Saturday, August 28, 2010

World's Worst Traffic Jam

A Pearl River tale, power and pride in China

For a few days last week, global news agencies pursued the peculiar story of the world's worst traffic jam, which was reported to have lasted for around nine days and stretched across about 100 kilometres of a major highway leading to Beijing.

Fair Game

The trailer for the Valerie Plame movie is now online. (official site)

My bet is that this movie will not do well at the box office, even though Doug Liman is the director. Hollywood doesn't learn from its mistakes, and while the movie itself has its obvious heroine, I think the story represents many other things that are wrong with Uhmerica. Sean Penn playing the patriot? Yeah, sure.

The importance of tactile contact for infants

Miracle mum brings premature baby son back to life with two hours of loving cuddles after doctors pronounce him dead

Keith Preson on Carl Schmitt

Keith Preston, Carl Schmitt (Part I)
Weimar: State of Exception 

While Schmitt was certainly a thinker of the Right, it is a mistake to group him together with proponents of the “conservative revolution” such as Moeller van den Bruck, Oswald Spengler, Edgar Jung, or Hugo von Hofmannsthal. There is no evidence of him having expressed affinity for the views of these thinkers or joining any of the organizations that emerged to promote their ideas. Schmitt’s conservatism was squarely within the Machiavellian tradition, and he counted Machiavelli, Hobbes, Jean Bodin and conservative counterrevolutionaries such as Joseph De Maistre and Juan Donoso Cortes as his influences.

During the Weimar era, Schmitt expressed no sympathy for the mystical nationalism of the radical Right, much less the vulgar racism and anti-Semitism of the Nazi movement. He was closer to the anti-liberal thinkers that James Burnham and others subsequently labeled as “the neo-Machiavellians.” These included Vilfredo Pareto, Robert Michels, Gaetano Mosca, and Georges Sorel along with aristocratic conservatives like Max Weber. These thinkers expressed skepticism regarding the prospects of liberalism and democracy and emphasized the role of elites, the irrational, and the power of myth with regards to the political. Though Schmitt never joined a political party during the Weimar era, within the spectrum of German politics of the time he can reasonably be categorized as something of a moderate. He had admirers on both the far Right and far Left, including sympathizers with the Conservative Revolution as well as prominent intellectuals associated with the Marxist Frankfurt School, such as Walter Benjamin, Franz Neumann, and Otto Kirchheimer.
Schmitt’s own natural affinities were mostly likely closest to the Catholic Center Party, which along with the Social Democrats who had led the revolution of 1918 were the most consistently supportive of the republic and the constitutional order, and which represented the broadest cross-section of economic, class, regional, and institutional interests of any of the major parties during Weimar.


 A Note on Sources on Schmitt

A Forgotten Thinker On Nation-States vs. Empire by Paul Gottfried
Google Books
Professor Gottfried has his own website. You can purchase his book on Carl Schmitt through his website (assuming that copies are still available at Amazon). The website has not been updated for some time.

Comments on Carl Schmitt and Juan Donoso Cartes

InsideCatholic.com

Jeremiah Bannister on InsideCatholic.com's decision to delete responses by various editors of Distributist Review to the recent piece by Jeffrey Tucker.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The difference in strength between men and women may be greater than you think.

In The Angels principle, Mr. Richardson refers to this blog entry's citation of an article by David Puts:

When fat-free mass is considered, men are 40% heavier (Lassek & Gaulin, 2009; Mayhew & Salm, 1990) and have 60% more total lean muscle mass than women. Men have 80% greater arm muscle mass and 50% more lower body muscle mass (Abe, Kearns, & Fukunaga, 2003). Lassek and Gaulin (2009) note that the sex difference in upper-body muscle mass in humans is similar to the sex difference in fat-free mass in gorillas (Zihlman & MacFarland, 2000), the most sexually dimorphic of all living primates.


These differences in muscularity translate into large differences in strength and speed. Men have about 90% greater upper-body strength, a difference of approximately three standard deviations (Abe et al., 2003; Lassek & Gaulin, 2009). The average man is stronger than 99.9% of women (Lassek & Gaulin, 2009). Men also have about 65% greater lower body strength (Lassek & Gaulin, 2009; Mayhew & Salm, 1990), over 45% higher vertical leap, and over 22% faster sprint times (Mayhew & Salm, 1990).


(Puts, David, A. “Beauty and the Beast: Mechanisms of Sexual Selection in Humans.” Evolution & Human Behavior 31.3 (2010): 157-75.)

abstract


So why should women be serving as firefighters and LEOs? Strength-training for women is limited by the material. If you have two LEOs trying to subdue a suspect, do you want two men or one man and one woman?

O Virgin Pure! Agni Parthene Korean Byzantine Orthodox Chant 오 버진 순수! 비잔틴 정교회

(via JC)

"Compassio"


The Capilla Flamenca opened the first edition of the polyphonic festival "Passie van de Stemmen" in Leuven, Belgium. Psallentes (prepared by Henrik Vanden Abeele) and La Caccia (prepared by Patrick Denecker) were kindly invited by Marnix De Cat who was in charge of the artistic direction of this project.

Capilla Flamenca

Fr. Rutler on Liturgical "Experts"

The Liturgical Experts’ Long Tassels (via NLM and Insight Scoop)

Also from NLM: Rev. Robert Skeris to present in Madison, Wisconsin

PCR, The Nazification of the United States

The Nazification of the United States
Death of the First Amendment


He references Chuck Norris's "Obama's U.S. Assassination Program?" (parts 1 and 2)


More from Counterpunch: Julia Nissen, Birthright Citizenship, "Anchor Babies" and the 14th Amendment

Too much media exposure

AICN: Abstinence Advocate Bristol Palin Joins ABC's  DANCING WITH THE STARS!!

What were the motivations of the producers for putting her on the show? Do they want Sarah Palin to be seen in the audience for at least one episode?

The Nation of Immigrants Myth

I should have added this link to this post.

The Nation of Immigrants Myth by Howard Sutherland

The creed is half true at most and is a weapon for those who want to dissolve this country.

Ruger SR-556

Defense Review: Sturm, Ruger & Co. Introduces the Ruger SR-556/6.8 6.8 SPC (6.8×43mm SPC) Piston-Driven Tactical AR Rifle/Carbine
GunBlog

The original 5.56 version:
Ruger® SR-556™ Autoloading Rifle







Thursday, August 26, 2010

Manipulating language -- the latest attempt by the POTUS?

President Obama is scheduled to give an address next Tuesday about the "end" of combat operations in Iraq.

Antiwar.com: Combat Pay to Continue in Iraq, Pentagon Assures


But the Pentagon is reassuring those troops that their combat pay will not be taken away from them, and that Iraq will continue to be “in the list of designated hostile fire or imminent danger pay areas” going forward.

Is hazardous duty or some similar name the same as "combat" pay, even if the amounts are the same? I'll have to ask Sarge.

Regarding the situation in Iraq: So what is the reality? American forces won't be on the offense any more, just on the defense?

Archbishop Chaput, Living within the truth: Religious liberty and Catholic mission in the new order of the world

Archbishop Chaput calls for resistance to intolerance of Christianity (via ML)

the full address

Is there a better proponent in the United States of a certain kind of Catholic citizenship than Archbishop Chaput?

American Catholics have no experience of the systematic repression so familiar to your Churches. It’s true that anti-Catholic prejudice has always played a role in American life. This bigotry came first from my country’s dominant Protestant culture, and now from its “post-Christian” leadership classes. But this is quite different from deliberate persecution. In general, Catholics have thrived in the United States. The reason is simple. America has always had a broadly Christian and religion-friendly moral foundation, and our public institutions were established as non-sectarian, not anti-religious.

Southrons might point out that it is not merely American Protestantism that is responsible for anti-Catholic bigotry. There was something else to it. This is just one consequence of the lumping the United States together as a single, uniform, homogeneous "nation-state." Catholics have done well because religion that wasn't a threat was ignored and not a priority for those seeking economic and political power. As a result of the direction development of the political economy has taken, Catholic spiritual life (and efforts at evangelization) have foundered. Yes, the response of Catholics to anti-Christian attacks needs to be a renewed focus on union with Christ.

The world urgently needs a re-awakening of the Church in our actions and in our public and private witness. The world needs each of us to come to a deeper experience of our Risen Lord in the company of our fellow believers. The renewal of the West depends overwhelmingly on our faithfulness to Jesus Christ and his Church.

We need to really believe what we say we believe. Then we need to prove it by the witness of our lives. We need to be so convinced of the truths of the Creed that we are on fire to live by these truths, to love by these truths, and to defend these truths, even to the point of our own discomfort and suffering.

We are ambassadors of the living God to a world that is on the verge of forgetting him. Our work is to make God real; to be the face of his love; to propose once more to the men and women of our day, the dialogue of salvation.

The question is, how is one to cultivate charity towards one's neighbor and be a good citizen? How one understands the problems of our age affects the answer.

One final point:
If someone is not a brother in Christ, can there be fraternal correction? How effective can our denunciations of evil be if people do not accept the authority of the Church or the Natural Law?
That brings me to my third and final point today: We live in a time when the Church is called to be a believing community of resistance. We need to call things by their true names. We need to fight the evils we see. And most importantly, we must not delude ourselves into thinking that by going along with the voices of secularism and de-Christianization we can somehow mitigate or change things. Only the Truth can set men free. We need to be apostles of Jesus Christ and the Truth he incarnates.
How are Christians to denounce sin, and what can we learn from the Christians of the past who engaged were engaged in missionary work in non-Christian societies? Because it seems to me that this is the strategy that those who are called to offer that sort of public witness to Christian teaching should be following, rather than one which assumes that the society is Christian, that it is willing to hear what Christians believe about morality, and so on.

When I finish the post on what Dr. Fleming recommends for American Christians, we'll see how they differ from the view put forth by Archbishop Chaput.

Edit.
Zenit: Archbishop Chaput on Liberty and Mission
"Events Suggest an Emerging, Systematic Discrimination" [

Forthcoming CD by Stile Antico

"Puer natus est, a programme of Tudor music for Advent and Christmas including the magnificent Tallis Mass 'Puer natus est nobis'." Classics Today review.

Previous CDs. Harmonia Mundi.



Remembering the Smiling Pope John Paul I 30 Years Later



(via Fr. D)

More videos:






Vatican.va
An Irish tribute.

Hmmm... CRC

Gun Rights Policy Conference

In San Francisco, September 24-6.

Jeffrey Tucker dons his other hat

Why Catholics Don't Understand Economics

Items of Interest, 26 August 2010

Thomas Storck, An Introduction to the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church

 Jeremiah Bannister, A Resolved Tension  and The Bottom Line: Exposing Catholic Austro-Libertarian Dissent

Zenit: South Korean Conference Focuses on Lay Identity
Participants to Reflect on Religious Liberty

Ratzinger Students to Consider Vatican II
Study Circle Taking up Central Theme of Pontificate
Energy Bulletin:
Good agriculture fosters good art, and vice-versa (original)
Gene Logsdon, OrganicToBe.org
People in Monet’s day saw much more than just the beauty of a haystack when they looked at one. They saw survival. As long as haystacks dotted the horizon every fall, society knew that it would survive until the next growing season. I wonder if even today, people look at those hay bales dotting a field and instinctively realize the same thing.


Reviving anarchy for the sake of sustainability (original)
Antonio Roman-Alcalá, Civil Eats
One thing that fascinates me about political theorist Murray Bookchin’s writing is how prescient it is. His essay, “Ecology and Revolutionary Thought,” was written in 1965, six years before Earth Day, and almost a half-century before now. Yet its content is as relevant as ever, if not more so, given society's increasing interest in all things “green.” Bookchin even references future ramifications of climate change, long before many had even considered it.

Whiskey on the masculinity gap in Hollywood

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Movie Goer: Failure of the Fan-Boy Comic Movie and the Gender-Less Movie Star

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

PIcked up an assignment this morning, and have been mostly busy since. Will try to have a normal blogging day tomorrow, after I get out of work.

Zenit: Unmasking the "Ella" Masquerade
Mike Whitney, The Housing Holocaust

Jason Peters muses on the Long Emergency

Peak Oil and Ivory-Tower Pigheadedness

And I spend most of my time there because I also find it difficult to operate inside the main run of things, which is why I must say it’s hard not to credit Jim Kunstler for asking a pretty good question: “How could such a catastrophe [as., e.g., instability of world markets and “previously unimaginable austerity” after peak oil] be so close at hand[,] and civilized, educated people in free countries with free news media and transparent institutions be so uninformed about it?”

That, of course, is from The Long Emergency, which, as anyone who has read it knows, is a book that challenges what is “absolutely normative” about our current economic, social, and political arrangements and reminds us that only in an elaborate made-for-adults fairy tale can anyone believe that markets and technology will rescue us from the coming oil scarcity, to say nothing of the resource wars that, far from being likely, are inevitable.

But all across this Great Land Of Ours the denizens of the ivory towers will parrot the permitted technocratic bullshit and turn resolutely away from the evidence everywhere suggesting that, because there are natural limits just around the bend, hitting the brakes would be a really good idea.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Robert George to be in Oakland tomorrow

Manhattan Forum Conference

The Catholic Voice: Manhattan Declaration author sees ‘call of conscience on great moral issues’

Dr. Michael Eades on protein

Meat and Mortality (via Hawaiian Libertarian)

Microbes cleaning up Deepwater Spill?

Fox: New Microbe Discovered Eating Gulf Oil Spill

If true, we should be thanking God. Are we going to be let off that easily?

Energy Bulletin:
A crisis of democracy: Real solutions to the BP oil spill
Brooke Jarvis, Yes! Magazine 
 
Joanne Poyourow, Transition US
While North gives a good overview of the most sophisticated portions of the local-finance spectrum, he is writing about local money, not community finances in general. The scope of his book does not include the low-hanging-fruit -- the easy to set up, free to establish vehicles which hold enormous community-building potential. Group purchasing, garden sharing, carpooling, tool libraries, seed swaps, barter fairs and more – these fill in the most intimate, colorful portion of the spectrum in the vision of a multifaceted local financial infrastructure.

The Andy Griffith Show


Last month I posted a video featuring the opening theme song for The Andy Griffith Show. Today from Rebellion: Andy Griffith show is turning 50, which links to this article in the Charlotte Observer.When I was a child visiting my grandmother in Arizona, the TV would usually be on, and one of the shows that was broadcast on the local channels was The Andy Griffith Show (along with I Love Lucy, I Dream of Jeannie, and Hogan's Heroes). While the theme song was catchy, I was too young to understand the humor or to sit through the show. I think I'd view it differently now. Hardly any of these shows are seen in syndication now, though the "classics" may be broadcast on cable. I believe you can watch some episodes online at TVLand.

a fansite

Gareth Porter on the US presence in Iraq

An Army of Contractors by Gareth Porter

Replacing combat non-combat troops with contractors in order to satisfy his anti-war supporters?

Obama referred to what he called "a transitional force" in his speech on Aug. 2, pledging that it would remain "until we remove all our troops from Iraq by the end of the next year". 

He also declared an end to the U.S. "combat mission" in Iraq as of Aug. 31. But an official acknowledged told IPS that combat would continue and would not necessarily be confined to defending against attacks on U.S. personnel. 

The administration decided on the transition from military to civilian responsibility for security at an interagency meeting the week of Jul. 19. It made the broad outlines of the plan public at an Aug. 16 State Department news briefing and another briefing the following day, even though crucial details had not been worked out.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Middle Eastern Affairs Colin Kahl and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Michael Corbin presented the administration plan for what they called a "transition from a military to civilian relationship" with Iraq. 

The plan involves replacing the official U.S. military presence in Iraq with a much smaller State Department-run force of private security contractors. Press reports have indicated that the force will number several thousand, and that it is seeking 29 helicopters, 60 IED-proof personnel carriers and a fleet of 1,320 armored cars. 

The contractor force would also operate radars so it can call in airstrikes and fly reconnaissance drones, according to the New York Times Aug. 21. 

Kahl argued that the transition is justified by security trends in Iraq. He said al Qaeda is "weaker than it's ever been", that Moqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army has been "largely disbanded", and that there is no strategic threat to the regime.
I'm waiting for him to eat his words. But if a blow-up occurs where will Mr. Kahl be? On his way to a nice job as a lobbyist?

WSJ: Text of Obama’s Speech on Iraq
White House

Ralph Nader on Bell, CA

The Political Microcosm of Bell, CA

More from Counterpunch:
A Culture of Corruption by Anthony DiMaggio
Lessons in Illinois Politics From the Blago Trial


Stile Antico on the BBC The Chant Café

Stile Antico on the BBC The Chant Café

Inside the Secret World of Trader Joe's

Fortune (via EL)

Unfortunately, last time I checked none of the local stores were hiring.

My North article on Russell Kirk

Russell Kirk Shaped Conservative Thought from a Northern Michigan Farm (h/t RJS)

Links:
Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal

Some concrete recommendations, please?

Zenit: US Bishops Call for Good Jobs, Wages for All
Address New Social Contract in Labor Day Message

The prelate acknowledged that "it is not the role of the Church to propose a concrete economic blueprint for the future," but he added that "the words of Pope Benedict should remind us that a key, perhaps the key, to overcoming the current economic situation is to unleash the creative forces of men and women."

Is our corporatist National government really going to heed the words of the US bishops? Can anyone explain to me what Bishop Murphy expects to result from this statement? Laying out general principles is insufficient--if one is to be effective one must also point to concrete violations of those principles. How about the off-shoring of industry and jobs, the easy mobility of capital, and so on?
The chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development offered six criteria "to evaluate policies and institutions" and to move forward "at a time of economic distress and uncertainty."

These criteria included: respect for human life and dignity, subsidiarity and solidarity, respect for marriage and family life, priority for the poor and vulnerable, recognition of cultural diversity, and the right to economic initiative and productive work.
I don't think these six criteria, if they are laid out just like this, give sufficient guidance. They must be elaborated through political theology. Maybe this is what lay activists should be doing, but I think the U.S. bishops would be able to achieve more if they learned about sustainability. Then there would be an added impetus to focus on the evangelization of their own dioceses, as relocalization could become an important component of exercising charity towards one's neighbors.

the document

John Médaille, Neo-Feudalism and the Invisible Fist

EWTN: Living the Liturgy

Featuring Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek.


(via Jeffrey Tucker)

Film: Pope Benedict XVI - My Vatican

Youtube (via the Hermeneutic of Continuity)

An interesting comment at Alternative Right

Here:
I didn't charge for the classes, because the Talmud says "don't make of the Torah a pickaxe to dig with . . . " meaning don't make Jewish teaching a source of income if you can help it. Just one of the many Talmudic instructions in unethical action. . .

I tend to agree with the spirit of the above. I have heard that Confucians make the distinction between being paid to "teach" and receiving a stipend from one's students. St. Paul thought he should make tents to support himself. Similarly, priests and bishops do not charge for their services, but receive a stipend from the community to support them. But what of Catholic apologists? Receiving a commission to teach or work in some sort of lay ministry might be more legitimate. (Setting aside for the moment the question of whether the "professionalization" of service is actually desirable and a good trend.) Many receive donations to support them in their work (as opposed to receiving payment for specific services). But I still think there is something questionable about making a living off of being some sort of self-appointed authority on Catholic teaching. (Being qualified and appointed by the bishop to perform a specific work seems to be better.)

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Muslim College in the US opens

It is in the process of being accredited. So, what's the school's position on Sharia, Islamic jurisprudence, and the ultimate bearer of teaching authority within Islam?


Zaytuna College (Youtube and FB)

Charles Fager on E. F. Schumacher

Small is Beautiful, and So is Rome
That’s right: E. F. Schumacher is really an apologetical preacher, one of the rare breed whose experience has made it possible for him to employ effectively the language and concepts of economics as a medium for communicating what is essentially a sermon, a call for readers to repent, believe the gospel and reorder their lives accordingly.
Schumacher himself insists that it is this “metaeconomic” foundation of his argument that is most important, rather than the specifics of, say, his attacks on nuclear power or the use of chemicals in agriculture. “Everywhere people ask,” he writes in the book’s final paragraph, “What can I actually do?” The answer is as simple as it is disconcerting: we can, each of us, work to put our own inner house in order.”
The key word here is “inner.” Skim over it, and one can easily imagine that, like some Earth Day orator, he’s only saying, “Ecology begins at home,” with recycling your bottles and flattening tin cans. He recommends these things, to be sure, but they aren’t the point.

Items of Interest, 23 August 2010

John Robb, THE WAR AGAINST WIKILEAKS
Brian Kaller, Tea

Korea Times: Singer Lee Su-young to marry office worker
8-month pregnant Ko So-young still looking stylish 

Chosun Ilbo: N.Korea's Stealth Warfare Manual Revealed
Taiwanese Singer Reveals Underbelly of Korean Showbiz

Asia News:
Bushehr: Iran's strike against sanctions
Iran's uploading of nuclear fuel at the much-delayed Bushehr power plant is tantamount to a torpedo effect on the international sanctions regime. Achieving the goals of getting the plant operational after a 12-year delay and replenishing fuel for a Tehran reactor would represent nothing short of milestones and warrant fresh thinking on the thorny subject of dialogue with Washington. - Kaveh L Afrasiabi

The (propaganda) empire strikes in China
China has enlisted 50 home-grown celebrities to take part in a public relations charm offensive that is hoped to present an image of "prosperity, democracy, openness, peace and harmony" and counter negative perceptions of its rise. However, the worldwide campaign could be undermined by China's close support of other famous figures who lead states such as North Korea, Myanmar and Zimbabwe. - Kent Ewing

Reality check for Asian titans
India and China: The Battle between Soft and Hard Power by Prem Shankar Jha

Arguing that behind India and China's rapid modernization lie dark human costs that will inevitably manifest in economic and social instability, this book takes the shine off the Asian giants' supposed rise to global dominance. The author believes that while "cadre capitalism" in China has created corrupt, predatory authorities, in India the government's pandering to the newly empowered bourgeoisie has triggered a rural crisis. - Sreeram Chaulia


Energy Bulletin:
How will our decline & fall proceed? (original)
Dave Cohen, Decline of the Empire
I have recently written that we live according to the Law Of Civilization And Decay, which can be succinctly summarized: what goes up must come down. Just like balls thrown up into the air, civilizations ascend and then fall as though there were some kind of "historical gravity" at work. America is not (and will not be) an exception.

Local government and the Transition Movement (original)
Joanne Poyourow, Transition US
The 12 Ingredients for Transition encourage us to "build a bridge to local government." I used to think that "building bridges" was lovely British poetic language, but recently I'm learning how that pretty phrase brings with it some fairly serious guidance.

Waking up from the air-conditioned dream (original)
Stan Cox, Common Dreams
To suggest that we start reducing our dependence on air-conditioning is to invite dire forecasts of malaise, poor health, social turmoil, and economic collapse. But that need not be the case. Several lines of research indicate that reducing our dependence on chilled air could improve our quality of life. 

Can we solve two problems at once - unemployment and preparing for power down? (original)
George Mobus, The Oil Drum: Campfire
The model is simple and has been done before. From 1933 to 1942 the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) provided jobs for younger workers conserving natural resources (e.g. our national parks) in the US. The program was part of a general jobs creation program proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression to provide a stimulus to the economy and, so to speak, kill two birds with one stone. There was a great deal of resource management work that needed to be done, things like building access roads in national parks, and there were millions of unemployed young men who, without meaningful work, would have likely run amuck. It was, in fact, a brilliant idea.

Remembering the remarkable Matthew R. Simmons
Steve Andrews, Sally Odland, John Theobald and Randy Udall and others, ASPO-USA




NPR: The Debate Over 'Anchor Babies' And Citizenship

audio and transcript

The Illusion of Freedom Separated from Moral Virtue by Raymond L. Dennehy

Ignatius Insight ( via Insight Scoop)

Allan Carlson on Marriage

Why Australia Needs a Renewed Culture of Natural Marriage

Sunday, August 22, 2010

G.I. Wilson and H. Thomas Hayden, Why a Marine Corps?

Fabius Maximus

Edit (August 24). Another perspective on the future of the Marine Corps

Scala & Kolacny Brothers - You Can't Always Get What You Want

Invincible Youth

Ever since I've started watching it with English subtitles a few months ago, one of my favorite shows has been Invincible Youth (청춘불패), I've enjoyed watching as some members of various Korean girl groups try their hand at farming. I don't think the show will entice younger Koreans to take up farming, but it's a start. The farming they engage in is mostly labor-intensive, though their mentors do use machines from time to time, so it can't be said to be sustainable. I don't know what is used for fertilizer, but I think the produce will be consumed locally? Unless their farm really becomes a tourist attraction. The other cause of entertainment is how the the women behave and interact with one another and with the hosts of the show. While a view should be suspicious of reality shows -- many of these singers have an image based on being young and cute, I do think they are, for the most part, acting like themselves. And so they seem to be rather immature, even the older membes, like Juhyeon of After School  (who is 26) and Narsha of Brown Eyed Girls (who is 30!). Many of them do give the impression of being rather naive, despite having a "sexy" image.

Now if only someone could translate the previous episodes that I've missed for me...



Sean Scallon, Fox makes it official

Fox makes it official

It's a good thing I don't have cable TV; I would think it a waste of money every time I had to force myself to switch away from one of the cable news networks.

So, how much national news is really necessary?

The Day in SLO

I'm not in the mood to write a long post about yesterday; we woke up a little after 4 and reached SLO before 8. It was a mass baptism at the mission; there were lots of family members. As for the NO rite and music, there was at least one piece by Dan Schutte. I'll take Latin over American NO any day.

Brunch was at Creeky Tiki; the chips and salsa were good, but I don't think the black pepper on the chips was necessary. The breakfast burrito at the restaurant is decent, though I found the carnitas to be a bit too salty. (Of course KK's carnitas are better. If I find a wife I hope she makes decent carnitas.) I think there was a wedding at the mission; there was a Mariachi band, but the bridesmaiads looked like they were in high school. Very odd, but perhaps an older sister or cousin was getting married.

It was fun spending the day with the nieces and nephews. Niece #2 had a temper tantrum so she couldn't go to the park with her sister and nephew #1, but I told her I'd try to take her to the park next time I see her (which should be in 2 weeks).

Dinner was at Mo's Smokehouse BB -- po po's treat. I ordered the ribs, and they were good, much better than ribs at Armadillo Willy's. If there was a problem, the sauce was too sweet. My bro-in-law thought they were too moist, but I didn't mind that. I'd rather have ribs that were too moist than too dry. And I don't have the patience to try to improve my technique for making ribs.

Today the warning light for the brake was on. I don't think it is the parking brake -- it might be low brake fluid that is the problem. But I don't have anything to lift the car up, so I'll probably have to take it into the mechanic tomorrow. I hate cars.

JM links to this: Suburban Sprawl and the Decline of Social Capital.

Gary Wood, Even those who disagreed agreed on federalism

Tenth Amendment Center