me to be an indication of the perils of specialization; the author is encyclopedic in his knowledge of Oriental philosophy but fails to notice a clear enunciation of his own tradition.

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Glory of English Orthography

My latest piece for LewRockwell.com is an expanded version of a lesson that I have been giving my students over the years ─ Anglo-Saxon Anarcho-Traditionalism and the Spontaneous Order of English Spelling.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Papal Ad-Libbing

Sandro Magister argues that focusing on "the words added spontaneously" allow us to "recognize the themes closest to his heart, the ones he believes to be the most important to emphasize and communicate" ─ Exclusive: The Words that Benedict XVI Adds Spontaneously, When He Preaches to the Faithful.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

California Über Alles

A totalitarian court decision ─ Home-schoolers reel from California court blow.

Friend and Californian homeschooler Jeff Culbreath of Stony Creek Digest offers these dispatches from the front-lines ─ California Homeschooling Crisis, Butte County Supt. on Homeschooling, Homeschool Advocates Descend Upon Sacramento.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.