Saturday, August 16, 2008

Trailer for A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

@ Apple

Bill Moyers interviews Andrew Bacevich

CrunchyCon: Moyers: The Bacevich Interview (transcript and podcast) -- watch the video.

BILL MOYERS: And, yet, you say that the prime example of political dysfunction today is the Democratic Party in relation to Iraq.

ANDREW BACEVICH: Well, I may be a conservative, but I can assure you that, in November of 2006, I voted for every Democrat I could possibly come close to. And I did because the Democratic Party, speaking with one voice, at that time, said that, "Elect us. Give us power in the Congress, and we will end the Iraq War."

And the American people, at that point, adamantly tired of this war, gave power to the Democrats in Congress. And they absolutely, totally, completely failed to follow through on their commitment. Now, there was a lot of posturing. But, really, the record of the Democratic Congress over the past two years has been - one in which, substantively, all they have done is to appropriate the additional money that enables President Bush to continue that war.

and

BILL MOYERS: You say, and this is another one of my highlighted sentences, that "Anyone with a conscience sending soldiers back to Iraq or Afghanistan for multiple combat tours, while the rest of the country chills out, can hardly be seen as an acceptable arrangement. It is unfair. Unjust. And morally corrosive." And, yet, that's what we're doing.

ANDREW BACEVICH: Absolutely. And I think - I don't want to talk about my son here.

BILL MOYERS: Your son?

ANDREW BACEVICH: Yeah.

BILL MOYERS: You dedicate the book to your son.

ANDREW BACEVICH: Yeah. Well, my son was killed in Iraq. And I don't want to talk about that, because it's very personal. But it has long stuck in my craw, this posturing of supporting the troops. I don't want to insult people.

There are many people who say they support the troops, and they really mean it. But when it comes, really, down to understanding what does it mean to support the troops? It needs to mean more than putting a sticker on the back of your car.

I don't think we actually support the troops. We the people. What we the people do is we contract out the business of national security to approximately 0.5 percent of the population. About a million and a half people that are on active duty.

And then we really turn away. We don't want to look when they go back for two or three or four or five combat tours. That's not supporting the troops. That's an abdication of civic responsibility. And I do think it - there's something fundamentally immoral about that.

Again, as I tried to say, I think the global war on terror, as a framework of thinking about policy, is deeply defective. But if one believes in the global war on terror, then why isn't the country actually supporting it? In a meaningful substantive sense?

Where is the country?

BILL MOYERS: Are you calling for a reinstatement of the draft?

ANDREW BACEVICH: I'm not calling for a reinstatement of the draft because I understand that, politically, that's an impossibility. And, to tell you the truth, we don't need to have an army of six or eight or ten million people. But we do need to have the country engaged in what its soldiers are doing. In some way that has meaning. And that simply doesn't exist today.

Introduction to the book.

Macmillan: The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism
Dr. Bacevich's faculty page

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Lessons of Endless War
Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The American Military Crisis
Tomdispatch Interview: Bacevich on the Limits of Imperial Power
Tomdispatch Interview: Bacevich, the Arrogance of American Power

Center for a New American Security

Michael Winship, Andrew Bacevich, America and the world


Nancy Bacevich, center front, mother of fallen U.S. Army First Lt. Andrew Bacevich, is escorted to his grave site by U.S. Army General William Wallace, front right, as Bacevich's father Andrew Bacevich, second from right, follows while holding a flower at the Rural Cemetery, in Walpole, Mass., Monday, May 21, 2007. Bacevich was killed May 13, 2007, when an improvised device exploded while he was on a combat patrol in the Salah Ad Din Province, in Iraq.

A somber service in Norwood for a fallen soldier

(source)
Requiescat in pace.
A review of The Clone Wars @ AICN

Reception of this movie by fans may show how likely it is that the forthcoming Star Wars TV series will fail.
American Conservative: Losing Afghanistan
By Leon Hadar
Having failed to capture bin Laden or destroy the Taliban, the U.S. turns to nation-building in the graveyard of empires.
AsiaNews: Pope: Feast of the Assumption, trip to Lourdes in view

The pontiff's explanations seemed to be intended to smooth over the difficulties that the Protestants and Orthodox have in accepting this dogma: "In the Bible, the last reference to her earthly life is found at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles, which presents Mary gathered in prayer together with the disciples in the upper room, waiting for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14). Following this, a twofold tradition - in Jerusalem and in Ephesus - attests to her 'dormition', as the Eastern [Christians] call it, her 'falling asleep' in God. This was the event that preceded her passage from earth into Heaven, which is the confession of the uninterrupted faith of the Church. In the eighth century, for example, John Damascene, establishing a direct relationship between the 'dormition' of Mary and the death of Jesus, explicitly affirms the truth of her bodily assumption. In a famous homily, he writes: 'It was necessary that she who had carried the Creator as a child in her womb should live together with Him in the tabernacles of heaven' (Homily II on the Dormition, PG 96, 741 B)".

"As Vatican Council II teaches", Benedict XVI continued, "the Most Holy Virgin Mary must always be situated in the mystery of Christ and of the Church. In this perspective, 'just as the Mother of Jesus, glorified in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected is the world to come, so too does she shine forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come (cf. 2 Pt. 3:10), as a sign of sure hope and solace to the people of God during its sojourn on earth' (Const. Lumen Gentium, 68). From Paradise, the Virgin Mary, especially in their difficult times of trial, continues always to watch over the children that Jesus himself entrusted to Her before dying on the cross".

"Assumed into heaven, Mary", the pope concluded, "points out to us the ultimate destination of our earthly pilgrimage. She reminds us that our entire being - spirit, soul, and body - is destined for the fullness of life; that those who live and die in the love of God and of neighbor will be transfigured in the image of the glorious body of the risen Christ; that the Lord humbles the proud and raises up the lowly (cf. Lk. 1:51-52). This is what the Virgin Mary proclaims eternally with the mystery of her Assumption. May You be always praised, O Virgin Mary! Pray to the Lord for us".



Jean-Luis Rocca, The Middle Kingdom's Middle Way

The Chinese Dilemma
The Middle Kingdom's Middle Way

By JEAN-LUIS ROCCA

There is a great deal at stake: how can the party retain power (personal interest) and maintain stability (collective interest) while creating a space for expression and political choice? The answer lies in the formation of intra-party trends, which will give a voice to social classes. The CCP will always maintain its centralized hold, but in the manner of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party after the second world war, an example explicitly mentioned. Or possibly, as in Europe and the United States, within a system controlled by two main political parties who agree on the basic issues and ensure consensus in conflict, and therefore stability. Democracy within an elite circle would reform the regime and avoid political instability.

Party leaders have pursued this discussion since 2002. Their use of slogans (harmonious society, clean wealth and, more recently, the science of development) shows that they are taking account of the demands of society. There have been concrete measures, such as the limited but genuine extension of the social security system, a reduction in the tax burden on farmers and a less brutal control of migration and social movements.

Behind the static facade, a reforming gradualism is altering the political balance. There is no question of organizing elections in the short or medium term. Party democratization means limited experiments that provide a narrow framework for reform. Just as the controlled democracy granted to villages a few years ago is restricted to internal village matters, so intra-party democracy limits the space for discussion and protest to a select audience of responsible individuals. It is a question of damage control.

The conservative democracy scenario does not seem much when compared with the second democratic wave (after the second world war), or the third (that of the former eastern European bloc). But it is possible to compare it with the first democratic wave in western Europe. All the 19th-century political debates concerned the contradictions between democratization (seen by the elite as inevitable and even desirable), and the fears it provoked among the ruling classes. Alexis de Tocqueville praised the people (honest reasonable citizens), but held the populace in contempt (the crowd, the masses, the revolutionaries). The major democratic systems grew out of a fear of revolution, but a greater fear that bad leaders might be elected (demagogues, and also ignorant and inexperienced leaders) long prevented any radical change.

If fear of revolution is replaced with fear of social unrest, we have the Chinese dilemma. The ruling elite is trying to find a formula for a trouble-free democratization that ensures “correct” leaders. “What is more dangerous,” asked a cadre in charge of village elections, “an unstable society deprived of the vote (unstable in part because it has no means of expression) or a society in chaos because it has the vote?” The ruling classes and most party members are doing what they can to avoid both pitfalls.

Surviving enemy territory

Otherwise known as Stanfurd. I had the happy opportunity on Thursday to meet Mr. Jeff Culbreath, who graciously invited me to lunch. It's always a pleasure, becoming better acquainted with serious Catholics. In life I have been fortunate to have met many Catholics who are senior not just with respect to age, but possess the maturity, gravitas, and virtue that should go with age. Mr. Culbreath is one of them. The world needs their witness. And for someone like me, who still needs to grow in many ways, their example is invaluable.

As you might think, we talked about our respective stories and common interests, things pertaining to paleoconservatism, agrarianism, community, localism, going off the grid, and traditional Catholicism.

Mr. Culbreath also said I'm enigmatic. I suppose that is so, since I do not write much about myself on the blog. Brother B gets a laugh calling me 'inscrutable.' CB used to think I was a mystery; I hope that is not the case any longer. Haha.

Thank you very much Mr. Culbreath for lunch and the conversation! I look forward to visiting your part of California one day.

Here is a photo of someone with Mr. Culbreath:


Edit: Mr. Culbreath has posted some of his thoughts on his week spent at Stanfurd. Thank you for the compliments and the prayers (and for including the prayer intention on your blog)!

A post by the Deliberate Agrarian on making birdhouses: Room & Board For The Birds
(I thought I had come across a post recently talking about local health regulations and such, but couldn't find anything. I was probably thinking of your post on jam and gotten the two blogs confused.)

While we were at the outdoor tables talking, we were asked to fill out a survey about same-sex marriage. That was "interesting." The survey, as most surveys are, was poorly written, and the questions did not offer a valid dichotomy, one option being exclusive of the other. I am guessing that we were probably the only people opposed to same-sex marriage, or giving people with same-sex attraction all 'rights,' which I interpreted to include the so-called right to marry and the right to adopt. I was a bit hesitant to fill out the survey; do I need one more piece of evidence to go in a file somewhere for enemies of "liberal democracy"?

After lunch we took a short stroll and dropped by the Stanford Memorial Church, which was opportune, since I had wanted to see it while I was visiting the campus. A friend had mentioned how beautiful it was and recommended that I take a look. Here are some photos:


I think... something is missing from the sanctuary... like an iconostasis. And a baldachin.





Next time I visit, I'll have to take some more photos.

Mr. Culbreath remarked that the Stanford Memorial Church actually looked like a church. (We had discussed the new Oakland cathedral earlier during lunch. Was the drafting of this Strategic Plan really necessary? Domiane Forte's proposed design and an Adoremus article on his design. How big of an earthquake can the glass of the new cathedral withstand?)

Mass in the EF is now said by priests of the Sacramento diocese at St. John the Baptist Church in Chico. Mr. Culbreath noted that the FSSP priests at St. Stephen in Sacramento are kept very busy. It's too bad they couldn't start an apostolate down here. The IVE priests @ OLP could begin celebrating a Mass in the EF on Sundays, but they would be 'prevented' from doing so, despite what Summorum Pontificum says. I hope more IVE priests come to San Jose. I went to OLP yesterday afternoon for the Assumption, instead of driving all the way to Palo Alto. There were, of course, a lot of Filipinos at the 5:00 Mass; there were a few Vietnamese Catholics, too. (Plus some robins for a visitor, Sarge.) After Mass, some Vietnamese people were having a quick rehearsal for an early wedding Saturday morning (10:00!). It was hot today, but still, the clothing would probably be considered somewhat immodest. (Alas, some women don't have a clue!)

Still, I might try my luck finding a Vietnamese Catholic wife as Clemens suggested. He should be getting married soon.

Here is a photo of Stanford's Hoover Tower:

More impressive than Cal's Campanile?


Or are both really different from the following tower, in terms of what they represent, only in degree?

(source: Robert Alexander)


I don't really nurse the Cal grudge against Stanford. I would consider most universities, public or private, to be enemy territory, participating in a scam and fleecing students (or their parents) of money. Mr. Culbreath thinks that what is needed is a reform of secondary education, and I agree. I am hoping someone to start a real Catholic high school around here... I've looked at what already exists, and haven't been impressed by the curricula so far. (And I do not think anyone is going to reform the various Catholic high schools any time soon.) Perhaps the Fraternity will aid in the creation of a school on the West coast.

I picked Isengard instead of Barad-dûr, because what was once an fortress of civilization is now occupied by the enemy. The medieval intellectual project is dead.

Mr. Culbreath talked about Orland and the sense of community that he found there, along with some of the good and bad things associated with living in a real community. One of the good things is that after you get to know people and start seeing them regularly, they will miss you if you disappear for a while. In contrast, it is likely that no one in a big city (or the suburbs) will notice you're dead. (I would add, unless you have a pile of unpaid bills or your body starts to stink.)

Yes, it's hyperbole--people at work may notice when you stop showing up, but they may not make the effort find out what happened to you.

I decided to come back to California, even though I dislike the coastal region because I decided to make a stand, for stability and community, and to stake out a place. But as Mr. Culbreath pointed out, what's the point of making one's stand in suburbia, if everyone else is moving and there is a periodic turnover in one's neighbors?

Hence, the importance of focusing on one's family, even if there is heartbreak and disappointment waiting around the corner. (How can there not be, if one invests too much of one's identity in one's children and does not have some detachment?) And if it is possible, one should find like-minded people and try to create something stable and long-lasting. It's understandable that people who join the military to get away from gangs are looking not only for order and discipline, but a better sort of brotherhood.

If something were to happen to me here, my family would know soon. As for my friends from HS, they would have a reaction, but they wouldn't find out about it for quite some time, since they don't keep in touch. Those who are married may have a ready excuse, but really, they've just made other things a priority, instead of doing what is needed in order to have a more human(e) sort of life as much as possible. Money and other things are a priority, and whatever is left over is for family, usually spent in such a way as to compensate for what has been lost. (The nonsense that it's the quality of time spent, not quantity that matters.) Friendship seems to be a distant priority, and the activities proper to friendship are possible only because of the automobile. Without that convenience, how many people would make an effort to maintain friendships with those who live somewhat at a distance?

Then again, we don't have much to talk about, having nothing but the most quotidian matters in common. And so what real basis is there now for friendship?

The only one who calls regularly is xiao Jimmy, who rang me at dinner at Carl's Jr. (I was trying the 6 dollar burger again--they were rather dry... don't think I'll be going to a Carl's Jr. again, even if I have some more coupons. heh.) He and his gf put down a deposit for a house; the owner accepted their offer this week. I asked him if he had proposed, and he replied, "What do you mean? Formally? Like going down on one knee? Who does that? You only see that on TV." Apparently they have had an 'understanding' for a while, and he gave her the ring, but no ceremony or ritual, nothing. That's xiao Jimmy for you. I told him I was going to reveal this to the OD's wife so she could have some words with him. They are thinking of having the wedding early next year, perhaps in January. They are thinking of having the banquet at a restaurant in Milpitas... he was complaining that ABC was being too snobbish, since they wouldn't accept anything less than 20 tables for Saturday. (Otherwise, "It's too much work.")

We do discuss what is probably his impending marriage, so it's no mundane affair. But he doesn't share the same attitudes about the meaning of marriage and its purposes, so...

When I first returned to CA, I thought that it would be pathetic if the frequency of seeing my HS friends didn't really change, regardless of whether I was in California or not. That's pretty much what has happened with most of the married ones; I do manage to see the single ones more often, if they are free and I initiate the contact. That the burden would be uneven seems attributable to the female-male dynamic. Rarely will there be an strict equality in reciprocity between males and females. (With the exception of JLP and perhaps one or two others.) Is it really easier for married couples to associate with other married people than with singles? Even if it were, life isn't about following the easiest path... The desire to call people up for meetings used to be strong, when it produced results, but once it starts to seem futile, the desire will fade, and that is what has happened to me.

JPL was very offended when a college friend said she wasn't interested in keeping in contact, because she had her own life and JPL had hers. I had the same reaction. We both put a lot of value on fidelity to friends...

The standard advice is to let fading friendships continue to wither away "on their own," if the other side isn't willing to make an effort to maintain it. But the lack of reciprocity or the absence of consideration and thoughtfulness (or the basic etiquette of responding to inquiries!) in the past can still provoke an emotional reaction. Just gotta let go, not make phone calls or send e-mails (but maybe an occasional card for short time?), and continue living life. High school has come and gone.

That's how things seem to me. I'd like to think that I would handle things differently if I ever got married, and I think my sister the MD probably does a better job of keeping in touch with her friends.

I definitely need to break out of this rut, and the real solution is obvious. I was thinking though that I should have postponed coming back to California, though it is nice that the immediate family is somewhat in the area now. Attempting to sustain things from the past as a part of the transition isn't really working out, but that's as expected. There are days when I am tempted to just leave things behind and start anew. But how is that possible in this economy? Running off to become a hobbit isn't feasible at the moment; the more realistic dream is to drop everything, get a temporary job at Costco, and preparing for one of several alternate plans, so I can "get serious" about life. KK, when I say quitting I mean the 'big paper.'

Several hours after I started writing that complaint, I don't feel the need to post it on the blog, but I'll leave it as it is... The only antidote to excessive self-love and narcissism is growth in true charity.

Watcher is coming to town next week. Br. B will be back by the end of the month. I don't think escaping to the Dominicans is a solution. I should write back to CB this weekend... so in the area of friendship, things are not that bleak. I just need to redirect my attention towards those valuable friendships that remain and trying to meet new people.

It's a good thing someone hasn't been presumptuous enough to start writing messages with the fake airport code HVN (for Heaven, though it is the real airport code for New Haven).

As I wrote in an earlier post I've been thinking of shutting down the blog. At the very least I should take a break from it and focus on the 'big paper.' Sure, the blog serves its purpose as a diversion and a way of avoiding the painful. I'll try to wrap up some long unfinished posts soon. Maybe. We'll see if I can also reduce the posting of links.

I should install Arcsoft PhotoStudio to see if that is better than the Nero program. I will try to upload some more photos, but resizing is a chore.

Links:
History of the Iconostasis
Byzantine Icons: The Iconostasis
Iconostasis - OrthodoxWiki
The Iconostasis
Youtube: The Iconostasis

Cathedrals of California (no recent updates)
The New Liturgical Movement: The Order and Symbolism of the Iconostasis

Misc:
Home-Based Agrarian Enterprises & Garlic Powder Profits
LOTR Movies website


I think the resemblance of the two nieces is really noticeable here.

The US may be in bad shape

But fortunately, the United States is not like Canada. Most Canadians I've met tend to be adherents of PC liberalism, spouting their empty-minded nonsense about tolerance and embracing moral relativism, and claiming to be morally superior as a result. (Some Catholics are immune to this, but not all.) Moreover, multiculturalism continues to be the dominant ideology among the political and intellectual elites, and among inhabitants of certain cities and provinces. There is no real respect for European culture, or its particular Anglo form, as would be manifest by a public defense of it.

It is not difficult to see why critics of immigration are right in saying the elites of both countries have betrayed the people by further shredding the cultural matrix that holds the community together and gives it direction.

I can respect someone who follows his tradition out of humility more than the supposed liberal 'free-thinker' who is merely repeating what he has been indoctrinated in without realizing it. The latter denigrates the former as being a 'blind' follower, when very often the liberals are as blind, if not more so, since they do not question their assumptions or see the inconsistencies.

This is more evidence that certain laws need to be divinely revealed, even those that could be discovered by human reason alone. The plainly evident consequences of Original sin to those who believe--more on this if I finish the commentary on a post by Peter Hitchens.

It is incorrect to infer that someone who is ignorant of the Law has rejected God, but the pride that often accompanies the blindness does lead one to make those sort of generalizations.

It's also bizarre--the enforcers of PCness I've encountered online at a certain forum are often women [not a few of whom are Chinese women living in Canada], who inevitably attempt to end the discussion of the morality of actions by making assertions about the intolerance and closed-mindedness of their opponents, as if one must not only "tolerate" people or certain behaviors but differing opinions about behavior as well, by refusing to judge which opinions are correct and which are not. (In which case that assertion could be applied to them as well, since they are being intolerant of my supposed intolerance. But of course they 'feel' morally justified in doing so, because [only] they care about other people. So that's that. Charity or benevolence that tells people that what they are doing is wrong and cannot lead to happiness is just an impossibility for them.)

How often do people turn a discussion of human goods and the morality of actions into something personal, as if by saying x is wrong the exponent is simultaneously condemning those who hold to an opposite opinion or live at variance with this norm as being guilty of some vice. Unfortunately this sort of wrong-headed (fuzzy-wuzzy) sympathy (which leads to such fallacious reasoning) is very widespread, and usually our institutions of 'learning' have neither the skill nor the desire to counter it.

The knowledge of right and wrong has been replaced by a sentimentalism combined with liberal consequentialism. (Having a good intention justifies almost anything, and the only thing that is clearly wrong is physically injuring or killing someone else once he is born... or past a certain age... or possessing 'consciousness'... or... )

If non-Christians assimilate in such societies, it is more likely that they will adopt secular liberalism than the Christian tradition, no? The self-destruction of the West, indeed.

MacIntyre has much to say about emotivism and the contemporary impasse in the discussion of moral issues. Chapter 2 of MacIntyre's After Virtue is available online: Emotivism and Moral Disagreement (pdf)

An accompanying theological puzzle here.


Related links:
Fr. Stephen Torraco on Fundamental Option theory
JPII, Veritatis Splendor

80s flashback -- New Order

New Order - Blue Monday


New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fr. Hardon, The Blessed Virgin in the History of Christianity


(source; St. Catherine's Monastery)

The Blessed Virgin in the History of Christianity

@ flickr --
icons by A Whistling Train
NLM: Seattle Anniversary Dominican Solemn Mass (More Photos)

I like the Domincan shield on the vestments.
Looks like that training vid is back up, Sarge. I'd have to say the parts with the Little Birds (GS) are among the best...

Another performance of Cavatina for you.

Cavatina - Ana Vidovic
The Guardian: Google pipped - Apple the new king of Silicon Valley as market value overtakes hi-tech rival

via Drudge

Meanwhile, Google's once dazzling star has waned slightly as America's economic slowdown has eaten into online advertising and investors have wondered how the company can produce solid profits from expensive ventures such as the video-sharing website YouTube.
If the economy gets worse... Google will probably be in worse shape... then we will see that the impact of the Internet on the economy has been exaggerated?


It's been a while since I looked at that building carefully--I don't think it was always Apple, is it Apple now?
Paul Gottfried, The Twilight of National Sovereignty

What distinguishes the “liberal-democratic” or “social-democratic” regime from a nineteenth-century Western nation-state is the arrogant, intrusive role assumed by public administration, one that allows it to interfere in a wide range of social relations. In fact the authorized spokespersons for the democratic masses now everywhere in power in “the West” have set about reconstructing their subjects, revamping their families, redefining gender relations, and banishing “prejudice” from the minds and hearts of white male Christians. In the case of the European Union, “democratic” administrators have also set about transferring national sovereignty to supranational organizations, preferably as in the German case without permitting unenlightened national subjects to have any say about who exercises sovereignty over them. Public administrators and their judicial and media allies have also succeeded in de-Christianizing Western Europe, not only through their control of education but also by repopulating Europe with Muslims, many of whom are explicitly hostile to Western Christian civilization.


But couldn't it be said that the 19th-ce nation-state preserved the inherited moral order to some extend, and had no reason to interfere with social relations, or create new laws? These new laws are needed to supplant the new laws, in order to bring about a new sort of morality, which is 'better' at attaining some public good.

Democracy as indoctrination rather than as self-government has won the day throughout the West, and at this point one has reason to doubt whether this process is reversible, outside of small pockets of defiant ethnic minorities, for example in Flanders and Switzerland.
Cantores Minores/Maîtrise Cathédrale du Puy-en-Velay


Cantores Minores
BCSD - Cantores Minores
Cantores Minores Boys Choir(Finland) - Finlandia hymni

Waiting for the Big Foot conference

CNN.Com: Body proves Bigfoot no myth, hunters say

Whitton and Dyer plan to unveil what they say is DNA and photo evidence of the discovery in Palo Alto, California, in conjunction with a group called Searching for Bigfoot Inc.
Searching For Bigfoot - Special Announcement (regular homepage)
So Long, Farewell

The Really Useful Group presents "The Sound of Music" starring the winner of BBC2's How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? Connie Fisher


Edelweiss - 2006 London


Connie Fisher: Sound Of Music - Any Dream Will Do


Probably doesn't compare to Julie Andrews, live, but it's not as if I've actually heard Julie Andrews live.

Do Re Mi - 2006 London

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group

More nuggets from the nieces

My mother was feeling sleepy--niece #1 asked her to read a book while she was rather groggy. The result was predictable, but not my niece's response: "Po po wake up wake up i don't know what you are talking about." Hahaha.

Apparently niece #1 still thinks I sang ngoi goo gwai to her before putting her to bed. And she wants me to do it again. Then po po told her to say, "Kau kau come here."

My mother told her about the Feast of the Assumption. So on the phone niece #1, "Tomorrow Mamma Mary goes to heaven. You go to Mass!" Then she added, "I'm praying for you."

Niece #2 really likes armpits.

Niece #1 has an imaginary cousin -- they were playing with a stick, that "came from a tree" "high up there".

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary


CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Assumption of Mary
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

John Damascene: Three Sermons on the Dormition of the Virgin
The Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos

Orthodox perspectives:
FEAST OF THE DORMITION OF OUR MOST HOLY LADY, THE THEOTOKOS AND ...
St. Gregory Palamas: A Homily on the Dormition of Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary
The Dormition of the Theotokos
Dormition Monastery

Misc: Dormition Skete
杨过与小龙女 主题歌 愿能比翼飞


Never seen this movie adaptation of San Diu Hap Lui. Leslie!

DNI: 4GW manuals page

here

recently added: draft 4.3 of FMFM 1A, Fourth Generation Warfare, and FMFM 1-3A, A Tactical Handbook for Counterinsurgency and Police Operations

Macross models

Check out this one for the VF-25. Via Macross World Forums.

C.O. Blum, Why I am a Conservative

“Lying behind every choice we make is a choice between ourselves and God, and we should be possessed by a holy fear of choosing aright.”

2 from FPJ dealing with energy

The Energy Crisis
P. E. Hodgson - 08/15/08
The debate over energy has been going on for some time, but in recent months it has reached fever pitch. With war abroad and presidential campaigns at home, the consideration of each potential energy source—whether fossil fuel, hydro, or nuclear power—comes with a large package of political rhetoric attached. In this charged environment, the facts are often obscured. Here, physicist P. E. Hodgson offers a clear-sighted analysis of the sources, costs, and consequences of each of the major energy stores usable today, refreshingly free of rhetoric and strong on empirical evaluation

Last Things: Oil
James V. Schall, S.J. - 08/13/08

(Fr. Schall touches briefly upon peak oil.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

AR, Idols of the marketplace

John Michael Greer, The Archdruid Report
Among the most pervasive elements of the conventional wisdom these days is the conviction that any solution to peak oil will have to be found within the market economy as presently structured. It may be high time to revisit this assumption.

(original)

Melinda Epler, If we all lived sustainably, could we change the world?

Melinda Briana Epler, One Green Generation
The other day Andrew C. Revkin wrote, "Only direct experience seems to trigger change." By that he meant disasters, deaths, destruction, home loss, looming gas prices, ... imminent experiences that make you change your lifestyle right now because you have no other choice. I have no other way of saying this other than that really sucks. Let's prove him wrong. Let's change our lifestyles before things get awful. Now.

GL, Garden Farming: The Best Investment

Gene Logsdon, Organic To Be
Those of us who have sought security by producing our own food to eat and to sell locally instead of trying to find salvation in the pretend money that the government is pouring into the banks to save them, should count our blessings. That popping noise I think I hear issuing from the Chicago Board of Trade is the sound of grain bubbles bursting all over the trading floor.

(original)

Sharon Astyk, Thinking About Heating and Cooling Differently

Sharon Astyk, Casaubon's Book
Today’s posts will focus on heating and cooling and how to deal with these issues...I’m going to talk about strategies for both of these things - first of all, how not to die from heat or cold - how to live without any heating or cooling, even in very cold or hot places, and then also how to cool and heat your house using fewer fossil fuels, but before we go there, I want to talk about how we *think* about heating and cooling overall. Because that has at least as deep an effect on how we approach this as the actual method we use.

Carmelite Hermitage of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I believe MW and Fr. Daniel Mary and used to members of this community in Minnesota; they then left to found the new community, the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming. A photo from the latter:

Their website has been updated with a lot more pictures. Plus there is this explanation of their tonsure. Mystic Monk Coffee is still up and running.

The Carmelites in Minnesota have been approved as a community of Mt. Carmel (O. Carm., not OCD. Did this factor in the decision of them to leave? I know they were devoted to St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila). I don't know where the Wyoming Carmelites are in the process of being recognized.

While I am a fan of many of the Carmelite saints (especially all of the Teresas) and my mother seems to really appreciate them, I wouldn't consider myself as having a "Carmelite" spirituality. (I identified more with a Jesuit spirituality at one time, and a Benedictine one later.)

From Elijah Carmelite Book Service (icon by Arlene Tilighman):

Carmelite spirituality and the practice of mental prayer
Our Garden of Carmel
Discalced Carmelites: Charism and Spirituality
Carmelite Spirituality (from Salvation History)
Fr. Aumann, O.P. on St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross
Jordan Aumann OP: Ascetical Teaching of St. John of the Cross
Carmelite Spirituality
Lectio Divina and the Practice of Teresian Prayer, ICS
more links
Therese 2002 - The Carmelite Spirituality of St Therese
The Fundamental Elements of Carmelite Spirituality | Carmelites 2040
ICS Publications

More mention of the Lake Elmo Community:
Carmelite Hermit Communities
THE CARMELITE WEB SITE - O.Carm.

O. Carm. (Calced):
The Carmelite Web Site
Blessed Titus Brandsma, O.Carm.

OCD (Discalced):
Web oficial de la Casa General de los Carmelitas Descalzos, OCD
Welcome to Boston Carmel Monastery of Our Lady and St. Joseph
Byzantine Discalced Carmelites
Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Arlington, Texas
Mt. St. Joseph Carmelite Monastery (San Jose, CA)
NYT: Musharraf Is Expected to Resign in Next Few Days

If this is true, who will take over? Will things become more 'radicalized' in Pakistan? Let's see what the responses of both campaigns are if this comes to pass.
Sandro Magister: How to Conduct Politics as Catholics. The Denver Memorandum

A book by American archbishop Chaput is making a stir ahead of the presidential elections, against those who want to water down the faith or remove it from the public sphere. "L'Osservatore Romano" is the first to review it, and recommends that it be read "in the United States and elsewhere"

Sierra Hull vids

Sierra Hull in Fuchu!


Absence makes the heart grow fonder


Hot Pickin

80s flashback -- Simple Minds

Don't you Forget About Me


Alive and Kicking
Via Byzantine, Texas: Khouria Frederica Mathewes-Green talks to Eastern Catholics

Links:
Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute

Divine Liturgy History page

Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky : A pioneer of the sister churches
Andrei (Andrey) Sheptytsky
St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church | OSBMmartyrs
Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytskyi who was called “the apostle of ...
wiki

more photos

Photos: Funeral and burial of Alexander Solzhenitsyn


The body of Russian author and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn is lowered into the earth in Moscow on August 6, 2008 as relatives and close friends pay their last respects. Nobel Prize-winning Russian writer and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn was laid to rest in a historic Moscow monastery after an ornate church service attended by President Dmitry Medvedev. (AFP/Getty)

Russian honour guards carry the body of Russian author and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn out of a church in Moscow on August 6, 2008 during his funeral ceremonies. Solzhenitsyn shook the foundations of Soviet power with his haunting accounts of the forced labour camps. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970 and was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974. (AFP/Getty)

Russian honour guards carry the body of Russian author and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn out of a church in Moscow on August 6, 2008 during his funeral ceremonies. Nobel Prize-winning Russian writer and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn was laid to rest in a historic Moscow monastery on Wednesday after an ornate church service attended by President Dmitry Medvedev. (AFP/Getty)

Honor guards carry Alexander Solzhenitsyn's casket and a photograph of him, during his funeral at the cemetery of the Donskoy Monastery in Moscow, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2008. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Prize-winning author who exposed the horrors of Soviet slave labor camps, was buried Wednesday in a Russian Orthodox ceremony that included goose-stepping guards and the dirges of a religious choir. (AP Photo by YURI KOCHETKOV)

Russian Orthodox priests kiss the forehead of Russian author and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn in Moscow on August 6, 2008 during his funeral ceremonies. Nobel Prize-winning Russian writer and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn was laid to rest in a historic Moscow monastery on Wednesday after an ornate church service attended by President Dmitry Medvedev. (AFP/Getty)

Orthodox Archbishop Alexiy (2nd L) consoles Alexander Solzhenitsyn's widow Natalia (3rd L) as the writer's son Ignat (R), his grandchildren and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) look on during Solzhenitsyn's funeral ceremony in the Donskoi Monastery in Moscow August 6, 2008. Soviet-era dissident Solzhenitsyn was buried in a sixth century Moscow monastery on Wednesday in a grand ceremony attended by Russian President Medvedev. (Reuters)

A Russian Orthodox priest blesses the body of Russian author and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn in Moscow on August 6, 2008 with the attendence of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, far left, and Solzhenitsyn's extended family. Nobel Prize-winning Russian writer and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn was laid to rest in a historic Moscow monastery on Wednesday after an ornate church service attended by President Dmitry Medvedev. (AFP/Getty)

Alexander Solzhenitsyn lays in his casket, during his funeral at the Donskoy Monastery in Moscow, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2008. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Prize-winning author who exposed the horrors of Soviet slave labor camps, was buried Wednesday in a Russian Orthodox ceremony that included goose-stepping guards and the dirges of a religious choir. (AP Photo by YURI KOCHETKOV)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Alexander Solzhenitsyn's son Yermolai (R) take part in the funeral of the famous Russian author, Soviet dissident and Nobel literature prize winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn at Donskoy Monastery in Moscow, Russia on August 6, 2008. Solzhenitsyn died of heart failure late Sunday at the age of 89. (AFP/Getty)

The body of Russian author and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn is pictured on August 6, 2008 during his funeral in Moscow. Solzhenitsyn shook the foundations of Soviet power with his haunting accounts of the forced labour camps. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970 and was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974. (Getty)

MOSCOW - AUGUST 05: The body of Russian dissident writer and Nobel laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn lies in the Donskoy Monastery on August 05, 2008 in Moscow, Russia. Russia is mourning Solzhenitsyn, whose critical literature drew on his eight years in the Soviet Gulag prison system and provoked the totalitarian authorities to withdraw his citizenship, who died aged 89 on August 3, 2008. (Getty)



MOSCOW - AUGUST 05: The body of Russian dissident writer and Nobel laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn lies at the Donskoy Monastery on August 05, 2008 in Moscow, Russia. Russia is mourning Solzhenitsyn, whose critical literature drew on his eight years in the Soviet Gulag prison system and provoked the totalitarian authorities to withdraw his citizenship, who died aged 89 on August 3, 2008. (Getty)


Russian Orthodox priests bless the body of Russian writer and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn at a church in Moscow on August 5, 2008. Solzhenitsyn shook the foundations of Soviet power with his haunting accounts of the forced labour camps. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970 and was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974. (Getty)


A Russian Orthodox priest blesses the body of Russian writer and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn at a church in Moscow on August 5, 2008. Solzhenitsyn shook the foundations of Soviet power with his haunting accounts of the forced labour camps. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970 and was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974.


MOSCOW - AUGUST 05: The body of Russian dissident writer and Nobel laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn lies in the Donskoy Monastery on August 05, 2008 in Moscow, Russia. Russia is mourning Solzhenitsyn, whose critical literature drew on his eight years in the Soviet Gulag prison system and provoked the totalitarian authorities to withdraw his citizenship, who died aged 89 on August 3, 2008. (Getty)

Alexander Solzhenitsyn's widow Natalya, covers his face closing the late Nobel Prize winner and dissident's farewell ceremony, in Moscow on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008. Thousands of Russians braved pelting rain on Tuesday to pay tribute to Alexander Solzhenitsyn in a ceremony for the author, dissident and patriot that had all the trappings of an official laying in state. A military honor guard stood next to Solzhenitsyn's open casket, placed in a hall at the Russian Academy of Sciences, as mourners filed by and placed long-stemmed flowers at the foot of the bier. (AP Photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Director of the Russian-language YMCA-Press publishing house Nikita Struve, who was the first to publish Alexander Solzhenitsyn's works in the west, pays tribute to the late Nobel Prize winner and dissident during a farewell ceremony, in Moscow on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008, with Solzhenitsyn's family in the background. Shown from right, unidentified woman, widow Natalya, sons, Yermolai, Ignat, Stepan and undentified woman. (AP Photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The widow of writer and former Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Natalia, pays her respects at the coffin of her late husband in the Academy of Science in Moscow August 5, 2008. Russia paid tribute to former Soviet dissident Alexaner Solzhenitsyn on Tuesday with all the hallmarks of an official lying in state, while Muscovites lined up to honour the Nobel Laureate. (Reuters)

Alexander Solzhenitsyn's son Stepan and his grandchildren bid farewell at the coffin of the late writer and former Soviet dissident in the Academy of Science in Moscow August 5, 2008. Russia paid tribute to Solzhenitsyn on Tuesday with all the hallmarks of an official lying in state, while Muscovites lined up to honour the Nobel Laureate. (Reuters)

Grandchildren of Alexander Solzhenitsyn bid farewell at the coffin of the late writer and former Soviet dissident in the Academy of Science in Moscow August 5, 2008. Russia paid tribute to Solzhenitsyn on Tuesday with all the hallmarks of an official lying in state, while Muscovites lined up to honour the Nobel Laureate. (Reuters)

Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn lies in state during his wake in Moscow on August 5, 2008. Russians paid their last respects at a lying-in-state for Solzhenitsyn, a dissident writer who challenged the Soviet Union but was largely forgotten by a younger generation. Mostly elderly mourners filed past Solzhenitsyn's open coffin at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow laying flowers and crossing themselves before one of Russia's last literary legends, who died on Sunday aged 89. (AFP/Getty)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Please pray for the victims of this bus crash. (Vietnamese Catholics from Houston.) Via Maior autem his est caritas.

Robert Taft, S.J., Eastern Presuppositions and Western Liturgical Renewal

ROBERT TAFT SJ ON EASTERN AND WESTERN LITURGY (pdf)

Links:
Introduction to Medieval Christian Liturgy: II. 3 The Liturgy of the Hours
Benedictine Daily Prayer: A Short Breviary - Google Books Result
THE ORTHODOX CHURCH AND THE NEED FOR LITURGICAL REFORM
Eastern-Rite Catholicism: Its Heritage and Vocation
From Breviary to Liturgy of the Hours

Body of Lies trailer

Body of Lies trailer @ Yahoo! Movies

The way the trailer was cut, you might think the movie was done by Tony Scott, not Ridley.

Finally saw the trailer--it stars Leonardo di Caprio, doing his tough guy act that we've seen in The Departed and Blood Diamond. And Russell Crowe talks with... a Southern accent? Just wondering, what's the percentage of Southrons in Federal agencies as opposed to the military?
It may be hold the attention of Americans better than Syriana; will it be as critical of the policies of the National Government? How faithful is the movie to the novel? (EW review of the book.) Official movie website.

I still haven't seen American Gangster.


British film-maker Ridley Scott (L) is pictured during the filming of his movie "Body of Lies" 01 October 2007 in Rabat. Leonardo Di Caprio stars in "Body of Lies" as a former journalist injured in the Iraq war who is hired by the CIA to track down an Al Qaeda leader in Jordan. (AFP/Getty)