Saturday, November 29, 2008

Veni, Veni Emmanuel


Having just prayed the Divine Office - Liturgy of the Hours - for the First Sunday of Advent, the holy season is upon us, and the above seems a good start.

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My Name Day

Tomorrow is the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, my patron. My Protestant parents gave me the middle name of Andrew when I was born, and I took that name upon being received into the Catholic Church, with my wife, on this day six years ago.


St. Andrew, Apostle, pray for us.

A brief profile:
    The first Apostle. Fisherman. Brother of Simon Peter. Follower of John the Baptist. Went through life leading people to Jesus, both before and after the Crucifixion. Missionary in Asia Minor and Greece, and possibly areas in modern Russia and Poland. Martyred on an saltire (x-shaped) cross, he is said to have preached for two days from it.
Here are various flags incorporating St. Andrew's Cross:


The Scottish National Flag


The Burger Flag (Transvaal, South Africa)


The Voortrekker Flag (South African Republic)


The Ensign of the Russian Imperial Navy


The Russian Imperial Navy Jack


The Cross of Burgundy (Spain)


The Flag of Alabama


The Flag of Florida


The Confederate Battle Flag


The Confederate Navy Jack

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Catholicism, Individualism, Natural Law, and Human Rights

"The Origins of International Law" is the title of the seventh chapter of How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., one of the most remarkable chapters of any book I have ever read.

We learn how in the aftermath of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, Francisco de Vitoria, noting the abuses he saw, came to the conclusion that "[t]he treatment to which all human beings were entitled... derives from their status as men rather than as members of the faithful in the state of grace." We are reminded of how Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, whose "Catholic faith taught him that a single code of morality bound all men, ... rendered judgment on the behavior of his own society in a spirit of strict impartiality." The chapter concludes with this remarkable statement from Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa:
    Father Las Casas was the most active, although not the only one, of those nonconformists who rebelled against abuses inflicted upon the Indians. They fought against their fellow men and against the policies of their own country in the name of the moral principle that to them was higher than any principle of nation or state. This self-determination could not have been possible among the Incas or any of the other pre-Hispanic cultures. In these cultures, as in the other great civilizations of history foreign to the West, the individual could not morally question the social organism of which he was part, because he existed only as an integral atom of that organism and because for him the dictates of the state could not be separated from morality. The first culture to interrogate and question itself, the first to break up the masses into individual beings who with time gradually gained the right to think and act for themselves, was to become, thanks to that unknown exercise, freedom, the most powerful civilization of our world.

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Indian Muslim Condemnation of Bombay Terror Attacks

Calling it a "beastly act," "a crime of the most serious nature," and "a criminal act of demented terrorists" — Beastly act, say Muslim bodies. (The article ends by reporting that "[t]he Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, the apex body of the Catholic Church of India, unequivocally condemned the attacks and affirmed that violence was by no means an acceptable means to achieve an end, however noble and desirable.") It is interesting to note that these attacks came less than three weeks after "6,000 Muslim clerics from around India approved a fatwa against terrorism" — Muslim clerics endorse anti-terror fatwa.

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Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions

Translated into the vernacular is a book that "caused heated debate among academics at the time by speaking of the two Korean dynasties, Koryo and Chosun, which lasted from the 11th century until the mid-18th century, as slave societies where the ratio of servants exceeded 30 percent" and "challenged the patriotic theory of 'indigenous development,' which holds that it was the development of capitalism in the late Chosun period that led to the modernization of Korea, as opposed to Japanese colonial rule or Western influence" — Divisive History Book Now Available in Korean.

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"Bucking Confucian Tradition"

In addition to the statistic from the headline, Oh Young-jin reports that "only four in 10 children consider supporting their elderly parents as a duty" — Half of Single Women Don’t See Marriage as Necessary. The report says "an increasing number of children see taking care of aging parents as being a duty that should be shared by the family and the state." (If I might echo Christopher Hitchens, "The State poisons everything.")

Even more disturbing for the country with the world's lowest birthrate (see Korean Race Suicide): "Only 21.5 percent of respondents wanted children while nearly three quarters chose not to."

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The Return of the Layaway

"Remember Layaways?" asked Lew Rockwell on his blog just a few weeks ago. Well, they're back; "You gotta love some things about the Depression," says Karen DeCoster — Pay for Goods......Over.......an 8-Week Period! Gasp! Shock! Horrors!

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Non-ideological Libertarianism

"The idea that there is such a thing as a pure libertarianism which somehow provides an axiom for all moral inquests is itself a delusion," wisely states Pico Ultraorientalis, truning his attention to the life and work of an "imitable progenitor" — Could Albert J. Nock stomach contemporary American Libertarianism?

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The Crisis of Korean Protestantism

A report on a survey conducted by the Christian Ethics Movement of Korea (CEMK)and the Global Research Institute — Local Protestantism Suffers From Lack Of Credibility, Survey Indicates. From the report: "Asked which is the most reliable religion, 35.2 percent chose Catholicism and 31.1 percent chose Buddhism. Protestantism was the choice of 18.0 percent, while 15.7 percent said 'no religion.'"

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The Statement of His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias of Bombay


    Our words cannot express our shock at this incident; I am deeply saddened by this attack on our city and on our beloved nation as a whole.

    The Church in India condemns this attack in the strongest possible terms. Innocent and unconnected people have been killed. Very brave police officers have been killed. Mumbai is the target of different terrorist groups. The Church offers our deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their dear ones, and the Church in Mumbai places all our medical services to those who have been injured.

    We must fight together as a nation and as a united people to combat the terrorists. We must never give up hope because ultimately hope will prevail. It is Christian to always hope. Good will triumph, evil will be overcome, this is our Hope.

    Regrettably, senseless violence goes on and there may be reprisals, we – all of us-must consider creating a feeling of intolerance against divisive forces, against elements that sow seeds of mistrust and suspicion in the minds of our people. We must create a climate where every citizen is alert and such incidents can immediately be reported to the intelligence agencies and enable the government and our security agencies to take steps earlier. The important thing today is to be together.

    Mumbai is our city, where mutual tolerance and understandings between cultures and religions has prevailed despite of the attempts to rip apart our city, now we will continue to build bridges of understanding between peoples, cultures and religions. We must overcome evil with good and seek peace.

    This terror attack was not an act of the people who love our country, this is not India, and this is not Mumbai. Mumbai is a very tolerant and brave city. India is a great country and very tolerant. These are all misguided people who are brain washed who probably think what they are doing is right and that every thing is ok. It’s terrible what they have done. They’re harming innocent people and disturbing the peace.

    This tragedy snuffed out the lives of many foreign nationals and this is a matter of immense shame. India is known for her hospitality, we ask for forgiveness for this aberration done in our city…….but please- do not write Mumbai off, India is a great county, Mumbai is a great city, you are also welcome here.

    The people who carried out these deadly attacks, are misguided people, who have been deluded and brainwashed into the ideologies and propaganda of the cause, but this is madness, they bring death, fear , panic and disrupt the harmony and lives of the city and county……darkness of chaos.

    But we do not despair, we do give up Hope that Goodness will prevail that God will lead us from darkness of chaos to Light Peace and Harmony.

    God Bless our city Mumbai!

    God Bless India!
Quoted above in totoCardinal of Mumbai: “Criminal acts against a courageous and tolerant city”.

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My College Buddy's Exposé of the Public School "Crisis in Discipline"


And gets profiled by our local newspaper — Sunday Profile: Crisis spurs teacher’s memoir. Some excerpts from his book, My First Year In Purgatory by M. Clabeaux, quoted in the article:
    Repeatedly, I’ve witnessed teachers driven out of classrooms by students they can’t control, bullies given free reign to torment the weak, and chaos that makes learning nearly impossible.... I persevere by seeing myself as defender of the meek, until the meek turn against me.... The longer I survive, the more I begin to suspect that all those movies and books about the ‘dedicated teacher who won over those tough kids’ are a myth; and that there is a crisis in discipline that can’t be solved by lone heroes.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Radical Ted Rall Sings the Praises of Traditional Conservatism

"For the sake of my long-suffering conservative friends as well as the country, it's time to unravel the conflation of conservatism and the Republican Party" — Consciousness of a Conservative. "A philosophy without a party" he calls it, defending and defining it thusly:
    Why do I care? Simple: America needs conservatives—real conservatives. Deficit hawks, America Firsters and get-that-dang-guvmint-outta-my-bizness types are essential watchdogs of fiscal responsibility and personal freedom. Moreover, ideological diversity sparks intellectual innovation.

    Traditional conservatism—to state the obvious, is there truly any other kind?—is, despite its flaws, a philosophy attractive to those who value the ideal of rugged individualism. Most recently articulated by Barry Goldwater after he retired from the Senate, conservatism is centered on small government, particularly on the federal level; its size, scope and powers are kept to a minimum in order to reduce infringement upon personal liberty, keep taxes low and thus encourage investment and free enterprise. Fiscal responsibility is the order of the day. Budgets must be balanced. Deficits are anathema.

    Conservatives believe that free markets create opportunities for hard-working people to succeed. They won't help you get ahead, but they'll keep nosy bureaucrats out of your hair while you're figuring out how to do it on your own. It's a bit Darwinian, but consider the advantages: You're free to do whatever you want in your personal life. As Goldwater said when asked about gays in the military: "You don't need to be straight to fight and die for your country, you just need to shoot straight."

    If Bush had been a conservative, he wouldn't have cut taxes without reducing spending. He would have been an isolationist. As Pat Buchanan says, America Firsters don't rush off to invade countries like Afghanistan and Iraq that pose no threat to the United States. Bush certainly wouldn't have authorized the National Security Administration's domestic spying program, gotten rid of habeas corpus, or infringed on states' rights by taking control of the National Guard away from state governors.

    Conservatism is far more appealing to the average American than the bastardized form that has driven Republican policy for more than half a century. In 2008, voters rejected neoconservatism, an arrogant brand of "exceptionalism" dedicated to preemptive warfare, defending Israel and empire building at the expense of all else.
[link via reader M. Joseph]

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The Deathbed Conversion of the Founder of Cultural Marxism

A report of "a significant public relations coup for the Catholic Church" — Communist Gramsci died a Catholic. From the story:
    "Gramsci's major contribution to Communist thought in the 20th century was his theory of 'cultural hegemony'. He held that it wasn't enough to dismantle capitalist economic and political structures, but one also had to attack the cultural system of meaning upon which 'bourgeois values' were based.

    "For Gramsci, that meant above all replacing Christianity with a Marxist inspired form of spirituality, combining in his view, the enlightened critique of religion found in Renaissance humanism with some of the specifically anti-Catholic thought of the Protestant Reformation," Allen writes.

    De Magistris insisted that as death neared, Gramsci abandoned these intellectual theories in order to return to the Church's embrace.

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Paul Gottfried on Turkish E.U. Entry

"The last reason I could imagine for keeping Turkey out of that cesspool of political correctness headquartered in Brussels is that the Turks are not sufficiently "democratic'" — A Narrative Too Far. He takes on the claim that "Europeans would upset their model progressive civilization by letting in Turks" and thereby "welcoming a nation whose social views are so 'ultraconservative' 'that they have not been common in Europe since the early nineteenth century.'"

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Incestous Child-Rape, Consensual Adulterous Sex, and Korean Justice

Brian in Jeollanam-do posts two stories that reflect poorly on the country, even more so that they come within days of each other. The first story is truly outrageous — Extended family members look after handicapped girl, repeatedly rape her, get suspended sentence in order to take care of her in lieu of parents. The second story is not outrageous, but will cause scandal to modern minds given the juxtaposition — South Korean actress may go to jail for committing adultery without being paid.

My thoughts? As for the first case, Korean judges are unwilling to take children from families and hand them over to the State, which is not a bad thing, although in the poor girl's case removal from the family is obviously in order. Abusus non tollit usum. As for the second case, I couldn't care less. There is no "right" to commit adultery. As "Baretta" used to say, "If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime."

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Thought Criminal Pardoned?

"One benefit from a generally terrifying economic crisis may be the demise of political correctness," suggests Scott McConnell — Bye-Bye PC?. He points to "the lack of serious complaint over the appointment of Larry Summers to one of Obama’s top economic advisory positions," a man who "was forced out of the presidency of Harvard because he noted that biological difference may play some part in the explanation for the relative dearth of women professors in the math and the physical sciences."

I think that just as the Powells, Rices, and Gonzalezes were not in any way "diverse," anyone associated with our third black president (these comments explain) could not possibly be "sexist." Obama the 'Magic Negro' works his wonders. Had the other McBama won and appointed Summers, we'd no doubt here a lot of stink. Had he won and been been wiser and appointed a Walter E. Williams or a Thomas Sowell, he would have gotten no credit, and rightly so, because these would have been appointed for their ability not their race.

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Bombay Burning

Following the horror as it unfolds — Terror Attacks in Mumbai; 80 Dead, over 900 Injured. Let us pray...

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The Science of God

Dinesh D'Souza suggests that "science, far from disproving God, seems to be pointing with ever-greater precision toward transcendence" — When Science Points To God. The author notes that "atheism seems to be losing its scientific confidence" and goes on sum some recent science:
    If you want to know why atheists seem to have given up the scientific card, the current issue of Discover magazine provides part of the answer. The magazine has an interesting story by Tim Folger which is titled “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator.” The article begins by noting “an extraordinary fact about the universe: its basic properties are uncannily suited for life.” As physicist Andrei Linde puts it, “We have a lot of really, really strange coincidences, and all of these coincidences are such that they make life possible.”

    Too many “coincidences,” however, imply a plot. Folger’s article shows that if the numerical values of the universe, from the speed of light to the strength of gravity, were even slightly different, there would be no universe and no life. Recently scientists have discovered that most of the matter and energy in the universe is made up of so-called “dark” matter and “dark” energy. It turns out that the quantity of dark energy seems precisely calibrated to make possible not only our universe but observers like us who can comprehend that universe.

    Even Steven Weinberg, the Nobel laureate in physics and an outspoken atheist, remarks that “this is fine-tuning that seems to be extreme, far beyond what you could imagine just having to accept as a mere accident.” And physicist Freeman Dyson draws the appropriate conclusion from the scientific evidence to date: “The universe in some sense knew we were coming.”

    Folger then admits that this line of reasoning makes a number of scientists very uncomfortable. “Physicists don’t like coincidences.” “They like even less the notion that life is somehow central to the universe, and yet recent discoveries are forcing them to confront that very idea.”

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ch’ü-fu (曲阜)

Voice of America has a report from the Sage's hometown — Confucius Draws Tourists to Chinese City of Qufu. It is a place "where one in five people is descended from Confucius." [I currently teach a Korean student surnamed Gong (孔) descended from him as well.] We are reminded that "Confucius was scorned by the early communists" and "[h]is grave, and those of his descendants, were vandalized in the Cultural Revolution."

I visited there eleven years ago, needing a place to stop midway between the two main destinations on my two-week trip, Peking and Shanghai, and paid homage at the rather humble Tomb of Confucius, pictured below:


I recall a very sleepy town, mine being the only Western face therein. I rented a bicycle at the gate of the large cemetery, the town's main attraction, and enjoyed the day immensely riding among the dead.

From The Useless Tree comes this "useful little bit on Confucianism" in the form of a VOA video featuring a Canadian Confucian scholar:

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Onward Catholic Samurai!


"A samurai carrying the cross is not a conventional image," says Vaticanologist Sandro Magister of the image above in his comprehensive report on "the 188 Japanese martyrs of the seventeenth century who were proclaimed blessed two days ago in Nagasaki" — The Samurai with the Cross. From the Acts of the Martyrs of Japan. "There were noblemen, priests – four of them – and one religious. But most of them were ordinary Christians: farmers, women, young people under the age of twenty, even small children, entire families. All of them were killed for refusing to renounce the Christian faith."

From the article, this brief history of Holy Mother Church in Japan:
    The beatification of "Fr. Peter Kibe and his 187 companions" – as the title of the ceremony put it – was the first ever celebrated in Japan. The new blesseds joined 42 Japanese saints and 395 blesseds, all of them martyrs, elevated to the honors of the altar beginning with Pius IX.

    The new blesseds were martyred between 1603 and 1639. At the time, there were about 300,000 Catholics in Japan, evangelized first by the Jesuits, with St. Francis Xavier, and then also by the Franciscans.

    The initial flowering of Christianity was followed by terrible persecutions. Many people were killed, with an unprecedented cruelty that did not spare women and children. In addition to the killings, the Catholic community was decimated by the apostasy of those who abjured the faith out of fear. But it was not annihilated. Part of it went underground, and kept the faith alive by transmitting it from parents to children for two centuries, even without bishops, priests, and sacraments. It is recounted that on Good Friday in 1865, ten thousand of these "kakure kirisitan," hidden Christians, emerged from the villages and presented themselves in Nagasaki to the astonished missionaries who had just recently regained access to Japan.

    As it had been three centuries before, in the beginning of the twentieth century Nagasaki again became the city with the strongest Catholic presence in Japan. On the eve of the second world war, two out of three Japanese Catholics lived in Nagasaki. But in 1945 came a terrible new extermination. This time it was not from persecution, but from the atomic bomb dropped on their city.

    Today, there are just over half a million Catholics in Japan. They are a small proportion in relation to a population of 126 million. But they are respected and influential, thanks in part to an extensive network of schools and universities. And if to those of Japanese birth are added the immigrants from other Asian countries, the number of Catholics doubles, and exceeds one million.
I've written about the city on numerous occasions, but these two posts stand out — Nagasaki and Me and Nagasaki, Mon Amour.

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Chinese Century?

Nope; Economics Professor Maria Sophia Aguirre explains how "economic growth and a massive recession rescue package cannot save China from the drastic effects of its one child policy" — China’s demographic doom. She concludes that "even if China could get richer before it gets old, the effects of aging on savings, investment, and productivity would make the levels of economic growth required to support an aging population unsustainable."

Articles to which I've linked before have said the same thing — Rural population may reverse China's growth and On Demographics, Part 1 “China will turn grey before it escapes poverty”.

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America's Second Black and First Asian President

"If Bill Clinton can be America’s first black president, why can’t Barack Obama be America’s first Asian-American president?" asks Andy Jackson, translating a Korean editorial that asserts that "Barack Obama fits that description" — Barack Obama: America’s first Asian-American president Here's the case:
    He grew up in an environment of Asian values in the Asian majority state of Hawaii and spent 4 formative years in Indonesia, where his mother would wake him up early to study for hours before sending him to school. He was then sent back to live with grandparents in Hawaii for the sole purpose of getting him into a good school, which would prepare him to get into a good university, and ultimately into Harvard. Does this sound familiar?

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The Economics of Divorce

"Divorce is an extremely bad economic decision," notes Ryan W. McMaken — Depression discourages divorce. Says the author, "The same extremely high time-preference that has led so many to divorce (in totally non-abusive situations) is what has also led so many to crushing debt loads and a negative savings rate."

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That Fake Chesterton Quote is Right Once Again

"When people stop believing in God," G. K. Chesterton is wrongly said to have said, "they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything," a truth illustrated by this headline — People Said to Believe in Aliens and Ghosts More Than God.

Of course, the article notes that the poll "was done by a marketing firm in conjunction with the release of an X-Files DVD, and details of how the poll was conducted were not reported." When people stop believing in God, they believe in polls as well.

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Tomatoes, Spinach, Red Wine, Nuts, Broccoli, Oats, Salmon, Garlic, Green Tea, and Blueberries

I like all of them — 10 Best Foods: Most Healthful Foods by Time. It's just that I like a lot of foods not on that list as well.

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The Anti-Christian State of Israel

One wonders how the neocon dupes at Catholic Friends of Israel would react to this story — Gaza Christians Going Without Mass:
    As Palestinians stranded in Gaza face a humanitarian disaster due to blocked borders, Christians there also face beginning Advent without Mass.

    Israeli authorities Sunday refused to allow the papal nuncio in Israel, Archbishop Antonio Franco, and two priests of the Latin patriarchate to enter Gaza to celebrate Mass.

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American Finance

Richard Daughty suggests that "the US way of finance involves running up vast debts through deficit spending while taking what we want and killing anybody that gets in our way" — Finance, the American way. The author, we learn, "is general partner and COO for Smith Consultant Group, serving the financial and medical communities, and the editor of The Mogambo Guru economic newsletter - an avocational exercise to heap disrespect on those who desperately deserve it."

His article is a comical fisking of an "essay 'Before Saving the US' at ChinaStakes.com, written by a guy named Xiang Songzuo." An excerpt:
    Then the article gets right in our American faces and keeps hammering at us: "Statistics show that America's internal and external debt exceeds $60 trillion, over 400% of the country's annual GDP of a bit over $14 trillion. Of that total, family debt (including mortgages), financial and non-financial firms' debt, and municipal and national debt come to about $15 trillion, $17 trillion, $22 trillion, $3.5 trillion, and $11 trillion, respectively, though it is hard to tell how these debts have been split up among foreign governments, financial firms, companies, and individuals."

    Naturally, as a proud American, I take the aggressive approach and sneer, saying, "So? Tell us something that we don't know! Hahaha!"

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Paulian Non-Interventionism

"The Golden Rule for other countries," as advocated by Congressman Ron Paul in this speech — A Foreign Policy of Freedom.

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The Old Right on Secretary of State Hillary

  • "His appointments augur ill," saith Justin Raimondo — Obama's Foreign Policy: The Case for Pessimism.


  • "No secretary of state will come to that office with stronger pro-Israel credentials or closer ties to the Jewish community than Sen. Hillary Clinton," says Srdja Trifkovic — The Price of Hillary.


  • "As with Lieberman, so long as Hillary is prepared to continue sending U.S. troops around the world to continue the neoconservative mission of American global empire, Clinton would be their gal," suggests Jack Hunter — The Neocons ♥ Hillary.


  • Leon Hadar, in contrast, "think[s] that Obama wants to take some bold steps on Israel/Palestine and on Iran and knows that such moves could put him on a collision course with supporters of Israel" and that he is "co-opt[ing] her and could even use her to sell his Mideast policy to skeptical American-Jews, etc." — The Obama Glass Totally Empty?
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    Karen Kwiatkowski Speaks

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    Catholics Among Puritans

    "The true story of Catholic recusants aboard the Mayflower, told by eyewitnesses," can be read by following Christine's link — Mayflower Screwballs.

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    Ah! The Glory That Was Byzantium!

    Follow Robert Koehler's link to some pretty amazing "computer reconstructions of Byzantine monuments in Byzantium in 1200 AD" — Byzantium 1200.

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    Monday, November 24, 2008

    Another Catholic Ethnic Republican from Louisiana

    We've gotten burned before (see Patrick Ford on Bobby Jindal), but it's hard not to like the man "who hopes to be the first Vietnamese American elected to Congress" — In New Orleans, beyond black and white politics. And when we read that he is "a modest man, with a soft, precise voice inflected with the accent of his homeland, a self-professed introvert with a fondness for Dostoevsky," we like him all the more.



    The Joseph Cao for Congress page tells us about "Joseph's Catholic Faith:"
      Many Vietnamese-Americans are devout Catholics. Joseph entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) after graduating from Baylor, finally arriving in Louisiana for the first time to begin his religious training at Grand Coteau. Joseph was sent to various parts of the world to minister to the poor and indigent during his first two years in the Society. In 1992 he came to New Orleans to study theology and philosophy, furthering his training for the priesthood. He subsequently was accepted to Fordham University in New York.

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    New Jerusalem, Mexico

    Linked to today by New Oxford Review is a story about what is purported to be "the largest and longest surviving of a string of traditionalist Catholic colonies that have sprung up around the world" — Infighting leaves Catholic colony in flux. The slideshow is not to be missed — New Jerusalem, Mexico.

    The "30-foot-high padlocked gate with turrets" is an idea that's starting to sound better and better. And who could complain about "a massive cross and an 11-story tower [that] loom over a statue of a knight in armor," "[b]ell towers and domes ris[ing] from fields of sugar cane," or "[w]omen in Renaissance garb parad[ing] through the streets, chanting prayers?"

    However, the fact that "soccer balls and alcohol are forbidden," as are as "TVs, radios, makeup [and] nail polish," might be worrisome. (I agree about TV, though.) More worrsisome, perhaps, is the fact that "many people believe the end of the world is just around the corner," although it is a belief that I share. This is a healthy idea for an individual to hold but can become dangerous when groups adhere to it. Also, that the community "preached chastity, discouraged new marriages and advised against having children" is highly questionable.

    The "series of schisms and purges," which are the main focus of the article, come as no surprise. They are the natural result of separation from the Bishop of Rome.

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    Thanksgiving for the Collapse of Communism in Colonial America

    "The Puritans were the Bolsheviks of 17th century England," wrote by John Ball a while ago— How Gatsby Skinned His Head. Said the author, "The Puritans committed regicide, launched a civil war, established a military dictatorship,destroyed the better part of the nation’s religious artwork, confused material progress with an inexorable historical plan, and-- most un-English and un-Russian vice of all-- had precious little sense of humour."

    Murray N. Rothbard, in What Really Happened at Plymouth, explained what happened when they reached our shores, and how what it took the Soviets to learn in seven decades Americans learned in three years:
      In mid-December 1620 the Mayflower landed at Plymouth. In a duplication of the terrible hardships of the first Virginia settlers, half of the colonists were dead by the end of the first winter. In mid-1621 John Peirce and Associates obtained a patent from the Council for New England, granting the company 100 acres of land for each settler and 1,500 acres compulsorily reserved for public use. In return, the Council was to receive a yearly quitrent of two shillings per 100 acres.

      A major reason for the persistent hardships, for the "starving time," in Plymouth as before in Jamestown, was the communism imposed by the company. Finally, in order to survive, the colony in 1623 permitted each family to cultivate a small private plot of land for their individual use.
    Concluded Gary North in Thanksgiving and Marginal Utility:
      About half of the Pilgrims who arrived in Plymouth in 1620 were dead a year later. The Indians really did save the colony by showing the first winter’s survivors what to plant and how to plant it in the spring of 1621. The Pilgrims really did rejoice at that festival. They were lucky – graced, they would have said – to be alive.

      So are we. Ludwig von Mises wrote in Human Action (VIII:8) that social Darwinism was wrong. The principle of the survival of the fittest does not apply to the free market social order. The free market’s division of labor has enabled millions of people to survive – today, billions – who would otherwise have perished.

      So, give thanks to God today, even if your only god is the free market. You did not obtain all that you possess all by yourself. The might of your hands did not secure it for you. A little humility is in order on this one day of the year. Yes, even if you earned a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago.

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    A Sailerian Definition of Civilization

    Steve Sailer posts today about a country "which was long a major force in classical music (which is perhaps the most straightforward measure of civilizational level)" — Israel's evolution. If "classical music... is perhaps the most straightforward measure of civilizational level," then I am living in a pretty civilized country.

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    Yong-in City's Mohyeon Catholic Parish

    Behold, a church building constructed this year that stands the test of time — 천주교용인모현성당.

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    The Holy See, the Fab Four, and the Fourth Estate

    You may have seen headlines like these today — Vatican forgives John Lennon for Jesus quip and Vatican: Beatles music better than today's songs. Uninformed Catholics and non-Catholics alike might glance at these headlines and conclude that an ex cathedra promulgation of a new dogma of the Church has occured. "Roma locuta est. Causa finita est," some might be tempted to say. The Marxist-Lennonist Anthem with its calls for "no Heaven" and "no religion" could well be heard (if it hasn't been heard already), one might think, at next week's Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on the First Sunday of Advent.

    Fortunately, Terri Nelson has set the record straight reminding us that "[j]ust because secular media announces that the Vatican said this or that does NOT mean it is an official Church statement, announcement, or teaching" — The Vatican says, the Vatican said, the Vatican, the Vatican. "There are a lot of people who work in the Vatican who shoot their mouth off and the press loves to pick it up and distort it," says Mr. Nelson. He notes that in this latest case of a familiar phenomenon, what happened was simply that "the Vatican newspaper, Roman Observer, in their efforts seeking to update itself and be more ‘with it’, published a commentary for the anniversary of the release of the Beatles 'White Album.'" ("Myth #1: Single-Mindedness" and "Myth #2: Absolute Control" from the Top Five Vatican Myths By John Allen come to mind.)

    As a Catholic and a Beatle-fan, regarding the "bigger than Jesus" controversy described in the former article, I have also always thought "the remark a 'boast' by a young man grappling with sudden fame." It never scandalized me. And I could not agree more with the statement from the latter article about "how creative the Beatles were, compared with what it called the 'standardized, stereotypical' songs being produced today."

    Evidence of said creativity in the form of a video of what is perhaps my favorite song of theirs:

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    Schooling Congress in the Austrian School

    Who but Congressman Ron Paul would attempt such a thing? — The Austrians Were Right. Some excerpts:
      Except for a rare few, Members of Congress are unaware of Austrian Free Market economics. For the last 80 years, the legislative, judiciary and executive branches of our government have been totally influenced by Keynesian economics. If they had had any understanding of the Austrian economic explanation of the business cycle, they would have never permitted the dangerous bubbles that always lead to painful corrections.

      [....]

      Although it is obvious that the Keynesians were all wrong and interventionism and central economic planning don’t work, whom are we listening to for advice on getting us out of this mess? Unfortunately, it’s the Keynesians, the socialists, and big-government proponents.

      Who’s being ignored? The Austrian free-market economists – the very ones who predicted not only the Great Depression, but the calamity we’re dealing with today. If the crisis was predictable and is explainable, why did no one listen? It’s because too many politicians believed that a free lunch was possible and a new economic paradigm had arrived. But we’ve heard that one before – like the philosopher’s stone that could turn lead into gold. Prosperity without work is a dream of the ages.

      [....]

      The good news is that Austrian economists are gaining more acceptance every day and have a greater chance of influencing our future than they’ve had for a long time.

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    The Audacity of Schadenfreude

  • "While the liberal intelligentsia was swooning over Barack Obama during his presidential campaign, I counseled 'prepare to be disappointed,'" says the man who got my vote — The Third Clinton Administration. He goes on to note, "Now this same intelligentsia is beginning to howl over Obama’s transition team and early choices to run his Administration."


  • "In short, Mr. President-elect," concludes Heather Wokusch, "you promised 'Change we can believe in,' but across the board it's looking a lot more like 'Business as usual" — You're Scaring Me, Obama: Let the Bush Years Die.


  • I can't but feel some pleasure in watching the "liberal intelligentsia howl." Of course, they won't be disappointed by the next president's social policies, just his foreign ones, on which we share some agreement with the leftists among the "liberal intelligentsia."

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    Thomas Han Hong-Soon

    "Benedict XVI has appointed [him' as the Vatican's international controller for the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See" — Korean Economist to Review Vatican's Books. He is a "professor of economics at the College of Business and Economics of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul" and "president of the Catholic Lay Apostolate Council of Korea."

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    Pray for the Veep-Elect's Troubled Conscience

    That it keeps troubling him — Biden experiencing troubled conscience over abortion, says Bishop Aquila. Said His Excellency, "The nice thing about Biden, at least he says his conscience bothers him, which is good." Could God, Who writes with crooked lines, have placed a Trojan Horse in the Obama Administration?

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    Northern Light

    A report from the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska — Dominican rite aims to shine from the ‘dark ages’. In addition to "the successful emergence of the Dominican rite locally," "the Anchorage Archdiocese is also hoping to provide regular celebrations of the Tridentine Latin Mass."

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    Sunday, November 23, 2008

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    Saturday, November 22, 2008

    A Legacy, However Small, Emerges

    "The lame duck period of any politician's career can be a revealing time," says a Vox Novan, suggesting that "a politician becomes more free to let his true convictions (or lack therefore) show forth" — Lame Duck, Pro-Life. He singles out the "last-minute Bush administration plan to grant sweeping new protections to health care providers who oppose abortion and other procedures on religious or moral grounds."

    Thank you Mr. President. However, the election of Barack Hussein Obama and all that entails is your true legacy. It might have all turned out differnetly had only you followed your own words from the Presidential Debate - October 12, 2000, when you made one of the truest foreign policy statements of our times ─ "If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us; if we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us."

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    The Good War?

    David R. Henderson makes the case against it — The libertarian case against the war in Afghanistan. He concludes, "Wouldn’t it be better simply to regard the 9/11 attackers and those behind them as criminals and to mount a serious attempt to bring those criminals to justice?"

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    "Who Killed the U.S. Auto Industry?"

    Patrick J. Buchanan explains that it wasn't that "arrogant corporate chiefs failed to foresee the demand for small, fuel-efficient cars and made gas-guzzling road-hog SUV’s no one wanted, while the clever, far-sighted Japanese, Germans, and Koreans prepared and built for the future" — How Washington Ruined Detroit. He rather blames "the government of the United States, politicians, journalists, and muckrakers who have long harbored a deep animus against the manufacturing class that ran the smokestack industries that won World War II."

    These comments of mine suggest another factor he may have forgotten:
      Most of the imported cars in America come from three countries: Japan, South Korea, and Germany. What do these countries have in common? They’ve all benefited from having their defense subsidized by Uncle Sam, thereby freeing up public monies to invest in industries and welfare.

      America, in turn, in “exchange” for protecting these countries, has openned up its markets to their products, regardless of whether this is reciprocated or not.

      Libertarian Ivan Eland pointed out the absurdity of this arrangement in Ungrateful Allies:

      “Despite plundering their colonies at gunpoint (for example, the Spanish Empire looted the gold from Latin America) and creating sheltered markets for their goods overseas (for example, British mercantilism), even the formal empires of old were not cost-effective, according to classical economists. The informal U.S. Empire that defends other countries abroad using alliances, military bases, the permanent stationing of U.S. troops on foreign soil, and profligate military interventions is even more cost-ineffective. U.S. forces cannot plunder, and rich allies, such as South Korea, excessively restrict their markets to U.S. goods and services.”

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    Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue

    Two stories — Pope Clarifies Luther's Idea of Justification and Lutheran Welcomes Papal Comments on Justification. The second article reminds us that "Lutherans and Catholics have officially professed a common faith on the doctrine of justification, signing a joint statement Oct. 31, 1999."

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    Turnabout?

    Perhaps it is time for heterosexuals to sue gay websites for not catering to us — Christian-Founded Dating Website eHarmony Forced to Cater to Homosexuals.

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    Islam and the Gold Standard

    Asif Salahuddin asks, "[I]f the banker's currency is not backed up by gold or silver, why is it worth anything, considering that at the end of the day it is just bits of paper?" — The evil of the US dollar.

    He says that the "injection of readily created capital may stave of the banks from collapsing at the moment, but in reality all that has happened is that the problem or debt is being passed from one entity to another." The result is that "inflation is taking root as ever more paper currency is chasing a static number of goods and services" and the author suggests that "this is theft, and a theft on a colossal and universal scale." His solution is "an Islamic economic system, [in which] the gold standard is compulsory, thereby preventing the generation of unsupported paper currency."

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    Korean Church Order News

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    Monday's Japanese Mass-Beatification Mass

    "Among the 188 to be beatified, 4 are priests, one is a religious, and the majority - 183 - are laypeople: some nobles, some respected samurai, common people, farmers, and even adolescents and children" — The 188 Japanese martyrs, like the martyrs of the early centuries.

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    "The War Is Over"

    Thus declares zombietime, an appropriately named neocon website — Victory in Iraq Day, November 22, 2008. How today would be any different from yesterday, he did not say when he made the announcement some time ago.

    Reads the declaration of victory: "The United States and coalition forces have conclusively defeated all enemies in Iraq, pacified the country, deposed the previous regime, successfully helped to establish a new functioning democratic government, and suppressed any lingering insurgencies."

    I suppose one could say we "defeated all enemies in Iraq" and "pacified the country" by creating a climate that sent half of the country's Christian minority fleeing to Syria; it's just that the "enemies" were those of al Qaeda and "pacification" has meant creating a more homogeneously Islamic country. And it also is true that we "deposed the previous regime," one which neither attacked us nor had the means to do so, replacing it with one allied to Teheran. So, let the Iranians celebrate "VI Day," knowing that their victory was paid for at the cost of thousands of American lives (and ten or hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives), three trillion American dollars, and loss of American values, ancient liberties, and prestige around the world.

    And while we're at it, why not celebrate "VI Day" the way the Koreans are — Zaytun unit getting ready to return home. Korean relationship with Iraq to change. However, Tom Engelhardt explains why that may not be so easy — Too Much Stuff: How Our Profligate Consumerism Might Keep Us in Iraq.

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    Friday, November 21, 2008

    Today's Marian Feast


    We remember when the Blessed Virgin Mary "was presented in the temple at Jerusalem by her pious parents, Joachim and Ann, there to be educated in the service and the law of the Lord in order that she might be guarded against the defilements of the world" — Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin.
      O God, Who wast pleased that the blessed Mary, ever virgin, the habitation of the Holy Ghost, should on this day be presented in the temple, grant, we beseech Thee, that by her intercession we may deserve to be presented in the temple of Thy glory. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

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    Today's Austrian Economics Lessons from LRC

  • Lew Rockwell interviews Peter Schiff in a fascinating and informative discussion — How the Government Wrecked the Economy.


  • "Discovering the Austrian business cycle theory, then, is a revelation," says Jeffrey Tucker, "because through it, you learn how the whole business traces to loose money and credit generated by the Fed" — Business Cycles, Not Our Fault.


  • Twenty-nine years ago today, Congressman Ron Paul explained to his colleagues that "a vote for aid to Chrysler, because it is a vote for inflation, is also a vote for more unemployment" — The Chrysler Bailout.
  • Labels:

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    Ron Paul vs. the un-American Empire

    An excerpt from a "people's interview with Ron Paul" — The Libertarian Statesman:
      I want our troops here, defending our territory; I want nuclear submarines and an adequate arsenal of weapons that can repeal any conceivable attack. What I don’t want to do is spend a trillion dollars a year maintaining an empire.

      Today, our troops are in 130 countries. We have 700 foreign bases. We can spend far less and have a stronger national defense than we do right now. But if you question our foreign policy, you are branded as un-American. And we’re told that if we don’t “fight them over there, we’ll fight them over here.” That’s absurd.

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    The Audacity of False Hope

    The latest from Jeremy Scahill, who "pledges to be the same journalist under an Obama administration that he was during Bill Clinton and George Bush's presidencies" — This is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama's White House.

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    A Confucian at Chronicles

    Confucius’ Rectification of Names comes to mind reading William Murchison's piece — Calling Things By Their Right Names. An excerpt:
      The language of the gay marriage protesters is deliberately subversive. All they want, supposedly, is a crack in the legal door wide enough to admit partners of the same sex. That would be “marriage”? Not at all. It would be something wholly new in human experience, with consequences beyond imagining. You might as well call a lamppost a bottle of chardonnay as call the union of two gay people a marriage, howsoever kindly the two parties involved, howsoever generous and public-spirited. It’s not about them; it’s about us all.

      Words like “honor” and “truth”—yes, and “marriage”—aren’t just combinations of vowels and consonants. They have lives of their own. They point to how a thing is, not in opinion merely, but in reality. The joy of renaming a thing, of course, is that of reinventing it, substituting a wholly new “reality.”
    Said the Sage, "If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything."

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    Father Pietro Kassui Kibe and Compansions

    Beatified Monday will be those whom His Eminence Cardinal Peter Seichi Shirayanagi hails as "exemplary in their observance of social order, who did not hesitate to refuse submission to the decrees of the shogun and of the daimyos when these were opposed to the faith and the dignity of the human person" — The 188 martyrs, an expansion opportunity for the Japanese Church.

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    I ♥ North Gyeongsang Province

    I live in a province that is "blessed with the natural beauty" and "region[s] holding a lot of relics from Confucian traditions" — Yeongju, Where Confucian Values Reside. Writes Chung Ah-young, "In this fast-changing era of information and technology, the region offers a glimpse of the mental and ethical values of olden times."

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    American Chaebols

    In what the author insists "isn't a bash-Korea column," William Pesek details an economic picture "[t]hat goes as much for Korea in the late 1990s as the U.S. now" — World Is Turning Korean First, Then Japanese. Specifically, he looks at "the dark side of an economy monopolized by a handful of omnipotent, politically connected powers:"
      They sucked up the air start-ups need to increase innovation and create jobs. Worse, they took risky bets and over-expanded recklessly. When they crashed in the mid-to-late 1990s, they brought an entire economy down with them.

      Doesn't that sound a lot like the U.S. these days? As Wall Street's excesses went wrong, losses spilled over onto the laps of average households. While consumers who bought bigger houses than they could afford are also to blame, Wall Street proved more fragile than many pessimists expected.

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    An Indian Nun's Ordeal in the Anti-Christian Pogram

    This happened while police looked on — 40 men gang-raped me, says nun Sister Meena. To add insult to unspeakable injury, "hundreds of women from the Rashtriya Sevika Samiti - a group that forms part of the hardline Hindu Sangh Parivar - staged a protest in Orissa's capital Bhubaneswar, demanding the nun be arrested for lying about her rape."

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    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    Philippe Némo's Definition of the West

    Virgil P. Nemoianu summarizes the French thinker's "five historical features which are indispensable in order to label some part of our globe as belonging to the 'West'" — Again, What is the West?:
      1) The invention of the “City” (polis) and of freedom under the law, along with the emergence of science and of an educational system in Ancient Greece; 2) the invention of a law system, of private property, of the “human person” and of humanism in republican Rome; 3) the ethical and eschatological revolution brought about by the Bible; the prevalence of charity over justice; the intensive increase of linear time by the acceptance of eschatology (i.e. the actual appearance of History); 4) the “Papal revolution” of the 11th-13th centuries founded on the tight synthesis of “Athens,” “Rome,” and “Jerusalem”; 5) The revolution in science, economy, and politics triggered in Holland, England, North America, France, and soon replicated elsewhere which was conducive to “modernization” and the avant-garde position of the geographical areas where all five features were present.

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    More Wisdom From Professor Clyde N. Wilson

    Some gleanings from his latest — Repeat After Me:
      I don’t advocate bailing out anybody, but it is curious that our rulers will bail out immensely wealthy people who speculate in pieces of paper and not people who actually make things.

      If our ruling spokespersons really believe that Americans are “an indispensable people,” then why are they replacing us with foreigners?

      How our Congresspersons like to argue about how to spend money that they don’t have and does not even exist yet!

      I don’t know about you, but unlike all the people who now claim they were honestly misled, I never believed Iraq had anything to do with 9/11.

      Call me backward and provincial, but I don’t see why my Southern city needs an ice hockey stadium and team, especially with taxpayer subsidy.

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    From Messiah to Super-Hero

    Two headlines that indicate our president-elect may be being demoted — Is Obama the Muslim World's Superman? and Obama: The New Captain America? At this rate, it won't be long before he's a mere mortal.

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    Breaking Bread

    Njei Moses Timah's "personal account from Cameroon" is well worth your time — Learning Generosity From a Man in Need.

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    North Korea's Gulag Archipelago

    Survivor Lim Jong Soo, who was imprisoned in 1967 "due to his father’s crime according to the guilt-by-association system," describes the "atrocious, degrading and often fatal conditions" of one camp — 100,000 Prisoners Detained in "No. 18 Political Prison Camp". Horros include "children [being] iron-branded on the abdomen with a symbol of the camp," "teachers try[ing] to instill animosity towards parents," "search[ing] the anus and genitals of the women using sticks," and forced abortions by "inject[ing] up to 200cc of disinfectant with a needle."

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    Arzigul Tursun's Baby Saved

    The efforts of "overseas Uyghur groups as well as two members of the US Congress who made personal appeals to the Chinese ambassador" have saved a life, it seems — Uyghur woman forced into hospital for an abortion goes home.

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    Orthodoxy as "Primitive" as the Religions of Asiatics and Africans


    Is that not the demeaning and insulting (and I daresay racist) message of the hideous clip above from Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein's Oktyabr (1928)? At least commie atheists were more honest back then about how they really felt about non-European peoples.

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    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    Ron Paul Defends Catholic Church from "Freedom of Choice Act"

    The latest installment of the Good Doctor's Texas Straight Talk weekly column deserves as wide an audience as possible — Restricting Freedoms and Choices. The column demands to be read in its entirety, but I will reprint only this excerpt:
      With its strident rhetoric toward reestablishing the so called “pro-choice” agenda, the incoming administration has threatened a whole host of policies that would not only reduce restrictions on abortion, but would actually force people who wish to avoid participating in the procedure to support it.

      As a physician who has delivered over 4,000 babies I am very disturbed by the continued efforts of those on the left to establish absolute rights to abortion. However, even more distressing is the notion that taxpayers should be forced to subsidize life-ending procedures such as abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

      In addition to the news that those who will benefit from federally-funded stem cell research have seen an uptick in their financial position as a result of the election, comes news from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that many health care facilities under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church may be shut down as a result of the so-called “Freedom of Choice Act” for refusal to perform
    The Church, if I might be so bold as to speak for her, thanks this Baptist for coming to her defense, when many of her own sons, like the incoming veep, have abandoned their own mother to the wolves. Closer every day seems Soloviev's Apocalypse, in which "resistance comes from Pope Peter II, John the Elder, leader of the Orthodox, and Professor Ernst Pauli, representing Protestantism" and under the "pressure of persecution the three churches in this eschatological situation at last unite."

    Religious rightists, Catholics among them, and left-libertarians, who might be equally perplexed by Dr. Ron Paul's position on this issue, would do well take a look at these articles by others of a similar mindset — The Libertarian Case Against Abortion and The Free Market Case Against Abortion. Republican loyalists might want to ponder why Congressman Ron Paul's Sanctity of Life Act never went anywhere even when their party controlled all three branches of the federal government.

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    Korean Cybermob Backlash Against Miss Moon's Charity


    My Young Lady of the Week last week is this week under attack after having "wowed fans with the surprise revelation of her secret donations to the poor"— Actress Moon Becomes Cyber Bullying Target.

    You may remember that "[d]espite the actress’s requests to keep her name secret, the charity group, after being harassed by the press, finally confirmed the 21-year-old donor was Moon." Now, she has been "subject to cyber attacks by people who called her donations politically motivated." Among those "belittling the donations as a way to enhance her reputation and her career" was a man described as a "neo-Nazi" by one of my students this morning:
      Also, a conservative columnist claimed Moon’s donations promoted communism in Korea, citing her late grandfather’s pro-North activities. Her late grandfather Ryu Nak-jin was a pro-communism guerrilla in the South during and after the Korean War (1950-1953) and refused to convert right up to his death in 2005.

      In an article, Ji Man-won, said, ``This is part of communist-led psychological warfare aimed to beautify a descendant of the communist. Articles speaking highly of her donations help make people respect communists as activists striving to reunite the two Koreas.’’
    As a "conservative" and author of a blog-post "speaking highly of her donations," I issue a public apology and self-criticism for contributing to "communist-led psychological warfare aimed to beautify a descendant of [a] communist."

    In all seriousness, I knew of Miss Moon's red ancestry and found it a bit noteworthy that someone from such a background sould care to help the poor personally, rather than advocate State monopolization of charity through confiscation and redistribution, or, à la Shining Path, actively fight against charity to realize Lenin's "the worse, the better" maxim.

    Also in all seriousness, I cannot understand why Koreans take "malicious comments on the Internet" so seriously. Akple (악플), a Korean neologism from the Sino-Korean "ak" () meaning "evil" and the verb "reply" from English, are considered to be a serious social issue in the country. Malicious Internet comments tend to be ignored by Americans and rightly seen as the ravings of social misfits. My students even suggest that most of these comments come from elementary school students. And yet, such comments have been implicated in celebrity suicides and calls for a legally-enforced Internet Real Name System have been heard for years.

    Methinks the Confucian and Korean emphasis on harmony is not only the reason behind the (over-)reaction to malicious comments but also, perversely, their cause. If there is not unanimity of agreement, Koreans feel uncomfortable. This emphasis on harmony can be "suffocating" (to borrow a word a Korean friend once used), and the temptation to lash out in anonymity online becomes all the more appealing.

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    Could the Latin Mass Save Korea from Extinction?

    Contained at the end of a report that "as more women choose to delay marriage and pursue a career" Korea has become "the most rapidly aging nation in the world" — Birthrate Halved for 20-Somethings — is the contradictory news that "the number of people with religious beliefs has increased at a steady pace over the past 10 years, with Catholics growing the fastest." The report states, "The number of Catholics nearly doubled to 5.14 million in 2005 from 2.95 million a decade ago, accounting for 10.9 percent of the total population, up from 6.6 percent in 1995."

    When home, I make it a point to assist a Traditional Latin Mass, as of yet unoffered in Korea, and I am always struck by the number of three-, four- five-, six-, seven-, and eight-child families. The Tridentine Mass and Natalism seem to go hand-in-hand. The Gregorian Rite might just appeal to enough of Korea's 5.14 million Catholics to make them live their Catholic Faith more abundantly and be faithful to the first commandemnt given by God to Man to "be fruitful and mutliply." Summorum Pontificum just might have offered the last best hope for Korea.

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    Peace Studies in My Classroom

    The final chapter of Mosaic 2 Reading, the text used with our second semester freshman English course, is titled "Conflict and Reconciliation." As a partisan of "the peace-and-love left wing of paleoconservatism" (to borrow Bill Kauffman's phrasing), you would be correct to guess that it is one of my favorite units.

    Yesterday's post — From Holy Mother Russia With Love — was about a reading that gave me the opportunity to show YouTubes of not only the sinister but bombastic Гимн Советского Союза but also the heavenly and glorious Богородице Дево (see also A Kiwi Choir Sings Arvo Pärt's Bogoróditse Djévo). Today's readings also offered the opportunity to use video.

    A photo of one of my heroes, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, graces the chapter's first page, and an excerpt from The Courage for Peace by Louise Diamond about a Cypriot child reminded me of a scene from one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies, Gandhi (1982), depicting the Mahātmā's "fast unto death" in protest of Hindu-Muslim violence:



    Another reading, an excerpt from Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh, offered an opportunity to show this contemporary news clip of the events the Vietnamese Buddhist monk describes:



    From a theological standpoint, I could not disagree more with the content of the above videos; the first clearly advocates Relativism and the second ignores the fact that Suicide, for no matter the motivation, is a grave evil. The Christian Humanist in me, however, cannot but be moved by the profound statements in both.

    Had I the time or talent to go back to school, one of the candidate institutions would be the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies at Kyung Hee University.

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    Distributist Disagreement About the Big Three Bailout

  • On the pro side, The Distributist Review's Tom Laney argues that "there should be.... a bailout but the bailout must redress the faulty auto production systems" — Auto Bailout.


  • On the con side, The Distributist Voice's Roy F. Moore in opposition sites the "lack of domestic competition" noting that "[s]maller rivals like AMC, Nash, Studebaker and Checker were eliminated, one by one, thanks to the Big Three and Big Government joining together to squeeze them out" — NO AUTO INDUSTRY BAILOUT!


  • The Austrian School of Economics that monopolies result from State intervention in industry, so I agree with Mr. Moore. He is right that "the Big Three should be broken up into smaller companies, so as to reduce the specter of domestic monopoly in this industry." Letting them fail will accomplish this. Mr. Moore is also right that "any Federal restrictions on smaller car manufacturers – written in favor of the Big Three – should be repealed." Mr. Moore concludes, "The American auto industry, like so many others in the manufacturing sector, must be rebuilt on a foundation that favors smaller scale production, built on a cooperative basis, eliminate Socialist micro-management and over regulation, and promotes worker ownership and management of these companies."

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    Little Brother Is Watching You

    "A school in the South Korean capital offers courses on using hidden cameras to catch people committing minor offences" — Citizen spycam in Seoul. "The courses are intended to help South Koreans to cash in on a government 'report and reward' scheme in which people are paid for telling the authorities about fellow citizens breaking the law."

    Another troublesome development from the land that gave us Dog Poop Girl.

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    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    Paulian Compassionate Libertarianism

    Congressman Ron Paul tells the Grey Lady the first step he would take "toward reducing the size of the government" — Ron Paul Answers Your Questions: Part One:
      The first thing I would do, which could be done rather quickly, is change our foreign policy. If you add up all of our overseas expenditures, we spend nearly $1 trillion every year. We have bases in 130 countries, 50,000 troops in Germany, and our brave military men and women bogged down in two wars in the Middle East.

      By announcing that America will pursue a foreign policy of non-intervention, where we have trade, diplomacy, and travel — but where we don’t police the world and stay out of the internal affairs of other nations — we could cut that $1 trillion in half and still have a strong national defense to keep us safe. All that money we save could be used to address the entitlement system, making sure there will be funding there for people who have become dependent, while allowing young people to get out.
    Dr. Ron Paul, an internist by training, diagnoses the problem and prescribes the proper treatment. Much of the scare-mongering about the Good Doctor eliminating the "entitlement system" was just that, scare-mongering. Those of us who took the time to read his non-dogmatic and nuanced positions learned that he was always concerned with "making sure there will be funding there for people who have become dependent." Ironically, as America sinks into bankruptcy, a small government libertarian may have offered the last hope for those dependent on govenment programs.

    [link via A conservative blog for peace]

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    From Holy Mother Russia With Love

    As I do once a year, I used the prose poem below in my Freshman English class today:
      WHEN ONE PERSON REACHES OUT WITH LOVE

      In 1944, the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko's mother took him from Siberia to Moscow. They were among those who witnessed a procession of twenty-thousand German war prisoners marching through the streets of Moscow:

      The pavements swarmed with onlookers, cordoned off by soldiers and police. The crowd was mostly women -- Russian women with hands roughened by hard work, lips untouched by lipstick, and with thin hunched shoulders which had borne half of the burden of the war. Every one of them must have had a father or a husband, a brother or a son killed by the Germans. They gazed with hatred in the direction from which the column was to appear.

      At last we saw it. The generals marched at the head, massive chins stuck out, lips folded disdainfully, their whole demeanor meant to show superiority over their plebian victors.

      "'They smell of perfume, the bastards," someone in the crowd said with hatred. The women were clenching their fists. The soldiers and policemen had all they could do to hold them back.

      All at once something happened to them. They saw German soldiers, thin, unshaven, wearing dirty blood-stained bandages, hobbling on crutches or leaning on the shoulders of their comrades; the soldiers walked with their heads down. The street became dead silent -- the only sound was the shuffling of boots and the thumping of crutches.

      Then I saw an elderly women in broken-down boots push herself forward and touch a policeman's shoulder, saying, "Let me through." There must have been something about her that made him step aside. She went up to the column, took from inside her coat something wrapped in a colored handkerchief and unfolded it. It was a crust of black bread. She pushed it awkwardly into the pocket of a soldier, so exhausted that he was tottering on his feet. And now from every side women were running toward the soldiers, pushing into their hands bread, cigarettes, whatever they had. The soldiers were no longer enemies. They were people.


      A Precocious Autobiography, Yevgeny Yevtushenko (From Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers -- Love)

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    Reports of American Religiosity Greatly Exaggerated

    Michael Brendan Dougherty looks at recent suggestions that "American religiosity [is] responsible for making atheists unhappy" and suggests instead that "all people with firm convictions about metaphysical questions — religious and atheist alike — feel alienated from American society" — I Want to Believe (Just Not Too Much). Says the author, "American society may be too religious for atheists, but it’s a religion too shallow for many of the religious."

    Rod Dreher, in linking to the article, wonders whether "Americans treat faith as a vaccine: we get just enough of the stuff to prevent our souls from being 'infected' by the real thing" — Lord, help me believe -- but not just yet.

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    Lew Rockwell on the South Korean Textbook Brouhaha

    His comments — Censor Those High-School Textbooks! — were made in response to the story of a textbook that "argues that the Japanese occupation was followed not by a free, self-determining Korea, but by a divided peninsula dominated once again by foreign powers" — History textbook causes an uproar in South Korea:
      The US-backed regime in South Korea is outraged at high-school textbooks that tell the truth about the 63-year US occupation. The Ministry of Education demands that offending passages be censored because they "undermine the legitimacy of the South Korean government.... A textbook of modern history should be written in a way that does not hurt our national pride." The US Ministry of Education has the exact same policy, of course, for its far dumber high-school history books, but is less honest about it.

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    One Forced Abortion Among How Many Millions?

    The story of Arzigul Tursun, who is six and a half months pregnant — Uyghur woman forced into abortion with one-child law. She "is expecting her third child" (ethnic minorities in China "can have two children if they live in a city, and three if they live in rural areas"), "[h]er husband has denounced the case, and protests have erupted in the country and abroad."

    "One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic," the monster Joseph Stalin is said to have said. In a perverse way, he was right. And the same can be said about abortion, its reality made all the more clear thinking about the good Muslim Arzigul Tursun, "[i]n bed number 3 of the Water Gate Hospital in Gulja (Xinjiang)... under guard," listening to a nurse's explanation of the act: "We will give an injection first. Then she will experience abdominal pain, and the baby will come out by itself."

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    Monday, November 17, 2008

    Feminists vs. Confucians

    A custody battle resulting from the suicide of a Korean celebrity is serving as "a catalyst for the revision of the nation's patriarchal Parental Law," reports Bae Ji-sook — Parental Law Under Attack. "Confucians and conservative groups" say that no revision is necessary because "the relationship between children and parents are relations made in heaven." In contrast, "women's rights groups and Internet users... are demanding a relevant law revision" and want to get courts involved.

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    The Bush Administration's Radical Feminism and the Family

    Allan Carlson concludes that "whenever natural family values went up against the war in Iraq, the manpower needs of the Pentagon, corporate interests, or even political expediency, there was no contest: families were ignored," quoted here by Christopher Manion — Leading Pro-Family Advocate Now Admits: Bush A Disaster. Specifically, the author notes that "the Army ignored the lessons of all human history and put women—including young mothers—at risk, a shameful blot on the American record." This paragraph stands out:
      The administration’s deliberate twisting of gender roles was on gruesome display in the case of Jessica Lynch, in which Pentagon propagandists blatantly lied about her capture in the early days of the Iraq War, turning a frightened victim of Iraqi sexual abuse into a female version of Sergeant York. Private Lynndie England’s infamous exploits in the Abu Ghraib prison were another sign of the Pentagon’s direct complicity in the feminist-inspired degradation of American women.
    "The Sage of Batavia," Bill Kauffman, had it figured out as far back as 2003, decrying "the perverse and heart-wrenchingly anti-family policies of Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney," as well as the "the silence of the courtiers and grant-grubbers of Establishment Conservatism, whose mingled nescience and cowardice testify to the gutlessness and wicked stupidity of what passes for the Right" — George Bush, the Anti-Family President.

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    A Final Solution for Orissa's Christians?

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    Saturday, November 15, 2008

    Sancte Alberte Magne, Ora Pro Nobis


    Remembered today is — Saint Albert the Great, the man who "[i]ntroduced Greek and Arabic science and philosophy to medieval Europe" and was "[k]nown for his wide interest in what became known later as the natural sciences - botany, biology, etc." Interesting that he was bishop of the place where eight centuries His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI was to give his groundbreaking remarks at the Meeting with the representatives of science at the University of Regensburg. St. Albert the Great "was known as the 'teacher of everything there is to know' [and] was a scientist long before the age of science."

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    Foreign Entanglements With Murderous Thugs

    Nothing new, just more evidence from the Korean War "that some of the worst atrocities, blamed at the time on the enemy, were in fact committed by our side - and we knew it" — South Korea owns up to brutal past. The report states, "The massacres of civilians during the Korean War... total 100,000, which the commission says is a conservative estimate." Below, a chilling photograph taken as "a man turns his head to those about to kill him during the murder of thousands of prisoners by South Korea at Taejon in 1950:"


    The report notes that "American commander-in-chief, Douglas MacArthur, got a report about the killings, but there is no evidence that he tried to halt them, or investigate." I was unaware of this atrocity committed in my wife's hometown, a city I lived in for three years: "870 members of the Bodo League [an official 're-education' movement] executed at Ulsan."

    Of course, "massacres by North Koreans and local leftists" were also documented in what was a fratricidal civil war that was none of America's business. It was also a war not in our interest, and our participation was unconstitutional, a first. We should have stayed home.

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    Young Lady of the Week


    Pictured above, Moon Geun Young (文根英), a 21-year-old Korean actress once known as the "nation’s little sister" (國民女同生) has been exposed as the country's top charity donor — Moon Geun-young's Quiet Charity Revealed. She seems to have taken seriously Our Lord's injunction from the Gospel According to Saint Matthew Chapter 6:
      3 But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth. 4 That thy alms may be in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee.
    When news broke of an anonymous top charity-giver broke early this week, "the actress denied online rumors that she was the donor, but her agency okayed the disclosure, so the organization decided to make it public." She "has been donating all or part of her earnings from commercials, films and soap operas... to build children’s libraries and subsidize hospital costs for children suffering from leukaemia or cancer."

    She is also a student of Korean literature at the counry's oldest university, Sungkyunkwan University, "established in 1398 to offer prayers and memorials to Confucius and his disciples, and to promote the study of the Confucian canon."

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    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?

    The man who asked, "Who got the single most important foreign policy decision since the end of the Cold War right, and who got it wrong?" during the debates "may appoint someone 'who got it wrong' for Secretary of State," says Michael Brendan Dougherty — Obama to Betray Everyone Immediately.

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    Gong Li's New Citizenship and Thoughts on Legitimate Government

    The Chinese actress of whom I've been a fan ever since being flabbergasted by Da hong deng long gao gao gua (1991) has taken the oath of citizenship of one of the few countries for which I'd ever consider renouncing my American citizenship — Gong Li officially a Singapore citizen.


    As a Westerner, the idea of becoming a citizen of an ethnic nation state like Korea, where I have resided for more than a decade, is absurd. Foreigners like Robert Holley who have done so are ridiculous, in my opinion. However, becoming a subject of a monarchy, as Hendrick Hamel did in the 17th Century, makes sense.

    Becoming a citizen of a legitimate republic also makes sense. Singapore, "one of four remaining true city-states in the world," is a legitimate republic, unlike Korea, which is an illegitimate republic. Again, His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty Otto von Habsburg: "...I am a legitimist: I am for legitimate government. You could never have a monarchy in Switzerland, and it would be asinine to imagine Spain as a republic." It is asinine to imagine Korea as a republic (ROK), even moreso as a democratic republic (DPRK); the Korean peninsula has not had a legitimate government since the fall of the Chosŏn Dynasty.

    For the record, I'd also consider, should circumstances warrant, becoming a citizen of any Anglosphere country, or of many other genuine republics or monarchies, but not of any ethnic nation state, across the globe. The idea of the nation-state is one that has never captured my imagination, arising as it did from the inglorious French Revolution.

    All this said, I have no intention whatsoever of renouncing my American citizenship.

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    Friday, November 14, 2008

    Tel Aviv to Remain Capital of the United States After Transition

    That much is made clear by our President-elect Abu Hussein's choice of chief of staff, a man, Mazin Qumsiyeh, Ph.D, notes, who is "the son of an Israeli terrorist, Benjamin M. Emanuel," and who himself "volunteered with the Israeli (not the US) army in 1991" — Rahm Emanuel joined IDF in Gulf War.

    Steve Sailer has more on a story that "has gotten little play in the press over the last week" — Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic tells Tel Aviv audience: "the guy who will be running the White House is essentially an Israeli". Mr. Sailer says that he "was going to say 'remarkably little play,' but then... realized there's nothing remarkable about it."

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    First They Came for The Mormons (Redux)

    At least one member of the lavendar left, Ryan J. Davis, has the decency and sense to suggest that "there are ways [they] can express [their] anger without another Kristallnacht" — Protest at Mormon Temple Not Best Messaging Method. That was written before these stories — Book of Mormon set ablaze on church door step and White powder sent to Mormon temples in Utah, LA.

    The Church has "strong, historical, and theological disagreements" with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; nevertheless, all American Catholics should associate themselves with the statement made in this video — Catholics Appalled at Anti-Mormon Slur.

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    Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.