Saturday, September 20, 2008

Some Thoughts on the Right to Privacy

There is some discussion of libertarianism at the Crunchy Con blog, which refers to this essay by Joe Carter over at Culture11. John Schwenkler also comments.

It seems to me that libertarianism is a form of classical liberalism--how much does it diverge from it? Libertarianism provides limits on government, and some basis for those limits, epistemological (some sort of skepticism or agnosticism about the human good) and ethical (respect for freedom or rights). The question is whether that basis is legitimate and acceptable in itself, or if it is an unreasonable imposition.

I was thinking a little bit about the right to privacy tonight. Some have appealed to a supposed 'right to privacy' in order to strike down laws making certain behaviors illegal and so on. It seems to me that the permitting of some actions (or the imposition of certain restraints on law and government authority) can have a different and valid justification in law. For those who believe in a right to privacy, we should ask: Does the right to privacy rely upon a distinction between private and public spheres? Is it defined only by the rights it engenders, or the actions it protects or justifies? How is it distinguished from subsidiarity (or some other principle) or the protection of a proper individual autonomy (which again, can be defined through the possession of other rights)?

As for depriving one of liberty without due process--apparently this has been understood as being applicable to both punishment and legislation. (It would seem that the 14th Amendment originally written to cover both.) What sort of legal philosophy is underpinning the 14th Amendment?
NLM: Imminent Release of Dominus Est by Bishop Athanasius Schneider
Michael Shedlock: Weep For The United States of America

His reaction to the Text of Draft Proposal for Bailout Plan.

Photos: Chow Yun Fat


Hong Kong actor Chow Yun-fat gestures while discussing his first published photo collection during a launch ceremony at one of Louis Vuitton's Hong Kong outlets Wednesday, June 25, 2008. Proceeds from sales of the book will go to victims of the recent earthquake in China's central Sichuan province. Chow's book is published by Louis Vuitton and will be on sale in the luxury bag maker's Hong Kong and Paris stores. (AP/Vincent Yu)

Hong Kong actor Chow Yun-fat poses with his first published photo collection during a launch ceremony at one of Louis Vuitton's Hong Kong outlets Wednesday, June 25, 2008. Proceeds from sales of the book will go to victims of the recent earthquake in China's central Sichuan province. Chow's book is published by Louis Vuitton and will be on sale in the luxury bag maker's Hong Kong and Paris stores. (AP/Vincent Yu)

Hong Kong actor Chow Yun-fat and his wife Jasmine Chow pose with the actor's first published photo book during a launch ceremony at one of Louis Vuitton's Hong Kong outlets Wednesday, June 25, 2008. The luxury bags brand published the book. Proceeds will go to victims of the recent earthquake in China's central Sichuan province. (AP/Vincent Yu)


Hong Kong actor Chow Yun Fat (L), Chinese movie star Gong Li (C) and Hollywood star John Cusack pose for photographers during a news conference about their movie "Shanghai" in Bangkok August 2, 2008. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is moving production of the period film "Shanghai" from China to Thailand and the UK due to Chinese concerns over the script, entertainment Web site Variety reported. The story of an American spy who arrives in Shanghai during the winter of 1941 to discover his friend has been killed. Driven to investigate the murder, he is drawn into an ever increasing web of mystery, conspiracy and deceit. (Reuters)

Hong Kong actor Chow Yun Fat (L) and Chinese movie star Gong Li pose for photographers after a press conference about their movie "Shanghai" in Bangkok August 2, 2008. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is moving production of the period film "Shanghai" from China to Thailand and the UK due to Chinese concerns over the script, entertainment Web site Variety reported. The story of an American spy who arrives in Shanghai during the winter of 1941 to discover his friend has been killed. Driven to investigate the murder, he is drawn into an ever increasing web of mystery, conspiracy and deceit. (Reuters)


(Reuters)

Hong Kong actor Chow Yun Fat walks in movie studio during a promotional event for his movie "Shanghai" in Bangkok August 2, 2008. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is moving production of the period film "Shanghai" from China to Thailand and the UK due to Chinese concerns over the script, entertainment Web site Variety reported. The story of an American spy who arrives in Shanghai during the winter of 1941 to discover his friend has been killed. Driven to investigate the murder, he is drawn into an ever increasing web of mystery, conspiracy and deceit. (Reuters)

Hong Kong actor Chow Yun Fat stands in movie studio during a promotional event for his movie "Shanghai" in Bangkok August 2, 2008. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is moving production of the period film "Shanghai" from China to Thailand and the UK due to Chinese concerns over the script, entertainment Web site Variety reported. The story of an American spy who arrives in Shanghai during the winter of 1941 to discover his friend has been killed. Driven to investigate the murder, he is drawn into an ever increasing web of mystery, conspiracy and deceit.

Hong Kong movie star Chow Yun-Fat, left, and Chinese movie star Gong Li pose for photographers after a press conference about their movie " Shanghai" in Bangkok, Thailand, on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2008. (AP Photo by SAKCHAI LALIT)

Some more Gong Li photos:

LONDON - JUNE 17: Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi and Chinese actress Gong Li pose for a photograph to promote the upcoming release of the film Shanghai, currently filming in London, on June 17, 2008 in London, England. (Getty)

LONDON - JUNE 17: Chinese actress Rinko Kikuchi, American actor John Cusack and Chinese actress Gong Li pose for a photograph to promote the upcoming release of the film Shanghai, currently filming in London, on June 17, 2008 in London, England. (Getty)

(Getty)

(AFP/Getty)

(Getty)

(Getty)

Japanese actor Ken Watanabe (L), Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi (2nd L), Chinese actress Gong Li (C), US actor John Cusack (2nd R) and Chinese actor Chow Yun-fat pose for photographs during a photocall in London, on June 17, 2008. They are in London to film a movie entitled 'Shanghai' directed by Swedish Mikael Hafstrom.
Earl Scruggs And Lester Flatt - Cripple Creek


Ricky Skaggs Playing With Bill Monroe For The First Time

Friday, September 19, 2008

China Chow

Wow, blast from the past. She's in the pilot for Burn Notice. I never did see The Big Hit, with Marky Mark. She's been romantically linked this year to... Keanu Reeves!

Some photos:

Allure Toasts Patrick Demarchelier; El Museo del Barrio; and Oscar's L.A. Opening
China Chow.
Photo: Sherly Rabbani and Josephine Solimene

Designer Dinners for Gucci, Marchesa, and Celine
China Chow and her father, Michael Chow.
Photo: Donato Sardella

ACE Awards and Liz Goldwyn's Book Party
China Chow, left.
Photo: Patrick McMullan / Donato Sardella

Dolce & Gabbana Party and Vogue Living Book Signing
China Chow, in Oscar de la Renta, with Magda Berliner.
Photo: Patrick McMullan

More photos: here and here; imdb


LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 13: Actress China Chow attends the launch of Alexander McQueen's Flagship Boutique on May 13, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty)

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 06: Actress China Chow arrives at the screening of "The Party" at the Stella McCartney Boutique on May 6, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty)


BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 19: Actress China Chow attends the Prada Los Angeles screening of 'Trembled Blossoms' at Prada Beverly Hills Epicenter on March 19, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. (Getty)


LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 05: Actress China Chow attends an industry screening of the Warner Bros. feature "The Departed" at the Directors Guild of America on October 5, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)


LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 05: Actresses China Chow (L) and Samantha Mathis attend an industry screening of the Warner Bros. feature "The Departed" at the Directors Guild of America on October 5, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 30: Actress China Chow attends the launch party for "Pretty Things" by Liz Goldwyn, hosted by Judith Reganat at the Sunset Tower Hotel on October 30, 2006 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Marsaili McGrath/Getty Images)

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 30: Actress China Chow and Actor Georges Copeloussis attend the launch party for "Pretty Things" by Liz Goldwyn, hosted by Judith Reganat at the Sunset Tower Hotel on October 30, 2006 in West Hollywood, California.


LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 18: Socialite China Chow attends the decadestwo grand re-opening celebration on July 18, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.

England & Wales: Home Mission Sunday

Bringing Parishes to Evangelize

Sunday a Day of Prayer for Spread of Gospel

LONDON, SEPT. 19, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Parishes should become an evangelizing force, say the bishops of England and Wales, and they are providing tools to parishes so this challenge can be reached.

Part of the initiative is this Sunday's celebration of Home Mission Sunday, a day of prayer for the spread of the Gospel in England and Wales.

Bishop Malcolm McMahon, chair of the episcopal conference's Department for Evangelization and Catechesis, said that "as a Catholic Community, we need to be supported and equipped to enable us to be effective evangelizers."

To that end, every parish has been sent a DVD and regional evangelization training days will be offered from January to April, 2009. The DVD covers areas such as mission inside and outside the parish, to the youth, evangelization by serving the poor and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

"The hope is that this year every member of the Catholic community will grow in awareness that they have a job for life -- to evangelize -- which is both their duty but also a life-giving and freeing activity," said a statement from the organizers. "The Church teaches that the task of evangelization is not something which burdens but frees."

Peace

This Sunday is also the World Day of Prayer for Peace, an initiative instituted at the United Nations in 1981.

The resolution invites all member states, institutions, nongovernmental organizations and citizens to participate. The initiative is based in the United States, where some 140 congregations of various confessions have organized public prayer meetings. Nine other countries are uniting in a 24-hour uninterrupted prayer chain.

--- --- ---

On the Net:

Evangelization tools for parishes: www.caseresources.org.uk
CASE: Resources: Downloads :: Home Mission Sunday

Have the bishops of England and Wales addressed the sanctification of the laity, frequent reception of the sacraments, and the state of catechesis? One doesn't send out soldiers to the battlefield without giving them the proper training first. Book learning has its place, but it cannot replace the tools of sanctification.

Perhaps I am being too critical. But are not these the same bishops who have thrown up obstacles to Catholics attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and to Anglicans seeking to become Catholic? The Catholic Church in England (and Wales) is not in good shape, and one can gauge the health of a local church by the number of people frequenting the sacraments (not just Holy Communion) and of those who seek to convert. But this doesn't seem to be the way to prepare people to evangelize. The renewal of the spiritual life of individuals and of parish life needs to be the foundation of any 'successful' evangelization movement, for we seek not only to bring the message of salvation to others, but to live it better ourselves.
NLM: Singability and Sensibility: The Music of Kevin Allen
DNI: Maneuver Warfare Debate
Michael Shedlock: Congressional Leaders Stunned That Bernanke Finally Admits The Truth and US Taxpayer: A Giant Dumpster For Illiquid Assets

Jones cane soda and Burn Notice

I bought several cases of Jones pure cane soda in order to try it out and see if it tasted better than the typical American high fructose corn syrup soda, since Jones uses pure cane sugar. I'm trying the strawberry lime soda, and to be honest, it doesn't taste that much different from the Fanta strawberry soda [Coke product]. What's the food starch for? I haven't tried the root beer, and they don't offer cola. (Why is that?) Jones is usually more expensive than Coke or Pepsi products, so it's not clear to me that it's worth the extra expense.

It is the case that I don't feel as sick after drinking it--is that due to the cane sugar? Or something else? (I don't think there is much of a difference in the carbonation level.)

At any rate, I should be transitioning away from frequently drinking soda; the question is whether I should include Jones as a part of the transition or not. The idea of having a gourmet soda for special occasions still sounds a bit ridiculous. I just haven't gotten into beer-drinking yet...

The economics of producing canned or bottled soda (and its reasonableness) is shocking, if one thinks about it...

Related links:
From 2006: Jones Soda will switch to pure cane sugar
2007: Jones Soda Switches to Pure Cane Sugar | Serious Eats

Misc links:


Japanese Fanta Commericals Fantasubbed


YouTube - Fanta Advertisment

Burn Notice
While I am eating dinner, I am watching Burn Notice (wiki), as it is available on Hulu. It is one of xiao Jimmy's favorite shows, and Dr. Laura is a fan as well. The show apparently gets its name from the termination notice given to intelligence operatives (i.e. pink slip) when they are cut loose from their agency. The insider narrative that the main character Michael Westen (played by Jeffrey Donovan) offers during the show is part of its appeal. (He explains the tricks of the trade for operatives--spycraft.) For some reason Gabrielle Anwar looks better on this show than on The Tudors. She also has a slight Irish? accent in the pilot.



Bruce Campbell is also on the show.



The show is a bit old-school; it reminds me of Magnum P.I. and a bunch of syndicated cop/private eye shows (though Burn Notice is probably better than the latter). You don't see shows like that any more on TV, except for CBS. (If they do bring back Hawaii Five-o, it will be interesting to see what they do with it.) Shows on other networks tend to be made for the MTV audience--flashy camera shots and transitions, the use of computer animation, and so on. (And you do get some of that on CBS, too, with the various CSI series.) I admit that I would prefer to watch something like Robbery Homicide Division (because of Michael Mann), but Burn Notice is good fare for a couch potato. Not that I'm recommending TV-watching.

Note: A lot of the episodes @ Hulu expire in 5 days.

Lost in Austen, Episode 3

Will Lost in Austen prove to be more than a fanfic that doesn't understand Austen? After watching the third episode I do not expect much from the last. While Amanda may not be a Mary Sue character exactly, that she should be appealing to almost every male character (and not just the men!) does seem to be some sort of wish-fulfillment, either for the author, or intended for the audience. Cultivation of manners doesn't matter--what is important is authenticity, genuine feeling and spontaneity.

And instead of remaining faithful to the novel and its characters, the fanfic takes an unexpected turn--Georgiana reveals that she was not the object of Wickham's attempted seduction. Rather, her nurse was obssessed with Wickham and used Georgiana as an excuse to travel (and thereby find him). Not only did Georgiana fall in love with him, but she threw herself at him. Is this for the benefit of a modern audience, an attempt to get the audience to sympathize with both Wickham and with Georgiana? How many woman can identify with Georgiana's actions, without recognizing its imprudence (or even foolishness)? Wickham wasn't interested because she was just a 'child.' Then Georgiana lies to her brother and claimed that Wickham ravished her. (Would not the consequences to Wickham have been more severe in that case?)

Enough spoilers... I'll add that I don't think Bingley's actions are characteristic of Bingley from the novel. More Romantic excess. And Darcy whining about his life and concealing his true self and past. Bah. Melodramatic sap and the plain confessions of love; this is characteristic of romance novels [i.e. women's porn] than of Austen--those who go to such excess are criticized by Austen, not praised for 'being themselves' and showing their feelings. (And the not unexpected background music during those scenes is just grating.)

And it's Elizabeth who misjudges, not Darcy--judging people poorly is not his weakness. Amanda telling him that he's judged everyone wrongly may be demanded for the sake of drama, and it does fit the plot up to this point; can one say that this has degenerated from being a respectful fanfic (if it was ever that), to one with a grudge?

Some photos of the miniseries:

Jemima Rooper, Gemma Arterton

Gemma Arterton (as Elizabeth)

Perdita Weeks (as Lydia)

Morven Christie, Ruby Bentall, Florence Hoath, Perdita Weeks
(If you've seen P&P 95 you can guess which sisters the middle two play.)

Unfortunately there are no photos of Georgiana. But I did find this:

Apparently she was in one of the Harry Potter movies. A fansite. Some photos @ an Emma Watson fansite.

UK Pop Sugar has some stills. AustenProse on episode 2.

Jemima Rooper: Lost in Austen: finally, I get a straight leading role

Dan's Media Digest:
LOST IN AUSTEN: Part 1 of 4
LOST IN AUSTEN: Part 2 of 4
LOST IN AUSTEN: Part 3 of 4
NOR: An Interview With a Carmelite

One of the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming


More Kim Ha Neul Sweet September clips

Kim Ha Neul & Daniel Henney Sweet September Elle 03


Kim Ha Neul & Daniel Henney Sweet September Elle 04


Kim Ha Neul & Daniel Henney Sweet September Elle 05
Rhonda Vincent on Blue Chip Picks


ad for Blue Chip Pick

Rhonda Vincent-I'm not over you-2 Versions.
Himalayan Imports--hand-forged khukuris

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Via Fr. Finigan: Fr. Selvester, A Coat of Arms for Priests

More on cob houses

Via EB:

Mud, glorious mud: Homes made of earth
Graham Norwood, The Independent

If you look at the pictures, you may not be convinced of the sturdiness of cob houses. From the article:
"There's nothing more sustainable than cob. It's natural, it hasn't been processed and it's produced on-site," says Adam Weissman, one half of the team behind Cob in Cornwall, a Helston-based building firm. He and his wife, Katy Bryce, have built cob homes and extensions, but more than half of his work is repairing and maintaining period houses in the South-west.

"Most are between 200 and 400 years old so that's highly sustainable in itself," says Adam. "If there are problems, they tend to date from the Sixties and Seventies, when owners put cement render on walls. Some haven't looked after roofs and that has allowed water to seep in."

So they can last a long time, under certain climate and environmental conditions--but my question remains: would cob pass earthquake regulations? Brick doesn't.


Hobbit house saved from demolition as winds of change blow in pioneer’s favour
Simon de Bruxelles, The Times

Plus, KunstlerCast: Twilight of the Mall Era - Part 1.
(mp3)

Related links:
Warrens Farm Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast Accommodation

Cob House Pictures

History of Cob Building



Cobworks gallery


Cob Cottage Company: Cob house, Heartwood, California, 1995.

Where is Heartwood???