Rod Dreher reported how "the cultural elite in Hollywood and in Europe is going to the barricades to defend Roman Polanski" — Polanski and "philistine collusion". He later posted speculation as to what the reaction would have been had Mr. Polanski not been a film a director but a Catholic priest — What of Father Polanski?
Joanna Bogle revisits "an era of growth and of new beginnings," "an era when a civilisation was being brought into being, when much that was large and lasting and worthwhile was being done" — Let’s have done with the ‘Dark Ages’.
James R. Stoner, Jr. says that "it is hard to imagine a political document more incongruent with our world today," as it "invokes established customs and traditions and looks for wisdom in a distant past" — The Timeliness and Timelessness of Magna Carta.
He begins by noting that "we have neither a truly public nor a truly private system" which "that combines the worst features of capitalism and socialism" — Localizing Health Care. "So what institutional framework should medicine have?" he asks, the answering:
I believe that the answer lies in a well-tested institution from out past, and that institution is the guild. The guilds were associations of professionals in a given field who took responsibility for the training of their members and the quality and price of their products and services. They were the sole judge of the qualifications of their members, and had the power to set both standards and prices. What I propose is that we allow medical professionals to form guilds with the power to grant various licenses. They would be the sole judge of the qualifications required, and they would set the practice standards and prices. But most importantly, the guild would stand surety for its members. That is to say, when a patient had a complaint, he would sue not the doctor but the guild. The guild would be responsible for the competence and good conduct of its members.
"Since the guild would be the sole judge of the qualifications and practices of its members, there would be a greater diversity of practical approaches," he suggests. "In addition to insuring their doctors, the guild would offer insurance to the public."
At 20, he got a job as a machinist’s apprentice at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He realized his future did not lie in rivets, he would recount with a smile, when the battleship turret he was working on was found to be pointing in the wrong direction. It could only shoot inward — directly at the ship’s own bridge.
"I can’t imagine a better metaphor," Conservative Heritage Times, "for the Neocon ideology Kristol would later create — a worldview that claimed to advance an irresistable democratic empire, but instead launched wars that gutted our economy, weakened traditional liberties, and wrecked the military" — You’d think a shrink would know better.
Scott Locklin reports that before its fall, "[t]he Sassanid empire also had people who believe in the exactly same kind of nonsense that modern Northern Californian buffoons do" — The Dawn of Decadence.
"How government colonizes the family" explained by Stephen Baskerville — Married to the State. The author writes, "What should shock even the liberal and the young—but today does not much disturb even the conservative and the old—are destruction of constitutional protections and invasions of personal freedom and privacy by the government’s family machinery."
"The case for raising interest rates" made by Charles Hugh Smith — No Easy Money. The author writes, "Although higher rates are presumed to spell disaster for the debt-laden U.S. economy, in which total public and private debt is already 350 percent of GDP, the plus side—rational incentives to save and invest—is rarely noted."
"How American taxpayer dollars are being used to fund our Afghan enemies" explained by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos — The Taliban’s Toll. The author describes how "local contractors who deliver supplies and equipment to remote NATO bases in Afghanistan are charging Western governments 'protection money' to pay off the Taliban, or Taliban-connected middlemen, to protect convoys along dangerous overland supply routes."
Justin Raimondo looks at the "Iranian nuke facility revelation" and suggests the "countdown to war begins" — September ‘Surprise’. "The Obamaites are going into the October talks guns blazing," says the author, suggesting that "this process of baiting Iran is going to go on for many months, if not years."
Leon Hadar reviews "a broad and ambitious account of America in the 'interwar years' of 1989 to 2001" — An Era About Nothing.
It’s the best in the world if you have decent insurance, and among the best if you don’t. Nobody is denied care in America. Show up in the emergency room uninsured or undocumented, having just wrapped yourself around a light pole while operating a motorcycle drunk and exercising your constitutional right not to wear a helmet, and you’re in line for a million bucks of state-of-the-art free care paid for by the shrinking number of citizens still paying taxes. Nobody denies that. What they point to is a mediocre life expectancy, and a relatively high infant mortality. The first is due to slovenly lifestyles (36% of our Medicare costs, and 48% of Medicaid, are directed to the treatment and complications of obesity), and the second to a decadent underclass which refuses to act responsibly in the face of pregnancy. By the way, don’t forget that the vast majority of technological and pharmaceutical innovations in the world are provided and paid for by Americans. See Nobel, Alfred, Prize thereof. Don’t forget, either, that there are few queues in this country, except for organ transplants.
Click on the link for nine other quuestions and his conclusion that "only self-rationing– in the form of HSAs, or something similar– could fix health care in a way that acknowledges the unique American character and experience."
"A Vatican astronomer explains why science and religion are a match made in heaven" — The Glad Scientist. On his decision "in 1991 to take the order’s vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience," he said, "Poverty and chastity, I was used to — I had been a graduate student. But obedience was a tough one."
Peter Kim brings the much-anticipated news of "an organization which was voluntarily started by lay people to introduce TLM into Korea, as the history of inception of the Catholic Church in Korea had begun by lay scholars even before foreign missionaries came in" — Study Sessions for Usus Antiquior in Seoul, Korea. Along with all the necessary contact information and dates, he reports:
They have had meetings for introducing the traditional Latin liturgy into Korea years before the promulgation of motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum. Most of them are young Korean Catholics who are obedient to diocese while seeking for more reverence in liturgy.
Orthodox Deacon Steven Hayes reports "that a number of evangelical Christians have 'rediscovered' fasting by observing the Muslim fast of Ramadan" — A Christian Ramadan? I agree that Muslims "would see [this] as the obvious gimmick that it is."
While living in Malaysia, my Muslim friends compelled me to rediscover both fasting and regular prayer, but instead of appropriating their religion, I learned more about my own, and eventually became Catholic.
"Gandhi was not always right," say Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper — Where Tutu (and Gandhi) went wrong. They quote what they call "shameful words" of his, written "just after Kristallnacht, when the Nazis systematically destroyed Germany's and Austria's synagogues" (but before the Holocaust).
"The German persecution of the Jews seems to have no parallel in history," said the Mahātmā. "If there ever could be a justifiable war in the name of and for humanity, a war against Germany, to prevent the wanton persecution of a whole race, would be completely justified." That said, he would not waver from his pacifism: "I do not believe in any war. A discussion of the pros and cons of such a war is therefore outside my horizon or province." And he went on to recommend his philosophy of Satyāgraha for the Jews of Germany, suggesting "suffering voluntarily undergone will bring them an inner strength and joy."
The words are not shameful (although I disagree with them to a certain extent as a believer in the right to self-defense), but merely consistent. So, it seems Rabbis Hier and Cooper are merely upset that an exception was not granted for their people. That said, I agree fully with the Rabbis' concluding statement: "The Holocaust also taught us that freedom and justice come to those who are prepared to fight for them."
Out of Japan comes a "quarterly publication [that] consists of articles written not by outsiders, but by a few North Koreans, farmers and factory workers who risk their lives to provide poignant vignettes and hard-news accounts of life in their reclusive homeland" — North Korea revealed by those who know it.
Tom Engelhardt suggests that "it looks as if we are about to have a civilian-military encounter of the first order in which Obama will indeed need to take responsibility for difficult actions" — How to Trap a President in a Losing War. He argues that whether "an already heavily militarized foreign policy geared to endless global war is] surrendered to the generals.... is a question that is not likely to go away and that may determine what this country becomes."
Justin Raimondo reports on the "battle shaping up for hearts and minds – not in the wilds of Afghanistan, but in the White House" — Who is Barack Obama? "On one side of the barricades stand Hillary Clinton, ... who demanded of her husband, then-President Bill Clinton, to stop shilly-shallying and begin the bombing of Belgrade," and "[o]n the other side – Vice President Joe Biden, who wants to implement what is essentially the George Will plan for the Afghan front."
"Is it true that people no longer link to blog posts that they quote from?" asks Deacon Steve Hayes — Outbound Links - An Endangered Species? I have found it to be increasingly true, but not of any blogs I regularly read. I am pretty scrupulous about giving credit where credit is due.
Russell Kirk's idea that "conservatism is the negation of ideology" should be kept in mind reading Cas Mudde's remembrance of the man who gave us "an ideology that fused market economics, social traditionalism, and aggressive democratic interventionism against chosen authoritarian adversaries" — Neo-conservatism: Irving Kristol’s living legacy — and Richard Spencer's reminder that it was he who "conceived of his country’s identity as 'ideological, like the Soviet Union of yesteryear,' and argued that the U.S. would thus 'inevitably have ideological interests in addition to more material concerns'" — Was Irving Kristol a CIA Plot?
The Italian author notes that "most kids – what with computers (when they use them) and text messages – can no longer write by hand, except in laboured capital letters" — The lost art of handwriting. Of the old days, he writes:
My parents' handwriting was slightly slanted because they held the sheet at an angle, and their letters were, at least by today's standards, minor works of art.... My generation was schooled in good handwriting, and we spent the first months of elementary school learning to make the strokes of letters. The exercise was later held to be obtuse and repressive but it taught us to keep our wrists steady as we used our pens to form letters rounded and plump on one side and finely drawn on the other.
"The tragedy began long before the computer and the cellphone," he says. "The crisis began with the advent of the ballpoint pen."
"The art of handwriting teaches us to control our hands and encourages hand-eye coordination," he writes, noting also that "writing by hand obliges us to compose the phrase mentally before writing it down."
One of the most pleasurable teaching experiences I had here in Korea was when a student who was going abroad to study asked me to tutor him personally in handwriting, as he had heard that many American professors still use it on blackboards and in comments on papers.
A report on "an unprecedented find that could revolutionize ideas about medieval England's Germanic rulers," that "offers new insight into the world of the Anglo-Saxons, who ruled England from the fifth century until the 1066 Norman invasion and whose cultural influence is still felt throughout the English-speaking world," and which "will make us rethink the Dark Ages" — Huge hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure uncovered in UK.
That's good news for those of us with revolutionary ideas about medieval England's Germanic rulers and who have long been rethinking the Dark Ages.
UPDATE: The irrepressible Lew Rockwell uncovers another aspect of the story, that this "astounding discovery of ancient Anglo-Saxon (if you will excuse the expression) gold, by a private treasure hunter on a friend’s private land, has been seized by the UK government, and no one seems to think this peculiar" — Ancient Gold Hoard Stolen by British Government.
John Zmirak on Catholics Who Pontificate About Economics
He examines "how too many Catholics look at economics and public policy," suggesting the Faith offers them "a high-minded rhetoric of noble-sounding values, a sense of moral superiority, and unrestricted license to speak and write as a crank" — Baptism Is Not an Economics Degree. An excerpt:
Whatever the facts of the matter, regardless of learned arguments, they know without thinking too hard or reading too much that the "Catholic" answer (as they dimly understand it) must be correct . . . so they need not bother slogging through the trouble of doing any research. Having read about an issue (perhaps for the first time) in some Church document or other, they seize upon a relative Good it recommends:
The Church supports a "living wage."
. . . and decent conditions for workers.
. . . and opportunity for the poor.
. . . and "economic justice."
. . . and "rights for immigrants."
. . . and health care.
Then they treat this desideratum as an unconditioned absolute, as binding as the right to life, more important than liberty or property. They don't feel the need to master even the basics of the discipline they're considering, but rather grab left and right at whatever facts will help them build a case. If they're talking about economics, they'll cite a Gospel verse here, quote St. Francis there, throw in some abuse of "usury," maybe even summon some half-remembered Chesterton -- then wrap it in a pretty pink bow with a long quotation from a bishops' pastoral letter and act as if they've made a genuine argument. If you ask about the costs of the policies they propose, or the dangers of bureaucratic management, they won't respond to specifics, but rather start pounding the table and accusing you of "dissent" from Catholic teaching . . . as if you'd marched right out and joined Planned Parenthood or the Klan.
That's just the beginning of his take-down of "Catholics who grandstand about 'distributive justice' and offer Rube Goldberg schemes for re-engineering our country's economy, without knowing or caring how wealth is produced in the first place."
The above photo from August was taken by "Italian journalist Piergiorgio Pescali [who] has been a regular visitor to North Korea since 1995" and whose "connections with Catholic NGOs [has given him] access to areas most foreigners are not allowed to see" and was published by the Beeb in this series — In pictures: Life in poverty-stricken North Korea.
Kim Yoon-ok, the wife of the South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, seemed to go beyond the call of duty on Sept. 21 when she picked up a spatula to cook pajeon — savory pancakes stuffed with seafood, scallions and slivered red peppers — for a group of American veterans of the Korean War.
To the consternation of her bodyguards, and in a moment that seemed more inspired by Rachael Ray than by Michelle Obama, the first lady plunged into the rows of guests to hand-feed bites of her pajeon to some silver-haired veterans and their wives.
“I wanted to give them a new taste of Korea as something positive and delicious,” she said in an interview afterward, her first with a member of the Western news media since her husband took office last year. (She spoke through an interpreter.) “From the war, they do not have many pleasant food memories.”
A Korean ajumma (middle aged woman) is at her best when cooking food and forcing people to eat it. I love the story!
The Young Fogey quotes Lauren Winner as saying, "I have sometimes set aside my prayer book for days and weeks on end, and I find, at the end of those days and weeks on end, that I have lapsed into narcissism." — One of the points of liturgical prayer.
"It is returning to my prayer book that places me," she says. "Liturgy is not, in the end, open to our emotional whims. It repoints the person praying, taking him somewhere else."
"Our pet-worshiping society raises a hullabaloo when a man kills his dog but our local humane societies must kill dogs by the thousands every day because pet-worshipers won’t take proper responsibility for their pets and nobody else wants them," he writes — Kill People But Not Dogs and Cats. Later in his essay, he says, "Some of the very people who belch bricks at me because I will kill a dog that is killing my sheep support that terribly insane Iraq war and now nod their approval to killing more people in another idiotic war in Afghanistan."
In bygone days of American prosperity, American incomes rose with productivity. It was the real growth in American incomes that propelled the U.S. economy.
In today’s America, the only incomes that rise are in the financial sector that risks the country’s future on excessive leverage and in the corporate world that substitutes foreign for American labor. Under the compensation rules and emphasis on shareholder earnings that hold sway in the U.S. today, corporate executives maximize earnings and their compensation by minimizing the employment of Americans.
Try to find some acknowledgement of this in the “mainstream media,” or among economists, who suck up to the offshoring corporations for grants.
The worst part of the decline is yet to come. Bank failures and home foreclosures are yet to peak. The commercial real estate bust is yet to hit. The dollar crisis is building.
When it hits, interest rates will rise dramatically as the U.S. struggles to finance its massive budget and trade deficits while the rest of the world tries to escape a depreciating dollar.
Noting "the continuing stubborn associations of Washington with accommodation, compromise, and political machinations," James B. LaGrand reviews a "new biography of Washington [that] shows that this conventional wisdom is wrong, even stunningly wrong" — Reconsidering “The Wizard of Tuskegee”.
Thomas E. Woods, Jr. reviews a book with that subtitle that "chronicles the story of 'progressive' Christian clergy, whom we might expect to be faithful to the Prince of Peace, but who instead overwhelmingly favored U.S. involvement in World War I" — Onward, Christian Soldiers.
"Daddy, give them the money. They are beating me," said the boy pictured above, "[t[he boy's final words to his father... in an agonizing phone call" — After years of war, Iraqis hit by frenzy of crime. He was beheaded the next day. "His body showed burns and marks of torture."
Patrick J. Buchanan says as much — What Price NATO? The esteemed author reminds us that what "may be in the interests of [Georgian president] Saakashvili and his Russophobic U.S neoconservative retainers... is the furthest thing from U.S. national interests."
Mr. Buchanan is happy that "Obama appears to be rolling back the George W. Bush policy of expanding NATO into former republics of the Soviet Union," that "Obama believes entente with Russia is a surer guarantee of the peace and security of Eastern Europe than any U.S. weapons system," and that "Obama puts Washington-Moscow ties before any U.S. military ties to NATO allies in Eastern Europe."
Above, "the first car to roll off the production line at Asia Motors," which was "later a unit of Kia" — The old, reliable Fiat 124 - except made in Korea. The model was "extremely popular not only here but also in Eastern Europe." It's a pity one does not see cars more than ten years old on the streets of Korea.
J.D. Tuccille on a case in which the assumption "that people are more careful when they are subject to fewer commandments and less direction" resulted in the conclusion "that better results may well come from letting people make ad hoc arrangements on the spot than from subjecting them to top-down control" — At Least with Traffic, Fewer Rules Make for Better Behavior.
"Walter B. Jones has sent more than 8,000 letters of sympathy to the survivors of U.S. service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan," begins Kelley B. Vlahos — GOP Rep. Still Doing Penance for War Vote. Said the congressman, "I think I have been forgiven through all those letters. I really do."
"It might just be that Obama can reverse the insane tide of self-destructive militarism that Dwight David Eisenhower warned us about during his 1961 farewell speech," hopes Jeff Huber — Obama’s High Noon. "Maybe, just maybe, Obama has the political skill and will to put our malignant obsession with war into remission."
"The answer now, is as it was under Bush and will be forever with government programs, is more force, more death, more money, more determination to win," worries Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. — The Afghan Disaster.
Ninety-two years ago yesterday, an answer to a plea that "called for the cessation of hostilities, general reduction of armaments, freedom of the seas and international arbitration of any territorial questions among the warring nations" — Central Powers respond to Papal Peace Note.
Weeks earlier, Woodrow Wilson's reply to Pope Benedict XV had rejected the offer and pledged instead to "deliver the free peoples of the world from the menace and the actual power of a vast military establishment controlled by an irresponsible Government."
Austria-Hungary later replied, "Guided by a spirit of moderation and consideration, we see in the proposals of your Holiness a suitable basis for initiating negotiations with a view to preparing a peace, just to all and lasting, and we earnestly hope our present enemies may be animated by the same ideals." Blessed Charles of Austria sadly did not prevail: "That same day, however, Austria’s more powerful ally, Germany, expressed its own inability to accept peace based on Benedict’s terms."
The report concludes, "Even after an armistice ended the war on November 11, 1918, the Vatican found itself on the outside, as its requests to be included in the peace negotiations were denied and it was excluded from the Paris Peace Conference at Versailles in 1919." Ergo, World War II.
"The Iraq and Afghan adventures were conceived as classic leftist projects to destroy traditional societies and reconstruct them into models of egalitarianism," says this Conservative Heritage Times report on "the meltdown of the pro-war, any-war crowd" — The Little Green Meltdown.
"The low birthrate has reached the point where a Cabinet member was compelled to say that it is even more menacing and dangerous than a North Korean nuclear bomb," begins this editorial — More babies. "The ramifications of a low birthrate are grave," notes the author:
It means that the people in their productive years will have to support increasing numbers of the elderly. Labor will be in short supply, and the average age of the working population will go up, leading to lower productivity. Overall, the growth potential of the country will be retarded.
The graying of society will also lead to a drop in consumption, slowing growth. The costs of social welfare programs will grow considerably. It is not difficult to imagine generational conflicts in society where the younger people will feel resentful of having to shoulder the increasing burden of caring for the elderly.
The author correctly states that "one of the biggest reasons for couples delaying having children or deciding against having children at all is the skyrocketing cost of education - in particular, the costs of private cram-school lessons and other extracurricular activities that parents feel are essential to give their children an advantage in this highly competitive society." He also notes that "among Korean working women, the higher her income, the fewer children she will have."
News that "92 percent of women who are told that their unborn child carries the high risk of Down syndrome choose to abort the baby" — Will Babies with Down Syndrome Just Disappear? That's up from the last time I heard numbers reported.
At the most local possible — Families becoming own censors. "Has the time come for families to become their own censors -- to take over a task long considered the province of government-backed agencies?" asks author William West.
Our mistake was to considere this "the province of government-backed agencies" in the first place, at least in a mass democracy. It might work at the community level, however.
Chan Akya reminds us "that capitalism provides a readymade whipping tool, ie bankruptcy, that keeps errant capitalists in check," except, of course, for that "class of people who do not face the full force of the law because of who they happen to be" — Moral hazard is back.
A report that "deindustrialization, joblessness, middle-class flight, depopulation, and global market shifts gave rise to the urban hyper-ghettos of the 1970s, and the same forces are now afflicting the nation's countryside" — The Rural Brain Drain.
James Howard Kunstler looks back to "the September 2008 Wall Street meltdown" and says "the cause of it all" was "the on-the-ground material catastrophe of American suburbia" — Original Sin.
"I’m starting to think that Obama may yet get America’s rabid militarism under control and end the madness spawned by the Bush/Cheney administration," concludes Jeff Huber — Polish Missile Joke Revisited.
"Blessed are the peacemakers," says Lew Rockwell — Heroic Disarmament. "Obama stops building anti-missile weapons in Eastern Europe, and Russia responds by dismantling its missiles."
"Obama can appear to be stepping back from an immediate confrontation with Russia but in fact he is following the lead of the Pentagon who for some time has been saying that they must move to expand the more promising Navy Aegis-based missile defense system," suggests Bruce Gagnon — Missile Defense: The Other Story.
"For the CIA supervisors and operatives responsible for torture, the chickens are coming home to roost; that is, if President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder mean it when they say no one is above the law," says Ray McGovern — CIA Torturers Running Scared.
"The CIA-off-campus protests of the 1980s may need to be revived--this time addressed to President Obama," begins Jon Wiener — Obama's CIA-on-Campus Program.
Let us remember that Steve Sailer informs us that the president's parents "appear to have had a lot more contact with the CIA or with people in contact with the CIA than most Americans' parents have had" — The Obama family and the CIA.
Remembering "the only self-admitted neoconservative in existence," he notes that "to describe someone as a neoconservative is practically considered a hate crime in certain quarters – in neoconservative quarters, that is" — Irving Kristol, RIP. A one-paragraph history of the ideology:
What the neocons did was simply switch allegiances from the old Soviet Union to the United States, taking their hotheaded Trotskyist temperament with them – and finally aspiring to lead a world revolution with the United States government at its head. When George W. Bush announced the launching of what he called a "global democratic revolution," he was merely echoing the neo-Trotskyist rhetoric of his closest advisers and the intellectual movement from which they sprang.
"What both the underclass and the boomers have in common is dependence on the State," says Caleb Stegall, suggesting "[s]elf-government cannot long last in this climate" — Go to the Ant.
Said Pat Buchanan recently, "When a democracy reaches a point where the politicians cannot say no to the people, and both parties are competing for votes by promising even more spending or even lower taxes, or both, the experiment is about over" — Spending Ourselves to Death.
The article quotes one Sister Elisabeth Choi Hae-young, the first unhabited Korean nun I have ever seen. It also quotes someone alse as ludicrously suggesting that "few young women attend Sunday Mass, let alone join Church activities." The parishes I attend are crawling with single, young women (attention, young men), like this one pictured in the catechism prepared for young conscripts by the military ordinariate, from a recent post here — The Beauties of Korean Catholicism:
Insist that children learn, then keep using, accurate, neat, and very legible cursive handwriting. Think about it. When we speak, the sounds of a word flow, from one phoneme to the next, with smoothness, grace, and connections! Sounds flow together to make words; words flow together to make sentences; sentences to make paragraphs. Words flow together to create thoughts and ideas. Help children become aware of, and mimic, the flow of speech and language; make sure that children use that flow in their handwriting, thereby setting the stage for smooth scrolling of the mind when they read, spell, write, Think. We do not speak in Print! S-T-AR-T; S-T-O-P; S-T-AR-T; S-T-O-P! We speak in cursive!!!
Old Chinese landscapes reveal, among towering mountains, the frail outline of a roof or a tiny human figure passing along a road on foot or horseback. These landscapes are almost always populated. There is no implication of dehumanized interest in a nature for "its own sake." What is represented is a world in which human beings belong, but which does not belong to human beings in any tidy economic sense; the Creation provides a place for humans, but it is even greater than humanity and within it even great men are small. Such humility is the consequence of accurate insight, ecological in its bearing, not a pious deference to "spiritual" value.
"Using his early training as a Trotskyite, and a natural talent for organizing, recruiting, and demagoguery, he managed to take over the Stupid Party, i.e., the conservative movement and the Republicans," says Lew Rockwell — Irving Kristol Is Dead at 89. "Whatever was good, he purged or smeared, in the cause of what he dubbed 'neoconservatism': corporatism, global war, and imperialism, with a special orientation towards Israel," says Mr. Rockwell. "As a warmonger and promoter of the police state, he had much blood on his hands, and wanted more."
"Uniquely in all of history," says Jack Ross, "Kristol was present for virtually the entire history of this revolutionary-totalitarian movement, easily equal to if not greater than its 20th century rivals, from its birth in the Trotskyist den of Alcove One to its likely demise at the hands of Barack Obama, the South Side state senator with an African name and disciple of Saul Alinksy who is proving the most cunning President of These United States since Richard Nixon" — The Orange Wedge, At Last. The author, however, "will save the out-and-out dancing over the grave for Norman Podhoretz."
J. David Hoeveler, Jr. offers a more charitable send-off of the "the major intellectual inspiration, and... one of the most influential voices, of the phenomenon labeled 'neoconservatism'"— In Memoriam: Irving Kristol (1920–2009).
An article mentioning the 2006 South Korean film of that title in which "a public servant in charge of population control goes to a small town and visits every house in the evening to prevent townspeople from having sex" — Population Education. "Set in the era of President Park Chung-hee, the movie comically describes the conflict between the public servant, who promotes birth control, and farmers, who believe procreation is the most valuable thing they can do."
The article notes, "In the 1970s and 80s, the government installed population towers showing population increase every second at all train stations and bus terminals to make people guilty for having babies." Now, however, "[a] different form of population education to promote childbirth is set to begin amid the country’s low birth rate, which has reached a point where it threatens the future of the nation."
Hotaru Ferschke just wants to raise her 8-month-old son in his grandparents' Tennessee home, surrounded by photos and memories of the father he'll never meet: a Marine who died in combat a month after marrying her from thousands of miles away.
To hell with the lickspittles at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [sic]; a far nobler institution is stepping up: "[t]he Marines are paying survivor benefits to Ferschke and her baby."
In North Kyŏngsang Province, There Are Many Mansions
A report on "traditional homes that have been tucked into the Korean mountains for hundreds of years" at which "visitors can refresh both body and soul" — The luxuries of time. Of local interest to this blogger: "About half of the 635 old mansions in Korea are located in North Gyeongsang, and the provincial government is working on a 600 million won ($477,000) project to promote these mansions as a national tourist attraction."
Of course, the country wasn't yet divided in the photo above, from the Duk-Won Abbey, which was later "closed by [the] North Korean regime and many priests and friars were executed during Korean war" — Centennial Anniversary of OSB in Korea. Click on the link for more such photos, and this one for a traditional Korean painting of an event that occured on July 5, 1925 at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome — Glorious Beatification of Fr. Kim Dae-Gon.
"Which soundbite sounds more conservative to you?" asks Freddy Gray, contrasting an Obama foreign-policy adviser's description of the recently caneclled Eastern European missile defense shield as "a system that won’t work, against a threat that doesn’t exist, paid for with money we don’t have" with the blatherings of two neocons — Romney and Santorum’s Missile Defense.
"On any given day," begins Daniel Larison, "hawks will mock Obama supporters because of the strong and obvious continuities in national security policy under Obama, and some of them will then turn around the next day to treat the unrealistic expectations of Obama-led change in U.S. foreign policy as a reasonable standard by which to judge the 'success' of the Obama administration" — “Anti-Americanism” Has Ceased To Mean Anything.
"For all his melodrama, Beck does two things which distinguish him from his colleagues," says Jack Hunter, namely, he "is not simply a blind Republican partisan" and "is not a constant warmonger" — Glenn Beck “We Need to Mind Our Own Business”.
"Even among thoughtful men and women of the Right there are real and often bitter differences of opinion as to what constitutes genuine conservatism," notes Daniel McCarthy, offering "five books [that] come as close to being canonical as any text can" — Five Conservative Classics. He says that "each made an indisputable contribution to the formative stages of the modern Right — and each tends to be revisited whenever conservatives seek to return to their intellectual roots."
"How come Oded Ellner, Omer Marmari, Paul Kurzberg, Sivan Kurzberg and Yaron Shmuel had set up a video camera on top of their white van pointing at the Twin Towers even before they were hit?" asks Pepe Escobar, along with 19 other questions to complement his Fifty questions on 9/11 posted last week — More questions on 9/11. Mr. Escobar elaborates:
Later they were seen celebrating. The FBI established that two were Mossad agents and that their employer, Urban Moving Systems, was a front operation. The investigation about them was killed by the White House. After being deported from the US, they admitted on Israeli TV that they had been sent to New York to "document" the attacks.
"It wasn’t some anti-Semitic conspiracy crank sitting in his parents’ basement, or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who first linked Israeli nationals to the events of 9/11: it was the U.S. government, specifically its law enforcement arm," details Justin Raimondo, quoting stories at the time reporting that "the number of detained Israelis had risen to 120" and "investigators suspect that the Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance, and not shared it — The High-Fivers.
Calling for "acts of responsibility and care that are oriented toward the long-term preservation of the natural, social, and institutional goods we have inherited," Mark T. Mitchell suggests that "it’s time for conservatives to once again start thinking about conserving" — The Rebirth of Conservatism.
"Despite our best efforts to deracinate ourselves, our history is ringing out in living and recorded memory so clearly that we can’t possibly miss hearing it–if we will just take the stoppers out of our ears," says Katherine Dalton — Two Degrees of Separation.
Jason Peters says that "it can come as no surprise to anyone with Thoreau coursing through his veins that the discipline of walking turns out to be yet another thing that separates Walden’s sage from the mass of men who lead lives of quiet desperation" — A Saunter With Thoreau, Walker Errant.
He begins by noting "how much a country radio station these days sounds like a mainstream FM rock station in the 1970s," which is why I can't stomach the new stuff — Songs of Our Soil. About the uniformity of style, he says, "The typical country fan has a life, and thus has a less pressing need to assert a unique individual identity through musical tastes." More:
While more than a few rock and hip-hop subgenres are intended to be physically painful to anybody other than males under 25, country is a sociable, big tent genre aiming to please both sexes and a wide range of ages above teen-age. Like NASCAR, country music tends to serve as an ethnic pride rally for the one ethnic group in America not allowed to hold ethnic-pride rallies.
He further notes that the music's "emphasis on clever lyrics means that singers are, despite their good old boy accents, expected to have fine diction," which "can be unsettling for old rock fans used to listening to incomprehensible British rockers with National Health Service-quality dental care."
Noting "the large number of songs devoted to making married men feel good about being work-a-daddies bringing home the bacon," he suggests that the "pro-family propaganda in country songs actually improves the conduct of white working-class American men."
We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.
Not in the P.R.C.; Francesco Sisci on the "wall of official silence the anniversary of Mao's death" — Memories are made of Mao. He informs us that "Mao's portrait in Tiananmen is reduced in size every year by a few centimeters."
Matteo Ricci was born in 1552 in the Marche town of Macerata. He became a Jesuit priest and a scholar of mathematics and astronomy before leaving for the Far East at the age of 26.
Audience members from Ricci’s hometown of Macerata included Bishop Claudio Giuliodori, Mayor Giorgio Meschini. The Governor of Marche Gian Maria Spacca was also in attendance.
Ricci spent four years in Goa on the west coast of India before traveling to China. There, he settled in Zhao Qing in the southernmost Guangdong Province and began studying Chinese. During his time there he produced his global Great Map of Ten Thousand Countries, which revolutionized the Chinese understanding of the rest of the world.
In 1589 he moved to Zhao Zhou and began sharing European mathematics discoveries with Chinese scholars. He became known as “Li Madou” and was renowned for his extraordinary memory and knowledge of astronomy. He eventually became a member of the court of Ming Emperor Wanli.
In 1601 he was allowed into the Forbidden City of Beijing, where he worked until his death in 1610.
Ricci’s work is familiar to Chinese schoolchildren of all ages but he was not well known in Italy until recently, ANSA says. Two successive exhibitions and a TV film have revived interest in his life.
"The best conceived and most desirable solution to the Austrian question is a monarchy with the legacy of the Habsburger tradition," wrote the economist to archduke — Monarchy, Not Legitimism. The letter was "dated New York, April 20, 1942, and never before published."
"Here I am, free," begins Mutadhar al-Zaidi. "But my country is still a prisoner of war" — The Story of My Shoe. "What compelled me to confront is the injustice that befell my people, and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by putting it under its boot."
An old post of mine which puts the incident in its proper context — Two Kids Who'll Never Be Able to Throw a Shoe at Mr. Bush. "Nor will they be able to throw a ball or throw stones at Satan, when and if they perform the Hajj," I wrote. "Perhaps Muntadar al-Zaidi threw a shoe each for these kids, and for the many others maimed and killed in an unconstitutional and unnecessay war that was in no way in our American interests."
Immanuel Velikovsky, Lew Rockwell, Murray Rothbard, and Me
"I am submitting for your consideration an article on the Velikovsky Affair and its parallels in the mainstream treatment of Austrian and non-interventionist ideas," I wrote to Mr. Rockwell as an introduction to my latest piece, which he has graciously published — The Science Cartel vs. Immanuel Velikovsky. Mr. Rockwell responded, "Thanks! Murray Rothbard thought that was a parallel too."
I believe that Israel has a powerful stranglehold on the American government. They control both members of the House, the House and the Senate. They have us involved in wars in which we have little or no interest.
Our children are coming back in body bags. Our nation is bankrupt over these wars. And if you open your mouth, you get targeted. And if they don't beat you at the poll, they'll put you in prison.
Thus spake the newly freed political prisoner — Jim Traficant Speaks Out. When asked about his "grudge against the Israelis" he answered:
The grudge is not necessarily a grudge. It's an objective assessment that no one will have the courage to speak about.
They're controlling much of our foreign policy. They're influencing much of our domestic policy.
Wolfowitz as undersecretary of defense manipulated President Bush number two back into Iraq. They've pushed definitely, definitely to try to get Bush before he left to move into Iran.
We're conducting the expansionist policy of Israel and everybody's afraid to say it. They control much of the media, they control much of the commerce of the country, and they control powerfully both bodies of the Congress. They own the Congress.
"Are you an anti-Semite?"
No, I'm not. And that's exactly what they're going to say. And I expect that.
What I am is an American. You see, I think America comes first. And we have a one-sided foreign policy in the Mideast, and we've alienated Arabs who have no way of fighting.
So, what they've done -- and I predicted this on the House floor -- is they would export violence to America. And they have. They have no other way to fight.
I think President Obama knows this. I think he sees this. I think he wants to do something. I think his hands are tied, and I think he's dancing between the raindrops, trying to figure how I can politically machinate some scenario to mitigate these problems.
Greta, I'm saying this. America is in danger if America doesn't take back their government without foreign influence, interference.
A hit piece on "the ubiquitous 'expert' cited and referenced by those eager to demonstrate the superiority of 'Koranic science' over 'the evolution lie' — Sex, flies and videotape: the secret lives of Harun Yahya. He is the author of the 850-page Atlas of Creation, "which was sent free in two volumes to dozens of universities, libraries and prominent scientists (including Richard Dawkins) across the world" and "purports to prove that Darwin was utterly mistaken, that each plant and animal was created intact, and that no modification through natural selection ever took place."
Also, he "has received endorsements from conservative congressmen in the US for his strong stance against Islamic terrorism, is feted by extreme orthodox Sanhedrin Rabbis in Israel for his anti-atheism, and has ambitions to create a Turkish-Islamic union, a new Ottoman Empire girdling the world from Eastern Russia to Western Nigeria, which would unify the Islamic world under Turkish leadership." He is described as an "ardent proponent of interfaith dialogue, attempting to unify believers of all stripes against the corrupting influence of Darwinism, which he now holds responsible for Fascism, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust."
"Transnational companies are as amoral as sharks," says Patrick J. Buchanan — Globalism vs. Americanism. "Obama’s tariffs on Chinese tires are a good start" to restoring "the republic that was once the most self-sufficient and independent in all of history."
"The health care bill is not about health care" but "about protecting and increasing the profits of the insurance companies," says Paul Craig Roberts — The Health Care Deceit. "What the US needs is a single-payer not-for-profit health system that pays doctors and nurses sufficiently that they will undertake the arduous training and accept the stress and risks of dealing with illness and diseases."
The biggest and most secretive gathering of ships in maritime history lies at anchor east of Singapore. Never before photographed, it is bigger than the U.S. and British navies combined but has no crew, no cargo and no destination – and is why your Christmas stocking may be on the light side this year.
So begins Simon Parry, revealing "a powerful and tangible representation of the hurricanes that have been wrought by the global economic crisis; an iron curtain drawn along the coastline of the southern edge of Malaysia's rural Johor state" — The Ghost Fleet of the Recession. "It is so far off the beaten track that nobody ever really comes close, which is why these ships are here," he writes. "The world's ship owners and government economists would prefer you not to see this symbol of the depths of the plague still crippling the world's economies."
While neither scientifically verifiable nor theologically accurate, these "maps of sin created by plotting per-capita stats on things like theft (envy) and STDs (lust)" are at least interesting — American Vice: Mapping the 7 Deadly Sins. Below, "Pride," an "[a]ggregate of the other six offenses—because pride is the root of all sin:"
... and who by doing so "saved more lives than any person who has ever lived," has died at the age of 95 — Norman Borlaug, RIP.
Dr. Christopher Blunt suggests that "the most important by-product of Dr. Borlaug’s green revolution is the shattering of Malthusian theories" but that untimately "he could not recognize the profoundly anti-Malthusian implications of his achievements" — Norman Borlaug, RIP.
"I am sure that many arguments in economics have ended as the Malthusian proponent has been stumped by the simple mention of the name Norman Borlaug," comments Rick Lakin, who acknowledges that "his efforts gave billions the opportunity to live their lives" but hints (hopes?) that "we [may be] finally approaching the Malthusian vindication" — Reflections on the Life of Norman Borlaug - Sept 14.
"Today the Church has made a big mistake, turning the clock back 500 years with guitars and popular songs," says the man "widely regarded as one of Hollywood's finest film score composers" — Ennio Morricone: Faith Always Present In My Music. "I don't like it at all," says the Maestro explains, "Gregorian Chant is a vital and important tradition of the Church and to waste this by having kids mix religious words with profane, Western songs is hugely grave, hugely grave."
(Interviewer Edward Pentin explains "it's turning the clock back because the same thing happened before the Council of Trent when singers mixed profanity with sacred music.")
Of Pope Ratzinger, he says, "He seems to me to be a very high minded Pope, a man of great culture and also great strength." Of the Holy Father's "Reform of the Reform," he says, "He is doing well to correct it. He should correct it with much more firmness. Some churches have taken heed, but others haven't."
Of the Maestro's most reknowned score, that for The Mission (1986), he speaks of its "technical and spiritual effect." Mr. Pentin explains:
By that, he means the way it managed to combine three musical themes related to the movie. The presence of violins and Father Gabriel’s oboe represent "the Renaissance experience of the progress of instrumental music." The film then moves on to other forms of music that came out of the Church reforms of the Council of Trent, and ends with the music of the native Indians.
The result was a "contemporary" theme in which all three elements -- the instruments that came out of the Renaissance, the post-conciliar reformed music, and the ethnic melodies -- harmoniously come together at the very end of the film. "The first and second theme go together, the first and third can go together, and the second and third go together," Morricone explains. "That was my technical miracle which I believe was a great blessing."
An American Catholic son-in-law of Korea, Iosue Andreas Sartorius lives with his wife and two children in Pohang, his home of more than a decade, where he lectures English at a science and technology university. Mission creep has transformed an overseas assignment for his alma mater into a foreign entanglement in the Far East now well into its second decade. A Gypsyquadroon, he has also lived in Chile and what was British Malaya, offering perhaps some insights not only into the Confucian but also the Latin and Islamic civilizations as well.
Said Confucius, "I transmit but do not innovate; I am truthful in what I say and devoted to antiquity." This blogger's aim is not to create any novelties, but rather to transmit ideas from others, especially those that pay proper homage to antiquity, mostly in the form of annotated links. It should be remembered that this is a weblog, whose raison d'être it is merely to share information; therefore, the presence of a link anywhere on this site should not be construed as an endorsement of the opinions, content, or veracity therein. Fair use rights are claimed and freely offered on all material appearing on these pages.
"The farther you go, the less you know."
─ Lao Tzu
"Confucius has had distinguished individual admirers in America but otherwise no perceptible influence on our political thought. We have lost by our failure to attend to him. He sets forth a way of drawing a workable and highly ethical way of life out of things of a kind found in every society: myth and tradition, natural human impulses, and the practicalities of daily life. Since his method relies on moral leadership rather than political power, in times of fundamental political conflict it may be useful more for the ideals it maintains than its immediate practical efficacy. However, it is simple, flexible, and consistent with a reasonable interpretation of our own fundamental traditions. In confused times like our own we would do well to consider it; even if it does no more immediately than add to our stock of ideals, we should remember that ideals are eventually decisive."
─ James Kalb from Confucius Today
"Ricci publicly announced that he had come to China to supplement Confucian belief, and to attack the absurdity of Buddhism. He argued that the Catholic God and the Confucian Lord-on-High were equivalent, and that the Confucian term Heaven, or Providence, was compatible with the Catholic concept of God the Creator. Citing passages from Confucian classics, he demonstrated that the concepts of the soul's immortality and good and evil in Catholicism were analogous to the fundamental teachings of Confucianism."
─ Hahn Moo-Sook in Encounter
恩寵이 가득하신 마리아여, 기뻐하소서! 主께서 함께 계시니, 女人 中에 福되시며 胎中의 아들 예수 또한 福되시도다! 天主의 聖母 마리아여, 이제와 우리 죽을 때에 우리 罪人을 爲하여 빌으소서. 아멘.
─ Ave Maria in Sino-Korean mixed script, my reconstruction
This Blogger's Parish
"It was not through the efforts of missionaries that Catholicism spread in Korea. In the beginning it was studied as an academic interest by scholar-officials of the Southerner faction, who had by then lost political power. Disillusioned with the empty, obsolete, and contradictory metaphysics of the day, they developed a profound interest in the Western books brought into Korea by the annual mission to the Peking court. With an insatiable thirst for new knowledge, they marvelled at the newly introduced learning, more logical, scientific, and practical than any they had known. Scientific advancement in mathematics and calendrical computation hitherto unknown to them greatly stimulated and influenced these scholar-officials. They joined forces in a new scholarly trend called Sirhak, or 'practical learning,' which used an empirical approach aimed at 'institutional reform of government' and 'economic enrichment in society.'"
─ Hahn Moo-Sook in Encounter
This Blog's Geopolitics
"In pre-imperial America, conservatives objected to war and empire out of jealous regard for personal liberties, a balanced budget, the free enterprise system, and federalism. These concerns came together under the umbrella of the badly misunderstood America First Committee, the largest popular antiwar organization in U.S. history. The AFC was formed in 1940 to keep the United States out of a second European war that many Americans feared would be a repeat of the first. Numbering eight hundred thousand members who ranged from populist to patrician, from Main Street Republican to prairie socialist, America First embodied and acted upon George Washington's Farewell Address counsel to pursue a foreign policy of neutrality."
─ Bill Kauffman in Ain't My America: The Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle-American Anti-Imperialism
"Libertarian isolationism draws its adherents from both the left and the right. According to the libertarian isolationist interpretation of history, the U.S. changed from a decentralized republic into a militarized, authoritarian empire in the late 19th century, when the Spanish-American War made the U.S. a colonial power and trusts and cartels took over the economy. Every president since McKinley, they believe, has been a tool of a self-aggrandizing crony capitalist oligarchy, which exaggerated the threats of Imperial and Nazi Germany and Japan and the Soviet Union and communist China and now of Islamist terrorism in order to regiment American society and divert resources to the bloated 'military-industrial complex.' If the libertarian isolationists had their way, the U.S. would abandon foreign alliances, dismantle most of its military, and return to a 19th-century pattern of decentralized government and an economy based on small businesses and small farms."
─ Michael Lind in The five worldviews that define American politics
"For centuries in Korea, Confucianism has meant a system of education, ceremony and civil administration as first expressed by Confucius in his writings. Confucian concepts of social harmony and moral precepts permeated the intellectual life of the old East Asia and played a pivotal role in moulding the Korean culture as we know it today. In Korea, Confucianism was accepted so eagerly and in so strict a form that the Chinese themselves regarded the Korean adherents as more virtuous. They called Korea 'the country of Eastern decorum,' referring to the punctiliousness with which the Koreans observed all aspects of the doctrinal ritual."
─ Korean Confucianism
"But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice and madness, without tuition or restraint."
─ Edmund Burke
"We have heard enough of liberty and the rights of man; it is high time to hear something of the duties of men and the rights of authority."
─ Orestes Augustus Brownson
"The Virgin and St. Thomas [Aquinas] are my vehicles to anarchism."
─ Henry Adams
"Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead."
─ G. K. Chesterton.
"Order is not pressure which is imposed on society from without, but an equilibrium which is set up from within."
─ José Ortega y Gasset
"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive."
─ C.S. Lewis
"Tradition! We scarcely know the word anymore. We are afraid to be either proud of our ancestors or ashamed of them. We scorn nobility in name and in fact. We cling to a bourgeois mediocrity which would make it appear we are all Americans, made in the image and likeness of George Washington."
─ Servant of GodDorothy Day
"When, I wonder, did we in America ever get into this idea that freedom means having no boundaries and no limits? I think it began on the 6th of August 1945 at 8:15 am when we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima... Somehow or other, from that day on in our American life, we say we want no limits and no boundaries."
─ Servant of GodArchbishop Fulton J. Sheen
"Burke was liberal because he was conservative."
─ Russell Kirk
"What we need is more confidence in ourselves, and a stronger belief in our traditions, so that we never are tempted to initiate force to make others live as we do. If we truly have an economic and political message worth emulating, our only responsibility is to set a standard that others will want to follow."
─ Congressman Ron Paul