Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Henry Purcell's "Hear My Prayer," "Lord, How Long Wilt Thou Be Angry," "O God Thou Art My God," Performed by Choir of Clare College Cambridge

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The Tillman Story

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A Baptist State in Asia

A report from a place where "90 percent of the state’s nearly 2 million people are Christians, mostly Baptists" — Alcohol prohibition to remain in Nagaland. (You may remember the state being in the news recently — Korean Cultural Invasion of Nagaland?)

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"What Goes Around Comes Around"


Blowback, as illustrated by the subject of this story — ‘Advertising outlaw’ makes own rules.

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Restoring Honor?

While "many conservatives are excited and thrilled, and think that 8/28/10 will forever be remembered as some kind of turning point, as the day when the huge task of 'taking America back' formally got underway," James Edwards is "convinced that one of these days, we’ll look back on this as the nadir of the mainstream conservative movement, as its death rattle, as the day the conservative movement gave up the ghost" — Glenn Beck and the Death of Conservatism.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck's Paracletus Autem Spiritus & Non Omnis Qui Dicit Performed by Choir of Clare College Cambridge & Timothy Brown

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Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck's Qui Vult Venire Post Me & In Te Domine Speravi Performed by Choir of Clare College Cambridge & Timothy Brown

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Chinese High Schoolers and the A-Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

"Were the U.S. atomic bombings that defeated Japan in World War II necessary?" was the question posed "in two 40-minute classes delivered to a total of 240 students in the junior and senior high schools attached to Peking University" — Students in China learn about Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. From the report:
    In a survey at the beginning of the class, 48 percent of the students said they "quite agreed" or "agreed" with the statement: "The atomic bombing was a natural result of Japan's fascism."

    After the class, more students thought dropping the atomic bomb was wrong. Nearly seven in 10 of the students, or 68 percent, said they "quite agreed" or "agreed" with the opinion: "Atomic bombing is against humanity and threatens the ecosystem. It was a great mistake."
Interesting. The Nanking Massacre has been cited by readers of this blog as justification for the American a-bombs. Not so for these Chinese students, for whom "[s]tandard Chinese school textbooks only devote a couple of lines to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings."

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Traditional Latin Mass in My Archdiocese

Peter Kim reports from my country back to his — A Parish Usus Antiquior in South Korea.

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The Saint Patrick's Battalion in the Mexican-American War

Elena Maria Vidal has an informative post about those "soldiers of St. Patrick who put faith ahead of politics, at great cost to themselves" — Los San Patricios. "Many Irishmen were quick to see that higher loyalties should prevail, and they joined the Mexican side." There's even a "movie about the San Patricios with Tom Berenger."

Interesting that the Catholic Patrick J. Buchanan should have used these same as a counter-argument in his State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America. Of course, he's right, even if we allow that the Saint Patrick's Battalion were as well.

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The Children of Christendom

"Westerners are more altrusitic and trusting than other kinds of people," writes Scott Locklin, with "science to prove" it — White altruism. "Others punish participants perceived as too altruistic in co-operation games, but very few in the English-speaking West would ever dream of penalizing the generous."

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A Mother's Plea

"I write in the hopes that someone is listening and I thank you, even if you are the only one" — Derelict Dads of the Department of Defense.

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Remembering School No. 1

News on "the sixth anniversary of the massacre of innocents in North Ossetia" — Orthodox church to be built on the ruins of Beslan school.

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Peter Hitchens on David Kelly

"What and who drove him to kill himself?" he asks — Dr Kelly would never have lied for Blair – is THAT the reason he killed himself? More:
    Something had been done or said to him that made his life unbearable. I have always thought that he was under irresistible pressure to lie in public to save the Government’s face. If he didn’t lie, then nasty things would have happened to him. If he did, he would never have been able to look himself in the face again.

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Nouriel Roubini's Pessimism

Editorialist Kwon Sun-hwal reminds us that the man who "gained fame for his prediction of the U.S.-triggered global economic crisis in 2008" has "warned against reckless optimism over economic recovery," "said the situation could further worsen and that several countries will face a double-dip recession," and "said the latest crisis will not end with just one attack, adding that the global economy must endure low growth over the next several years" — Double Dip Fears.

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Trade and Peace

"Does capitalism encourage people to treat each other better?" asks Michael Shermer — Evolution, Ethics, and the Market. The author suggests that "trade makes people more trusting and trustworthy, which makes them more inclined to trade, which increases trust — and round and round it goes in a positive feedback loop that generates not just unprecedented prosperity but civilized virtue as well." Founders as different as Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton agreed on this point.

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Bishop Williamson Visits America

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Franz Joseph Haydn's Octet in A Performed by Combattimento Consort Amsterdam

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Next Pope, Black Pope, Last Pope?


While it's in bad form to be talking about papabile now, His Eminence Peter Kodwo Appiah Cardinal Turkson, pictured above, is the subject of this secular report — The young tearaway who's in the running to be next Pope. "It's indispensable that we see Christianity come back to Europe," said this Prince of the Church. "If Europe should become less Christian, it gives us a sense of being orphans, of having an experience of faith without parents."

When I was an exchange student in Chile, I remember first hearing that the world would end after the election of a black pope. A Lutheran at the time, I dismissed such talk as just another silly Catholic superstition. An American, I thought such talk was racist. Now, I know it to be neither.

Could His Eminence be Petrus Romanus, mentioned in St Malachy's Prophecy of the Popes, "who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people"? This fellow seems to think so — The Coming Black Pope. See also Soloviev's Apocalypse, in which "resistance comes from Pope Peter II, John the Elder, leader of the Orthodox, and Professor Ernst Pauli, representing Protestantism" and under the "pressure of persecution the three churches in this eschatological situation at last unite."

Of course, none of the above have any official recognition by the Church.

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What's Not Right With the Tea Party

Congressman Ron Paul explains "[w]hy the growing grassroots movement can't fight big government at home while supporting it abroad" — A Tea Party Foreign Policy.

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That Glenn Beck Rally

  • Lew Rockwell says "the purpose of Glenn Beck’s huge Lincoln-military celebration–with his fellow neocon warmonger Sarah Palin (a wholly owned subsidiary of Bill Kristol)–is to try to make all the Tea Party people obedient tools of the Republican apparatus, and detach them from Ron Paul" — Glenn Beck’s Religio-Death Rally.

  • Conservative Heritage Time ponders, "Now let me get this straight — Beck stands at a monument that deifies the man who transformed the voluntary union of States into a centralized behemoth, and invokes the legacy of a man tied closely to communists — for the purpose of restoring liberty and small government?" — Glenn Beck is unclear on the concept.
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    West Side Chickens


    When I lived around the corner two decades ago, a scene like the one above was unimaginable — The new urban pioneers. Buffalo was one of the first cities Washington chose for that brilliant policy of deindustrialization; now it seems the Queen City will be one of the first to come to terms with America's resulting Third World status. Urban chickens will be one of of the few good points of the new economy; on my land trip from Buffalo to Guatemala in 1991, I found urban chickens to be one of the endearing points of life south of the border.

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    Saturday, August 28, 2010

    The Antwerps Liedboek's Den Lustelijcken Mey and Alle Mijn Gepeys Doet Mi So Wee Performed by Camerata Trajectina

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    Sapir-Whorf Revisted

    Steve Sailer on "a commonsensical compromise" to what "has become very unfashionable in recent years" — "Does Your Language Shape How You Think?" "Languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not in what they may convey." The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis was the first linguistic concept I had to research in graduate school, and thus retains a special place in my heart.

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    The Smiling Pope

    The New Beginning posts some videos captured during his thirty-three days as pontiff — Remembering the Smiling Pope John Paul I 30 Years Later. I was an eight-year-old Lutheran kid at the time (in 1978), but I still remember him.

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    HFCS, the Big C, and Big Government

    Dr. Joseph Mercola's latest — Cancer's Favorite Food – Found in Everything You Eat? Yet another unintended consequence from State meddling in the economy — Corny Politics.

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    Strange Bedfellows for Civil Liberties

    Noting that "Chuck Norris is no pinko-liberal-commie, and Human Events is a very conservative publication," Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration, writing for the "hard left" CounterPunch, informs us, "The two have come together to produce an important article, 'Obama’s US Assassination Program'" — The Nazification of the United States.

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    The Evil of Strategic Bombing

    "Strategic bombing—aimed at civilian targets more than military ones—is a form of justified massacre," writes the Wall Street Journal's Robert Messenger in a review of a new book on the subject — Contemplating Death From Above. Some stats:
      The U.S. and Britain dropped 1.6 million tons of bombs on Germany, causing civilian casualties of more than one million and rendering as many as 7.5 million people homeless. The seven-month B-29 firebombing campaign against Japan organized by Curtis LeMay is estimated to have killed a half-million people and to have left five million more homeless. It was so successful that the Air Force had trouble finding suitable targets for the atomic bombings at the end of the war. The Japanese, it should be noted, had used strategic bombing as early as 1938 in China, and Germany launched its own vast air assault on England in 1940.
    The Nazis and Imperial Japanese did it first, so it's okay, right? That argument never worked with my mother, why should it work with God?

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    Iman Rauf Is Right

    "The man behind the 'Ground Zero Mosque' is vilified for telling the truth about collateral damage," says The American Conservative's Jack Hunter — Amen to the Imam.

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    From the Center of America to the Center of Europe

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    Jimmy Carter and Aijalon Gomes


    "Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (second from left) and Aijalon Gomes (right) hug as they prepare to leave North Korea from Pyongyang on Friday" — Carter leaves Pyongyang with freed American.

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    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck's O Nostre Dien, Louez Dieu and Depuis Le Jour Performed by Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam

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    The 1930 Lambeth Conference and Griswold v. Connecticut

    Gregory K. Laughlin look back at "two pivotal events in the life of the broader Christian community and in the moral and social life of the United States" — Two Dubious Anniversaries. "These twin anniversaries — 1930 and 1965 — offer an appropriate opportunity to consider the misgivings of two prominent Anglicans with regard to the use of contraceptives and with the actions taken by the Anglican bishops gathered at Lambeth Palace eighty summers ago." The author's conclusion:
      Neither Lewis nor Eliot was willing to condemn all uses of artificial contraception, yet both had obvious concerns about the moral implications of its use. There were Anglicans (and other Protestant and Orthodox Christians) then — as there are now — who were willing to stand by the historical Christian condemnation of the practice. Today, however, the Catholic Church stands alone in her unbroken condemnation of a practice which, until a lifetime ago, all Christians condemned. We would do well to consider the concerns raised by Lewis and Eliot and to return to the constant teaching of historic Christianity prior to that fateful summer a mere eighty years ago.

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    Preaching Eugenics

    Anne Barbeau Gardiner reviews "a first-rate, highly informative study of the American clergy's involvement in eugenics from the 1880s through the 1920s" — The Betrayal at the Root of the Culture Wars. Not all clergy, of course:
      In those days, Catholics still stood as a united front and, according to Rosen, were the eugenic movement's "staunchest opponents." True, a couple of priests from the Catholic University of America (John Ryan and John Cooper) served for years on the advisory council of the American Eugenics Society (AES) and, by lending their names, gave an "inestimable influence to the eugenics movement." Yet even they engaged in criticizing the movement from inside and insistently questioned the science behind sterilization laws. They resigned after Pope Pius XI condemned sterilization in 1930.

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    "Our American Boast"

    "Writing shortly after the Civil War, Orestes Brownson could say that it was a remarkable achievement of the American polity to bring into existence a modern state that recognizes a 'higher law' above itself," writes Russell Hittinger — The Rule of Law and the Law of Nature. More:
      “This is our American boast”—one that is especially justified in contrast to the European states of that era. These states followed the Rousseauvian principle that society is un droit sacré, a holy right. Americans, Brownson argued, refused to submit higher principles to lower powers. They resisted, then, the one extreme of making government an instrument of private interests, as well as the other extreme of making the state the exemplar and judge of moral and spiritual order. He was convinced that Americans had properly located the position of ruling powers because natural law had not been reduced either to order in nature or order in the mind. The natural law “is not a law founded or prescribed by nature, but the law for the moral government of nature, under which all moral natures are placed by the Author of nature as supreme law-giver. The law of nature is God’s law; and whatever rights it founds or are held from it are his rights, and ours only because they are his.”
    The Great Catholic convert Orestes Brownson's The American Republic deserves a place on every thinking American's bookshelf.

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    The Education of Andrew Bacevich

    The military historian and antiwar conservative "traces his odyssey from Cold War soldier to critic of American militarism" — How Washington Rules.

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    Aijalon Mahli Gomes Is Coming Home

    Thanks to fellow Protestant Christian Jimmy Carter — Carter Wins Freedom for U.S. Man in N.Korea. "The 30-year-old Gomes was detained in North Korea after entering the isolated country from China. He was sentenced to eight years hard labor and fined $700,000 for illegally crossing the border."

    "Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves," said Our Lord in the Gospel According to Saint Matthew. Mr. Gomes seems to have failed to heed the former, which, I guess, is better than heeding the former but ignoring the latter, as many Christian evangelists do these days.

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    "Prayer Song" by Roland Mousaa, Pete Seeger, David Amram, Evan Pritchard, Travis Jeffrey, R. Carlos Nakai, Tiokasin, and Tao Rodriquez-Seeger


    The text for the above comes from the Treaty of Canandaigua, whose signatories included George Washington and Cornplanter.

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    Putting the "Empire" in the Empire State

    "Gov. David A. Paterson renewed his pledge today to start collecting taxes on cigarettes sold by Native Americans and acknowledged that 'violence and death' could result from his actions" — Governor vows to stand firm on collecting tax on Indian cigarettes.

    (My homestate is one of the few in the East with a sizable Indian population. I grew up near three reservations and went to pow-wows. My father, a four-pack-a-day smoker at the time, bought his cigarettes from Smokin Joe's Trading Post.)

    Back to the story, the Great Black Father in Albany "said the state is moving ahead with its controversial plan to start collecting a $4.35-a-pack sales tax Wednesday on Indian cigarettes sold to non-Indian customers." Think about that. Are we a territorial republic, were laws apply to specific geographic areas, or are we a racial democracy, where laws apply to specific groups of people? What this amounts to the State forcing discrimination against non-Indians on Indian lands.

    Notice also the cartel that wants the mailed fist of the State to crush these Indian businesses: "a statewide business coalition held a news conference Thursday in downtown Buffalo, calling on state leaders to stick to the collection game plan."

    Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder Sr. [no relation] was quoted as saying that state leaders just "don't get it." A majority of the fine people of my homestate, in contrast, do get it: "more than two-thirds of the state's voters think governments should honor Indian treaties, including one that bars state taxation of businesses on reservations."

    Visit this website — Honor Indian Treaties.

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    Steve Martin on Atheist Contributions to Music

    Jimmy Akin posts a fun video — Atheists Don't Have No Songs.

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    Galileo

    He "was a believer," "he did not spend one minute behind bars … nor was he excommunicated," and he "died professing the faith under the care of a religious sister and with a papal blessing" — Catholic researcher clarifies facts surrounding life of Galileo. Noting that v"during Galileo’s time, there was no proof that the Earth moved around the sun," Fr. Manuel Carreira, physicist and priest, elaborates:
      “His supposed evidence was invalid,” the physicist noted, as well as dismissed by other astronomers.

      Galileo’s correct idea, he explained, was that “the Bible does not teach science.” However, the famed astronomer “also wanted theologians to change their interpretation of the text according to his theory.” Although the theologians of his day “were mistaken in thinking that the Bible teaches astronomy,” the priest added, “they were correct in saying that as long as there was no evidence, Galileo should have presented his ideas as a theory and not ask them to change their opinions.”

      “In both cases,” Fr. Carreira said, “they went outside their fields and entered that of the other. From this lesson, we have learned that there must be mutual respect.”

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    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    "Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor " Performed by Gillian Welch and David Rawling

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    A Fair Question?

    Asked by Tom Engelhardt — Should the US Be Bombed? Referring to "the present 'debate' over whether to bomb Iran back to the pre-nuclear age," the author asks us to "take a second to wonder why there is no media debate over whether to bomb the U.S."

    He remind us, "After all, we are the planet's foremost weapons proliferator; we have a reputation for using what we produce and parceling it out as well; and, as it happens, we're still investing money in improvements to our vast nuclear arsenal."

    Of course we shouldn't be bombed, but neither should Iran. Our military-industrial complex is far more of a threat to us (and the world) than is Iran, but it is up to us to abolish it.

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    Thinking in Slogans, Talking in Anathemas

    The old fight between Distributism and Austro-Libertarianism has erupted again, with Jeremiah Bannister in one corner — A Resolved Tension and The Bottom Line: Exposing Catholic Austro-Libertarian Dissent — and Jeffrey Tucker in the other — Why Catholics Don't Understand Economics.

    Mr. Tucker's thesis: "People who live and work primarily within the Catholic milieu are dealing mainly with goods of an infinite nature.... If one exists, lives, and thinks primarily in the realm of the non-scarce good, the problems associated with scarcity – the realm that concerns economics – will always be elusive."

    This statement reminds of a post at — The New Beginning in response to an article — US Bishops Call for Good Jobs, Wages for All — the title of which says it all — Some concrete recommendations, please? Jobs and wages for all? From where? By whom? How? (Through prayer, yes.)

    George Orwell spoke of "the streamlined men who think in slogans and talk in bullets" of his day. Distributists are not, by and large, violent people (although many "third way" movements have been fascist in nature), but it would be nice if they'd stop throwing words like "dissent" around so loosely.

    The Ordinary Magisterium, under which the Papal Encyclicals to which the Distributivists constantly refer, is as far as I know, non-infallible. Also, they tend to be written in a way that leaves much room for interpretation.

    When speaking of a "just wage" for example, does that mean the State must set a minimum wage law, and if so, what? Or could it mean Catholic employers should not swindle their workers? Or could it mean that the State should get out of the way and let industrialists, unions, and markets come to a just wage?

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    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    William Byrd's Ave Verum Corpus Performed by the Tallis Scholars, Directed by Peter Phillips

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    Primitive Man and Woman

    "Hunting and gathering doesn't change, it just gets more expensive," explains Steve Sailer — Hunters and Gatherers.

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    "The Seer of the Bronx"

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    Hyperinflation in the U.S.A.

    Richard Spencer on "a plausible scenario for how hyperinflation might unfold" — How "It" Will Happen.

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    Carter in North Korea

    If it's true that this is "a private mission" of one Christian out to save another then it is worthy of praise — Jimmy Carter in Pyongyang to seek release of US prisoner.

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    Blogging and the Inevitable

    An interesting article on the "tens of millions of deceased people who still remain alive in cyberspace" — And to my dear son, I leave my blog.

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    "Valley of Tears" Performed by Solomon Burke, Gillian Welch, and Dave Rawlings


    It's called American music.

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    Claudio Monteverdi's Lamento della Ninfa Performed by L'Almodí Cor de Cambra

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    Confucian Abuse of Birthright Citizenship

    "Abuse of the current American citizenship regulations permits bizarrely self-recursive forms of chain migration," notes Steve Sailer (who else?) — Anchor Brats. More:
      For example, the Chinese scion born on American soil can eventually grow up to import his own parents as immigrants under our “family reunification” law. They, in turn, can bring in their own parents and plunk them in public housing for seniors and put their health care on Medicare’s tab. It’s like a Confucian conman version of that old Robert Heinlein science fiction story, All You Zombies, about a man with a time machine who turns out to be his own grandpa.
    Henry C.K. Liu's Rule of law vs Confucianism comes to mind.

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    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Talmudic Wisdom on the Apologetics Industry

    "I didn't charge for the classes, because the Talmud says 'don't make of the Torah a pickaxe to dig with . . . ,'" quotes The New Beginning, who explains that "mean[s] don't make Jewish teaching a source of income if you can help it" — An interesting comment at Alternative Right. Our colleague's comments in toto:
      I tend to agree with the spirit of the above. I have heard that Confucians make the distinction between being paid to "teach" and receiving a stipend from one's students. St. Paul thought he should make tents to support himself. Similarly, priests and bishops do not charge for their services, but receive a stipend from the community to support them. But what of Catholic apologists? Receiving a commission to teach or work in some sort of lay ministry might be more legitimate. Many receive donations to support them in their work (as opposed to receiving payment for specific services). But I still think there is something questionable about making a living off of being some sort of self-appointed authority on Catholic teaching. (Being qualified and appointed by the bishop to perform a specific work seems to be better.)

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    "War Is Good For the Economy!"

    Hugh MacIntyre posts a video that in three-and-half-minutes exposes an easily-debunked "fallacy that is much more prevelent that it first may seem" and that "remains at the core of mainstream policy-making" — Broken Window Fallacy. For a more thorough analysis, read the works of Frédéric Bastiat and Henry Hazlitt.

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    Our Enemy, the State of Israel

    "Among nations considered to be friendly to Washington, Israel leads all others in its active espionage directed against American companies and the Defense Department," reports Philip Giraldi in his latest — Mossad in America.

    The former CIA Officer and now Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest states, "FBI sources indicate that the increase in Mossad activity is a major problem, particularly when Israelis are posing as U.S. government officials, but they also note that there is little they can do to stop it as the Justice Department refuses to initiate any punitive action or prosecutions of the Mossad officers who have been identified as involved in the illegal activity."

    He mentions the "bizarre case" in which "U.S.S. Liberty* survivor Phil Tourney was recently accosted in Southern California by a foreigner who eventually identified himself as an Israeli government representative." More:
      Tourney was taunted, and the Israeli threatened both him and journalist Mark Glenn, who has been reporting on the Liberty story. Tourney was approached in a hotel lounge, and it is not completely clear how the Israeli was able to identify him. But he knew exactly who Tourney was, as the official referred to the Liberty, saying that the people who had been killed on board had gotten what they deserved. There were a number of witnesses to the incident, including Tourney’s wife. The threat has been reported to the FBI, which is investigating, but Tourney and Glenn believe that the incident is not being taken seriously by the bureau.
    "It is hard to avoid the conclusion that spying for Israel is consequence free," says Mr. Giraldi, bringing to mind Pepe Escobar's question, which I have never seen answered: "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?" — 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.
    Justin Raimondo, on the same incident, reminds us, "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." He then details, 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.

    *A twelve-year-old Korean I taught was well aware of the USS Liberty incident; I wonder how many fully-grown American are.

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    Jimmy Carter to Rescue Aijalon Mahli Gomes

    Asia Times Online's Sunny Lee and Daily NK's Chris Green report respectively — Carter linked to Pyongyang mission and Carter Heading for Pyongyang Rescue Mission.

    (I feel far less negative about this mission to save a hapless missionary than I did about Bill Clinton's mission to save two journalists who had been sent to North Korea by Al Gore.)

    Yoo Ho-yeol, a professor of foreign policy at Seoul's Korea University, offered his take on a visit in the former article: "I am not sure whether Kim Jong-il would want to meet Jimmy Carter. Within a month of Carter meeting Kim Il-sung, Kim Il-sung died."

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    "Orange Blossom Special" and "Folsom Prison Blues" Performed Johnny Cash

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    Monday, August 23, 2010

    "Wabash Cannonball" Performed by Roy Acuff & His Smokey Mountain Boys and "Orange Blossom Special" Performed by Mac Wiseman & Chubby Wise




    Two songs about trains, from Bluegrass - Country Soul Legendary 1971 Bluegrass Festival (2006). I've always loved trains, being the grandson of an engineer and having grown up near the tracks. You can guess which side.

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    David Lindsay on His Birthplace

    This post is for kushibo, who, commenting on a post this past weekend — Europe's Only Buddhist State — said, "I always like hearing about geographical oddities."

    "My father was Scottish, and my mother is from my birthplace," which David Lindsay called a "super-loyal British Overseas Territory" in his correcttion to my speculation that he was an Englishman in a post on this blog last month — David Lindsay on the Origins of the American Republic. In a post today, Mr. Lindsay calls his birthplace "quite possibly the most completely, exuberantly Creole culture on earth where these and so many other things are concerned" — The Family Way. "Nothing could be more alien to the way of thinking than the idea of preserving the purity of a tribe, a clan or a caste."

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    Last Words on the Manufactured "Ground Zero 'Mosque'" Controversy

    The Honorable Congressman Ron Paul suggests "it has come from the neo-conservatives who demand continual war in the Middle East and Central Asia and are compelled to constantly justify it" — Demagoguing the Mosque. "They never miss a chance to use hatred toward Muslims to rally support for the ill-conceived preventative wars," he writes. An excerpt from later in the essay:
      Conservatives are once again, unfortunately, failing to defend private property rights, a policy we claim to cherish. In addition conservatives missed a chance to challenge the hypocrisy of the left which now claims they defend property rights of Muslims, yet rarely if ever, the property rights of American private businesses.

      Defending the controversial use of property should be no more difficult than defending the 1st Amendment principle of defending controversial speech. But many conservatives and liberals do not want to diminish the hatred for Islam – the driving emotion that keeps us in the wars in the Middle East and Central Asia.

      It is repeatedly said that 64% of the people, after listening to the political demagogues, don’t want the mosque to be built. What would we do if 75% of the people insist that no more Catholic churches be built in New York City? The point being is that majorities can become oppressors of minority rights as well as individual dictators. Statistics of support is irrelevant when it comes to the purpose of government in a free society – protecting liberty.
    Conservative Heritage Times' Patroon goes even deeper, suggesting that "we’re becoming like France, which believes it can solve its Muslim dilemma by regulating what Muslims wear instead dealing with the root problem of this whole matter: immigration" — Behind the mosque.

    He suggests "rather than engage in another suicide mission to change the Constitution, perhaps the best way is to revisit the 1965 Immigration Act now that Ted Kennedy is no longer around to defend it." Also, he says that "a non-intervention foreign policy would help as well," noting "that every place the U.S. military intervenes its residents find their way to American shores."

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    Mercenaries

    Charles Glass compares the past, when "the American Army did its own fighting and protected itself," with the present, when "the Army hires private contractors to protect it" — Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, and Privatized War. "The reason most countries have armies, or at least the reason they say they do, is to protect their citizens, territory and liberties from attack," he writes. "If the army you pay to protect you has to pay someone else to protect it, something is up."

    What is up, he fails to mention, is that our army does not "protect [our] citizens, territory and liberties from attack" and everyone knows it. Few admit it, of course, because it is sacriligious to do so. If our "citizens, territory and liberties" were really under threat (from abroad), there would be no lack of volunteers. Thus, mercenaries are needed.

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    Christian Missionary "Investors" in North Korea

    "Matter of fact, we bumped into some Americans," says American business professor Patrick Chovanec of the only "investors" he'd met on a visit to North Korea's ""Rason special economic zone"" — What's It Like to Be a Tourist in North Korea? His explanation explains a lot:
      They actually were missionaries, based just across the border in China. They can't preach in North Korea, of course, but they've come as "investors" to build and run an orphanage, a bread factory, and a soy-milk factory. These "businesses" don't make money; they're just there to help people. To this day, one of most popular themes in North Korean propaganda involves evil Christian missionaries who inject Korean children with deadly germs, before the revolution. They even put the story in comic books for kids. Officially, they're inhuman monsters. Unofficially, the government invites them in because they're the only people willing to extend a lifeline.

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    Chindia

    "These two Asian giants, which until 1800 used to make up half the world economy, are not, like Japan and Germany, mere nation states," says The Economist, continuing, "In terms of size and population, each is a continent—and for all the glittering growth rates, a poor one" — Contest of the century.

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    Barack Obama and Joachim of Fiore

    Sandro Magister's latest, on "a hoax with a kernel of truth," and on "two books [that] have been released in Italy that examine Obama's personality with special attention to his general view of the world, which is also the question that most interests the Church" — There's a Strange Prophet in the White House.

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    Intellectual Property, Cultural Commons, and Ancient Traditions

  • A comic (literally) review of a book whose author "has returned to offer a critique of the idea that all creative work is 'intellectual property' and to elucidate and defend our 'cultural commons'" — Common as Air.

  • "Yoga is a part of humanity's shared knowledge, the agency says, and any business claiming the postures as its own is violating the very spirit of the ancient practice" — 'Yoga wars' spoil spirit of ancient practice, Indian agency says.
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    Freedom on the March! Remaking the Middle East in America's Image!

    "Change, whether you like it or not, is afoot in Iraq" — In porn, a story of Iraq's politics. "The openness with which porn is sold in some of Baghdad's streets is almost unheard of in the Arab world." Not if the "turn left/turn right" crowd had had its way. There's still hope for Iran, though.

    And this glorious news comes just days after a second American president has declared "mission accomplished" — US Announces Second Fake End to Iraq War. Two victories in one war make up for Vietnam, I guess.

    With 4416 Americans servicemen killed, at least 100,000 Iraqis civilians killed, and half the population of Christian communites that dated back almost to the time of Christ in exile, Iraqis are now free to watch such titles as "The Rape of the Coeds" and "Cheap Meat," whose peddler boasts, "It's got Syrian, Egyptian, Lebanese girls; All the Arabs."

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    Sanctioning North Korea

    Say what you will about Christine Ahn and Haeyoung Kim, they make a good point about the futility of our North Korean policy — Sixty Years of Failed North Korea Sanctions. They're call for "engagement" falls on deaf ears with me.

    We've been "engaging" with free hand-outs for the last fifteen years to no avail. (Emergeny food and medical relief are proper, of course.) Their failed economic system means they have nothing to trade. Complete disengagement (benign neglect) should be our true policy toward the D.P.R.K.

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    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    "Dear Someone" Performed by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings

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    What the Federalists and Anti-Federalists Agreed Upon

    The New Beginning links to this Tenth Amendment Center's Gary Wood — Even those who disagreed agreed on federalism. Mr. Wood remninds us that "when the doors opened on Sept. 17th, 1787 a concept emerged that would be debated across the young country, in the sovereign States’ conventions gathered to consider ratification." He continues:
      Those who embraced the document as it was written were committed to establishing a federalist republic with a fundamental foundation in the rule of law over the rule of kings. Those who did not embrace the document were also committed to establishing a federalist republic formed on the same concept yet felt the original document still lacked the safeguards necessary for protecting the people of all States through the addition of a Bill of Rights with the keystone set in the duty of states to check the general government as well as the general government having a check on states. Both understood it was an attempt to develop a republican government that protected against factional largess and majority abuse over minorities while providing people an opportunity to live in a free environment.

      From New York to Virginia, New Hampshire to the Carolinas there was one thing many came to agree on in their respective conventions. Federalism’s success depended on the vertical separation of powers as much as the horizontal separation. Maintaining government over the daily concerns of people at the lowest level possible was necessary for self-government to thrive and kingly government to have no place in the future of the United States.

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    Japan's "Lost Decade" Deflation and America's Future Hyperinflation?

    David Kramer invites you to "sit back for a 10-minute whirlwind tour through a country that has followed destructive, i.e., Keynesian/Krugman economic policies for the past 20 years (and is still following those policies)" — Bad Economics in One Video. "What’s really depressing is that the United States will be in infinitely worse shape as it follows the exact same central banking path to economic destruction because we have become a nation of credit card/debt junkies over the past few decades, unlike the savings-oriented Japanese."

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    A Poignant Photo of the American President as a Young Man


    "When I see this picture of him as a child seeming to awkwardly, desperately grab the hand of the father who abandoned him I think I feel his pain," says the "Young Fogey" of the photo above — Mark Shea on Obama-haters.

    It's hard not to be moved by such a photo personally, but politcally, it might be better that the "leader of the free world" (if that's still what we call the P.O.T.U.S.) not have issues. (To be fair, his opponent in '08 had other issues, perhaps even more dangerous ones, and his three immediate predecessors had theirs as well. Say what you will about Ronald Reagan, I don't think he had issues.)

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    Hans Leo Hassler's Cantate Domino Performed by the Soo Music Academy

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    Baby Bust

    "Europe, Korea, and Japan have gone into panic mode" — Population numbers down.

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    Europe's Only Buddhist State

    "It is the only state in Europe where the dominant religion is Buddhism" — Kalmykia.

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    The Western Confucian and Chinese Jews

    From Wikipedia's article on the Kaifeng Jews:
      The existence of Jews in China was unknown to Europeans until 1605, when Matteo Ricci, then established in Beijing, was visited by a Jew from Kaifeng, who had come to Beijing to take examinations for his jinshi degree. According to his account in De Christiana expeditione apud Sinas, his visitor, named Ai Tian (Ai T'ien) (艾田) explained that he worshipped one God. It is recorded that when he saw a Christian image of Mary with the child Jesus, he believed it to be a picture of Rebecca with Esau or Jacob, figures from Scripture. Ai said that many other Jews resided in Kaifeng; they had a splendid synagogue (禮拜寺 libai si) and possessed a great number of written materials and books.

      About three years after Ai's visit, Ricci sent a Chinese Jesuit Lay Brother to visit Kaifeng; he copied the beginnings and ends of the holy books kept in the synagogue, which allowed Ricci to verify that they indeed were the same texts as the Pentateuch known to Europeans, except that they did not use Hebrew diacritics (which were a comparatively late invention).[7]

      When Ricci wrote to the "ruler of the synagogue" in Kaifeng, telling him that the Messiah the Jews were waiting for had come already, the "Archsynagogus" wrote back, saying that the Messiah would not come for another ten thousand years. Nonetheless, apparently concerned with the lack of a trained successor, the old rabbi offered Ricci his position, if the Jesuit would join their faith and abstain from eating pork. Later, another three Jews from Kaifeng, including Ai's nephew, stopped by the Jesuits' house while visiting Beijing on business, and got themselves baptized. They told Ricci that the old rabbi had died, and (since Ricci had not taken up on his earlier offer), his position was inherited by his son, "quite unlearned in matters pertaining to his faith". Ricci's overall impression of the situation of China's Jewish community was that "they were well on the way to becoming Saracens [i.e., Muslims] or heathens."

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    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria Performed by the Soo Music Academy and Irina Kolesnikova

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    A Renaissance Man

    "While we may ask many questions about Sir Thomas More, his writings and his life, those that look to his role in the Renaissance and the Reformation are some of the most intriguing," begins Julia R. Nelson, quoted by Stephan Hand — [St.] Thomas More, Christian Humanism and Utopia.

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    James Kalb on Tradition

    "We follow the tradition of our community because tradition and community are basic to being human," says the traditionalist conservative thinker — What is it to Accept Tradition? An excerpt:
      People who live by a tradition normally respond to imperfections and changes that become troublesome by trying to maintain the tradition's substance. They focus on the understandings and practices that seem most important, and change less important ones that seem at odds with the basic goods the tradition points toward. A tradition is not at bottom a collection of rules, all equal to each other, but an understanding of the world and how to live in it. Some parts are more important than others, the tradition is always directed to goods that trump particular practices, and there's always some flexibility in how to reconcile practice and goal.

      Religious reformers provide an example. They may complain about popular traditions but do so in the name of older and more authoritative traditions. They appeal from the practices of the Pharisees to the law of Moses and the prophets. Even evangelists appeal to the traditions of those they are addressing. Justin Martyr saw the seeds of the Logos in Greek tradition. Paul didn't tell the Athenians to give up Athenian culture, he quoted their poets and said he was there to tell them about the God their altars pointed toward. And in our own time Benedict annoyed some people by saying that "Christ was the savior for whom [the American Indians] were silently longing."

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    Abolish Copyright Laws!

    "Did Germany experience rapid industrial expansion in the 19th century due to an absence of copyright law?" asks Frank Thadeusz — The Real Reason for Germany's Industrial Expansion? The article is a review of a book that argues, among other things, that "it was none other than copyright law, which was established early in Great Britain, in 1710, that crippled the world of knowledge in the United Kingdom."

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    "Tyranny of Rights"

    Jorge Traslosheros Hernández on what "should be an oxymoron" — Adoption Isn't a "Right" for Gays or Others. The historian and juridical expert from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México explains:
      It is very important to keep in mind that the so-called right to adoption never existed in Mexico because it was well understood that children don't exist to satisfy the desires or needs of adults, no matter how legitimate or justified they might seem.

      Because of the higher interests of the child, the adoption processes were governed by the logic that adults must be subjected to rigorous aptitude tests, where the factors of emotional, social, economic, marital or personal stability have played a very important role, among many other things.

      Hence, adults have never in any way had the right to adoption. On the contrary, they have had to demonstrate in deeds that, beyond ideologies and any doubt, they are fit to take on a child with full responsibility.

      Parenthood, as we well know, is a gift and a responsibility, it isn't a right in itself. In any case, it would be a consequence and always subject to the exercise of responsibility. As we can easily see, as the higher interest of the child demands, the right of adoption must not exist for anyone regardless of their quality, condition, religion, race, ethnic group or sexual preference. Children are not things to satisfy the needs of adults.
    "Homosexual couples will have the exclusive privilege of the right to adoption and whoever denies them this right can be accused of discriminating against them for reasons of sexual preference," he warns.

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    The Constitutional Monarchic Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia

    Pepe Escobar cites it as an example "that every reality in Patagonia is interchangeable with a heroic, larger-than-life character" — In Tierra del Fuego, Darwin still rocks:
      Think of French lawyer Orllie-Antoine de Tounens, who on November 1860 founded, under his authority, the Constitutional Monarchic Kingdom of Araucania, then annexed Patagonia. His title was King Orllie-Antoine I. He tried the trick twice more and eventually was jailed and deported out of Buenos Aires. When he died, the crown was inherited by his cousin, who without even moving from Europe conducted a lot of business to colonize "the new France". The Arauco-Patagonian throne even had its own flag, shield and currency - billing themselves as fierce defenders of indigenous peoples' rights. Even former US president Dwight Eisenhower was honored with a royal medal in 1966.
    The Mapuche Nation (I once attended a Mapuche pow-wow in Chile) maintains a website of the kingdom's history — Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia. The kingdom was founded by the Indians themselves; "Le Royaume d'Araucanie et de Patagonie a été fondé en 1860 par le indiens Mapuche dans le territoire occupé maintenant par les Républiques d'Argentine et du Chili" — Le Royaume d'Araucanie et de Patagonie.

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    Friday, August 20, 2010

    Arvo Pärt's Da Pacem Domine from "In Principio" Performed by Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian Philarmonic Chamber Choir, & Tõnu Kaljuste


    The music of the greatest composer of our times will give succor to his country, "suffering from a deeply 'confused' social and moral state, with its shift from a 'communist form of open materialism to the capitalist form of subtle materialism,'" and to the rest of our civilization — Only a Return to Christian Values Will Save Secularist Post-Soviet Estonia: Local Pro-Life Leader.

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    Homosexualists vs. Medicine

    Only in times as perverted as ours would a treatment "for congenital adrenal hyperplasia to prevent ambiguous genitalia" be a cause for outrage — Medical treatment carries possible side effect of limiting homosexuality. "That such a treatment would ever be considered, even to prevent genital abnormalities, has outraged gay and lesbian groups, troubled some doctors and fueled bioethicists' debate about the nature of human sexuality."

    [link via Catholic and Enjoying It!]

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    A-Bomb Collateral Damage

    "Dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki taught America that morality was irrelevant," argues Zac Alstin in part of Mercator.Net's "The World's Most Dangerous Idea" series — Truman was right.

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    America's Greatest English Heritage

    Roger Scruton with a "talk about the relevance of England—the idea of England and also the reality of it—to your situation here in America" — The Common Law between England and America.

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    Forget Dave Weigel and JournoList!

    "I doubt the American conservative media will be exercised by these revelations quite like they were by the world-shattering Dave Weigel and JournoList scandals," says Richard Spencer of this story — The Zionist Conquest of the U.S. Media.

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    The Religion of Tolerance

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    A Finch in the Hand


    No, this is not a post imitating that celebrity priestly blogger to whom The Catholic Fascist paid homage the other day — The view outside my window. This is one of the rare personal stories I share on this blog.

    Walking home from my daughter's piano lesson today, my son spotted a small bird sitting in the storm gutter next to the sidewalk. Recognizing it as a Society Finch and knowing it to be one of those rare species that only exists as a domesticated animal, not in wild, I reached down to pick it up and it jumped on my finger. We took it home to the cage that had been empty since we carelessly let our two finches die of heat a few weeks ago by leaving them too close to the air conditioner exhaust, something we had been feeling a bit guilty about.

    The bird is not doing well. Perhaps we've done nothing more than give a poor creature made defenseless by a man a safe place to die, rather than ending up as lunch for one of the many feral cats that stalk our neighborhood. Then again, maybe we've deprived some poor, hungry cat a healthy meal.

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    Dorothy Day Down Under


    "Few people know that Dorothy Day (1896-1980), anarchist-pacifist and Catholic, who fed and housed thousands of homeless people in New York and campaigned tirelessly for peace, had a major influence on Australian Catholicism," writes Val Noone — Remembering Dorothy Day's visit 40 years ago. "Our present capitalist, industrial system is inhuman and wicked," said the great lady on her visit. "The non-violent are trying to re-build it within the shell of the old."

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    El Maximo Líder Knows What Time It Is

    Even broken clocks are right twice daily — Fidel Castro fascinated by book on Bilderberg Club. The article discusses "a theory long popular both among the far left and far right: that the shadowy Bilderberg Group has become a kind of global government, controlling not only international politics and economics, but even culture."

    Mentioned are the "'sinister cliques and the Bilderberg lobbyists' manipulating the public 'to install a world government that knows no borders and is not accountable to anyone but its own self.'" Also noted is that "Castro suggested that the esoteric Frankfurt School of socialist academics worked with members of the Rockefeller family in the 1950s to pave the way for rock music to 'control the masses' by diverting attention from civil rights and social injustice." (I first learned of the Frankfurt School, and its Cultural Marxism, in Patrick Buchanan's The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization.)

    "The Bilderberg conspiracy theory has been popular on both extremes of the ideological spectrum, even if they disagree on just what the group wants to do," the article informs us. "Leftists accuse the group of promoting capitalist domination, while some right-wing websites argue that the Bilderberg club has imposed Barack Obama on the United States to advance socialism." They've succeeded in masking corporatism as "capitalism" to leftists and as "socialism" to rightists.

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    Heinrich Schütz's Also Hat Gott die Welt Geliebt and Deutsches Magnificat Performed by Stuttgarter Hymnus-Chorknaben




    Pinnacles of High Church Lutheranism performed in a jarringly low-chuch setting, the recent gathering of the Lutheran World Federation, last month's LWF Eleventh Assembly, in which communion is taken on the hand, not kneeling as was the pratice in the ecclesial community in which I was raised — The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. But that's not the worst of it. It might be better to close one's eyes and listen. The Reformer would be appalled.

    Earlier posts of music from one of my favorite composers, the first of which I'd rank as the best piece of music ever posted on this blog* — Heinrich Schütz's Alleluja! Lobet den Herren, Performed by La Chapelle Rhénane, Directed by Benoît Haller and Heinrich Schütz's Der Herr ist mein Hirt Performed by La Chapelle Rhénane, Directed by Benoît Haller.

    *Other than this piece, the video of which has been yanked — Claudio Monteverdi's Ave Maris Stella from His "Vespers of 1610" Performed by La Fenice Under the Direction of Jean Tubéry.

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    "Annihilation of 'Self,' Divinization of Nature, Rejection of a Personal God"

    "The cornerstones of the Japanese culture, explained by the ambassador of the Rising Sun to the Holy See," quoted by Sandro Magister — Why Christianity Is "Foreign" to Japan. (Such were never the cornerstones of Korean culture, which explains why almost half, as opposed to one-hundredth, of the population here professes belief in the Christian God.)

    Quoted is "a lecture given last July 1 at the Circolo di Roma by the Japanese ambassador to the Holy See, Kagefumi Ueno," who "says he is Buddhist-Shinto in his outlook." More interesting than the lecture are these comments that introduce it:
      This is a difficulty that also involves other great Asian civilizations and religions. Cardinal Camillo Ruini – when he was the pope's vicar and president of the Italian episcopal conference – repeatedly identified the main reason for this impermeability in the fact that in Japan, in China, in India, there is a lack of faith in a personal God.

      It is for this reason – he added – that the challenge posed to Christians by Asian civilizations is more dangerous than that of another monotheistic religion like Islam. While Islam, in fact, at least prompts Christians to deepen and reinvigorate their own religious identity, the Asian civilizations "instead push in the direction of a further secularization, understood as the common denominator of a planetary civilization."

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    The Religion That Gave Us the Hospital

    "Roman Catholic and other church-run health care systems in the U.S. are more efficient and provide higher quality care than their secular counterparts, according to a new Thomson Reuters study," reports Joprdon J. Ballor — The Superiority of Christian Hospitals. "Our data suggest that the leadership of health systems owned by churches may be the most active in aligning quality goals and monitoring achievement of mission across the system," reads the report.

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    Who Is Behind The Catholic Fascist?

    Yesterday's follow-up post about "the satirical site spawned a flurry of commentary" as well — "The Catholic Fascist" Revisited. This post will focus on the identity of The Catholic Fascist as speculated about in the post and comments.

    Mark Shea made it clear whom it is he thinks is behind the project — Vox Nova's Id. However, a partison of that site, whom I have known and respected since long before he joined it, mentions the man behind catholicanarchy.org™, who "left Vox Nova of his own volition several months ago" and "is free to start any venture he likes with anyone he likes, regardless of whether he is behind the Catholic Fascist or not, as he has been accused."

    Vox Nova itself, denies any linkage saying, "Some think it is a spin-off from Vox Nova, claiming this proves that Vox Nova is run by heterodox dissenters, because they see The Catholic Fascist as mocking Catholic doctrine" — Somewhat Funny, Somewhat Confusing.

    Most intriguing, however, were these cryptic comments from an anonymous commenter:
      I think the blog of which you speak is a great honey pot - like Wikileaks.

      Within a week or two, the blog of which you speak has gone viral and ruffled a lot of feathers.

      Big shots' feathers - feathers of people I'd have least thought followed this stuff.

      We can now identify who reads what in the blogosphere. Before the existence of the blog of which you speak, we weren't necessarily sure about that.

      Think about it.

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    "Tolerance" and "Diversity"

    "Is this multi-cultural intolerance?" asks Randall Parker of this report from August State University — Christian Must Accept Homosexuality Or Get Kicked Out. "So these employees of the state of Georgia are trying to deny her an education in her chosen field due to her professed beliefs," writes Mr. Parker. "Why don't they celebrate her diversity?"

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    Liberalism Rectified

    Ralph Raico, professor at my alma mater, on "the ideology advocating private property, an unhampered market economy, the rule of law, constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and of the press, and international peace based on free trade" — What Is Classical Liberalism? An entry from a tome I am proud to own — American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia.

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    Two Videos on Real Deals

  • A conservative blog for peace "like[s] the manner of one but the substance of the other" — Ron Paul vs Bill Buckley in 1988. He points out that "where it counted Buckley actually was a fake, a shill for big government (after all he was CIA) under an olde-worlde, Bridesheady Catholic veneer." In contrast, "Paul’s his likeable self. And real. And right."

  • The LewRockwell.com Blog's namesake posts a video about the return of the Islamic Gold Dinar and Silver Dirham as used today — The Real Muslim 'Threat' to the US Empire.
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    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Shim Sunhwa Catarina's Madonna and Child


    Something from last Sunday's diocesan bulletin to accompany this message from just about exactly the opposite side of the world — Devotion to Mary guarantees fidelity to Christ, says Argentinean archbishop. "Authentic devotion to the Virgin is a sign and guarantee of fidelity to Jesus Christ."

    (I spent my birthday in 1995 in His Excellency's city, alone, waiting for a bus for more than half the day. It was a Sunday, and everything, I mean everything, was closed; I slept on a park bench most of the day. A memorable day, and one I enjoyed. This years' was better, the best thus far, with my wife, and my kids now old enough to make me understand they care.)

    My first post of this year — Either Mary Is the Mother of God or Her Son Is Not God. Another must-read Marian post — Henry Adams on the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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    The Father of Reagonomics Asks, "What Is To Be Done?"

    "If the wars are not immediately stopped and the jobs brought back to America," warns Paul Craig Roberts, "the US is relegated to the trash bin of history" — The Ecstasy of Empire. "Without a revolution, Americans are history."

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    The Chinese and the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Scam

    "The Chinese do not remotely believe in the myth of Man-Made Global Warming nor in the efficacy of 'alternative energy,'" James Delingpole reports — What the Chinese really think of 'Man Made Global Warming'. "Why should they?"

    The author quotes from a working translation of a new book which "shows the Chinese government as rejecting CAGW in its entirety, believing it a conspiracy between Western governments and business to protect their own way of life, at the expense of the entire developing world—in other words, 80% of the world’s population" — Low Carbon Plot.

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    The World's Second Largest Economy

    "As the world looks on with astonishment, admiration and fear, Beijing, however, is not swollen with pride, there is no public chest-thumping," reports Francesco Sisci — No rush for China. More:
      Overtaking Japan in fact removes the last fig leaf for the true economic comparison - ongoing openly for years - between China and the United States. The natural question now is: What will happen next? When will China's GDP surpass that of the US?

      The answer primarily depends on the method of accounting that is adopted, with dozens of variants. If you consider purchasing power parity in overtaking the US, China could rise within 10 years. If the present value of their respective currencies is considered, it could happen in over 20 years. But if the Chinese yuan is revalued against the dollar, it will happen sooner.

      If the US economy recovers, it may be a matter of 40 years, if it crumbles, it could be tomorrow, and if the Chinese economy collapses, it may never be.

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    Etta Baker Interviewed

    Those of you who may have enjoyed yesterday's musicological post — Elizabeth Cotten Interviewed — might also enjoy these reposted videos below:








    Piedmont blues, a.k.a. East Coast blues, with its "happy sound" delightfully described and played above, is about as American as it gets. After all, we are, or were, a happy people. Delta blues, impressive as it is, is too dark, too foreign to ultimately be of wide appeal. To Piedmont's credit, "its ragtime-based rhythms... lessened its impact on later electric band blues or rock 'n' roll, but it was directly influential on rockabilly and the folk revival scene." To my ear, American Primitivism sounds Piedmont at core. Practioner Robbie Basho even hoped "to see the steel string as a concert instrument and to create a Raga system for America."

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    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Ludwig van Beethoven's Triple Concerto Performed by the Chung Trio and Sudwestfunks Symphony






    Above, something from 1984 to accompany this appalling news — Most US students think Beethoven is a dog. These are "young Americans entering university this year," mind you, who also "can't write in cursive."

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    The Greying of the World Economy

    "Why the global economic crisis is really about old age—and how to encourage prosperous countries to have more children," explained by Philipp Longman — Demography and Economic Destiny. "Perhaps there is an economic system that can preserve prosperity even in the face of an aging, stagnating population, but it has not yet been devised."

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    Good-bye Nation-State, Hello City-State?

    "The 21st century will not be dominated by America or China, Brazil or India, but by the city," argues Foreign Policy's Parag Khanna — Beyond City Limits. "In an age that appears increasingly unmanageable, cities rather than states are becoming the islands of governance on which the future world order will be built," the author continues. "This new world is not -- and will not be -- one global village, so much as a network of different ones."

    (I'm not sure how much credence we should give to Mr. Khanna's futurism, given his gross ahistoricism: "It's worth remembering that only in Europe were the Middle Ages dark -- they were the apogee of Arab, Muslim, and Chinese glory.")

    Of local interest, also from FPSeoul, One of the World's 10 Major Cities. And since such lists are always fun, this, from another rag — Korea ranks 15th in the ‘World’s Best Countries’.

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    Patrick Buchanan and Justin Raimondo on the "Ground Zero 'Mosque'"

    The former rather scarily argues that "if the president believes the Constitution decides this issue with finality, he is profoundly mistaken" — Culture Jihad — while the latter wisely finds it "hard to believe that a national campaign led by lunatics has taken off with such momentum" — Cordoba House: The Acid Test. Of this "manufactured controversy" Mr. Raimondo asks, "manufactured by whom, and for what purpose?" He writes:
      Is it me, or does anyone else find it passing strange that – at a time when conservatives are on the ascendant, with this administration’s increasingly unpopular economic program under attack from all sides – that the American right-wing is taking up yet another nasty-minded "cultural" issue? Forget the bank bailouts, don’t worry about the nationalization of large swathes of the American economy (banking, healthcare, housing), and try to forget that China owns us – what’s really really wrong with America is that the New York City government is allowing a mosque to be built with a four-block radius of where the World Trade Center once stood.
    He also reminds us that "it isn’t a mosque," that "there are already mosques in the vicinity," and that "the group behind the project is not Wahabi – the Saudis’ strict sect – but Sufi, the most peaceful and anti-jihadist of the various strains of Islam."

    The Catholic Fascist The American Catholic weighs in — Rank and File Conservatives & The Conservative Intelligentsia United In Outrage Over Mosque Near Ground Zero, Not So With Same-Sex Marriage.

    (Mr. Raimondo supported Mr. Buchanan's three presidential runs and gave the nomination speech for the third — Buchananism or Barbarism; Mr. Buchanan wrote the forward to the second edition of Mr. Raimondo's tome — The Old Right and the Future of Conservatism.)

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    Drs. Hayek and Keynes

    Michael Pento offers an allegory on "the dangers of quackery, whether medical or economic," noting that "economic quackery - in the form of Keynesianism - has overtaken Washington" — Dr Keynes killed the patient. Previous posts contrasting these two thinkers — "Fear the Boom and Bust" Rapped by Billy Scafuri and Adam Lustick, as John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich August von Hayek and Henry C.K. Liu on J.M. Keynes and F.A. von Hayek.

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    "The Catholic Fascist" Revisited

    My post linking to the satirical site spawned a flurry of commentary — All Hail The Catholic Fascist! "I will no longer follow your blog if that is the kind of humor Western Confucian approves of," said the first commenter, whether satirically I do not know. "Association [sic] liturgical traditionalism with fascism is not funny," the commenter continues. "What kind of Catholic are you? I think you answered [sic] my question."

    Much of the thread is taken up by the question of "if Arturo Vasquez isn't likewise a parody," to which the accused responds, "Not sure if I am a parody of myself, but I do try to have fun," to which I can only say, "Amen." When the discussion briefly gets back on topic, Mr. Vasquez rightly suggests that "the right wing Catholic Internet is such a vast sea of stupidity that a parody of it almost writes itself."

    Mark Shea gets a word in edgewise at near the beginning, saying, "CF is revealing itself to be the mere id of Vox Nova, finally expressing the contempt it feels for the Church's teaching on homosexuality, women's ordination, and prolifers that it has never been able to give voice to as it pretended to care about orthodoxy more than liberalism," expanding these ideas a few days later into a post of his own — Vox Nova's Id.

    Mr. Shea in his post says that "the lefties at Vox Nova offer some hilarious skewers of the right wing Catholic blogosphere at its most absurd, and in the process make it clear that, yeah, the Vox Novans don't really give a crap about abortion, don't much care about the Church's teaching on homosexual practice, and would be quite happy to ordain women."

    (My thoughts: one can "give a crap about abortion" but realize the G.O.P. doesn't; "the Church's teaching on homosexual practice" should not be that much of a concern to those of us not interested in "homosexual practice," and; those who "would be quite happy to ordain women" are wasting their time because it can never happen.)

    More seriously, Mr. Shea points out is that "satire without regard for what the Tradition actually teaches will soon be trained on the gospel if you are an ideologue who holds the Church's teaching in contempt when it happens to threaten your ideological commitments. And without regard for the Tradition," he continues, "you can also wind up just saying anything in order to score points and lashing out at anybody with the wrong perceived tribal affiliations." Mr. Shea offers this example: "Jimmy Akin (you know, the guy who was just denouncing Hiroshima as a war crime) is perceived as a 'Catholic Fascist' because his political orientation is basically conservative."

    That said, Mr. Shea notes that "some of their satire is wicked funny and can only be outdone by the unconscious self-parody of some of the crazier voices in the right wing blogosphere" and offers as a case in point a "rant about those who regard the nuking of Hiroshima as a war crime" as being "arguably guilty of mortal sin."

    I find Vox Nova's Obamalatry as silly as the next guy, but find the site less offensive than The American Catholic, the deserving target of The Catholic Fascist's satire. What makes "the right wing Catholic blogosphere" more contemptous is that its ideas are not merely silly; when it comes to foreign policy, they kill.

    You'll find no surprises at either Vox Nova or The American Catholic. Both fail to think out of the box, or rather, the very small and nearly identical two boxes in which Americans are allowed to think (which the great Bill Kauffman once called "ideological veal crates") when it comes to political, social, and economic issues.

    UPDATE: This blog has been honored with the The Catholic Fascist treatment, in a post asking, "What exactly is a 'Western Confucian?'" — Only Pure Catholics, Please.

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    Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.