Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Dear Michelle Obama,
You are soooo missing it. Why bother inviting food companies to join Let's Move, your anti-obesity campaign? In most cases, the best thing these companies could do for our nation's health is go out of business.
Is the First Lady that naive? Or is she just following the rules, according to which politicians cozy up to big business?
UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems
The Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems
UrbanFood.org Action Research & Education for Sustainable Food Systems
UC Berkeley Environment and Sustainability Portal
Sustainable Agriculture Academic Coordinator
CalPoly SARC - CAFES Center for Sustainability
I should have majored in sustainable agriculture instead of biology... such an education might not prepare me for farming, but it could help me land a government job. If I had only known then what I know now...
Agricultural Research and Sustainable Agriculture in California
Can Organic Farming "Feed the World"? by Christos Vasilikiotis, Ph.D.
If the government is paying for our health care costs, then the government will inevitably have the power to dictate, not only what types of health care we can receive, but what types of food we can eat and what types of exercise regime we must follow, since diet and exercise affect our health, and the government is paying for our health care. Which further means that the government will have the power to punish us for not following the diet and exercise regime it requires. Which further means that the government must spy on us in our homes to determine if we are following the required regime. The scene in Nineteen Eighty-Four in which a young woman on a two-way television screen in Winston Smith's apartment is barking out orders telling Winston to do his push-ups harder is not just a fictional satire but a logical and inevitable result of government-provided health care.
I raised this sort of question in a post about health care rights and responsibilities.
AP: SF mayor Newsom to run for CA lieutenant governor (via Drudge)
His campaign website.
Mayor of San Francisco
My husband has been a Christian father for the last 25 years. He did Boy Scouts with our son and coached recreational soccer for our 3 girls. As such, he became very familiar with mothered-only children and the hungry look on fatherless children’s faces is something we have seen many times. In fact, even before we looked at the registration sheets for each child on our soccer teams we could tell which had intact families. It was particularly evident coaching a team of girls. The fatherless girls were constantly seeking physical attention from my husband. They’d throw themselves on his back, offer him hugs, look to him for approval every time they were successful with a task, “flirt” with him, etc. The two times I coached a team (he could only handle one team at a time so a couple of years he coached an older child and I took the younger one’s team) none of the girls behaved this way. He experienced much emotional conflict because to reject a child seeking affection is a terrible thing, but it would have been dangerous for him to give these girls what they needed. Our daughters never behaved this way with other men and the fathered daughters on his teams didn’t either. We never had to tell them not to – they just didn’t. They sought their daddy for affection, he gave it to them, so it never occurred to them to look to another man for it. In fact, they have a built-in radar about men who become too attentive and will mention immediately how creepy it is. Even if a man wants to try to fill the father hole in an unrelated child our culture has made it impossible – there’s too much sexual suspicion of men.
One can see this with school children in San Jose more than in cities like Santa Clara or Cupertino.
I don't think I'll even try to tackle this; the extent of papal authority must be determined first, and then whether it can legitimate conquest (the replacement of a native government by a government by outsiders).
Edit. Could it be that the pope is not acting as the highest secular authority, but merely as the superior of Christian princes, and acting in order to prevent a dispute between them (or something worse happening)?
(See also Mr. Culbreath's post on empire and secession.)
Count me as a skeptic whenever administration allies begin claiming that the White House is guided by ideas derived from Catholic social thought, or indeed from any form of theological reflection....
The most obvious reason to be skeptical here is that the previous administration had any number of willing helpers who were happy to dress up whatever injustice or error it was committing as being either entirely consistent with Catholic teaching or an expression of Catholic moral theology. Whether it was George Weigel re-inventing just war theory to approve of preventive warfare or Michael Gerson declaring Bush’s immigration policy to be the embodiment of solidarity, we have been inundated with people appropriating Catholic teaching for very bad or questionable causes. Marc Thiessen is the most recent and perhaps most egregious example of this, but he is hardly alone. Those are admittedly extreme examples, but they serve as a warning whenever administration allies begin claiming theological guidance for their policies.
As many have pointed out, a concept of the common good can be used to justify all sorts of laws and policies. But does that concept respect justice? Commutative justice, distributive justice, and legal justice?
More photos. Br. Michael Mary of the Trinity is a member of the Wyoming Carmelites.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
What was required for a growing economy, that was supposed to uplift all of modern humanity, is at root a false notion for the manipulated public: the overwhelming majority must work for others to enrich the few so that all of society benefits through unlimited expansion. This problematic profit-scheme is failing to hold up, what with general economic uncertainty on the rise (apart from “Hope”) and the advanced depletion of easily extracted, cheap oil.
Esther Gokhale is the author of the book 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back, which is recommended by Mr. Sisson and his readers. I'll watch the video when I can; I am going to work on my posture and see if that helps with the back problem.
Esther Gokhale Wellness Center
Esther Gokhale's hunt for perfect posture - SFGate
Mr. Sisson writes in his post:
First, let’s look at how posture has changed over the years in a developed nation like the United States. Before the turn of the 20th century, austere, rigid posture was very much in vogue – or, at least, it was heavily promoted by teachers and authority figures as the right way to sit and stand (corporal punishment, anyone?). Think Victorian. Think stiff and crusty. In the 1920s, though, an entirely new cultural phenomenon emerged. Jazz exploded and “The Great Gatsby” was written. The flappers – independent women who flouted convention, listened to jazz, wore short hair, and drank liquor – became the model for young American women to emulate. The hair, the fashion, and the dancing were all fair game, and rightly so, but so was the signature flapper slouch. Instead of standing prim and proper, the corset-less flapper thrust out her pelvis and slouched backwards, hands on her hips. It looked effortlessly cool enough, but it wasn’t good for back health.
Look familiar? That’s the same pose you see at red carpet events in Hollywood, where every starlet seems to employ that bizarre half-turn followed by a tuck of the pelvis forward when faced with a camera. It’s “slimming,” or something.
I read this and thought immediately of Keira Knightley.
How established is prom as a modern-day courting ritual? While there is a social component to it, it is within the structure of courtship -- one hangs out with one's friends and their SOs, understanding that it is supposed to be a night of romance first of all--playing adult by coupling, dressing-up, and spending time with other couples at night, outside of school. The social dances that might take place at prom are limited to those bizarre animalistic dances that do not involve just one partner. Balls of the 19th century have been transformed by the changes that have occurred in American courtship practices. Even if high school dating was not taken so seriously as a form of mutual commitment and exclusivity in the 1950s (see From Front Porch to Back Seat [GB]), it has been transformed thusly.
If prom were more like the social dances of the past, it would not be so difficult to adopt a "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, as same-sex dancing could be allowed on the grounds that there are not enough partners of the opposite sex, or one is more comfortable dancing with one's friends. But if one accepts Austen adaptations as being historically accurate, this might have ben acceptable, but only during informal situations. What of a more formal ball? Women who did not have a partner sat out; even if the romantic dimension was not always present, since a ball involved a communal recognition of the natural sexual dynamic between male and female, even if this social ritual expressed it in a more restrained manner. A ball affirms the natural relation between man and women, and so there is this normative quality in social dancing, as one partners with someone of the opposite sex, even if there is a lack of romantic interest. In traditional group dances in which men and women mix, this dynamic is not eliminated completely though it may be muted.
But given the obvious romantic associations of prom, the refusal to admit same-sex couples signals that such relationships are not legitimate or socially acceptable, and LGBT proponents understand this. While I think same-sex couples should be excluded, I do not see how such a decision can be maintained for much longer, given the trend towards greater permissiveness/moral progressivism in costal urban centers and suburbia.
As a high school affair I think proms should be abolished -- they are costly, occasions of sin, and reaffirm a distorted notion of romance and life. Schools are thus giving moral witness to these trends by supporting such dances, even if they claim that they are not in the business of teaching morality. (It'd be even worse if they decided to implement a "safe sex" policy by distributing condoms and other forms of contraception before, during, and after the dance.) Such dances should be left to families and parents and the local community, and the Federal Government would have no business in regulating them. That would be left to local communities.
Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) -- Photos of the nude and decapitated body of a murdered hiker, sought by a writer on assignment for Hustler magazine, will not be released, a judge in Georgia ordered Wednesday.
The decision came as state lawmakers considered legislation that would ban public release of graphic photos of crime victims. First Amendment lawyers say the legislation could have a chilling effect on open records requests.
Even if the First Amendment to the Constitution is as expansive as some suggest, it does not apply to the state governments. The question is then whether the state constitution has something equivalent to the First Amendment, and if how it is to be understood.
The flapper age in the 1920s, the breakdown of kinesthetic transmission across generations with family members no longer living close to each other, and the poor design of most modern furniture have all contributed to the disastrous habit that most of us have of tucking the pelvis (curling our tails under us).
Is this criticism applicable to "classical" furniture as well? Traditional Chinese furniture is very straight and rigid -- does it preserve or hurt posture?
The Church’s proscription of the duel is very ancient, going back to the First Lateran Council (1170) and continuing all the way to the letter Pastoralis officii of Leo XIII (1891). In 1917 it was included in the first Code of Canon Law (although it is nowhere to be found in the present code of 1982, in which all the penalties for dueling have been abrogated). The duelists, their seconds, spectators, advisors, attending physicians, and clergy were all struck with excommunication reserved to the Holy See. The duelists were to suffer infamia iuris, legal disgrace causing the loss of privileges (such as being a godfather or best man) and, before the 19th century, the confiscation of goods and the denial of Church burial.
The morality of the duel is evaluated in tradition by two principles. The first is moderamen inculpatae tutelae, or the standard of guiltless self-defense, meaning that one is justified in using lethal means to defend one’s life against an unjust aggressor. But the duel, which takes place ex convicto (by agreement) does not satisfy this criterion because, at the time the lethal force is to be taken, the “aggressor’s” action has been agreed upon by the offended party, and so he is not then and there an actual aggressor. The second is that of the media apta, or apt means for repairing an injustice. The loss of honor or reputation, which is ordinarily the reason for a duel, cannot be repaired by lethal combat, but must be repaired by other legal means. The outcome of the combat itself cannot determine the injustice of the offense. Consequently, the duel is both an unjust exposure of one’s own life and an intentional homicide of one who is not, at the point of the duel, a true, unjust aggressor but, rather, an accomplice in a crime. Very different would be the case of one who is set upon by an opponent who says, “Take this saber or pistol and defend yourself like a man, for I am going to kill you now.” In this scenario, a man would be justified in taking the offered weapon and defending himself.
In his letter, Archbishop Alemany writes,
Let us be permitted unhesitatingly to denounce the deadly contest, by which men laying claim to Christianity and refined manners, but acting as the red men of the forest, whose mental eye has never yet seen the least glimpse of civilization, divest themselves of all sense of duties which they owe to kindred or to society, and sacrifice, perhaps forever[,] the honor and welfare of parents, wife, or children . . . Deaf to every friendly advice, and thirsting after human blood, they go like beasts into the field to decide by brute force or impious chance who is right and who is wrong. We pity the poor Indians whose want of mental culture leads them to determine right from wrong with the bow and arrow. But what can exculpate the man who boasts of his civilization and intellectual refinement, yet who has not the strength of mind to discern that powder is not the standard of right!
In place of the traditional argument is an argument from urbanity. Here we are confronted with an instructive example of what becomes progressively more common as a justification for Christian morality: the superior culture of modern men versus that of the savage, an argument from moral progress instead of a rational judgment of the injustice endured and the legitimate means to overcome it. This is a rhetorical argument—not a presentation of the principles of natural law, but an appeal to human respect.
Family feeling, far from being violated by the duel, is precisely what justifies the duel in a man’s mind in the first place—a sense of identity and manly dignity that must be defended as a possession more valuable than life, just as a woman may kill a man seeking to violate her, even though such a violation would not take her life. Its malice is not a primitive sense of honor but the illegitimate exposure of one’s life and that of another as a means to repair a wrong that cannot be repaired by force. William Gwin’s 1853 duel provides a perfect example of this. The senator from California faced U.S. Rep. J.W. McCorkle with rifles at 30 paces, wheeling at word and firing, which, in the signed account of the witness, “the two gentlemen did three times without harming each other, when the affair was brought to termination by the friends of the parties, having discovered that their principals were fighting under a misapprehension of the facts.” McCorkle apologized to Gwin, and that was it. In the meantime, the matter was relayed to Gwin’s wife. After the first shot she said, “Let us thank God”; after the second, “Praise be”; after the third and the news of the apology, she expressed her disappointment in her spouse and his opponent: “There’s been some mighty poor shooting today!” Family feeling might have something to do with the motive of the duelist.
All along, though, the Holy See continued to show that one may recognize the sounder instincts that were used as a pretext for an immoral practice. In answering dubia proposed by the bishops of Central Europe as late as 1947, the Holy See pronounced on the question of going before a “tribunal of honor” to determine whether an offense equal to a duel had occurred. Would doing so incur the penalties of canon law against dueling? The answer, wisely, was no, as long as the parties did not intend to proceed to a duel but were only determining the cause of the contest to be resolved by other, morally legitimate means. Even the greatest of practical moralists, St. Alphonsus Liguori, did not regard certain extenuating reasons for dueling as morally improbable—for example, a loss of honor before one’s military peers sufficient to ruin one’s livelihood—until Pope Benedict XIV forbade any dueling under any circumstances whatsoever. A sense of honor based on a man’s name, or title, or profession, or even his physical strength has a very sound natural foundation, and this foundation ultimately is based on his family, present or future. This is something that civilized Christians may have in common with savages, and without which they may become inferior to them.
A personalist, rhetorical defense of traditional morality can lead to the destruction of the most basic moral sense in modern people, who are so easily prey to ethical deracination. A key example would be the understanding of marriage and marital relations as a remedy for concupiscence. Teach young men and women in our coeducational age that only the highest spiritual motives can adequately account for married love, and you will have them refusing simply on account of their feelings the legitimate advances of their spouses. The “marriage debt” can be much, much more, but it remains a debt and a duty without which men can be emasculated, not even able serenely to request a most basic right of marriage, and women can be doomed to perpetual suspicion of not being truly loved at all, because they are not loved perfectly here and now. And so there is the vicious cycle in which the progressive moral account ends up rendering impossible the very love it so exalts. That this approach and a mentality that is very open to divorce are aligned is clear. So yes, a civilized Christian husband and a savage red man have a basic human value in common, and of this he must not be ashamed, but only of sin and infidelity.
In a society in which every standard is viewed as subject to a notion of progress that is, at root, technological and material, it can be dangerous to characterize fundamental human impulses as primitive or barbarous. Even if they are impulses corrupted by fallen nature, by concupiscence and pride, they remain rooted in our nature and are meant for the good. Drawing traditional moral conclusions from arguments based on social progress can utterly undermine and obscure the moral truths that those traditional conclusions imply. Dueling is wrong, but not because an Indian brave might do the same thing and for the same reasons, and not because it is violent, but because the power to coerce is a property of law, and if there is no implicit threat of force, either moral or physical, then there can be no law. At its most grave, this can be seen in John Paul II’s affirmation that the threat of an eternal Hell is a necessary guarantee of a fixed standard of morality.
I have read people, especially women, who defend Christopher West and the Theology of the Body make this allegation: "The husband just wants sex, he doesn't care about his wife," or "He treats her like a sex object." Are there objective circumstances which make his desire for sex inordinate and wrong? Or is it only because his wife isn't "in the mood"?
Fr. Barbour talks about honor in his post -- I was thinking about this today -- honor has played an important role in the initial moral formation of men of the past, and it is linked to his word and to justice. Can something similar be said of women? Their honor has been linked to the virtue of chastity more than any other virtue, as far as I know. Is this difference merely because of social custom? Or is it founded upon the initial and innate differences between men and women in how they think and how they perceive themselves, and in their concept of the moral life?
1. Does she talk about herself obsessively?
2. Does she veer between exuberance and tears?
3. Does she believe in homosexual “marriage” (a tip off that she has no idea what marriage is)?
4. Does her father seem indifferent to what she does?
5. Does she have children?
6. Is she aggressively pretty?
7. Does she have a group of friends who exult in girly togetherness?
8. Does she have a career instead of a job?
9. Does she lift weights and pursue an exhausting exercise regimen?
10. Is she incapable of reading a book by a man?
11. Does she disbelieve in the existence of God?
12. [See Kristor's comment below]
Can we say that man's choice of grains et al. when he became a farmer was not due to intelligence but more to an uncontrolled appetite for sugars (and fallen man's weakness)? The first farmers may have been ignorant of the negative consequences of a carb-heavy diet, but can we have the same excuse?
Phony Reform and the F-35
Rarely does a government department write its own swan song as clearly, and without apology, as Carter and the Pentagon do today with respect to the Air Force and the air components of the Navy and Marine Corps. It is all made obvious in an obscure and mostly ignored document that accompanied the new defense budget in early February and that was almost certainly approved with verve by Under Secretary Carter. I refer to the "Aircraft Investment Plan, Fiscal Years (FY) 2011-2040."
This plan envisions the next thirty years for the Air Force and the aircraft for the Navy and Marine Corps. It is the road map to the future for the military arm that has most dazzled Americans since the unconditional victory its advocates assert it won in World War II. From the new high tech drones they see finding and destroying the Taliban's and al Qaeda's leadership to the wonder-weapon airplanes imagined to keep all future powers like China and Russia forever cowed because they can never catch up, the aviation plan lays out the future of what many Americas ardently believe is our premier arm of military power. The cutting edge of how we should, nay will, do things in the future.
It is not a road map to a more glorious future; instead, it charts the rot that people like Under Secretary Carter plan to impose on our military forces. Contrary to what politically driven dilatants might allege against the Obama administration, the plan is not to ruin our aviation forces with less money, but with more. Contrary to what the weapons dilatants might fear, it does not oppose "high tech" (rather complexity) in our air power, but advocates some of the most complex, costly, and stupid weapons ideas since the Imperial Japanese Navy's super-battleships of World War II, long ago sent to the bottom of the Pacific.
Without even the cognition to note it, the aviation plan starts out with the smallest and oldest Air Force and naval aviation inventory we have had since the end of World War II. The cause is not a lack of money, which today is higher in inflation adjusted dollars for the Pentagon than at any point since 1946. Nor are the Air Force or the Navy and Marine Corps being starved within the larger budget; their current spending is significantly above what they averaged all through the Cold War when their aircraft inventories were far larger.
Rather than a total combined fighter and attack aircraft inventory of over 8,000 aircraft in the 1950s and '60s, today we have just 3,264. The new DOD vision is to shrink the force even more; down to 2,929 in 2020 - a 10 percent reduction. While the inventory goes down, the budget goes up: the combined Air Force/Navy tactical (combat) aviation budget would grow from about $12 billion today to roughly $17 billion in 2020.
Shrinking is also the recommended plan for other whole categories of aircraft. From today to 2015 the combined inventory of support intelligence and command and control aircraft will go down to 527 from the current 580, but the budget to buy them goes up from approximately $5 billion to about $8 billion. The inventories of cargo aircraft and air-refueling tanker aircraft will stay roughly constant, while spending for them out to 2020 goes up, sharply in the case of tanker aircraft. The same is true of long range bomber aircraft.
While the plan skates over the issue of inventory age without a single mention, it is obvious that problem will worsen as well. Remarkable are the numbers of aircraft that the new plan retains out to the year 2040. The "legacy" fighters (the F-15s, F-16's, F-18s, and A-10s that were originally designed in late 1960's) will be hanging around until 2040. In other categories, the plan mumbles vaguely about "modernization" but nowhere do we see funded in the plan actual replacements for already antiquated manned command and control, surveillance, and intelligence aircraft, and some cargo and tanker aircraft.
We get this shrinking and aging aviation force for a 32 percent increase in money: the plan would up the $22 billion we spend in 2011 to $29 billion in 2020.
It does, however, get worse.
John Zmirak's original article. The response by Tom Hoopes. Mr. Zmirak's rejoinder.
While I read through Fr. Z's fisking, the first thought that came to my mind was, "Is this really surprising for a Legionary publication? The sort of ultra-orthodox, ultra-montanist defense that the LCs pride themselves on?" The second thought was, "Isn't this also characteristic of a certain LC mindset which attempts to defend the order by depicting the Church according to one extreme or another, as it fits the circumstances?" See Life After RC for examples.
Mr. Zmirak may have painted too rosy a picture of the pre-Vatican II Church. Then Mr. Hoopes should have addressed this part of the argument. However, even if there was a need for liturgical reform (and I tend to think that this was the case), this does not mean that everything was handled prudently, or that the introduction of a new missal, discontinuous from the previous missal in so many ways, was a necessary component of the reform.
Fr. Z's previous post on the debate: A little debate about the Extraordinary Form in the blogs
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Thorsten Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class (GB, Gutenberg)
What is Veblen's paradigm, which explains his use of the term "barbarian" describing societies "in which a dominant class expropriates some portion of the production of society, rules over the productive segment of the population, and legitimates its status by elaborating myths according to which this idle exploitation is somehow finer and more noble than actually doing stuff"? How would he apply this name to the classical world?
Sarge, you might get a kick out of these two featurettes for The Green Zone. Or you might be insulted.
A political thriller based on the second Iraq War -- will it succeed where other Iraq War movies have failed because of the Bournesque action?
Here's another photo of Jason Isaacs.
Tuesday March 9: San Jose Public Library Joyce Ellington Branch at 6:30-8pm (491 E. Empire St.)
Wednesday March 10: UC-Berkeley, 101 Morgan Hall at 7:30-9pm (with Michele Simon)
Thursday March 11: San Francisco at Viracocha at 6:30pm
Saturday March 13: Work day at VeggieLution Farm in San Jose at 10am
I don't think I'm going to drive up to Cal tonight...
In this life there are certainly limits to the number of close good friends we can have. I believe Kirkpatrick Sale talks about the limits to our memory and how that tells us what an ideal size for a polity is to be, if everyone is to have some sort of political participation.
No one seems to be interested in scanning those covers for the Internet.
Being a commissioned officer has its prestige and perks. Rank is related to function, and having more men under one's command. This does appeal to one's ambition. But in the Union Army it's the NCOs who traditionally have the skill set that is needed to fight and keep the men alive. If I were to join the army, I'd rather work my way up that way, like Col. Hackworth, Major Winters, and a host of others.
To my amusement, a slate colored junco hopped into a little pool of snow melt and splashed and fluttered around joyously. Looked like joy anyway. I had to laugh right out loud. It was hardly warm enough to go out without a coat on, yet here was this tiny bird obviously enjoying an outdoor bath. Why couldn’t I go for a dip too? Life just ain’t fair.
It has been a long day -- I went to Dublin to get dinner at Fuddrucker's (Hacienda Crossings). That will probably be the last time I eat at Fuddrucker's. The food itself is ok, I just don't think it's worth the price. Besides, even though the buns are tasty, I should be cutting down on carbs from grains as much as possible. Afterwards I dropped by B&N and found that the end of one of the bookshelves featured books about food -- authors included Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, and Paul Roberts. I find a couple of titles I hadn't seen before: Carlo Petrini's Slow Food Nation, Gary Paul Nabhan's Coming Home to Eat, and Marion Nestle's Food Politics.
So why was I in that area? Because April Verch was performing in Pleasanton tonight, along with Cody Walters (originally from Nebraska) and Clay Ross (originally from South Carolina) . I'm glad I went to listen to them. Sarge asked me why I didn't support Christendom more if I liked Celtic music so much. When I was at Christendom I usually agreed with those who criticized Irish music enthusiasts for being "fake Irish." Some had no Irish blood in them, while others were rather distant from their roots. A friend commented that step-dancing resembled someone jumping after being put on a hot iron. Maybe I was too negative, then and now, but I didn't think that adopting Irish music was the best way to cultivate Catholic culture. (This was done at SGA as well.) I believe April Verch and her band mates, in contrast, represent living musical traditions that exist, if not in their families, then in their communities. Much of North American music is Celtic in origin, but it has developed in different ways in different places. It would be far better for Christendom to acquire an identity as a southern Catholic college and take up the musical traditions native to the area. (The college has done this to an extent, in so far as contra dancing has become popular.)
Check out Strung, of which April Verch and Cody Walters are members, plus Doug Cox and Tony McManus.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Monday, March 08, 2010
In a way, Borsodi and his wife also invented modern home-schooling. “When I compared Mrs. Borsodi to the average school-teacher in the public schools,” he wrote, “I saw no reason why she could not teach the children just as well, if not better.” They brought their children home, and found that this “experiment in domestic production” also proved superior to schooling organized on a factory model. Two hours a day of course work, it turned out, was all it took for the Borsodi boys to keep pace with their public school counterparts.
Would the experience of most home-schoolers confirm this?
One suicide every 15 minutes, in the most efficient country in the world. An exclusive survey analyzes the reasons. The bishop and the nuncio: there is an absence of faith in a personal God, in a people that honors eight million gods
Mr. Magister writes:
The history of Christianity in Japan is a history of martyrs. No other civilization in the world has shown itself more impenetrable to Christianity than that of Japan. In the past, by killing its messengers. In more recent times, by accepting it courteously, but without ever responding to it with waves of conversions.
For their own part, however, the proclaimers of Christianity in Japan have so far been unable to penetrate the depths of that civilization's mystery, in order to "inculturate" their message.
What are the cultural and psychological obstacles to conversion? The Japanese people have known suffering and yet this has not been an impetus to mass conversion.
Navy Times: Cruiser CO relieved for ‘cruelty’
The Thinking Housewife: The Holly and the Navy. I first learned about Capt. Holly Graf through The Spearhead. Sage McLaughlin writes in response to the Thinking Housewife:
This women in the military business is a difficult subject. I obviously have strong opinions-and yes, strong feelings-about it. What I hate most, though, is that it makes me feel ungentlemanly. This is just one more way in which feminism tears down what is good and honorable in both sexes. Faced with such absurdities and outrages, men are forced to argue vehemently for women’s unfitness for certain positions. We are forced to bang on about women’s lack of physical prowess, to assert women’s inherent inferiority in certain spheres, and contrary to liberal belief, decent Christian men hate doing that. I hate being forced to play the part of the chauvinist, to gripe about women’s inability to do this or that thing as well as a man.
It’s possible to make the same points in a genteel way in discreet circumstances, and where the problems are not so radical in scope. But feminist society is passing a certain line of egregiousness, such that a chivalrous attitude is no longer possible. Pointing out female inadequacies, in short, is a thoroughly unpleasant and increasingly necessary business. Quite apart from the concrete issues at stake, we are all poorer for this coarsening of men’s verbal handling of women. (Relatedly, it never occurs to feminists that in order to show super heroines like Buffy the Vampire Slayer triumphing over her male adversaries, they first must show her being savagely punched and kicked by a man, as though this were normal. But such really is the price of “equality.”)
I only wonder what protection feminists will flee to when they’ve finally crushed the last vestiges of Christian chivalry under heel?
Laura Wood responds with a comment about "white-knighting":
As I said in the previous post on patriarchy, deference to feminism is the modern equivalent of chivalry. Men are naturally inclined to some form of deference to women and this instinctive tendency was gradually perverted into what we have today. While men once flung their cloaks on puddles as women walked the street, they now grant them admiralties and warships.
Greed, materialism and just plain ungodliness are part of male capitulation to feminism. But there is also this unspoken code of honor, the natural expression of male competition for female attention and of masculine protectiveness. This does make it hard for men to stand up and complain about these outrages and about the greedy takeover of traditionally male fields.
It has taken an amazingly long time for men in any significant numbers to begin to speak out, rather than simply grumble to themselves.
Of course criticism is not the only way to skin this cat. It’s also possible to praise and defend the feminine ideal.
There are plenty of men out there who are quite willing to criticize women -- anger and hate, by their very nature, are strong motivators.
Susan Katz Keating
Someone, ex-Navy, who defends women being put in command of combat vessels: WOMEN ARE 100% CAPABLE OF SERVING IN COMMAND OF NAVY COMBATANT SHIPS!! DO NOT DOUBT THAT FOR A MILLISECOND.
An example of how military officers feel compelled to defend the presence of women in the military based on a modern egalitarian notion of "merit." Small wonder that there is such little resistance within the military to the trends. With the possible opening of positions on US submarines to women (and hence command positions), how much more can the Navy tolerate? It is fortunate that it, like the Air Force, doesn't have to be tested by an equal enemy.
Drs. Fleming and Wilson are correct -- if men had not supported Feminism, would it have gotten anywhere?
Typical establishment talk, even if muted: Could women sink U.S. submarines?
And the feminist argument.
By Tracy Moran, USATODAY.com
Weeds are why most of us left the farm. After you have walked up and down endless rows of soybeans hoeing sourdock and pigweed in 90 degree heat, it is not too hard to decide to join the army or even get a job in Washington DC.
The title character, a merchant, is compared to Joan of Arc, Helen Keller, and Oprah Winfrey. Only the last comparison seems to have any basis for validity. Strange. Still, since it stars Lee Mi Yeon, I'll check it out, if it is shown on KBS America.
Isang finally married Eoyeong. However on the night of their honeymoon they had a major argument; Eoyeong insisted that Isang use contraception, because she wasn't ready to have a baby since they did not have a plan. (She also wanted to do other things with her life first, namely, to continue her studies and to help her father's jewelry company at a critical point in its growth.) Isang, on the other hand, thought that it was "natural" for married people to have a baby right away, and that very little planning was needed. Or, a wife and husband could plan once they conceived, and that they'd manage, just like their parents.
Is this really a model romance? Or are writers for the show just trying to show the audience how conflicts can arise so that the audience may avoid them? Or is the conflict just for the sake of drama? There are two sources of disharmony: (1) Eoyeong is older than Isang, and may not fully respect him as her husband. (As I mentioned in the last post, Isang is rather beta in his behavior. Do the writers approve of it?) (2) While Eoyeong believs that a mother should take care of her own children, she is nonetheless still desirous of her autonomy, rather than coordinating her actions with that of her husband, in such a way that does not violate the natural law. (Not that either character shows any awareness of contraception being wrong.) I am waiting to see how all of this is resolved.
Why didn't the couple discuss children (and other important matters) before getting married? The wedding was rather rushed, since they wanted to get it done with in order to relieve some of the tension that Isang's mother was causing. Isang blamed his youth and inexperience. Why didn't his parents give him the proper guidance in these matters? Or did they automatically assume that any prospective bride would be "traditional" and have children right away? The drama does show that even if everything "feels" right, this may not be the case, and important questions need to be discussed in order to determine compatibility; waiting to do so until after a man and woman get married may be too late.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Mark Sisson gives some advice for those who have a limited budget:
How to Eat Healthy and Save Money
Healthy Eating on a Budget
3 More Budget Friendly Healthy Food Tips
How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
(For more links, go here and scroll down to "Primal on the Cheap.")
Technological advances, ironically enabled by the modern research university, may make its eventual displacement possible. The great texts that make up the ancient canon and well crafted lectures and introductions to those texts are now freely available on-line as an academic open source (Babbit’s book, available on Google Books, is just one example). Social media and teleconferencing make possible the spontaneous formation of international communities of scholarly amateurs (in the original sense of the word), in and through which the heritage of the West can still find its outlet. All that is needed is for scholars committed to the true republic of letters to join together to provide some formal quality control to the process. This model would provide students from modest backgrounds who aspire to a classical education a low-cost credential by examination (modeled on the final examination schools of Oxford and Cambridge), as an alternative to the residential four-year college.
It seems to me that such long-distance learning is only possible for the many if there is cheap energy. Also, a great books approach is not sufficient for an Aristotelian liberal education, which should have a Socratic component. Can Socratic questioning be done online? Yes, but it is time-intensive -- what sort of teacher would be able to do that for free, or very low wages? Besides that, socratic questioning is not effective with large class sizes. Education needs to be relocalized precisely for the teacher-student relationship to be fostered. (Do businesses accept the accreditation of long-distance education programs?)