Saturday, November 11, 2006

David Hackworth Memorial DVD available

go to Soldiers for the Truth for ordering info

Orion Magazine, Nov.-Dec. issue

Contents

Taking on Goliath (opposing coal bed methane development)

Sitting Pretty, by Nicole McClelland

Fancy Western hotels in Thailand have amenities like toilet paper, and as crappy as our hostel was, it was at least fancy enough to have sit-down toilets. At the Bangkok train station, however, I had no choice but to leave my silly American pretensions at the bathroom door and squat. I managed to pee on my jeans and spill all over myself the plastic bowl of foul water that was provided in lieu of a water gun.

Dan smiled broadly as I walked through the exit, all wet spots and irritation. "You peed your pants," he said, kissing me on the cheek.

"I'm never using a squat toilet again," I told him. I waited for a moment, ready to fight, but he spared me a repeat performance of the "people who use squat toilets don't get hemorrhoids because they don't strain their anuses as much" lecture.

"And I'm carrying tissues from now on."

"Oh, come on." He laughed at me. "That's a waste of paper."

"Don"t give me that shit," I said. "We use toilet paper when we're at home. You've used toilet paper your entire life."

He stopped smiling. "Yeah, but that doesn't mean there's not a better way." He was suddenly earnest, prepared to explain poignant environmental truths to his liberal arts graduate partner. I was a soft hippie, the sort who recycles and turns off the water when teeth-brushing, and I wanted to do more. But I had been raised in all the comforts a yuppie could afford, and wasn't as prepared as perhaps either one of us had thought I would be to abandon them. Dan readied his hands for the gesturing that accompanies his recitations on why he studied ecology and engineering, on the way that the marriage of science and conservation will beget the future of the Earth.


Read the rest of the article for the author's reactions to compost toilets and free-range urination.

So how do you persuade someone that creaturely comforts are possible only at a price, and that price may no longer make those comforts reasonable (if they ever did)? And who is going to have difficulty giving up such comforts, especially if they are tied to a certain notion of hygiene, though not necessary for it?

Orion Society

For something not from Orion:
older article on Wendell Berry

The Simpsons






So, Sarge, can you identify all of the characters?

Surely this one has you beat (alt):

This poster must still be available commercially.

Another big one can be found here.

A take on BSG:

more

Sopranos takeoff

official website, alt: springfield.com (wiki); Episode Guide; The Simpsons Archive


Last Exit to Springfield
The Simpsons Personality Test

Currently in its 18th season, the show also has a movie coming out next Summer (I believe).

Sarge says: "Find me a hot chick who likes them too."

My mother doesn't really understand the show, she thinks the characters look rather ugly, especially Homer Simpson, though she used to say "I look like Homer Simpson." (I don't think she does.)



JP's favorite, Calvin and Hobbes
Simply Calvin and Hobbes
There is The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, this would make a nice present for her...

Some photos of RPJ as Wentworth

Thanks to AustenBlog:

DASHING RUPERT TO SET HEARTS RACING IN COSTUME DRAMA

Etsushi Toyokawa

Aoi Tori opening


It's Only Talk trailer


movie website?

Year One in the North trailer


Love Letter MV


Tokiwa Takako cf

Robert Louis Wilken

was at B.C. to give a Bradley lecture; Michael Foley, graduate of Boston College and now teaching at Baylor University for the Great Books program. He (with the help of his wife, I believe) wrote the book Wedding Rites: The Complete Guide to Traditional Weddings (just in case anyone is interested--after all, St. Augustine's is located near a certain Catholic university in the midwest). haha

Professor Wilken's talk introducing Augustine and his relevance to us was good; he has some pointed things to say about liturgical reform. (Professor Foley, the traditionalist that he is, got a dig in at the reformed Missal as well; Wilken criticized especially the quality of the English translation being used.) It's unfortunate that Jaroslav Pelikan passed away; he would make a good speaker at BC, especially for those who have no grasp of what Tradition means. One notes that both Professor Wilken and Professor Pelikan were Lutherans but converted after their intense studies of the Church Fathers; Professor Wilken became Catholic (in 1995?) and Professor Pelikan became Orthodox. It would be nice if someone were to give a lecture on liturgical spirituality according to the Church Fathers.

Now that I think about it, I don't think Professor Schatkin was in attendance. I wonder why she didn't go to the lecture.

I'm sure I did not miss anything important at Fr. Peckler's talk on Thursday. As they say, "lost like a Jesuit during Holy Week." Of course Fr. Brannan used to point out that one of the most important books written during the 20th century was by Fr. Jungmann, but then again Traditionalists have much to say about his point of view. (I think some criticisms are included by Alcuin Reid, O.S.B. in The Organic Development of the Liturgy. Any chance of him coming to BC to give a talk on liturgical development. I think not even a snowball's chance in hell.

Catholic Liturgy Forty Years After Vatican II: Development or Decline?
Thursday November 9, 2006 | 4:30 p.m.
Higgins 300
Gasson Lecture
Rev. Keith F. Pecklers, S.J., Gasson Chair, Professor of Liturgy, Pontifical Gregorian University, Professor of Liturgical History, Pontifical Liturgical Institute Rome


Judge for yourself through some of Fr. Pecklers' articles:
In the Heart of the City
Presiding at the Liturgy of the Eucharist
CPU Bulletin
Ugh, the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy
The substance of his talk can perhaps be found in a similarly-titled article in Worship

Robert Louis Wilken
UVa, Jewish StudiesFaculty
St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

Some articles by Professor Wilken:
Amo, Amas, Amat: Christianity and Culture
In Defense of Constantine
The Jews as the Christians Saw Them
The Church as Culture
Prayer and the Work of God
Why a Creed? - Christian History

(See interviews with Pelikan: The Need for Creed and Why We Need Creeds. Plus, Delighted by Doctrine and a review of Credo)

Gregory VII and the Politics of Spirit
Martyrs of Hope

Hrm: Pro Ecclesia (Reinhard Hütter, Editor)

Christian Judgment on Neo-liberalism

Christian Judgment on Neo-liberalism

Address by Rodney Moss

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, NOV. 11, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is the text of an address given by professor Rodney Moss, of St. Augustine College, at a theologians videoconference. The Oct. 31 videoconference was organized by the Vatican Congregation for Clergy.

* * *

Economics: Love of God, Production and Free Market
Christian Judgment on Neo-liberalism
By Rodney Moss

Neo-classical or neo-liberal economics upon which much free-market business practice is based differs rather radically from Catholic social thought.

Neo-liberal economics assumes that its economic theory is value-neutral and scientific in its analysis of concepts such as "production," "consumption," "money," "wealth," "capital" and "scarce" resources. Bannock, Baxter and Davis suggest that economics may be defined as "The study of production, distribution and consumption of wealth in human society."[1] Here the key ingredients in human economic activity would be individualism, hedonism and market competition. The human person is seen to be motivated by self-interest and wishes to maximize pleasure and avoid pain. There is no concern with the "common good."

Ideally the free market should, as Adam Smith suggested, work for the benefit of all members of society. Thus if each person follows their own self-interest in spite of not aiming to contribute to others, nevertheless, society as a whole will benefit. Adam Smith in his "Wealth of Nations"[2] calls this outcome "the invisible hand."

In this neo-liberal model, then, the common good is best served by the operation of the free-market system involving minimal government interference. Economic problems are best solved by promoting economic growth "generated by each individual's pursuit of self-interest in a free market regulated by the forces of market competition."[3] Development is seen in this model only in economic terms and is "economic centered," not "human centered."[4]

In contrast, then, what is the view of Catholic social thought on economics?

First, Catholic social thought does not view economics as concerned only with facts or being value-free/neutral as do the neo-classical/neo-liberal economists. Importantly, economic systems are seen as based on some set of values, whether that system be capitalist, socialist, Marxist or some other economic variant.

The importance of the dignity of the human person is central to Catholic social thought and to its view of economics and the economy. Economic choices, production and consumption involve human beings. Economics does not exist for its own sake: "The purpose of economics is the service of men, their material needs and those of their moral, spiritual and religious life. Economic activity is to be carried out according to its own method and laws but within the limits of morality."[5]

Economics and economic systems and activity cannot then be neutral or value-free, for they impact on human life and are also a product of human thought, creativity, choices and decisions. Like any other area of knowledge, economics has its particular laws and methods and a degree of autonomy but human beings are to have a priority and primary importance. In Catholic social thought economics is to be seen in the context of its contribution to the service of the human person as a whole being -- physical, spiritual, intellectual, moral and spiritual.

Secondly, in Catholic social thought, the scientific or qualitative aspects of economics are secondary to the human element. Therefore "[e]ven in social and economic life the dignity of the human person and the integrity of his vocation, along with the good of society as a whole, are to be recognized and furthered. Man is the author, the center and the end of all social and economic life."[6]

In other words, economics and economic life is to be at the service of human beings and not vice versa: "The ultimate and basic purpose of economic production does not consist merely in the increase of goods produced, nor in profit nor prestige; it is directed to the service of man, that is, in his totality, taking into account his material needs and the requirements of his intellectual, moral, spiritual, and religious life ..."[7]

Because the human person is viewed as a whole being -- physical, spiritual, intellectual, moral and spiritual -- he/she is not viewed as an "economic being," nor as an individualistic, purely rational being whose goal is material pleasure. Our goal is transcendent unity with God. "The highest reason for human dignity is man's vocation to communion with God."[8]

Thirdly, Catholic social thought is not based on the belief that individual self-interest should be pursued and that somehow this will contribute to the good of society. This was the assumption of Adam Smith. However, Wilber notes that "Scholarly work in economics over the past fifteen years demonstrates that, under conditions of interdependence and imperfect information, rational self-interest frequently leads to socially irrational results."[9] We need a "moral culture" to inform economic life.

Fourthly, the common good is central to Catholic social thought and can never be regarded as a mere byproduct of individual self-interest. The common good, that which transcends particular interests and which is a good in which all can participate, is very different from a "mechanistic" and individualistic view of society dominant in classical and neo-liberal economic theory.

Finally, economic problems are not solved by growth alone. In "Centesimus Annus," No. 29, we read: "[D]evelopment must not be understood solely in economic terms, but in a way that is fully human. It is not only a question of raising all people to the level enjoyed by the richest countries, but rather of building up a more decent life through united labor, of concretely enhancing every individual's dignity and creativity, as well as his capacity to respond to his personal vocation, and thus to God's call."

--- --- ---

NOTES

[1] Bannock, G., Baxter, R.E., and Davies, E., 2003, "The Penguin Dictionary of Economics," London: Penquin Books, p. 114

[2] Originally published in 1776, this edition, 2003, p. 527

[3] Wilber, C.K. 1991. "Incentives and the Organization of Work. Moral Hazards and Trust," in Coleman, J.B., "One Hundred Years of Catholic Social Thought. Celebration and Challenge," New York: Orbis Books, p. 212

[4] Henriot, J.P., 1993, "Who Cares about Africa? Development Guidelines for the Church's Social Teaching," in Williams, O.F., and Houck, J.W., eds., "Catholic Social Thought and the New World Order. Building on One Hundred Years," Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, p. 212

[5] "Gaudium et Spes," No. 64

[6] Ibid., No. 63

[7] Ibid., No. 64

[8] Ibid., No. 19

[9] Wilber, ibid., p. 214

Friday, November 10, 2006

Father Cantalamessa on Marriage in Heaven

Father Cantalamessa on Marriage in Heaven

Pontifical Household Preacher on Sunday's Gospel

ROME, NOV. 10, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of a commentary by the Pontifical Household preacher, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, on the readings from this Sunday's liturgy.

* * *

There came a poor widow
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (b)
1 Kings 7:10-16; Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44

One day, Jesus was standing before the temple treasury, watching people deposit their offerings. He saw a poor widow come and put in all she had, two copper coins, which make a penny. He turned to his disciples and said, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than the others. All have given from their excess, but she, in her poverty, put in all she had, all she had to live on."

We might call this Sunday the "Sunday of the widows." The story of a widow was also told in the first reading, the widow of Zarephath who gave up all she had left to eat (a handful of flour and a drop of oil) to prepare a meal for the prophet Elijah.

This is a good occasion in which to turn our attention toward both the widows and the widowers of today. If the Bible speaks so often of widows and never of widowers it is because in ancient society the woman who was left alone was at a greater disadvantage than the man who was left alone. Today there is no longer this difference. Actually, in general it now seems that women who are alone manage much better than men.

On this occasion I would like to treat a theme that is of definite interest not only to widows and widowers but also to all those who are married, especially during this month in which we remember the dead. Does the death of a husband or wife, which brings about the legal end of a marriage, also bring with it the total end of communion between the two persons? Does something of that bond which so strongly united two persons on earth remain in heaven, or will all be forgotten once we have crossed the threshold into eternal life?

One day, some Sadducees presented Jesus with the unlikely case of a woman who was successively the wife of seven brothers, asking him whose wife she would be after the resurrection. Jesus answered: "When they rise from the dead they will neither marry nor be given in marriage but will be like angels in heaven" (Mark 12:25).

Interpreting this saying of Jesus wrongly, some have claimed that marriage will have no follow-up in heaven. But with his reply Jesus is rejecting the caricature the Sadducees presented of heaven, as if it were going to be a simple continuation of the earthly relationship of the spouses. Jesus does not exclude the possibility that they might rediscover in God the bond that united them on earth.

According to this vision, marriage does not come to a complete end at death but is transfigured, spiritualized, freed from the limits that mark life on earth, as also the ties between parents and children or between friends will not be forgotten. In a preface for the dead the liturgy proclaims: "Life is transformed, not taken away." Even marriage, which is part of life, will be transfigured, not nullified.

But what about those who have had a negative experience of earthly marriage, an experience of misunderstanding and suffering? Should not this idea that the marital bond will not break at death be for them, rather than a consolation, a reason for fear? No, for in the passage from time to eternity the good remains and evil falls away. The love that united them, perhaps for only a brief time, remains; defects, misunderstandings, suffering that they inflicted on each other, will fall away.

Indeed, this very suffering, accepted with faith, will be transformed into glory. Many spouses will experience true love for each other only when they will be reunited "in God," and with this love there will be the joy and fullness of the union that they did not know on earth. In God all will be understood, all will be excused, all will be forgiven.

Some will ask of course about those who have been legitimately married to different people, widowers and widows who have remarried. (This was the case presented to Jesus of the seven brothers who successively had the same woman as their wife.) Even for them we must repeat the same thing: That which was truly love and self-surrender between each of the husbands or wives, being objectively a good coming from God, will not be dissolved. In heaven there will not be rivalry in love or jealousy. These things do not belong to true love but to the intrinsic limits of the creature.

The Oil Depletion by Richard Heinberg

From Energy Bulletin:

Published on 9 Nov 2006 by Transition Culture. Archived on 9 Nov 2006.
Review: The Oil Depletion by Richard Heinberg
by Rob Hopkins



Also from Energy Bulletin, the latest post from the Archdruid Report:
Published on 9 Nov 2006 by The Archdruid Report. Archived on 9 Nov 2006.

Politics: Rebuilding Civil Society
by John Michael Greer



It’s often claimed by modern writers that these institutions of civil society thrived as they did because people didn’t have anything else to do with their time, but this says more about our own fantasies about the past than it does about historical reality. Most people a century ago worked longer hours than their descendants do today, and the popular media of their time was less technologically complex but no less widely distributed or eagerly sought than ours. The difference lay, rather, in prevailing attitudes. Alexis de Tocqueville famously described early 19th century America as a land of associations, where the needs of society were met, not by government programs or aristocratic largesse, but by voluntary organizations of common people. The civil society of pre-imperial America thrived because people recognized that the social and personal benefits they wanted could only be bought with the coin of their own time and money.

One example worth remembering is the way that fraternal orders, rather than government bureaucracies, provided the social safety net of 19th century America. The Odd Fellows, a fraternal order founded originally in Britain, launched this process shortly after its arrival in the United States in 1819. Odd Fellows lodges in Britain had the useful habit of taking up collections for members in need, especially to cover the living costs of those who had fallen sick – remember, this was long before employers offered sick pay – and to pay the burial costs of those who died. In the American branch of the order, this quickly evolved into a system of weekly assessments and defined benefits.

The way it worked was simple enough. Each member paid in weekly dues – 25 cents a week, roughly the equivalent of $20 a week today, was average – and the money went into a common fund. When a member in good standing became too sick to work, he received regular sick pay and, in most lodges, visits from a physician who received a fixed monthly sum from the lodge in exchange for providing care to all its members. When a member died, his funeral costs were covered by the lodge, and his dependents could count on the support of the lodge in hard cash as well as the less tangible currency of the nationwide Odd Fellows network. By 1900, as a result of this system Odd Fellowship was the largest fraternal order in the world. In that same year more than two thousand American fraternal orders had copied this model, and nearly half of all adult Americans – counting both genders and all ethnic groups, by the way – belonged to at least one fraternal order.


Curious; perhaps the Archdruid would do well to read about the medieval guilds and trade associations. I'd look to them for examples of valid intermediate-level assocaiations than to the Free Masons.

What, though, can those who value democracy do within the constraints of a collapsing empire and a declining industrial civilization? The one workable strategy, it seems to me, is rebuilding the foundations of civil society that made American democracy work in the first place. Though it’s unfashionable (and politically incorrect) to suggest this, and doubtless new forms will also need to be evolved, I think that much value remains in the old institutions of American civil society, and in particular in the handful of surviving fraternal orders – the Freemasons, the Odd Fellows, the Grange, and their equivalents. Behind lodge doors, all but forgotten even by the retirees who keep the old lodges going, lies a rich history and a wealth of proven methods that weathered every challenge except that of unearned prosperity.

Those approaches could readily be put to use again. Equally, other dimensions of civil society wait to be rebuilt or reinvented. A great many of the common assumptions of our imperial age will have to go by the boards in this process, however. In particular, the notion of entitlement needs to be an early casualty of the approaching changes. The Odd Fellows and their many equivalents did not dispense charity; they provided a means for those willing to contribute to the common welfare to spread out the risks and share the benefits of life in an uncertain world. Those who did not help others did not get help in their own times of need. This may seem harsh, but in a time of unbending ecological limits, it’s also necessary.

The Int'l Terrorist Threat to the UK

speech by the Director General of the Security Service (MI5), Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller

From Global Guerillas

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Heh-Lo

The niece is very chatty; today I heard her say hello. Cute! and smart! Evidently she recognized the statue of St. Therese when it was shown on some program on EWTN and was blowing kisses.

Now I'm waiting for photos of her in her costume...

Photos: Tara Connor, Miss USA 2006



For Sarge, here is your Miss USA. (gallery)

Photos; more from the pageant; Mainichi
missosology
visiting 913th Airlift Wing (write to her and tell her to visit Bragg)
some more

Seirei no Moribito trailer

website here

via AICN

Vatican at odds over Cruise's wedding

From NOR.

Vatican at odds over Cruise's wedding
From Richard Owen in Rome

Of course no sources are cited, they're anonymous. Interesting that the article does not mention that Tom Cruise was baptised and raised Catholic. Miss Holmes' parents are supposedly the cause of their wanting a Catholic ceremony, whether it is because the parents asked for it or because they wished to express some measure of "good will" towards them.
One Vatican official said that if the priest conducting the ceremony thought Catholic rites would be beneficial, he could overlook the fact that there would be a Scientology ceremony the next day.

Other Vatican sources said that Cruise’s divorce, and his belief in Scientology, could prove an obstacle to a Catholic ceremony.



Actually, he's been divorced twice. I hope there is no participation in any of this by a priest of othe Church--especially as I am guessing Catholic guidelines regarding marriages have not been observed, and it seems to me that neither party really wishes to raise the children Catholic.

Beheaded girls 'Ramadan trophies', court hears

Beheaded girls 'Ramadan trophies', court hears

From Stephen Fitzpatrick, Jakarta correspondent

November 09, 2006 07:00am

THREE Christian high school girls were beheaded as a Ramadan "trophy" by Indonesian militants who conceived the idea after a visit to Philippines jihadists, a court heard yesterday.

The girls' severed heads were dumped in plastic bags in their village in Indonesia's strife-torn Central Sulawesi province, along with a handwritten note threatening more such attacks.

The note read: "Wanted: 100 more Christian heads, teenaged or adult, male or female; blood shall be answered with blood, soul with soul, head with head."

Javanese trader Hasanuddin appeared in Jakarta Central Court yesterday charged with planning and directing the murders in October last year. He faces a death sentence if found guilty under anti-terrorism legislation.

Hasanuddin allegedly returned from a visit to members of Philippines Islamist group the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with tales of how that organisation regularly staged bombings to coincide with Lebaran, the festival that ends the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He later spoke with a preacher in Poso, Central Sulawesi, about whether such a plan could work in Indonesia, but expressed doubt about whether it was appropriate.

However, after further discussion with friends, he decided that beheading Christians could qualify as an act of Muslim charity.

Conscripting several accomplices at a local pesantren, or Islamic school, he directed one of them, Lilik Purnomo, to seek out "the head of a Christian", prosecutors alleged.

"It would be a great Lebaran trophy if we got a Christian. Go search for the best place for us to find one," Hasanuddin allegedly ordered his companion.

Lilik returned to say he had found an "excellent" target - a group of schoolgirls who travelled to and from class by foot in the Central Sulawesi village of Gebong Rejo. The village is in the district of Poso, where hundreds of people have died in sectarian violence in recent years.

Many observers worry that Central Sulawesi has become the latest battleground in a deadly jihad.

Three Christian men were executed there last month for their role in a massacre of Muslims in 2000 and there have been a series of deadly attacks in the province in recent months.

Prosecutors yesterday detailed how Hasanuddin, Lilik and co-accused Irwanto Irano planned the schoolgirl beheadings with six other men. They prepared six machetes and black plastic bags for carrying off the severed heads and spent several days surveying the area where the students regularly passed by.

The operation was called off on one occasion, when a woman spotted the attackers hiding by the roadside, waiting for their victims. On the night before the attack, Lilik told Hasanuddin: "I hope you are ready to receive your Lebaran gift."

The attack was launched the following morning, but only four of the six targeted girls appeared.

Lilik, directing the attack from a nearby hill, told his accomplices to act quickly so that the remaining two girls could still be killed should they appear behind their friends.

The attackers cleanly beheaded three of the students but a fourth, Noviana Malewa, escaped after a struggle and ran away screaming. Her attackers gave chase but were unable to catch her.

The bodies, dressed in school uniform, were left by the roadside near the execution site, but the heads were carried in a backpack to Hasanuddin.The trial of his two co-accomplices was adjourned until Wednesday, when Hasanuddin will also reappear.

The War of the Snipers

by Patrick Cockburn

The "commander" in the video says that Islamic Army marksmen rely on a training manual written by a retired US special forces officer called Major John L. Plaister entitled "Ultimate Sniper" It is freely available from bookshops and was updated for "today's Global War on Terror."

Plaster, not Plaister. What would he say if he found out his books were being used by the enemy? Is this a good reason for restricting the press?

Paladin Press
Maj. Plaster's website, Ultimate Sniper
the book, updated and expanded

Lee Hyo-lee Becomes Highest Paid Female Singer

Lee Hyo-lee Becomes Highest Paid Female Singer

Lee Hyo-lee is making history by becoming the highest paid woman singer in Korea. After breaking with her agency DSPent after eight years, Lee ended speculation where she is headed when she concluded a verbal agreement with the CJ affiliate M-Net Media to be represented exclusively by the company for three years for a rumored W1.5 billion (US$1=W935). The contract is all drawn up and all that remains is for both sides to stamp their official seals.

Aside from the price, M-Net is said to have offered Lee a variety of perks. The plan of action and strategy for moving forward for the star prepared by M-Net’s Kim Kwang-soo reportedly played a large role in her decision. Kim is the moving force behind the success of Cho Seong-mo, SG Wannabe and See Ya.

Moving from pixie to sex icon in the years since she stepped into the spotlight in 1998, Lee’s stock has now risen to an all-time high. There is nothing stopping her now as she follows her top earnings as an MC, actress and commercial model in the singing field.

Lee is best known and most popular as a pop singer, but last year she made her acting debut in the TV drama and is being courted to appear in dramas and movies almost every day. On top of that, she signed to continue appearing in Samsung Anycall commercials that will net her some W800 million this year and continues to be very active in commercials. She is also winning the hearts of viewers as a presenter on the show “Happy Together Friends” and is beating all expectations as a multi-faceted entertainer.

Meanwhile, the entertainer Ok Ju-Hyeon has also decided to make her nest at M-Net Entertainment. Following the moves to SidusHQ by Seong Yu-ri and Star-J Entertainment’s Lee Jin-ee, all the members of the girl group F.I.N.K.L. are starting anew.

(englishnews@chosun.com )

Lee is best known and most popular as a pop singer, but last year she made her acting debut in the TV drama and is being courted to appear in dramas and movies almost every day. On top of that, she signed to continue appearing in Samsung Anycall commercials that will net her some W800 million this year and continues to be very active in commercials.

That's good news for Watcher.

Silently Affecting Others, by Gary Thomas

Silently Affecting Others
by Gary Thomas

Holiness is Simplicity--on Fr. Mariano de la Mata

Code: ZE06110826

Date: 2006-11-08

Holiness Is Simplicity

Interview With a Blessed's Contemporary

SAO PAULO, Brazil, NOV. 8, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Father Mariano de la Mata is an example to the Church not because of his great works, but because of his simple and virtuous life, says the vice postulator of his cause for canonization.

Father Miguel Lucas, who lived with the Spanish priest in the Augustinian community in Brazil, says in this interview with ZENIT that his companion is an example for all to see that sanctity is reached by living the little things in life well.

Father Mariano de la Mata (1905-1983) was beatified Sunday in the Cathedral of Sao Paulo, during a ceremony presided over by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes.

Q: Who was Father Mariano de la Mata?

Father Lucas: A Spanish Augustinian priest. He was born in 1905 and came to Brazil in 1931; he died in Sao Paulo in 1983. He was a man of charity for the poor and spiritual director of the St. Rita of Cassia charity workshops, which are dedicated to making clothes for the poor. During Father Mariano's life, there were about 9,000 women members.

Father Mariano always visited the four hospitals that existed within Sao Paulo's Parish of St. Augustine. He liked children very much, and was always surrounded by them and had sweets in his pockets to give them.

He was a friend to his students. He made a friend of each student. He loved nature. He looked after plants as if they were patients. He cultivated many flower pots in the terrace of St. Augustine School.

Q: What led to the start of his process of beatification?

Father Lucas: Since Father Mariano's death, his reputation for holiness spread rapidly. God has granted many graces through his intercession. When, in 1977, my superior in Brazil and I went to ask Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns to open Father Mariano's process of beatification, he replied: "This man deserves to be a saint; this one does."

Q: You lived together with Father Mariano. Did you think he would reach the glory of the altar?

Father Lucas: No. First because there was no blessed or saint in Brazil. And second, because he isn't outstanding for great works. It's true that everything he did, he did well. He practiced all the virtues to a higher degree than normal. He was always dedicated to the poor, the sick, to prayer. This makes us think that sanctity is within our reach.

Q: Can you illustrate how he lived the virtues?

Father Lucas: When he was in the sacristy of St. Augustine Church he was visited by the poor. He would put his hands on their shoulders, which were sometimes dirty or wounded, and talk with them. He always gave them some money.

His assiduous visitors left the church happier because of Father Mariano's embrace, than for the pennies he gave them. On cold winter nights, Father Mariano would go down with blankets to the school's square to cover the poor who slept there.

Another story about Father Mariano is that, despite his impaired vision, he would go by car all day through the streets of Sao Paulo to visit the premises of the St. Rita of Cassia charity workshops.

When he arrived late for a meal, some friend would say: "Father Mariano, the meal is almost over." He would reply: "The meal can wait, but not the sick; many times they do not wait."

Father Mariano also enjoyed sports. He himself had a soccer team in the school, of which he was director, and played with the youths. There is even a photograph of him with the school's soccer team and several trophies his team won.

Q: What message has Father Mariano left the Church in Brazil and in the world?

Father Lucas: With his life and testimony, Father Mariano is telling us that holiness continues to apply today in the Christian life and is always possible.

Above all, he is a saint who gives credit to the fact that the building of the kingdom of God is also done on the city streets and in the little acts of every day.

Father Mariano's life challenges all of us. He is a saint of today for the life of today.

Guangdong: 4,000 villagers take hostage 300 Communist officials, foreign guests

9 November, 2006
CHINA
Guangdong: 4,000 villagers take hostage 300 Communist officials, foreign guests

The villagers are protesting about the seizure of their lands and the theft by corrupt public officials of compensation due them. They besieged a granary that had just been inaugurated and shut executives and foreign guests inside. The situation has not been resolved yet.

Guangzhou (AsiaNews) – Around 4,000 villagers from Guangdong yesterday laid siege to an enormous granary that was built on their land seized by force from the government. They are currently holding around 300 people hostage, including Communist officials and foreign guests who were attending the granary’s inauguration, reported Radio Free Asia.

The villagers, all residents of Sanzhou village, surrounded the granary a few minutes after the ribbon-cutting ceremony, blocking all the exits. One of them, anonymous for security reasons, said: “There are a lot of high officials, and foreign guests from Thailand and Germany and England and Hong Kong inside.”

Explaining the reason for the siege, he said: “The government has seized the land we have been cultivating for decades and local officials stole our compensation. Now at least we want our money.”

Another resident of Sanzhou – which is in the northern part of the province, the “heart” of the Chinese economy – said that “when we told foreigners why we are doing this, they did not know what to do. Now they know that the loss of our lands means we are condemned to poverty. One guest said, 'Now that I have seen your plight, I will not ship any grain to this granary.'“

The Shunde Public Security Bureau, which controls the area, confirmed the incident and said it had already dispatched anti-riot squad police.

The villagers are sure the police will not attack them, because “the massacre of Shanwei on 6 December, when police killed several villagers of Guangdong who were protesting against the requisition of their land, had a very strong impact on public opinion. Beijing does not want this to happen again.”

Land disputes in Sanzhou emerged in 1992, when the government stole land from residents and resold it to private investors, giving them around 6,000 yuan (around 600 euros) per head in compensation. In 2005, a petition signed by more than 10,000 called on the government to publish contracts of sale of more than 9,000 mu (1.482 acres) of land.

According to this information, land was bought by foreigners for more than 130,000 yuan per mu. But the villagers only got 30% of this sum. Residents are rebelling and accusing local officials of corruption, but their petition has been largely ignored. “The attack on the granary was our last chance,” added one.

Annihilation from Within

Annihilation from Within, by Fred Ikle; interview with the author

John Robb's review
Washington Times commentary

amazon

Waste not, want not

From the Western Confucian and Energy Bulletin:

Wasting Away

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Recent articles by the good doctor

Theodore Dalrymple: A Man Out of Time, Veiled Threat and... Casual Reaction to Criminal Brutality

Eh... I had thought of moving to NZ someday if I ever won the lottery...

From his review of a biography of R. S. Thomas:

The account of the death of the poet’s wife in 1991 is extremely moving. She had long been ill. Her bedroom in their small cottage—which had no amenities, apart from a view so beautiful that it stops my heart to think about it—was reached by a ladder. He brought her home from the hospital when it was apparent that she could not recover, and carried “her up the steps himself as he might a bride,” though he himself had just had an operation for a hernia (he was 78 at the time, she 82). She died four days later.

After her death, he wrote love poems of the greatest possible tenderness:

She left me. What voice
colder than the wind
out of the grave said:
“It is over?” Impalpable,
invisible, she comes
to me still, as she would
do, and I at my reading.
There is a tremor
of light, as of a bird crossing
the sun’s path, and I look
up in recognition
of a presence in absence.
Not a word, not a sound,
as she goes her way,
but a scent lingering
which is that of time immolating
itself in love’s fire.

And, even more tenderly:

We met
under a shower
of bird-notes.
Fifty years passed,
Love’s moment
in a world in
servitude to time.
She was young;
I kissed her with my eyes
closed and opened
them on her wrinkles.
“Come” said death,
choosing her as his
partner for
the last dance. And she,
who in life
had done everything
with a bird’s grace,
opened her bill now
for the shedding
of one sigh no
heavier than a feather.

This is all the more remarkable since, according to the poems that Thomas wrote over the years, their marriage was not out of a storybook. Indeed, he and his wife had contracted it almost coldly, without expectations of romantic bliss:

I saw her,
when young, and spread the panoply
of my feathers instinctively
to engage her. She was not deceived,
but accepted me as a girl
will under a thin moon
in love’s absence as someone
she could build a home with
for her imagined child.

Fifty years after their marriage, he wrote:

Cold hands meeting,
the eyes aside
as vows are contracted
in the tongue’s absence.
Gradually
over fifty long years
of held breath
the heart has become warm.

I doubt that any marriage could be more uncongenial to the modern sensibility than this one: a mere calculation on one side that grows into undemonstrative, but deep, emotion. It is precisely because this kind of relation is so uncongenial or alien to us that it serves as something worth reflecting upon.

Some of his poems here.

The Corporate Food System is Broken

The Corporate Food System is Broken
Industrial Agriculture is Taking Us Down the Wrong Road

By JAMES GOODMAN

Self reliance is not a bad thing. While Emerson's thoughts on "Self Reliance" were controversial enough to get him banned from Harvard University, it seems that most Americans have willingly ceded their own self reliance and therefore their right of choice into the hands of corporate America. They have given up choice in media, health care and even food.

A return to basics

Those goods that are necessary for the survival of a political community, and without which all other considerations become moot.


The 'dark matter' of American politics
by Kurt Cobb

In addition, soil erosion and fertility, the depletion of major fisheries, the destruction of forests, and the skyrocketing prices of raw materials such as copper, nickel and steel are all nonstarters for political candidates. It's as if the basics of civilization--stable climate, fresh water, fertile soil, minerals, and energy supplies--were afterthoughts or at most a problem of location as in the case of oil.


While one may dispute the author's judgment about the earth's carrying capacity or the causes of global warming, he is right in pointing out that very few politicians have addressed the most basic questions that need to be asked for the sake of keeping a community in existence. We no longer care about local self-sufficiency, believing that "a free market" is the best mechanism for meeting the needs of all. (When really, it is the best mechanism to benefit the oligarchs.)

Heavy military expenditures, increasing public and private debt, and threats to our democratic institutions are all related to the stressed condition of the biosphere. A detailed list of the symptoms that result from that stress--the stress of living beyond the earth's carrying capacity--is provided in the latest edition of Limits to Growth. That list reads like a summary of the causes of American political disputes over the past 30 years. Unfortunately, many of these symptoms have been cast in ideological terms instead of ecological terms. This has led people to believe that addressing the symptoms is merely a question of electing the right politicians rather than reworking our way of life.

Of note in the current issue of Antiphon

Contents

The article "The Theological Battle over the Rite of Exorcism, 'Cinderella' of the New Rituale Romanum" by Fr. Manfred Hauke is not available online, but Daniel G. Van Slyke, "The Ancestry and Theology of the Rite of Major Exorcism (1999/2004)" is.

The library at St. John's is the best kept secret next to campus--plenty of good journals and books there; however they are now requiring that student ids be held at the desk--I'm not sure why, perhaps to keep track of who is using the library.

Anyways, the article is a must-read for those who would like to pass judgments on Fr. Amorth's statements and practices as an exorcist.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Russian Orthodox View of Papacy, and More (Part 2)

A Russian Orthodox View of Papacy, and More (Part 2)

Interview With Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev

VIENNA, Austria, NOV. 7, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Catholics and Orthodox should establish a "strategic alliance" for the defense of Christian values in Europe, says an Eastern prelate.

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Vienna and Austria, representative of the Russian Orthodox Church to the European Institutions, made this suggestion, and others, in this interview on topics linked to ecumenism.

Part 1 of this interview appeared Monday.

Q: Benedict XVI is looking for the "full and visible unity" of all Christians -- a unity which man cannot "create," but which he may encourage, through his own conversion, through concrete gestures and an open dialogue about fundamental topics. On the basis of which topics can Orthodoxy and Rome strengthen their bonds? How should they be put into praxis?

Bishop Alfeyev: I believe, first of all, that it is necessary to identify several levels of collaboration and then to work for better understanding at each level.

One level relates to the theological conversations that are pursued by the Joint Catholic-Orthodox Commission. These conversations are and will be focused on the dogmatic and ecclesiological disparities between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Church.

At this level I can predict many years of exhaustive and difficult work, especially when we come to the issue of universal primacy. Complications will arise not only because of the very different understanding of primacy between the Catholic and Orthodox traditions, but also from the fact that there is no unanimous understanding of universal primacy among the Orthodox themselves.

This fact already became evident during the recent session of the Commission in Belgrade, and the internal disagreement within the family of the Orthodox Churches on this particular issue will be manifested in ways more acute and striking in the future. Thus, a long and thorny path lies ahead.

There is, however, another level to which we should set our sights, and here I mean not so much what divides as what unites us. To be specific, this is the level of cooperation in the field of Christian mission.

Personally, I believe that it is quite premature and unrealistic to expect restoration of full Eucharistic communion between East and West in the foreseeable future. Nothing, however, prevents us, both Catholics and Orthodox, from witnessing Christ and his Gospel together to the modern world. We may not be united administratively or ecclesiastically, but we must learn to be partners and allies in the face of common challenges: militant secularism, relativism, atheism, or a militant Islam.

It is for this reason that, since the election of Pope Benedict XVI, I have repeatedly called for the fostering of ties between the Catholics and the Orthodox Churches through the creation of a strategic alliance for the defense of Christian values in Europe. Neither the word "strategic" nor "alliance" has so far been commonly accepted to describe a collaboration such as this.

For me, it is not words that matter but rather the connotation behind them. I used the word "alliance" not in the sense of a "Holy Alliance," but rather as it is employed for "The World Alliance of Reformed Churches," i.e., as a term designating collaboration and partnership without full administrative or ecclesial unity.

I also wanted to avoid pointedly ecclesial terms such as "union," because they will remind the Orthodox of Ferrara-Florence and other similar unfortunate attempts at achieving ecclesial unity without full doctrinal agreement.

Neither an ecclesial "union" nor a hasty doctrinal compromise is needed now, but rather a "strategic" cooperation in the sense of developing a common strategy to combat all the challenges of modernity.

The rationale behind my proposal is this: Our churches are on their way to unity, but one has to be pragmatic and recognize that it will probably take decades, if not centuries, before unity is restored.

In the meantime we desperately need to address the world with a united voice. Without being one Church, could we not act as one Church? Could we not present ourselves to secular society as a unified body?

I strongly believe that it is possible for the two Churches to speak with one voice; there can be a united Catholic-Orthodox response to the challenges of secularism, liberalism and relativism. Also in the dialogue with Islam, Catholics and Orthodox can act together.

I should add that any rapprochement between Catholics and Orthodox will in no way undermine those existing mechanisms of ecumenical cooperation that include also Anglicans and Protestants, such as the World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches.

However, in the struggle against secularism, liberalism and relativism, as well as in the defense of traditional Christian values, the Roman Catholic Church takes a much more uncompromising stand than many Protestants. In doing so it distances itself from those Protestants whose positions are more in tune with modern developments.

The recent liberalization of doctrine and morality in many Protestant communities, as well as within the Anglican Church, makes cooperation between them and the Churches of Tradition, to which belong both the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches, ever more difficult.

Yet another level of Catholic-Orthodox cooperation would be that of cultural exchange between the representatives of the two Churches. Many misunderstandings that exist between us have a purely cultural origin.

Better knowledge of each other's cultural heritage would definitely foster our rapprochement. Icon exhibitions, choir concerts, joint literary projects, various conferences on cultural subjects -- all this can help us overcome centuries-old prejudices and better understand each other's traditions.

Q: In his letter to the Pope on February 22, the patriarch of Moscow mentions some challenges of the modern world, which should be solved together, and his deep wish to bring back Christian values to society. How can forces be joined, so that the dangers of materialism, consumerism, agnosticism, secularism and relativism could be overcome?

Bishop Alfeyev: These questions were raised during the conference "Giving a Soul to Europe" that took place in Vienna on May 3-5, 2006. The conference was organized jointly by the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Some 50 participants representing the Roman Catholic and the Russian Orthodox Churches gathered together in order to ponder on the challenges facing Christianity in Europe and to develop ways of collaboration in facing them.

It is precisely materialism, consumerism, agnosticism, secularism and relativism, all based on liberal humanist ideology, that constitute a real challenge to Christianity. And it is this liberal humanist ideology that we must counteract if we wish to preserve traditional values for ourselves and for our future generations.

Today Western liberal humanist ideology, standing on the platform of its own, self-made universality, imposes itself on people who have been raised in other spiritual and moral traditions and have different value systems. These people see in the total dictate of Western ideology a threat to their identity.

The evidently anti-religious character of modern liberal humanism brings about non-acceptance and rejection by those whose behavior is religiously motivated and whose spiritual life is founded on religious experience.

There exist several variations on the religious response to the challenges of totalitarian liberalism and militant secularism. The most radical answer has been given by Islamic extremists, who have declared jihad against "post-Christian" Western civilization with all of its so-called common human values.

The phenomenon of Islamic terrorism cannot be understood without full appreciation of the reaction that has arisen in the contemporary Islamic world as a result of attempts in the West to impose its worldview and behavioral standards on it.

So long as the secularized West continues to lay claim to a worldwide monopoly on worldviews, propagating its standards as being without alternative and obligatory for all nations, the sword of Damocles of terrorism will continue to hang above the whole of Western civilization.

Another variation on the religious response to the challenge of secularism is the attempt that is being made to adapt religion itself, including its doctrine and morals, to modern liberal standards.

Some Protestant communities have already gone down this path by having instilled liberal standards into their teaching and church practice over the course of several decades. The result of this process has been an erosion of the dogmatic and moral foundations of Christianity, with priests being allowed to justify or conduct "same-sex marriages," members of the clergy themselves entering into such liaisons, and theologians rewriting the Bible and creating countless versions of politically correct Christianity oriented toward liberal values.

Finally, the third variation on the religious response to secularism is the attempt to enter into a peaceful, non-aggressive dialogue with it, with the aim of achieving a balance between the liberal-democratic model of Western societal structure and the religious way of life. Such a path has been chosen by Christian Churches that have remained faithful to tradition, namely the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

Today both the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches have the capability to conduct dialogue with secularized society at a high intellectual level. In the social doctrines of both Churches, the problems concerning dialogue with secular humanism on the matter of values have been profoundly examined from all angles.

The Roman Catholic Church has dealt with these questions in many documents of the magisterium, the most recent of which being the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, compiled by the Pontifical Commission "Justitia et Pax" and published in 2004.

In the Orthodox tradition the most significant document of this kind is the "Bases of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church," published in 2000.

Both documents promote the priority of religious values over the interests of secular life. In opposing atheist humanism, they foster instead a humanism guided by spiritual values.

By this is meant a humanism "that is up to the standards of God's plan of love in history," an "integral humanism capable of creating a new social, economic and political order, founded on the dignity and freedom of every human person, to be brought about in peace, justice and solidarity."

Comparison between the two documents reveals striking similarities in the social doctrines of the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches. If our understanding of social issues is so similar, why can we not join forces in order to defend it?

I believe the time has come for all Christians who choose to follow the traditional line, notably the Catholics and the Orthodox, to form a common front in order to combat secularism and relativism, to conduct responsible dialogue with Islam and the other major world religions, and to defend Christian values against all challenges of modernity. In 20, 30 or 40 years it may simply be too late.

Frailty, Thy Name is ... Feminist?

by Gina R. Dalfanzo

an oldie from Boundless...

Jeff Vail

One of his posts, Elegant Technology. was recently featured at Energy Bulletin, as the Western Confucian notes.

Jeff Vail's A Theory of Power blog (the book can be downloaded here)

But like the anarcho-primitivists, I think he denigrates hierarchy in favor of equality a little bit too much... I haven't read enough of his writings to determine if he is an anarcho-primitivist--it seems unlikely since he does not overtly embrace hunting-gathering, but he does share many of the same critiques, such as that of religion (see also his version of the 4 virtues). His theory of the state and of sovereignty is also problematic.

Stuff from Ignatius Insight

Including an interview with Ed Peters, author of the new book Excommunication and the Catholic Church

Take a look at
Question: Who Is Married? | Edward Peters
Entering Marriage with Eyes Wide Open | Edward Peters

Also:
What is Catholic Social Teaching by Mark Brumley

Mr. Brumley focuses on An Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching by Roger Charles, S.J. (published by Ignatius Press). I'm not sure how Thomistic the book is, and whether it addresses political theology adequately. A book to look into one of these days...

Marriage and the Family in Casti Connubii and Humanae Vitae | Reverend Michael Hull, S.T.D. | Reading the signs of their times, Pope Pius XI and Pope Paul VI both addressed the sanctity of marriage and the family, with special emphasis on the principal threat against them in modern times: artificial birth control.

The Role of the Laity: An Examination of Vatican II and Christifideles Laici | Carl E. Olson | Both Vatican II and the late Holy Father repeatedly outlined and clarified the role of the laity. But one hears very little, if anything, about it at a parish level. Here's what you should know.

More to think about: wealth creation

John Michael Greer writes in the comments section to his latest post, The Eighty Percent Pay Cut:

I thought talking about economics as a zero-sum game would raise a few hackles -- though fewer rose than I expected, I admit. Robin, what you call the "old leftist idea" of a static pie is hard ecological reality. In a world of finite resources, one person's gain is inevitably another's loss. When the playing field of economic exchange is level, people trade something they have in surplus for something they have less of than they want; the result is a net gain in satisfaction, but the total amount of wealth remains constant.

When the playing field is slanted, those with privilege can set the terms of exchange in their own favor, so that wealth concentrates in their hands. It's far from rare to see situations of this sort in which those on the losing end of these exchanges don't even get enough to keep body and soul together, because -- again -- the total amount of wealth remains constant.

Proponents of industrialism like to claim that an industrial economy isn't subject to this principle, because it creates more wealth -- essentially the claim you've made. From an ecological perspective, though, it does nothing of the kind. Industrialism takes wealth from the past (in the form of fossil fuels laid down in past ages) and from the future (in the form of the deferred costs of pollution, such as global warming) in order to concentrate wealth in the present. The social forms taken by industrialism in the modern world, in turn, ensure that the wealth gathered into the present ends up in very few hands, and assists them in controlling a growing fraction of all other wealth, by establishing unequal exchanges in the present.

The idea that everyone benefits from this concentration of wealth in the present -- an idea only really current in the privileged industrial countries of the world -- is a function of the way that industrialism serves as a means of exporting poverty to non-industrial countries. America and western Europe used their industrial systems to extract wealth from the Third World, and that -- not some "creation of wealth" out of thin air -- accounts for the vast disparities in economic status between the industrial and non-industrial worlds. Hornborg presents the data for that at length.

The interesting question is how these disparities of privilege will play out as the fossil fuels that made them possible hit their Hubbert peaks and stop being available to fuel the industrial system. My guess is that a lot of the apparent certainties of global politics and economics will come unglued over the next few decades. It may be a very rough ride.

It continues to amaze me how much re-learning one has to actively pursue in order to make up for all of the indoctrination one suffers through in high school (and college); not that I'm advocating abandoning one opinion for another without reflection, but it is the critical examination that is sorely lacking at the secondary and university level.

The Community Solution

a documentary on Cuba, and its response to an "artificial" peak-oil crisis

Ah Cuba. What is the truth about the situation over there? Can one point to positive achievements of the people there, while acknowledging what Fidel Castro has done to the country and its economy, for good or bad? Or do we really say that Castro intentionally tried to build a more humane economy, instead of mucking things up and forcing the Cubans to take care of themselves? And what was the state of Cuba (and its economy) before the loss of oil imports? Did the crisis accelerate a trend towards relocalization and family-run businesses? Can we move beyond the ideological biases that distort our evaluation of how good or bad things are there, and find data that will illumine an authentic science of politics>

Still, if people are surviving, undoubtedly it is because all property is not under the ownership of the State.

Theodore Dalrymple, Why Havana Had to Die

Heart and soul of the city (eco-restoration in Seoul)

Via Energy Bulletin:

Heart and soul of the city (eco-restoration in Seoul)
John Vidal, The Guardian

A big improvement; can much be done to salvage the eco-disaster that is Beijing?

(especially those "sand storms" that hit Korea and originate from China, which are predicted to get worse as deforestation and desertification in the North continues...)

an older article on the storms

Shortages in both low- and high-skilled labour threatening China’s economic boom

Second, low wages, tax cuts, and long-working hours have all induced many migrant workers to quit their jobs to move back to their farms. The government’s decision last year to eliminate the agricultural tax has fuelled the trend.
Which might be a good thing, if they are practicing agriculture that respects the ecosystem...

A Troubling Verdict

A Troubling Verdict
by Srdja Trifkovic

He’s Tanned, Rested and Ready
By William S. Lind

Peter Hitchens on the BNP

Anyone who thinks this means I support Labour needs his head examined. I also urge people to boycott the BNP, which one contributor maintains -ridiculously - is not a racialist party. Oh yes it is. Its constitution specifically excludes certain people from membership, on a blatantly racial basis this is one of the many reasons why I despise the BNP, and why anyone who tells you that I sympathise with it (as I have seen claimed on some sites) is lying.
source

A party obviously meant to represent the BNP was featured in an episode of Spooks; how far is such a depiction from reality? Or is it just the PC BBC getting some punches in?

The BNP's website. Their membership policy:
Membership of the British National Party is open to those of British or kindred European ethnic descent. While we welcome contact and co-operation with nationalists and patriots of other races, and with the many non-whites who also oppose enforced multi-racialism, we ask them to respect our right to an organisation of our own, for our own, as we respect and applaud their measures to organise themselves in like fashion.
That's too bad--they should understand that culture is not limited to color or nationality, as the Chinese understood... the literati could accept foreign dynasties in so far as those dynasties adopted Chinese culture.

While the BNP has a clue about peak oil, they apparently have no idea about making a peaceful transition towards relocalization.

Friederike Heumann


She studied the viola da gamba with Jordi Savall and Paolo Pandolfo; her recordings were recently featured on the BBC Early Music Show.

one website; another



A photo of Jordi Savall:

Federation of Viola da Gamba Societies
The Viola da Gamba Society
Viola da Gamba Society of America
Viola da Gamba Society-Pacifica
Australian Viola da Gamba Society
Viola da Gamba Society - New England
Viola da gamba, baroque cellos and violins (made by Charlie Ogle)
Viola Da Gamba - Peter Hütmannsberger
Viola da Gamba Maker Marco Ternovec
Viola da Gamba Violone Maker Sergio Gistri
STIMU viola da gamba bibliography
Viola da Gamba - musicolog.com
Viola da gamba Unterricht
Early Music Chicago: instrumental ensembles

Anna Chancellor


She plays Juliet Shaw on Spooks...

She looks better on the show...

I didn't recognize her at first, but she played...

Caroline Bingley on P&P.



Another site with photos, not so many... BBC website

Varia, 7 November 2006

National - Oct. 31, 2006

Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook presents a vase to UN secretary-general elect Ban Ki-moon and his wife at a congratulatory dinner for Ban at the prime minister’s residence in Samcheong-dong, Seoul on Monday afternoon./Yonhap

Culture - Oct. 31, 2006

Dressed in hanbok or traditional Korean outfits, residents participate in a traditional event looping around the Gochang Fortress with stones on their head in Gochang, North Jeolla Province on Monday. The event, held on Joongangjeol or the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, is said to ward off illness and promote longevity.

Front - Oct. 31, 2006
photo
With the College Scholastic Ability Test just some two weeks ahead, senior students and their parents pray for a good performance among traditional lanterns at Yeamoon Girl’s High School in Busan on Monday night.


Ambassador’s Maori greeting: South Korea’s new Ambassador to New Zealand Lee Joon-gyu, right, rubs noses with Elly Pickering at Government House in Wellington, Wednesday. Lee shared the traditional Maori welcome, known as a Hongi, when he went to New Zealand’s Government House to present his credentials. /Reuters-Yonhap 11-01-2006 20:13

Front - Nov. 1, 2006

A man holds a picket saying 'Free Hugs' in Myeongdong, downtown Seoul on Tuesday. The 'free hugs' campaign originally launched in Australia by Juan Mann in 2004 aims at cheering up strangers with a cuddle on the street./Yonhap

Students hold pickets saying 'Free Hugs' in Myeongdong, downtown Seoul on Tuesday. The 'free hugs' campaign originally launched in Australia by Juan Mann in 2004 aims at cheering up strangers with a cuddle on the street./Yonhap


Culture - Nov. 1, 2006


Fishermen dry squid in the autumn sun at a beach in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province on Tuesday.

National - Nov. 1, 2006

Thousands of Baikal teals fill the sky over Kanwol Lake in South Chungcheong Province at dusk on Tuesday. The migratory birds breed in Siberia, Amur and the Kamchatka Peninsula and visit Korea every winter.

Business - Nov. 1, 2006

The Bailey House in Samseong-dong, Seoul displays a bottle of premium whisky Johnnie Walker Blue Monaco priced at around W108 million (US$1=W942) on Tuesday./Yonhap


Farewell lunch for Ban’s wife: Yoo Soon-taek, right foreground seated, wife of Ban Ki-moon, incoming U.N. secretary-general, watches a traditional Korean dance, “Taepyongmu,” performed by Naomi Al-Midhadi, left, wife of Qatari Ambassador Ahmed Al-Midhadi, during a farewell luncheon organized by the spouses of foreign ambassadors to South Korea at the Lotte Hotel, central Seoul, Thursday. /Korea Times Photo by Shim Hyun-chul 11-02-2006 21:48

Culture - Nov. 2, 2006

Kang Ho-dong, right, a popular ssirum (Korean wrestling) athlete-turned-TV celebrity, reveals his wedding photos. He will tie the knot with Lee Hyo-jin, a graduate student nine years his junior, on Nov. 12. /courtesy of Fantom Entertainment




Business - Nov. 2, 2006

A model introduces Samsung’s new MP3 mobile phone, the Swing Phone, which targets the European market on Wednesday.

National - Nov. 2, 2006

Officials of the Hyehwa-dong district office in Seoul greet visitors on Wednesday morning for the first time since the office was restored as a hanok or traditional Korean house.


Beauties in Cheju: University students from 50 countries pose for the camera at the Seaes Hotel & Resort on Cheju Island, Friday. They have come to Korea to compete in the World Miss University Contest 2006, which will select peace emissaries on Nov. 11.
/Yonhap 11-03-2006 18:10

Culture - Nov. 3, 2006

Contestants in the 19th World Miss University Contest 2006 opening at the Jeju International Convention Center on Nov. 11 arrive at Jeju International Airport on Tuesday afternoon. Fifty-four students from 52 countries are taking part.


Ferrari for racers: Models showcase the Ferrari F1 racing car at an event to promote the racing car industry, hosted by Bridgestone Tire Sales Korea at the Shinsegae Department Store in Seoul, Friday. / Yonhap 11-03-2006 19:41

Business - Nov. 3, 2006

Serenite Collection D'Art, a four-elements-themed set of fountain pens by French luxury pen maker Waterman priced at W50 million, is on display at Lotte Department Store’s luxury hall Avenuel on Thursday.

Front - Nov. 4, 2006

Kim Yu-na of Korea performs in the Ladies Short Program at Skate Canada in Victoria on Thursday. The 16-year-old star, who took the world junior championship last winter, won the short program in her Grand Prix debut./AFP





Good luck: CJ Foodville gave away salads at its family chain restaurant, Vips, in a Seoul outlet, Sunday, to wish good luck to 600 students, who are just days away from taking their most important exam of their lives ? the College Scholastic Ability Test. The CSAT falls on Nov. 16. / Korea Times 11-05-2006 21:02


Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, left, walks with President Roh Moo-hyun before a welcoming ceremony at Chong Wa Dae, Monday. /Korea Times 11-06-2006 17:40



Front - Nov. 6, 2006

Pedestrians wrap up warm in Gwanghwamun, downtown Seoul, as temperatures plunged on Sunday, two days ahead of Ipdong, the onset of winter according to the lunar calendar./Yonhap

Culture - Nov. 6, 2006

Visitors and organizers of a Sunchang soy bean sauce festival make a giant bowl of the traditional Korean dish bibimbap -- an assortment of vegetables and rice served with hot red pepper sauce. The festival opened in Sunchang, North Jeolla Province on Sunday.

Business - Nov. 6, 2006

A staffer in the wine section of Lotte Mart’s Seoul Station branch tests the radio frequency identification system, a technology for automatic identification to read information stored in tags at distance, using a mobile phone on Sunday. The wine shop installed the system on a trial basis./Yonhap

Front - Nov. 7, 2006

Students take part in a snowball fight at a rest stop on the Youngdong Highway in Gangwon Province on Monday after snow blanketed the region.

Culture - Nov. 7, 2006

A 170-cm-high replica of the Eiffel Tower made of cookies is displayed in the home appliance section of a department store in Myeongdong, Seoul on Monday.

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