Saturday, October 30, 2010

J. S. Bach's Ein Feste Burg Ist Unser Gott Performed by Münchener Bach-Chor and Münchener Bach-Orchester, Directed by Hanns-Martin Schneidt








Something to mark tomorrow's Reformation Day, which is not found on the Catholic Calendar.

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JFK and MLK Today

  • "JFK, Obama, and the Unspeakable" is the title of the lecture delivered by the author of a book I am currently reading reported on by Claire Schaeffer-Duffy — The assassination of JFK: A parable for our times. A one-sentence summary of the book: "Kennedy’s turn toward peacemaking during his presidency -- his implementation of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, his initiation of a secret dialogue with Fidel Castro to normalize US-Cuban relations, his signing of a memorandum calling for troop withdrawal from Vietnam, and most significantly, his communication with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev -- put him violently at odds with the Joint Chief of Staffs and the CIA."

  • Lew Rockwell posts a "video of MLK Jr. on the Mike Douglas show" sent to him by Phil Hensley — King on the Vietnam War. Mr. Hensley writes, "The parallels to today’s wars are astounding. So is the thinking of imperialist Americans that think our national greatness lies in our ability to destroy and conquer the rest of the world when they don’t do what we want."
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    Religion and Science

  • "Benedict specifically praised - and blessed - science and scientists in an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences" and "also made clear that part of the role of science is to reveal God in the universe" — Pope praises science, but insists God created world. The address in its entirety — Papal Address to Science Academy.

  • Alva Noë argues "that the you-are-your-brain conception is dead wrong and that the best, new biology of consciousness supports this idea that the mind is not in the head" — Strangers In A Strange Land.

  • "Christopher Hitchens' atheist manifesto was subtitled 'how religion poisons everything,' but a new polling analysis challenges that notion, finding that very religious Americans have higher levels of well-being than the rest of the country" — Gallup: Very religious Americans have higher levels of well-being.
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    Characters From Animal House and Animal Farm Respectively


    How a friend described the Brothers Kim, pictured above from this story — No Love Lost Between Kim Jong-il's Sons. "North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's best-known sons -- his eldest Jong-nam and his third son and heir Jong-un -- barely know each other, sources say." On the left, "Kim Jong-nam has lived in virtual exile in Macau and Beijing since he was effectively expelled from Pyongyang after he was caught attempting to enter Japan on a forged passport in 2001." On the right is the heir apparent.

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    Papooses






    Some images like those of us living in Korea see daily, from a new favorite site, which "provide[s] free, mostly public domain, mostly scientific or naturalist images for you to download and print" — Vintage Printable.

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    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Antonio Lotti's Crucifixus Sung by King's College Choir, Cambridge

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    "The Ur-Conservative"

    "A translation of Karlheinz Weißman’s entry on 'Anarchismus von rechts' (right wing anarchism) in the Lexikon des Konservatismus, ed. Caspar von Schrenck-Notzing (Graz and Stuttgart: Leopold Stocker Verlag, 1996)" — Right Wing Anarchism. "In whichever form right-wing anarchism appears, it is always driven by a feeling of decadence, by a distaste for the age of masses and for intellectual conformism."

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    Bangalore and Buffalo

    "I sent a letter to the Wall Street Journal, but the editors were not interested in what a former associate editor and columnist for the paper and President Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy had to say," writes Paul Craig Roberts, questioning Bill Clinton’s Defense Secretary William S. Cohen's assertion "that for every job outsourced to Bangalore, nearly two jobs are created in Buffalo and other American cities" — America's Jobs Losses are Permanent. "The facade of lies has to be maintained at all costs. There can be no questioning that globalism is good for us."

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    Russell Shaw on Thomas More

    An article on "a master ironist, but not in the cause of arctic arrogance" — A Christian Ironist.

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    American Anti-Interventionism

    "A brief history of the anti-interventionist movement, from World War I to the present day," offered by Justin Raimondo, an authority on the subject — Anti-Interventionism, Then and Now.

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    Silencing Tariq Aziz

    "Perhaps Aziz, who could tell the whole story of Western involvement in Iraq, before, during and after the war, is simply too embarrassing and potentially compromising a figure to be allowed to live out his days in prison," says journalist Mark Seddon, who "remember[s] seeing Aziz in the foyer of the Al Rasheed hotel in Baghdad, playing court to the Nationalist Russian leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and the late Austrian far right leader, Jorg Haider," and who "fully expected him to be released in five years and retire to a bungalow in Beirut" — Tariq Aziz: villain or victim?

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    An Eternal Bond

    "This marriage stuff is from another age," says Peter Hitchens' interlocutor — The Death of Principle.

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    Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., and the Geto Boys

    I knew his musical tastes were catholic, but not this catholic — Antiwar Rap. "NB: bad language."

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    "Right-Wing Social Democrats"

    "It is difficult to regard neoconservatism with anything other than distaste," rightly begins David Gordon, reviewing an author who "rejects the current neocon line on foreign policy, as any decent person would" — Neoconservatism Defined.

    Another author he quotes argues that "neoconservatism rejects individual rights" and holds that "principles such as individual rights, limited government, and economic freedom are neither morally edifying nor practically sustainable." More disturbing, it holds "that philosophers exist on a higher plan than the rest of humanity," and that these alone "can absorb the truths that God does not exist and that ordinary morality rests on no foundations." Thus, "[f]rom a strictly philosophical perspective.... the neocons have, on principle, dispensed with principle" and "do not think that an immutably true moral code can or should be generated from man’s mutable social reality."

    "The masses, to the contrary," writes Mr. Gordon, "require the consolations of religion and morality. The philosophical elite must guide them according to the wisdom it alone can discern." He argues that the author "successfully shows that though the neocons often invoke the American tradition, they do not genuinely believe in the 'unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'"

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    A Latter Day Anti-Federalist

    "Let’s wake up these 'real Constitution' die-hards and the ardent 'Tenthers' and tell them that it’s a waste of time to try to resurrect that document in order to save the nation ---because because the growth of government and the centralization of power is inherent in its original provisions[, a]s the anti-Federalists were trying to say all along from the very beginning of the ratification process" — Kirkpatrick Sale, Getting Back to the Real Constitution?

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    Language, Fleeting and Eternal

    I couldn't care less that, as Jan Freeman reports, this "loathed phrase turns 50" this week — I could care less — and couldn't agree more with Peter Kim's suggestion that "the official language of Catholic Church... gives immeasurable consolation in the midst of the cacophony of 'Church politics' over the translation" — Immutable Latin and Vernacular Translation.

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    Chestertonia

  • Thomas Fleming on a book he calls "an accurate piece of prophecy," whose author "envisioned an absolute despotism run by colorless bureaucrats who would eliminate all the little ethnic and regional differences, all the eccentricities of class and profession that had made European civilization the gorgeous mosaic that it was" — The Napoleon of Notting Hill by G.K. Chesterton.

  • Lord Alton of Liverpool argues "that he was also a great prophet who foresaw the evil of eugenics which has manifested itself in various forms during the 90 years since he first wrote about it" — Chesterton and the Eugenic Nightmare.

  • "As we all strain to respect the tension between (humanly speaking) optimism and a fully balanced realism, not always with success by any means, the following essay I found to be particularly precious," writes Stephen Hand of this piece — Chesterton on Optimism and Pessimism.
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    Choices

    Pak Kongwŏn's posts a must-see image with his thoughts on the “if men gave birth to babies, then there would be no pro-life movement” argument — A pro-abortion argument I could never understand — and Peter Kim posts a must-see video of a heroic Vietnamese Catholic man who has adopted fifty babies to save them from being aborted — Choice for Life.

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    South Korea Joins the Big Boys

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    The Falls, 1840


    The image above was taken by "an English scientist named Hugh Lee Pattinson, who traveled across the state into Canada with a daguerreotype camera -- then a technology only a few years old"— Historic first photo of falls to go on display.

    Far more pristine, like Iguaçu Falls, than what we see today, but then again, what would the Falls be without the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum or Maple Leaf Village, two of my favorite places as a kid?

    As the daguerreotype shows and as many say, the Falls are more beautiful from the Canadian side. As Western New Yorkers reply, that's because from there you can see the American side.

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    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    Samuel Scheidt's Courant Dolorosa, Galliard and Paduan, Performed by Hespèrion XXI, Directed by Jordi Savall

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    John Zmirak on Hallowe'en, Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants

    Reminding us that "this holiday was born to commemorate the many nameless saints and prepare for the feast of holy souls in Purgatory -- that scary, fascinating middle place that only we Catholics really believe in" — My High Holy Day.

    Calling "All Souls' Day (November 2) the most distinctively Roman Catholic holiday in the calendar," he writes, "The Orthodox pray for the dead, but if you accuse them of agreeing with Catholic teaching on this subject -- as on any other --they will vigorously deny it." He continues, "Likewise, their liturgy and traditions affirm truths suspiciously similar to the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, which they only began to deny once Rome declared them infallible." He goes on to suggest, "The Protestant Reformation was pretty much started in reaction against Halloween and All Souls' Day; Luther nailed up his denunciation of indulgences on October 31, which is still in some places called Reformation Day."

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    Understanding the President

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    "곰세마리"

    "Grandpa Bear is fat, Papa Bear is fat, too, and Baby Bear is a doofus," read the re-written lyrics of a popular Korean children's song, "changed to include satirical references to the Kim family dynasty, and the new version is spreading in North Korea, unsettling the authorities" — Satirical Song Causing Consternation.

    Here's the original, which used to be my daughter's favorite (even my father picked it up on his first visit to the country five years ago) with original lyrics in English — 곰세마리.

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    Tariq Aziz's Death Sentence

    "Nuri al-Maliki, on the brink of sealing a deal to give him another four years as prime minister, apparently feels confident enough to act on something he has long dreamt of: revenge against Aziz," writes Sami Moubayed, continuing, "Revenge is not a new matter in Iraq, but what is surprising is that Aziz - a Christian - will be hanged for killing Islamists" — Iraq calls time on Saddam's sidekick.

    "Many believed that Aziz's religion, his friends in the international community and the fact that his hands are not stained with blood like Saddam would have spared him the fate of former colleagues who ended at the hangman's noose," sugeests Mr. Moubayed. More:
      The fact that he was recently sentenced to only 15 years in prison was seemingly an assurance that Aziz would remain "sheltered" from execution at the age of 74. Many believed that it would have been very difficult for the post-Saddam leaders of Iraq to hang Aziz - a man who was given red-carpet treatment at the Vatican in 2003 - even if they wanted to.

      That would have sparked off too much tension within Iraq itself, especially between Muslims and Christians, and vibrated strongly around the world. During his 2007 Christmas mass, Emmanuel III Delly, the Patriarch of Babylon and primate of the Chaldean Catholic Church, called for Aziz's release, making government authorities in Baghdad very nervous.

      Maliki today, four years into power and preparing himself for another round at the premiership, apparently feels confident enough to take affirmative action on something he has always dreamt of - revenge against Aziz. He knows that he can sign off the death warrant and face little, or no, opposition. Had Aziz been a Sunni or Kurd, for example, whose support is much needed for Maliki for a 163-vote majority he needs in parliament, then hanging him would have been very difficult.
    Pepe Escobar writes "Maliki and his Shi'ite Da'wa party had a score to settle with Aziz, and they will believe justice has now been done" — Aziz's story will remain untold. "Everyone else loses badly because Aziz is arguably the only person on Earth who could tell the real story, bit by juicy bit, about the rolling, decades-long American dirty game in Iraq."

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    Some Japanese Brush Paintings for the Season




    From a wonderful website that "provide[s] free, mostly public domain, mostly scientific or naturalist images for you to download and print" — Vintage Printable.

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    Fisking the Dechristianization of the Middle East

    "From Israel to Iraq, a Christian flight of Biblical proportions has begun," reports the legendary journalist — Robert Fisk: Exodus. The changing map of the Middle East. An excerpt:
      Across the Middle East, it is the same story of despairing – sometimes frightened – Christian minorities, and of an exodus that reaches almost Biblical proportions. Almost half of Iraq's Christians have fled their country since the first Gulf War in 1991, most of them after the 2004 invasion – a weird tribute to the self-proclaimed Christian faith of the two Bush presidents who went to war with Iraq – and stand now at 550,000, scarcely 3 per cent of the population. More than half of Lebanon's Christians now live outside their country. Once a majority, the nation's one and a half million Christians, most of them Maronite Catholics, comprise perhaps 35 per cent of the Lebanese. Egypt's Coptic Christians – there are at most around eight million – now represent less than 10 per cent of the population....

      Yet nowhere is the Christian fate sadder than in the territories around Jerusalem. As Monsignor Fouad Twal, the ninth Latin patriarch of Jerusalem and the second to be an Arab, put it bleakly, "the Israelis regard us as 100 per cent Palestinian Arabs and we are oppressed in the same way as the Muslims. But Muslim fundamentalists identify us with the Christian West – which is not always true – and want us to pay the price." With Christian Palestinians in Bethlehem cut off from Jerusalem by the same Israeli wall which imprisons their Muslim brothers, there is now, Twal says, "a young generation of Christians who do not know or visit the Holy Sepulchre".
    He puts in a good word for monarchism: "The Jordanian royal family have always protected their Christian population – at 350,000, it is around 6 per cent of the population – but this is perhaps the only flame of hope in the region."

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    "Carrion Comfort"

    “Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee," wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins, quoted to good effect by bereavement counsellor Richard White — Depression, mental illness and God.

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    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    J.B. Lully's Suite Alceste, M. Marais' Suite Alcione, & J.P. Rameau's Suite Les Indes Galante & Suite Les Boréades

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    Where Have All the Protesters Gone?

    Antiwar.com's editor, self-described "conservative-paleo-libertarian" Justin Raimondo, asks — Whatever Happened to the Antiwar Movement? "It’s vanished! Gone! Evaporated like morning mist!," he exclaims, suggesting, "Never in the history of politics has a movement retreated faster and more completely – but in this case, it was a voluntary retreat, an act of self-abolition."

    While "George W. Bush was the perfect hate object" and "his neoconservative advisers were almost caricatures of evil," Mr. Raimondo notes, "now there’s a new warmonger in town, a new Caesar who is not quite such an easy target." He later reports, "At a recent 'antiwar conference' held in Buffalo, New York, which was dominated and largely organized by a Trotskyist group known as Socialist Action, the participants voted to pour their energy into building the October 2nd pro-Obama demonstration recently held in Washington, D.C., which dubbed itself 'One Nation Working Together.'"

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    More of the Late, Great Joseph Sobran on Conservatism and Peace

    "Being the most devastating of human activities, war would seem to be at the opposite pole from conserving anything," he wrote in 2006, calling it "a grotesque accident of history that it should have acquired even a verbal association with the philosophy of conservatism" — Glorious War! He continues:
      Just what is that philosophy? Is it a philosophy at all, or just a natural disposition to reject radical change? These questions have been debated for centuries, and I can only suggest an answer.

      Briefly, conservatism is a more or less articulate sense of normality, whereas liberalism has been described (by G.K. Chesterton) as “the modern and morbid habit of always sacrificing the normal to the abnormal.” Conservatism can tolerate many abnormal things that can’t be eliminated from human society, but it doesn’t call them “rights” or confuse them with normal things. And, after all, few things are more abnormal than war.

      So today’s alleged conservatives (and especially the misnamed “neoconservatives”) are aberrations. They delight in destruction; they are full of enthusiasm for violent and radical action; they lack the ironic and skeptical attitude of real conservatives, the prudent sense that precipitate acts bring “unintended consequences.”

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    Imperial Expansion

    News of "the largest investment in a military base in the western Pacific since the Second World War, and the biggest spend on naval infrastructure in decades" in an "attempt to contain China" — US to build £8bn super base on Pacific island of Guam.

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    The Tao of Lì Mǎdòu

    Pak Kongwŏn has done us all a favor by posting video of "a lecture about The Western Confucian (no, the other one)... given by Anthony E. Clark at Whitworth University" — Conflict and Accommodation: Matteo Ricci's Approach to Catholic Evangelization in China. "Check'er out."

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    A Catholic Approach to Immigration

    "[S]tates have the right to regulate migration flows and to defend their own frontiers, always guaranteeing the respect due to the dignity of each and every human person" — Pope Says States Have Right to Defend Borders. The Pontiff calls us to "combine the welcome due to every human being, especially when in need, with a reckoning of what is necessary for both the local inhabitants and the new arrivals to live a dignified and peaceful life."

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    The Dear Leader's First Son and Chef Weigh In

    "How long can this regime last?" asks the eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il — 'North Korea will collapse soon'. "If the Kim Jong Eun era has arrived, North Korea should shut down all the North Korean military’s political prison camps and release the prisoners," says Kenji Fujimoto — Kim's Chef Sees Little Chance of Change.

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    Catholic Aziz Sentenced to Hang

    Two reports from the Catholic press — Tareq Aziz, the "human face" of Saddam Hussein, sentenced to death and Vatican says it hopes Iraq does not execute Tariq Aziz.

    "The charge against Iraq's former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, is religious discrimination," writes Felicity Arbuthnot in her appeal to "His Holiness Pope Benedict xvi, His Grace The Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace the Archbishop of Westminster, The Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon., David Cameron, The Deputy Prime Minister, The Rt., Hon., Nick Clegg, The Foreign Secretary, The Rt. Hon., William Hague" — An Open Letter to Save Tareq Aziz.

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    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    A. Vivaldi's Magnificat, Stella Doufexis, Daniel Gundlach, Gächinger Kantorei, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Helmuth Rilling

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    Pseudo-Conservatives are the Real Deal Says Left-Liberal

    Left-liberal Corey Robin attempts, and utterly fails, to argue that "[t]oday's winger, like yesterday's, is not a pseudo-conservative; he's the real deal" — Why Conservatives Love War.

    "Encoded in the conservative movement's DNA, the argument for violence derives from Burke himself," the author asserts, in one of the most tenuous arguments I've ever read, based soley as it is on the philosopher's idea "the self is desperately in need of negative stimuli of the sort that can be provided only by pain and danger," which the author admits comes from "his early 20s" and "predates his entry into politics" and is often "dismiss[ed]... as apolitical juvenilia."

    I'd like to dismiss Prof. Robin's screed as left-liberal juvenilia, but methinks the author, who, "[d]espite being a progressive, [has] devoted his scholarly attention to the study of the contemporary forms of American conservatism and neoconservatism," is stuck in what Bill Kauffman once called one of the two "ideological veal-crates" Americans are offfered. Citing Strauss, Teddy Roosevelt and Francis Fukuyama in the same paragraph with Burke shows he hasn't a clue about his supposed area of expertise.

    His research has probably introduced him to some of the antiwar conservative publications and individuals often linked to here, which perhaps first intrigued him but ultimately repelled him when he realized they didn't fit into either veil-crate. Like the pseudo-conservative, he cannot fathom someone not agreeing with every point on his agenda. Unlike the true conservative, he cannot tolerate people with whom he disagrees on certain issues. This tortured article is the result of his confusion.

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    The Late, Great Joseph Sobran on Conservatism and Peace

    "One of the baneful side effects of the Cold War was to make 'peace' sound like a left-wing cause and to identify conservatism with war," he wrote four years ago — Reflections on Turning Sixty. "If I can excite even a little horror of war in my fellow conservatives, I will feel that my long career has not been entirely wasted."

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    How the Scholastics Founded the Science of Economics

    "The age between the 8th and 16th centuries was a time of amazing advance in every area of knowledge, such as architecture, music, biology, mathematics, astronomy, industry, and – yes – economics," reminds Lew Rockwell, introducing us to those to whom the Austrian School Economists are indebted intellectually — The World of Salamanca. Some excerpts:
      The real founders of economic science actually wrote hundreds of years before Smith. They were not economists as such, but moral theologians, trained in the tradition of St. Thomas Aquinas, and they came to be known as the Late Scholastics. These men, most of whom taught in Spain, were at least as pro–free market as the much-later Scottish tradition. Plus, their theoretical foundation was even more solid: they anticipated the theories of value and price of the "marginalists" of late 19th-century Austria....

      It is not precisely correct to say that the Late Scholastic thinkers who discovered economics were exploring theological territory and stumbled inadvertently upon economics. They were in fact intensely curious about the logic that governs relations among choices and people in the marketplace, and they looked at this subject without feeling the need to point constantly to theological truth. The relationship between economics and theology was assumed to be a part of the scholarly enterprise itself, and this is why the Late Scholastics could write with such precision on economic subjects.

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    Germany Is Back

    Interesting that so soon after the end of "one of the most insane and ugly legacies of global statecraft" — Germany Makes Final World War One Debt Payment — should come German Chancellor Angela Merkel's declaration that multiculturalism "has failed totally" and minister-president of Bavaria and the chairman of a sister party to the Christian Democrats Horst Seehofer's that the two parties were "committed to a dominant German culture and opposed to a multicultural one" — Germany re-enters history.

    It's as if with the odious Treaty of Versailles, which paved the way for the rise of the aberarration that was Nazi Germany, finally behind them, the great German people can finally be normal again.

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    Adagio Trio Performs "Greensleeves"


    "Almost everyone thinks 'Greensleeves' is a sad song—but why?" asks Ferris Jabr, noting that "the melody prominently features a musical construct called the minor third, which musicians have used to express sadness since at least the 17th century" — Music and speech share a code for communicating sadness in the minor third. The author reports on "a study in the June issue of Emotion suggests the minor third isn't a facet of musical communication alone—it's how we convey sadness in speech, too."

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    Rome's Synod of Bishops for the Middle East

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    Mahapawarana Day, the Day of Permission

    'Twas marked yesterday, Weena Kowitwanij reminds us — Celebrating the end of Buddhist Lent.

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    "Love North Korean Children"

    "If we did not provide these buns the children would go hungry," said South Korean-born George Rhee, founder of the charity of that name — British bakeries a lifeline in North Korea. "All of our food gets to the children," he continues. "None goes to the North Korean army or government."

    He goes on to say, "At first I was thinking of opening an orphanage, but the government wouldn't allow that. They say North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is our father, so there is no need for orphanages. So then I decided to open a bakery." We learn that "Rhee is a minister in the Assemblies of God Church and has its backing for his charity" and [m]ost of the costs are borne by three Dutch Christian foundations, the Barnabas Fund, Stichting Ora and Dorcas Aid International."

    Yet, as Christopher Hitchens would have it, "religions poisons everything."

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    Some Contemporary North Korean Paintings






    More can be seen on this South Korean site — 북한 미술작품.

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    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Charles Ives' Variations on 'America' Performed by Virgil Fox

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    The Late, Great Joseph Sobran on Patriotism and Nationalism

      Patriotism is like family love. You love your family just for being your family, not for being “the greatest family on earth” (whatever that might mean) or for being “better” than other families. You don’t feel threatened when other people love their families the same way. On the contrary, you respect their love, and you take comfort in knowing they respect yours. You don’t feel your family is enhanced by feuding with other families.

      While patriotism is a form of affection, nationalism, it has often been said, is grounded in resentment and rivalry; it’s often defined by its enemies and traitors, real or supposed. It is militant by nature, and its typical style is belligerent. Patriotism, by contrast, is peaceful until forced to fight.

      The patriot differs from the nationalist in this respect too: he can laugh at his country, the way members of a family can laugh at each other’s foibles. Affection takes for granted the imperfection of those it loves; the patriotic Irishman thinks Ireland is hilarious, whereas the Irish nationalist sees nothing to laugh about.

      The nationalist has to prove his country is always right. He reduces his country to an idea, a perfect abstraction, rather than a mere home. He may even find the patriot’s irreverent humor annoying.
    Quoted by Conservative Heritage Times, reminding us of "the chickenhawks who defended W’s every act of aggression against Iraq in the name of 'global democractic revolution'" — Patriotism or Nationalism?

    The New Beginning links to the original essay — Patriotism or Nationalism? In it, the "Reactionary Utopian" laments that "many Americans admire America for being strong, not for being American." He continues, "For them America has to be 'the greatest country on earth' in order to be worthy of their devotion. If it were only the 2nd-greatest, or the 19th-greatest, or, heaven forbid, 'a 3rd-rate power,' it would be virtually worthless."

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    "The Greatest City of the Americas"

    Andrew Cusack offers us "a sampling of various views of... its palaces and cafés, its nooks and crannies, which offer proof of a human place that defies [its] vast and perhaps oppressive size" — Ciudad de México.

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    Permanence, Verticality, Iconography

    Michael S. Rose identifies the "qualities present in all the truly great churches of Christendom" — The Three Natural Laws of Catholic Church Architecture. The article serves as a nice companion to Matthew Palardy's post on "perhaps the finest example of Gothic ecclesiastical architecture and one of the greatest temples of Christendom" — 750th anniversary of the consecration of Chartres Cathedral.

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    Velikovsky Gets Righter and Righter

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    Blowback, Blowup

    "Foreign occupation, not religious fervor, is the primary motivation behind this form of terrorism," says Robert Paige — What triggers the suicide bomber: "Research I and my colleagues conducted at the University of Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, in which we analyzed each of the more than 2,200 suicide attacks that have taken place throughout the world since 1980, shows that though other factors matter, the primary driver of suicide terrorism is foreign occupation."

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    Friday, October 22, 2010

    M. Rodríguez de Ledesma's Misa de Difuntos Performed by Coro Matritum Cantat & Orquestra Sinfónica de Madrid, Directed by Tomás Garrido

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    Hilarión Eslava's Miserere Performed by Fernando Lima, Coro Matritum Cantat, Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, Directed by Luis Izquierdo












    Hilarión Eslava, we learn, "fue un compositor y musicólogo español del siglo XIX, gran defensor de la ópera española."

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    M. Rodríguez de Ledesma's Oficio de Difuntos Performed by Coro Matritum Cantat & Orquestra Sinfónica de Madrid, Directed by Tomás Garrido












    Mariano Rodríguez de Ledesma, we learn, "fue un compositor de música clásica y está considerado el primer músico romántico español."

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    Domenico Cardinal Bartolucci

    "One of the four new cardinals 'ad honorem' of the next consistory will be Domenico Bartolucci," reminds Sandro Magister, "remarkably robust at 93, previously the 'perpetual' director of the Sistine Chapel choir that accompanies the pope's liturgies" — Twenty-four New Cardinals, Tailor Made for the Pope. More:
      Benedict's conferral of the purple on him looks like an unambiguous rehabilitation of this preeminent maestro of Gregorian and polyphonic liturgical music, treacherously expelled from the direction of the Sistine choir in 1997 by the directors of pontifical ceremonies at the time.

      What a shame that since then, without him, the choir of the Sistine Chapel has fallen to abysmal levels. Nor is there any reason to hope for a worthy rebirth in the appointment as its director, a few days ago, of Salesian Fr. Massimo Palombell, a protege of the cardinal secretary of state.
    We heard some of his music the other day — Domenico Bartolucci's Jubilate Deo, Ave Maria & Sicut Cervus, Rossini Chamber Choir, Orchestra Sinfonica G. Rossini, Simone Baiocchi.

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    The Firing of Juan Williams

    Some good may come of it, with "[c]onservatives and some liberals say[ing] NPR went too far in axing a longtime news analyst for saying he gets nervous on planes when he sees people in Muslim dress, and at least one U.S. senator [having] said he would start the ball rolling in cutting federal funding to the network" — NPR's fed funding questioned after firing analyst.

    For the record, I love National Public Radio and have been listening to Juan Williams for twenty years. Still, I think a cutting of federal funding would make it a far better network and think that Guy Benson may be on to something with this — NPR Finally Finds An Excuse To Fire Juan Williams.

    That said, I disagree with Mr. William's statement: "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous." Mohamed Atta et al. weren't dressed in "Muslim garb" when they carried out their orders.

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    Linguistic Protests

    I'm not that sympathetic to the Tibetan cause, but here's a protest I can get behind — Language protests spread among Tibetan students. "Demonstrations have spread among Tibetan students angered by reports that Beijing plans to make Chinese the only language of instruction in schools." (Linguistically speaking, the weasal words "reports that" are clearly problematic.)

    In Malaysia, I taught a group of Bangladeshies (I affectionately remember them as my "Bangla Boys") who often spoke of their country's pride in being the only nation to have fought a war of independence over language (much to the dismay of the lone Pakistani in the class; the Taiwanese guy was clueless). How those young Muslims sang the praises of Hindu Rabindranath Tagore!

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    Pope Joseph Ratzinger Receives Ambassador Thomas Hong-Soon Han

    And spoke of "the dangers involved in rapid economic growth which can all too easily bypass ethical considerations, with the result that the poorer elements in society tend to be excluded from their rightful share of the nation’s prosperity" — Pope to Seoul: an economic growth attentive to ethics. The Pontiff called to "focus attention on the need to renew the ethical foundation of all economic and political activities" and on a "commitment to ensure that social justice and care for the common good grow side by side with material prosperity."

    For his part, the Ambassador reminded the Pontiff that the Korean Church was founded "not by any foreign missionary but by Korean lay faithful themselves and boasts of the martyrdom of more than ten thousand faithful who heroically offered their lives for the great cause of God in the 19th century" and today is held in "high esteem by her people for the contribution she has made to the modernization and development of her country, always in fidelity to the Papal Magisterium."

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    The Late, Great Joseph Sobran on Peace

    "War is the most destructive of human activities," he wrote in 2005, "and because it destroys everything worth conserving, I marvel that it has come to be associated with 'conservatism'" — Confessions of a Right-Wing Peacenik.

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    The Best American Presidents

    "I like guys like Chester A. Arthur, John Tyler, Calvin Coolidge, and Grover Cleveland," says the interviewee — Doug Casey on Presidents: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Interviewer Louis James:
      Grover Cleveland might have been the best of the lot. He was a sound-money advocate, generally pro-market, and had both the personal ethics and the backbone to face down Congress and the powerful interests behind the annexation of Hawaii.

      The conquest of Hawaii, in my opinion, was one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history, because of the massive level of fraud and deceit involved, which was quite different from the relatively simpler xenophobic extermination of other natives. Grover Cleveland basically said that Hawaii would never be annexed while he was president, and that's exactly what happened.

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    Some John Adams

    The American composer, not the American president, posted by Arturo Vasquez — Hallelujah Junction. (The title refers to a town that is, or was, on the border of California and Nevada.) This blogger'll take XXth Century minimalism over XXth Century schmaltz any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

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    Fuzzy (or Furry) Math?

    "Ever since Charles Darwin was alive, mathematicians have criticized his theory as nonsensical," suggests Eugene G. Windchy, quoted by Stephen Hand — The End of Darwinism.

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    International Gold Confiscation?

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    T.S. Eliot Was Right

    "Not with a bang, but a whimper" is how the world ends, suggests James Matthew Wilson — The Population Bomb. "Christian critics of modernity such as T.S. Eliot and Jacques Maritain insisted that the modern liberal regime was a deadly one," writes Mr. Wilson. "It promised earthly prosperity precisely by means of closing off the horizon beyond which lies not the good of this world only but the Good Itself, separate and universal."

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    All Tomorrow's Tea Parties

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    A Murder in Red China

    "Family Planning officials decided Xiao Ai Ying, eight months into her pregnancy, had violated China's one-child policy and forced her to have an abortion," reports Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan, noting that she "was dragged kicking and screaming out of her own home by authorities" — An illegal pregnancy and a legal abortion. Click on the link for a video interview with the murdered baby's father.

    Of course, many of those outraged by this see no problem with a mother's "choice" to drag her eight-month-old fetus "kicking and screaming" to an abortuary. We are shocked by something as commonplace historically as the State murdering one of its citizens, but take something as absurd and horrific as a mother murdering her own child for granted.

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    W.A. Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 13 3rd Movement Played by Glenn Gould


    Something to accompany Robert Badger's article that begins by informing us that the Canadian pianist once said the Austrian composer "died too late rather than too soon" — Too much Mozart makes you sick.

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    Thank God for Mitochondria

    Michael Le Page informs us of a hypothesis that "overturns the traditional view that the jump to complex eukaryotic cells simply required the right kinds of mutations" — Why complex life probably evolved only once. (I've always thought we were alone.)

    The hypothesis, coming from Nick Lane of University College London and Bill Martin of the University of Dusseldorf in Germany, begins with that point in evolutionary history in which "a cell engulfed some bacteria and started using them as power generators – the first mitochondria." (This a graduate student in bioinformatics explained to me a while ago.) The researchers, however, suggest "the textbook idea that complex cells evolved first and only later gained mitochondria is completely wrong: cells could not become complex until they acquired mitochondria."

    The conclusion: "Simple cells hardly ever engulf other cells, however – and therein lies the catch. Acquiring mitochondria, it seems, was a one-off event."

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    Troubled Waters

    Noting that "the Chinese [are] supposedly training to shoot down an American F-22" and "that the US is training with the Japanese SDF to defend the Senkaku Islands," GI Korea asks an important question — Should the US Get Involved In the Senkaku / Diaoyutai Islands Controversy? The answer, of course, is, "No, no, no, a million times no!"

    "If the Chinese did militarily occupy the Senkaku Islands is the US willing to go to war with China over it?" asks our man in uniform. "It would seem that with the defense treaty with Japan the US would be obligated to and by participating in this exercise it appears that Washington is sending Beijing that signal." That's why the Founders warned us against "entangling alliances."

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    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Zoltán Kodály's Ave Maria Sung by the Fiesole Youth Choir and Ostrava Music School Children's Choir, Directed by Milan Chromik

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    St Elizabeth of Hungary Spinning for the Poor

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    Catholic Stuff

  • Peter Kim has posts for lovers of sacred music both ancient and contemporary — G.P. Palestrina's Missa Brevis at Seocho Catholic Church and Fr. Im Seoksu's Kyrie (Missa Brevis).

  • Arturo Vasquez has posts on two medical doctors now venerated as folk saints — Dr. Ricardo Moreno Cañas and Dr. Sousa Martins.
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    Traditionalist Conservative James Kalb on Islam and Women

    "The images of imprisonment you get in the West aren't at all accurate," and even if they were, "the Muslim treatment of women is their problem" — Islam, Women, and Us. He acknowledges that "women are unquestionably at a disadvantage in Islam," going on to explain:
      Men can have several wives, and they can divorce at will. So the bond between man and woman is weaker and less balanced, and there is less mutual trust and more use of force than in traditional Western society.

      Principles like that have some effect on day-to-day life, and a big effect on the likelihood of the kind of extreme situation that makes the news. So there are a lot more honor killings and stonings for adultery in Muslim societies, just as there are more babies who get their skulls punctured and brains sucked out in liberal societies.

      General principles don't determine everything though, and in any event there are also general Islamic principles requiring fair treatment and whatnot. On the whole, people are people, life is mostly particular events, domestic ill-feeling is no fun, and women know how to get their way even if men are supposedly in charge. So I don't think the "generalized system of sexist abuse" theory holds water. How could such a system be maintained in household after household century after century over whole continents? Why would so many people go to such an effort?
    Most interesting is the author's recounting of his experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan:
      The women didn't have much public presence where I was, but that didn't mean what people here would expect. There's less public life in Muslim countries. The classic Middle Eastern city was a bazaar and some palaces, mosques, and barracks in the public sphere, and also walled quarters where people lived among their own and ran their own affairs.

      The family was generally a unit of production as well as consumption, so the idea of "career" was mostly irrelevant. That's still largely true, by the way. Career depends on large formal organizations, and such things don't work well in the radically divided societies you find in the Middle East and Central Asia. People are mostly farmers, artisans, or shopkeepers, and the ideal is having enough to live on so you can sit at home drinking tea.

      I remember a guy in Kashmir (another Muslim region) asking me--very tentatively, he didn't want to seem like a fool who takes everything he hears seriously--whether it was true that in the West people didn't think it was enough to have money to live on and hang with their friends but also wanted to work as a positive good thing.

      So the basic idea has always been that everything's behind walls, with extended families living together in compounds, and outsiders only admitted to the relatively small public areas. Behind the scenes, which is where everything took place, the women were much freer and certainly part of what was going on. There was also lots of to and fro through back doors into other compounds. The images of imprisonment you get in the West aren't at all accurate.

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    Feeding the Hungry

  • "A team from Catholic aid group Corea Peace 3000 entered North Korea on Oct. 20 with trucks carrying 100 tons of flour for flood victims," reports Stephen Hong — Catholic group delivers aid to North Korea.

  • David Rieff reminds us that Ethiopians "did of course know it was Christmas because the starving were mostly Christian" — Bono Can't Save The World, Neither Can We.
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    Domenico Bartolucci's Jubilate Deo, Ave Maria & Sicut Cervus, Rossini Chamber Choir, Orchestra Sinfonica G. Rossini, Simone Baiocchi






    Some sacred music from the the soon-to-be-red-hatted maestro in perpetuo of the papal choir of the Sistine Chapel — La Toscana ha un nuovo cardinale: Domenico Bartolucci.

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    Red Hats

    The story — Benedict XVI Names 24 New Cardinals, Pope announces names of 24 new cardinals for a November consistory, Pope names 24 new cardinals, including two from United States. Three stand out.

    First, the bishop "named in 2008 to head the Vatican's highest tribunal, [who] came to the post with the reputation of being one of the most outspoken U.S. bishops on moral and political issues" — Cardinal-designate Burke a vocal leader on moral, political issues. Second, "the only Asian among the 24 new cardinals," who has faithfully served as the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments — Sri Lankans welcome Mgr Malcolm Ranjith as a new cardinal.

    Finally, and most excitingly, the maestro in perpetuo of the papal choir of the Sistine Chapel and a composer of sacred music in his own right, about whose elevation no English headline could be found — La Toscana ha un nuovo cardinale: Domenico Bartolucci.

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    Tammy Wynette Sings "D-I-V-O-R-C-E"


    One of the saddest songs to accompany news from one of the few lands that wisely bans the practice — Malta bishops: divorce changes nature of marriage.

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    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Ensemble Lipzodes Perform Quantelcta, Oy Hasemos Fiesta Todas, Salamanca, and Aparajad Ballesteros




    Ensemble Lipzodes, "a unique group that combines voice, shawms, dulcians, recorders, and percussion to bring to life the rarely performed music of 16th century Guatemala," on Brazilian television.

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    Ensemble Lipzodes Perform Mulier Quit Prolas, Oy Sube Nuestra Esperança, Pabanilla and Maria de Solo un Buelo




    Ensemble Lipzodes, "a unique group that combines voice, shawms, dulcians, recorders, and percussion to bring to life the rarely performed music of 16th century Guatemala," on Brazilian television.

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    Evil Bono


    "Not to put too fine a point on it, but I hate Bono," begins Steven Sherman, quoted by Steven Hand — Bono’s Bad Ideas. "He epitomizes everything that’s wrong with Clinton/Blair style liberalism: an intense desire to appear to care about the world, matched only by a complete unwillingness to stand up to any of the corporate or militarist complexes that stand in the way of progress."

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    War Profiteering


    Elena Maria Vidal links to a 1934 study of the armaments industry — Merchants of Death.

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    TLM in the ROK

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    Kyung Hee Kim on American Creativity

    The associate professor of educational psychology at the College of William & Mary found that "Americans’ creativity has plummeted in recent years" — The decline of creativity in the United States. She suggests that "one may point a finger at the excessive time our children tend to spend in front of televisions and computers, watching programs, and playing videogames, rather than engaging in creative activities such as playing outside or exploring the outside world."

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    Christine O'Donnell, Constitutional Scholar

    "Where in the Constitution is separation of church and state?" she asked, "drawing swift criticism from her opponent, laughter from her law school audience" — O'Donnell questions separation of church, state. "The First Amendment establishes a separation," responded her opponent, to which she interrupted, "The First Amendment does? ... So you're telling me that the separation of church and state, the phrase 'separation of church and state,' is in the First Amendment?"

    How stupid! No, not Mrs. O'Donnell, but her ignorant opponent, her equally ignorant "law school audience," and the deceitful Washington Post for publishing this crap.

    The First Amendment to the United States Constitution begins: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Notice, the amendment refers to Congress, not the several States. Thus, it was not until the 1818 Constitution of the State of Connecticut that Congregationalism was disestablished as the state religion of the "Constitution State." Separation of church and state was first expressed in "Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists Association in 1802... reassuring [them] that their religious freedom would remain protected - a promise that no possible religious majority would be able to force out a state's official church."

    This changed with the questionable reading of the questionably worded Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which mandated that "[n]o State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws" and that "Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."

    Indeed, the history of Anglo-Saxon constitutionalism can be said to begin with the first clause of Magna Carta, which guaranteed "that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired."

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    New York State Senatorial and Congressional Endorsements

    My absentee ballot arrived yesterday, and I had hoped to support the "Tea Party-backed" Buffalonian in becoming the first upstater in ninety years to win the governorship — Cuomo and Paladino spar in debate for NY governor race. But, alack, as a non-resident I only have suffrage in federal elections. (Conversely, my permanent resident status in Korea offers me suffrage in local and provincial, but not national, elections.)

    The Rent Is Too Damn High Party failed to persuade me, as did the even more unconvincing Republicratic Party, so I have split my vote among the Libertarian Party of New York, the Green Party New York, and the Working Families Party respectively:

    This blog hereby endorses Randy Credico for Senate 2010, because, like the candidate, it stands "against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and would like to help elect a Senator who cares about the basic rights and concerns of all New Yorkers."

    This blog hereby endorses Cecile Lawrence for U.S. Senate, if only because she "encourages the entire conversion of front lawns to shrubs, herbs, tomatoes and flowers as she has done." "She’s also demonstrated in Washington, D.C. to the end the war in Iraq and participated in peace vigils in Binghamton, NY and Owego, NY, including speaking at anniversaries of the Iraq war and during the trial of the St. Patrick’s Four," and "lobbied and participated in rallies in Washington, D.C. against the Bush administration’s attacks on Habeas Corpus and other constitutional rights."

    This blog hereby endorses Brian Higgins for Congress, because, he regognizes that "Western New York's future is limitless, but we need leadership that continues to push through the barriers that have led this community to too many years of inertia and inaction." What's more, the candidate pledges to "continue to fight the bureaucracy and develop real momentum on the issues important to Western New Yorkers."

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    I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

  • Does this include those who wear uniforms? — New Post poll finds negativity toward federal workers.

  • Sandro Magister on an unenviable position — Christians in the Middle East. Crushed between Islam and Israel.

  • "Somebody eventually had to say it -- and German chancellor Angela Merkel deserves credit for being the one who had the courage to say it out loud," says Thomas Sowell; "Multiculturalism has 'utterly failed'" — The Multicultural Cult.

  • "It’s a nasty job, but somebody had to show us just how powerful and destructive the porn industry is," writes Melissa Farley — Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality.

  • "Why would we legalise what women who have experienced it call 'paid rape' and voluntary slavery'?" asks the same Melissa Farley — The real harms of prostitution.

  • "Iraq's next government will likely be Iran-friendly and Shi'ite-friendly," says Pepe Escobar — And the winner is ... Muqtada.

  • Al Labita reports that "opposition is mounting to a pact that seemingly gives US troops an open-ended right to stay despite their failure to modernize the Philippine army or quell insurgency in Mindanao" — Filipinos aim to give US troops the boot.

  • "Three North Korean Senior Middle School students have been caught trying to carry explosives into North Korea," reports Kim Tae Hong — Terror Plot Foiled in Hyesan.

  • "While the world saw the worst face of terrorism in 9/11, at the same time there is also a big chunk of people including Americans, who see it as the world’s largest criminal conspiracy," writes Tanveer Jafri — Conspiracy behind 9/11 Should Be Revealed Now.

  • "When Israeli media commentators report on current events or explain political developments or interview public officials they employ a fixed mindset along with a politically correct lexicon," begins Zvi November — George Orwell is Alive and Well in Israel.

  • "Everyone, from individuals to the organizations of civil society, States and international institutions, needs to give priority to one of the most urgent goals for the human family: freedom from hunger" — Pope says 'self-interest' must be overcome to feed the world.
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    Concordia Perform William Byrd's Browning à 5 and Claudio Merulo's La Zambeccara




    Why did an instrument as sonorous as the viol, a.k.a. the viola da gamba, fall into disuse?

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    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    The Westminster Abbey Choir Sings Thomas Tallis' "If Ye Love Me Keep My Commandments" and William Byrd's "Prevent Us, O Lord"

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    Guiseppi Verdi's Requiem Performed by UC Davis Symphony Orchestra and University Chorus, Directed by Jeffrey Thomas


    Above, in its entirety, a composition that expresses, in the words of music critic and Vicar of Christ Pope Benedict XVI, "the gamut of human sentiments in face of the end of life, man's anguish before his natural frailty, the feeling of rebellion in face of death, disconcert on the threshold of eternity" — Verdi's Requiem Seen as "Cry to the Father".

    The article informs us that "Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) wrote the Requiem Mass in 1873 as a tribute to Italian writer and humanist Alessandro Manzoni," and that Pope Ratzinger, hailing it as the composer's "apex, the final moment of his musical production," called it "not only a tribute to a great writer, but also the response to an interior and spiritual artistic need that confrontation with the human and Christian stature of Manzoni aroused in him." The Supreme Pontiff, acknowledging that the composer called himself "somewhat of an atheist," further praised the work as "a great cry to the Father, in an attempt to overcome the cry of despair in face of death, to rediscover the aspiration to life which becomes a silent, heartfelt prayer: Libera me Domine."

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    Ástor Piazzolla's "Libertango" Performed by Yo-yo Ma and Friends


    Something to accompany Robert Badger's latest post, on the "prominent Argentine tanguero" who "grew up partially in the United States where he was exposed to jazz and Bach at an early age" — Astor Piazzolla. "Piazzolla’s new tango was very controversial in Argentina," Mr. Badger informs us. "It took a while for it to become accepted. Piazzolla even found himself the object of death threats."

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    Who's the Victim in This Crime?

    "A 33-year-old female middle school teacher... had sex with a 15-year-old student in her car at an underground park last week," begins Kang Shin-who's report of news that has shocked the nation — Female teacher accused of inappropriate relationship. "The incident is causing a huge stir on the Internet, with some netizens demanding the teacher be prosecuted."

    That won't happen, as "the police said they terminated the investigation as the two had sex under mutual consent and there was therefore no legal grounds to punish the teacher," as "current law punishes only adults having sex with those aged under 13." (Schizophenically, Korea does not allow people to marry until they've reached age of majority.) However, "the school plans to fire the teacher for the unethical relationship," and rightly so.

    That said, I'm not that scandalized by the case. Of course, since the teacher is married, she should be tried for adultery, which is still on the books here in Korea. Since the teacher was a woman and the student a male, the victim is clearly the husband. (Robert Koehler reports that "oddly, while the newspapers all have the story, her husband has not been told" — ‘Hot for Teacher’ comes to Korea.) and her lover a co-conspirator who should also stand trial, as an adult. It would be a different story had the teacher been male and the student female, of course. In such a case, the teacher's crime would go beyond adultery to statutory rape and robbing a young woman of her virtue.

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    From the Blogs

  • A conservative blog for peace on real peacemakers — For statehood, Palestine willing to end historic claims against Israel — and a real-life death panel — Will the GOP pull the plug on Granny or war?

  • "Who needs NASA, after all?" says Pints in NYC of this successful "mom and pop operation" that has become the latest entity to enter the Space Race — From Brooklyn to Infinity . . . and Beyond!

  • "At 10:02 am, on October 18, 1981, 29 years go today, a cross appeared in the sky at the start of Mass offered at Yeoeudo square," writes Peter "Totus Tuus" Kim, with photographic evidence — 150th Anniversary of Chosen diocese of Korea.

  • "I'm already getting a little static from some of my conservative friends about the 'green' aspect of our new business," begins Jeff Culbreath, with a spirited defense of the "sensible, Catholic way to approach environmental questions" — Going "Green".
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    Saint André of Montréal


    Saint Andre Bessette, ora pro nobis. With two of my recently-added blogging colleagues posting about him, I thought I'd better learn a thing or two about him, and from whom better to learn than them? "I wanted to contact The Western Confucian and tell him that Brother André Bessette was made a saint on October 17th," writes the discerning Pak Kongwŏn, going on to say, "He was nothing special: just a doorman," whose "holiness has elevated him to the litany of saints" — What to do?

    "I recall older relations telling me, when I was a small boy, about how when members of my family would always visit Frère André when they visited Montréal," writes Matthew Palardy, praying that "the magnificent shrine built by this small, humble porter in honour of St. Joseph still stands on the mountain, along with the cross, brilliantly illumined at night, to remind us of the glorious heritage and, we can hope, destiny of the city of Montréal and the province of Québec" — Saint André Bessette.

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    Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.