Saturday, April 12, 2008

From Counterpunch this weekend

Alexander Cockburn
Olympic Torch Toasts US Candidates

Patrick Cockburn
Warlord: the Rise of Muqtada al-Sadr

Mike Whitney
Want to Save the Economy?


David Yearsley
Film Scores and Westerns: the Stealth Cavalry of Empire

Hilarious. My father said the woman, Tam ku, who was his and his mom's flatmate, the lady whose house where he stays whenever he goes to Hong Kong, suggested that I become friends with some 25 yo neighbor. Well, I don't know if he was just passing along a message because someone asked to, or if there's something else going on in his mind, but there wasn't much information about her. I'm supposed to meet up with my mother tomorrow for lunch, so we'll talk about it then. (I heard this from her and not from him directly.) But that's a bit of a distance and there are other factors, so I think it's a non-starter.

Niece #2 seems to be rather intelligent too... K--- will ask her while she is in the playpen, "J--- give me the [plastic] egg," or "J-- give me the keys," and niece #2 will know what object she is referring to and give it to her. (She said first "J--- give daddy the keys," and she gave it to them. K: "See, J--- knows what is the key.")

Photos: 황정음















Chrysalis

Something Pete Takeshi might be interested in; I wouldn't mind watching it either...
Chrysalis Review by Todd
Chrysalis Official Site

info about the director's next project, at Twitch

How about Kaidan?
official website

Roger Scruton, Conservatives are Conservationists

Conservatives Are Conservationists
Roger Scruton (MA 49:4, Fall 2007) - 04/11/08

A good partner piece for his AmCon article.

An older article by PCR in the Intercollegiate Review has also been posted at First Principles:
The Political Economy of Bureaucratic Imperialism
P. Craig Roberts (from IR 12:1, Fall 1976) - 04/10/08

The Rise and Fall of the Private Individual

The Social Revolution through which private individuals were created hand-in-hand with the creation of private property began with the Inclosures in the twelth century and attained its greatest flowering in the nineteenth century. Prior to the appearance of private property, private individuals did not exist. There existed only the rulers and the ruled, lords and serfs.

A serf was a person who did not own his own labor. Although he was not himself owned by another, that is, he could not be bought and sold like a slave, the feudal nobility, the state of that time, had rights over the serf’s labor. When we say that a peasant was enserfed, we mean that he owed a certain amount of his working time to the state. Over time and regions this obligation seems to have averaged about one-third of a serf’s working life.

His historical understanding is perhaps a bit too libertarian... I'll have to read through the whole thing and compare it with James Burnham's The Managerial Revolution (B&N), Sam Francis's Revolution from the Middle, and Paul Gottfried's After Liberalism: Mass Democracy in the Managerial State. Of course, I'll have to read those as well in order to make the comparison. Ha!

Shots Fired is no longer available at Amazon, but it can still be purchased at the website for the book

Mighty Ganesha interviews WKW

interview @ Monkey Peaches

WK-W: Actually, we are working on two projects at this point. One is called The Grandmaster, which is with Tony to play the master of Bruce Lee…

MG: Yip Man?


WK-W: Yeah! And the other one is The Lady from Shanghai .


MG's reviews of The Go Master and Nanking

An old article:Leung Chiu Wai Preps Himself for Yip Man Biopic - Wu-Jing.org

Yip Man : Bruce Lee’s Master Biopic | LoveAsianFilm.com (mostly about the other one starring Donnie Yen)
Biopics on Wing Chun Master, Yip Man

San Francisco Gu-zheng Music Society

website

Guzheng
Sound of China Guzheng Music

Korean dance 牙拍吟(朝鲜)

2 more pansori vids

Pansori Master - Park Song-Hee


Pansori 판소리


Umm... and 2 vids by Lee Jeongmi:
「密陽 (ミリャン)アリラン」 Miryan Arirang by Lee Jeongmi 李 政美


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李政美 「'06新春コンサート」オープニング


Oh, and this...
Traditional Korean Song "Jebi" at Omok Pavilion

Pansori Prodigy

Ahn Sook Sun: Yo In Chon Ha Theme



her official website: AHN SOOK SUN

If ye love Me, keep My commandments by Thomas Tallis

So it's in English... but it's by Thomas Tallis.

If ye love me
If ye love me -- Thomas Tallis
Taipei Chamber Singers
Guest Conductor: Bob Chilcott


Taipei Chamber Singers -- About Us(Chinese Version) - AOL Video
Taipei Chamber Singers--Super Flumina - AOL Video
Taipei Chamber Singers--Super Flumina (rehearsal)

Taipei Chamber Singers -- Super Flumina


If Ye Love Me, Keep My Comandments
WLW Chamber Singers


A slower version
If ye love Me, keep My commandments (Tallis)

Dude!


Are you talking about Justine Waddell in The Fall? I told you and CC a long time ago when we were watching parts of Wives and Daughters that she looks like a current inhabitant of Fayetteville. (That was during that trip to Shohola for Holy Week, and we were staying in a certain rectory.)

Justine Waddell

Almost Lover - Wives and Daughters


Wives and Daughters "Foolish Games"

3 from Peter Hitchens

First, Mr. Hitchens looks at two new books on World War II, including the new one by Pat Buchanan. I look forward to reading his own reflections on the war.

And his reaction to the journey of the Olympic torch through London. While I will probably watch some of the coverage of the Beijing Olympics, I probably won't be able to stomach the the display of nationalism (and not just by the Chinese, either). And of course the attempt by the Gong Chaan Dong Dynasty to paint a pretty picture of a new modern China won't work with me either--it'll just make me more angry with their lack of leadership.

Why China is the REAL master of the universe
By ANTHONY BROWNE

One last one from Mr. Hitchens--
America, the UK and misleading myths

Even once the mountains are over, the sense of space is always there. And I think this is another of the main differences between our two cultures, the immense amount of room in which Americans find it easier to get along with each other by staying a safe distance from each other. It was also astonishing to pass through the gigantic steelworks that still fringe the southern edge of Lake Michigan, though I think they're much diminished from how they were 20 years back. . I wonder if they'll be there at all in 20 years, given the pace of globalisation, but they give you some idea of the colossal industrial and economic power which was unleashed in the USA by the Second World War - and they reminded me of what Sheffield and Rotherham used to look like when we still had a serious steel industry.

It doesn't matter how many times I'm told that it doesn't matter that we know longer make very much ourselves. I can't help thinking that it does matter, and also that a society which doesn't have jobs for men to do, such as steelmaking, coalmining and shipbuilding, has lost something very important. We've mechanized the land, and exported most of the hard manual work to the East. Is it, can it be right for us to live at such a distance from the making of real wealth, and the growing of real food?

2 bread recipes

via comments section for this Crunchy Con post:

Recipe of the Week: The world’s two easiest breads

There’s now no excuse not to bake your own bread, said Nick Fox in The New York Times. A year ago, a columnist for this newspaper, Mark Bittman, published what we called “the easiest bread recipe possible.” The no-knead recipe was created by Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery in SoHo. The response from readers “was so fervid you would have thought he’d revealed a foolproof way to pick winning lottery numbers.” People desperately wanted to bake bread at home, and that recipe showed them how.

Recently Dr. Jeff Hertzberg, a physician from Minneapolis, developed an even easier bread-making technique. His recipe makes Lahey’s method
look “like molecular gastronomy.” Both use 30 percent to 50 percent more liquid than most recipes that require kneading. Lahey’s recipe, because it uses only a small amount of yeast, requires at least 18 hours of fermentation and often results in a very loose dough. Dr. Hertzberg’s dough rises more quickly, and easily forms into a loaf that can be baked in a pan or on a hot stone.

Recipes of the week

No-Knead Bread

Time: about 1½ hours, plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising time

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1-5/8 cups water
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1-1/4 tsp salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed

In large bowl combine flour, yeast, salt. Add 1-5/8 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours (preferably about 18), at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour work surface; place dough on it. Sprinkle with a little more flour, and fold dough over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into ball. Generously coat cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal; put dough on towel, seam-side down. Dust with more flour, bran, or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel; let rise for about 2 hours. When ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with finger.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up. (It may look like a mess, but that’s okay.) Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid, bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on rack. Yield: One 1-1/2-pound loaf.

Simple Crusty Bread

Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007)

Time: About 45 minutes, plus about 3 hours’ resting and rising

6-1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
4 cups water
1-1/2 tbsp yeast
1-1/2 tbsp kosher salt
Cornmeal

In large bowl, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover, but not with airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature at least 2 hours (and up to 5). Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks.

When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough. Cut off grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating rounded top and lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.

Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes. Dust dough with flour and slash top with serrated knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour 1 cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely. Yield: 4 loaves.


The Army Benevolent Fund presents MUSIC ON FIRE 2008



Hayley Westenra is supposed to be performing this year? (In September.)

Music on Fire

Army Benevolent Fund: Events
RMAS: Music On Fire

Julianne Hough (and Adam Carolla), DWTS week 4

Their last week of competition together, since they were eliminated last Tuesday. Perhaps Cheryl Burke will win another championship this year.

DWTS - Adam Carolla with Julianne Hough - Week 4

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Adam Carolla & Julianne Hough - The Encore Performance- Wk 4


Adam & Julianne Farewell DWTS 'Blue' Version


Julianne Hough on GMA

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Adam Carolla & Julianne Hough on Jimmy Kimmel Live 4-8-08

(alt)
another
another

Julianne Hough Leaves Velvet Margarita in Hollywood.04-09-08


Adam Carolla and Julianne Hough on Live with Regis and Kelly 4.10.08


ET with DWTS Julianne Hough- 4-11-08


And her first music video...
Julianne Hough--That Song In My Head-Video

alt
another

Leah Cairns

You know who these photos are for, 'Punk'! Haha.





Racetrack on BSG.





LEAH CAIRNS - OFFICIAL SITE - Latest News (photoshoots)
Leah Cairns Fan - All Things Leah Cairns
Leah Cairns interview - Racetrack Battlestar Galactica
Leah Cairns GALACTICA.TV interview | Battlestar Galactica
Nobody Knows: The Racetrack Video
Another major character on BSG is supposed to die before the season is over... is it Roselin? Some sort of Moses comparison? (The leader who brings the people to the edge of the promised land but is destined not to step foot in it?)

Photos: Prince William, Pt. 2


Britain's Prince William (2nd row R) is pictured with fellow graduates, his father Prince Charles (seated C), and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (seated 5th R), after his graduation ceremony at RAF Cranwell central England April 11, 2008. William received his Royal Air Force wings from Prince Charles on Friday. William, the fourth successive generation of the monarchy to become an RAF pilot, learned to fly on his four-month attachment.

REUTERS/Paul Ellis/Pool (BRITAIN)

Britain's Prince William (standing R) is pictured with fellow graduates, his father Prince Charles (seated C), and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (seated 3rd R), after his graduation ceremony at RAF Cranwell central England April 11, 2008. William received his Royal Air Force wings from Prince Charles on Friday. William, the fourth successive generation of the monarchy to become an RAF pilot, learned to fly on his four-month attachment.

REUTERS/Paul Ellis/Pool (BRITAIN)




Britain's Prince William (R) receives his wings from his father Prince Charles at RAF Cranwell, central England April 11, 2008. William, watched by his girlfriend Kate Middleton, received his Royal Air Force wings from Prince Charles on Friday. William, the fourth successive generation of the monarchy to become an RAF pilot, learned to fly on his four-month attachment.

REUTERS/Paul Ellis/Pool (BRITAIN)




Britain's Prince William (R) smiles as he receives his wings from his father Prince Charles at RAF Cranwell, central England April 11, 2008. REUTERS/Michael Dunlea/Pool


Britain's Prince William (L) smiles as he walks with his girlfriend Kate Middleton at RAF Cranwell, central England April 11, 2008. William received his Royal Air Force wings from Prince Charles on Friday. William, the fourth successive generation of the monarchy to become an RAF pilot, learned to fly on his four-month attachment.

REUTERS/Michael Dunlea/Pool (BRITAIN)


Britain's Prince William, left, walks with his girlfriend Kate Middleton after his graduation ceremony at RAF Cranwell, in Cranwell, England on April 11, 2008. Prince William was presented with his ceremonial pilot's wings Friday by his father Prince Charles, as he graduated as a military pilot and followed in the footsteps of a host of his royal ancestors. The young prince's girlfriend Kate Middleton and his father's wife, Camilla, watched on as William passed out with his class of colleagues.

(AP Photo/Paul Ellis, Pool)

Britain's Prince Charles, center, accompanied by his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, left, talk to his son Prince William, right, after he graduated from the Royal Air Force College at the RAF Cranwell, in Cranwell, northern England, Friday April 11, 2008. The royals pose in front of a RAF airplane which Prince Charles was trained to fly in 1969.

(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)


Britain's Prince William (R) receives his wings from his father Prince Charles at RAF Cranwell, central England April 11, 2008. William, watched by his girlfriend Kate Middleton, received his Royal Air Force wings from Prince Charles on Friday. William, the fourth successive generation of the monarchy to become an RAF pilot, learned to fly on his four-month attachment.

REUTERS/Paul Ellis/Pool (BRITAIN)


Britain's Prince William poses for the photographers after he graduated from the Royal Air Force College at the RAF Cranwell, in Cranwell, northern England, Friday April 11, 2008. Prince William was presented with his ceremonial pilot's wings Friday by his father Prince Charles, as he graduated as a military pilot and followed in the footsteps of a host of his royal ancestors.

(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)


Britain's Prince William, watches a RAF plane, which his father was trained to fly in 1969, after he graduated from the Royal Air Force College at the RAF Cranwell, in Cranwell, northern England, Friday April 11, 2008. Prince William was presented with his ceremonial pilot's wings Friday by his father Prince Charles, as he graduated as a military pilot and followed in the footsteps of a host of his royal ancestors.

(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Photos: Prince William, Pt. 1


In this image released by Britain's Ministry of Defence on Friday April 11 2008 Prince William is seen during a training session at RAF Shawbury in Feb 2008. The Prince - an officer in the Household Cavalry regiment - has been following a 'bespoke' shortened course that has included time flying fast propeller planes and helicopters and will receive his RAF 'wings' from his father the Prince of Wales at a graduation ceremony on Friday April 11 2008. Later in the year the second-in-line to the throne will spend time with the Navy.

(AP Photo/ Sgt Graham Sparks, MOD HO)




In this image released by Britain's Ministry of Defence on Friday April 11 2008 Prince William is seen at the controls of a Tucano training aircraft over the Lake District, during a flight from RAF Linton-On-Ouse on Feb 18 2008. The Prince - an officer in the Household Cavalry regiment - has been following a 'bespoke' shortened course that has included time flying fast propeller planes and helicopters and will receive his RAF 'wings' from his father the Prince of Wales at a graduation ceremony on Friday April 11 2008. Later in the year the second-in-line to the throne will spend time with the Navy.

(AP Photo/ Cpl Scott Robertson, MOD HO)


In this image released by Britain's Ministry of Defence on Friday April 11 2008 Prince William is seen at the controls of a Tucano training aircraft over the Lake District, during a flight from RAF Linton-On-Ouse on Feb 18 2008. The Prince - an officer in the Household Cavalry regiment - has been following a 'bespoke' shortened course that has included time flying fast propeller planes and helicopters and will receive his RAF 'wings' from his father the Prince of Wales at a graduation ceremony on Friday April 11 2008. Later in the year the second-in-line to the throne will spend time with the Navy.

(AP Photo/ Cpl Scott Robertson, MOD HO)


In this image released by Britain's Ministry of Defence on Friday April 11 2008 Prince William is seen at the controls of a Tucano training aircraft over the Lake District, during a flight from RAF Linton-On-Ouse on Feb 18 2008. The Prince - an officer in the Household Cavalry regiment - has been following a 'bespoke' shortened course that has included time flying fast propeller planes and helicopters and will receive his RAF 'wings' from his father the Prince of Wales at a graduation ceremony Friday April 11 2008. Later in the year the second-in-line to the throne will spend time with the Navy.

(AP Photo/ Cpl Scott Robertson, MOD HO)


In this image released by Britain's Ministry of Defence on Friday April 11 2008 Prince William is seen at the controls of a Tucano training aircraft preparing for a flight from RAF Linton-On-Ouse on Feb 18 2008. The Prince - an officer in the Household Cavalry regiment - has been following a 'bespoke' shortened course that has included time flying fast propeller planes and helicopters and will receive his RAF 'wings' from his father the Prince of Wales at a graduation ceremony later on Friday April 11 2008. Later in the year the second-in-line to the throne will spend time with the Navy. (AP Photo/ Sgt Graham Sparks, MOD HO)

Friday, April 11, 2008


Pope Benedict XVI takes a group photo with Cistercian monks in Heiligenkreuz monastery in Heiligenkreuz, Lower Austria in 2007. The monks from a 12th century monastery just outside Vienna have secured a lucrative recording contract with Universal Music, the label for pop stars such as Amy Winehouse and Eminem, a record executive said Wednesday.

(AFP/File/Janek Skarzynski)

post on the abbey and cd; more photos of the Holy Father's visit last year at the official website for the abbey

Some reflections by Anthony Esolen after visiting TAC

The Lonely Libertarian

Richard Wall, A Hegelian at Gettysburg: Woodrow Wilson and the Perfect Union

Richard Wall, A Hegelian at Gettysburg: Woodrow Wilson and the Perfect Union

via CHT

Zenit: Rome's Exorcist Gives Inside Look at Devil

Rome's Exorcist Gives Inside Look at Devil,

Urges Separating Possession From Psychiatric Problems


ROME, APRIL 11, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Some of the mystery surrounding the devil and exorcism is being unveiled in a television and Internet report series, detailing the work of the exorcist of the Diocese of Rome.

Society of St. Paul Father Gabriele Amorth, Rome's exorcist for the past 21 years and a specialist in the figure of Mary, explained in the first edition of the series how he performs exorcisms.

"I go to one of Rome's churches, to a parish that is closed during the day," he said. "There is Mass in the morning and then the church is closed. There I perform the difficult exorcisms. I always work with seven to 10 people who help me, and use a small bed. Sometimes we need to tie people down or simply subdue them."

With Christ, the priest said, it is possible to overcome the devil: "The exorcist acts in the name of Jesus and with the strength that comes from Jesus."

Is he real?

The first question Father Amorth addressed in the report is if the devil exists: "I respond with the words of John Paul II, who was once asked this question: 'Your Holiness, I find many bishop who don't believe in the devil.' And John Paul II responded: 'One who doesn't believe in the devil doesn't believe in the Gospel.'

"The devil is an angel, and therefore, a pure spirit created good by God and who perverted himself because he rebelled against God. Therefore, he maintains all the characteristics proper of a pure spirit, such as a very large intelligence, immensely bigger than ours."

The devil is pleased by the way he is generally represented -- with wings and a tail, horns, as a bat, etc. -- because these images make him seem ridiculous and help people to believe that he does not exist, the exorcist reported.

Medical or spiritual

Father Amorth suggested that diabolic problems be separated from psychiatric ones; and to do so an exorcist is needed in every diocese to help in discernment.

"Normally when a person experiences these conflicts and problems, the first thing he does is see a doctor and psychiatrist," he said. "It is very difficult to distinguish the devil's action from a psychological problem. The person goes to a psychiatrist and after years of therapy obtains no result.

"Then he begins to suspect that the problem is not a natural one and goes to a conjurer from whom he obtains even greater harm. This is what normally happens. At this point, it is possible that someone more experienced in these matters suggests an exorcist."

Our Lady

The exorcist confirmed that Satan's great foe is the Virgin Mary.

He explained: "On one occasion an exorcist friend of mine asked the devil what most hurts him about Our Lady, what most annoys him. He responded, 'That she is the purest of all creatures and that I am the filthiest; that she is the most obedient of all creatures and that I am the most rebellious; that she is the one who committed no sin and thus always conquers me.'"

Father Amorth affirmed that on some occasions, God forces the Prince of Lies to tell the truth, however, the devil's main struggle is to make man fall into sin.

"To lead man towards evil is to make him fall into sin; this is the devil's preferred activity and we are all subject to it from our birth until our death."

According to Father Amorth, Mary is a key figure in the fight against the devil's tricks, especially since she herself was tempted: "Mariology is my field and I have often been asked if Mary was tempted by the devil. Definitely. When? From her birth until her death. But she always triumphed."

Parts of the weekly reports, transmitted in eight languages, can be viewed at H2oNews.

Article on Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy

via NOR: Faithful Canadian Catholic College Thrives amidst Difficulties

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy - Home

Leslie Cheung and '80s Cantopop

Elisa Chan and Leslie Cheung - Fall in Love - 陳潔靈 張國榮 誰令你心痴


The Japanese original:
Akiko Kobayashi - Koi ni Ochite - Fall in Love - 小林明子 恋におちて


1985名曲-小林明子 恋に落ちて Akiko Kobayashi

徳永英明 - 恋におちて

徳永英明 - 恋におちて -Fall in Love-

只怕不再遇上 - 張國榮 & 陳潔靈 (LIVE on TV 1984)


張國榮 風繼續吹


張國榮&林憶蓮 - From Now On


張國榮 - 當愛已成往事 『霸王別姬』主題曲


Leslie Cheung - Maggie Cheung
Leslie Cheung / Anita Mui
Kenny Bee - Cherie Cheung

I don't think this is from the 80s, but the 90s, but it's ok.
Anita Mui "Years Flowing Like Water" "似水流年"


Liza Wong song

Leslie Cheung 1998 星空下的倾情1/16

1993 哥哥与曼玉谈导演梦

钟楚红专访 谈哥哥


Leslie Cheung: Hong Kong Star 1/3 (Documentary) Arte 2007


Leslie Cheung: Hong Kong Star 2/3 (Documentary) Arte 2007


Leslie Cheung: Hong Kong Star 3/3 (Documentary) Arte 2007


A Chinese Ghost Story MV


anita mui - roman tam tribute performance 2003


张国荣30年演绎生涯回顾(娱乐直播)

张国荣与梅艳芳:相隔十七年的《缘份》

In Memory of Leslie Cheung 1956-2003 Part 1

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bill McKibben, Where Have All the Joiners Gone?

via The Western Confucian:
Where Have All the Joiners Gone?
A declaration of dependence
by Bill McKibben

One, of course, is that the era of cheap fossil fuel may be coming to an end, either because we run out or because we take global warming seriously and seriously cut back. Either way, the massive, invisible, industrialized methods we’ve come to rely on for feeding and clothing and fueling our lives may start to break down.

And the other problem is that we may break down. We weren’t designed to be this distant from our neighbors—we descend from apes who spend most of the day grooming each other for the practical purpose of removing lice and for the even more practical purpose of building the deep bonds that give their lives security and meaning. The economic life of Homo sapiens has always been about that kind of contact—until now, until us. Research has shown that when we live on car-filled streets, our number of close friends drops by half. We eat half the meals we used to with friends, family, neighbors. Forget about the flax-swingler; our clothes come through the ether from the mysterious geography of Lands’ End. We don’t need each other anymore, and that’s the saddest thing we’ve done—sadder even than the scourge of climate change, which at least is anonymous and impersonal.

Aristotle talks about the three different kinds of friendship. While some may argue that the Aristotelian friendship-based-on-advantage is the same as his civic friendship, I think civic friendship, while not identical to the friendship based on the good that exists between close friends, is close to it--a participation in it, shall we say, if the general moral state of the community is good.

Tim Madigan gives a summary of the three different types of friendship as delineated by Aristotle:

In Book VIII of his Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle categorizes three different types of friendship: friendships of utility, friendships of pleasure, and friendships of the good. Friendships of utility are those where people are on cordial terms primarily because each person benefits from the other in some way. Business partnerships, relationships among co-workers, and classmate connections are examples. Friendships of pleasure are those where individuals seek out each other’s company because of the joy it brings. Passionate love affairs, people associating with each other due to belonging to the same hobby organization, and fishing buddies fall into this category. Most important of all are friendships of the good. These are friendships based upon mutual respect, admiration for each other’s virtues, and a strong desire to aid and assist the other person because one recognizes their essential goodness.

The first two types of friendship are relatively fragile. When the purpose for which the relationship is formed somehow changes, then these friendships tend to end. For instance, if the business partnership is dissolved, or if you take another job, or graduate from school, it is more than likely that no ties will be maintained with the former friend of utility. Likewise, once the love affair cools, or you take up a new hobby or give up fishing, the friends of pleasure will go their own ways.


It seems an obvious fact of life that friendship between citizens in a political community begins and often ends at friendship-based-on-advantage. But might it not be possible for such friendships to progress to a higher stage? Or, if the citizens already have some measure of virtue, their association is already a participation in the friendship of the good and much more than friendship-based-on-advantage, even if their interpersonal contact is limited mostly to commercial transactions. So what happens if friendship-based-on-advantage is eliminated? The opportunity for it to progress beyond that is also eliminated, unless one consciously makes an attempt to seek out his neighbors and to share his life with them in some way. But we've grown accustomed to turning inward and isolating ourselves from others, until we feel lonely and desperate enough to seek out the comfort of one (or a few). How impoverished are our lives are, with respect to having friendship with a variety of people (though the levels and intensity of the friendships will naturally differ).

It seems to me that it would be easier to become friends (at some level) in a faithful Catholic society, with people from different groups and classes since there would be a common reference point (God) and hence a common foundation for the virtues and for morality. Having a common intellectual life (based on the development and exercise of the speculative intellectual virtues) may be important for intimate friendships among academics and thinkers, but it is not necessary for the highest form of friendship, which is friendship based on the moral virtues. Or in Salesian terms--the highest friendship possible is that which exists between those who are united in God.

Also, if one does not expand one's friendships to include those that are not fully 'voluntary,' there is a danger that they may be come too self-centered. Let me explain--some of our friends are close friends we keep after a long time of discernment and testing. Those who are vicious, we do not become intimate friends with, though we may be charitable towards them. And so our intimate friendships are fully 'voluntary' in this way--we choose who becomes our intimate friends and so on. But with respect to civic friendship and less intimate friendships, we do not choose those friends--those people are 'given' to us, and part of our moral development involves accepting them (while not excusing vice or sin) and getting along and co-operating with them in a friendly manner.

We can hold up religious communities and monasteries as an example of how community works (though this might be a surprise to those who are too secularized and cannot understand that the religious life is a challenge to live a life of charity, including love of neighbor, and not a turning away from neighbor). In such communities one must learn how to exercise charity towards all, and have some measure of friendship with all, even if one is annoyed with the minor quirks and such of some members. With this example perhaps we can understand that friendship is an extension of charity and is rooted in the love of God, not in the love of self.

Friendships between men and women cannot cross a certain line

Someone wrote this in response to "Bromance" at Dr. Helen's blog:

I really do not believe that females are capable of bonding in the way males are. I do believe that a male and female can bond together in a way that males, and females, cannot. But that is another phenomenon, because it is primarily sexual. It's also more glorious because it brings forth new life.

I really don't have many true friends. But the very few men whom I do consider true friends have my unconditional love, as I do theirs. In a time of need or crisis, there is no sacrifice I would not make for any of them, because I know each of them would do the same for me.

I would not extend the same courtesy to any woman I know or have met, because it goes without saying she wouldn't do the same for me.
Perhaps there is some bitterness at work here. I think he may be going too far to say that women don't have close friendships with other women--there are probably some women I know who would dispute this using their own lives as an example. And I think that the last line is true, not because all women hate men or just use them, but because they reserve that sort of intimacy with someone of the other sex for their husband. In general men and women cannot be that close, and last week I was thinking of the friendship between St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal. (Which I had used before as an example of a friendship that can exist between a man and a woman.) Would it be accurate to say that their friendship was not a peer-friendship? But the friendship that exists between a spiritual director and his charge, or between a spiritual father and his spiritual child?
The nieces have been sick the past few days; today niece #1 had a runny nose, but no temperature.

After lunch: "I'm tired. I want to go to bed." My mom found her in bed lying down praying.
"K-- are you praying?"
"Yes."

My mom often asks her about her dreams and if she sees our Lord or the Blessed Mother.
"Who did you dream of last night?"
"Jesus."
"What did he say?"
"Kylee I love you. You're good."
"Did he give you a hug?"
"No, He kiss me."
"Where? On the cheek?"
"On the mouth."

Mama Mary was wearing pink this time, Jesus was wearing brown.
"Mama Mary has socks. Angels have socks too."

"Angels are working"
"What are they doing"
"They help Mama Mary to sew the shoes."
"What clothes are the angels are wearing?"
"Pink."
"Does Jesus have a crown?"
"No. I told you. Jesus never has a crown. Only Mama Mary has a crown."

She knows how to write M. Seems to know her letters already, but only through her toy 'computer'. When she is presented with letters on the paper, they are less familiar. (Example of trained recognition through stimulus-response-reward?)

So what happened with her hand?
"Po po. Don't worry. Kylee's fine."

The Fall trailer at Apple

here
Ron Paul questions Petraeus and Crocker:



via LRC blog
When Higher Education Isn’t

By R.R. Reno

A discussion of Education's End by Anthony T. Kronman (Yale University Press)

Fort Sumter


source of picture file and info on the painting

Ft. Sumter, 1861, National Archives (source of image file)


The Attack on Fort Sumter (April 12-13, 1861)
On April 10, 1861, Brig. Gen. Beauregard, in command of the provisional Confederate forces at Charleston, South Carolina, demanded the surrender of the Union garrison of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.
The above link includes official reports from officers involved.

Dr. Clyde Wilson responding to a piece written in the American Conservative by Dr. Andrew Bacevich:

"Mr. Andrew Bacevich (in the March 14 issue) makes some perceptive and wholesomely moral observations on "The Living Room War." However, he spoils it all when he starts out by likening Ft. Sumter to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. The last two were massive sneak attacks by foreign enemies. The firing on Fort Sumter was preceded by a gentlemanly warning and was completely bloodless. It would not have happened at all if Lincoln had not dissimulated about re-enforcements and had a hostile fleet just outside. Nor does Lincoln's call for 75,000 troops after the fall of Fort Sumter at all resemble American unity and determination after Pearl Harbor. To begin with, the call for troops was illegal, and the 75,000 was either mistaken or deceptive since the conquest of the Southern people and destruction of their state governments eventually required over a million men. Further more, its immediate effect was to drive four more states out of the Union and require immediate military occupation to forestall the secession of three others. And despite a temporary upsurge of militancy after Sumter, Lincoln's government never had the degree of support in the North for its actions that characterized the public in the two more recent events. Several hundred thousand men evaded the draft by various means, many others were enlisted by cash bonuses, public speakers and newspapers had to be suppressed, and a fourth of the army had to be recruited abroad. When this kind of folklore is invoked, putting Southerners in the basket with Tojo and Ben Laden, we despair of the possibility of collaboration with nationalist conservatives.

Clyde Wilson
Columbia SC"

Thomas Di Lorenzo:
That’s a nice turn of phrase, but it is contradicted by reams of evidence. In "Lincoln and the First Shot" (in Reassessing the Presidency, edited by John Denson), John Denson painstakingly shows how Lincoln maneuvered the Confederates into firing the first shot at Fort Sumter. Northern newspapers all recognized this at the time, but Winik seems to know nothing at all about it. As the Providence Daily Post wrote on April 13, 1861, "Mr. Lincoln saw an opportunity to inaugurate civil war without appearing in the character of an aggressor" by reprovisioning Fort Sumter. On the day before that the Jersey City American Statesman wrote that "This unarmed vessel, it is well understood, is a mere decoy to draw the first fire from the people of the South." Lincoln’s personal secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay, clearly stated after the war that Lincoln successfully duped the Confederates into firing on Fort Sumter. And as Shelby Foote wrote in The Civil War, "Lincoln had maneuvered [the Confederates] into the position of having either to back down on their threats or else to fire the first shot of the war."

After Fort Sumter Lincoln wrote to his naval commander Gustavus Fox thanking him for his assistance in drawing the first shot.





Fort Sumter National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)