Saturday, January 31, 2009
Change We Can Believe In
Friday, January 30, 2009
Fork-Tongued Reporters, Straight-Talkin' Grandma
Most of the article is devoted to the "growing questions about the medical ethics of the case." The "disapproval from some medical ethicists and fertility specialists" was not, of course, about in vitro fertilization, which is morally unnacceptable, but about the fact "that high-number multiple births endanger the mother and also frequently lead to long-term health and developmental problems for the children." These may be cause for concern but are entirely secondary to questions about the intrinsic evil of artificial insemination, which, it seems, can be made "ethical" by simply "aborting some of the fetuses."
The report states that the "father is going back to Iraq, where neighbors said he worked as a contractor, to help support the expanded family," which raises ethical questions of a whole different sort.
My Kind of Physics
In the floor above my office is the Asia Pacific Center for the Theoretical Physics, where works my newest friend, a post-doc researcher looking into light refraction in mist and crystals, another mystery that still remains to be solved. He's also a devout Catholic (an Ethiopian Orthodox gentleman also researches there) and has a blog — How To Think Like A Physicist.
Who Killed Ötzi?
Economic Do's and Don't's
Personalism, Not Individualism; Anarcho-Catholicism, Not Statism
(My offering from 2007 on the great woman — Anarcho-Catholicism: Dorothy Day's Day Has Come.)
Servant of God Dorothy Day, Pray For Us
A Grace Given
Nancy Pelosi's Invincible Ignorance
First, Madam Speaker is ignorant of economics; population is good. Second, she is ignorant of what motivates young poor women to have babies out of wedlock; she is projecting her upper middle class experience on the lower classes (if they get pregnant, it must be a mistake). It is frightening, but not surprsing, that a person so ignorant could hold so much power.
Classic Trojan Singles on the Jukebox
[link via Tea at Trianon]
- 1. A president who started two aggressive wars, who bears responsibility for the loss of thousands of American lives along with hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan lives, leaves office as a free man without a felony record or any negative repercussions.
2. Meanwhile, the same populace that has intimate experience with lying politicians appears utterly smitten with a smooth-talking new president promising change and demanding sacrifice.
3. The Congress, which had an approval rate of 14% and which just passed a $700 billion bailout over the objections of a majority of Americans, had a re-election rate exceeding 95%.
4. Untold millions of Americans voice support of military troops as these very people are needlessly killed, injured, and separated from their families and productive work at home.
5. A general populace believed that buying unproductive assets, like housing, could make them wealthy, forever, without any coherent explanation why.
6. Researchers who pursue alternative explanations for AIDS and cancer get their funding cut and have the results of their research squelched, while others who try to improve life by providing healthful foods find themselves under attack.
"Too Big to Succeed"
Austrianism seems to be right about the goverment role in monopoly creation, and Distributivism right about smallness.
Benicio del Toro's Interview Walkout
Humberto Fontova, author of Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him, has done a great job exposing the actor's (and countless others') infantile infatuation with the mass-murderer — Groovy Che?
[link via Vox Nova]
Brave New Britain
Mark Shea Contra Cafeteria Catholic Neo-conservatives
Globalist P'yŏngyang-style Mass Games
Huge Anglo-Catholic News!
Under the arrangement, the Traditional Anglican Communion would become a "personal prelature," i.e. "would answer to the Pope but keep their existing structure, clergy and some elements of Anglican identity" and "would be a beacon for Anglicans around the world dreaming of doctrinal stability and unity." As you know, since 1980 the pastoral provision known as Anglican Use has allowed new Catholics from that communion to "retain certain liturgical elements proper to the Anglican tradition."
All hail Pope Benedict XVI, Healer of Schisms!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Who Do Yoo Think Yoo Are?
Mr. Yoo is aghast that "[t]he CIA must now conduct interrogations according to the rules of the Army Field Manual" and that detainees "are to be protected from 'outrages on personal dignity' and 'humiliating and degrading treatment' in accord with the Geneva Conventions" (original scare quotes). He even refers to Enhanced Interrogation, a.k.a Verschärfte Vernehmung, as "the Bush system."
This profoundly un-American foreigner ends on a positive note, however, praising the new president's continued use of "the NSA's electronic surveillance programs" and "use of predator drones." And if he had read CounterPunch, he likely would not have felt the need to write his article in the first place — The Torture Ban That Doesn't Ban Torture.
Interesting that a man born under Park Chung-hee's military dictatorship should be so instrumental in staining America's reputation with torture. Blowback, we might say, for American support of that fascist régime in the '60s. Mr. Yoo's parents should have emigrated to one of the Latin American dictatorships at the time, as many other Koreans did. Is is too late to revoke his citizenship and deport him?
The WSJ Speaks Truth to Pelosi
- Ms. Pelosi's remarks ignore the importance of human capital, which is the ultimate resource. Fewer babies would move the U.S. in the demographic direction of Europe and Asia. On the Continent, birth rates already are effectively zero, and economists are predicting labor shortages in the years ahead. In Japan, where the population is aging very fast, workers are now encouraged to go home early to procreate. Japan is projected to lose 21% of its population by 2050.
The age and growth rate of a nation help determine its economic prosperity. A smaller workforce can result in less overall economic output. Without enough younger workers to replace retirees, health and pension costs can become debilitating. And when domestic markets shrink, so does capital investment. Whatever one's views on taxpayer subsidies for contraception, as economic stimulus the idea is loopy.
"The Grand Patriarch of Atheists"
A Darwinian Marriage
We all know the great evil his theory unleashed (cf. From Darwin to Hitler), but it's hard to hate a guy who maintained that "religion was for theologians, not for scientists" and could write "God bless you" to his wife. His wife, however, was dead wrong in asserting that "feeling, not reasoning" was what leads to faith.
America's Korean Entanglement
Austrian Economic Doomsaying
(The Austrian School, it should be remembered, predicted not only this current crisis but also the first Great Depression.)
The End of "Judeo-Christian Civilization"
The many good-faith efforts by Catholics — Fellay silences Williamson, Pope reaffirms solidarity with Jews, Pope reaches out to Jews angered by bishop's Holocaust statement, Vatican highlights pope's Holocaust condemnations, Holocaust denial by traditionalist bishop is unacceptable, says Vatican, Swiss bishops warn traditionalists on Holocaust denial, Pope reaffirms 'solidarity' with Jews amid row over bishop who denied Holocaust, Bishops criticise Holocaust denier — have been met by this — Chief Rabbinate breaks Vatican ties.
It should be remembered that neither the 1988 excommunications nor the lifting of the same last week had anything to do with Holocaust denial, so what this amounts to is Jewish interference in internal Catholic affairs. The current brouhaha is reminiscent of the controversy about the prayer for the conversion of the Jews from the Traditional Latin Mass's Good Friday, during which these words of Francis Cardinal George to the Jews were said: "Maybe this is an opening to say, 'Would you care to look at some of the Talmudic literature's description of Jesus as a bastard, and so on, and maybe make a few changes in some of that?'"
And those were the Talmudic descriptions that were left in; Stephen Hand today offers a timely link to a review of a book whose publisher confessed "is not going to go over well in certain circles" — What the Talmud Really Says About Jesus*. From the review:
- What exactly is so scandalous? How about Jesus punished in Hell for eternity by being made to sit in a cauldron of boiling excrement? That image appears in early manuscripts of the Babylonian Talmud, as does a brief account of Jesus' trial and execution—not by the Romans but by the Jewish high court, the Sanhedrin. The Jewish community, to the extent Jews were even aware of these excised texts, has been content to let them remain obscure and unknown.
- 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 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.
Rectification of Boys' Names
According to the report, "Boys in the United States with common names like Michael and David are less likely to commit crimes than those named Ernest or Ivan." The analysis: "While the names are likely not the cause of crime, the researchers argue that 'they are connected to factors that increase the tendency to commit crime, such as a disadvantaged home environment, residence in a county with low socioeconomic status, and households run by one parent.'"
It is well-known that parents are more conservative in naming their sons than they are with their daughters. It stands to reason that those who are adventerous with their sons' names may tend to be associated with the factors listed above. Parents would be wise to adapt Confucius’ Rectification of Names to the naming of their sons.
Make This a Thomistic Year!
For what its worth, I began fulfilling the pledge I made yesterday — The Dumb Ox in the Year of the Ox — and have picked up Aquinas's Shorter Summa again.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, ora pro nobis.
A Pretty Accurate Political Quiz
I am a right moderate social libertarian
Right: 5.75, Libertarian: 3.03
Political Spectrum Quiz
My Foreign Policy Views
Political Spectrum Quiz
My Culture War Stance
Political Spectrum Quiz
The Metropolitician's New Book
I'm no fashionista, but I approve of "the theme of [the] book, which is 60’s retro," which is the next best thing to another theme covered by the same colleague and mentioned in this post of mine — 1950s Fashion in Korea. He notes that "the trend of dainty and demure.... is a look that's never gone out of fashion," saying, "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."
An Interview With Andrew Bacevich
- My disenchantment with what passes for mainstream conservatism, embodied in the present Bush administration and its groupies, is just about absolute. … [M]y views have come to coincide with the critique long offered by the radical left: It is the mainstream itself, the professional liberals as well as professional conservative who define the problem.
Hard Truths About the Economy
To Russia With Love
The love seems to be mutual to a certain extent; Congressman Ron Paul has been on RT twenty-seven times, as a search of their site indicates.
Abu Ghraib, U.S.A.
- They were threatened by guards that they would be sexually assaulted with batons. They were forced to urinate and defecate on themselves. They were bloodied, had teeth knocked out, were beaten until they lost control of bodily functions, and beaten until they signed statements or confessions presented to them by prison officials. One inmate had a broken jaw, and another was placed in solitary confinement for eight years.
"Best Blog about Korean Culture in General, 2008"
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Death by Municipal Monopolists?
The authors, socialists (great for pointing out problems, terrible for proposing solutions), conclude, "What killed Schur is not just the indifference of local officials, but the form of social organization—capitalism—that places the profit drive of the financial aristocracy above basic human needs." I'm all for placing "basic human needs" above "the profit drive of the financial aristocracy," but this was a public company, was it not, a bureaucracy not an aristocracy?
Mayor Charles Brunner is quoted as saying, "We’ve gotten very creative in the ways we purchase power, but it’s a very complicated market and it’s an expensive market." Perhaps it's too complicated and expensive for government employees to figure out. One wonders if there were competition in utilities whether prices might be more affordable.
The authors note that "City Manager Robert Belleman has provoked particular outrage among residents by suggesting that Schur’s neighbors bear responsibility for failing to look after the elderly man." The outrage is understandable, but a bit misguided, as these comments from a local resident suggest: "How can the city manager claim that the neighbors had a civic responsibility to look after this man? What about the city’s civic responsibility to look after him?" Therein lies the problem, that people have handed over all "civic responsibility" to increasingly large and instrusive governments.
The socialist authors are right with this assessment, though: "Politicians of both parties have overseen the ruination of Michigan. In moments like the freezing death of Schur, they can scarcely conceal their contempt for the working class people they nominally represent." The "Planners" Hayek's Road to Serfdom warned us of oversaw the "ruination of Michigan" and the rest of the Rust Belt by imposing deindustrialization on us.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill
His Holiness' election "fuels hopes of rapprochement with the Roman Catholic Church" — Russian Orthodox Church elects 16th patriarch. "Kirill has visited the Vatican and made some conciliatory remarks," reports Megan K. Stack. "Despite general Orthodox wariness of Catholic intentions toward Russia, analysts say he may look for common ground with Pope Benedict XVI."
Grace in the Presence of Evil
The above two-year-old's last day on this earth was "a daylong torture session in which the toddler was beaten with belts, dunked in cold water and flung across a room so violently that she died," before which she "tried to stop her mother and stepfather from beating her to death by reaching out to her mother and saying, 'I love you'" — Jurors weep at details of 'Baby Grace' torture.
The Dumb Ox in the Year of the Ox
The Liturgy of the Hours reminded me this morning that today is the memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, pictured above from Fra Angelico's fresco. Comments from reader Pico Ultraorientalis "recommend the 'Dumb Ox' (Aquinas) as a medeval philosopher," suggesting that "[i]t's time to put the law under grace, anger under compassion, and to move on from childish things to spiritual maturity." He says, "A handy place to start this process of maturation is in the thick folios of the medevals, inclusive of the Jewish and Muslism philosophers."
The Year of the Ox, which began just two days ago, seems a good enough time to finish Aquinas's Shorter Summa, which for whatever reason I stopped midway through, and move on to Political Thought of Thomas Aquinas, which a friend left me. As our reader said, "[A]ll roads must eventually lead to, or at least through, the 'Dumb Ox'..."
President James Garfield's Son and the Sage
L’Étranger and Killing An Arab
Where Röpke and Schumacher Meet
- "Economics as if individuals mattered" is a reference to the subtitle of a collection of essays published by German economist (notice a trend here?) E.F. Schumacher, entitled Small Is Beautiful. Schumacher moved to England prior to World War II to escape Nazi Germany...
Schumacher believed that decentralism is necessary for an economically sustainable society. He advocated the application of human-scale values and respect for the environment to economic issues, and was a pioneer in what is now called appropriate technology: user-friendly and ecologically suitable technology applicable to the scale of communities.
Schumacher's model assumes that men and women have "higher obligations" than themselves. If one believes that there are no higher obligations, then everything - business, politics, art - simply become the means to gain and maintain power to order the world as one likes.
Ecce Quam Bonum et Quam Iucundum Habitare Fratres in Unum
One wonders, will those who recoil when Rome silences theologians who deny the divinity of Christ, and who surely welcome this silencing (as I do), be quick to forgive?
Brigadier General Rabbi Avichai Rontzki, War Criminal
Make Love, Not Work
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Do the Norks Read Donald Kirk?
Weaponized plutonium or not, benign neglect should be our true policy when it comes to North Korea. I'm rather surprised the neocons at One Free Korea and DPRK Studies haven't jumped on this story yet.
- In the view of Confucianism, the three incense sticks embody Heaven, Earth and mankind. But according to the Book of Changes, number three belongs to Yang, which is the symbol of heaven, sacredness, purity, restfulness and the origin of life, according to Venerables Thich Thanh Hue and Tue Nha’s book, “The customs and rites of thurification”.
Thurification is a practice I've long enjoyed. As a teenager, I used to buy some from our local Oriental gift shop. Incense, the Catholic Encyclopedia tells us, "with its sweet-smelling perfume and high-ascending smoke, is typical of the good Christian's prayer, which, enkindled in the heart by the fire of God's love and exhaling the odour of Christ, rises up a pleasing offering in His sight."
A Filipino and an Iranian Look to the Sage
Did President Obama Ban Torture?
The Week of Christian Unity in Korea
Reuters Covers the Healing of the S.S.P.X. Schism
Monday, January 26, 2009
Celibates and Natalists
- A single person is often met with enticing conversation-starters such as "Aren't you getting married? You should get married this year... Why don't you have a child?" as well as the unsubtle likes of, "Hurry up and have a baby."
- Tax benefits are not provided for single people, who also find it difficult to get loans from the national housing fund. The Ministry of Welfare does not acknowledge them in any of its programs, and no municipal or provincial government has ever introduced a measure specifically for their benefit....
We should also find room for them. Some single people pray for kid-free zones. Obsessed with its "children are the future" mentality, the nation is fostering dysfunctional families. On a bus one morning, a grandmother stands in the aisle and a man on his way to the office is also standing exhausted, while a mother sings and reads a fairytale aloud. The noise exceeds 70 dB, which is an unpleasant level in a cramped public space. Bringing a child to a bar and asking the other patrons not to smoke is an abuse.
She writes, "With the exception of priests, nuns, monks, and others who do not marry due to religious reasons, single people have traditionally been targets of hostility from the society at large." In Confucian Korea, even Buddhist monks were "targets of hostility from the society at large" for their celibacy.
While it would be absurd for celibates to receive the government programs Miss Park laments them not having, they should not be "targets of hostility." She notes, "The Roman Empire imposed a tax on them, and at one time people in France viewed them as ungrateful citizens who had failed to produce soldiers." Such measures carry with them the idea that children belong to the State, not to families.
Natalism is a good and needed thing, but celibates, including the non-religious, have their place in society. The anti-people, anti-population zealots are wrong, but if everyone were a natalist, with modern medicine, things could get a bit crowded. And let us not forget what Our Lord said about celibacy.
A Korean Whistle-Stop Under the Snow
Damian Thompson's S.S.P.X. News and Commentary
Labels: The Catholic Faith
Eric Scheske on Keynesianism
- Our universities are awash in theories and wrongheaded assumptions that were formulated in the first half of the twentieth century: Kinsey on sexuality, Picasso on art, Mead on anthropology, Freud on sex-obsessed psychiatry, Cage on music, Woolf on literature, Justice Douglas on law.
Keynes is cut from the same fabric as those thinkers. They had serious personal issues that bled into their novel theories. “Connaturality” is how Thomas Aquinas may have explained it: flawed moral lives create flawed thinking.
Labels: The Dismal Science
The Money Supply
Behold, a Liberal!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
- As a financial blogger named Minerva, Park Dae-sung was the dark prophet of market decline in South Korea.
In this education-obsessed country, where academic credentials are often taken as a measure of human value, he was also something of an idiot savant. He had no degree in economics. He had no professional experience in finance. He was not a wealthy investor.
He had been a so-so student who studied communications at a so-so junior college in a backwater town south of Seoul. Thirty-one years old and single, he spent much of his time alone in his room. As his father noted, "He can't even get a job."
But he knew a global economic smack-down when he saw one.
Minerva saw it coming last fall, far earlier and with far more acuity than the South Korean government, which his blog has humiliated and angered.
Besides getting mad, the government got even. In a move widely perceived by the public as a chilling echo of the 1970s, when a military dictatorship ruled South Korea, the government detained Park this month, invoking a seldom-used telecommunications law that charges him with harming the public by spreading "false rumors."
The Mujahadeen and Rumsfeld
Saturday, January 24, 2009
The Tao of Grover Cleveland
I've long been a member. I wrote this article a while back — Enough of the Truman Democrats, Where are the Cleveland Democrats? The last Jeffersonian to sit in the White House, Grover Cleveland "opposed imperialism, taxes, corruption, patronage, subsidies and inflationary policies, while adhering to the principles of classical liberalism." Indeed, "the great man is revered among [Hawai'ian] natives" — The Buffalo-Hawai'i Axis of Freedom.
Peter Schiff and Ron Paul Predict the Current Economic Predicament
"This is one of the best YouTube videos I've seen so far," says Chris Brunner of the video above — This basically sums it up. "It features quotes and video clips of Ron Paul and Peter Schiff predicting the current crises over and over again since the beginning of the decade."
S.S.P.X. and Holocaust Denial
Jeff Culbreath suggests, rightly in my opinion, "that believing in such a conspiracy is not possible without grave moral fault - fault in denying the truth of human nature, and fault in imputing the worst possible motives to vast numbers of witnesses, historians, and survivors" — Now for a bit of controversy. Terry Nelson quotes Fr. Blake who "suspect[s] this man, who has increasingly been pedalling a sede vacantist position, will end up leading the rump of the SSPX into a complete break with Rome" — The hills are alive with the sound of Nazism...
Pope and President
However, the President does (and should not) have power over abortion, and, as we know, "is expected to issue an executive order revoking a Bush policy that bars international family-planning organizations that offer abortion services from receiving US government aid." As Mr. Johnston notes, "Asking US taxpayers to pay for abortion services at home or abroad denies pro-lifers the moral choice to not finance a practice they consider to be murder. This is one Bush initiative that should stay in place."
How about ending all US government aid abroad except for disaster relief?
UPDATE: "President Obama struck down a rule Friday that prohibits U.S. money from funding international family-planning clinics that promote abortion or provide counseling or referrals about abortion services" — Obama reverses abortion-funding policy. The President pledged "to find areas of common ground to best meet the needs of women and families at home and around the world." Killing children does not "meet the needs of women and families at home and around the world." Vive la résistance — Archbishop Vigneron calls for opposition to Obama abortion stand and At March, Black Pastor Warns Obama not to Preside over “Genocide” of American Blacks.
Patrick J. Buchanan Praises Barack H. Obama
- For our liberty, said Obama, men like these “fought and died in places like Concord and Gettysburg, Normandy and Khe Sanh.”
This was startling. Mythologizing Khe Sanh, where the Marines held out against thousands of North Vietnamese in the bloodiest days of Vietnam, Obama was associating himself with the part of America that holds with Reagan that Vietnam was a “noble cause,” not the “dirty immoral war” of the Left’s propaganda.
Obama seemed to be severing himself from Senator McGovern, who diabolized the war, from John Kerry, who came home from Vietnam to say Americans were acting like war criminals, and from Jimmy Carter, who in 1976 called Vietnam a “racist war.”
Was President Obama saying the right was right? Perhaps not. But he was saying that the Marines at Khe Sanh and all of those who fought and died in Vietnam are to be honored alongside the men who stormed the bluffs at Pointe du Hoc.
Arab Catholic News
Friday, January 23, 2009
Claudio Monteverdi's Beatus Vir
One of the highlights of the Vespro della Beata Vergine 1610 (the same year in which was painted the portrait of Father Matteo Ricci, S.J. that graces this blog's sidebar) performed above by New Trinity Baroque, Atlanta's leading baroque orchestra, chamber choir and ensemble.
Three from Antiwar.com on Guantánamo
McGovernite Foreign Policy Advice
S.S.P.X. Excommunication to Be Lifted?
The society's local sites in Korean and English respectively — 성 비오 10세회 and The Society of Saint Pius X in Korea. Some pictures of a Marian procession through Seoul — Some Stuff of the SSPX in Korea.
Korean Catholic Young Adults
President Obama to President Abbas
The National Security State
Proletarianization and Deracination
The New Testament in 89 Days
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Tessa Bonner, Rest in Peace
The Crunchy Con on President Obama
Elders Left Out in the Cold of Korea's Demographic Winter
Most horrific is the sole conclusion drawn in the second report: "The ageing society will lead to a larger number of the destitute and a larger incidence of suicide among the elderly." There's nothing about the wider economic or social implications of this Korean Race Suicide. Instead, the only effect will be "an increase in the destitute elderly population will likely work as a factor for an increase in suicides."
Telling that this is reported as a fait accompli. The author does not write, "The ageing society will lead to a larger number of elderly being taken in by their families," or, "The ageing society will lead to a greater social expenditure on the elderly." Instead, members of the very generation that brought this country up from sub-Saharan standards of poverty to one of the world's leading ecomonies can just be expected to gas themselves while their offspring enjoy overseas trips, golf, and fancy cars, while paying for someone else to educate their 1.2 children.
"The idea that Korea is the world's most Confucian society is belied by this fact," I said a few months back — Confucian Korea? — reporting this news — Korea’s Elderly Living in Poverty Highest in the OECD. I second that.
Ann Durham and Mencius' Mother
(For another positive take, Dylan Waco reports that "Pat Buchanan referred to the rhetoric of Barrack [sic] Obama as more 'Old Right' than 'neoconservative'" — Satan needs a blanket.)
Back to Professor Crane's idea, reading his title brought me back to something I read by commenter Rawlins Gilliland on Rod Dreher's post yesterday — The potential of life — about the President's mother:
- His mother became pregnant as a teen after she met an African student from Kenya and yet, despite the year 1961(!) and carrying a bi-racial unexpected baby, she took it to term. She could have had an abortion. Most girls in those days did.
I repeat; a bi-racial un-planned pregnancy in 1961, 3 years before the Civil Rights Act. His mother Ann Dunham Obama is to me the poster girl for pro-life, and out new President...her son....exhibit A+ that anything is possible.
But not every child born in America has a mother who wakes her young son up at 4:30 to read to him and do the homework together. Or grandparents who would embrace a black grandchild. This is no small part of the miracle today.
- When Mencius was a very little child, he lost his father. His mother devoted herself to educate her son. The home of Mencius was near a graveyard. Little Mencius and his friends watched many funerals and sacrificial rituals. Young children like to imitate others. Mencius and his friends often performed these actions. Mencius’ mother thought this environment was not helpful for the growth of his son. So she took Mencius to the city, and lived near a market. Of course, energetic Mencius started to imitate traders with his new friends. Mencius’ mother was worried about the future of his son, and she had to move her home to a new place. She took her son and came near a school. Mencius was attracted by students and their books, and he asked his dear mother for buying a book. Mencius’ mother was very satisfied with her son. She decided not to move to other places, and then Mencius and his mother lived near the school. Every day Mencius went to the school and studied what the students did. He learned abundant knowledge and proprieties. Because he lived among the people, he understood deeply the mind of the people.
The above video is extremely unsettling. I've lived abroad long enough not know who most of these "beautiful people" are, but even if I did, why should I care? Eight years ago, if someone had pledged "to be a servant to our president" even many of the ex-president's base would have been disturbed. Isn't he our servant? (The Vicar of Christ, by contrast, is known as Servus servorum Dei.) And while the "pledge to consider [one's] self an American, not an African American" might warm the cockles of some conservative (nationalist) hearts, what's wrong with special affinities to one's historic communities?
(The irony here is that while the term "African American" accurately describes the president, he has little in common with the vast majority of people whom that term normally describes, who can proudly trace their ancestry in our country back to long before the arrival of most whites, and who are heirs to one of the world's richest and most enduring cultural legacies. If this is to be lost in the new "post-racial" America, I'd gladly go back to the racial America. The "the leading black figure on the libertarian old right" would agree with me — Zora Neale Hurston, Segregationist.)
I am not alone in finding the video disturbing:
I agree with this last sentiment entirely, but it describes a tendency of which we Americans must be wary. A perverted monarchy is a dangerous thing (just look north of the D.M.Z.). Let us remember the wise words of His Most Apostolic Majesty Archduke Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xaver Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius of Austria: "I am often asked if I am a republican or a monarchist. I am neither, 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."
I submit that "[y]ou could never have a monarchy in" America and it might even "be asinine to imagine" it as one. You could have a tyranny in America, though.
Labels: The Catholic Faith
Catholics and Gaza
Where Are the Non-Interventionists?
- Liberal internationalists, whose patron saint is former president Woodrow Wilson, are much more inclined than realists to believe that the United States is a morally "exceptional" nation and that the liberal-democratic principles on which its governance is based should be actively promoted in other countries, preferably through Western-oriented multilateral institutions and international law. At the same time, some regimes, in their view, are so odious that they should be isolated, even removed, and unilaterally if necessary.
Realists tend to be more skeptical about US "exceptionalism" (even about the role of morality in foreign policy) and the universality of liberal-democratic values and the ease with which they can be transplanted to foreign nations and cultures. And they generally prefer to engage, rather than isolate, morally questionable regimes, if doing so would advance US interests.
These words should trouble not only the ChiCom, but also the America Firster. Say what you will of "sturdy alliances," the sturdier they are the more entangling they tend to be. And this "wrong side of history" bit speaks of the liberal interventionism to come.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Ann Dunham's "Choice"
Crunchy Con links to the above video — The potential of life. Commenter Rawlins Gilliland reminds us, "His mother became pregnant as a teen after she met an African student from Kenya and yet, despite the year 1961(!) and carrying a bi-racial unexpected baby, she took it to term." Roland de Chanson calls the video "an inordinately ironic specimen of Catholic propaganda run amok."
More Obama Dissent
Aid the Gazan People
The American Conservative on Gaza
- On the occasion of your inauguration as the forty-fourth President of the United States of America I offer cordial good wishes, together with the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you unfailing wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high responsibilities.
Under your leadership may the American people continue to find in their impressive religious and political heritage the spiritual values and ethical principles needed to cooperate in the building of a truly just and free society, marked by respect for the dignity, equality and rights of each of its members, especially the poor, the outcast and those who have no voice.
At a time when so many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world yearn for liberation from the scourge of poverty, hunger and violence, I pray that you will be confirmed in your resolve to promote understanding, cooperation and peace among the nations, so that all may share in the banquet of life which God wills to set for the whole human family (cf. Isaiah 25:6-7). Upon you and your family, and upon all the American people, I willingly invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace.
"A Turning Point in World History"
- This year will be remembered as marking the precipitous and irreversible decline of America as a world power, the beginning of the gradual dumping by major world players of the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency, and the refusal by creditors to continue to finance Washington’s and the American public’s gigantic debt burdens. I don’t know what the bakers in charge of China’s holdings of 2 trillion dollars were thinking as they watched the inauguration, but it probably wasn’t, “We’re once again inspired by America’s ability to renew its principles of hope and inclusiveness!” I hate to damper all the high spirits, but though we most definitely are living in interesting times, it ain’t got nothing to do with Obama.