Saturday, July 31, 2010

King Alfonso X of Castile's Las Cantigas de Santa Maria Performed by Narciso Yepes

Bookmark and Share

Patrick J. Buchanan on the Wars' End

"We will walk, not run, to the exit," he writes, as "it seems America is on her way out of both wars" — Coming Home at Last? Noting the "[m]ore than 4,200 U.S. dead, 35,000 wounded, $700 billion sunk" on our side, he asks "what is the cost to the Iraqi people of a U.S. invasion and occupation and seven-year war, the end of which is nowhere in sight?"
    Perhaps 100,000 dead, half a million widows and orphans, 4 million refugees, half having fled their country, devastation of a Christian community that dated to the time of Christ and the ethnic cleansing of the Sunnis from Baghdad.

    Four months after elections, they have no government, and bombs that kill dozens still go off daily. And, when the Americans leave, a civil and sectarian war may return. The breakup of Iraq along ethnic and religious lines remains a possibility. The price of liberation is high.

    And what did the Iraqis do to deserve this? Did they attack us?

    No. They had nothing to do with 9/11 and had complied with the U.S. demand to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction years before the U.S. Army stormed in to discover and destroy those weapons.

    And we wonder why these ungrateful people hate us.

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

A Humbler President Obama?

"Washington has done the right thing in accepting Iran's overtures for nuclear swap talks without preconditions as they give Barack Obama a ladder to climb down from his high horse," writes M.K. Bhadrakumar — A Persian message for Obama. Meanwhile, the president's house organ, The Washington Post, says, "The Iranian regime realizes that even Obama's patience is limited" — Iran starts feeling heat.

Mr. Obama would be wise to listen to his predecessor, who as a candidate wisely said, "If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us; if we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us" — Online NewsHour Presidential Debate- October 12, 2000.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Friday, July 30, 2010

"By The Mark" Performed by Gillian Welch, David Rawlings & Ricky Skaggs

Bookmark and Share

"Koreans Are Well Represented in the Martyrology of Japan"

Father Maryknoller in Korea offers us some "brief sketches of 15 Koreans that are listed among the 205 Japanese Martyrs" — The Korean Martyrs of Japan. "The cruelty exhibited in Japan in the persecution would be difficult to match in the history of Christianity."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

More Doubts About WikiLeaks

Registan.net's Joshua Foust reports on the consequences that "thousands of documents in the archive... identify Afghans by name, family, location, and ideology" — Taliban Use Wikileaks to Hunt, Murder Named Afghans. We learn that founder Julian Assange "insisted that any risk to informants’ lives was outweighed by the overall importance of publishing the information."

"Cui bono?" one has to ask. Is Mr. Assange a selfless hero? Or is this about his ego? Or were the leaks, which reveal nothing new, orchestrated by the régime, either as a face-saving measure ahead of the inevitable withdrawal, or as justification for widening the war to Pakistan and Iran? Links to previous posts casting doubts on the whole affair — Assessing Assange, Who Leaked the WikiLeaks?, General Gul Responds to WikiLeaks.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

"A Theism"

Ron Rosenbaum argues that "it's time for a new agnosticism, one that takes on the New Atheists" — An Agnostic Manifesto. "Indeed agnostics see atheism as 'a theism'—as much a faith-based creed as the most orthodox of the religious variety." More:
    Faith-based atheism? Yes, alas. Atheists display a credulous and childlike faith, worship a certainty as yet unsupported by evidence—the certainty that they can or will be able to explain how and why the universe came into existence. (And some of them can behave as intolerantly to heretics who deviate from their unproven orthodoxy as the most unbending religious Inquisitor.)

    Faced with the fundamental question: "Why is there something rather than nothing?" atheists have faith that science will tell us eventually. Most seem never to consider that it may well be a philosophic, logical impossibility for something to create itself from nothing. But the question presents a fundamental mystery that has bedeviled (so to speak) philosophers and theologians from Aristotle to Aquinas. Recently scientists have tried to answer it with theories of "multiverses" and "vacuums filled with quantum potentialities," none of which strikes me as persuasive.
Tolle, lege. We learn that "the term agnostic was coined in 1869 by one of Darwin's most fervent followers, Thomas Henry Huxley, famously known as 'Darwin's bulldog' for his defense of evolutionary theory." The Galileo Affair by informs us that is the same "Darwin's bulldog" who "had no brief for Catholicism, [and] once examined the case and concluded that 'the Church had the best of it.'"

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Toward a Korean Culture of Life

News that "the Committee for Life and the Committee for Bioethics of the Korean Bishops' Conference" hope "to transform the 'culture of death' to a 'culture of life'" — Seoul, the Church celebrates the first National Congress for Life. "Bioethical issues are considered extremely important in South Korea, a country with a low birth rate and a government culture that tends to give the green light to practices such as abortion and euthanasia"

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

"I Thirst"

Words spoken two-thousand years ago on a nearby hill come to mind reading this story involving the same players — Israel threatens to cut off water supply to Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Pontificating on Economics

Simon Rowney reminds us that "the global financial crisis... was unpredicted by all but the acknowledged unorthodox economists" — Pope has authority to talk about economics. The author "would have thought this would damage the reputation if economic orthodoxy but it seems the opposite is the case." An excerpt:
    Paul Krugman is an prime example of an economists having failed to predict the GFC and not losing his reputation or influence on socio-economic policy. The 2008 Nobel prize winner and New York times columnist provided a rather simplistic analysis of where economists went wrong in 2008. He suggested that economists had preferred mathematical beauty to real truth, they had failed to realise that markets and institutions are not perfect and that people often behave irrationally.

    Krugman remains blind to the fact that the economic view of rationality is a stunted and limp view of the real nature of this divine gift.

    The Popes have rightly criticised economists for their failure to come to terms with the nature of the human person.

    Modern economics was conceived during a time when psychology was at a low point in history. The mind was little understood and there was a deep suspicion of mental structures. The Enlightenment's revolt from the middle ages had rejected the faculty view of the soul. For economics this meant the rejection of notion of a hierarchy of goods and the development of a utilitarian calculus view of rationality.

    In more recent times the structured nature of the mind has been rediscovered and the corresponding hierarchy of goods and broader notion of rationality developed. Unfortunately this has not found it's way into economic theory which suffers from sorry origin.
Interesting. The Austrian School, whose "unorthodox economists" were among those who predicted the global financial crisis, was first known as the "Psychological School."

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Blaming the Unemployed for Not Moving to Nonexistent Jobs

Talk about misleading headlines; check out this one from The Washington PostFew in U.S. move for new jobs, fueling fear the economy might get stuck, too. What new jobs? The economy is not stuck as it is? While under normal circumstances the fact that "interstate migration has reached its lowest point since World War II" would be good news, the fact that there are no new jobs anywhere for which to move is very bad news.

The article tells us that "a mobile workforce as a signature strength of the American economy" and "[m]any economists believe that a significant number of workers will have to move before the employment picture substantially improves." Again, where are the jobs?

It is not until the fourteenth paragraph that "the sheer scope of the unemployment problem" is even mentioned. A few paragraphs later Fernando Ferreira, professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, lets the cat out of the bag: "There are not a lot of opportunities to move. That is a huge factor in terms of less mobility." Brilliant analysis!

So much for that "service economy" the planners have been blathering about in Washington for decades as a replacement to manufacturing. No! Wait! I get it! If people would just start moving around, moving companies would start making money and that would kick-start the economy!

That's how the service economy was supposed to work, right? We didn't need to produce anything; foreigners could do that. All we needed to do was provide services, like moving, for each each other. We could become a nation of movers, with everyone making a living by moving everyone else from here to there.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady" Performed by Sándor Lakatos

Bookmark and Share

Upstate New Yorker Anti-Federalism

The post is in response to a friend of this blog, Mark in Spokane of Ordered Liberty, and his assertion that "the anti-federalists were overwhelmingly from the South," "almost always were stalwart defenders of the slaveocracy, and sought the extension of slavery across the continent," and that "[w]hile their rhetoric may have been about 'liberty' and 'little republics,' their actual practice was to embrace tyranny -- the tyranny of slavery," made in comment to this three-day-old post of mine — Back to the Articles. Behold, from Ratification of the Constitution (1786-1790), this map and chart:




The above indicate that the Upstate-Downstate rivalry predates the Union and that Upstate New York was a solid bastion of Anti-Federalism. Famous Anti-Federalists from the region include George Clinton (not of Parliament fame; he was fron New Jersey), and Melancton Smith, who may or may not have been Federal Farmer.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Steve Sailer on My Ancestry

As a Gypsy quadroon, I cannot pass up linking to this post and article respectively — Gypsy facts and A Gypsy is haunting Europe… From the former we learn that "[t]he employment rate of male Gypsies 15-59 in Hungary fell from 85% in 1971 under the Communism dictatorship to 29% in 2003" and "[i]n 2003, only 5% of Gypsies aged 20-24 had graduated from high school." From the latter, we learn that "[i]n the Czech Republic, 75% of Roma children are educated in schools for people with learning difficulties, and 70% are unemployed (compared with a national rate of 9%)." Also, "[i]n Slovakia, Roma children are 28 times as likely to be sent to a special school than non-Roma; Roma unemployment stands at 80%." From the latter article:
    The Guardian, of course, blames this solely on discrimination. To even suggest that the Gypsies have a preference for, say, leisure over labor, or that they suffer a lot from dyslexia would be racist and thus unthinkable. (By the way, their apparent tendency toward dyslexia is balanced by their musical skill. The late classical pianist Balint Vazsonyi told me that in the top Budapest conservatory where he studied, there were numerous Gypsies who never learned to read music, but somehow made their way through this rigorous course of training on sheer musical ability.)

    The Gypsies have been horrifically persecuted down through the seven centuries they've been in Europe. Otherwise civilized European countries are said to have subjected them to lethal "Gypsy hunts" all the way up into the 19th Century. Hitler massacred hundreds of thousands. The Communists tried to strip away their culture (but failed), and the newly democratic countries of Eastern Europe have tried to wall them off. For example, one of the first acts of our allies in the Kosovo Liberation Front in 1999 after we bombed Serbia into submission for them was to ethnically cleanse the Gypsies from Kosovo.

    So, it can seem churlish to mention any reasons why their tormentors acted so dreadfully. In polite society, you are supposed to assume that this appalling history was simply caused by a 700-year long mass hallucination. But, you can't understand modern Europe without understanding the Gypsies, who make up a rapidly growing part of it.

    Gypsies, who are evidently of South Asian origin, are often compared to Jews because of their victim status. Yet, in many ways, they are the anti-Jews.
On a more positive note, we learn that "gypsy criminals are less violent than most criminals, preferring swindles to brute force." I'm reminded of the gypsies in Chile who ripped me off, even after commenting on how much I looked like a cousin. (The "in-group morality" Mr. Sailer speaks of didn't come in to play after they asked if I could speak the Romani language; I only knew machka, or cat, which was the name of my cousin's feline.) I'm also reminded of the Gypsy family that rented the other half of a duplex I shared with come college friends; their "business" was black-topping drive-ways, with paint presumably, as they would move on before winter set in. I have fond memories of the youngest of their many kids, Gizmo, who helped me save my roommate's dog Lady after she had eaten rat poison (pour salt down the throat to induce vomiting, not a task for one with a Black Lab pup).

Also on a positive note, Mr. Sailer notes that "Gypsies don't seem to kidnap children anymore," and informs us that their most famous victim was none other than Adam Smith: "At the age of 4 he was kidnapped by a band of Gypsies, though prompt action by his uncle soon effected his rescue. 'He would have made, I fear, a poor Gypsy,' commented John Rae, his main biographer." Smith, by the way, is a surname Gypsies took in English-speaking countries, including my grandmother's family.

Finally, Mr. Sailer quotes a certain "Rev. Larry Merino, who evangelizes among American Gypsies in Indiana," as saying:
    Gypsies believe a myth that says a lot about the conception most people have of this group. It seems that a Gypsy stole a fourth nail at the crucifixion site that was destined to be used to nail the Savior's head to the cross. Since this act of larceny turned out to be an inadvertent act of mercy, God gave Gypsies the right to take things that didn't belong to them. Many Gypsies believe this is actually true! This being the case, it takes a missionary to this group a long time to undo what has been part of their culture for centuries.
Related news today, which does not outrage me — Sarkozy orders illegal Roma immigrants expelled. Blessed Ceferino Jimenez Malla, and, more controversially, Saint Sarah, orate pro nobis.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Mr. Obama's Adopted Hometown and His Ancestral Homeland

"The situation in Kenya on the eve of their national constitutional referendum is reminiscent of Chicago’s dirty politics at its worst," suggests Joseph Meaney — Chicago-Style Politics in Kenya. "Abortion was inserted into the draft constitution by backroom maneuvers," the author explains. "When pro-lifers raised the alarm, the highest Kenyan government officials tried to sow confusion by publicly denying that abortion’s legality would change."

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The Truth Behind the Tower of Babel


"Get past the attitude and it’s OK," says "The Young Fogey" of the article to which he links in this post — Six ancient beliefs that turn out to be true. The ancient belief that most interests me, a student of linguistics, is "#4. The Tower of Babel and the Birth of Languages." The link says, "If you're into linguistics or have taken a class on the subject, you will recognize how uncannily similar this is to the Theory of Monogenesis. This is one of the major theories out there about the evolution of languages, and it states that all of the world's languages evolved from one language, in one place, at one time."

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Anne Rice's Reversion

New Oxford Review links to the story — Anne Rice quits Christianity -- but not Christ. "I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity," said the authoress. "It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group." She writes:
    In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.
Yawn... May Christ be with you, is all I can say. What a tiresome statement! I've never read Miss Rice; she's too popular for me to waste my time with her. If her books are still around fifty years after she's dead, maybe I'll give them a try, but I'll likely be dead, too.

I do read Miss Flannery O'Connor, however, and am currently reading the Catholic authoress's posthumous Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose. Miss Rice's religious convictions are far more commonplace and far less convincing than those of Hazel Motes, founder of the "Church Without Christ" in Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood, or those of Onnie Jay Holy's "Church of Christ Without Christ" in the same.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Federalism and Anti-Federalism

An essay in which "Richard E. Wagner discusses the debate that separated the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists," which "still speaks to an America that should be concerned about the size of government and its role in our lives" — The Essential Aims and Ends of Government. The first two paragraphs:
    In eighteenth-century usage, a federation was a league between sovereign states. The federal government could relate only to the state governments; it could not deal directly with the individual citizens of those states. This arrangement characterized the Articles of Confederation. Hence, Congress could not impose taxes on individuals directly but had to petition the states for money. In February 1787 Congress called a convention “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.” What emerged from this convention was not a revision of the Articles, but a proposal for a new form of government—one that rejected the federal principle and created instead a national government that could directly govern individual citizens.

    A period of intense debate followed, as individual state conventions met to consider whether to ratify the new constitution. The Anti-Federalists opposed ratification. In one of the more notable ironies of American history, those who wanted to maintain the federal principle were called Anti-Federalists, while those who wanted to create a national government were called Federalists. In the June 1788 debate in the New York convention over ratification, Melancton Smith, in rebutting Alexander Hamilton’s advocacy of the new constitution, remarked that he “hoped the gentleman [Hamilton] would be complaisant enough to exchange names with those who disliked the Constitution, as it appeared from his own concession that they were Federalists, and those who advocated it Anti-Federalists.”

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

(Western) War Is Over

"Although Western liberalism may retain considerable appeal, the Western way of war has run its course," writes Andrew Bacevich, military historian — The End of Military History. "Nearly 20 years ago," he writes, "a querulous Madeleine Albright demanded to know: 'What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?' Today, an altogether different question deserves our attention: What’s the point of constantly using our superb military if doing so doesn’t actually work?"

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

The Memoirs of Thomas More Kim Dae-jung


This report on today's publication, marking the anniversary of his death, of the autobiography of the Catholic convert, dissident, human rights leader, president, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, begins with a shocker — Kim Dae-jung: My Mother Was a Concubine. He wrote:
    My mother lived as a concubine her whole life. Throughout my political career, I kept silent about the secrets of my birth in honor of my mother. I have come to think, however, that concealing the facts is not the proper way to honor my mother. My mother went through the worst of conditions to raise me, and I loved her more than anything.
No less a shocker is this revelation about "former ruling Grand National Party leader Park Geun-hye [and fellow Catholic convert — this was a time when the heads of all four of South Korea's main parties, bitter ideological rivals, professed the same Catholic Faith], who is the daughter of Kim’s political opponent [and military dictator], the late President Park Chung-hee," about which we learn:
    In the book, he said Park Geun-hye came to him in August 2004 and said, “I apologize for the damage and suffering you had to endure under my father’s rule,” and expressed surprise over her comment. He said he was happy because it seemed like her father had come back to life to ask for reconciliation, adding, “Though his daughter apologized, I felt as if I was being rescued.”
Here is a collection of my posts from a year ago marking his passing — Thomas More Kim Dae-jung, Requiem æternam..., The Catholic Faith and Witness of Thomas More Kim Dae-jung, President Kim Dae-Jung's Legacy, Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jin-suk on Thomas More Kim Dae-Jung, Thomas More Kim Dae-jung, a Man of Faith.

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto for Oboe and Violin Performed by Ham Ilgyu and Yi Jonghyŏp

Bookmark and Share

General Gul Responds to WikiLeaks

"Hamid Gul, a former Pakistan general accused of helping the Taliban, says United States orchestrated the mass leak of war files to scapegoat him for its imminent withdrawal from Afghanistan," we learn in this report sent by a reader — Wikileaks Afghanistan: former Pakistani general blames US for war leak.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Water for the Thirsty

Andrew Cusack brings the happy news from South Africa of "a helpful solution to the problem of drinking water in developing countries" — Stellenbosch Scientists Invent Cheap & Easy Water Filtration for the Masses.

A similar development was made where I work earlier this year — MIT-POSTECH Research Team Develops Portable Desalination Device.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

"Abortion Paradise" to Legalize Abortion?

News from a country where at least "43.7 percent of [all] pregnancies end in abortion" — South Korea Looks at Legalizing Abortion. The article reports that "the Ministry of Health indicates that doctors perform about 350,000 abortions per year, while they deliver on average just 450,000 babies," but also informs us "the actual number of abortions may be at least five times the official estimate, with a spokesman from the ruling Grand National Party saying that a National Assembly inspection last October found that the number of illegal abortions in Korea exceeds 1.5 million a year or roughly 4,000 babies aborted per day."

"Korea has often been called an 'abortion paradise' by many social commentators," wrote Frank M. Tedesco some years ago ─ Rites for the Unborn Dead: Abortion and Buddhism in Contemporary Korea.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

A Voice of Peace in the House

Bookmark and Share

Deunionization and Deindustrialization

"If regular citizens had been running the show, they never would have abandoned our manufacturing base," writes David Macaray — Taft-Hartley Revisited. "They never would have agreed to enrich international oligarchies at the expense of the American economy," he continues.

"Taking the greatest manufacturing power in the history of the world and dismantling it—relegating it to the role of industrial 'spectator'—is something that working people would never allow to happen," he concludes. Never. "Only the U.S. Congress would see the wisdom in pissing away something that took 150 years to build."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Holes in the Ch'ŏnan Story

Gregory Elich has a very exhaustive account of the "doubts [that] persist" — The Sinking of the Cheonan and Its Political Uses. His conclusion:
    Did a North Korean submarine fire a torpedo at the Cheonan? I do not know, but it seems improbable. If it was a torpedo that sank the Cheonan, then it certainly was not the one that the JIG put on display. It would have been foolhardy for the North Korean government to order such a strike. It had nothing to gain, and absolutely everything to lose by such an act. It may be that a rogue commander ordered the attack as revenge for an incident near Daecheong Island the previous November, when South Korean ships chased a North Korean patrol boat, firing on it and sending it up in flames, thereby causing the deaths of several sailors. That attack, incidentally, failed to elicit any concern whatsoever from the same U.S. officials who so sternly pontificate on the unacceptability of allowing the sinking of Cheonan to go unpunished.

    While reviewing the evidence, it began to appear to me that the most likely cause of the Cheonan's sad fate was having had the misfortune to inadvertently sail into the path of a sea mine, and this feeling has only been strengthened by the reports of the Russian investigation team's findings. Given the fast-moving currents in the waters near Baengnyeong Island, it may be that over time a rising mine gradually migrated from where it had been initially deposited, so that its position was unexpected. That is just speculation, of course, and other possibilities exist. A broad-based international investigation needs to take place, and its results made fully public. The 46 sailors who lost their lives when the Cheonan sank deserve the truth, whatever it may be. As do the peoples of both Koreas, whose future is intertwined in so many ways. But geopolitical considerations guarantee that no such international probe will take place.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

War Economy

"The US economy and the well-being of Americans are being sacrificed to the regime’s wars," writes Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury during the Reagan Administration — US Treasury is Running on Fumes.

"With the US bankrupting itself in wars, America’s largest creditor, China, has taken issue with America’s credit rating," informs the Father of Reaganomics. "The head of China’s largest credit rating agency declared: 'The US is insolvent and faces bankruptcy as a pure debtor nation.'"

He also tells us that "[o]n July 12, Niall Ferguson, an historian of empire, warned that the American empire could collapse suddenly from weakness brought on by its massive debts and that such a collapse could be closer than we think." Dr. Roberts' conclusion: "Deaf, dumb, and blind, Washington policymakers prattle on about 'thirty more years of war.'"

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Joseph Sobran on Barack Obama

"Liberal high hopes for our first black president were a hangover from the naive old belief in the Noble Savage," he writes — Calling Dr. Johnson. He later writes:
    Obama may be the perfect representative of a nation that no longer speaks the language of its ancestors. True, he is more fluent than George W. Bush, but both have done much to bring government into disrepute.

    To dispraise Obama is by no means to praise Bush. On the contrary, Obama’s presidency is the result of Bush’s. Americans today grossly overvalue politics and regard political victories as substantive achievements.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

LG Chem Owns Washington and Seoul, Literally It Seems

An interesting corollary to the recent news that South Korea's "LG Chem received almost half of its investment - $150 million - from the U.S. government and is to receive tax benefits of $130 million from Michigan" — Stealing From American Taxpayers, Giving to Korean Conglomerates — is this story informing us that "[a]n LG Chem researcher... known to have tried to join a rival foreign company... has been prevented from doing so by a Korean court" — Court Bans LG Chem Scientist From Joining Foreign Rival. The story:
    The Korean company is a leading manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, one of the nation’s top 10 new growth engines.

    The Seoul Central District Court said Wednesday that it banned four LG employees from working at Enerland for up to 18 months after their resignation. Enerland is a subsidiary of the U.S.-based A123 Systems.

    LG had submitted an application to the court to ban six of its battery lab researchers from moving to other companies and leaking confidential information.

    In addition to the four employees, a former electrolyte developer and a director in charge of the battery production process already moved to A123. On the six former staff, the court banned them from leaking LG’s business secrets or releasing them to a third party, including Enerland.

    A123 is a rechargeable battery maker established by alumni of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT. The company is LG’s rival and once competed against LG in a battery supply competition.

    Enerland is a wholly owned subsidiary of A123.
The American government has the power to give its people's money to South Korean conglomerates, and the South Korean government has the power to prevent one of its citizens from working for an American company. Absurd!

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

$ & £

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's suggestion the other day — The Death of Paper Money — is taken up by "Church history and end prophecy examiner" Bob Thiel — Death of paper currencies for the United States dollar and British pound sterling? Says Mr. Thiel, "While I am convinced that the British pound and US dollar, amongst other Anglo-Saxon currencies, will die and be worthless, this will not happen to all paper currencies."

Mr. Thiel, obviously some kind of Protestant, argues that "Bible prophecy reveals that about the time that the USA and its Anglo-allies are invaded (Daniel 11:39), a leader known as the King of the North, will also invade Egypt and take its gold (Daniel 11:40-43). One of the reasons to do this likely will be to partially restore the 'gold standard' so that people will be able to trust that his currency (the Euro, a Euro replacement, or basket of currencies)." Interestingly for a Protestant, he continues, "The idea of gold being amassed in the end time by a European leader is not only supported in the Bible in places like the books of Daniel and Revelation (cf. 18:9-16), it is also supported by both Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholic prophecies," which he quotes at length.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Vatican Crackdown and Hypocrisy!

"The Vatican has been accused of hypocrisy after the Swiss Guards launched a crackdown on tourists wearing skimpy clothing" — Vatican guards crack down on dress code. And this comes from the "Catholic" Press! At the Vatican, remember, it's always a "crackdown."


"The guards, who wear striped blue and gold uniforms, carry halberds and trace their service to the papacy back to 1506, drew aside men in shorts and women with uncovered shoulders and short skirts to tell them that they were not dressed properly." Readers are probably surprised the halberds weren't used to summarily behead the offenders.

"'Given all the scandals the Church has been involved in, what possible right can it have to be preaching about the morality of sleeveless dresses?' said one woman in her seventies," the article informs us. So, a septuagenarian, perhaps a scantily-clad septuagenarian, doesn't know the meaning of hypocrisy and we get a lede reading, "The Vatican has been accused of hypocrisy..."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Arvo Pärt's De Profundis Performed by Coro Polifonico di Ruda, Directed by Fabiana Noro

Bookmark and Share

The Price of Martyrdom

"Parents of a Christian missionary, who was abducted and killed in 2007 by Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, filed a suit against the government, demanding 350 million won ($294,860) in compensation, a Seoul court said Wednesday," reports Park Si-soo — Damages sought for murdered Taliban hostage. Just to clarify, they're suing their own government.

The murdered hostage's parents "claimed the government breached its duty to prevent its citizens from leaving for the war-torn Islamic state," yet "the missionary group including the victim Shim Sung-min left for Afghanistan despite a kidnapping alert issued by the foreign ministry."

I'm not a Protestant proof-texter, but I don't remember reading anything in the Great Commission about suing your own government if the heathen don't respond.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The North Korean World Cup Soccer Team's Homecoming

"North Korea’s football team were subjected to a six-hour public reprimand by 400 sports students and officials for betraying 'the trust of Kim Jong-un' by losing all three of their World Cup matches," reports Joseph Yun Li-sun — Pyongyang: football team publicly humiliated for their losses at World Cup. "The team's two Japanese-born players, Jong Tae-se and An Yong-hak, were exempt from the session; they apparently flew directly to Japan."

"The reprimand especially focused on North Korea’s 0-7 rout at the hands of Portugal," we learn. (My wife told me local South Korean reports spoke of Portuguese fans criticizing their own team for trouncing North Korea, knowing well the fate that would await the players.)

"Afterwards, players criticised coach Kim," reports Mr. Yun. "According to rumours, the latter was expelled from the party and sent to work at a construction site in Pyongyang."

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

"A Record-Setter Among Totalitarian States"

"Stalin led a government for 29 years, Mao 27 years, Hitler 12 years," notes Robert Fulford; "The dictatorship of Kim Il-sung and his son, Kim Jongil, one continuous government, has now reached the outlandish age of 65" — North Korea, an antique nightmare.

Click on the link to learn more of a country that "punish[es] anyone who even speaks to a foreigner," from where "[a] kindergarten teacher reports that the hardest part of her job was watching her pupils die of starvation," and in which "children sang a song beginning, 'We have nothing to envy in the world.'"

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Your Daily Dose of Economic Gloom and Doom

  • "Two widely respected economic commentators, Harvard's Niall Ferguson and Nassim 'black swan' Taleb, have offered highly pessimistic assessments of what lies ahead for the American economy," reports Gary North — Economic Warnings From Two Respected Analysts. Mr North's dire conclusion: "Your loud-mouth brother-in-law probably doesn't believe any of this. Your aged parents may not believe. Surely, the typical Congressman doesn't believe it. But you had better believe it . . . and then act in terms of it."

  • "Marc Faber closed out this week's Agora Financial Symposium with a speech that pretty much recapitulated the view that the end of the world is if not nigh, then surely tremendous dislocations to the existing socio-political and economic landscape are about to take place (with some very dire consequences for the US)," reports Tyler Durden — Marc Faber: Relax, This Will Hurt a Lot. "While long-time fans of Faber will not be surprised by the gloom and doom (not much boom) here, anyone else who still holds a glimmer of hope that at the end of the day the CNBC spin may be right, is advised to steer clear of Faber's most recent thoughts."

  • The Economic Collapse Blog has something for the majority of "Americans [who] would agree that we are experiencing difficult economic times right now, [but] would also argue that our economic system is in fundamentally good shape and that things will get back to 'normal' at some point" — One Economic Chart That You Should Permanently Burn Into Your Memory.

  • "One of the greatest myths of our time, so counter-intuitive and yet so appealing, is that we become wealthy by consuming, not only as a whole country or whole world, but also as families and individuals," says Richard C.B. Johnsson — The Grossly Problematic Gross Domestic Product. "So even though completely counter-intuitive, crazy theories like this have been raised to science by people and organizations that benefit from such theories."

  • "The US Mint has had trouble keeping up with precious metal coin demand for most of this year, and it now appears the investigation into why that’s the case may also consider the economics of penny and nickel production," reports Rocky Vega — Ron Paul: We Cannot Even Maintain the Zinc Standard. "We could not maintain the gold standard nor the silver standard," said the man mentioned in the title. "We could not maintain the copper standard, and now we cannot even maintain the zinc standard. Paper money inevitably breeds inflation and destroys the value of currency."
  • Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    "프리스트"

    News that a Korean comic book depicting "a dystopian future of a world ruled by the Catholic church and vampires, warring against each other," will be made into a Hollywood film — Trailer for Manhwa Based “Priest”.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Who Leaked the WikiLeaks?

    "The shocking truth of the 92,000 documents is that they contain no shocking truths," says STRATFOR's George Friedman — What do the Wikileaks show? He suggests that "it is difficult to imagine a single database in which such a diverse range of intelligence was stored, or the existence of a single individual cleared to see such diverse intelligence stored across multiple databases and able to collect, collate and transmit the intelligence without detection."

    "If this was an unauthorized leak, then it had to have involved a massive failure in security," he writes. "Certainly, the culprit should be known by now and his arrest should have been announced," he continues. "And certainly, the gathering of such diverse material in one place accessible to one or even a few people who could move it without detection is odd." This, of course, begs the question as to whether this was an authorized leak, and if so, why?

    Mr. Friedman, looking at "the mystery of who compiled all of these documents and who had access to them with enough time and facilities to transmit them to the outside world in a blatant and sustained breach of protocol," asks, "Who would want to detail a truth that is already known, with access to all this documentation and the ability to transmit it unimpeded?"

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Russia on the Sinking of the Heavenly Peace (Ch'ŏnan)

    Bookmark and Share

    The Antiwar Right

    A 2005 article by Antiwar.com editor Justin Raimondo argues "that 9/11 did indeed change everything or at least accelerated a transformation already in the making—including in the arguments and constituency of the anti-interventionist movement in America" — Realists, Not Leftists.

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    “Hanoi Christmas Bombing of 1972” by Phan Kế An


    One of the paintings on display at the exhibition in Seoul reported on in this story — History, as seen through the eyes of Asian realists. Here's the offcial site — Realism in Asian 아시아 리얼리즘展.

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Islamofinance?

    "We need to remoralize the economy," writes the neocon American Enterprise Institute's Roger Scruton, "and the Prophet's views are a good starting point" — Muhammad Was Right About Debt.

    I'd like to suggest a better starting point: Catholic Social Teaching, specifically on Usury, "as condemned by all honest men." The Distributivist Review's Brian M. McCall has written recently on the theme — Usury: Profit on a Loan Part I and Usury: Part II.

    Then again, maybe appeals to "the Prophet" are the only way to reach Britain's multi-culties; the mere mention of the word "Catholic" will have many people running, as E. F. Schumacher understood four decades ago when speaking of the title of his most famous essay, Buddhist Economics: "I might have called it 'Christian Economics' but then no one would have read it" — Schumacherian Catholic Wisdom.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    "Look At Miss Ohio" Performed by Gillian Welch & David Rawlings


    St. Augustine of Hippo's youth comes to mind with this line: "I wanna do right but not right now." As Oscar Wilde wisely put it, "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future."

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Hyperinflation, "Gush Up" Economics, and "Conflict-Free" Gold

  • "Each big inflation – whether the early 1920s in Germany, or the Korean and Vietnam wars in the US – starts with a passive expansion of the quantity money," explains Ambrose Evans-Pritchard — The Death of Paper Money. "This sits inert for a surprisingly long time," he continues. "Asset prices may go up, but latent price inflation is disguised.... People’s willingness to hold money can change suddenly for a 'psychological and spontaneous reason,' causing a spike in the velocity of money. It can occur at lightning speed, over a few weeks. The shift invariably catches economists by surprise."

  • "This had nothing to do with the so-called 'Trickle Down' theory," says Gerald Celente: "This was 'Gush Up'" — Let Them Eat Losses. "In Bush/Obama economics, the richest and biggest that had lost billions through bad investments, or were in danger of going bust, had to be rescued." he explains. "If the Über-Rich weren’t saved, there would be nothing left to trickle down to the population below. By government decree, those taxpayers who had never felt any trickle to begin with, now had to finance the failed financiers.

  • Robert Wenzel reports on a bill that "contains a provision that requires companies buying gold and other minerals to submit an annual report outlining what they are doing to ensure their minerals are 'conflict-free'" — Dodd-Frank Bill Contains Provision that May Lead to Tracking of All Gold Coins. "The concept of conflict-free began with diamonds mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, invading army's war efforts, or a warlord's activity," he explains. "The idea being that the purchase of diamonds from such war zones should be illegal, ostensibly to stop the financing of the wars. It is believed by observers of the diamond industry, such as Edward J. Epstein, that DeBeers was behind the idea of conflict-free diamonds as a way to limit the supply of diamonds that come on the market. Nevertheless the concept took hold."

    Labels: , , , ,

  • Bookmark and Share

    The Wisdom of Thomas Sowell

    "Elites may have more brilliance, but those who make decisions for society as a whole cannot possibly have as much experience as the millions of people whose decisions they pre-empt" — How Smart Are We?

    Labels:

    Bookmark and Share

    John Yoo's Father-in-Law

    Jayne Lyn Stahl informs us that "the White House lawyer who opined that one has to effectively kill somebody before it's considered torture is now next of kin to the reporter who broke the story, in 1998, on network news that U.S. forces killed their defectors by using Sarin gas on a Laotian village in 1970" — The Skeleton in John Yoo's Closet. Click on the link to learn who it is.

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Congressman Ron Paul on Military "Intelligence"

    Noting the "estimated 854,000 people hold[ing] top-secret security clearances," calculates that to be "about 11,000 intelligence workers per al Qaeda member in Afghanistan" — On the Bloated Intelligence Bureaucracy. "This also begs the question – if close to 1 million people are authorized to know top secrets, how closely guarded are these secrets?"

    Labels: ,

    Bookmark and Share

    From Brave New World Revisited

    "...democracies will change their nature; the quaint old forms---elections, Supreme Courts and all the rest---will remain," wrote Aldous Huxley, quoted here by — Huxley on Morphing Democracy Into Totalitarian Substance. He continued:
      The underlying substance will be a kind of non-violent totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast---but democracy and freedom in a strictly Pickwickian sense. Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Assessing Assange

    "Is Wikileaks to be trusted, or is it a honeypot that filters what the gov't wants to get out w/o being able to say it themselves?" asks an anonymous commenter on a post yesterday — Truth About the "Good War" WikiLeaked. "Have you noticed that over the past few months Wikileaks has been getting increasing coverage by the mainstream press?" he asks, noting that "[i]n Marketing 101 that's called a 'roll out.'"

    In my post, I worried "that rather than this leading to the wise decision to leave and completely disengage politically and militarily from the region, the news 'that neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are helping the Taliban' will be spun and the war will instead widen." In the comments, I asked, "Could it be that [the leaks] are intented to provide grounds for war against Iran and Pakistan, and that the reports on civilian deaths were only included for cover, and because nobody cares anyway?"

    LewRockwell.com's Karen Kwiatkowski, no stranger herself to whistleblowing, in her post praising "Julian Assange’s technological know-how and his ethical ascendance [as] a great gift" — Wikileaks — dismissively links to a piece by Adam Weinstein at "Mother Jones (!)" [her exclamation point] that dares to "look the gift horse in the mouth" — WikiLeaks' Afghan Documents and Me.

    Mr. Weinstein notes that "most of what you see on WikiLeaks... are theoretically accessible by anyone in Iraq, Afghanistan, or the Tampa, Florida-based US Central Command—soldiers and contractors—who have access to the military's most basic intranet for sensitive data." He suggests that "like most of the stunts pulled by Assange, this one's long on heat and short on light, nothing you didn't already know if you were paying attention to our wars."

    (For those interested, it's all online now — WikiLeaks Files, Now Organized in html.)

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Looking Back, Looking Forward

  • Scott P. Richert looks back to "before Barack Obama nationalized General Motors and enrolled the American people in involuntary servitude to Big Insurance and Big Pharma; before George W. Bush bankrupted the United States in a quixotic attempt to stamp out all evil and to secure the existence of the state of Israel in perpetuity; even before Bill Clinton repealed the most important parts of the Glass-Steagall Act and signed into law the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, sending the American economy hurtling downhill like a snowball headed for Hell" — Tea Bags: A Cautionary Tale.

  • As if following Mr. Richert's chronicle of misgovernance to its logical conclusion, Paul Craig Roberts looks ahead, to time after "Globalism had run its course" — The Year America Dissolved. "When hubris sent America in pursuit of overseas empire, the venture coincided with the offshoring of American manufacturing, industrial, and professional service jobs and the corresponding erosion of the government’s tax base, with the advent of massive budget and trade deficits, with the erosion of the fiat paper currency’s value, and with America’s dependence on foreign creditors and puppet rulers."
  • Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Kafka in Kabul

    Tom Engelhardt on "the surpassing strangeness of the American way of war in distant lands — and in Washington" — The Afghan War Keeps Getting Weirder. Read to learn how "we carry on in the most bizarre ways in far-off lands and think nothing of it."

    "Historically, it has undoubtedly been the nature of imperial powers to consider every strange thing they do more or less the norm," he concludes. "For a waning imperial power, however, such an attitude has its own dangers. If we can’t imagine the surpassing strangeness of our arrangements for making war in lands thousands of miles from the U.S., then we can’t begin to imagine how the world sees us, which means that we’re blind to our own madness."

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Ottoman America

    "America’s current trajectory seems like a speeded up version of the Ottoman movie," writes Eamonn Fingleton — How to Lose an Empire. We learn that it was not America who "pioneered the secular trend towards freer international trade," "resorted to spiraling foreign indebtedness to pay for its wars," and "first permitted large-scale foreign direct investment in its domestic industries and infrastructure."

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Korea's Demographic Winter and Public Transportation


    Above, a "public advertising campaign that was displayed around the country in 2006 shows an imaginary scene in which there are more priority seats than ordinary seats as Korea rapidly turns into an aging society" — Hey, whippersnapper! Don’t take that seat.

    Labels: ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Extraordinary Form in Central Asia

    Bishop Athanasius Schneider, "best known for his defence of the traditional practice of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue and kneeling," is in the news — Bishop from Kazakhstan to attend Latin Mass Society conference.

    Labels: ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Monday, July 26, 2010

    "Seven Steps to Bach" Performed by the Turtle Island String Quartet

    Bookmark and Share

    Fallujah Fallout

    Patrick Cockburn reports on "a 38-fold increase in leukaemia, a ten-fold increase in female breast cancer and significant increases in lymphoma and brain tumours in adults" — Toxic Legacy of US Assault on Fallujah 'Worse Than Hiroshima'.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Bill Kauffman on Carl Oglesby

    A reprint of his 2008 piece on the man who was "president of Students for a Democratic Society in 1965-66 and a key figure in its Middle American wing, which extended from independent anti-imperialist liberals to trans-Mississippi 'Prairie Power' radicals" — Happy 75th Birthday, Carl Oglesby!

    "Left and Right mostly hurled anathemas at each other in 1968, but not always, and the rare friendly exchanges over the phantom barriers were rich with promise—a promise fulfilled, in a way, one year later, in the 1969 New York City mayoralty campaign of Norman Mailer, who campaigned as a 'left conservative' on a platform of power to the neighborhoods," writes Mr. Kauffman. "But SDS president Carl Oglesby was the New Left figure who first saw the potential of a Left-Right linkage."

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    A Reactionary Radical in the "World's Largest Democracy"?

    "The politics of mass markets and vote banks is leading to majoritarianism and eventually fascism," writes Arundhati Roy, quoted by Isaac Chotiner in his panning of her latest book — The Reactionary. She says of her book, "These essays show how the institutions of democracy--the courts, the police, the ‘free’ press, and, of course, elections--far from working as a system of checks and balances, often do the opposite."

    Mr. Chotiner is clearly appalled that Ms. Roy "has no use for democratic institutions," and yet in his opening paragraph, he lends support to her anti-democratic thesis, reminding us that "the country under review... is dominated by two political parties, one of which can charitably be described as having fascist tendencies, since it envisions a religiously homogenous nation and makes no secret of its contempt for people who do not fit its definition of purity." He continues, "If this party regains power in the near future, the country’s next leader will likely be a man whose American visa was revoked for 'violations of religious freedom.' During his tenure as a regional chief minister (the rough equivalent of a governor), his government carried out communal riots in which more than one thousand members of religious minority groups were massacred."

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Truth About the "Good War" WikiLeaked

    "A secret war is underway in which Pakistan backs al-Qaeda whilst the United States kills captured Taliban without trial," and "coalition troops have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents" — Afghan War: secret documents leaked online.

    My fear is that rather than this leading to the wise decision to leave and completely disengage politically and militarily from the region, the news "that neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are helping the Taliban" will be spun and the war will instead widen.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Robbing Children of a Native Language

    Verna Yu "had always presumed that speaking to your child in your native tongue was the most natural thing in the world" until she encountered the latest educational trend in Hong Kong: parents who "speak to their children only in their less-than-perfect English" — Cantonese, Please

    Labels: ,

    Bookmark and Share

    A Brief History of Chinese Philosophy

    Found in Andrew Sheng's review of "the latest book by Yi Zhongtian, arguably the most popular narrator of Chinese philosophy of this generation" — Yi Zhongtian, Western free market and Chinese state capitalism. Here it is:
      The Stone of My Hill is a conversational but important narrative of how the pre-Qin philosophers, the Taoist, Confucius, Mozi and the Legalist schools of thought competed to explain the chaos of the Warring States (480-221 BC) period and what solutions they brought to bear to save the times.

      Of course, the Taoist felt that the whole system was wrong and that after chaos, things would return to their natural order.

      Being a conservative, Confucius felt that things should return to the old Zhou feudalistic order, where people respected their social rituals and respective place in society.

      Mozi was the most daring, asking for a socialist society of equals.

      All these three schools were rejected by the political elite, who were grabbing power from the dying Zhou empire and readily adopted the Legalist philosophy, which advocated the realpolitik idea of the concentration of power to final unification under the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).

      But by being ruthlessly successful as the Qin Dynasty was cruel, the Legalist school was rejected as immoral for adoption by popular sentiment.

      It is the irony of history that Confucian philosophy was not successful in its time, but was adopted as the basic moral foundation of Chinese culture, whereas Chinese officialdom has practiced Legalism.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    "Rosslyn" Performed by John Renbourn


    A commenter to a two-day-old post — "Death Don't Have No Mercy" Performed by Reverend Gary Davis and "Poor Boys Long Way From Home" Performed by John Fahey — introduces us to "the English 'folk-baroque' legend."

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Homo Economicus?

    Jordon J. Ballor, calls the phrase "a partial model of human behavior, but it is not exhaustive, comprehensive, or reliably predictive" — Humans are not Economic Automata. The reader who sends along the link notes the "very interesting video on what motivates performance, and it isn't what most managers have assumed."

    Labels: ,

    Bookmark and Share

    The National Security State

    David R. Henderson suggests that "the United States is well on its way to being the Orwellian surveillance society and maybe even on its way to being a society in which the government carries out secret murders" — Life in the USSA.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Back to the Articles

    "I believe that most Americans can improve their well-being by ending the national government, that is, ending the Union," writes Michael S. Rozeff — The Breakup of the United States. "Americans might conceivably move back to a federal form of government something like that under the Articles of Confederation," he says, and then explains "how to proceed."

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Not Guilt, But Responsibility

    "Why do we feel responsible, even guilty, for the evil and suffering others have caused when have had no part in it?" asks Professor Michael Casey — Bearing the burden of the past.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Jim Webb on "Diversity" Programs

    The senator notes that they have "expanded so far beyond their original purpose that they now favor anyone who does not happen to be white," that "many programs allow recently arrived immigrants to move ahead of similarly situated whites whose families have been in the country for generations," and that "the more they have grown, the less they have actually helped African-Americans, the intended beneficiaries of affirmative action as it was originally conceived" — Webb vs. “Diversity”.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Catholicism

    Eric Metaxas, author of a new book on the Lutheran theologian, says his subject "was extremely pro-Catholic and much of his own theology was specifically formed by Catholicism" — Author calls Dietrich Bonhoeffer a man of 'staggering' relevance for our time. More:
      The theologian's 1923 trip to Rome “was extremely important,” the author noted. “He eagerly attended Mass every day … and he bought a missal and was deeply taken with what he saw and experienced.”

      “It was nothing less than life-changing for him. At St. Peter's that Palm Sunday he saw celebrants on the altar from every race and color and for the first time in his life he thought about the church universal, beyond the parochial borders of German Lutheranism.”

      “This caused him to ask the larger question: 'What is the church?'” Metaxas explained. “He would spend the rest of his life answering that question. It was the subject of both his doctoral dissertations and it was what ultimately caused him to stand up against the Nazis who were trying to define the church on their own terms.”

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    "Invincible Spirit"

    Yesterday at Dogu Beach, we were close enough to hear the noise from this "response to North Korea's torpedo attack on the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan in March" — Korea-U.S. Naval Drill Gets Underway. An unnamed government official has disclosed the plan — `Stronger Action on NK Aims for Regime Change`. P'yŏngyang's response — North vows nuclear ‘sacred war’. Defector Shin Joo Hyun's speculation — Is North Korea's Holy War Is Possible?

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    "The Weight" Performed by Gillian Welch & Old Crow Medicine Show


    O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) introduced me to two songstresses; I fell for Alison Krauss immediately, but it's taken me far longer to get acquainted with Gillian Welch, who is much more my type. And to think it took a CounterPunch article — Playing in the Church of the Rev. Gary Davis — introducing me to John Fahey and his American Primitivism. Of course, the original ain't that bad, either — The Band, The Weight. She also covers RadioheadGillian Welch - Black Star.

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Peter Hitchens on the "Special Relationship"

    "But every time I hear the words ‘Special Relationship’, I feel faintly sick," he writes (which in good ole American means, "I wanna puke"); "And I yearn for a British Prime Minister with the self-confidence of Charles de Gaulle, who could tell the Americans to get lost from time to time, especially when they want us to join in their crazier military ventures" — Junior partner? Actually we’ve been America’s servile spaniel since 1940. "They would respect us more, and treat us better, if we weren’t constantly snuffling round their shoes with our tongues lolling out, like a pack of servile spaniels."

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Secret Societies and Presidential Assassination

    "For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day," said the XXXVth President of the United States, quoted by Katherine Smith — The 1961 Speech That Got JFK Killed?

    "It is a system that has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations," the president went on to say. "Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, and no secret is revealed."

    David Kramer follows up, quoting Ms. Smith as noting that "JFK’s 'United States notes' backed by silver, which were withdrawn the day he was shot, would have put the Federal Reserve out of business and returned to the Treasury Department the Constitutional power to create and issue a debt-free currency" — Did Executive Order 11110 Really Get JFK Assassinated?

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Headlines You'd Never See in the U.S.

    In Korea, reporting on "a sexual assault case in which a marine colonel tried to have forced sex with his male driver" — Gay sexual assault by marine.

    "The colonel told Lee to stop the car, pulled him into the back seat, kissed him and forcibly undressed him. He then ordered him to have sex with him, although no sex took place.... The night of the assault, Lee attempted to crash the car to kill himself and the colonel, but failed. Subsequently, he tried to hang himself from a tree branch but the branch broke."

    Robert Koehler translates another, reporting that "27 homosexuals — including some with HIV — have been busted on charges of engaging in sex after taking drugs" — What’s a Few Drug-fueled Gay Orgies Amongst HIV Patients?

    Labels: ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Einhorn the Terrible

    A local report that "Robert Einhorn, the new U.S. special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control, is to visit South Korea and other Asian countries in early August" — U.S. Sanctions Tsar to Visit Asia. "But sanctions are peaceful," some say. The non-denial heard round the world (but quickly flushed down the memory hole in America) comes to mind:
      When asked by [CBS' 60 Minutes' Leslie] Stahl, "We have heard that half a million children have died [as a result of sanctions]. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" Albright replied: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it."
    The American Conservative today takes on the "peaceniks [who] hailed the sanctions as a way of avoiding war with Iraq" by posting the great Andrew Cockburn noting that "the disastrous humanitarian consequences of the sanctions were overlooked" by the Americans who instead "blamed Saddam for the hundreds of thousands of innocent deaths" — The Other War on Iraq.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Sunday, July 25, 2010

    "In Christ There Is No East Or West" Performed by John Fahey

    Bookmark and Share

    Saturday, July 24, 2010

    "Death Don't Have No Mercy" Performed by Reverend Gary Davis and "Poor Boys Long Way From Home" Performed by John Fahey




    "Both were Christian mystics, Fahey through several levels of irony and existential philosophy, Davis a pure Pentacostal," writes Charles M. Young — Playing in the Church of the Rev. Gary Davis. More:
      Both created astounding, eerie worlds of beauty by absorbing and reconfiguring just about everything in American music in the first half of the 20th century. Both had difficult lives, Fahey struggling with addiction and inability to deal with the onerous details of normal life, Davis traumatized by blindness, racism, poverty and homelessness. Fahey lived from 1939-2001, Davis from 1896-1972.

      I’ve been listening to Fahey since college. I could hear him from the first note. Davis has been a more recent acquisition. I didn’t get him for a long time because of his singing, which borrows heavily from his preaching, which is to say that he bellows and roars a lot. It takes a little getting used to.
    I've been listening to the Reverend Gary Davis since high school, after buying a used LP for a buck or so. I've been listening to John Fahey for just a few minutes now, and realize I've been missing out on something big, namely American Primitivism.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    American Empire: Before the Fall

    Daniel McCarthy reviews the book by former Reagan administration associate deputy attorney general Bruce Fein, saying it "is not for the faint of heart" and "[o]nly the most well informed constitutionalist will fail to be surprised" — Anatomy of Empire.

    "In a little over 200 pages, Fein documents America's slide from the rule of law into arbitrary power and the reduction of her citizens to comfortable serfs," Mr. McCarthy writes. "The force that has brought about these changes is ceaseless war, which demands the sacrifice of real liberty for a spurious security."

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família

    Bookmark and Share

    Nork Nukes

    Normally I'd yawn at a headline like this, but given recent events and the fact that these exercises have been moved to my side of the peninsula, I won't yawn — North Korea threatens nuclear response to U.S.-South Korea military exercises.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    "I Will Find You" Performed by Clannad


    From The Last of the Mohicans (1992). I was unable to find a good live video of the stunning music from the final scene — The Last of the Mohicans - Promentory.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    A Quibble With The Kite Runner

    Let me just say that Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner is the best novel I've read in ages, a reminder that, as Ross Douthat points out, "the place where the family novel still flourishes is in the literature of Asian and African diasporas, where characters always have at least one foot in a social world that's more restrictive, and thus more likely to generate the kind of personal dilemmas that dominated Victorian fiction" — Why Hyphenated-American Fiction Is Better.

    (Not to worry: no spoilers. Mr. Hosseini, on page 357, reminds us "that, in America, you do not reveal the ending of a movie [or, be extension, a novel], and if you do you will be scorned and made to apologize profusely for having Spoiled the End." [Whereas, "[i]n Afghanistan, the ending was all that mattered."])

    My quibble has to with a prominent and disgusting theme of the book, reported on by Kelly Vlahos — The Rape of the Afghan Boys. In the novel, a high-ranking Talib publicly indulges in that despicable sin. Ms. Vlahos reports, however, that Patrick Cockburn noted that "one reason Afghan villagers prefer to deal with the Taliban rather than the government security forces is that the latter have a habit of seizing their sons at checkpoints and sodomizing them" — Stealing Money, Selling Heroin and Raping Boys -- The Very Dark Side of the Afghan Occupation. Whatever differences I have with the Taliban, I cannot see how "boy-rape" could gel with their Islamic Fundamentalism, while it might well do so with our more "liberal" allies.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Hats Off to the Jewish State's Rape Law

    You may have read it here — Arab guilty of rape after consensual sex with Jew — or you may have read it here — In Israel, Miscegenation is Rape. Here in South Korea, there's still a law on the books that punishes cads for procuring sex with false promises of marriage. I'm no supporter of the Zionist Entity, but I see something similar at play here, and am not outraged.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Agent Orange Babies


    Accused just today by a reader of my three-year-old and "very naive article about Saigon and the Vietnamese and how your were scammed into the Agent Orange guilt trip" — Anarchy, or Spontaneous Order, on the Streets of Saigon — prompts me to post this article by Chris Arsenault about one of the "estimated three million Vietnamese [who] suffers from exposure to Agent Orange, a toxic chemical US forces sprayed during the war to defoliate the dense jungles Viet Cong rebels used for cover" — Vietnam's Forgotten War Victims.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    That "Ground Zero Mosque"

    Leave it to Justin Raimondo to inform us that it is "not a mosque, but the Muslim equivalent of the YMCA," and "is four blocks from the site of the World Trade Center" — Haters Go After the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’.

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    What Is Insurance?

    Troy Camplin offers an illuminating thought experiment — What If There Were Food Insurance? The Honorable Congressman Ron Paul made the same argument with a comparison to another sphere — Healthcare and Economic Realities:
      Consider what would happen if car insurance worked the way health insurance does. What if it was determined that gasoline was a right, and should be covered by your car insurance policy? Perhaps every gas station would have to hire a small army of bureaucrats to file reimbursement claims to insurance companies for every tank of gas sold! What would that kind of system do to the costs of running a gas station? How would that affect the prices of both gasoline and car insurance? Yet this is exactly the type of system Congress is now expanding in health insurance. In a free market system, health insurance would serve as true insurance against serious injuries or illness, not as a convoluted system of third party payments for routine doctor visits and every minor illness.
    "But healthcare is expensive," you say. It wouldn't be if the free market were allowed to operate.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    The Military "Intelligence" Complex

    "Washington concentrates its dollars on feeding a voracious beast with no brains," says Philip Smucker — Slaying the US intelligence behemoth. "Ever since George Washington warned that, 'Over-grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty,' vows to curtail military excess have gone largely unheeded in the city of his namesake."

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Ch'ŏnan Analyses

  • "South Korea, which for a time expected to ride the Cheonan crisis to a heightened global profile and recognition as the key US security partner in Asia - and be in a position to leverage Western support in the event of a North Korean security crisis triggered by Kim Jong-il's death - instead [has] found itself shunted to the side as the two superpowers, China and the United States, once again dispose of the affairs of the Korean Peninsula between them," writes Peter Lee — South Korea reels as US backpedals.

  • Donald Kirk informs us that "reports from some of the South Korean non-governmental organizations with contacts inside North Korea have it that aides of Kim Jong-il are spreading the word that [heir-apparent] Kim Jong-eun himself encouraged and possibly ordered the attack on the Cheonan" — South Korea reels as US backpedals.
  • Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    American Exceptionalism Toward the Burqa

    Chan Akya notes that "that Europe and America have polar opposite points of view" when it comes to "the boiling controversy in Europe over the body-covering burqa and the niqab face veil" — Burqa over the Bastille. What's more, "[t]hat former allies of the US such as the United Kingdom and Australia are also heading in a similar direction as the rest of Europe indicates that this isn't merely an issue that separates 'Anglo-Saxons' from other societies."

    The author suggests that "the US tends to attract 'aspirational immigrants', that is, people who wish to improve their lives; while Europe may well be attracting a more desperate group of immigrants who are more eager to flee persecution in their home countries."

    "Facile descriptions on the Internet would have it that Europeans have stronger views on upholding human rights, and that a ban on the burqa is part of that stream of consciousness," the author notes. "Americans," God bless us, "tending to be more laissez faire have no such social considerations, in this view." He also suggests, "The relative advancement of women in Europe could well be playing a part in the more aggressive state attitudes towards the burqa."

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Trevor Jones' The Last of the Mohicans Theme Performed by Guido Felizzi and Marco Lo Russo


    I showed The Last of the Mohicans (1992) to my class yesterday and today, and was again impressed by its score.

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    "Front-Pigs"

    That "less comforting, if far more realistically descriptive label" born of "the typical sardonic humor of front-line soldiers" is introduced to us by William J. Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF), who notes that "most of our troops undoubtedly already reject the 'hero' label, just as the young 'heroes' of Germany did in 1917-18" — Stop Calling Them Heroes.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    General James Mattis Emasculated

    Fred Reed on the "loutish American general, James Mattis, martial feminist, talking about the fun he has killing Afghans" — Psychopathy Legitimized. Says Mr. Reed, "From defending the Constitution to the pleasure of watching Afghans die: The military has come a long way." Also, he suggests, "General, killing them might be a tad less fun when you couldn’t do it from the safety of a gunship."

    This is the general who said, "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil," adding "guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyways. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.") Mr. Reed:
      Does General Dworkin-Mattis speak of manhood? Odd, since his military is being badly outfought by the unmanly Afghans that are fun to kill. By the Pentagon’s figures the US military outnumbers the resistance several to one. The US has complete control of the air, enjoying F16s, helicopter gun-ships, transport choppers, and Predator drones, as well as armor, body armor, night-vision gear, heavy weaponry, medevac, hospitals, good food, and PXs. The Afghans have only AKs, RPGs, C4, and balls. Yet they are winning, or at least holding their own. How glorious.

      Man for man, weapon for weapon, the Taliban are clearly superior. They take far heavier casualties, but keep on fighting. Their politics are not mine, but they are formidable on the ground. If I were General Dworkin, I’d change my name and go into hiding. Maybe he could wear a veil....

      Now, it is regarded as treasonous to question that Our Boys are the best trained, best armed, toughest troops in the world, and I’ll probably get punched out in bars for pointing out the awful truth. Let’s imagine an experiment. We take Killing-is-Fun General Mattis-Abzug, and a thousand GIs, and a thousand Taliban, and let them fight it out in any patch of wretched barren mountains of your choosing. On equal terms. What you think? Same weapons.

      Good idea, General? You eat what they eat, wear what they wear, they have no medical care, and neither do you. If they get lung-shot and die the hard way, you do too.
    Asking "why is a GI’s life, mine or anyone else’s, worth more than the life of an Afghan child of three," he reflects on his own service: "A pretty good rule of thumb is that the attacking army is in the wrong, which would have made a Vietnamese kid’s life worth more than mine." It takes a real man to say something like that.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    The Kaiping Towers




    I stumbled across the above images on a Korean website, at which many more can be seen — 중국식과 서양식 조화를 이룬 中 '개평 망루'. The reason that the "watchtowers incorporate architectural features from China and the West" is that Kaiping "has traditionally been a region of major emigration abroad, and a melting pot of ideas and trends brought back by overseas Chinese made good." The Kaiping Diaolou "were built during the early Qing Dynasty, reaching a peak in the 1920s and 1930s, when there were more than three thousand of these structures." "The towers built in the beginning of the 20th century were mainly paid from money of Chinese abroad in North America."

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    George Frideric Handel's Chastity, Thou Cherub Bright Performed by David Lee and Les Arts Florissants, Directed by William Christie

    Bookmark and Share

    Black Tea

    "Yes. The Tea Party is racist. Obviously," says white-boy Ted Rall, who, to his credit, refrains from using the Reductio ad Hitlerum until the sixth full paragraph — Protofascism Comes to America. (It's not so obvious to these folks — Black Tea Partiers Speak.) While obviously not joining in on the party, the Black Agenda Report refuses to be played by white liberals like Mr. Rall:

    "Why should Fox News, the tea party, and insults and negativity directed at the president even rank among black America's top ten or twenty problems?" asks Bruce A. Dixon, by way of response — Tea Partiers, Fox News, 'Negativity' Against the President? Are These Really Black America's Most Pressing Problems? "If the spirit of SNCC fifty years ago where alive today, it might tell us we ought to wear black and green ribbons, black for the 1.2 million African Americans in prison, and green for those millions of green jobs that are somewhere just over the rainbow."

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    The American Conservative on Mr. Obama's War

  • "So, how can the Obama administration sell this despicable war to an increasingly wary public?" asks Charles Glass — Fighting for Feminism? "Hey, if no one is marching to Washington’s drumbeat on defeating terrorism, why not change the tune to 'I Am Woman'?"

  • While "[i]n America, speculation that terrorists are motivated by US foreign policy is deemed off-limits, ... in Great Britain, a serious and dispassionate analysis of the Blair government's foreign wars, including how these wars may have caused terrorism, is being conducted;" Glenn Greenwald reports— Bombing Muslims Radicalizes Them.

  • WorldNetDaily is now starting to sound like Antiwar.com, reports Daniel McCarthy— Joseph Farah: “I Was Obviously Wrong” on War.
  • Labels: , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Cassocks


    Above, a picture (click on it to enlarge) of my parish priests wearing cassocks, flanking a group of Sunday school kids wearing hanboks, and their teacher, wearing a skirt, to accompnay these articles — The Cassock and Bring Back the Cassock.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.