Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our Lady, Queen of Peace in Asia


  • "Today the month dedicated to Our Lady ends, a figure revered and honoured not only by Christians, but also capable of uniting Muslims and members of other religions," reports Joseph Mahmoud — Kirkuk Christians and Muslims unite in prayer to Our Lady for Peace in Iraq. "For the occasion, this morning the Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk invited Muslim religious and political authorities to join in a common prayer, the author reports. "Many Muslims made a pilgrimage to the statue of the Virgin Mary, especially women who pray to the Mary to intercede on their behalf."

  • "Since the arrival of Catholicism, Korean Christians have shown great devotion to Mary, mother of Jesus of Nazareth," reports Theresa Kim Hwa-young, saying that "the Marian month is the best time of the year for the faithful" (a local hymn we sang this past Sunday said as much) — Mary, “Mother of Korea and support of the family”. "In May, Koreans celebrate Parent’s Day, Children’s Day, Workers’ Day and Teachers’ Day. The Bishops’ Conference has also devoted May to the family."

  • Nirmala Carvalho reports on a "centre [that] now accommodates 75 men Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs" — "Mary’s clan" devoted to the Virgin to overcome alcoholism. "Without any discrimination of caste or faith, in devotion to Our Lady all have found a life full of dignity, simplicity and serenity."

  • "Devotion to the Virgin Mary [has been] present in Indochina since the 16th century," reminds J.B. Vu, reporting that "[a]ccepting the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI faithful ask Our Lady to protect the Chinese Church" — Month of Flowers: Vietnamese Catholics pray to Our Lady for religious freedom in China.
  • Labels: , , , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Francisco Guerrero's Ave Maria à 4 Performed by La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Hespérion XX, Directed by Jordi Savall

    Bookmark and Share

    Noah and Abraham

    A post a few weeks ago — Koreans and the Talmud — prompted a reader to send along "another article about Talmudism in S Korea" — Talmud Study now Mandatory in South Korea. (I chalk it up to Koreans' love of study, and the fact that some think of themselves as the second smartest race after the Jews (cf. Smart Koreans and Jews and Koreans), rather than to any international conspiracy, but I may be wrong.)

    What I'm most interested in that a commenter makes mention of Noahidism, "a monotheistic Jewish ideology based on the Seven Laws of Noah, which teaches that "non-Jews are not obligated to convert to Judaism, but they are required to observe" these universal laws. Maimonides was a proponent, and the Chabad Movement launched a Noahide Campaign.

    "Briefly, this code forbids non-Jews from murder, blasphemy, idolatry, adultery, robbery, tearing off flesh from a living animal and consuming it, and failing to set up courts of justice to enforce the above laws." Who would disagree with that? Of course, Holy Mother Church seeks salvation for all the children of Noah, but we can see some reflection of this in the incomplete theology of the Jews.

    Moving on to a latter patriarch, a post yesterday — Rethinking Ancient History — prompted our colleague at Thursday's Notes to comment, "One blogger who carries on the Diffusion idea is Alice Lindsey in 'Just Genesis.' She sees the Old Testament faith as having roots in the Horite priesthood diffused from the peoples of the Nile (Nilotic). She has a lot of information on this, and some good study of artifact and language, as well as culture, to support her views."

    Such perennialist-diffusionist-monogenesist thoughts fit nicely with Henri-Marie Cardinal de Lubac's Catholicism: Christ and the Common Destiny of Man, the text of which I have just finished reading. I am now reading the appendix of patristic writings, some of which I will post soon.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    It's Well-Nye Time

    A post this past weekend — Good War Revisionism — prompted reader Pints in NYC to offer what might be called some "Great War revisionism" and rightly comment that there is "not necessarily a 'natural' aversion to critical revision in American history," reminding us, "The Congressional Nye Commission (Committee), which investigated America's unnecessary involvement in WWI, occurred right away following the Great War." He writes, "Josh, I'd love for you to start posting on the Nye Commission!" I told him that "I take requests" so here goes.

    ,

    Senator Gerald Nye, pictured above, "Republican and supporter of WWII-era isolationism," is a towering figure familiar to readers of Bill Kauffman's America First!: Its History, Culture, and Politics, Look Homeward America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Ain't My America: The Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle-American Anti-Imperialism.

    Wikipedia tells us that as a journalist, he was "a supporter of the agrarian reform movement," wrote "editorials lambasted big government and big business," and "took the side of the struggling farmers." Upon election, Senator "Nye and his young family moved to Washington in 1925. Nye's youth and lack of sophistication were the talk of the town. He had a bowl haircut that was ridiculed." This, of course, is all to his credit.

    The Special Committee on Investigation of the Munitions Industry, or Nye Committee, "studied the causes of United States' involvement in World War I" and "was a significant factor in heightening public and political support for neutrality in the early stages of World War II."

    The U.S. Senate's website on the committee, "Merchants of Death", informs us that the body "cut off committee funding after Chairman Nye blundered [sic] into an attack on the late Democratic President Woodrow Wilson. Nye suggested that Wilson had withheld essential information from Congress as it considered a declaration of war. Democratic leaders, including Appropriations Committee Chairman Carter Glass of Virginia, unleashed a furious response against Nye for 'dirtdaubing the sepulcher of Woodrow Wilson.'" ([Neo-]Conservapedia takes an equally unfavorable view of Nye Committee.)

    Wikipedia also informs us that "Nye was instrumental in the development and adoption of the Neutrality Acts that were passed between 1935 and 1937" and that "[t]o mobilize antiwar sentiments, he helped establish the America First Committee."

    "In 1941, Nye accused Hollywood of attempting to 'drug the reason of the American people,' and 'rouse war fever'" and "on the evening of December 7, 1941, Nye addressed an America First meeting in Pittsburgh, and was quoted as saying, 'this was just what Britain had planned for us' and that 'we have been maneuvered into this by the President.'"

    Our Gothamite correspondent wondered, "Imagine if our schools taught about the Nye Committee? Might be one step towards reclaiming the Republic." Hear, hear! We know we were misled into a costly Mesopotamian misadventure. It's well-nigh time another Nye stepped forward.

    Labels: , , , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    David Bentley Hart Wins the 2011 Michael Ramsey Prize

    For a book Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams says "takes no prisoners in its response to fashionable criticisms of Christianity" — 'Atheist Delusions' wins major theology prize.

    "But what makes it more than just another contribution to controversy is the way he shows how the most treasured principles and values of compassionate humanism are rooted in the detail of Christian doctrine," said Cantuar. "I am pleased that we have identified a prize winning book that is so distinctive in its voice. It is never bland."

    His Grace continued, "It will irritate some, but it will also challenge and inspire readers inside and outside the church. No one could pretend after reading this that Christian theology was lacking in intellectual and imaginative force or in relevance to the contemporary world."

    (In related news, a report that "[t]he Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission met at the ecumenical monastic community of Bose, Italy, for a 10-day series of discussions, following a mandate from Benedict XVI and Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams when the two met in November 2009" — Anglican-Catholic Group Focused on "What Unites Us". This, too — Shakespeare probably a Catholic, says Archbishop of Canterbury.)

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Know Thy Enemy

    The New American's Jack Kerwick, Pd.D. pens an informative piece about "a distinctive political orientation," about which he says, "not only is it distinct from what I will call the classical conservative tradition, it is fundamentally different in kind from the latter" — The Neoconservative Philosophy.

    Particularly pernicious is "the neoconservative’s conception of America as a 'propositional' or 'creedal' nation — a nation erected upon an idea." Following this, "[t]he neoconservative views the state — or what is more customarily referred to as 'the nation-state' — as a certain kind of association, what the conservative philosopher Michael Oakeshott called an 'enterprise association.'" Dr. Kerwick counters that view, writing, "The classical conservative... sees in the Constitution, at least as it was originally conceived, the terms, not of an enterprise association, but of a civil association."

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Some Must-See Political Videos

    Bookmark and Share

    Papa Ratzinger and Musica Sacra

    Sandro Magister says a "weak point of this pontificate concerns liturgical music" — Glorious Music. But the Choir Is Tone Deaf. "Benedict XVI's grand vision is not being backed up by actions, which are even moving in the opposite direction."

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Heaven and Earth


    With a promise of more to come, Caelum Et Terra's Daniel Nichols informs us, "I have been intending for a long time to download illustrations from the journal that was the granddaddy to this blog" — And Now, Visual Continuity.

    Labels: ,

    Bookmark and Share

    A Jesuit in the Forbidden City


    Father Thomas McCoog, S.J. reviews R. Po-chia Hsia's new book about this blog's namesake's "slow geographical, spiritual and intellectual journey from Portuguese Goa to the Beijing of the Ming dynasty" — Book review - A Jesuit in the Forbidden City: Matteo Ricci 1552-1610. An excerpt:
      Hsia explores and, because of his linguistic abilities, explains better than previous scholars Ricci’s grasp and appreciation of Confucianism as it was understood and appreciated within the late Ming intellectual world. Ricci’s knowledge of classic Confucian texts, Western mathematics and science, along with his fabled memory, opened many doors.

      His esteem for Chinese culture, especially the role played by the mandarins, did not prevent him from believing in the general superiority of Western culture.

      Ricci did indeed appreciate Confucianism, seeing in it many parallels with Christianity. Buddhism’s arrival, he believed, had corrupted Chinese belief and practice.

      A well-known Buddhist scholar, Huang Hui, who had refused to meet Ricci personally, had obtained a pre-publication copy of the Jesuit’s most famous treatise, The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven. Angered by Ricci’s attack on Buddhism, he returned the manuscript now covered with criticism and rebuttals.

      Ricci incorporated his replies in the published version. He wrote the True Meaning for Confucians in the familiar Platonic style of a dialogue between a Western and a Chinese scholar. Subsequent scholars praise the treatise as a magnificent synthesis of Confucianism and Christianity.

      At the time, however, as Hsia stresses, the book ‘amounted to a declaration of war against Buddhism’.

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Krypteria Performs "Victoriam Speramus"


    News of a heavy metal band "fronted by second generation Korean Cho Ji-In" — German-Korean Rocks German Charts. Not my cup of tea, even judging from the criteria of the genre's own standards. Heavy metal subgenres are legion, however, so this probably fits in somewhere. (Symphonic metal is what Krypteria plays, Wikipedia tells us.) It is good to hear that the official language of the Church still commands respect, and that an ethnic Asian can so smoothly apply herself to such a Eurocentric cultural milieu as metal.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    L.v. Beethoven's Ninth's 4th Mvt., Hisami Namikawa, Mihoko Fujimura, Kei Fukui, Attila Jun, Tokyo Opera Singers, NHK Symphony Orchestra. Zubin Mehta


    Alle Menschen werden Brüder!

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Remembering a Hero


    Antiwar.com's Jeff Riggenbach remembers the heroic American who reminded us "we cannot crusade against war without crusading implicitly against the State" — The Brilliance of Randolph Bourne.

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy's Pledge

      I will not raise my precious child to kill your precious child.
      And if it is within my power, I will
      not hand over my beloved child to others
      to kill your beloved child, or
      to learn how to kill the one you cherish.
    Amen — Memorial Day Pledge. I still remember the day my Mississippian granny took me aside, when I was about seven or so, and said to me, quite sternly: "You will never join the military. Do you understand?"

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    The Peaceful Liberation of Rome

    "The peaceful liberation of Rome -- the peaceful retreat by the Germans -- is a fact of history," notes first-hand witness Thomas Melady, who, noting that "somehow, somewhere in the German command, a decision was made to spare Rome," wonders "whether Hitler himself was aware of the peaceful 'liberation' process that was worked out among American, Vatican and German officials"— Did Hitler know about the liberation of Rome?

    "All histories of those several important weeks, including the records of Msgr. Alberto Giovannetti and the records of German Field-Marshal Albert Kesselring, clearly establish that the German military leadership did not want to see Rome, the historic seat of Western civilization destroyed," reports the author, who was U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, 1989--1993, and a soldier in the U.S. army of occupation in Italy from 1945 to 1946. "It is also known that the fuehrer himself indicated that certain bridges should be protected from destruction. After seven decades, maybe new insights are coming to light in one chapter of the larger horrific tale that is World War II."

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Confucian Mexicans

    "A child would not dream of moving far away if he or she felt needed by the family," writes Arturo Vasquez — On large families. "When his parents are alive, a son should not go far abroad; or if he does, he should let them know where he goes," said the Sage.

    The Western Confucian is not a very good Confucian, but in my defense, I picked all this stuff up over here, and I have at least let them know where I am. Also, I'm working on remedying the situation and should know something by the middle of the month. Prayers please.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Rethinking Ancient History

    Bookmark and Share

    Blind Faith Performs "In the Presence of the Lord"


    I woke up in the middle of the night with this blast from the past on my mind, which I haven't even thought about in two decades or more. The same tune, a quarter of a century later — Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood - Presence of the Lord. And not unrelated, what was my favorite song as a four-year-old — A Song That Could Not Be Recorded Today.

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    "The Degree of Civilization in a Society Can Be Judged by Entering its Prisons"

    Thus spake Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky, who knew whence he spoke, a quote that comes to mind reading Steven Chapman's article — When Punishment is a Crime. Writing for Townhall.com, a site more known for the "law and order" brand of conservatism, he begins:
      In his magisterial book "The Gulag Archipelago," Alexander Solzhenitsyn recited in gruesome detail the mistreatment of inmates in prison camps in the Soviet Union. "As many as 54 prisoners may share a single toilet," he wrote. "Up to 50 sick inmates may be held together in a 12- by 20-foot cage for up to five hours awaiting treatment."

      Mentally ill convicts go untreated until they "suffer from severe hallucinations" and fall "into catatonic states." Suicidal inmates are "held for prolonged periods in telephone-booth sized cages without toilets." Some prisoners die for lack of medical care, and others kill themselves.

      Actually, those quotes are not from Solzhenitsyn. They're from the U.S. Supreme Court decision last week on California's grossly overcrowded penal system. A majority of the justices decided that when a state approaches Stalinist standards of barbarity, something has to be done.
    He notes that "many of those serving time in California never had 'victims,'" with "[n]early 25,000 of them are in prison for nonviolent drug offenses -- mostly simple possession or possession for sale." Noting those "in for things like shoplifting, forgery and receiving stolen property," he calls those "crimes that ought to be punished and prevented, but not crimes that cause most of us night terrors."

    He rightly says "locking up so many criminals is a false comfort," noting "that California has an unusually high rate of recidivism" and quoting a "former warden of San Quentin State Prison [who] testified that existing prison conditions 'make people worse.'"

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    The Fightin' Side of Me

    Townhall.com's Salena Zito on "an ethnic group [national campaign strategists] often overlook" — The Scots-Irish Voting Bloc. "We found that when we talked about our core values as a party -- equality, fairness, social justice -- and how that applied to issues, we immediately made a connection to these voters," said Tom McMahon, a Washington strategist who was executive director of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 through 2009.

    "The Scots-Irish apparently became voters to watch and court without knowing it," says the author. offering us some history:
      Several hundred thousand Scots-Irish, primarily Presbyterians and other Protestants from the Irish province of Ulster, came to North America during the colonial era. Fiercely independent, clannish and skeptical of government, many settled in Pennsylvania and helped shape its industrial growth. They understood hardship and hard work.

      "By the end of the 17th century, this became the largest migration from Europe to America,” said F. Thornton Miller, a professor of U.S. history at the University of Missouri.

      These settlers preferred the hill country to coastal areas, building frontier communities across the ridges of the Allegheny Mountains, moving from Pennsylvania into Ohio, and then south into West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama. Often they became squatters, said Miller.

      "They were known for fighting Indians, distilling and drinking whiskey. ... They became known as hillbillies," who didn't want to pay for land or to pay taxes, he said.

      Today, political strategists might have some difficulty identifying these voters. Many don't identify with their ethnicity, and if they do, they are so distrustful of joining anything that they are hard to pin down, said McMahon and Todd.

      “They have maintained their non-conformist nature all through the generations. ... This culture is the bellwether of change in this country, for either party,” said Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va. Considered an authority on the Scots-Irish, Webb recently completed a documentary, “Born Fighting,” for the Smithsonian Channel and wrote several books on the subject.

      Scots-Irish himself, Webb practices that non-conformist way of life: he was a Republican, and then ran as a Democrat for his Senate seat in 2006. He announced this year he would not seek reelection.

      Todd determined the Scots-Irish were swing voters by poring over mapping data after the 2008 presidential election. He found a distinct voting pattern: people who rejected President Barack Obama, choosing Hillary Clinton in the primary election and Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona in the general election.

      “When I looked at that map, I realized I was looking at where the Scots-Irish had settled, starting with Pennsylvania and Ohio (and moving) diagonally south along the spine of Appalachia,” said Todd, who knows a little about these finicky voters because of his own Scottish and Irish bloodline.
    As exchange student in Chile, I was happily allowed to express my Scots-Irish heritage in the use of my segundo apellido, McCaskey. (I remember a kid in Buffalo insisting that my mother's maiden name indicated that I was half-Polish.) Still, I'm a bit ambivalent towards my Scots-Irish heritage, given what I see as an overall negative cultural and political influence these ethnics have had on the American Republic since the days of Andrew Jackson.

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Gay America

    Steve Salier's iSteve Blog links to these ridiclous poll-findings — U.S. Adults Estimate That 25% of Americans Are Gay or Lesbian. As Mr. Sailer says, "Only 4% said less than 5%, which is probably the best guess."

    The article quotes a demographer as "estimating that 3.5% of adults in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, with bisexuals making up a slight majority of that figure." The same demographer "also disputes the well-circulated statistic that '10% of the males are more or less exclusively homosexual.'"

    The article also notes research that "a decade ago found Americans estimating much larger U.S. black and Hispanic populations than what the U.S. Census Bureau reported for those groups." I heard about this two decades ago, and it was chalked up to white fears of minorities. Is "homophobia" driving this misinformation?

    Not likely. The report states, "Democrats, liberals, and those who say they are socially liberal are also more likely to give higher estimates than those at the other end of the spectrum."

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Mourning in Cambodia

    Elena Maria Vidal posts "an interesting interview with a bishop who is trying to rebuild the Church in Cambodia" — Rebuilding Cambodia:
      Two years ago we had a funeral. A funeral is very important for Buddhists and they have this perception that the Catholics are not very interested in the dead and have no respect for the dead, especially the dead parents. They were all waiting to see what I was going to do during the funeral ceremony. They were very impressed afterward. I followed their funeral tradition including the seven days wake in the Buddhist tradition. I tried to impress upon them that we Catholics do not reject the dead, that we have prayers for the dead and that we believe and hope in the Resurrection. It was an opportunity for us to be a witness for Christ and an opportunity for the Buddhists to see what we do.

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Bishops’ Conference of Korea's "Christian Reflection on the Nuclear Power"

    "It is time to rethink nuclear policies in order to preserve the land for future generations so that they can be managed in accordance with environmentally sustainable principles, said the president of South Korean bishops in a long article based on Pope Benedict XVI’ encyclical Caritas in Veritate of June 2009," Theresa Kim Hwa-young reports — After Fukushima, nuclear policies must be rethought, South Korean bishops says.

    (An unwelcome remider that radioactive particles know no borders — Typhoons could carry radiation to Korea: "Japan is still unable to block radiation from floating up into the atmosphere after the initial damage to Fukushima nuclear plant," said an official at the Korea Meteorological Administration.)

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    A XIVth Century Chinese Madonna?


    David Clayton says the above "dates from the 14th century" — Changing Appearances to Communicate to Different People. I have my doubts, but it is lovely nonetheless. Mr Clayton writes:
      Christ is the Everyman, the model for all humanity. When He (or indeed Our Lady and the saints) are painted, the image must also participate in a model of humanity that the audience can relate to. All sacred art is a balance of the general and the particular. If those who are going to see the painting are going to be almost exclusively Chinese, then it is a legitimate approach, I would argue, to portray Christ and Our Lady as Chinese.
    There's no need to even argue that last point, as far any decent Christian should be concerned.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Atheist Art?

    MercatorNet's Steven Jacks exposes the oxymoron for what it is — The atheist and his art. An excerpt:
      The remains of a suicide bomber sculpted in dark chocolate, a dog sodomising a man, Bullet Hole (a photograph of a wound), C*nts and other Conversations (150 porcelain sculptures of women’s genitalia), Great Deeds against the Dead (sculpture of Goya’s print of three dead soldiers mutilated on a tree), and the whole of the Charles Saatchi exhibition Sensation highlighting the Young British Artists clique with images of child killers, mannequins with noses and mouths replaced by penises and anuses, religious desecration, sex, sex, sex, dead animals suspended in formaldehyde and so on.
    The idea that Francisco Goya's The Disasters of War has been desecrated hits me as viscerally as does Piss Christ.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Malta Capitulates

    Yumi has the news that the Philippines now stands alone — Sad news out of Malta. "Malta was an almost mythic place to me: a place where the Catholic faith remained more or less in tact," he says. "Sadly, this news only confirms what the Church has always taught: we live in a fallen world and everyone is susceptible to sin. The Maltese are no different. Pray for Malta." Amen.

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    From Tornado Country

    "What's this all about?" asks cryptogon.com, posting some rather bizarre video — Police Threaten CNN Journalist Looking for “Secret Morgue” [???]. "What’s this all about?" Probably nothing sinsiter; just another sign of America's police state mentality.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Too Cute to Pass Up

    From LewRockwell.com Blog, evidence that libertarians are not the heartless, inhuman, autistic monsters their detracters make them out to be — Otter Racing at the San Diego Zoo.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    Joseph Haydn's Missa in Tempore Belli Performed by the Orquesta y Coro de la Ópera Estatal de Baviera, Directed by Zubin Mehta

    Bookmark and Share

    Mark Twain, Dissenter from America's Civil Religion

      It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spreads of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpouring of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

      It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.
    Read the rest — The War Prayer. "I don't think the prayer will be published in my time," said the author. "None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth." My contribution to the promotion of the great American here in Korea:

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Inhuman Obama

  • "I couldn’t make it up if I tried," says cryptogon.com reporting this bizarre news — Presidential Signature for Patriot Act Extension Carried Out by Robot. "Machine signs bill into law while pres. is away."

  • "For the record, on a scorecard of imposed misery, from secret trials and prisons and the hounding of whistleblowers and the criminalizing of dissent to the incarceration and impoverishment of his own people, mostly black people, Obama is as bad as George W. Bush," says Antiwar.com's John Pilger — Welcome to the Violent World of Mr. Hopey Changey.

  • "Obama flouts the War Powers Resolution," reports The Freeman's Sheldon Richman; "One week ago today the clock ran out on the Libyan intervention, yet Obama has neither ceased operations nor asked for authorization" — Lawless Government.
  • Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Good War Revisionism



    The Grey Lady's Adam Kirsch asks — Is World War II Still ‘the Good War?’ He answers yes; we'd answer no way in hell. "Nonhistorians with political agendas" as he libels them are singled out for particular abuse:
      The novelist Nicholson Baker wrote a revisionist account of World War II, “Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization” (2008), in which Churchill comes across as rather more responsible for the war than Hitler. Meanwhile, Pat Buchanan wrote “Churchill, Hitler, and ‘The Unnecessary War’: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World” (2008), blaming Churchill for taking Britain to war against Germany in the first place. This isolationist lesson was directed, Buchanan explicitly said, at “the Churchill cult” that convinced Bush, “an untutored president,” that liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein was akin to liberating Europe from Hitler.
    The author concludes that "the awareness of ambiguity must not lead to detachment and paralysis — or to pacifism and isolationism, as Nicholson Baker and Pat Buchanan would have it." Why not?

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    The Korean on Confucianism and Korea

    Bookmark and Share

    St. Joseph's Parish in Masan, South Kyŏngsang Province

    Bookmark and Share

    Jerome Lejeune's Legacy and Curing Down Syndrome

  • "One of my father's goals was to return the humanity to the child with Down syndrome," says the daughter of "the renowned first geneticist of France who traveled the world explaining his numerous scientific discoveries, including the genetic source of Down syndrome" — Restoring Humanity to Downs Children (Part 1). Asked, "Were his convictions informed only by his faith or also by his scientific research?" the daughter answered, "It was because he was a doctor, not because of his faith. When you are a doctor you have swear the Hippocratic Oath not to do harm, and he was always saying the respect for life had nothing to do with the faith, even though, of course, it is in the faith to respect life."

  • "If a fraction of the money spent to diagnose and kill children with Down syndrome were used for research, we would already have a cure," said the daughter — Restoring Humanity to Downs Children (Part 2). "It was not because he made the discovery that he took care of children with Down syndrome, but it was because he wanted to take care of the children with Down syndrome that he made the discovery."
  • Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Tomás Luis de Victoria's O Vos Omnes Sung by the Central Washington University's Chamber Choir, Directed by Gary Weiidenaar

    Bookmark and Share

    Thomas Tallis' "If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments" Sung by the Taipei Chamber Singers, Directed by Bob Chilcott

    Bookmark and Share

    Catholic Catholicism

      To see in Catholicism one religion among others, one system among others, even if it be added that it is the only true religion, the only system that works, is to mistake its very nature, or at least to stop at the threshold. Catholicism is religion itself.
    Thus spake Henri-Marie Cardinal de Lubac in Catholicism: Christ and the Common Destiny of Man. 'Twas Martin Mosebach who noted that Nicolás Gómez Dávila recognized this true nature of "the Catholic Church, which he did not regard as simply one of several Christian confessions, but as the great collecting tank of all religions, as the heiress of all paganism, as the still living original religion."

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Jesuits in XVIIth Century China

    "We have come from Europe, to this end of the world to join ourselves with the Chinese gentiles and to make with them one Christian body," said Father Manuel Dias (Yang MaNuo), who arrived in the Middle Kingdom the year this blog's namesake died, quoted by Henri-Marie Cardinal de Lubac in Catholicism: Christ and the Common Destiny of Man.

    "What?" questioned Michel Le Tellier, S.J., quoted by and in the same. "If so many learned men believe it is worth their effort to study such subjects as, for example, the origin of Romulus or Aeneas' arrival in Italy or the Dynasties of the Egyptians or the customs of Sparta and Athens and thousands of things like this belonging to antiquity, whose only use is to fill the mind with dry and sterile knowledge, do we believe that it is not worth their curiosity to want to know the spirit and customs of a nation as famous as that of the Chinese, whose Empire, the oldest that has yet been seen, surpasses that of the Romans as much by its magnificence as by the multitude of its subjects?"

    "If the Jesuits applied themselves to discover in Chinese history some trace of the religion professed by Noah... ought they not be thanked for it rather than accused of a crime?" asked a contemporary historian. "Did not St. Paul endeavor to extract from the writings of the pagans, and from the midst of idolatry, some enlightenment that he might utilize to disperse their darkness; and following his example did not the holy Fathers do likewise?"

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    A Franciscan in XIVth Century China


    'Twas Henri-Marie Cardinal de Lubac's mentioning of "his work [of] translating the New Testament and the Psalter into the language of the Mongols" in Catholicism: Christ and the Common Destiny of Man that introduced me to Servant of God John of Montecorvino (1246-1328), "Italian Franciscan missionary, traveler and statesman, founder of the earliest Roman Catholic missions in India and China, and archbishop of Peking, and Patriarch of the Orient."

    The Catholic Encyclopedia entry on John of Montecorvino informs us, "In 1286 Argun, the khan or ruler of this kingdom, sent a request to the pope through the Nestorian bishop, Bar Sauma, to send Catholic missionaries to the Court of the great Chinese emperor, Kúblaí Khan (1260-94), who was well disposed towards Christianity." Cardinal de Lubac, in a footnote, writes, "It may be noted that the Nestorian missionaries were able to adapt themselves to the Chinese language and method of thought, without, it appears, any injury to orthodoxy, and to express the essentials of dogma in terms taken from Taoism and Buddhism."

    Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Hats Off to the Green Mountain State!

    Mark in Spokane has news from what "is probably the most leftist state in the union" — Vermont moves towards Canadian-style single-payer health care system. "Often held up as a model of libertarianism, Vermont is taking a statist approach to health care reform," our Washingtonian colleague reports. "For those who praise the Green Mountain State as a limited-government utopia, this march towards statism should give pause."

    This blogger is given no pause, as I see it not so much as a "march towards statism" but a "march towards states' rights." The several states, not the federal government, should handle such matters. As Robert Sobel said of Vermonter Calvin Coolidge: "As Governor of Massachusetts, Coolidge supported wages and hours legislation, opposed child labor, imposed economic controls during World War I, favored safety measures in factories, and even worker representation on corporate boards. Did he support these measures while president? No, because in the 1920s, such matters were considered the responsibilities of state and local governments."

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Deep State, U.S.A.

    "When it comes to a network of retired intelligence and military personnel that confer the 'unwarranted influence' Eisenhower warned about," writes John Glaser, "America likely outmatches Pakistan" — The American Deep State.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Velikovsky Right Again

    The late, great Immanuel Velikovsky proven right again, with findings from "new research [that] was ignited by a Brown undergraduate, Thomas Weinreich" — Water found beneath surface of Moon. An earlier post on the same theme — Velikovsky and Water on the Moon — and an article by yours truly on the great man — The Science Cartel vs. Immanuel Velikovsky.

    Labels: ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Claudio Monteverdi's l'Orfeo Performed by Le Concert des Nations and La Capella Reial, Directed by Jordi Savall

    Bookmark and Share

    Yesterday's In-Class Same-Sex "Marriage" Debate

    "There are no gays in Korea," foreigners were often told back in the not-so-gay '90s; things have changed in the fifteen years I have been in country — Korea Queer Culture Festival to open May 28. This brings to mind yesterday's debate in my class. My students chose the topic, chose sides, and had a week to prepare. At the end of the debate, the leader of the pro team changed her opinion, citing so many "conservative arguments" from the audience and saying that Korea is "not ready" for gay marriage.

    Leaving aside the false doctrine of progressionism implied by the expression "not ready," I was impressed that my students, not only on the con team but also in the audience during the discussion that followed, resorted to natural law arguments and definitions of terms like "rights," "marriage," and "family." One member of the con team did say that in preparation for the debate, he watched some gay porn and found it "disgusting," but most students expressed what the Young Fogey calls "tolerant conservatism" and said homosexuals should be left well enough alone to do as they please but that society is under no obligation to gegally sanction their relationships and make them equal to marriage.

    Confucianism was brought up several times by the con team, and when challenged by the pro team as to whether Confucianism was better than any other philosophy, a con team member said, "No, it's not better, but it's what formed our country for more than 700 years," a wonderfully particularist argument. An audience member said that 20% of Koreans are Protestant and 10% Catholic and that these people would have their freedoms violated by legalizing gay marriage.

    At the end of the debate, I asked students to vote whether they thought same-sex marriage should be allowed now in Korea, and not one student, not even on the pro team, said yes. Had we been at an American university, at this point the campus police would have entered the classroom and hauled us off at "hate criminals."

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Religious Freedom, Hermeneutic of Continuity, & the American Republic

    Sandro Magister reports on Benedictine theologian Basile Valuet's explanation of how "there is no contrast but rather continuity between the teaching of Vatican II on religious freedom and the previous condemnation of it made by Pius IX and other popes" — Religious Freedom. Was the Church Also Right When It Condemned It?

    In short, arguing that "it will always remain true that the liberalism condemned by Pius IX was condemnable, but it will not always remain true that the theories or the states of law that we have before us are the ones that Pius IX condemned," the theologian continues, "If a change of situation cannot change the natural law, it can nevertheless make a principle of the natural law (let's call it P1: it is not contrary to the natural law that the state should repress religious error), valid in a previous situation of ius gentium (in which RF [the right to religious freedom] is not yet recognized in reciprocal form), no longer apply in the same way in a new situation of ius gentium (in which RF is mutually recognized), and make another principle be applied now (P2: the modern state does not have penal competency, not even delegated, in religious matters)."

    Orestes Augustus Brownson understood this in 1868, saying in Conversations on Liberalism and the Church, "There is no country in the world where the Church is or ever has been as free to govern her children according to her own discipline and laws, or where Pius IX is so truly Pope as the United States." Following is the full quote from the little book, which, like many philosophical tracts, takes the form of a dialogue, in this case between a progressive newspaper editor and an immigrant Catholic priest from Spain:
      "Yet you know perfectly well, Reverend Father, that the Church condemns those of her children who advocate the separation of Church and State."

      "Those she condemns are not those who mean by the separation of Church and state the order established by the Constitution of the American Republic, but those who mean by it the absolute independence and supremacy of the secular order, the emancipation of the state from the law of God, its freedom to suppress the Church whenever it finds her in the way of its ambition, its policy, its schemes of injustice against either its own subjects or against foreign states. In the Old World the separation of Church and state means the supremacy of the state alike in spirituals and temporals, as in Russia, Prussia, Great Britain, and other states, or at least, the right of the state to define the boundaries of the Church, and to enlarge or contract the sphere of her freedom at will. This right is claimed, is asserted for itself in every European state, and the state holds itself free to restrict the freedom of the Church or to exclude her altogether, as it sees proper. This claim renders concordats or treaties between the Church and the State necessary in order to secure to the Church some degree of freedom and independence. What the Church condemns under the head of separation of Church and State, is the independence of the state of the laws of God, the abrogation of these concordats, and the right of the state to abrogate them by its own authority without her consent, as has been done in the Italian states by the pretended kingdom of Italy, and more recently by Austria, which places the Church at the mercy of the state. In your republic concordats are not necessary. The state disclaims all authority in spirituals, and by its fundamental law recognizes the independence and freedom of the spiritual order, and its obligation to protect and defend the Church with all its power in the peaceable exercise of her spiritual freedom, which is more than the most favorable concordat has ever yet secured to her elsewhere. There is no country in the world where the Church is or ever has been as free to govern her children according to her own discipline and laws, or where Pius IX is so truly Pope as the United States. And this freedom is not held here as a grant from the state revocable at its will, but is the right of conscience of each and every citizen; one of those rights of man, or rather of God, which are antecedent to civil society, and which government is instituted to protect and defend. Rome would have but a small share of that wisdom and sagacity she gets credit for, if she should seek or suffer her children to seek to substitute for this system any system which does or ever has obtained in the Old World."
    The above is not only a defense of the Church, but of the American constitutional order, a passion of Brownson's evidenced by his 1866 tome The American Republic; Constitution, Tendencies and Destiny. But let us give credit where credit is due and remember that it was 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."

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    The President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in Korea

    His Eminence hails the country as "a good example of how a nation can live in interfaith peace, an example of important universal values like the family, life and moral teaching for the young" — For Card Tauran, “Korea is an example of religious tolerance”. Looking northward, His Eminence said, "If North Korea is open to the religion, that will be a great help to achieve social harmony and reconciliation."

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    The Little Flower and Chinese Philosophy

    John C.H. Wu "says her little way synthesizes the teachings of these two traditions all while going further and proving to him the truth of Catholicism — Thérèse of Lisieux: the Mind of Lao Tzu, with the Heart of Confucius.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    George W. Bush's Third Term

    Bookmark and Share

    Hey, Would-Be Agrarians!

    Bookmark and Share

    Claudio Monteverdi's Sestina Sung by the Central Washington University's Chamber Choir, Directed by Gary Weiidenaar

    Bookmark and Share

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Tomás Luis de Victoria's O Magnum Mysterium Sung by The Sixteen, Directed by Harry Christophers

    Bookmark and Share

    Talkin' 'Bout My Generation's Conservatives (and Libertarians)

    Mark "Catholic and Enjoying It" Shea links an article by Joe Carter of the neocon journal First Things on "those of us who grew up to be culturally and politically conservative" — X-Cons: The Conservative Mind of Generation X.

    I, too, was "born convinced that the world would end in a nuclear holocaust," but the experience radicalized me. I find myself more and more like Old Rightist Frank Chodorov, who said, "I will punch anyone who calls me a conservative in the nose. I am a radical." Thus, this paragraph interested me most:
      X-Cons are often Goldwater-style conservatives, holding views that are more individualistic than aligned with historical conservatism. We also tend to have many cafeteria libertarians, those who pick and choose from the buffet of libertarian ideology. X-Cons may, for example, be in favor of the decriminalization of marijuana while opposing the legalization of prostitution. The libertarians in our cohort tend to be less pure than those that came before or after.
    Now that I know that I am a "cafeteria libertarian," I am perfectly happy to be "less pure than those that came before or after." I'd say the best statement of my generation's outlook comes from one of our contemporaries mentioned in Rod Dreher's seminal article, Birkenstocked Burkeans, who said, "I went straight from left wing to right wing without ever once passing through a phase where I trusted the government."

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Decline and Fall... and Rebirth?

  • "Forget Harold Camping, for many of America's cities, the apocalypse has already occurred," reports Alternative Right's Richard Spencer, reminding us "that Detroit was a more civilized, cultured, and communal--as well technologically advanced--place in the first half of the century" — America's Hellholes.

  • "Detroiters are spontaneously turning abandoned city lots into lush gardens," reports the Acton Institute's Jordan Ballor, who laments that "the city’s heavy bureaucratic hand is making things difficult for these urban farmers" — Little Plots of Liberty: From Garden to City and Back Again.

    Labels: , , , , ,

  • Bookmark and Share

    A Korean Raskalnikov

    "Killing is neither a crime, nor an act to be ashamed of," said the accused; "Living and dying are simply the law of nature" — 'Murder is not a sin'.

    Said the judge, "The accused must be treated with mental therapy, and will hopefully appreciate the value of human life while serving his sentence. We advised Kim to have a religious life for a better life." Thank God there's no K.C.L.U.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Dom Lou Tseng-Tsiang

    Bookmark and Share

    The Shams Ensemble Perform "Spiritual Music of Iran"




    A documentary hosted by a Persian beauty on the ensemble whose music appears in the post immediately preceding this one, from Supreme Master Television, an outlet of a cultist operation headed by bleached-blonde Vietnamese vegan Ching Hai, which produced a video seen on these pages yesterday — The ASEAN-Korea Traditional Music Orchestra's "Concert of Friendship and Harmony" Directed by Choi Sang-Wha and Eric James Watson.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    The Shams Ensemble Perform Poems of Rumi

    Bookmark and Share

    The Just War Tradition in the Age of Faith

    Vox Nova's Kyle R. Cupp quotes a "picture [that] speaks a thousand plus words to our contemporary thinking about the justification of war" — Osborn on the Origins of Just War Tradition. Writes Commonweal's Ronald Osborn:
      During the Middle Ages—the historical context for the rise of what would come to be known as the “just war” tradition—violence under any circumstance was deemed a great evil by the church. In official Catholic teaching, combat was accepted as legitimate only when it prevented still greater evils and led to an otherwise unobtainable peace. The common ecclesiastical opinion, though, was that virtually all wars by the feudal nobility were waged from libido dominandi, lacked just cause, and resulted in far greater harm than good.

      The rules of “just war” were not developed in courts by religious advisers keen to justify war. Rather, the tradition took shape largely in the setting of the confessional. It was codified in canon law by priests who wanted to limit the brutality of war and who were responding to a very practical question: Should knights returning from the battlefield be allowed to partake of the Eucharist? “Just war” precepts were applied to determine what sorts of penance soldiers should be made to perform before being fully readmitted to the Body of Christ.

      There was no place, then, for triumphal displays in the aftermath of wars or violence, even when a conflict was seen as a tragic necessity or manifestation of God’s providential punishment of the wicked by the sword of the magistrate. The authorities who served as the agents of God’s wrath might themselves reap the violence they sowed. The moral legitimacy of taking any human life made in the imago Dei was always at best a regrettable concession to the violent realities of the “city of man” still in defiance of the City of God. In all cases, the attitude of believers toward wars and killing was to be one of somber soul-searching and even mourning for their enemies.
    Who are we moderns to call mediævals barbaric?

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Let Us Listen to the Father of Our Country

    Fellow Western New Yorker Bill Kauffman argues that "no single act would have a more profound and far-reaching effect than reorienting U.S. foreign policy along the lines of the advice given in George Washington’s Farewell Address" — Bringing It All Back Home.

    Doing so would call on us "to reject 'foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues' (goodbye, NATO); to avoid 'excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another' (goodbye, Middle East); and to beware 'those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty' (goodbye, military-industrial complex)."

    Meditate upon the "secular sutra" in its entirety — George Washington's Farewell Address.

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    U.S.F.K. Chemical Dump

    Robert Koehler on the story that "harmful chemicals — perhaps like Agent Orange, as claimed by three former servicemen in Arizona — were buried somewhere in Camp Carroll in Waegwan in 1978" — USFK admits to burying ‘chemicals’ in Chilgok.

    "Honestly, I’d be more than happy to see USFK undertake the costs of a cleanup if it were accompanied by a subsequent assumption by the ROK of the costs of its own defense," Mr. Koehler writes. "It seems, however, that USFK is here to stay, so I suppose to keep everyone (except the US taxpayer) happy, they should shoulder the costs of the cleanup."

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Baby Bust, Baby Boom

    Father John Flynn, LC, reports on a country with a "rapidly aging population" and a "gender imbalance caused by the preference for sons" resulting in "34 million 'extra' men" — China's Population Problems. "When it comes to China’s population the emphasis is usually on the large size, but the recent census revealed that, in fact, the problem may well be the reverse, namely that population growth is too slow," the good father writes. "China might grow old before it gets rich."

    In contrast, that "Nigeria could have 725 million people by 2100" is heralded by Chinwuba Iyizoba as "great news and a great opportunity" — Where an ageing population is not a problem. "Western media are shrilly calling for Nigeria to put a check on her population growth," the author notes. "No way, sorry. We Nigerians are rejoicing. Africans love children."

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Hard Truths About Condoms

    "The numerous campaigns that invite people to use the condom indiscriminately... have increased the possibility of infection," writes L'Osservatore Romano's Father Juan Perez-Soba — Vatican newspaper article says condom campaigns increase AIDS risk. "To present the condom as a solution to the problem is a grave error; to choose it simply as a habitual practice is to show a lack of responsibility in regard to the other person."

    Pope Ratzinger said as much a few years ago, and Dr. Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, agreed, saying that "in truth, current empirical evidence supports him" — The Pope May Be Right.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Jalal ad-Din Rumi


    "Iran's officially recognized 'spiritual leader' today may be Ayatollah Khamenei, but for hundreds of years before the current establishment of mullahs and ayatollahs, Iranians of all creeds have looked to another spiritual leader," writes the mellifluously named Melody Moezzi — Iranians find Rumi's voice is their own. "Among Iranians, he is a spiritual guide and guru whose words hold unmatched moral authority."
      Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don't
      open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical
      instrument. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds
      of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
    "Understand this poem," she writes, "and you will understand the soul of Iran - not just the role of religion or dogma, but the spiritual role of faith, love and beauty."

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    The ASEAN-Korea Traditional Music Orchestra's "Concert of Friendship and Harmony" Directed by Choi Sang-Wha and Eric James Watson


    Of course, there is little traditional about such an enterprise, but I agree with the director that it is a "wonderful, new listening experience."

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Pray for China


    Today's "World Day of Prayer for China, established by Benedict XVI in his 2007 letter to the faithful in China," which "coincides with the feast of Mary Help of Christians, venerated at the National Shrine of Sheshan," has been met with the expected reponse — Day of Prayer for the Church in China: security tight in Sheshan, priests arrested.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    The Tao of G.K. Chesterton

    "The farther you go, the less you know," said Lao Tzu, and the subject of Robert Douglas-Fairhurst's book review said, "Travel narrows the mind" — G K Chesterton: A Biography by Ian Ker: review. Like the Old Master, "G.K. Chesterton was a man of colossal intellect and wit, but his work also reveals a child-like innocence." The author also alludes to the writings that "led Pope Pius XI to praise him as a 'gifted Defender of the Catholic Faith.'"

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    The St. Louis Hegelians

    Kerry Howley reports on "what turned out to be one of the oddest episodes in the history of American thought, [when] a group of men known as the St. Louis Hegelians declared that the direction of history led to eastern Missouri" — Hegel hits the frontier.

    (Perhaps not as odd, and perhaps more rational, are the Boston Confucians.)

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Leftist America Firsterism

    "From Pakistan to Israel and moving around the world from there, the US taxpayer continues to hemorrhage vast amounts of money on governments that despise us, alienating people from us, and impoverishing the US taxpayer even as it erodes the US infrastructure," rightly says leftist Tom H. Hastings — Stop All Military Aid. "The only ones who gain in the US are the war profiteers."

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    The War on Zimbabwe

    Bookmark and Share

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Arirang Performed by Jang Sa-ik and the Seoul City Choral Society


    Above, the 600-year-old Korean folk song sung by a man who "pieces together popular music, jazz, and traditional Korean music, including elements of a traditional style of opera known as pansori" — Jang Sa-ik: the guy next door with a voice out of this world. "People want to define everything," the singer said. "I believe I have come to sing like this after spending many years listening to different types of music such as Korean pop songs, traditional Korean music, Western classical music and pop songs."

    The folk song lends its title to this "controversial film" in the news — Director Kim Ki-duk wins award in Cannes for `Arirang`. "The government gave me an award for winning a prize at a foreign film festival," said the director. "There were even scenes where Korea was portrayed negatively. Did they even watch the movie?"

    The article informs us, "It is not clear if it will be released in Korea as no Korean distributor has picked up the movie yet."

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    The End of the World

  • While many of their coreligionists joined in the secularist two minutes of hate, Catholics Charles Burris, Jeff Culbreath, and David Lindsay, while acknowledging the error, take a more charitable approach — The Great Disappointment of 2011, The Enigma of Harold Camping, Watch, Therefore.

  • In my reading of Henri-Marie Cardinal de Lubac's Catholicism: Christ and the Common Destiny of Man, I found that the Latin Fathers came to the same eschatological conclusion about the parable that Orthodox Father Milovan Katanic reports on here — The Samaritan Woman and the End of the World.
  • Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Oprah and the Triumph of the Therapeutic

      Post-Oprah, the notion that confession is something private, something hidden, became hopelessly medieval. In America today, confession is best done in public: shame is gone, replaced by more therapeutic bywords like ‘closure’ and ‘catharsis.’
    Thus spake National Catholic Reporter's Joe Ferullo, quoted here — Oprah blamed for decline in sacramental Confession. Long on my reading list is the book that prophesied her coming: Philip Rieff's The Triumph of the Therapeutic: Uses of Faith after Freud.

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Doggy Poo, the Ballet


    Saw it last night with the kiddies. Based on the famous 1968 Korean children's book, Doggy Poo (no relation 2005's real-life Dog Poop Girl), here's a translation of "the touching story of a piece of poo who finds meaning and acceptance fertilising a dandelion" — Puppy Poo.

    Koreans do not have the cultural hang-ups regarding this as do modern Anglo-Saxons, to the extent that one Canadian series of books explaining science to children, The Magic Schhol Bus, goes to far as to suggest that the digestive process ends at the large intestine. Korean children's books not only explore the topic, but celebrate it.

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    William Byrd's "Mass for Four Voices" Sung by the Tallis Scholars, Directed by Peter Phillips

    Bookmark and Share

    Drawing the Line at Localism

    "Catholic discussion of economic policy usually takes place on a ridiculous level of abstraction," rightly writes Jeffrey A. Tucker — There Is No Third Way. He says:
      There are only two possible ways to organize the economic life of a nation. There is the market way, which relies on voluntary exchange, protection of private property, and no unwanted invasions of another’s space. The result of this system is commonly called the free market, or capitalism, if you will, but both terms are too limiting. The voluntary, property-rights approach encompasses more than economic exchange; it also encompasses the whole of the voluntary sector that empowers houses of worship, charitable institutions, the family, and every other institution that serves an intermediating role between the individual and the state.

      The other system is very different. It uses the state to intervene in this voluntary system by use of the police power of force, coercion, guns, and jails. That means more laws enforced at gunpoint, taxation, forced redistribution, monetary manipulation, nationalization, war, and all the rest.

      There is no third system.

      You can invent all the terms you want – solidarism, distributism, fascism, democratic socialism, localism, or any other -ism – but it is logically impossible to get around the central issue of consent vs. coercion, of market vs. the state. You are either forced by law to do something – and the law always means force – or you are not. This is also true of the management of individual sectors of society, such as business relationships, education, international relations, consumer protection, care of the vulnerable members of society, health care generally, and all the rest.

      Either voluntarism or force will prevail.
    He is right as far as the "possible ways to organize the economic life of a nation," and the wrongness of "solidarism, distributism, fascism, democratic socialism," but not about "localism."

    Communities, where any "level of abstraction" is well-nigh impossible, are within their rights to have a say in "the management of individual sectors of society, such as business relationships, education, international relations [conservatives should support, not mock, the fact that Berkeley, California has a foreign policy], consumer protection, care of the vulnerable members of society, health care generally, and all the rest."

    Neighboring the town in which I grew up was the Village of East Aurora, which year after year denied a certain big box from operating there. Was anybody living there really harmed?

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    A Nod to Chinese Paganism

      [I]t would be in our opinion a misuse of Scripture to judge all "paganism"—an immense and infinitely diverse reality—solely on the anathemas launched by St. Paul against a perverted society which he had before him in the great cities of the Greco-Roman world. "Chinese mythology," as Fr. Henri Bernard, following Ricci, remarks, for example, "has never been tarnished by the licentious accounts that dishonoured the Greek or Roman Pantheon."
    So wrote Henri-Marie Cardinal de Lubac in Catholicism: Christ and the Common Destiny of Man.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    "A Nuclear Rapture?"

    "Fukushima may be in an apocalyptic downward spiral," reports Harvey Wasserman — Fukushima's Apocalyptic Threat. "Lethal radiation is spewing unabated. Emission levels could seriously escalate. There is no end in sight. The potential is many times worse than Chernobyl."

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Alexander Cockburn vs. Paul Craig Roberts on l'Affair Strauss-Kahn

    The latter suggests "Strass-Kahn has been deleted from the power ranks" and "simply had to be eliminated" because he "was a threat to the system" — The Amerikan Police State Strides Forward — while the former counters, "As a conspiracy it doesn’t look as though there’s much in the way of lift to keep it in the air in any sort of convincing shape" — Was DSK Stitched Up?

    "Strauss-Kahn belonged to the familiar phalanx of political powerful men confident that they can get away with hitting on women, confident that either the women they’ve attacked won’t be believed or won’t dare to try to expose them."

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Congressman Ron Paul on President Obama's "1967 Borders" Speech

    "Unlike this President, I do not believe it is our place to dictate how Israel runs her affairs," said the congressman who, the article's author reminds us, has "proposed eliminating all foreign aid" — Ron Paul Counters Obama Policy on Israel, Middle East. In other words, let us untangle ourselves from that entangling alliance.

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    William Byrd's "O Lord, Make Thy Servant Elizabeth Our Queen" Sung by the King's Singers and by the Tallis Scholars Directed by Peter Phillips




    "O lord make thy servant, Elizabeth our queen, to rejoice in thy strength: give her her heart's desire, and deny not the request of her lips," prayed the master polyphonist while his Church was persecuted — William Byrd, Elizabethan Catholic.

    Something perhaps to contemplate while reading The Happy Wanderer's and The Daily Bell's commentary on the visit of another Elizabeth to the long-oppressed Catholic nation — Queen Elizabeth in Ireland and Queen Visits Ireland; All Is Forgiven?

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Alan Bock, Rest in Peace


    "When I explained to Alan what was happening, he was very sad for a moment and then he instantly said a prayer and asked GOD to make it swift," said his wife, quoted by Lew Rockwell just yesterday — Alan Bock Enters Hospice. Today, we learn that his prayer was answered — Alan Bock, RIP.

    I have long appreciated the writing the man Mr. Rockwell rightly calls "the great libertarian journalist," especially his principled anti-militarism, and several of his articles have been linked to here — America's Anti-Militarist Founders, Offensive Nationalism, Defensive Patriotism, Anti-war, Anti-empire, Pro-military. Reminding us that Mr. Bock "was a principled defender of liberty, and was a devout and good man," Mr. Rockell prays, "God rest his great soul." Amen.

    "I remain convinced that the cause of individual liberty is the most noble and constructive political cause around," Mr. Bock wrote in his farewell column — So long for now. Let us close this remembrance with these fine words of his:
      Albert J. Nock noted that there are two ways for people to relate: through honest exchange and mutual agreement or by one party imposing its will on the other through force, the threat of force, or fraud. He called these the economic means and the political means.

      There are plenty of things more important than politics: your family and friends and treating them right, the search for spiritual meaning in an often confusing and ambiguous world, art, music, science, simple enjoyment of the good things in life, struggling to make good choices rather than destructive ones, and supporting your children in their intellectual endeavors and at soccer and softball games. All these challenges, however, can be handled better – not necessarily easily, but better – in an atmosphere of personal liberty and freedom to make one's own choices than in a repressive regime that makes choices for you and forces them on you.

      Thomas Jefferson put it strikingly when he said that the majority of mankind was not born with saddles and bridles so as to be ridden by their natural masters. He also said that the natural order of things is for government to advance and liberty to recede.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Göbekli Tepe


  • Taking us to the "cleanly carved limestone pillars splashed with bas-reliefs of animals... built some 11,600 years ago, seven millennia before the Great Pyramid of Giza," National Geographic's Charles C. Mann argues that "the world’s oldest temple suggests the urge to worship sparked civilization" — Göbekli Tepe.

  • Writing two years ago about what may well be "the greatest archaeological discovery ever," the Mail Online's Tom Knox has more pointed speculation — Do these mysterious stones mark the site of the Garden of Eden?
  • Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    "The Reason Catholicism Doesn't Proselytize"


    So reads the caption a Korean humorist placed under the above photo of actress Kim Tae-hee, considered one of the country's most beautiful women, in this post whose title I am unable to translate — 성당 누나류 甲. ("Catholic Church Elder Sister Style the Best"?)

    The guy's right; such a wholesome vision is part of the attraction of the Faith, and that young Korean males see that says much for them. An earlier post of mine showing that the Church, in her wisdom, knows how to reach these guys where they're at — The Beauties of Korean Catholicism.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Boxing for Life


    Two reports on the Filipino gentleman pictured above, who calls on his countrymen to "follow God’s command, not man’s" — Boxer Pacquiao sides with Filipino Church over abortion and Boxer Manny Pacquiao joins Catholic opposition to reproductive health bill.

    Labels: , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    President John F. Kennedy's Secret Society Speech

      For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.
    Thus spake our XXXVth president, quoted by The Happy Wanderer, who posts the audio link and a more extensive quote — My favorite JFK Speech of all.

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    An Orthodox Latin West and Orthodox Papacy?

    A conservative blog for peace quotes Father "John Hunwicke, who, walking the talk, is now a Roman Catholic," as pondering, "I can’t help wondering if Papa Ratzinger is subconsciously sketching, with a few strokes of his pencil, what an Orthodox Latin West might look like – and how an Orthodox papacy might function" — Ratzinger on liturgical law. Tolle, lege.

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Nazi Germany and Spanish America

    The School of Salamanca contrasts the "modern techno-bureaucratic rationality that partitions public morality from a private one and separates means from ends" with the "distinctively 'Christian' vice operative in the sixteenth century under the guise of love" — Paternalistic Violence in the New World.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    The Real Mother Jones Would Not Be Afraid of Ron Paul

    "The real Mother Jones... was to her namesake magazine as Thomas Jefferson is to The Jeffersons," said Bill Kauffman in Look Homeward America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals about Mary Harris Jones, a quote which comes to mind with the rag's latest — Ron Paul's 15 Most Extreme Positions. "Mother Jones has complaints. I’m not surprised. Liberty can be frightening for some."

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Gustav Mahler's Second Symphony ("Resurrection") Performed by the U.C. Davis Symphony Orchestra, University Chorus, and Alumni Chorus, D. Kern Holoman


    To accompany Father Jesuit Scholastic Joe Koczera's account of his pilgrimage to the grave of the Catholic convert from Judaism — In memoriam Gustav Mahler.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Fukushima Fallout

    "The Fukushima situation is still not what we might call stabilized," reports Chris Martenson, "and it may not be for some months yet, especially if re-criticality has occurred" — Fukushima Update: A Very Bad Situation.

    The author concludes with this important point we have been trying to stress: "The problem is not the levels of radiation; the danger lurks in the ingestion of contamination, especially of isotopes that tend to concentrate in the body. Strontium, iodine, and cesium all have that tendency."

    "Strontium, iodine, and cesium" also all have a tendency not have been mentioned in media reports, which focus on "levels of radiation."

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Auto-Crucifixion


    Above, a "photo released by Gyeongbuk Provincial Police Agency, [in which] police officers stand near the body of a man found crucified in Mungyong, south of Seoul, South Korea" — Police say South Korean man found crucified in stone quarry likely killed himself without help.

    Here's how he did it: "Kim is believed to have nailed his feet to the cross, tied his neck to it and stabbed himself in the side. He is then believed to have drilled holes in his hands and slipped them over nails on the cross." The report informs us, "The man was a devout Christian, and police speculated that his 'deep religious faith' may have helped him endure 'immense pain.'"

    Knowing what passes for "deep religious faith" among many Korean Protestants, I do not doubt the narrative. Korea awaits her Flannery O'Connor to write this taxi driver's story.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Inside Ch'ŏndogyo


    ROK Drop takes us to an inside look at Cheondoism, one of Korea's XXth Century native religions, whose "majestic temple was built in an Art Nouveau style with a baroque roof and a multi-layered front portal reminiscent of a Gothic cathedral" — Central Temple of Cheondogyo. In my fourteen years in country, I've met but one adherent of this religion.

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Mater Ecclesiæ


    "After the assassination attempt on May 13, 1981, Vatican officials were evaluating the possibility of placing a plaque, or some visible sign, in St. Peter’s Square in the area where the Pope had been shot, in remembrance of a painful page in the history of the Church but also as testimony of divine protection," Giovanni Battista Cardinal Re discloses — Inside story of Marian mosaic told on Bl. John Paul II's birthday.

    "John Paul II, convinced that the Virgin Mary had protected him on that day, immediately expressed the desire that an image of the Madonna be placed in the square," His Eminence continues, noting that "the Pope offered his opinion that he would like a representation of Mary as Mother of the Church, because, he explained, ‘the Mother of God has always been united with the Church and has been particularly close during difficult moments in its history.’ He added that he was personally convinced that the Virgin Mary was in St. Peter’s Square on May 13, to save the life of the Pope."

    Labels: , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Nikolai Kedrov's Otche Nash Sung by the Chinese University of Hong Kong Chorus, Directed by Leon Chu

    Bookmark and Share

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Nikolai Kedrov's Otche Nash Sung by Enschede's Byzantijns Kozakkenkoor


    The Pater Noster in Old Church Slavonic sung by fellow Dutchmen. It took a long time to dig up a decent video of this celestial work, but that's my vocation (I use the term loosely) as a blogger.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    "Rod Dreher, Find Yourself Another Church to Be Part Of"

    With that nod to Phil Ochs, I commented on Daniel "Caelum Et Terra" Nichol's posting of an Orthodox Church in America "story [that] is pretty fascinating, not least for the role played by Rod Dreher, the 'crunchy con man' who as you may recall, left the Catholic Church for Orthodoxy a mere five years ago in disgust over the [media manufactured Catholic ephebophile priest] scandals" — Still Catholic.

    The Other McCain, furthermore, not long ago reported "that former National Review/Dallas Morning Journal writer Rod Dreher has jeopardized his career with pseudonymous posts at a religious blog" — Ruh-Roh, Rod: Dreher’s Pseudonymous Postings Could Cause Him Big Trouble. Perhaps this explains why Big Questions Online, the John Templeton Foundation project Mr. Dreher was supposed to command, has done next to nothing since he took helm.

    I won't pretend to understand (or have any interest in) this intra-Orthodox brouhaha, but I am interested to learn that Mr. Dreher is, as Mr. Nichols reports, "in cahoots with the wonderfully named Fr Fester, who is conspiring with a bishop deposed for, among other things, knowingly ordaining a convicted child molester" and that "Dreher -and/or pals– (anonymously) 'outed' an alleged homosexual in the other camp of the controversy."

    This is the same convert from Evangelicalism who pretended to be a Catholic critic of his Church's hierarchy long after he had formally opted for schism. In another Church, Mr. Nichols says, "the tensions between the ethnics and converts (mostly zealous and contentious former evangelicals) have reached the boiling point." Mr. Dreher seems intent on adding fuel to such fires. (Of course, I naturally side with the ethnics; Orthodoxy is a Church, not an ecclesial community.) There is a pattern here: a crypto-schismatic posing as a loyal Catholic later raises Cain anonymously in his new Church, after having been providentially given the grace by his employer to avoid such needless controversies.

    I wish Mr. Dreher's new Church God's grace, which I wish upon him as well. (If I found myself at the center of such a public scandal of my own making, I would be at a loss.) He was unable to do any real harm to Catholic Church in America, due to her size, but I could see him sowing some real trouble amongst our Orthodox friends, due to their much smaller numbers in America.

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Bookmark and Share

    Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.