Should you want to go further, there is Hudson Strode’s biography and the memoir by Varina Howell (Mrs. Jefferson) Davis. Other treatments are not entirely bad but less satisfactory. I challenge anyone to read our President’s farewell to the Senate in 1861 and his first and second inaugural addreses, lay them beside Lincoln’s duplicitous folderol, and not see who was the better man.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
John (Cavil) complains that his knowledge is limited by his human body, and that as a machine, he is entitled to have a more complete and better knowledge of the universe. But what he describes is not angelic knowledge; rather it is a greater perception of accidents--being able to see more of the EM spectrum, to smell dark matter, and so on. Not the knowledge of essences.
In her defense and defense of the others of the Final Five, Ellen tells Sharon Valeri that there is no need for remorse or blame. She explains to Boomer what they had given to the 8 models: "We didn't limit you. We gave you something wonderful: free will. The ability to think creatively, to reach out to others with compassion, to love."
Sharon responds: "Love? Who? Humans? Why would I want to do that? Who would I want to love?"
So machines can have intellectual knowledge, but not intellectual appetite? We shouldn't be surprised that the materialistic assumptions of BSG run counter to reality...
Living Tradition: Saints Cyril and Methodius: Icons of East-West Christian Unity by Brian W. Harrison
Their feast day on the current Roman-rite calendar is February 14.
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Sts. Cyril and Methodius
Cyril and Methodius - OrthodoxWiki
Cyril and Methodius, Missionaries to the Slavs
Cyril and Methodius, Apostles of the Slavs
Women for Faith and Family
S.S. Cyril & Methodius Ukrainian Catholic Church
Saints Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Church
Saints Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Church
Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius
SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary
SS. Cyril & Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary
SS. Cyril & Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary
Friday, February 13, 2009
Madness or paranoia? Or are the powers that be predicting something serious will happen based on the information that they have? The recent entries at the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel have been deleted. I tend to distrust conspiracy theories that have been made public--I figure if elites are conspiring they are able to do so without revealing too much. It's probably too late for many states to put up any sort of armed resistance to the National Government doing what it wants to do, if a series of disasters cripples the country.
Zippy Catholic, I Told You So
high-res version; official website: Eat The Suburbs!
Some other entries of interest:
The Perils of an Economy Based on Bricks and Boutiques. Colin Hines speaks in Totnes.
Google Books -- Localization: A Global Manifesto
Film Review: “Establishing a Food Forest (the Permaculture Way series)
More on Geoff Lawton:
Permaculture Reflections: The Geoff Lawton Interview.
Permaculture Research Institute of Australia
Greening the Desert
Greening the Desert
YouTube - Behind Greening the Desert
Welcome to Greening the Desert™
Permaculture Research Institute of Australia » Greening the Desert
Geoff Lawton - We Are The Weeds
David Irving Archive
David Irving: Britain's Holocaust "revisionist"
Holocaust Denial on Trial
Jebediah Reed, The Infrastructurist
Thursday, February 12, 2009
In the United States, thoroughly Lockean country that it is, any such conservative theory is going to have a very difficult time finding some way of thinking that will allow it to address liberalism and modernity on a conceptually equal level; without that, all you have is a pleasantly angry dissidence (or, again, an outright or at least quasi-religious faith in a remnant out there).
Does the South not have as its resource the Southern political tradition? If only it would return vigorously to it, in its selection of legislators.
The Lily Allen song "The Fear" is not bad pop... and Fred Reed is retiring his regular column. That's too bad, even though I wasn't a regular reader.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
We can identify some ancient and medieval thinkers as conservative, e.g., Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, but they did not think of themselves as conservative: they applied no word to their views that could be translated by “conservative.” That word was first applied, by his disciples, to Edmund Burke’s reaction to the radicalism of the French Revolution. Burke’s reaction might be explained by the views and attitudes he expressed in writings, and in political speeches and actions, prior to his Reflections on the Revolution in France. But it is the latter that showed those to be conservative. Beliefs are identifiably conservative only as they are opposed or opposable to radicalism. And radicalism can be traced back only so far: to Rousseau or, I would say, to Descartes, or, some would say, to William of Ockham. If we identify Aristotle’s or St. Thomas’s ideas as conservative, it is because they can be used to justify those sentiments which radicalism outrages.Dr. Barry Alan Shain, Varieties of Conservatism (from Modern Age 44:1, Winter 2002)
Conservatism, however, demands more than a deep respect for a people’s inherited ways. It also rests on a philosophical rejection of the hubris readily associated with the last years of the Enlightenment. Conservatism reflects a pervasive humility concerning the ability of unaided reason to understand the moral universe and to create appropriate social structures. At its essence, conservatism is shaped by an epistemic stance that embraces traditionalism, not out of a dogmatic love of the past, but out of a radical uncertainty concerning man’s ability to understand complex social systems. As Edmund Burke noted, “it is with infinite caution that any man ought to venture upon pulling down an edifice which has answered in any tolerable degree for ages the common purposes of society, or on building it up again without having models and patterns of approved utility before his eyes.” And, clearly, almost all conservatives accept this moderate skepticism as an essential element of philosophical conservatism.
Of course, there are other essential elements which most conservatives would identify as part of the core holdings of conservatism. They include communalism, localism, familism, a recognition of human depravity, and foundational religiosity. As Russell Kirk observed, “the family, religious association, and local community—these, the conservatives insisted, cannot be regarded as the external products of man’s thought and behavior; they are essentially prior to the individual and are the indispensable supports of belief and conduct.” And each of these elements can be readily understood as a reflection of the epistemic humility and the distrust of abstract reason at the core of philosophical conservatism. For conservatives, then, most men in order to flourish need others in close proximity to help shape their moral and political environments. Almost all of us, alone, are too weak, selfish, and benighted to live well without the close cooperation of others. Aristotle knew as much. The Christianity that undergirds the moral anthropology of American conservatism teaches the same.
Between obedience to the pope and to the communist party, some bishops are choosing the latter. The most stunning about-face has taken place in the capital. A secret letter from Cardinal Bertone. The alarm of Cardinal Zen
Andrew Bacevich, What Conservatism Should Look Like
Patrick Deneen, Against Authoritarianism, Rightly Understood
Daniel McCarthy informs us that there are responses over at The University Bookman.
Edit. Daniel Larison comments on the Bacevich-Linker-Deneen discussion: Authority.
RB: Yeah, I gather. So, three years ago you published The Long Emergency. I was surprised it didn’t get much attention at the time; I don’t know what’s happened subsequently.
JHK: Man, it wasn’t reviewed anywhere! I got about two columns at the end of another review in the Washington Post. None of the other major newspapers paid attention to it at all. The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the San Francisco papers—they all totally ignored it. I don’t know why.
RB: Did they think you were a crackpot?
JHK: Well, I think that because the subject matter is so terrifying there’s a tendency to put me and what I’m saying in a crackpot folder. But, look, since I published that, the price of oil has tripled, the economy is tanking, the housing bubble imploded exactly the way I described it imploding three years ago. The truth of the matter is: We’re not going to run Walt Disney World, Wal-Mart, and the interstate highway system on any combination of wind, solar, nuclear, bio-diesel, ethanol, or used French-fried potato oil. Or dark matter.
JHK: Or any other combination of anything you can imagine. But the wish to continue doing that is tremendous. The main symptom of where our heads are at collectively and the failure of collective imagination in this country can be seen in the fact that the only conversation that’s going on about this all over the country is: how are we going to run the cars on some other kind of fuel. That’s all anyone wants to talk about. And it’s not just the stupid people and its not just the NASCAR people, it’s the policy wonks and the environmentalists. The conversation is the same, and it is a huge fantasy, because that’s not going to happen. We have to really, comprehensively make other arrangements for daily life in this country—and [yet] we can’t think about it. And there’s a reason we can’t think about it: It’s called “the psychology of previous investment.” And what it means is that we put so much of our national treasure and invested so much of our identity in all the infrastructure of daily living and happy motoring that we can’t imagine letting go of it. We can’t even imagine reforming it.
Papal Address to Tribunal of the Roman Rota
"The Truth About Marriage and About Its Intrinsic Juridical Nature"
VATICAN CITY, FEB. 10, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is a Vatican translation of the address Benedict XVI gave Jan. 29 to the Tribunal of the Roman Rota on the occasion of the inauguration of the judicial year.
* * *
Distinguished Judges, Officials and Collaborators of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota,
The solemn inauguration of the judiciary activity of your Tribunal offers me again this year the joy of receiving you its distinguished members: Monsignor Dean, who I thank for the noble opening address, the College of Prelate Auditors, the Officials of the Tribunal and the Advocates of the Studio Rotale. I address to all of you my cordial greeting, together with the expression of my appreciation for the important task to which you attend as faithful collaborators of the Pope and of the Holy See.
You are expecting the Pope, at the beginning of your working year, to say a word of light and guidance on carrying out your delicate duties. We could dwell upon many topics in this circumstance, but at the distance of 20 years from the Addresses of John Paul ii on psychiatry's incapacity in the nullification of matrimony, of 5 February 1987 (Address to the Roman Rota, L'Osservatore Romano English edition [ORE], 23 February 1987, p. 6), and of 25 January 1988 (ORE, 15 February 1988, n. 7, p. 7), it seems opportune to ask oneself whether and to what extent these interventions have had an adequate reception in the ecclesiastical tribunals.
This is not the moment to draw up the balance sheet, but the fact of a problem that continues to be very real is visible to everyone. In some cases one can, unfortunately, still sense the pressing need of which my venerable Predecessor spoke: that of preserving the ecclesial community "from the scandal of seeing in practice the value of Christian marriage being destroyed by the exaggerated and almost automatic multiplication of declarations of nullity, in cases of the failure of marriage, on the pretext of some immaturity or psychic weakness on the part of the contracting parties" (Address to the Roman Rota, n. 9, 5 February 1987, ORE, 23 February 1987, p. 7).
At our meeting today I am intent on recalling the attention of lawyers to the need to treat the cases with the due depth required by the ministry of truth and charity that is proper to the Roman Rota. To the need for a rigorous procedure, in fact, the above mentioned Addresses, on the basis of Christian anthropological principles, furnish the basic criteria, not only for the close examination of psychiatric and psychological evidence, but also for the judicial definition of the causes.
In this regard it is opportune to recall again some distinctions that draw the demarcation line above all between "psychic maturity which is seen as the goal of human development" and "canonical maturity which instead, is the basic minimum required for establishing the validity of marriage" (ibid., n. 6, p. 7). Secondly, the distinction between incapacity and difficulty insofar as "only incapacity and not difficulty in giving consent and in realizing a true community of life and love invalidates a marriage" (ibid., n. 7). Thirdly, the distinction between the canonistic dimension of normality, that is inspired by an integral vision of the human person "also includes moderate forms of psychological difficulty", and the clinical dimension that excludes from the concept of it every limitation of maturity and "every form of psychic illness" (Address to the Roman Rota, n. 5, 25 January 1988, ORE, 15 February 1988, p. 6). And lastly, the distinction between the "minimum capacity sufficient for valid consent" and the idealized capacity "of full maturity in relation to happy married life" (ibid., p. 7).
I then attest to the involvement of the faculties of the intellect and the will in the formation of matrimonial consent, Pope John Paul II, in the above mentioned Address of 5 February 1987, reaffirmed the principle according to which a true incapacity "is to be considered only when an anomaly of a serious nature is present which, however it may be defined, must substantially vitiate the capacity to understand and/or to consent" (Address to the Roman Rota, n. 7, ORE, 23 February 1987, p. 7).
In this regard it seems opportune to recall that the Code of Canon Law's norm concerning mental incapacity, and the application thereof, was further enriched and integrated by the recent Instruction "Dignitas connubii" of 25 January 2005. In fact, in order for this incapacity to be recognized, there must be a particular mental anomaly (art. 209 1) that seriously disturbs the use of reason (art. 209 2, n. 1; can. 1095, n. 1), at the time of the celebration of marriage and the use of reason or the critical and elective faculty in regard to grave decisions, particularly in freely choosing a state of life (art. 209 2, n. 2; can. 1095, n. 2) or that puts the contracting party not only under a serious difficulty but even the impossibility of sustaining the actions inherent in the obligations of marriage (art. 209 2, n. 3; can. 1095, n. 3).
However, on this occasion, I would also like to reconsider the theme of the incapacity to contract marriage, of which canon 1095 speaks, in the light of the relationship between human persons and marriage and recalling some fundamental principles that must enlighten lawyers.
First of all it is necessary to rediscover the positive capacity that in principle every human person has to marry by virtue of his very nature as man or woman. Indeed, we run the risk of falling into a form of anthropological pessimism which, in the light of the cultural situation today, considers marriage as almost impossible. Besides the fact that such a situation is not uniform in the various regions of the world, one cannot confuse the real difficulties confronting many, especially young people who conclude that marital union is normally unthinkable and impracticable with the true incapacity of consent. Rather, reaffirming the innate human capacity for marriage is precisely the starting point for helping couples discover the natural reality of marriage and the importance it has for salvation. What is actually at stake is the truth about marriage and about its intrinsic juridical nature (cf. Benedict XVI, Address to the Roman Rota, 27 January 2007), which is an indispensable premise if people are to understand and evaluate the capacity required to wed.
In this sense the capacity must be associated with the essential significance of marriage, that is "the intimate partnership of life and the love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws" (Second Ecumenical Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution, Gaudium et spes, n. 48), and, in a particular way, with the essential obligations inherent to it, that must be assumed by the couple (can. 1095, n. 3).
This capacity is not measured in relation to a determined level of existential or effective realization of the conjugal union through the fulfillment of the essential obligations, but in relation to the effective will of each one of the partners, who makes possible and operative this realization already at the moment of contracting marriage.
The issue of the capacity or incapacity, therefore, has sense in the measure in which it regards the very act of the marriage contract, since the bond put in act by the will of the spouses constitutes the juridical act of a lofty biblical interpretation of "one flesh" (Gn 2: 24; Mk 10: 8; Eph 5: 31; cf. can. 1061 1), whose valid subsistence does not depend on the successive behavior of the couple during their married life.
On the other hand, in the reductionist optic that fails to recognize the truth on matrimony, the effective relationship of a true communion of life and love, idealized on a level of pure human well-being, essentially becomes dependent only on accidental factors, and not, instead, on the exercise of human freedom sustained by grace.
It is true that this freedom of human nature, "wounded in the natural powers" and "inclined to sin" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 405), is limited and imperfect, but not for this reason does it become inauthentic and insufficient to accomplish that act of self-determination of the parties who form the conjugal pact, that give life to matrimony and to the family founded on it.
Obviously some anthropological and "humanistic" currents aimed at self-realization and egocentric self-transcendence idealize human beings and marriage to such an extent that they then deny the mental capacity of many people, basing this on elements that do not correspond to the essential requirements of the conjugal bond.
Faced with this concept, canon law experts cannot fail to take into account the healthy realism that my venerable Predecessor indicated (cf. John Paul ii, Address to the Roman Curia, 27 January 1997, n. 4, ORE, n. 6 5 February 1997, p. 3), because the capacity makes reference to a basic minimum so that the couple can give their being as a male or as a female to establish that bond to which the great majority of human beings are called.
It follows, in principle, that the causes of nullity through mental incapacity require the judge to employ the services of experts to ascertain the existence of a real incapacity (can. 1680; art. 203 1, DC), that is always an exception to the natural principle of the capacity necessary to understand, decide and accomplish the giving of self upon which the conjugal bond is founded.
This is what, venerable members of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, I wished to set forth on this solemn occasion, that is always a pleasant circumstance for me. In exhorting you to persevere with a lofty Christian conscience in the exercise of your office, whose great importance for the life of the Church emerges also from the things just said. May the Lord accompany you always in your delicate work with the light of his grace, to which the Apostolic Blessing that I impart to each one with deep affection is a pledge.
© Copyright 2009 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Four great jojoka (叙情歌・lyrical ballads), which are not enka, are sung by three great enka artists. Interesting to see how these singers looked some 20 years ago.
1. Shiretoko Ryojo - Ishikawa Sayuri (about 30 years old in 1988)
2. Aobajo Koiuta - Sakamoto Fuyumi (about 20)
3. Biwako Shuko no Uta - Sagawa Eiko (about 40)
4. Onna Hitori - Ishikawa Sayuri
Sagawa Eiko sings Biwako Shuko no Uta in somewhat enka style.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
"Stonewall" extols the positive effects of the English Civil War: Commemorating Republicanism.
I am not that familiar with the English Civil War, and who can untangle the truths, assign rights and wrongs, and figure out which side had "God's support"? Just because one does not endorse the supposed "divine right of kings" or divine absolutism does not mean that one must support the Parliamentarians or Cromwell or their claims.
How important was the English Civil War to the development of a written constitution or a 'constitutional' order in England? Can we really classify post-Stuart England (or the United Kingdom as a whole) as a republic? Was it another step in the creation of Great Britain as a modern nation-state, with all that it involves, centralization of political and economic power, and so on? How dependent upon the English Civil War is the historical narrative of the English political tradition and its promotion of political liberty? Was the Parliament really of the people at that time? Or was it merely serving its own interest and making its own disordered power play?
Moreover, if we accept that American culture is predominantly an Anglo-Celtic-(Latin?) heritage, we may still ask what the place of Protestantism is in that culture. Is it central to the American identity? What of the influence of Catholicism? What do we do with competing Christian traditions and bodies? If American culture is tied essentially to Protestantism, can one be Catholic and American?
The same question could be asked by English Catholics, after the rupture that was caused by Henry VIII and his Protestant successors. "Which [culture] do we appropriate as our own? Which history do we accept?" Both Catholics and Monarchists probably have a different view of Cromwell. (I'll have to look for a copy of Belloc's biography of Cromwell, and read his evaluation.) Certainly, the have a different opinion of the so-called Glorious Revolution and of William of Orange. (Are there any Jacobites who aren't Catholic?)
Is there a separate American culture rooted in Catholicism? Can this be reconciled with the old republican tradition? Which is the true Anglo-American culture? It seems to me that rather than there being just one Anglo-American culture, there are many versions of Anglo-American culture. [Otherwise, we would be reifying or substantializing something that is actually an accident, rather than a substance.] Of course, peoples can be separated not only be familial descent and ties, but also by their cultures (or by the cultural identity they adopt). We pick our sides in conflicts and our heroes.
(How many American Loyalists are there left in the United States, who aren't a bit eccentric?)
Catholicism does not oppose republicanism in itself, though it may be opposed to certain ideologies justifying it. (And the case that we no longer live in a federation of sovereign states needs to be made over and over again, so they can understand the continuing political crisis.) One can be a American Catholic, so long as what is understood to be proper to American culture is not Americanism, or the ideology of the proposition nation, or some other false system. Still, how many differences can be tolerated before unity of culture is broken? Paleos are fighting a losing battle, as more and more 'citizens' assimilate the new ideology and equate it with what it means to be American, while remaining ignorant of, or rejecting traditional American culture.
This underscores the difficulty of maintaining a single identity in a polity that is too big, and seems to me to recommend that secession is the only peaceful option in the long run. Peaceful, in the sense that we should agree to part with those who disagree with us about the important political questions peaceably and to leave them alone. Whether the National Government would permit this to happen, or if it would once again prevent it through the unjust application of military force...
To Kill a King received mostly negative reviews--that's too bad. I suppose I will have to just watch BBC documentaries instead. There was one series focusing on great battles, I believe--one episode was on Culloden, and another on the English Civil War. I believe the following is from a different documentary:
Oliver Cromwell and the English Civil War - 1/4
Oliver Cromwell and the English Civil War - 2/4
Oliver Cromwell and the English Civil War - 3/4
Oliver Cromwell and the English Civil War - 4/4
English Civil War
The English Civil War: Papists, Gentlewomen, Soldiers and Witchfinders in the Birth of Modern Britain
The English Civil War: The Essential Readings
BBC/OU Open2.net - Civil War
English Civil War main page
English Civil War: Battle of Marston Moor » HistoryNet
The Oliver Cromwell website
Google Books: Peter Gaunt, Oliver Cromwell
Modern History Sourcebook: Thomas Macauley: On Oliver Cromwell
A Little History of Ireland - The Curse of Cromwell
House of Stuart (wiki)
The House of Stuart
House of Stuart - Genealogy
Jacobitism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Jacobite Heritage
Loyalist (American Revolution)
Loyalist Institute Home Page
The American Loyalists: Or, Biographical Sketches of Adherents to the British Crown in the War of the Revolution
DAVID LIBRARY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION (doc)
Loyalist Songs and Poetry
Osprey Publishing - American Loyalist Troops 1775–84
The War of American Independence
The American Conservative -- Why Belloc Still Matters
Begun on January 31.
Woo working within the Hollywood system - PART 2/3
John Woo sets sights on civil war drama - PART 3/3
Gene Logsdon, Dave Smith, OrganicToBe.org
The chief “product” of his business is mammoth jacks, but they are not the only animals he raises and sells. As we walk over the 180 acres, my astonishment grows. I have been on thousands of farms from the East Coast to the West, and never before have I seen such a variety or number of animals grazing per acre: not only the eighty head of mammoth jack stock, but about a dozen draft horses, a couple of lighter harness horses, a few dairy cows and calves, a bunch of fattening steers, a flock of sheep, a barnlot full of hogs, a barnyard full of turkeys, peacocks, ducks, geese, guineas, dogs, cats, and a genetic explosion of all kinds of chickens...Jack Siemon’s farm is a celebration of the earth’s vital forces.
1. Does the President have a greater obligation to her country than to her spouse? Does she have a greater obligation to strangers in another country? If as President she can act to save her spouse, should she do so? Or is there a division of roles here--she cannot permit herself as a private citizen to make use of the tools that are available to the President?
President Taylor says that she cannot ask the American people to make sacrifices that she herself cannot make. And she is not the one who would be killing her husband, but she would be allowing her husband die (in a way that does admit of active efforts to find him and preventing this from happening). Is the First Gentleman no different from any other American citizen though?
2. Are those who are liberated obligated out of justice to do something for those who died to liberate them? Or for the liberating country as a whole? And if they didn't ask to be liberated? Who can legitimately represent the people if the country is being ruled by a tyrant, and speak for their desire to be liberated?
How to predict a financial crisis and the five signs of a bear, with Nouriel Roubini, RGE Monitor and Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan author.
(via the Crunchy Con)
[Roubini thinks that ultimately globalization will be a net positive for everyone. Hm.]
The second part of their appearance.
Monday, February 09, 2009
Professor Gottfried takes on the lefties. Unfortunately, he gets the reason for the excommunications wrong:
Church authorities, however, are authorized to excommunicate those who reject church discipline or who openly deny some basic doctrine. Still and all, in the past century or so, the Vatican has not been kicking out confessing Catholics very often. What happened to Lefebvre and his followers was not a common occurrence. It was directed against those ultra-traditionalists who resisted the changes introduced by Vatican Two. Lefebvre and his followers repudiated the Church’s teachings, as proclaimed through Vatican Two, about the uses of vernacular liturgy and about certain alterations in the priest’s role in the Eucharist.
American Papist: Maciel Meltdown: weekend recap & latest, which includes a link to his post, Legionary Priests on EWTN - Feb 6th, 2008 (video in 4 parts).
Download the audio (mp3) for that episode of The World Over.
There is also this post, which links to some reflection by canon lawyers Ed Peters and Pete Vere: Analysis: How do Maciel and the Legionary charism relate?
The unemployment rate reported in the US media is a fabrication. Williams reports that in changes since 1980, particularly in the Clinton era, "‘discouraged workers’ those who had given up looking for a job because there were no jobs to be had--were redefined so as to be counted only if they had been ‘discouraged’ for less than a year. This time qualification defined away the bulk of the discouraged workers. Adding them back into the total unemployed, actual unemployment, [according to the unemployment rate methodology used in 1980] rose to 18% in January, from 17.5% in December.”
In other words, without all the manipulations of the data, the US unemployment rate is already at depression levels.
How could it be otherwise given the enormous job loss from offshored jobs. It is impossible for a country to create jobs when its corporations are moving production for the American consumer market offshore. When they move the production offshore, they shift US GDP to other countries. The US trade deficit over the past decade has reduced US GDP by $1.5 trillion dollars. That is a lot of jobs.
I have been reporting for years that university graduates have had to take jobs as waitresses and bartenders. As over-indebted consumers lose their jobs, they will visit restaurants and bars less frequently. Consequently, those with university degrees will not even have jobs waiting on tables and mixing drinks.
US policymakers have ignored the fact that consumer demand in the 21st century has been driven, not by increases in real income, but by increased consumer indebtedness. This fact makes it pointless to try to stimulate the economy by bailing out banks so that they can lend more to consumers. The American consumers have no more capacity to borrow.
With the decline in the values of their principal assets--their homes--with the destruction of half of their pension assets, and with joblessness facing them, Americans cannot and will not spend.
Why bail out GM and Citibank when the firms are moving as many operations offshore as they possibly can?
Much of US infrastructure is in poor shape and needs renewing. However, infrastructure jobs do not produce goods and services that can be sold abroad. The massive commitment to infrastructure does nothing to help the US reduce its huge trade deficit, the financing of which is becoming a major problem. Moreover, when the infrastructure projects are completed, so are the jobs.
See also Fr. Boyd's Mondragon: A Distributist Beacon of Hope for a Troubled World. (And Paleocrat's Distributism is Dying...)
::: MONDRAGON :::
Mondragon: A better way to go to work?
The attempt to restart "consumerism" will be equally disappointing. It was a manifestation of the short peak energy decades of history, and now that we're past peak energy, it's over. That seventy percent of the economy is over, especially the part that allowed people to buy stuff with no money. From now on people will have to buy stuff with money they earn and save, and they will be buying a lot less stuff. For a while, a lot of stuff will circulate through the yard sales and Craigslist, and some resourceful people will get busy fixing broken stuff that still has value. But the other infrastructure of shopping is toast, especially the malls, the strip malls, the real estate investment trusts that own it all, many of the banks that lent money to the REITs, the chain-stores and chain eateries, of course, and, alas, the non-chain mom-and-pop boutiques in these highway-oriented venues.
Jan Lundberg, Downward Spiral's Silver Lining: End of Lonely Plastic Culture (via EB)
Troy MacGillivray live ""The Road to Errogie"
Chrissy Crowley Troy MacGillivray Tim Chaisson Andrea Beaton
Kendra & Troy MacGillivray - Antigonish Highland Games
Rambles.NET: Troy MacGillivray at Celtic Colours, Festival Club
Monadnock Folklore Society » Blog Archive » Troy MacGillivray
Cape Breton Fiddle - Troy MacGillivray - Eleven
Kendra MacGillivray Official Site
Andrea Beaton Set - Third Figure
Nova Scotia Fiddlers Troy MacGillivray and Andrea Beaton #1
Andrea & Kinnon Beaton Set - Part One
Andrea & Kinnon Beaton Set - Part Two
Andrea Beaton, Troy MacGillivray & Quinn Bachand
Troy McGillivray, Andrea Beaton & Quinn Bachand in Concert
Andrea Beaton and friend playing the fiddle in Cape Breton
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Building the sustainable economy
Marcin Gerwin, Permaculture Research Institute of Australia
The world seeks an alternative to the current disaster of globalisation. If we decided to change our economic system, what can we actually do? How can we create a sustainable economy?
Since America’s political system is one of institutionalized bribery, overt (the legal political “donation”) and covert (the bag of cash ) and has a tax code with 50,000 pages of fine print, it stands to reason that of any ten nominees enduring scrutiny by White House investigators, by the staff of the Senate Finance Committee plus the occasional journalist probably 98 per cent will have some sort of explaining to do. Throw in infidelity and kindred offenses outlined at detail in the opening books of the Bible and maybe only Rep Ron Paul would survive.
Legionary Superior-General Regarding Founder's Life
"I Ask Forgiveness for All This Suffering"
Father Kearns Regarding Life of Father Maciel
"I Entrust His Soul to God’s Infinite Mercy"
I don't recall seeing anything from Zenit, though, confirming the details that have been printed elsewhere (e.g. The New York Times).
On Sickness and God's Healing Love
"We Are Made for Life"
VATICAN CITY, FEB. 8, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square.
* * *
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today the Gospel (cf. Mark 1:29-39) -- in direct continuation with last Sunday -- presents us with Jesus, who after having preached on the Sabbath in the synagogue of Capernaum, cured many ill people, beginning with Simon's mother-in-law. Entering his house, he found her in bed with a fever and immediately, taking her by the hand, he healed her and had her get up. After sunset, he healed a multitude of people afflicted with all sorts of ills.
The experience of the healing of the sick occupies a good portion of the public mission of Christ and it invites us once again to reflect on the meaning and value of illness in every situation in which the human being can find himself. This opportunity comes also because of the World Day of the Sick, which we will celebrate next Wednesday, Feb. 11, liturgical memorial of the Virgin Mary of Lourdes.
Despite the fact that illness is part of human existence, we never manage to get used to it, not only because sometimes it comes to be burdensome and grave, but essentially because we are made for life, for complete life. Precisely our "internal instinct" makes us think of God as plenitude of life, and even more, as eternal and perfect Life. When we are tested by sickness and our prayers seem in vain, doubt wells up in us and, filled with anguish, we ask ourselves: What is God's will?
It is precisely to this question that we find an answer in the Gospel. For example, in the passage of today we read: "He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him" (Mark 1:34). In another passage from St. Matthew, it says: "He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people" (Matthew 4:23).
Jesus does not leave room for doubt: God -- whose face he himself has revealed -- is the God of life, who frees us from all evil. The signs of this, his power of love are the healings that he carries out: He thus shows that the Kingdom of God is near, restoring men and women to their full integrity in spirit and body. I refer to these healings as signs: They guide toward the message of Christ, they guide us toward God and make us understand that man's truest and deepest illness is the absence of God, who is the fount of truth and love. And only reconciliation with God can give us true healing, true life, because a life without love and without truth would not be a true life. The Kingdom of God is precisely the presence of truth and love, and thus it is healing in the depths of our being.
Thanks to the action of the Holy Spirit, the work of Jesus is prolonged in the mission of the Church. Through the sacraments, it is Christ who communicates his life to the multitude of brothers and sisters, as he cures and comforts innumerable sick people through so many activities of health care service that Christian communities promote with fraternal charity, thereby showing the face of God, his love. It is true: How many Christians all over the world -- priests, religious and laypeople -- have given and continue giving their hands, eyes and hearts to Christ, true physician of bodies and souls!
Let us pray for all the ill, especially for those who are most grave, and who can in no way take care of themselves, but depend entirely on the care of others; may every one of them be able to experience, in the solicitude of those who are near to them, the power of the love of God and the richness of his grace that saves us. Mary, health of the sick, pray for us.
[After praying the Angelus, he said:]
In these weeks, strong political tensions are taking place in Madagascar, which have also provoked popular disturbances. Because of this, the bishops of the island have convoked for today a day of prayer for national reconciliation and social justice. Intensely concerned by the particularly critical moment that the country is going through, I invite you to unite yourselves to the Catholics of Madagascar to entrust to the Lord those who have died in the manifestations and to invoke from him, through the intercession of Most Holy Mary, the return of harmony of thought, social tranquility and civil co-existence.
As I said just a moment ago, next Feb. 11, memorial of the Virgin Mary of Lourdes, the World Day of the Sick is celebrated. In the afternoon, I will meet with the sick and other pilgrims in St. Peter's Basilica, after the holy Mass that the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, Cardinal Lozano Barragán, will preside over. From now, I assure my special blessing to all the sick, the health care workers and the volunteers of every part of the world.
[Translation by ZENIT]
[The Pope then greeted the people in several languages. In English, he said:]
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors here today including those from the Saint Patrick's Evangelization school in London. Today's Gospel reminds us of the duty to bring Christ's Good News to all the world. May your time in Rome be filled with joy and deepen your resolve to draw others to our Lord and his love. God bless you all!
© Copyright 2009 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana
The Family's Essential Role
Church, Society Upholding the Rights of Marriage
By Father John Flynn, LC
ROME, FEB. 8, 2009 (Zenit.org).- As the status of the family and marriage continue to be at the forefront of many public debates, the social cost of marriage breakdowns isn't far behind.
A recent study in England found that divorce results in a significant economic benefit for men, but penalizes women, reported the Observer newspaper Jan. 25. According to a study carried out by Stephen Jenkins, a director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research and chair of the Council of the International Association for Research on Income and Wealth, when a marriage splits up, the father's disposable income increases by around one-third.
By contrast, and regardless of whether or not there are children, the average post-divorce income for women falls by more than a fifth, and is adversely affected for a number of years.
According to the report by the Observer the survey carried out by Jenkins is the first long-term study of income and marriage breakdowns.
Jenkins found that the poverty rate among divorced women is 27%, almost three times higher compared to their former spouses.
Economic penalties are not the only disadvantages associated with divorce. An Australian study published last year found that the emotional and social impact of divorce makes itself felt for decades afterwards, reported the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper July 10.
A research team headed by David de Vaus, of La Trobe University in Melbourne, presented the conclusions of a study at a conference of the Australian Institute of Family Studies. They compared the well-being of about 2,200 Australians aged 55 to 74.
Those divorced not only suffered trauma in the initial years following the end of their marriage, but they were also more likely to feel they lacked someone to confide in, and they were less satisfied with their home and health.
Benedict XVI recently affirmed the importance of the family for society in his message sent to the participants in the recitation of the rosary during the 6th World Day of Families meeting held in Mexico City.
During his video message on Jan. 17 the Pontiff said the family is a "vital cell of society."
"Because of its essential role in society, the family has a right to have its proper identity recognized that is not to be confused with other forms of coexistence," the Pope explained.
As a result Benedict XVI asked that the family based on the marriage of a man and a woman receive a sufficient level of legal, financial and social support.
The social importance of family life is not just something affirmed by the Church. Jennifer Roback Morse, a former research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, and currently a research fellow at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, recently published a second edition of her book "Love and Economics" (Ruth Institute Books).
One of the books sections is entitled, "Why There is No Substitute for the Family." The family is irreplaceable not only in the sense that the two parents of a child play a unique role in its life, but also because the very institution of the family has no effective substitute.
Morse affirmed that the primary role of the family is relational. Clearly, some families carry out this task better than others, but no other institution does this better than the family, she argued.
The fact that some families fail should not lead us to the conclusion that the family as an institution is merely optional, according to Morse.
"If we can hold the family together at the individual and personal level, we would have less need for grand schemes to replace the family at a societal level," Morse affirmed.
Morse summarized the findings of a number of studies that document the adverse results of children brought up in single-parent families: poverty; lower educational results; and behavioral problems.
The task of raising children is simply too much for a single parent, said Morse. Moreover, other possible variations, such as cohabitation and stepfathers do not provide the same advantages as a family based on the two biological parents of the children.
The role of a father is more than just economic, Morse continued. His contribution to the moral development of children is something that society is guilty of largely ignoring, she accused.
"The real question is not whether men and women are different but how the difference allows each to contribute something unique to the moral development of children," said Morse.
Commenting on the sweeping changes in moral norms and sexual habits in the last few decades, Morse noted that the changes unleashed in the 60s and 70s promised happiness and fulfillment through unlimited freedom. With the experience of hindsight Morse said that we can now conclude that the ability to sustain commitments is a gift that will bring deeper happiness and satisfaction.
"A great many adults are now ready to relearn whatever they can about lifelong marriage, for their own benefit as well as for the benefit of their children," she concluded.
Freedom has its limits, Morse argued in the concluding chapter of the book. Every generation is not free to redefine the family and its obligations. Some virtues and obligations are indispensable, said Morse.
A similar view was expressed by Cardinal Seán Brady, archbishop of Armagh and primate of All Ireland, during his address last year to the Céifin Conference Nov. 4.
The theme of his speech was, "The Family as the Foundation of Society."
The family based on marriage as the foundation of society is a truth revealed by God in the Scriptures, said Cardinal Brady, but it also one of the most precious human values, he added.
The welfare of marriage and the family are of public interest, the cardinal argued, and are fundamental to the common good. They are, therefore, entitled to special consideration and care from the state.
"Other relationships whether they are sexual or not, are the result of private interest," he explained. "They do not have the same fundamental relationship to the good of society and to the bringing up of children as the family based on marriage," Cardinal Brady maintained.
By asking that the family based on marriage is worthy of support from the state the cardinal clarified that the intention is not to penalize those who have chosen different types of relationships.
"It is rather to uphold the principle that the family based on marriage between a man and woman is so intimately connected to the good of society that it is deserving of special care and protection," he said.
"The link between a public commitment to life-long marriage, and the stability of the family unit, as well as the distinct role of a mother and father in the generation and education of children, gives marriage a unique and qualitatively different relationship to society than any other form of relationship," Cardinal Brady pointed out.
The family is an indispensable foundation for society, affirmed Benedict XVI in his video message during the Jan. 18 concluding mass of the World Meeting of Families.
"We have received life from others, which is developed and matured with the truths and values that we learn in relation and communion with the rest," he explained.
"It is in the home where one learns to truly live, to value life and health, liberty and peace, justice and truth, work, concord and respect," said the Pope. A truth valid for all cultures and societies.
I explained to him that . . . the Civil War was—and is—to the United States what the Trojan War was to the Greeks; the great single tragic event that continues to give resonance to our republic. “Well, to me,” said Poddy [neocon Norman Podheretz], “the Civil War is as remote and as irrelevant as the War of the Roses.”From Mr. Peters, in response
That point of history which in labeled “Civil War” marks so many things: the triumph of the schemes, political and financial, of Hamilton, Marshall, Webster, Clay and Lincoln over the principles associated with Jefferson and Calhoun, among others; the triumph of the nascent empire as made manifest in Lincoln’s creedal or propositional nation over the union of constitutionally federated republics; the victory of the New England mindset over the rest of the country; the advent of a Jacobin revisionism of the American War of Independence, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution; the victory of the abstraction of nationalism over patriotism, the latter being a natural expression of the sets of personal loyalties to home and hearth and to the other intimate commonwealths in which real people relate; the destruction of a region, its people and its culture; and the end of republican institutions replaced by “democratic” movements which are the handmaidens of empire.
Save for the issue of slavery, the antebellum cultural faultline which ran roughly east to west, separating the North and the South, is yet with us today: empire versus republic; nationalism versus patriotism; internal improvements versus true private investment; fiat (counterfeit currency) versus specie currency; a consolidated central government versus sovereign states; corporatism versus free enterprise; etc. The latter in each of these examples have, however, become weaker and weaker and are today but faint echoes of what they once were because those of us who hold them are today weaker, having less means and resolve to resist the former. I smile in dismay (not an oxymoron) when conservative friends trumpet that a given President has “allowed” a state to do something otherwise done by the general government. They see such magnitude on the part of the given President as a tip of the hat to “states’ rights.”
Many of my fellow Southerners, when I attempt to engage them in conversation on this issue, wish to avoid the conversation. They have sought the “respectability” of the anti-culture; and having acquired it, do not wish to jeopardize it. Others simply do not want to take the time and the effort to reclaim their heritage.
In addition, we have all of the post-bellum newcomers, particularly those who have streamed into these United States since the 1965 Immigration Reform. For them, there is no descernable objective correlative with the events of 1860-1865. I use the word “descernable” because there is in fact an objective correlative between the mindset which opened the door, beginning in 1965, and the events of the “Civil War.” These newcomers have joined “mainstream” America and their numerous Southern sputniks in making the South and that which it “represents” the scapegoat for all that is allegedly wrong with America. The rest of America and too much of the South itself does not see itself as fallen and alienated from God, a condition in which one quickly recognizes the holiness of God; and that once recognized leads one to appreciate His love and redemptive work in the person of the Christ.
I'm looking at the EWTN archive, and I don't think that episode has been uploaded. Once it has been uploaded, I'll put the link up. Both Legionary priests were saying that the order will have to discern its charism, with the guidance of the Holy See. They also claimed that the writings of Fr. Macial had been beneficial to them. Apparently they think those can still be salvaged. I think they may be too optimistic about the writings; I tend to agree with those who think that even if the order is not surpressed, it will have to be reconstituted or re-formed in some significant way--the role of the founder in determining an order's charism is just too great.
Several years ago Amy Welborn reviewed a book that covered the history of some order that had to be suppressed because of the activities of its founder. I'm trying to find the title of that book now...
Edit. Here is the post with the links pertaining to Fallen Order...
Amy Welborn: Way, Truth and Life