Saturday, February 28, 2009

In Our Darkest Hour, the Tenth Amendment Returns

Just when you thought the Old Republic was down for the count, news of "an exciting new movement [that] has captured the imagination of freedom-minded Americans all across our nation" — Tenth Amendment Movement Taking Off. Indeed, America and her people never cease to surprise and amaze me!

The Tenth Amendment simply states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people." It has long been ignored outright. The Principle of Subsidiarity, "[o]ne of the key principles of Catholic social thought," is upheld by it, in that it "holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization." Consider these stories, the last one being the most hopeful of all:

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The President Giveth and the President Taketh Away

A story that is appalling in all its appalling complexity — Obama to rescind Bush abortion rule. News that "President Barack Obama wants to rescind a Bush administration rule that strengthened job protections for doctors and nurses who refuse for moral reasons to perform abortions" will surely be milked for all its worth by G.O.P. operatives within the prolife movement.

It should be noted, however, that "Federal law has long forbidden discrimination against health care professionals who refuse to perform abortions or provide referrals for them on religious or moral grounds." What Mr. Obama seeks to rescind is Mr. Bush's "requirement that institutions that get federal money certify their compliance with laws protecting the rights of moral objectors."

Both Mr. Bush's move and Mr. Obama's counter-move serve to consolidate power at the federal level. Federal money is used as a weapon on those institutions who have become, by statist design, dependent on it. Let us put not our trust in presidents or political parties but, so to speak, in "Apollo the physician, Æsculapius, and Health, and All-heal, and all the gods and goddesses" by whom doctors once swore to "perform the utmost respect for every human life from fertilization to natural death and reject abortion that deliberately takes a unique human life" — The Hippocratic Oath.

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The Lurking Neocons

  • Patrick J. Buchanan on "what has always been their great goal: an American war on Iran" — Return of the War Party.


  • Tom Piatak on those who do "not regard close ties to Israel as an impediment to government service" but rather "as a prerequisite for government service" — Israel First, Again.


  • Justin Raimondo on those who think "we don't have enough enemies" and "[o]ne more needs to be added to the list" — To Russia, With Hate.
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    Catholic Conspiracy Analysis

    Vincent A. Droddy's piece comes not a moment too soon — A Catholic Looks at Conspiracy. He reminds usof the "strong evidence that many U.S. presidents have conspired to provide pretexts for wars" and that "[s]uspicion of your government is in line with the spirit of the Founders." He also reminds us that "there have been conspiracies within the Church throughout her 2,000-year history, and there will be conspiracies within the Church until Christ returns." Here is some conspiracy analysis from Stephen Hand:

  • A report on the Orwellian "creat[ion] of the architecture and the structure that will serve as the invitation for everyone to serve" — Democrats Introduce Public National Service Bills---'Education' NWO Style.


  • A retelling of a "forgotten piece of history" and much more — The Occultic's Who Rule US: When Hillary “Channeled” Eleanor Roosevelt.


  • Analysis of a piece of news that shocked me earlier today — New Vatican Aligns With Gordon Brown's New World Order. Traditional Catholics Appalled.


  • "The forces behind conspiracies are sin and Satan, who lose in the end," concludes Mr. Droddy. "Stand firm on the winning side."

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    America's Second Worst President

    Richard M. Gamble on the man whose "transformation of American domestic and foreign policy casts a long shadow over the United States" by creating "a faith in America’s capacity and moral mandate to remake the world," the man who "reinvented the old Democratic Party into an agent of unlimited government," the man who "created the regulatory and administrative machinery at the heart of America’s version of social democracy" and "considered the Framers’ system of separation of powers and checks and balances an outmoded contraption" — Wilsonian Slaughter.

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    Pope Benedict XVI, Œconomist

    News of a "forthcoming social encyclical" and "a synthetic, two-level overview of the economic crisis" — Pope blames idolatry of money for economic crisis.

    His Holiness cites "the idolatry of money as a major shortcoming of the economic order." (Could fiat money be considered a kind of idolatry?) Also, the wise counsel lost on the planners "that large-scale reform cannot be achieved without individual reform and conversion."

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    The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Julia Youn of Naju

    The "Kwangju archdiocese has dispelled rumors that its declaration on an alleged Marian visionary would be overturned by the Vatican" by "quot[ing] a letter from the Vatican-based Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith saying it respects the archdiocesan decision on the alleged visionary as the official position of the universal Church" — Vatican supports archdiocese's ruling on alleged visionary. "Archbishop Andreas Choi Chang-mou of Kwangju had declared in January 2008 that Youn and her followers, who had insisted on so-called divine miracles revolving around her, had incurred latae sententiae excommunication."

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    Some Conservative Optimism For a Change

    "Handled right, peak oil could bring a revival of small-town America, local farming, small businesses, and an economy that centers around Main Street rather than Wall Street," says Restoring Mayberry's Brian Kaller in this Energy Bulletin reprint of an article from The American Conservative August 2008 issue — Future perfect: the future is Mayberry, not Mad Max. Says the author, "It wouldn’t require us suddenly to turn Amish. With solar, wind, and nuclear power to maintain the Internet, commuter rail, and other technologies, we could continue the global exchange of ideas."

    An excerpt one blogger I know in Orland, CA will appreciate:
      So, for our new vision during this national crisis, I nominate “The Andy Griffith Show.” No, really, I'm serious.

      Many Americans hold up Mayberry as a symbol of everything they miss, but after watching episodes for the first time in 30 years recently on DVD, it seems to me an idealized, broadly comic picture of the society to which we might return. No one has much money, but extended family helps raise the kids, neighbors pass the hat around for each other, and the town functions just fine.

      If Andy Griffith is too corny, pick your favorite portrayal of a simpler American life. It may not exactly map the future, but it is likely to be more accurate and hopeful than the images we’ve been given for generations and would be familiar, popular, and attainable.

      It would serve to remind us that just a few generations ago Americans lived, and often lived well, before everything was cheap and fast and thrown away. We, with far more wealth and power than they had, are capable of walking into the Long Emergency unafraid, and with a plan.

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    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    "Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return."


    Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lent.

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    Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    Adiós

    Here's where you'll be able to find us for the next couple of days — Christ-Haunted Eumseong County. Blogging will resume upon my return.

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    Saint Damien of Molokai

    Tom Piatak on the soon-to-be-canonized priest — A Saint on Capitol Hill. An excerpt:
      Although he worked in Hawaii before it became part of the United States, he has long been a hero to Hawaiians of all religious backgrounds. In the mid 19th century, Hawaii saw a large outbreak of leprosy, and the Hawaiian authorities responded by creating a leper colony at Kalaupapa on remote Molokai. Although this was not the intention of the Hawaiian government, the leper colony on Molokai soon became little more than a place people went to die, in isolation and poverty and a condition approaching anarchy. When the Bishop of Honolulu asked for a volunteer to go to Molokai to minister to the lepers for a few months, Damien went, and stayed for the rest of his 16 years. Damien cared for the lepers in every aspect of their being, cleansing their wounds and bandaging their sores, building coffins so they could have a decent burial (he built some 2,000 by hand), offering Mass and hearing their confessions, and attempting to model for them the love of Christ. He also brought some much needed order, building a home for children and organizing a variety of activities that helped bring hope and purpose to the people exiled on Kalaupapa. Damien identified completely with those in his care, referring to “we lepers” in his sermons long before he contracted leprosy himself. Damien’s example attracted other volunteers and more advanced medical care, so that slowly Kalaupapa was transformed for the benefit of those who lived there.

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    Our New Tyrant

    "President Obama doesn’t want to hold Bush accountable for his crimes and violations of the Constitution, because Obama wants to retain the powers that Bush asserted," reminds Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration — Bill of Rights Under Fire. Asks the author, "Will it turn out that we enjoyed more liberty under Bush than we will under Obama?"

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    Don't Victimize Me!

    In the strongest terms, I hope to disassociate myself with the following LA Times article — Foreigners hope to teach South Korea dangers of bias.

    I have never "seen discrimination both in and out of the classroom" nor has the "the idea that teachers from abroad routinely use illicit drugs and commit crimes" ever affected me, because I dress conservatively, have short hair and no piercings. I wholeheartedly support the "government policy enacted 15 months ago [that] requires nearly 20,000 foreign English teachers to submit to HIV and drug tests, as well as criminal background checks not required of ethnic Koreans," not only because I am excepmt from them as permanent resident due to my familial status, but because having known many foriegn English teachers, I would not let them near my children.

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    Mailbag

  • Cristina C. Espina of Sancta Sanctis sends along her latest LewRockwell.com article, a review of a dystopian novel in which guns have been outlawed — Fact-Checking the Future.


  • Kalim Kassam of the Western Standard sends along Doug Bandow's assesment that "Asia is likely to dominate the future, containing two possible superpowers as well as several other states with growing international influence" — The Asian Century. Sadly, he concludes, "The U.S. won’t be leaving Asia soon, or perhaps ever."


  • Mr. Kassam also sends long a fascinating abstract of a paper by one Bruno Leoni, which "is essentially a defense of the unity of mankind" — “Two Views of Liberty, Occidental and Oriental (?)”. The abstract notes that "custom has often been invoked both in the East and in the West to oppose and limit the power of tyrants, and to defend or to secure civil or political liberty." The author also suggests that "Buddha and Confucius were both concerned mainly with individual freedom" and that "Confucius’s theory of society, in particular, was very individualistic; he clearly formulated for the first time in recorded history that principle of 'reciprocity,' the 'golden rule' for any liberal society."


  • "I can hardly think of anything more illustrative of the condescension and disrespect of the US military towards the Iraqi people than this soldier's 'motivational' speech to some Iraqi police," says Mr. Kassam of this "sure way to win hearts and minds" — (Video) The foul language of empire.
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    Friendly Enemies


    The photo of the gorgeous ladies pictured above comes from an article about a country with which I've long been fascinated — Iran: the friendliest people in the world.

    The title reminds me of a conversation I had with my colleagues about a famously gregarious Iranian exchange graduate student we have here. One of my colleagues asked, "Have you ever met an Iranian you didn't like?" I thought back to some of the students I met while teaching in Malaysia, and thought, "No." I remember one guy. Mohammad, a soccer fan who loved the Brazilian national squad, and said, "People ask me, 'When Brazil and Iran have a match, whom do you root for?' I answer, 'Of course, Brazil.'"

    In Malaysia, I first met folks from countries like Syria and Libya. One of my favorite memories of Malaysia, during the Clinton years, was of the four Iraqi contractors who lived in my building. I met one of them when he and I, with some others, came to the defense of a Malaysian-Chinese wife being beaten by her Malaysian-Chinese husband in their BMW outside our apartment building. Hasan later invited me to his apartment for tea. He and his housemates called me "Joshua the Friendly Enemy." I talked with these Muslims about real stuff, like God and morality. Hasan, an architect, gave me a blueprint for his future house in Iraq, based on his hero Frank Lloyd Wright and local designs. I pray that that house has been built and stands.

    [link via LewRockwell.com]

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    Saturday, February 21, 2009

    The Americanist Heresy Against an Americanist Heretic

    Holy Mother Church is not, nor ever could be, a democracy (perish the very thought); this is a matter to be decided by her bishop, not the public — Catholic group petitions Pope Benedict to excommunicate Nancy Pelosi.

    Americanism refers to "a series of related heresies... held by many members of the Roman Catholic church in the United States of America around the turn of the 20th century." HLI's democratism and Speaker Pelosi's radical individualism both seem to be modern manifestations of the old heresy.

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    Catholics and Muslims United

    Against a Jewish comedian who "lampooned Jesus and the Virgin Mary" — Israeli Christians, Muslims condemn blasphemous TV routine. Another report suggests this to be a "sign of the growing intolerance and hatred towards other faiths, best exemplified by a recent incident in which copies of the New Testament were publicly burnt in the yard of a synagogue in Or Yehuda" — Catholic bishops slam Israeli TV show that scoffs at Jesus and Mary.

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    Northern Lights

    News from a diocese among those I might like to resettle in — Icons gain greater presence in Catholic Alaska. Makes sense, given that they have "have long peered from rustic churches and chapels inside of Alaska’s Russian Orthodox churches."

    I'm remidned that a while back, I linked to this story about "the successful emergence of the Dominican rite locally," "the Anchorage Archdiocese is also hoping to provide regular celebrations of the Tridentine Latin Mass" — Dominican rite aims to shine from the ‘dark ages’.

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    Friday, February 20, 2009

    Schumacherian Catholic Wisdom


    The New Beginning posts the above video — E. F. Schumacher on Buddhist Economics in the West. The last line of the clip — "I might have called it 'Christian Economics' but then no one would have read it" — is echoed in this 1977 article by Charles Fager — Small Is Beautiful, and So Is Rome: Surprising Faith of E.F. Schumacher.

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    Signs of the Times

  • "The greatest threat to the Republic comes from the Oval Office," reminds Daniel McCarthy — Our Enemy, the President. The authior concludes, "Right-wing presidentialism failed spectacularly under Bush and has now yielded to what may be the strongest expression of left-wing presidentialism since Franklin Roosevelt."


  • "The Bush/Obama bailout/stimulus plans are not going to work" and "were schemes hatched by a clique of financial insiders," says Paul Craig Roberts — President of Special Interests. Says the author, "The schemes will redistribute income and wealth from American taxpayers to the shyster banksters, who have destroyed American jobs, ruined the retirement plans of tens of millions of Americans, and worsened the situation of millions of people worldwide who naively trusted American financial institutions."


  • "Our money will soon be as worthless and our markets as regulated as they were 300 years ago," says Phil Maymin — Sixpence None the Wiser. Predicts the author, "The trillions of our dollars that the government is spending on bailouts (or 'stimulus' plans) will eventually result in the collapse of what had once been one of the strongest currencies of all time."


  • Rod Dreher want to know — How are you coping with collapse anxiety? Like him, "I cope with collapse anxiety by blogging incessantly about it, as if talking about it were some kind of ritual that kept it at bay." Unlike him and his family, however, we're not "getting a lot more serious about gardening and food security," but we are about financial security.
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    The Funeral of Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan

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    Men and Women Are Not Equal

    We "sin in different ways" notes papal theologian Monsignor Wojciech Giertych — Lust tops men's sin list, anger and pride for women. If you do not realize this, then you're not married. This bit is all too true: "Pride ranks only at No 5 for men, who are likely to have indulged in so much lust and gluttony that they are too slothful to feel angry, proud, envious or avaricious."

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    I'm So Bored With the D.P.R.K.

    "Every day I read the news about North Korea's latest threat, to launch this or bomb that -- then I yawn and turn the page," says a Southerner, expressing my own feelings, quoted in this LA Times article by John M. Glionna and Ju-min Park — Many in South Korea say North is just crying wolf. Other bits of South Korean wisdom: "The media tries to scare us with stories about what North Korea could do" and "Pyongyang is babbling, just like always."

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    Bury Geronimo!

    All men of goodwill should support this fight against "the secret society at Yale University linked to presidents and other powerful figures" — Geronimo's kin sue Skull and Bones over remains. The history: "According to lore, members of Skull and Bones — including former President George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush — dug up his grave when a group of Army volunteers from Yale were stationed at the fort during World War I, taking his skull and some of his bones."

    I've blogged about these scumbags before — Skull & Bones Sacrilige, Is Bush Possessed?, Skull & Bones Police State.

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    Thursday, February 19, 2009

    Christ in Dachau, or Christ Victorious

    Anne Barbeau Gardiner reviews a first-hand account of that title by Father John M. Lenz which "reveals how atheists of all stripes -- criminals, socialists, communists, and SS agents -- joined forces in Dachau to persecute Catholic priests" — The Miracle of Christ in Dachau.

    The account informs us (1) of "communist prisoners serving as SS henchmen," (2) of "the greatest martyrdom of priests in the history of the Church," (3) that "there were only 141 non-Catholic clergymen in Dachau, as opposed to 2,400 Catholic priests," and (4) that "Hitler had boasted, 'I shall crush the Catholic Church like a toad.'"

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    Pope Benedict XVI and Our Lady of Akita

    Terry Nelson posts an excellent meditation on "the very public dissent he suffers from priests, bishops, cardinals, and of course, dissenting Catholic groups as well as secular groups and media" — The Pope. He rightly says this "unprecedented... general dissent... has been fermenting for a very long time," and quotes Our Lady of Akita's message to seer Sr. Agnes Sasagawa :
      As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms that will remain for you will be the Rosary and Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the pope, the bishops, and the priests.

      The work of the devil will infiltrate even the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate Me will be scorned and opposed by their conferees…churches and altars sacked, the Church will be full of those who accept compromise and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of My sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them.

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    How Catholic is The Western Confucian?

    The Daily Eudemon asks a question I have asked of my own blog — A Catholic Blog?

    Mr. Scheske says, "Over the past two years or so, I have drifted from a 'hard core' Catholic approach." So have I, with this new blog. I began to feel a bit constrained by old blog, Katolik Shinja, which began with a focus on both Catholicism and Korea. But as my interests steadily grew more small-c catholic, the need for a new, more ambiguously titled blog arose.

    Of the change, like Mr. Scheske, "I’m aware of it and it was mostly intentional, but I didn’t think I had ceased being Catholic or that I had become only Pelosi-so." Also, while on these pages as on Mr. Scheske's the reader may often find "a dearth of devotional items, liturgical insights, or Catholic news items," like him, "I hope it exudes a Catholic world view."

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    Muntazer al-Zaidi and My Mother

    They both were enraged by the same cause — Bush's 'Icy Smile' Enraged Iraq Shoe-Thrower. My mother, who is now visiting us, could never stomach the "Smirker."

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    Pin-up Girl for the Second Amendment


    Pictured above holding the AK-47 is Carolyn Chute, from a list of book reviews from the The American Conservative's Freddy Gray — Back of the Book.

    Bill Kauffman introduced me to her in his great book, Look Homeward America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front-Porch Anarchists, which I reviewed — Steal This Book! — and said the following:
      The fifth chapter profiles another contemporary writer, the most fascinating person we meet in the book, Carolyn Chute, perhaps the only "American novelist whose spouse is illiterate." In addition to being a once-best-selling lady writer, Mrs. Chute is the foundress and leader of The 2nd Maine Militia, comprised of "guys in camo, hippies, bikers, old ladies, Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Marxists, Libertarians, John Birchers."

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    Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan's Mourners


  • Pictured above, "[s]isters solemnly participate in the funeral mass of the late Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan at Myongdong Cathedral in downtown Seoul yesterday" — Sisters Shedding Tears.


  • "As countless mourners streamed into downtown Seoul, people had to wait for more than three hours in a line stretching up to two kilometers, but most looked just peaceful and happy" — 200,000 Endure Long Lines, Cold to See Late Cardinal.


  • "Kim won the respect of all Koreans in his illustrious life, and his death is seen as an impetus for all Koreans to unite," says this editoralist — Warm Hearts on a Freezing Day. "Such a sense of togetherness has not been felt in Korea since the country co-hosted the 2002 World Cup soccer finals."


  • "Mourners of all political stripes, including a former military regime leader who fought the country’s democratization, have gathered at Myeongdong Cathedral - long a bastion of Christianity and political dissent in Korea - to pay their last respects to Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan" — Mourners of all stripes gather at cathedral to pay their last respects.


  • The "widely revered spiritual leader and freedom fighter" is "remembered as an advocate of democracy and human rights under the authoritarian rulers in the 1970s and 1980s, fighting the military-backed dictatorial governments of Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan" — Late cardinal inspires love, care.
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    Post-Collapse Communitarian Survivalism

    Bart Anderson of Energy Bulletin "suggests ways out of the crisis which evoke the lifestyle of Amish communities rather than the outrageous violence of Mel Gibson's first films" and is confident that "the reality will bear no resemblance to the movie" — The future is Amish, not Mad Max: interview with Bart Anderson of EB.

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    The Mogambo Guru on Derivatives, Fiat Money, and Metals

    Richard Daughty says "the reason for the calamity is stupidity, pure and simple" — It will happen. An excerpt:
      The interesting thing to me is that The Economist magazine explains that the market for derivatives has gotten so huge because (and this is the important point) they are useful to people signing contracts, as "After America came off of the gold standard in 1971, businesses wanted a way of protecting themselves against the movements in exchange rates", by which they mean that nobody wants to experience a loss of the buying power of their stupid fiat money!

      So, figuratively climbing upon my soapbox to thunder at passersby, once again we have one more damning piece of evidence, to add to the mountain of other evidence, that the US dollar being tethered to gold, as per the US Constitution, was a Good, Good Thing (GGT), and that any other arrangement was a Bad, Bad Thing (BBT), especially the fiat dollar thing, which was the worst thing of all things, and now the Worst Of The Worst Things (WOTWT) is going to happen to us!
    The author concludes that before we get down to "hunkering down in our filthy, stinking bunkers waiting for the world to collapse in flames and the fiat dollar to collapse, as have all other fiat currencies in all of history and all the stupid economies that depended upon them," that "there is still time to buy... a little more gold and silver before the prices explode." Other gold bugs have come to the same conclusion:

  • Michael S. Rozeff is "long-term bullish" and "can generate targets like $1,370 to $1,465, $2,040 to $2,550, and $3,000 to $5,865" — On the Price of Gold.


  • "Make 203% as Washington becomes a global laughing stock," advises Adam Lass — Want a Way Out of the Economic Stupidity? Buy Gold.


  • "Gold is powering up towards $1,000 an ounce, and while the odd hesitation along the way is possible it will shortly cross this boundary, hit a new all-time high and then head upwards again," says Peter Cooper — Don't Kick Yourself Later for Not Buying Gold and Silver Now.
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    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    Cuisine, Cookbooks, Corea, and Freedom

    "Neither Britain nor America can boast a coherent, admirable, traditional cuisine," says the Arts & Letters Daily blurb linking to this article — Pluck a flamingo. The blurb continues, "That is one reason both lands produce such great cookbooks."

    I've heard it said with pride that the idea of a recipe is alien to Koreans. Everthing I know how to cook comes from a recipe, as do most of my favorite dishes of my mother (but not my father's chili, interestingly). My wife gets her cooking ideas from phonecalls to her mother or one of her sisters.

    While it may be true that we English-speakers cannot boast of our food, we can boast of our freedoms, the Rights of Englishmen, even as they are under assault (not by "Islamo-fascists" but by our own governments). I'd rather die standing on my feet than living (and eating fine foods) on my knees.

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    Real Right Patriotism

    Patrick J. Deneen has penned a fascinating piece on the "re-ascendancy of Left-wing patriotism" and the "growing chorus of voices on the Right... [that] has begun taking up quite a bit of the substance of the criticisms of America made formerly by the New Left, albeit to a different tune and distinct set of goals" — The End of Right Patriotism?

    He mentions antiwar conservative Andrew Bacevich's "condemnation of the broad sweep of American political history and its basic self-congratulatory narrative." He notes that "the single greatest accomplishment of Reagan... [was] a fundamental redefinition of conservatism from the pessimistic strain of the likes of Russell Kirk, Whittaker Chambers and Richard Weaver to a more optimistic strain" and suggests we may be witnessing "a rejuvenation of pre-Reagan conservatism." (This explains why I've never had much use for the fortieth president.)

    Mr. Deneen concludes by advocating the "tradition of localism, community, self-government based in limits, a culture of memory and tradition, undergirded by faith and virtue" and "a revival of patriotism... based in places and folkways, not abstraction and expansion."

    Amen to that! Said the great G. K. Chesterton: "A patriot does not boast of the largeness of his country, but of its smallness."

    The "re-ascendancy of Left-wing patriotism" and the "deeply anti-conservative Emersonian roots of much of Reagan’s optimism" that Mr. Deneen writes of have nothing to with patriotism and everything to do with nationalism, and are to be rejected outright. I'm afraid that what we'll see is two sets of nationalists, neocon and neolib, cheering for their team when it is in power, while real patriots on the Right (and Left, too) get branded an un-American.

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    Martin Scorcese and Shūsaku Endō

    The former is set to film the latter's novel — Persecuted Christians in moviemaker's sights. I'm hoping the film is better than the novel, which told an absolutely compelling tale, but whose narrative structure I found lacking in verisimilitude; the device of realting events through the letters of a Portuguese priest to his superiors seemed untenable toward the end of the story. Silence (2010) has the potential of bieng one of those films that succeeds by taking a good story from a poorly executed novel.

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    An Anti-Imperial Anecdote from Cardinal Kim's Boyhood

      Kim Sou-hwan was deeply distressed. The question on the test paper for an ethics class read, “Write down how you feel about becoming an honored citizen of an imperial state mandated by the Emperor.”

      The year was 1940, during Japan’s colonial rule over Korea (1910-1945), and Kim was a senior at Dongsung Commercial School (now Dongsung High School) in Jongno, central Seoul.

      Kim spent a good hour agonizing over the test item, until he finally wrote, “I am not a citizen of an imperial state. Thus, I don’t have anything to say.”
    From — The people’s cardinal. He also learn that His Eminence "was the youngest of eight children, who were all brought up in the Catholic faith, and a direct decedent of a martyr who was persecuted in Korea in 1868 for his beliefs."

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    President Lee Myung-bak on Korea's Confucian Cardinal


    "Cardinal Kim more than fulfilled his role as an elder of the nation every time the country faced difficulties during industrialization and democratization," said His Excellency of His Eminence — Korea mourns loss of Cardinal Kim.

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    His Eminence's Dignified Death

    His Eminence "declined heroic treatment" — Cardinal chose dying with dignity. The Cardinal was "active advocate of dying with dignity" and once said, "Hospice care, which helps those at the end of life to keep the dignity of their soul and body as human, is the noblest care." He also "frequently pointed out the problems associated with what he felt was the meaningless prolongation of life through medical intervention, promoting the right to die with dignity."

    Unfortunately, the word "dignity" has been coopted by the enemy, so much of the above might go misinterpreted. As said before, this act is an opportunity to highlight the Ordinary/Extraordinary Means distinction, which, like all Catholic doctrines, is clear and makes a great deal of sense. "Refusal of 'ordinary' means of treatment [i]s considered suicide, while refusal of 'extraordinary' means [i]s not."

    The story of His Eminence's attending physician is well worth relating:
      Chung In-sik, a professor of internal medicine at Kangnam St. Mary’s Hospital who was Kim’s attending physician, said he remembers vividly the day that Kim was admitted to the hospital on Sept. 11, 2008. “Kim made two requests. First, he said I should provide no meaningless treatment to prolong his life. He was strongly opposed to intubation,” Dr. Chung said. “He repeatedly made me promise [not to intubate]. Second, Kim asked that he never receive special treatment.”

      Dr. Chung said he didn’t know what to do with Kim’s requests because current laws bar a doctor from stopping medical treatment of a patient and because, as a doctor, he believes he must do his best to help a patient until the end of life.

      “I was worried that I would become a subject of criticism,” he said. “I asked the Catholic Church to notarize the requests ... Then, Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk said he would take all responsibility for what would happen, taking the burden from the doctors.”

      Dr. Chung remembered the late cardinal as a benevolent godfather. “Kim held the doctors’ hands and thanked us,” he said. “I used to visit Kim’s ward three times a day. Whenever I came out from the ward, I felt such comfort in my heart.”

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    More on Cardinal Kim's Legacy


  • The photograph above gives some idea of the esteem in which His Eminence was held — 2-km Line of Mourners.


  • "Cardinal Kim’s death had drawn over 60,000 mourners to the Myeongdong Cathedral as of 6 p.m. yesterday" — Korea mourns loss of Cardinal Kim. "Students with backpacks, seniors, mothers with babies and men in suits were all seen in the lineup, all patiently waiting their turn to pay their respects to Kim.... President Lee Myung-bak, former presidents Kim Dae-jung and Kim Young-sam, Grand National Party leader Park Hee-tae, Liberty Forward Party chief Lee Hoi-chang, Democratic Party head Chung Sye-kyun and many other dignitaries visited the cathedral yesterday.... Buddhist and Protestant leaders and officials from other religious groups also came to the cathedral."


  • This is perhaps what His Eminence is most remembered for — 'Cardinal Backed Gwangju Pro-Democracy Movement'.


  • Norbert Dong-yeob Cha, a popular priest-writer, offers his obituary — 'Late Cardinal Changed My Life, Korea'.
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    "How Many Divisions Does the Pope Have?"

    The monster Stalin's now ironical quip comes to mind reading this story of the unearthing of another Soviet plot against the man who ultimately brought down the Soviet Empire — Soviets sent Bulgarian assassin to kill Pope John Paul II during Cold War, claims priest. The wouild-be assassin "was betrayed by his Catholic wife," says the priest:
      A woman told me that she had information of a possible assassination attempt. A husband or life partner of this woman, of Bulgarian origin, was in the possession of plans of the Pope’s route through Poland’s most holy city Czestochowa as well some train tickets. I called the security officials after which the would-be assassin was arrested.
    The report states, "The woman confessed to her priest Zdzislaw Krol who alerted the police." I doubt this refers to sacramental confession (after all, the woman herself had no sin to confess), because had the priest broken the confessional seal, he would have been excommunicated.

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    Hometown Beheading

    More details are emerging in a story that occured on my old paper route — Possibility of 'honor killing' mulled in Orchard Park slaying. I remember the shock our little town had when we had our first murder in living memory. I wonder how residents are reacting to this story.

    As "speculation roils about the role that the couple’s religion may have played," I'd caution on reading to much into this story. A feminist is quoted as calling it a "terroristic version of honor killing, a murder rooted in cultural notions about women’s subordination to men" as she "decried the scant national media attention paid to the story." Another feminist suggested "the community should address the attitudes that make divorce particularly difficult for many Muslim families."

    While murder can never be condoned, this seems to be a crime of passion. The estranged husband was described as "aggressive in a business sense" and his wife as "vivacious and intelligent." Who knows what issues were at play?

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    Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    Dr. Ron Paul, Draft Resister

    "Much has been made by the new administration of the idea of national service and volunteerism," notes the Honorable Congressman Ron Paul, pinting out the "troubling signs that national service could transition from voluntary to mandatory" — The Draft: Just Say No:
      Involuntary servitude was supposed to be abolished by the 13th Amendment, but things like Selective Service and the income tax make me wonder how serious we really are in defending just basic freedom. The income tax enslaves workers for nearly four months out of a year by garnishing what amounts to all their wages in that period of time. A military draft could demand your very life, without your consent. This should be unthinkable in a free society.
    More on Dr. No's consistent, principled, and conservative opposition to conscription:

  • A video from last week in which Dr. No "discusses a framed Robert Taft quote that hangs on his wall concerning the draft, his personal experiences with the draft, and his thoughts today on its possible return" — Ron Paul On The Draft


  • "It is time to abolish the Selective Service System and resign military conscription to the dustbin of American history," he wrote in 2006 — Rethinking the Draft


  • "The draft, whether for military purposes or some form of 'national service,' violates the basic moral principles of individual liberty upon which this country was founded," he said to his fellow congressmen in 2004 — Reject Draft Slavery.


  • "It is no exaggeration to state that military conscription is better suited for a totalitarian government, such as the recently dethroned Taliban regime, than a free society," he said to the same august body in 2002 — The Military Draft and Slavery.
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    Fellow Western New Yorker Bill Kauffman's Triumvirate

    "The three best presidents have been, not surprisingly, Upstate New Yorkers: Grover Cleveland, Martin Van Buren, and Millard Fillmore," he writes in this NRO complitation — The Good, the Bad, and William Henry Harrison. His contibution focuses on the third:
      Millard Fillmore, usually a punch line, is the sore thumb in that trio. He erred badly in signing the Fugitive Slave Act and he ought not to have dallied with the Know Nothings, but, to his credit, Fillmore ranks with the Quaker Herbert Hoover as the most pacific president in our history. Before going oval, Fillmore had opposed the disgraceful Mexican War. As president he resisted, with grit and principle, the Democrat expansionists and proto-imperialists who wished the U.S. to annex Cuba. And in retirement, he was a Peace Whig, opposed to both Lincolnian warmaking and the tantrums of Southern fire-eaters. Alas, standing against war is the best way to sink to “below average” or “failure” in those Schlesingerian polls that measure “greatness” by how effectively a president consolidates power in the executive branch and the imperial city.

      Fillmore was a superb ex-president. He founded the Buffalo Historical Society and read Shakespeare to toiling shop hands. Queen Victoria is said to have remarked that Millard Fillmore was the handsomest man she had ever met. But then we men of the Niagara Frontier do incline to a certain comeliness.
    Readers of this blog will remember my fondness for Grover Cleveland, about whom I blog whenever I can — The Tao of Grover Cleveland. I need to do more research into the life of Martin Van Buren, with whom I share a common ethnicity and about whom I did my first serious piece of scholarship in elementary school. He was "the first president who was not of British (i.e. English, Welsh or Scottish) or Irish descent," "the first president to be born an American citizen (his predecessors were born before the revolution)," and "the only president not to have spoken English as a first language, having grown up speaking Dutch."

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    Inculturated Korean Catholic Chant


    It can be heard in the above video of the wake of "the spiritual anchor of Korea's Catholics" — Cardinal Kim Dead at 87. I heard such chanting for the first time on news reports today, assuming it to be Buddhist until I listened carefully to the words.

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    His Eminence Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan's Legacy

  • While most remember His Eminence's "advocating the popular passion for democracy during the South Korean democratization era of the 1980s," defectors from the North recall that unlike South Korean leftists, who were only concerned with tyranny south of the D.M.Z., the late cardinal "consistently raised his brave voice to reveal North Korea’s horrible situation and to reform and improve the human rights situation and systems there" — Stephen Kim Sou Hwan’s Words on North Korea.


  • "He refused life support," reports this obituary — Cardinal Kim Dead at 87. It is hoped that this act might lead more to understand the Ordinary/Extraordinary Means distinction, which, like all Catholic doctrines, is clear and makes a great deal of sense. "Refusal of 'ordinary' means of treatment [i]s considered suicide, while refusal of 'extraordinary' means [i]s not."


  • "Kim was the spiritual leader of Korean Catholics and also made invaluable contributions to the development of South Korean politics and society as the conscience of the age," said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon — Late Cardinal Lauded as 'Conscience of Korea'.


  • "You'll be able to get to the students only after you get past me, the priests and the nuns," said His Eminence in 1987 to authorities who came to arrest dozens of anti-government student activists he protected at the Myeongdong Cathedral — Koreans Flock to Mourn Death of Cardinal.


  • "We share in the sorrow of Catholics who have lost a great teacher," said the Venerable Jikwan, chief executive of the Jogye Order, the largest Buddhist denomination in South Korea — Religious leaders remember Cardinal Kim.


  • Vicar of Christ was "deeply saddened to learn of the death of Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-Hwan" and "offer[s] heartfelt condolences... to all the people of Korea" — Pope Sends Condolences for South Korean Cardinal. The Holy Father continued, "Recalling with gratitude Cardinal Kim's long years of devoted service to the Catholic community in Seoul and his many years of faithful assistance to the Holy Father as a member of the College of Cardinals, I join you in praying that God our merciful Father will grant him the reward of his labors and welcome his noble soul into the joy and peace of the heavenly Kingdom."


  • "Living through times of war, invasion and political chaos was difficult, but the late Cardinal held 'Pro vobis et pro multis' (For you and for many) as his lifelong pastoral motto, inspiring not only local Catholics but Korean society and beyond," writes Han Sang-hee in an ecellent pictoral obituary titled with His Eminence's last words — Thank You.
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    Welcome to the Fight!

    Cristina C. Espina has joined the battle against "an ideology that seems to have gripped the world in the form of big government insanity" — A Smuggler Is Born. Why? "Last week, when the employees of the Philippine post office pawed through a present they had no right to touch, inspected a letter they had no right to read, and shook me down for duties they had no right to demand, they unwittingly created a smuggler."

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    Catholic P.S.A.

    A reader sends along news of The Roman Forum's Summer Symposium 2009 in Gardone Riviera, Italy, with the the title, "A Tale of Two Enlightenments: Modern Image Versus Catholic Truth." A highlight: "Each day involves two main lectures (morning and pre-dinner), and Sung Mass, according to the 1962 missal (the Tridentine Mass) at noon."

    In new York City on April 18th-19th will be The Roman Forum's Birthday of Rome Weekend, with the theme, "Messages From Third to First Rome: Dedicated to the Memory of Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008)."

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    Japan's Race Suicide

    What Michael Thomas Cibenko writes of Japoan can be said of Korea and then some, because the birthrate is even lower this side of the East Sea — The Culture of Death & the Death of a Culture.

    After he and his Japanese wife conceived their first baby, he accounts the exact same experience my wife and I had; "the first thing the doctor asked us, in a rather matter-of-fact manner, was whether we wanted to keep the baby." Slowly, he came to the conclusion that he "was living in a culture that, on the one hand, did not wholeheartedly embrace the sanctity of new life but, on the other hand, recognized that there was a problem stemming from the lack of it" and that "despite all the beauty of Japan and her rich culture, something had gone terribly wrong."

    Mr. Cibenko correctly notes that "the view that having fewer children is the answer to society's problems is revealed to be as shortsighted as it is false." He also notes that "the Catholic Church -- most notably Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae -- has long been warning that contraception, sterilization, and abortion cause the collapse of individual morality, the destruction of families, and ultimately the demise of society as a whole."

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    The Revolution Will Be Televised


  • Rod Dreher links to the must-see RT interview above — Gerald Celente: Cannibalism by Christmas!


  • "Our leaders are asleep at the wheel, folks. Are we awake?" asks Matthew Redard, describing what he calls "absolutely must-see TV" — We, the oligarchs vs. you, the chumps.
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    Monday, February 16, 2009

    Guantánamo Mea Culpa

    Army Pvt. Brandon Neely confesses his sins, and ours as a nation — Former Gitmo guard recalls abuse, climate of fear. The "burly Texan who served for a year in Iraq after his six months at Guantanamo" recounts to the world when "he grabbed a trembling, elderly detainee and ground his face into the cement."

    Another guard "saw several abuses during his service at Guantanamo in 2003, including detainees subjected to cold temperatures and loud music," and "later converted to Islam." A "medic punched a handcuffed prisoner in the face for refusing to swallow a liquid nutritional supplement, and another bragged about cruelly stretching a prisoner's torn muscles during what was supposed to be physical therapy treatments." The same Texan recalls that "detainees were forced to submit to take showers and defecate into buckets in full view of female soldiers, against Islamic customs."

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    The Triumph of the Free Market

    No wonder it is under attack — More Than Half the World Now Middle Class. This has happened "for the first time in history thanks to the rapid growth of developing countries such as Brazil, China and India." The report states that "[t]he middle class only accounted for one-third of the world population in 1990 but mushroomed to 57 percent in 2006."

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    His Eminence Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan, Requiem æternam...


  • The man "respected even among non-Catholics as the country's spiritual leader" has died — Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan Passes Away. His Eminence was "the first South Korean to become a Roman Catholic cardinal" and "was named archbishop of Seoul in 1968 at the age of 46, becoming the youngest member of the College of Cardinals at that time."


  • His Eminence was "the first cardinal from an East Asian country" and "was respected as a spiritual leader of both Catholics and non-Catholics for promoting democracy in the country during the military dictatorship" — Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan, spiritual leader, dies at 86.


  • His Eminence, who was "one of the most revered religious leaders in Korea," "was born as the youngest of seven siblings in a poor but devout Catholic family in the southeast city of Daegu in 1922" — Cardinal Stephen Kim Dies at 86. His Eminence "was renowned as an advocate of human rights and contributed to the democracy in the country where military regimes ruled in 1960s and '70s" and "was devoted to North Korean churches and their believers and created a religious organization in 1995 to prepare for the reunification of the two Koreas."


  • "Cardinal Kim and the local Church came to be seen as defenders of human rights against dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s, and Seoul's Myongdong Cathedral was seen as a prominent symbol of the people's aspiration for democratization" — First Korean cardinal dies at age 87. "Many local people have called the late cardinal the guardian of human rights and democracy."
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    Little Brother Is Watching You in South Korea

    A Los Angeles Times report on those freelance photographers who snap photos of "subjects are not the rich and famous, but low-grade lawbreakers, whose actions are caught on film that is peddled as evidence to government officials" — In South Korea, vigilante 'paparazzi' patrol the streets.

    There subjects include "the slouching salary man lighting up in a no-smoking area, the homeowner illegally dumping trash, the corner merchant selling stale candy to kids." Some are specialists: "There are 'seonparazzi,' who specialize in pursuing election law violators; 'ssuparazzi,' who target illegal acts of dumping garbage; and 'seongparazzi,' who target prostitution, which is illegal in South Korea."

    The article suggests that many "consider themselves deputized agents of the South Korean government." One confessed, "It's shameful work -- I'm really not proud of it." More government agents should be so honest about their work.

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    Saturday, February 14, 2009

    The Apostles of the Slavs


    Today is the Latin memorial of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, pictured above, who gave us the Cyrillic alphabet.

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    Justin Raimondo on Rio Nido

    "The central insight of conservatism—that everything is always getting worse—is dramatically illustrated by the little hamlet I recently moved to," he begins — The Old California. His new home is a "little fairy-tale hamlet of clapboard cottages and imaginatively redone two and three-story homes... curled up in a canyon, sheltered under the thick canopy of a redwood forest."

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    Dixie Calvinists in Corea

    Robert Koehler's latet photo-essay takes us to the other side of the country — Southern Presbyterian Missionary Sites of Gwangju. Mr. Koehler reports that they were "poorer and less equipped than their Northern Presbyterian and Methodist brothers" and "being on the losing side of the U.S. Civil War, they did not come to Korea with a political or cultural agenda."

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    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  • Under his tyranny, Thomas Fleming notes, "[w]e went from being a confederation of republics that minded their own business, and permitted farmers, merchants, and manufacturers to mind theirs, to a global empire run by stockjobbers, moneychangers, and Transcendentalist do-gooders, a Leviathan with wings that is forever busybodying at home and abroad" — Rendering Unto Lincoln.


  • Patrick J. Buchanan on "the greatest tragedy ever to befall the nation" — Mr. Lincoln’s War: An Irrepressible Conflict?


  • "With the recent observation of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday, it might be worth looking at what the last two centuries have wrought," wrotes Jack Hunter — Being Honest About Abe.
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    The Final Persecution?

    I think most of us are surprised that this is the form that it seems to be taking throughout the world — Brazilian Government Says 99% of Citizens Are "Homophobic" and Must Be Reeducated.

    Who would have thought just a generation ago, when sodomy was still illegal in much of the civilized world, that things could have come to this? I don't blame so-called gays, but rather the dogma of egalitarianism, which this tyranny is but the natural extension.

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    Pakistani-Style Honor Killing in My Quaker-Founded Hometown

    "Obviously, this is the worst form of domestic violence possible," said Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III of this story from the village in which I was raised — Man charged in beheading of wife. The alleged perpetrator was "the head of a Muslim TV channel — which he launched in order to counter violent images of Muslims." The crime scene includes this blogger's old paper route: "The television station’s office on Thorn Avenue remained closed off as a crime scene on Friday while the investigation continued."

    Khalid J. Qazi, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council of Western New York, said, "There is no place for domestic violence in our religion — none. Islam would 100 percent condemn it." It is also important to note that the victim "Aasiya Hassan had filed for divorce" and that "discussions were being held about continuing arrangements for the couple’s two children, ages 4 and 6, and two older children, ages 17 and 18, from Muzzammil Hassan’s previous marriage."

    The Village of Orchard Park, home to some 3000 souls, was founded by Quaker settlers in 1803, which might account for my near-pacifism.

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    An LRC Co-Conspiratrix

    I give a hearty welcome to Cristina C. Espina, well-known in the Catholic blogosphere, who has published her first LewRockwell.com article — Pro-Smuggling: Because I Have a Brain. To whest your appetite, her intro:
      All it takes to convince one of the rightness of smuggling is coming face to face with the wrongness of the legal alternative.

      It's the same principle all over the world, but every conversion story, as they say, is unique. There may be a few "cradle smugglers" out there who have been right in the head about free trade since birth – but they were probably raised by the kind of impassioned convert I have just become.

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    Beverly Eckert, 9/11 Widow and Truther, Died in Buffalo Plane Crash

    Comments from a reader to a post of mine yesterday about the plane crash in Buffalo, N.Y. — Hometown Disaster — inform us that one of the victims "had some pretty strong words about 9/11, suggesting a cover-up, that was printed in USA Today once" — My Silence Cannot Be Bought.

    A coincidence? You decide. Here's the first paragraph of this brave woman's essay:
      I've chosen to go to court rather than accept a payoff from the 9/11 victims compensation fund. Instead, I want to know what went so wrong with our intelligence and security systems that a band of religious fanatics was able to turn four U.S passenger jets into an enemy force, attack our cities and kill 3,000 civilians with terrifying ease. I want to know why two 110-story skyscrapers collapsed in less than two hours and why escape and rescue options were so limited.
    May Beverly Eckert rest with her beloved husband in peace, and may the living not rest nor give the government peace until the full story of her husband's death (and perhaps even her own) is told.

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    Father Daniel Maurer of Vladivostok

    Comments from reader Jason to a post of mine about an American priest in the Russian Far East— Father Myron Effing of Vladivostok — inform us of a radio program about his partner in virtue — The Catholic Church in Eastern Russia.

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    Friday, February 13, 2009

    "May Servant of God Dorothy Day Intercede For Us"


    The prayer that concludes Pentimento's post about the woman who "tirelessly protested all and any wars, who was jailed many times, whose mission was not only to comfort the afflicted but also to afflict the comfortable," and who was "a daily Mass-goer who was completely in line with the Magisterium" and who "was, by this definition, a conservative Catholic" — Will Dorothy Day Be Beatified?

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    The Great Buffalonian

    "Who was the best U.S. president of all time?" asks a Canadian — The Story of an Honest Politician. The article recounts a president who "always worked to produce a balanced budget," who was "opposed to high tariffs," who " vetoed twice as many bills as all previous 21 presidents combined," and who "believed private charities, not government, should support the people."

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    The Dear Leader's Teacher

    Kim Hyun Sik, professor of Russian at the Pyongyang University of Education, speaks — I Was Kim Jong Il's Teacher -- Then He Had My Family Killed. The account is reprinted by an American leftist organ; here in South Korea, leftists, who are in fact nationalists, would never touch such a story.

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    Volte Face in Peking

    Sandro Magister reports that "Joseph Li Shan, 44, was ordained on September 21, 2007, with papal approval," but has since been "slipping conctinually toward absolute submission to the Patriotic Association, dedicated to creating and controlling a Catholic Church independent of Rome" — Bad News from China. A Rift Has Opened in Beijing.

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    "Economic Gallows Humor"

    From reader Zach Frey — "I do not think that word means what you think it means". On a similar note, one of my favorite quotes from G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936): "It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged."

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    Hometown Disaster

    We've returned from Uljin to this sad news — 49 Killed After Plane Crashes Into House Near Buffalo.

    Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

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    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    Headin' for the Hills

    Here's where you'll be able to find us for the next couple of days — Tonggosan Recreation Forest:


    I've blogged about the place's main attraction before — Non-Totalitarian Sledding in Korea.

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    Malagasy Revolt

    "The final straw for many was the mooted plan to lease one million acres in the south of the country to the Korean firm Daewoo for intensive farming," reports Robert Koehler — Madagascar in Turmoil. "Malagasy people have deep ties with their land and this was seen by many as a betrayal by their president."

    Images from a report linked to by Mr. Koehler — Deadly power struggle lays Madagascar low — show both the recent internationalization of the Korean Hangul alphabet and contemporary evidence of the ancient Malay colonization of the East African island:



    The LewRockwell.com Blog's Charles Featherstone, of the man pictured above on the right, seems to get the story wrong, speaking of "an alleged populist mayor attempting to seize power and oust an allegedly corrupt regime" — What if Someone Declared Himself President...

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    Paul Craig Roberts' Latest

    The Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration observes that "Obama is being led by his government of neconservatives and Israeli agents into a quagmire in Afghanistan that will bring the US into confrontation with Russia, and possibly China, American’s largest creditor" — Driving Over the Cliff.

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    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    The Lincolnian Bicentennial

  • Joseph E. Fallon on a man who "validated Voltaire’s observation that 'Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities'" — Lincoln and God.


  • Joseph Sobran on a man who "was largely right about slavery, [but who] was wrong about secession—a separate question, as most Northerners once understood" — Shattering Lincoln’s Dream .


  • Daniel Larison on "the idea that the central state can and should use its coercive apparatus to serve the narrow interests of an economic elite at the expense of the commonwealth" — Lincolnism Today: The Long Marriage of Centralized Power and Concentrated Wealth.
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    Denying the Scope of the Holocaust vs. Denying the Divinity of Christ

    The story that raised the ire of the left-liberals reaches its conclusion — SSPX sacks Williamson from seminary post — just as another that will raise ire for a different reason raises its head — Breakaway priest refuses to recant teachings, archbishop intervenes. In the former case, ire was raised over an excommunication (that had nothing to do with the Holocaust) that was lifted, but in the latter case, ire will be raised over an excommunication that deals with Catholic doctrine.

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    Discrimination Against Korean Singles Justified

    This blogger fails to be moved by the fact that "singles... might be getting virtually no tax refunds later this month" and that "[u]nmarried salaried workers and single-person households are excluded from many benefits reserved for married employees" — Singles at Disadvantage From Social System. The idea that family men contribute economically to their society above and beyond what single men do should be non-controversial.

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    Towers of Babel

    "Tall buildings go up as the economy goes down, according to the skyscraper index that came to prominence in 1999 in a report penned by Andrew Lawrence, a former researcher at Deutsche Bank," reports this story — Soaring skyscrapers in dark economic times.

    The article includes this most diabolical image of a monstrosity that "would be 3.2 kilometers high and, if built, would easily be the world’s tallest building, a title it would probably hold for a very long time:"

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    Velankanni, Tamil Nadu

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    Monday, February 9, 2009

    Austrian Economic Analysis from the Good Doctor and Doctor Doom

  • Kalim Kassam posts the Good Doctor's diagnosis — Ron Paul: US must repudiate philosophy of "government intervention, socialism, paper money and welfare dependancy" to get back on its feet:



  • J.K. Baltzersen posts Dr. Doom's thoughts on "the monetary policy the U.S. is following" — The Zimbabwe School of Economics:

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    Authoritarian Libertarianism

    A thought-provoking post inspired by a discussion on this blog — For Old Authority and New Liberty. A particularly inspired excerpt:
      The rhetorical problem for libertarians (and I am just using Rothbard as the prime example here) is that they cannot state the implicit premise in their argument, for if they did they would have to call themselves “authoritarians.” Yes, libertarianism is ultimately dependent on the authority of law, natural law, and in the most profound and benevolent sense could be called authoritarianism. The choice is not between liberty and authority, but rather “each together with the other.” This is the secret of libertarianism, or at any rate the paleolibertarian tradition that characterizes Albert J. Nock, Garit Garrett, Isabel Patterson and, if you read him closely, Murray Rothbard. Authority is the stable solution into which the elixir of liberty is poured, thus producing a free society.

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    Kalmaemot Martyrs' Shrine

    Sometimes, modern architecture works, as I think it does in this three-year-old church building — 천주교갈매못성지성당(김충렬). The choice of natural materials give it a timeless quality, unlike church buildings that try to look like office buildings.

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    What Che Hath Wrought

    French philosopher and economist Guy Sorman on "the incarnation of what revolution and Marxism really meant in the 20th century" — Was Che Guevara a romantic? "Che was no humanist.... Che could kill with a shrug.... Indeed, without his ideology, Che would have been nothing more than another serial killer." More:
      But suppose we judge this Marxist hero by his own criteria: did he actually transform the world? The answer is yes -- but for the worse. The communist Cuba he helped to forge is an undisputed and unmitigated failure, much more impoverished and much less free than it was before its "liberation." Despite the social reforms the left likes to trumpet about Cuba, its literacy rate was higher before Castro came to power, and racism against the black population was less pervasive. Indeed, Cuba's leaders today are far more likely to be white than they were in Batista's day....

      Indeed, 50 years after Cuba's revolution, Latin America remains divided. Those nations that rejected Che's mythology and chose the path of democracy and the free market, such as Brazil, Peru, and Chile, are better off than they ever were: equality, freedom, and economic progress have advanced in unity. By contrast, those nations that remain nostalgic for the cause of Che, such as Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia, are at this very moment poised on the brink of civil war.

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    Marcus Epstein's Ethnicity

    Those in the paleosphere have probably heard how this young contributer to Taki's Magazine was accused by the Grey Lady of "racialist extremism" for suggesting that the Republican Party's "pander[ing] to pro-amnesty Hispanics and swing voters" did little to help it in the past election — The Nativists Are Restless.

    Well, expat Korea's premier blogger sheds some light on Mr. Epstein — Half-Korean White Supremacist? The news comes from John Derbyshire, who, referring to his Chinese wife, once "joked that the only reason he was not an open white nationalist was because 'it would get me in trouble at home.'" He has also said, "I am a homophobe, though a mild and tolerant one, and a racist, though an even more mild and tolerant one."

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    The German Shepherd and the Wolves

  • "Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves,' asked Pope Benedict XVI at his inaugural Mass, reminds Tom Piatak — How Modern Wolves Attack. He writes, "The media firestorm over Benedict’s decision to lift the excommunication of the four bishops consecrated without papal approval in 1988 by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre provides a perfect illustration of how modern wolves attack and what they attack, and thus might be of interest to non-Catholics as well as Catholics."


  • "Benedict XVI opens the door to some lost sheep and secularists cry wolf," writes Carolyn Moynihan — Beating up on the pope. She writes, "It was a story tailor made for the secularist media and all those who, knowing full well that it is not anti-Jewish, resent the Catholic Church for other reasons: its stand on homosexuality, birth control, or simply persisting in its belief in God."
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    Happy for Black America

    "Barack Obama’s election has awakened hopes in some black Americans that their existence will at last be officially recognized," writes Mary Hinton — A life affirmed. Speaking of "the very personal importance of this moment for past generations," she suggests that "none have the right to be as proud as those who were systematically excluded from participation in America, much less in the American dream." She concludes, "For them, Obama’s election represents not only the right to a dream, but also the right to simply be."

    "As a conservative I have little use for Obama’s politics, but as an American and more specifically a Southerner, I think I can understand the excitement, particularly in the black community," wrote Jack Hunter, a.k.a. The Southern Avenger, a few weeks ago — Obama and Black Pride. I, too, "have little use for Obama’s politics," but I am happy to see my uncle, who went from being a janitor to the Ohio's richest Black businessman, happy. My only regret is that our second Black president is in many ways less Black than the first, being that the former's ancestry lies in East Africa and the latter's in the American South.

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    Mass Catholic Defections?

    Comments from a reader "note that the Taipei Times is claiming that Catholics are leaving the church because reverence to the Holocaust is more important than reverence to the pope" — Catholics leaving over reinstatement of Holocaust denier.

    The article quotes "a German Vatican expert" about "a wave of faithful leaving in droves," and then clarifies that "[i]n Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Catholics have the option of formally quitting the Church by registering their exit with local authorities." This leads me to believe that those "leaving" were already long-gone to begin with, as it is highly unlikely that any regular mass-goer would be so ignorant as to not understand this tempest in a teacup* for what it is. Most likely this "wave of exits" is of folks who were registered as Catholics by their parents but never fully catechized who have now decided to make a cheap (but in reality the most costly) gesture of moral grandstanding to atone for the guilt they feel about their National Socialist forebears.

    *Comments from a reader who is not Roman Catholic explain call this "[a] predictable storm of anti-Roman rubbish raining down, fuelled by perhaps wilful theological ignorance." He concludes, "I'm nothing to do with the racist pseudo-science of the Nazis nor will I have a go at the bishop to get some spurious moral cred, satisfying the lusts of the politically correct."

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    "君子周而不比、小人比而不周。"

    "The superior man is catholic and no partizan. The mean man is a partizan and not catholic." So reads this blog's new tagline, from Confucius, The Analects 2.XIV, translated by James Legge.

    In re-reading the classic, I chose not the latest, most up-to-date translation, but one of the oldest, this by the great Protestant missionary to the Far East. I like the quote obviously because it uses the word "catholic," also meaning "of general scope or value; all-inclusive; universal" and "broad in sympathies, tastes, or understanding; liberal," which I hope describes this blog. Also, it is hoped that word the word "partizan," meaning "a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person ; especially : one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance," does not describe this blog, which draws on sources from across the political spectrum.

    Russell Kirk (1918 - 1994) wrote of Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797) that he "was liberal because he was conservative." Kirk also reminded us that conservatism was the "negation of ideology. This new tagline is not only Confucian, but Burkean and Kirkian as well.

    For the record, the old tagline, also from the Sage: "To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right."

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    Saturday, February 7, 2009

    Burke's Reflections

    Having just finished Edmund Burke's 1790 tome Reflections On The Revolution Of France last night, I thank Tea at Trianon's Maria Elena Vidal, whom I often thought of while reading then book, for bringing this article by Gertrude Himmelfarb to my attention — Reflections on Burke's Reflections.

    Indeed, the book was "an extraordinary feat of political imagination" in which he not only "recogniz[ed] the seeds of the Terror so early and so dramatically" but also "reveal[ed] the flawed philosophy and the temper of mind that had inspired the Revolution and had made it so total."

    "Burke," the author reminds us, "had a great distaste for abstract concepts and precepts, and a high regard for prudence and expediency in the practical affairs of government." This reader, too, was impressed by "Burke’s rhetoric," which she describes as "deliberately harsh and provocative." The author continues:
      The defense of prejudice and superstition, of prescription and presumption, of chivalry and “pleasing illusions,” are hardly words intended to endear him to his enlightened readers, for whom these words were (and still are) red flags. He might have used more agreeable, more palatable terms —belief, tradition, convention, opinion. Instead, he deliberately chose to shock his readers, to oblige them to confront the issues more boldly by expressing them more starkly—to confront not only the French Revolution, but the inevitable cultural revolution that he believed to be even more subversive than the political revolution.

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    Life in the Balance

  • In America, "unlicensed workers delivered a live 23-week old baby girl, then shoved the struggling baby into trash bag, and stashed her body on the roof" — Abortionist Stripped of Medical License in the Hialeah Baby Murder Case.


  • In Argentina, "all abortions are illegal" but "they carry no penalty in the case of mentally disabled women who are raped" — Argentinean Unborn Child is Killed after Pleas for Mercy Go Unheeded.


  • In Italy, the good news — Italian government passes emergency decree to save Eluana Englaro — was immediately followed by the bad news — Italy’s Communist President Refuses to Sign Passed Temporary Measure to Save Eluana Englaro .
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    The War President Bush Stopped

    The American Conservative's Scott McConnell on the ex-president's "rejection of an Israeli request for overflight permission and perhaps military assistance in bombing Iran’s nuclear reactor," about which there has "been very little about this in the mainstream press" — Bush’s good deed.

    Mr. McConnell calls this "the kind of major incident that history often turns on." The history of in the Bush Administration, particularly of the conflict between neoconservatives and realists with "The Decider" in the middle, when written, will be very interesting. Perhaps it would be best written as an opera, à la Nixon In China, or more appropriately as a rocke opera à la Tommy (1975).

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    Andrew Sullivan on Neoconservatism, Netanyahu, and Cheney

      The closer you examine it, the clearer it is that neoconservatism, in large part, is simply about enabling the most irredentist elements in Israel and sustaining a permanent war against anyone or any country who disagrees with the Israeli right. That’s the conclusion I’ve been forced to these last few years. And to insist that America adopt exactly the same constant-war-as-survival that Israelis have been slowly forced into. Cheney saw America as Netanyahu sees Israel: a country built for permanent war and the “tough, mean, dirty, nasty business” of waging it (with a few war crimes to keep the enemy on their toes).
    Quoted by Jim Lobe — Andrew Sullivan Gets It About Neoconservatism’s Core. Real conservatibes want nothing of the Cheneyesque neo-America of "permanent war." Bill Kauffman's title says it best — Ain't My America: The Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle-American Anti-Imperialism.

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    Whither the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878?

    "This isn’t what we meant by 'bring the troops home,'" says The American Conservative's Kelley Beaucar Vlahos as "Washington contemplates deploying the Armed Forces for domestic law enforcement" — Homeland Offense. She writes, "Americans have become so inured to the sight of federal troops fighting fires, rescuing flood victims from rooftops, and engaging in drug interdiction on the border that few eyebrows were raised when news broke that 20,000 active-duty infantry would soon be deployed on American soil for so-called homeland defense."

    She goes on to note that this "is unprecedented and further evidence of a military mission-creep into domestic affairs, particularly in areas for which the National Guard and Reserves are already suited" and reminds us that "the Bush administration tried to broaden the criteria under which the president could invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act, allowing the executive branch to override Posse Comitatus and declare martial law."

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    Two Offensive Pope Cartoons

    The first one is so moronic it need not be addressed — Dark Pope. The second one, by a cartoonist who got his start in the paper I used to deliver, is more dangerous — Papal Blunder. "Pope's don;t say, 'I screw up,'" says the caricature, holding a pint-sized "Holocaust-denying bishop" in his lap, but that is essentially what His Holiness did — Pope Didn't Know Shoah Views of Lefebvrite Bishop.

    "That's a fallibility," chides the cartoonist from the corner. No it is not, if one is referring to Papal Infallibility, which only applies "when he speaks ex cathedra -- that is, when in the exercise of his office as pastor and teacher of all Christians he defines, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the whole Church."

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    Se il realismo di Niebuhr arriva alla Casa Bianca

    That is the title of the article by Professor Gianni Dessì, Italy's leading expert on Reinhold Niebuhr, introduced and translated here by Sandro Magister — Obama Has a Great Teacher: Lutheran Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.

    "His political realism has been a point of reference for intellectuals and politicians, both conservative and liberal," says the author. I'm a non-interventionist, but "realism" is a step in the right direction away from the messianism of neoconservatism and liberal interventionism.

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    Friday, February 6, 2009

    Condemnation?

    A headline like this certainly catches the eye — Cardinal condemns Pope over lifting of excommunication on Holocaust denier. It catches the eye all the more so coming as it does just as the tempest in a teapot seems to be dying down — Vatican demands Holocaust denier publicly recant. I knew His Eminence was no strong supporter of the Traditional Latin Mass, so I proceeded with great trepidation.

    Soon, it became clear that "the unprecedented step of condemning the Pope" that the first sentence declares "will intensify the worldwide uproar" was contained in "a letter to Dr Jonathan Sacks the Chief Rabbi, a copy of which has been released to The Daily Telegraph." In his letter, His Eminence writes, "I am writing to express my dismay at the effect of the Vatican decree..."

    That's as strong as it gets: "dismay at the effect of the Vatican decree." Maybe this is British understatement that a Yank like me can't understand, but if that were the case would not the headline be similarly understated? His Eminence's letter to the Chief Rabbi also makes the point of explaining "that the Pope had made clear his own repulsion at the Holocaust" and that "the lifting of excommunication is only a first step towards reconciliation of the bishops concerned."

    Obviously this is not a condemnation and there is nothing in the story that "will intensify the worldwide uproar" except the headline. Shame on Andrew Pierce and The Telegraph for what appears to have been a deliberate attempt to stoke division within Holy Mother Church! More charitably, it may simply have been another case of the media's default use of words like "condemn" and "crackdown" whenever it reports a statement made by a churchman.

    [link via New Oxford Review]

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    Kakure Kirishitan Captured on Film

    Today is the memorial of Saint Paul Miki and the Nagasaki Martyrs, crucified four hundred and twelve years ago. The Catholic Faith went underground, but without the sacraments or proper catechesis, the beliefs of the Kakure Kirishitan, or "Hidden Christians," changed over the centuries.

    This remarkable Australian television report, which does not allow embedding, tells the story of those who have kept their faith alive to this day — Hidden Christians - Japan. These videos do as well — Otaiya: Japan's Hidden Christians and Japan's hidden Christians.

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    Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.