Saturday, July 03, 2010
Scott Benson, Troy MacGillivray, Patrick Gillis, Josh Carley, Iain MacDonald, Barb MacDonald, Jared Dormer
Does the analysis of the movie go far enough? Someone mentioned John Taylor Gatto in the comments to the trailer at Youtube. Do they look at the problems with American public mass education? Or do they just blame No Child Left Behind?
Race to Nowhere: The Case Against Homework
Race to nowhere: Stop the insanity
Parents Guide to NCLB
3. The chief legacy of the 4th of July is the political philosophy set out in the Declaration of Independence.
Since the 18th century, political radicals have argued for understanding the Declaration as a general warrant for government to do anything it likes to forward the idea that "all men are created equal." Yet, that was not what the Declaration of Independence meant. The Declaration of Independence was the work of a congress of representatives of state governments. Congressmen were not elected by voters at large, but by state legislatures, and their role (as John Adams, one of them, put it) was more akin to that of ambassadors than to legislators. They had not been empowered to dedicate society to any particular political philosophy, but to declare – as the Virginia legislature had told its congressmen to declare – that the colonies were, "and of right ought to be, free and independent states." In other words, the Declaration was about states’ rights, not individual rights, and the Congress that adopted it had no power to make it anything else. All the rest of the Declaration was mere rhetorical predicate.
4. The 4th of July is a non-partisan holiday dedicated to recalling the legacy of the American Revolution.
In the Founders’ day, the 4th of July was a partisan holiday. It was celebrated in the 1790s and 1800s by Jeffersonian Republicans desirous of showing their devotion to Jeffersonian, rather than Hamiltonian, political philosophy. If you were a Federalist in the 1790s, you likely would celebrate Washington’s Birthday instead of the 4th of July. If you believed in the inherent power of the Executive in formulating foreign policy, in the power of Congress to charter a bank despite the absence of express constitutional authorization to do so, and in the power of the federal government to punish people who criticized the president or Congress, you would not celebrate the 4th. The 4th was the holiday of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, those great states’-rights blasts at federal lawlessness. It was the anti-Hamilton, anti-Washington, anti-nationalist holiday.
5. The fulfillment of the 4th of July lay in the establishment of a powerful national government.
Celebrants of the 4th of July in the Founders’ day rejected the idea that the Constitution had created a national government, but insisted that it was federal instead. That is, they said that Congress had only the powers it had been expressly delegated, chiefly through Article I, Section 8, that the federal courts had no more jurisdiction than they had been assigned through Article III, and that the vast majority of government functions had been kept by the states. When federal courts grabbed for more power in 1793, these people added the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution. In response to the nationalists’ war on France and Alien and Sedition Acts, they first adopted the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, then elected Republicans – Jeffersonian states’-rights/laissez-faire advocates – to run their government.
When I first saw the MV, it was playing in a rectory(?) in Chinatown... the rectory for old St. Mary's? Anyway... we were there because that was where Fr. Ruiz was staying that night. The rectory had MTV (and cable!). And MTV continued showing the video, every 20 or 30 minutes? She was quite cute in the video. Someone left a comment at youtube about how innocent she is, compared to Miley Cyrus and others. Marketing perhaps, but at least they tried to maintain a clean image for her.
Friday, July 02, 2010
It is not clear to me why Zenit is using the word "gender," given its ideological baggage.
Archbishop Migliore can say this:
The empowerment of women presupposes universal human dignity and, thus, the dignity of each and every individual. The notion denotes complementarity between man and woman, which means equality in diversity: where equality and diversity are based on biological data, expressed traditionally by male and female sexuality, and on the primacy of the person. It concerns also roles to be held and functions to be performed in society. In that regard, equality is not sameness, and difference is not inequality.And this:
Empowerment of women for development means also recognition of the gifts and talents of every woman and is affirmed through the provision of better health care, education and equal opportunities. Empowering women and respecting their dignity mean also honoring their capacity to serve and devote themselves to society and to the family through motherhood which entails a self-giving love and care-giving. Altruism, dedication and service to others are healthy and contribute to personal dignity.Both of these sound traditional. But he continues:
If domesticity can be considered a particular gift of mothers in cultivating a genuine intrapersonal relationship in the family and society, then family-friendly working arrangements, shared family-care leave and redistribution of the burden of unpaid work will be given the attention they rightly deserve.Some women may have to work outside of the home due to financial necessity. But it is difficult not to see how this differs from anything that feminists in Europe (and the United States) might be promoting.
So what is the Holy See trying to achieve with this (and other statements)? Do they think that the secular powers that be will listen to what the Church has to say and change their agendas accordingly? If the system undermines family and the community, why these minor fixes which do nothing to repair the major damage that is being done to society?
Women’s economic empowerment is essential for the economic development of the family and of society. Access to land and property, credit facilities and equal opportunities for financial services for women will help ensure their economic stability. In this process, the whole household and community must support their entrepreneurship. The ethical dimension of their development and economic empowerment as well as their service to the family must not be overlooked.Women who have lost a husband may need means to secure economic security. But the document does not distinguish between them and those who still have a husband. Indeed this sentence appears to be recommending that households (which I take to be "complete," having both a husband and wife) should support women in their entrepreneurial endeavors: "In this process, the whole household and community must support their entrepreneurship." But is industry in the home to be integrated, or separate and competitive?
Tragically, violence against women, especially in the home and work place, and discrimination in the professional field, even on the pay and pension scale, are growing concerns. Through adequate legal frame-works and national policies, perpetrators of violence must be brought to justice and women must be afforded rehabilitation. Women and girls must be guaranteed their full enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights including equal access to education and health.
How great, really, is the moral witness of the Church in non-Christian countries?
I say white-knighting, because MRAs would take issue with the claims about violence, harassment, and discrimination.
How can the following be taken seriously:
"Women and girls must be guaranteed their full enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights including equal access to education and health."
How can there be equality of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights without contradicting what was said earlier concerning complementarity, diversity, and differences in roles and functions?
It might make sense if the role of the individual as a member of society trumps all other roles and is "gender-neutral." Thus it is therefore prior to other all other roles and functions which are rooted in one's sex (and perhaps valid in so far as they are "voluntarily chosen"?). But how is this different from the assumptions of liberalism? I think the traditional view proceeds in a different direction -- one's role as a member of society is defined first of all by one's sex, which then serves as the foundation for roles in family and so on. This bottom-up direction is reflected in "pre-modern" political treatises.
Dawn Eden, The Holy Ghost in the Machine: Amidst the Legion Crisis, a Sign of Providence
NLM: Review of "Heaven and Earth in Little Space: The Re-Enchantment of Liturgy"
Daniel Larison, Stuck In The Past
CHT: Obama Regime pushes for Three Mass Amnesties
Mark Sisson, How to Improve Your Sleep Posture
Defense Review: Latest-Variant Smith & Wesson (S&W) M&P Tactical AR (AR-15) Rifle/Carbine/SBRs for Special Operations Forces (SOF) Displayed at SOFIC 2010: Ambidextrous Controls!
'Surge' smoke follows Petraeus to Afpak
As General David Petraeus, the mainstream US media's new armored Messiah, takes command in Afghanistan, the myth of his "successful surge" in Iraq could not but linger. Anyone who buys the Pentagon's spin and believes the same conquest will happen in the Pashtun south and southeast of Afghanistan must have smoked Hindu Kush's finest. - Pepe Escobar
Counter-insurgency down for the count
The United States' Afghanistan strategy isn't working, which raises several key questions. Why does President Barack Obama fire a failing general but cling to his failing war policy? And if nothing much is working, why does it still go on non-stop? It's because Afghanistan has become an ill-oiled war machine generating ever-more incentives for almost everyone involved - except ordinary Afghans. - Ann Jones
Vijay Prashad, A Disaster Foretold: BP, Obama and the Gulf
Ralph Nader, Tyranny of the Merchant Class
John Stanton, General Petraeus' Magic Bag
Last September I attended the Prairie Festival at The Land Institute in Salinas, Kansas. At the institute, Wes Jackson and his colleagues are undertaking one of the most important agricultural research projects in the world. They have gone back to first principles and are breeding new grain crops that are perennials rather than annuals...They have taken the long view.
The Land Institute
35 Who Made a Difference: Wes Jackson
"The Genius of Place"
Fora.TV: Wes Jackson: The Next 50 Years on the American Land
(source: Archibald Willard's "The Spirit of 76")
Usually I do not do much, though last year I thought about watching fireworks. The other day I was thinking about the 4th of July again and whether one should celebrate the holiday, which has been taken over by those holding to the nationalist myth of the founding and the Constitution.
Uncelebrating the 4th, by Harry Browne (original)
Unfortunately the author of the above engages in his own fanciful story-telling, but from a libertarian perspective.
I suppose patriots who believe in state sovereignty should take the opportunity to meet up and celebrate the historical event and recognize the Anglo-Celtic-Latin heritage of the country. What better occasion to network? I don't see any events listed on FB or Google, though. You would think that if those who support state sovereignty and the 10th Amendment wanted to make a statement about state sovereignty and a National Government that is wrongfully usurping power, they would do it on the 4th.
Daniel McCarthy recommends Bill Kauffman's Up Against the Wall in Anti-Imperialism for Independence Day.
I reproduce below what 'HM' wrote (1st July, 9.16 pm, on the 'Demetriou Conundrum' thread), interleaving my comments in rebuttal and explanation:
'HM' ‘Yes, the point is clear now. If it had not been for the Polish guarantee Britain could have continued its successful policy of appeasement, and we would all have been much better off.’
PH: This is just crude. 'HM' makes it plain that he has not paid much attention, and is prevented from giving my argument fair consideration by prejudice and dogma. I have nowhere argued that the policy of 'appeasement', such as it was, was 'successful'. On the contrary, I have mocked Neville Chamberlain for his delusions about Munich.
The thing that 'HM’ cannot cope with, because it shakes his moral universe (as it shakes that of 'Stan') is the idea that Britain had no substantial interest in maintaining the Versailles-imposed borders of Eastern Europe. Those borders, by the way, have now been wholly abolished under the Schengen agreement and Versailles has been wholly undone, without any protest from Britain, or any special loss on our part. Even at the time, British inter-war diplomacy was at least flexible on these matters, and British public opinion increasingly grew to believe that Versailles had been a foolish treaty.
In fact, we had no such interest. The French did, or thought they did, and we were in a sort of alliance with France, but for what purpose? The heart of this argument is that Britain's interests were global and imperial, and that we gained nothing and lost much by intervening in continental matters at this stage.
As for 'we would have been much better off', this is also a crude caricature. All I am saying is that, had we not gone uselessly to war in September 1939, we might have saved our empire and much else. We might not. But it is certain that the September 1939 declaration of war (caused directly by the May guarantee to Poland) led to our catastrophic national decline, and very nearly got us invaded and subjugated for the first time since 1066.
What is interesting, once again, is the scornful sarcasm contained in this misunderstanding by 'HM'. He cannot see the subject straight. The Churchill legend is too precious to him. Anyone who questions it must be some sort of Hitlerite apologist. Not so.
'HM' (quoting me) ’...”we must look elsewhere for the decisive moment ... I think a persuasive case has been made for the Polish guarantee.”
Persuasive indeed, if it had not been made and kept to, then no one would ever have taken us seriously again, and we could have given up on war for good.’
PH: But it was made, and it was not kept to. We did nothing to help Poland (and the French only undertook a symbolic and swift advance into the Saarland). We did not engage with the Germans on land until Churchill's disastrous and incompetent foray into Norway, months after Poland had been ploughed under by the USSR and the Third Reich. We did not engage with the Germans properly until they came down through Belgium, outflanked us and drove us into the sea. Who exactly did we want to take us seriously? Fiji? The only people whose opinion counted at the moment were the major European powers, Germany and the USSR. They treated us with contempt before the guarantee, after the guarantee, and again after we had failed to enforce it.
And why would giving a guarantee we couldn't enforce to a country we didn't in fact help make anyone take us seriously? This is diplomacy as melodrama, or soap opera. The conduct of Foreign Policy is not a job interview or a character test. By the way, who exactly has taken us seriously as a major power since then? Apart from Argentina, hardly a major power, what country have we been able to challenge and defeat on our own? We never again operated as an offensive military force after Dunkirk (leaving aside various imperial incursions in Iraq and Iran) except as an ally (and a dependent, bankrupt ally) of the USA.
The fact is that nobody would have taken Neville Chamberlain seriously again if he had done nothing after Hitler marched into Prague. And thanks to his wounded pride, vanity and weak political position, our country was hitched irrevocably to Poland's cart.
'HM' (quoting me) ‘ “But if this is the pivotal moment, then we went to war by mistake, for a cause already lost, rather than to save the world.”
Exactly. That we did actually save the world does nothing to excuse this, since it only happened by accident.‘
PH: In what way did 'we' 'save' 'the world'? Without the USA and the USSR, our accidental and far from sentimental allies of necessity, we would have had to make terms with the Germans in the end anyway. Without their military alliances, Germany would not have been defeated. And how 'saved' were Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria after the war was over? How saved, for that matter, were the people of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, or the peoples of the Soviet Empire in general, set to endure decades of show trials, death camps and despotism lasting for almost half a century after our world-saving victory? Did it make their lives better or worse that we went to war in 1939 and promptly bankrupted ourselves and lost our empire? I don't see how. It is no good 'HM' trying to wriggle out of facing this by what appears to me to be sarcasm.
'HM' (quoting me): ’ “The Churchill myth has arisen for several reasons. One, it is comforting ... Two, it fosters the weird belief that the Second World War was primarily a conflict over goodness between free, democratic Britain and wicked Nazi Germany...”
Precisely. Though Britain was free and democratic, and Nazi Germany was wicked, this was not the reason we went to war, so it’s something we can justifiably ignore.‘
PH: I am not sure what 'HM' is trying to say here. Is he admitting that we didn't go to war with Germany because of its regime (We didn't. Though it is hard to believe this in the light of the 'Finest Hour' interpretation of history)? If he is, then he must begin to ask why in that case *did* Britain go to war with Germany *when we did*. And here I must point out yet again that my case is not that we should never have gone to war with Hitler. It would probably have been necessary. It is that we shouldn't have done so in September 1939. And it is this uncomfortable question ‘Why, and why then?’ that I now refuse to shy away from.
HM (quoting me) ‘ “And if we were so keen on making war on wickedness, then why did we have wicked Stalin as our principal ally on land?”
Why indeed? Being forced to is no defence.’
PH. On the contrary, it is a perfectly good defence. There is none better. As Mr Churchill rightly said, 'If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favourable remark about the Devil in the House of Commons'. Countries often have to make unwelcome alliances of necessity to serve their own interests, among which are survival and independence. It would be foolish not to do so. But it is absurd to pretend, if you make such alliances, that you are also fighting a great war of principle. In which case, and here comes the really awkward part of the argument, the Soviet alliance is justified if it was necessary for our own interests. But in that case what were our interests in fighting Hitler in 1939, which then compelled us to seek this unwelcome ally? How did going to war in September 1939 make our continued independence and survival more likely than staying out? Why did we start a war in 1939, when we didn't need to? If it was all right for the USA to stay out of the war until 1941 (and most 'Finest Hour' adherents think it was, since they are convinced that the USA is our bestest friend) then why wasn't it all right for us to stay out for just as long?
'HM' (once again quoting me): ‘ “Likewise, if we were so much against appeasement in 1939, why did we appease Stalin at Yalta...”
We can have no excuse, even if we were exhausted, and out of money, and simply relieved to be at peace again.’
PH: Well, actually, we were not at peace yet during the Yalta conference, but let that go. If 'HM' accepts that Yalta was as bad a piece of appeasement as Munich (as it was) then why would it have been so wicked to push Poland into giving up Danzig and the corridor in 1939, or simply let Hitler take them? Why does HM not apply to Churchill at Yalta the strictures he applies to Chamberlain in May 1939? What 'HM' said about that was that ‘If [the Polish Guarantee] had not been made and kept to, then no one would ever have taken us seriously again, and we could have given up on war for good.’
So, having gone to war, mortgaged ourselves for generations, supposedly for the freedom of Poland, and expended untold lives, we then hand over Poland to Stalin, and 'HM' is quite happy and content, or at least willing to accept the cruel necessities of life. Or is he? Or is he, as it seems to me, trying to avoid the point? Does his moral hauteur apply only in 1939, when Hitler is involved, and fade mysteriously into real-politik in 1945, when we are dealing with Stalin?
HM (quoting me) ‘ “So the question still arises. Why did we go to war with Germany when we did?”
Why indeed? If only we’d waited a better opportunity would have been sure to arise. Or we could simply have left it too late, after which it would all have been out of our hands.’
PH. It is true that a better opportunity might have arisen, though of course he can only acknowledge that truth sarcastically (in fact, sarcasm seems to be his main way of acknowledging the truth of my position). But what does he mean by 'leaving it too late'? Too late for what? Since from June 1941 onwards it was all out of our hands anyway (and we were already broke, and committed to a war from which we could only depart either by final victory as a client ally, on American and Soviet terms, or through a humiliating peace with Hitler), what does he envisage by the term 'out of our hands'?
The next set of quotes from me arranged by 'HM' is as follows: ‘ “We would have done far better to do as the USA did, and calculate our intervention to suit our own needs. Who knows what that might have led to?”
“But it would be unlikely to have been worse than what we in fact faced...”
Sorry. No one except Peter Hitchens.
“...the loss of our empire and our power, plus a narrow escape from subjugation.”
Only the loss of our empire and our power, and a failure to escape subjugation would have been worse. And that couldn’t possible have happened, could it?’
PH: The level of wilful incomprehension here, mingled with the sarcastic bitterness of a man whose dreams have been trodden upon, is astonishing.
It might have happened. But 'HM' needs to explain the circumstances under which he thinks it would have happened. We know - because it did happen - that going to war over Poland in September 1939 cost us our empire and our standing as a major power. We know it nearly led to our subjugation. Why would staying out of the war, keeping our army intact and continuing to build up our forces have made it likely that the outcome would be worse? Does 'HM' think that if Hitler had truly wished to conquer this country he couldn't have done so in 1941, had he chosen to strike West instead of East? Yet he didn't, any more than he ever seriously intended to attack the USA. What does this (apart from all his published thoughts and writings) suggest about his actual priorities?
HM (quoting me): ‘ “We might also re-examine our own decayed, debauched national culture and realistically examine our standing with clear eyes, casting aside all sentimentality and self-delusion...”
Quite so. If only we could abandon any lingering pride over WWII and focus on hating ourselves and longing for our empire we would be much happier as a nation, and so much less deluded.’
PH. Once again a bitter, sarcastic parody of what I actually say. Where do I recommend that we 'hate ourselves' or long for our empire (that is actually what many sentimentalists and 'Finest Hour' adherents do? I do not. I know only too well that the empire is gone for good). One thing we might not do, if we faced the truth, is try to continue to behave as if we were a great power, when we are not, or to have a vast and bloated welfare state we can't afford, or to insist, year by year, on maintaining a standard of living we cannot afford, as if we still were what we long ago ceased to be. We might also recognise the urgent need to salvage our national independence, which, in a fog of Churchillian fake grandeur, we have given away to the EU.
Kudos to Mr. Hitchens for engaging his readers; maybe he should write a book on World War II (and the decline of the British Empire) as well.
A traditionalist might think that Catholic Social Teaching has been "compromised" with the incorporation of rights language into its documents; or at the very least, this is a combination of two elements that ultimately cannot be harmonized.
Rights talk is not a part of Sacred Tradition, that seems unquestionable -- are rights a valid development of Catholic doctrine?
Some notes regarding the development of CST and a suspicion:
A modern scientific treatment of political theology has not been given so far. (Scientific understood with the Aristotelian sense of episteme.) This project would require the adaptation, in part, of political science. Part of the medieval project was to appropriate Aristotle in the service of theology. Some political commentaries and treatises were written. (How much of an influence did they have on rulers?) There was also the development of what we would now call economics, right up to the Catholic Reformation. (The moral theology of the 15th and 16th centuries which has been misappropriated by the paleolibertarians.)
Modern Catholic social teaching finds its source in the papal encyclicals of the late 19th century (written by Pope Leo XIII and his successors), and were written in response to the political and economic problems of the times. How much of traditional political theology did these encyclicals use?
While critical of the rise of the modern nation-state, papal encyclicals have been written with the nation-state in mind since these are the polities that actually exist. How much of what is recommended or "required" is actually so, in accordance with the virtues of justice and charity, and how much is a compromise or the best possible solution as perceived by the popes?
We can distinguish between precepts which are bound with Tradition from rights. The question is how are rights related to those precepts? A [subjective passive] "right" may frame a precept of justice, in so far as the precept commands us to render what is owed to another, and the right explains what is owed. This is perhaps the most straightforward to link right with law. But I do not know if it is successful. Rather, it seems to me that the precepts themselves must be based upon some ratio (proper to the relevant virtue, if we are going to follow St. Thomas's account). The precept of particular justice tells us that we must render what is owed to another. The ratio of the virtue of particular justice is equality; what is owed must be equal to what has been received. The attempt to reconcile modern rights with law results in this Thomistic notion of justice being replaced by a modern one centered upon individual dominion over goods. What are the consequences of this? Does it render CST incoherent?
Some general precepts of justice are well-known and can be found in Sacred Tradition. (Do not steal.) But this is not the case with many of the newly formulated precepts of justice, which are supposedly binding upon those who have authority. A right to religious freedom, broadly understood, might entail that the public authority of a Christian polity has no legitimate power to prohibit public worship of non-Christian sects. This is just an extreme example, not one that has necessarily been endorsed by Vatican II or the post-conciliar popes. The right to religious freedom could be narrowly construed, so that it requires only that an adult not be coerced to adopt a religion.
A precept might be valid and binding, even though its "theoretical" explanation is erroneous. But if a precept is new and we know of it only through a conclusion based upon some right, might it be that this precept is not valid and binding?
Then there are the subjective active rights, the right to do x or y... again, we have to look at the theoretical foundation for these moral faculties. These may actually be easier to reconcile with Catholic teaching on the limits of secular authority. But it seems to me that they nonetheless require further investigation by the bishops and their theologians.
Magisterium Part 4: Attitude Towards Teaching of the Magisterium by: Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio
Doctrinal Commentary on Ad Tuendam Fidem-Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Summary of Categories of Belief in Professio fidei
MAGISTERIAL DOCUMENTS AND PUBLIC DISSENT by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B.
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Office for Social Justice St. Paul and Minneapolis
Themes of Catholic Social Teaching
Catholic Social Teaching
The Common Good and the Catholic Church's Social Teaching
Catholic Social Teaching and Economic Science
Catholic Social Tradition: Teaching, Thought, and Practice
Guide to Understanding Catholic Social Teaching on Immigration
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH by Javier Hervada
A volume on modern Catholic social teaching, edited by Kenneth R. Himes and Lisa Sowle Cahill (Google Books).
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Something more upbeat...
El Cielito Lindo (Tradicional Huasteca) Jordi Savall-Hesperion XXI-Tembembe Ensamble Continuo
Guaracha "Ay que me abraso"-J.G.Zespedes-J.Savall-Hesperion XXI-Tembembe Ensamble Continuo
I have a bunch of movie passes to use up, but no movies I'm really interested in, other than Restrepo. I should watch Toy Story 2 before Toy Story 3. Movies, television programs, and commercials continue to grate. I caught another episode of Rookie Blue tonight, and the quality definitely has not improved. It was nice to catch a glimpse of the University of Toronto.
Getting away from it all would be nice.
From the introductory post to the new blog:
There are two guiding insights that I bring to my writing. On politics, I have never found a better description of, and challenge to, those of us who champion progressive politics than these words of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.: “American democracy has come to accept the struggle among competing groups for the control of the state as a positive virtue – indeed, as the only foundation for liberty. The business community has been ordinarily the most powerful of these groups, and liberalism in America has been ordinarily the movement on the part of the other sections of society to restrain the power of the business community.” Even more than when Schlesinger wrote those words in 1944, the principal cancer in American politics and culture today is the way the pursuit of material wealth often leaves the other aspirations of the human heart in the dust. Mammon and its adherents walk through American life like Tom and Daisy Buchanan, leaving many maimed victims on the side of the road, always too busy to notice let alone make amends.
On Catholicism, the challenge posed by Gaudium et Spes 22 is my guiding star: “The truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. For Adam, the first man, was a figure of Him Who was to come, namely Christ the Lord. Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear. It is not surprising, then, that in Him all the aforementioned truths find their root and attain their crown.” There is no issue, no concern, no problem that affects humankind about which the Church can be indifferent, and no issue, concern or problem that cannot benefit from the unique light shed by the Catholic theological tradition.
We can agree that corporatism and oligarchy are problems for the country. But where is the respect for the Constitutional order of the country, and its political traditions? As I haven't taken America seriously for a long time, I don't know that much about Mr. Winters, other than what other bloggers have written in response to him. Is his blog going to be another "Catholic" blog written by a statist Democrat who uses Catholic social teaching to defend that party's agenda?
The present system is unsustainable -- it's time to think outside of the box.
CHICAGO (AP) -- With the city's gun ban certain to be overturned, Mayor Richard Daley on Thursday introduced what city officials say is the strictest handgun ordinance in the United States.
The measure, which draws from ordinances around the country, would ban gun shops in Chicago and prohibit gun owners from stepping outside their homes, even onto their porches or garages, with a handgun.
Daley announced his ordinance at a park on the city's South Side three days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Americans have a right to own a gun for self-defense anywhere they live. The City Council is expected to vote on it Friday.
''As long as I'm mayor, we will never give up or give in to gun violence that continues to threaten every part of our nation, including Chicago,'' said Daley, who was flanked by activists, city officials and the parents of a teenager whose son was shot and killed on a city bus while shielding a friend.
The ordinance, which Daley urged the City Council to pass, also would :
-- Limit the number of handguns residents can register to one per month and prohibit residents from having more than one handgun in operating order at any given time.
-- Require residents in homes with children to keep them in lock boxes or equipped with trigger locks.
-- Require prospective gun owners to take a four-hour class and one-hour training at a gun range. They would have to leave the city for training because Chicago prohibits new gun ranges and limits the use of existing ranges to police officers. Those restrictions were similar to those in an ordinance passed in Washington, D.C., after the high court struck down its ban two years ago.
-- Prohibit people from owning a gun if they were convicted of a violent crime, domestic violence or two or more convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Residents convicted of a gun offense would have to register with the police department.
-- Calls for the police department to maintain a registry of every handgun owner in the city, with the names and addresses to be made available to police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders.
Those who already have handguns in the city -- which has been illegal since the city's ban was approved 28 years ago -- would have 90 days to register those weapons, according to the proposed ordinance.
Residents convicted of violating the city's ordinance can face a fine up to $5,000 and be locked up for as long as 90 days for a first offense and a fine of up to $10,000 and as long as six months behind bars for subsequent convictions.
The mayor's proposal is celebrated by at least one Catholic--I got the above link from the post by a contributor to Mirror of Justice, Michael Perry: God bless Chicago's (Catholic) Mayor Daley -- and to Hell with the NRA. (I don't know why he's still allowed to contribute to the blog, when he puts up stuff like this: "A Dictatorship of Relativism?"
Leslie Green, Professor of Philosophy of Law, Balliol College, Oxford University, takes on Benedict XVI, here.
Is the Holy Father, like many, prone to using abstractions and genealogy in his analysis of sin? Might his analysis be incorrect as a result? Sure. But do we need a liberal like Leslie Green to tell us that the Holy Father is incorrect?
Sadly, to my way of thinking, since there’s so much that’s rich and important in Catholic moral theology, the Church has transformed itself into a kind of fertility cult, so that what it really cares about now is making sure that you know men aren’t having sex with men and nobody’s having abortions and there are no condoms in the JCR around the corner here and that there aren’t any divorces. Well even in a fairly liberal, tolerant sexual morality, there’s nobody that argues that anything goes. The people that Pope Benedict deplores don’t think that rape is okay, and they certainly don’t think that the sexual abuse of children is okay. Everybody agrees there is a bottom line minimum to which we all must conform. And the thing is of course that some folks disagree about where the minimums should be drawn. That’s democracy."More social justice talk! Less sex talk!"
There wouldn't be so much teaching concerning sexual morality if people were doing what was right.
Wired, 2-Billion-Year-Old Fossils May Be Earliest Multicellular Life and Ancient Whale + Killer Shark = Hypercarnivorous Whale
On a Saint Who Taught and Guided Holy Priests
"His Secret Was Simple: To Be a Man of God"
Papal Homily for Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul
"The Unity of the Church Is Rooted in Its Union With Christ"
"Received From God Different Charisms and Different Missions"
Russell Mokhiber, The Rape of Appalachia
William R. Polk, Afghanistan Sitrep
Julien Mercille, Why Afghanistan's Poppies Aren't the Problem
The United States has no glorious culture, no history comparable with that of Great Britain and the great Western European nations. Rooted in the thin acidic topsoil of the Enlightenment, and at a deeper level in the even thinner and more acid subsoil of Puritanism; deprived of an hereditary aristocracy for which a more or less barbaric plutocracy has necessarily substituted; mentally and socially crippled by bumpkin preachers at the bottom of the religious structure and by otiose transcendentalist divines at its top; retarded by its frontier culture; corrupted by the worship of money, science, and technique and by the false religions of Progress and Democracy—high culture at the European level was never to be a part of America’s destiny. (The English, despite the self-inflicted and incurable wound of the Reformation, at least had the sense to kick the sectarians out at the beginning of the 17th century. Chesterton, on a lecture tour in the United States, quipped, to nobody’s amusement, that Great Britain, too, should have her own Thanksgiving Day, offering up her heartfelt thanks for the God-sent departure of the Puritans from England.) And yet American civilization, despite its undeniable shallowness by comparison with that of Europe, does represent the cultural and intellectual flowering of a unique, vigorous, and interesting people who succeeded for a time in creating a culture well suited to, and highly expressive of, its geographical and material circumstances, as Tocqueville understood. The trouble with America is that she never realized her great potential, and the chief reason that she failed to do so is the irresponsible profligacy of her immigration policy, driven almost entirely at the behest, indeed the demand, of the business and industrial elites who, from the beginning, showed no concern for the future of their country but merely for what they might realize from it in the short term. (How could it have been otherwise? They were wealthy men of business, not aristocrats, whose historical role has been to act as husbandmen for their countries.) Mass culture, together with mass democracy, by themselves ensured the destruction of the traditional American civilization (America’s colonial past, remember, is nearly as long as her history as the United States), but the racial and ethnic fragmentation of society produced by immigration ensured that the old civilization was not long for this world.
There is no more chance, of course, of restoring the old American Republic, either in political spirit or in general culture, than of restoring the Roman Republic. And so there would be no need or excuse for deploring its passage but for one thing: As the history of the West since 1789 shows, a bad situation, no matter how bad, can always be made worse. As socially fragmented as American society has become, and as much as its culture has been degraded by immigration, they will inevitably become more so if mass immigration from the Third World is not soon halted. There are, still, many valuable relicts that deserve to be preserved. But contemporary mainstream culture will not permit this truth to be spoken when the message is expressed in subjective historical, cultural, and moral terms. The demons of multiculturalism simply will not permit such a thing.
(more clips, but of other appearances)
Community Development Resources: The Appropriate Technology Library and the Appropriate Technology Sourcebook!
The Schumacher Circle
The Preservation Institute
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Certain branches of practical knowledge, thoroughly learned and just as thoroughly practiced by a relatively modest number of people, could be deployed in a hurry to help mitigate the impact of the energy shortages, economic dislocations, and systems breakdowns that are tolerably certain to punctuate the years ahead of us. I’m sure my readers have their own ideas about the kind of knowledge that might be best suited to that context, but I have a particular suggestion to offer: the legacy of the apppropriate technology movement of the 1970s.
This was not simply a precursor of today’s sustainability projects, and the differences are important. The appropriate tech movement, with some exceptions, tended to avoid the kind of high-cost, high-profile eco-chic projects so common today. Much of it focused instead on simple technologies that could be put to work by ordinary people without six-figure incomes, doing the work themselves, using ordinary tools and readily available resources. Most of these technologies were evolved by basement-shop craftspeople and small nonprofits working on shoestring budgets, and ruthlessly field-tested by thousands of people who built their own versions in their backyards and wrote about the results in the letters column of Mother Earth News.
The resulting toolkit was a remarkably well integrated, effective, and cost-effective set of approaches that individuals, families, and communities could use to sharply reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and the industrial system in general. It was not, I should probably point out, particularly esthetic, unless you happen to like a lively fusion of down home funk, late twentieth century garage-workshop, and hand-dyed back-to-the-land hippie paisley; those of my readers who own houses and are still fretting about their resale value (and haven’t yet figured out that this figure will be denominated in imaginary numbers for the next several decades at least) will likely run screaming from it; those who were incautious enough to buy homes in suburban developments with restrictive covenants will have to step carefully, at least until their neighbors panic. Apartment dwellers will have to pick and choose a bit; on the other hand, those of my readers who will spend time living in tarpaper shacks before the Great Recession ends – and I suspect a fair number of people will have that experience, as a fair number of people did the last time the economy lost touch with reality and imploded the way it’s currently doing – will find that very nearly everything the appropriate tech people did will be well within their reach.
What’s included in the package I’m discussing? Intensive organic gardening, for starters, with its support technologies of composting, green manure, season extenders, and low-tech food preservation and storage methods; small-scale chicken and rabbit raising, and home aquaculture of fish; simple attached solar greenhouses, which make the transition from food to energy by providing heat for homes as well as food for the table; other retrofitted passive solar heating technologies; solar water heating; a baker’s dozen or more methods for conserving hot or cool air with little or no energy input; and a good deal more. None of it will save the world, if that hackneyed phrase means maintaining business as usual on some supposedly sustainable basis; what it can do is make human life in a world suffering from serious energy shortages and economic troubles a good deal less traumatic and more livable.
This is the suite of technologies I studied as a budding appropriate-tech geek during the late 1970s and 1980s, and it was central to the training program that earned me my Master Conserver certificate in 1985. One teaches what one knows, and I’m going to take the gamble of devoting much of the next year or so of Archdruid Report posts to the details. My hope is that I can encourage at least a few of my readers to follow the very old example mentioned earlier, and become the green wizards of the decades ahead of us.
For that, I have come to think, is one of the things the soon-to-be-deindustrializing world most needs just now: green wizards. By this I mean individuals who are willing to take on the responsibility to learn, practice, and thoroughly master a set of unpopular but valuable skills – the skills of the old appropriate tech movement – and share them with their neighbors when the day comes that their neighbors are willing to learn. This is not a subject where armchair theorizing counts for much – as every wizard’s apprentice learns sooner rather than later, what you really know is measured by what you’ve actually done – and it’s probably not going to earn anyone a living any time soon, either, though it can help almost anyone make whatever living they earn go a great deal further than it might otherwise go. Nor, again, will it prevent the unraveling of the industrial age and the coming of a harsh new world; what it can do, if enough people seize the opportunity, is make the rough road to that new world more bearable than it will otherwise be.
"Put your faith not in Hollywood actors."
How would Judge Bork have voted on McDonald v. Chicago? He is still listed on the list of faculty for Ave Maria School of Law.
Defining the Real Robert Bork
Judge Robert Bork Blasts Elena Kagan
Chicago Gun Case
Theories of Constitutional Interpretation
I don't think I've quoted Winston Churchill out of context at all, in the matter of the reoccupation of the Rhineland and his support for the League of Nations route (for all I know, still proceeding in some forgotten committee room in Geneva). My point is and remains that if even Churchill wasn't calling for an immediate military response to expel Germany from the reoccupied Rhineland (which would, I am sure, have led to the fall of Hitler had it happened, but alas, alack, it was never likely to happen) then it is absurd to pretend that such a thing was a realistic possibility. In which case we must look elsewhere for the decisive moment in the long procession towards war between Britain and Germany. In which case, where? I think a persuasive case has been made for the Polish guarantee. Britain had the freedom to choose what to do. It chose wrongly. But if this is the pivotal moment, then we went to war by mistake, for a cause already lost, rather than to save the world. And that makes nonsense of the Churchill myth, in which we were compelled by historic duty to stand, as it were, at the Pass of Thermopylae, against the Barbarians, and save civilisation by our exertions. As it happens, we were more or less mugged on a squalid street corner of history, having wandered foolishly with a full wallet into a bad part of town, and thinking we could talk our way out of trouble. We were lucky to escape with our lives.
The Churchill myth has arisen for several reasons. One, it is comforting (like the belief that we are good at football summed up in the moronic lumpen chant 'Two World Wars and One World Cup') especially when we consider what a diminished country we now are (this is specially well-known to those who actually know anything about the state, and the standing, of Britain in 1939).
Two, it fosters the weird belief that the Second World War was primarily a conflict over goodness between free, democratic Britain and wicked Nazi Germany, from which France feebly dropped out early, and which the USA joined late. (The USSR, which does not quite fit this narrative, tends not to be mentioned in this version, well summed up in another lumpen football chant directed at the French 'If it wasn't for the English you'd be Krauts!’) This is epitomised in the way in which we tend to refer to the 'The Germans' as 'The Nazis' (though we do not refer to the USSR as 'The Communists') and to speak of a 'war against Fascism'. The second of these is specially interesting. If we are being completely specific, then we were at war with Mussolini's Fascist Italy from late 1940 until 1943 - though we had for many years sought an alliance with him. But if we are using 'Fascist' as a sort of generic term for vaguely conservative militaristic dictatorships, then what do we call the regime of General Metaxas, our gallant Greek ally against Mussolini in 1940-41? And how do we view Spain's General Franco, and his canny refusal to join Hitler in war against us, which probably saved the Mediterranean for British sea power? I don't think 'war against Fascism' works. Nor does 'war against Nazism' work very well. It was Germany we were at war with, something we confirmed once we committed ourselves to the unconditional surrender of Germany, which meant we no longer cared who was in power in Berlin. We also, as I sometimes remind readers, did nothing to save the murdered Jews, not even attempting to bomb to the railway lines which took the victims to the death camps, and ignoring reports of those camps for years. Whereas we were quite willing to 'de-house' by bombing the German working class, who had voted till the end against Hitler and the Nazis.
Well, Britain and Germany were in that war, and fought each other, though Britain did not engage the main body of the Germans between 1940 and 1944 (and in both 1939-40 and 1944-45 did so as one army among allies. Some spoilsports might even say that the war in the West - even after D-Day and the Italian landings - was not the main theatre, which was the Russian Front from 1941 onwards).
And if we were so keen on making war on wickedness, then why did we have wicked Stalin as our principal ally on land?
Likewise, if we were so much against appeasement in 1939, why did we appease Stalin at Yalta, and act (as we had at Munich towards the Czechs) as the enforcers of a more powerful nation's desires?
Churchill told the Polish leader Stanislaw Mikolajczyk on October 1944 at the lovely British Embassy in Moscow (with its startling view of the Kremlin across the river) that he, Mikolajczyk, must accept the new borders of his country, ordered by Stalin, or ‘You are out of business forever. The Russians will sweep through your country and your people will be liquidated. You are on the verge of annihilation.’ This is more or less what Chamberlain had told Eduard Benes at Munich, substituting Czechoslovakia for Poland and Hitler for Stalin. Stalin kindly saw Churchill off from Moscow airport, waving his handkerchief.
You will have to read Patrick Buchanan's uncomfortable book to read the awful, self-deluding remark made by Churchill after Yalta, in which he compared his Yalta conduct favourably with Neville Chamberlain's Munich behaviour (plainly conscious that others might make a different, less kind comparison).
Britain didn't go to war with Germany because it was a wicked regime. No more did the USA or the USSR, who also liked (and still like) to pretend that this was so. Hitler was the aggressor (or at least the one who declared war) on both of them, and it is interesting to wonder how war between them would have come about otherwise. Nor was our involvement in the war at any point really central to German concerns, except after we had been thrown out of France and wouldn't make peace. I have said before that, by the time we had reached that point, Churchill was absolutely right. A Hitlerian peace, following military defeat, would have been worse than the long slow decline into unimportance and weakness we chose instead.
Germany did not (as has been pointed out) attempt to build a global navy before the war, nor take over the French Fleet when this might have altered the balance of naval power. No country seriously intending to challenge Britain could have done so without making huge naval and air war preparations. Even in its then decayed state, the Royal Navy could hold the Channel provided the RAF did not crack. Nor did the Luftwaffe ever develop a bombing force, or a heavy bomber equivalent to the Lancaster squadrons which we turned on Germany. The Blitz was misery for those who endured it, and unforgiveably barbaric, likewise the V1s and V2s, but small by comparison with the destruction we rained on Germany (Not, as I have mentioned elsewhere, that this destruction was either militarily effective or morally justified). Nor did Germany, at the height of its military power, make serious preparations to invade Britain. 'Sealion' was not much of a plan, and was never pursued with any zeal. Surely, if conquest and utter defeat of Britain had been at the heart of Hitler's purpose, he would have had the ships and planes and the plans to achieve it. Compare this with the awesome (in the proper use of the word) assembly of men and materiel which Hitler directed against his real objective, the USSR.
So the question still arises. Why did we go to war with Germany when we did? And no clear answer comes back. We would have done far better to do as the USA did, and calculate our intervention to suit our own needs. Who knows what that might have led to? But it would be unlikely to have been worse than what we in fact faced - the loss of our empire and our power, plus a narrow escape from subjugation.
On that basis we should judge present and future calls to go to war against 'evil dictators’ (Nasser, Milosevic, Saddam Hussein), all of which have produced severe unintended consequences. And we might remember that our most successful military alliance of the 20th century was the original NATO (not the absurd body which now goes under that name), which defeated the USSR not by engaging in emotive wars over Berlin in 1953, Budapest in 1956 or Berlin again in 1961, or Prague in 1968, or Poland in 1981, or any other Soviet outrage. But by remaining so strong that Moscow dared not attack it, and was unable to split it.
We might also re-examine our own decayed, debauched national culture and realistically examine our standing with clear eyes, casting aside all sentimentality and self-delusion, and particularly rejecting the soppy falsehood known as 'The Special Relationship'. It does not exist.
Defense Review: SOCOM Cancels FN Mk-16 SCAR-L (SCAR-Light) 5.56mm NATO Rifle/Carbine/SBR Weapons Program. Will the FN Mk-17 SCAR-H (SCAR-Heavy) 7.62mm NATO Variant Survive? Only the Shadow Knows.
Fabius Maximus, COIN as future generations will see it (and as we should see it today)
Free the Animal: Learning to Walk and Out with the Vibram Five Fingers and in with the Soft Star RunAmoc
Some people are not suited for office:
Female Senator Brings up Vampires, Werewolves in SCOTUS Confirmation Hearings
The Senate Jumps the Shark
Crazy Ideas For Crazy Garden Farmers (original)
I wonder if a book titled A Guide To Insane Farming would sell, especially when, upon opening the book, the reader would encounter descriptions of how farming is actually done today. But what I’m talking about at the moment are ideas that really are off the grid, outside the box, beyond normalcy, agronomic lunacy.The Peak Oil Crisis: The Real Gulf Crisis (original)
Ralph Nader, 36 Questions for Elena Kagan
Alan Farago, BP's Temple of Doom
Asian stock markets fall, doubts about recovery in China
Nikkei at minus 2.13; Hong Kong and Shanghai negative. Consumer confidence in the U.S. falls, forecasts for growth in China reduced from 1.7 to 0.3 (April). Yen strengthens, penalizing exports from Japan.
The anatomy of an attack on Iran
The strategic and political realities of a possible Israeli air strike against Iran's nuclear facilities are complex, while the coordination of logistics and tactics of such a long-distance mission - 1,600 kilometers on a straight line from Tel Aviv to Iran's uranium enrichment site in Natanz - would be equally daunting. - David Moon
Gates open on departure
The Chinese government harbors no illusions that the change in leadership at the Pentagon when Secretary of Defense Robert Gates steps down will bring a fresh start. On matters affecting overall strategy, force structure and military posture in Asia and elsewhere, President Barack Obama is the chief architect of the tougher edge to policy. - Peter J Brown
Petraeus circles two camps
With General Stanley McChrystal out of the picture in Afghanistan, pressure is growing on US President Barack Obama to move up his July 2011 troop withdrawal timetable and get behind a negotiated settlement with the Taliban. Voices calling for an open-ended military commitment are equally strident. Incoming General David Petraeus is soon to reveal how he will weave his way between the two camps. - Jim Lobe
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Mospat: Svetlana Medvedeva visits main church of Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in West Coast of United States
The article calls the ROCOR cathedral Our Lady the Joy to All the Afflicted. The cathedral's website says Holy Virgin Cathedral still, but the name is followed by "Joy of All Who Sorrow."
An article about the Russian First Lady's visit, which includes a link to another photo gallery.
Live Recordings from Matins and Twelve Passion Gospels
The Wise Thief
Pope Benedict XVI prays with Eminence Gennadios Limouris Metropolitan of Sassima of the Orthodox Church, (L) in front of the tomb of Saint Peter and Paul, after the celebration of the feast for the apostles Peter and Paul, patrons of the church, prior to giving the pallium to 38 cardinals, bishops and archbishops from around the world in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on, on June 26, 2010. (Getty/Daylife)
Pope Benedict XVI leads a mass at St Peter's Basilica to celebrate the feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul on June 29, 2010 at The Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI placed palliums around the necks of 38 new archishops, a symbol of their authority and responsability. (Getty/Daylife)
Pope Benedict XVI gives Pallium to Archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Belgium during a solemn mass to celebrate the feast of Saints Peter and Paul in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican June 29, 2010. (Reuters/Daylife)
Archibishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Belgium walks in front of Pope Benedict XVI after getting the Pallium during a solemn mass to celebrate the feast of Saints Peter and Paul in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican June 29, 2010. (Reuters/Daylife)
André-Mutien Leonard Archbishop of Mechelen, Bruxelles (L) receives the Pallium from Pope Benedict XVI during the solemn mass at St Peter's basilica to celebrate the feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul on June 29, 2010 at The Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI placed palliums around the necks of 38 new archishops, symbol of their authority and responsability. (Getty/Daylife)
André-Mutien Leonard Archbishop of Mechelen, Bruxelles receives the Pallium from Pope Benedict XVI (unseen) during the solemn mass at St Peter's basilica to celebrate the feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul on June 29, 2010 at The Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI placed palliums around the necks of 38 new archishops, symbol of their authority and responsability. (Getty/Daylife)
Andre-Mutien Leonard (3L) Archbishop of Mechelen from Brussels prays after receiving the Pallum from Pope Benedict XVI (unseen) during the solemn mass at St Peter's basilica during celebrations of the feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul on June 29, 2010 at The Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI placed palliums around the necks of 38 new archishops, a symbol of their authority and responsability. (Getty/Daylife)
Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful as he leaves at the end of solemn mass at St Peter's basilica to celebrate the feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul on June 29, 2010 at The Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI placed palliums around the necks of 38 new archishops, symbol of their authority and responsability. (Getty/Daylife)
From First Vespers:
Pope Benedict XVI walks in procession as he arrives to lead the Vespers mass to celebrate the feast of Saint Peters and Paul in the Saint Paul Outside the Walls basilica in Rome June 28, 2010. (Reuters/Daylife)
Pope Benedict XVI arrives to celebrate the first Vesper at Rome's St. Paul Outside the Walls Basilica on June 28, 2010. Pope Benedict XVI announced that the Vatican will create a new Church ministry aimed at reviving the Christian faith in Catholic countries where it has been eroded by securalisation. (Getty/Daylife)
Pope Benedict XVI prays during the first Vesper at Rome's St. Paul outside the Walls Basilica on June 28, 2010. Pope Benedict XVI announced that the Vatican will create a new Church ministry aimed at reviving the Christian faith in Catholic countries where it has been eroded by securalisation. (Getty/Daylife)
Pope Benedict XVI leads the Vespers mass to celebrate the feast of Saint Peters and Paul in the Saint Paul Outside the Walls basilica in Rome June 28, 2010. (Reuters/Daylife)
Pope Benedict XVI prays as he leads the Vespers mass to celebrate the feast of Saint Peters and Paul in the Saint Paul Outside the Walls basilica in Rome June 28, 2010. (Reuters/Daylife)
Pope Benedict XVI leaves St. Paul's Outside the Walls Basilica at the end of a Vespers Mass, in Rome, Monday, June 28, 2010. (AP/Daylife)