Saturday, November 27, 2010

Family Thanksgiving dinner today. Br. B was able to come, along with ah Fai. That was nice. Turkey turned out all right, though I was hoping for more. Next time I'll keep it in the oven until the backbone can be separated easily, and we'll just leave it in the pan, instead of carving it up... carnitas turned out well, though the meat did eventually dry out too.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dr. Fleming on air travel, the TSA, and proposals on how Americans should deal with the new screening machines: Liberty and Justice–For Jerks. (He also quickly mentions the proper attitude towards the obese and why. I am still undecided on that question, as to whether one can make a generalization concerning moral culpability of obese Americans.)

There is no more dangerous delusion than the persistent American delusion that we live in a free country. ”If we only can rouse the good hearts and common sense of our people, we can take this country back again.” Such people do exist, but most of them have “opted out” of politics. They are too busy leading their own lives to have much time or energy for busybodying into yours. They accept the fact that our government is tyrannical because they know it is simply a reflection of the servile populace. They fully understand that a nation of sports fans, mall shoppers, and petition signers will never possess the moral freedom required of a people that can achieve political liberty. Above all, they want to be protected from the Jerks, whether on the right or left, who try to use the rest of us as cannon fodder for their pointless campaigns. They understand all too well that the average middle class Americans they meet in airports and restaurants–the goodhearted people we are going to save America for–are, if not complete Jerks, well on their way to perfection.


Liberty is not a natural human condition. It is a precious art form that must be cultivated by people with moral discipline. A nation of Jerks cannot be free, and every attempt they make to recover their freedom will not only provoke more oppression, but it will also subject them to a more degrading form of slavery, the moral and spiritual slavery of the slave who thinks himself free.

Edit. I just looked at the LRC blog, and Lew Rockwell makes some of the same points regarding proposed responses, if in a less grumpy manner:

Opting for the feel-up always struck me as worse, and intended to gum up the works, which is good if it only hurts the State, but not good if it hurts other passengers. I am reminded of the antiwar demos intended to cause traffic jams. I agree with the cause, but not the method. Far better to really Opt Out.
Sandro Magister, "Light of the World." A Papal First (via Insight Scoop)

What to do about the Koreas

Srdja Trifkovic echoes Justin Raimondo: pull US forces out and let Koreas and their neighbors figure things out.

I note that in the comments section Dr. Trifkovic's mentions a local politician, Chuck DeVore (for whom I voted in the primary):
http://nextbigfuture.com/2010/11/united-states-strategies-for-korean.html
Chuck Devore (LTC USA) and current California state assemblyman:
“Evacuating U.S. forces from South Korea would allow American foreign policy makers wider latitude in dealing with North Korea… But, so long as America remains tied at the hip with South Korea, none of these more effective steps will be taken.

Time for Fresh Thinking on Korea

Here is something by Leon Hadar.

Video: SSG Sal Giunta receiving the MOH

The ceremony was last week.


U.S. President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta for bravery while fighting in Afghanistan in 2007 during a ceremony at the White House in Washington, November 16, 2010. (Reuters/Daylife)

U.S. President Barack Obama awards Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry during a ceremony at the White House in Washington November 16, 2010. Giunta received the medal for his courageous actions during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan in October 2007. (Reuters/Daylife)

Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta is pictured after he was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010. Giunta, from Hiawatha, Iowa, is the first living veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to receive the award.(AP/Daylife)

Previous Medal of Honor recipients watch as President Barack Obama presents the military's highest decoration for valor to Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, who rescued two members of his squad in October 2007 while fighting in the war in Afghanistan, at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010. (AP/Daylife)




Giunta on Medal of Honor: 'I Can't Wear This for Myself'
MoH website
Mudville Gazette


EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 21: Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, the first living Medal of Honor recipient from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, looks on as he is honored during the game between the New York Jets and the Houston Texans on November 21, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Getty/Daylife)

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 21: Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, the first living Medal of Honor recipient from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, salutes as he is honored during the game between the New York Jets and the Houston Texans on November 21, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Getty/Daylife)

Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, the first living Medal of Honor recipient from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, poses for pictures after ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Monday, Nov. 22, 2010. (AP/Daylife)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Peter Rowan interview

The Fresh Air Interview: Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band (link to mp3 on this page)

official site for Peter Rowan
It's official: The economy is set to starve by Chris Martenson (original)

Some news on the upcoming Royal wedding



I haven't blogged about it much about the engagement of Kate Middleton to Prince William, but I have no doubt that others have already done so and will continue.

In preparation for Thanksgiving

Two from Mark's Daily Apple: Thanksgiving Dinner: Vote for Your Plan of Attack  and Make it a Primal Thanksgiving!

Deep Down to be shown on PBS this week

Page

Watch the full episode. See more Independent Lens.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ABC/Disney making a play for conservative viewers?

After seeing the faces of Sarah Palin and her friends on Dancing with the Stars while I was surfing through the channels, I changed the TV back to House and Univision (for Blanca Soto on Eva Luna). I couldn't help but think that putting Bristol Palin on the show was a ploy by the execs to specifically get more Republican/"social conservatives" to watch their network, after it had abandoned family-friendly programming (true of both ABC and the Disney channel).


Sarah Palin Defends Dancing With the Stars, Brushes Off "Haters"



Eva Luna seems to be another "Cinderella" story--is that a favorite theme for telenovelas? I don't think there is any connection with the Isabel Allende novel. While there are a lot of beautiful women on telenovelas, I can't fathom many men watching them. Is the employ of attractive actresses then to cater to women's fantasies? (I suppose American soaps are no different, but American standards of beauty have fallen bit--I think the choices by producers simply reflects current reality.)

Blanca Soto:

Patrick Deneen is correct with this assessment

NPR Does Something Right: "Diane Rehm has selected Wendell Berry’s novel Hannah Coulter as the “Reader Review” book for November. The program will air on Wednesday, November 24 at 11 a.m."

I don't know if an audio file for this episode of the Diane Rehm Show will posted online after the show airs.

Does NPR do enough good to justify its existence?
The service agent for AAA sounded sleepy or sick when I called to renew membership. At least that's done and she maintained some measure of politeness.

The Ultimate Roller Coaster Ride

Natalie MacMaster on TED



Monday, November 22, 2010

Rhonda Vincent performing in Berkeley for New Year's

at Freight & Salvage, January 4, 2011.

$36.50 for tickets... but it should be worth it?

Rhonda Vincent
MySpace
Martha White





Rhonda Vincent - I've Forgotten You
Rhonda Vincent - After the Fire is Gone
Rhonda Vincent - Who's Cryin Baby
Rhonda Vincent - Where No Cabins Fall

S.510 The Food Safety Modernization Act

Tin Hat writes the following at Mish's blog:

Part 1

S.510 The Food Safety Modernization Act
Bill in full: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:s510rs.txt.pdf

After hearing some very bizarre statements of what is in this bill, I decided to read it. Come to find out, those off-the-wall claims have proven to be true. Here is a summary of what I have found.

First of all, this bill reinstates the power to the FDA (and other agencies) to shut down facilities and/or suspend production that “poses a public health risk.” I am all for shutting down food producers like Jack DeCoster whose claim to fame was that huge egg recall this past summer. This guy is up to his usual tricks, as another recall for his eggs was issued last month. Still, S.510 goes above and beyond anything reasonable.

*Requires the owner/operator/agent in charge of a facility to evaluate all the hazards that could effect food, including but not limited to: ‘‘(A) biological, chemical, physical, and radiological hazards, natural toxins, pesticides, drug residues, decomposition, parasites, allergens, and unapproved food and color additives; and ‘‘(B) hazards that occur naturally, may be unintentionally introduced, or may be intentionally introduced, including by acts of terrorism;”

Once these hazards are identified, the business must implement preventative controls and monitor the performance of dealing with those controls. Detailed and maintained records must be made available to the Secretary of Agriculture upon written request. This is the tip of a paperwork iceberg. For example: Also requires written plans and procedures in regards to sanitary conditions, packaging, pathogen controls, recall plans, supplier verifications, etc.

*A frequent and recurring theme throughout this legislation is the creation of new rules and regulations to be made in the future. Basically it gives the FDA, Secretary of Agriculture, Homeland Security, other agencies the ability to write the rules as they go along. Only on rare occasion does it mention Congressional input.

*Strict regulations on the growing, harvesting, packing, shipping, storage, distribution, etc., of fresh fruits and vegetables. (Details not yet determined)

Fresh fruits and vegetables are specifically mentioned throughout the bill. So much so, it made me wonder if they’ve declared a covert war on them.

*Pages 151-160 discusses fees domestic businesses will pay for this regulation. Including but not limited to, inspection related expenses, re-inspections, recall expenses, report filing expenses. Total fees to be collected are capped at 25 million with yearly adjustments tied to the CPI.

and

Part 2

*Since this section will be totally unbelievable to some, it’s been copied from page 161-162, Sec. 108 exactly as written:
(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Agriculture, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall prepare and submit to the relevant committees of Congress, and make publicly available on the Internet Web sites of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture, the National Agriculture and Food Defense Strategy.

Yes, that said HOMELAND SECURITY.

This includes implementation, preparedness, detection, emergency response, recovery, infrastructure protection and a slew of other things. They say the devil is in the details and unfortunately, all the details are to be approved later. If porno-scanners and groping are any indication of how HS does business………

*The bottom of page 167 creates a public/private partnership with Homeland Security (HS). If past performance of public/private partnerships is any indication of future performance, it would be safe to assume the little guy will be sorely left out of the debate.

*Creates a “food police” (my term) from the Federal levels on down to State, County and muni. Calls for food defense capabilities including progress implementing strategies.

*Calls for a voluntary program for grammar schools on food allergy education and response. Federal funding is capped at 50k per year, for two years. After that, federal money ends. The amount of funding will be determined by how many children per school have food issues/allergies.

*Inspections. High risk facilities are to be inspected at least once every two years.
Non high-risk facilities are to be inspected at least once every four years.

*Creates rules, regulations, and accreditations for food testing laboratories.

*Creates a traceback program for raw and processed food. This entails more paperwork across the entire food processing chain to be submitted to the authorities. When dealing with foreign food suppliers, international food treaties/agreements supersede all else.

*Page 202-205 creates a “Foodborne Illness Surveillance System”. Again, from the Federal level down to the muni level. Working groups, councils and agencies will have 1 year to formulate these regulations. To be included:
(A) staffing levels and expertise available to perform food safety and defense functions;
(B) laboratory capacity to support surveillance, outbreak response, inspection, and enforcement activities;
(C) information systems to support data management and sharing of food safety and defense information among State and local agencies and with counterparts at the Federal level; and
(D) other State and local activities and needs as determined appropriate by the Secretary [of Agriculture].

and


Part 3

*The government has the authority of mandatory recall.

*Starting on page 229, this bill goes into great detail on the regulation of foreign food. From inspections to testing labs, certification, documentation, smuggling. Increasing regulatory capacity of foreign governments, data sharing, training, harmonization of requirements…..well you get the idea.

Despite the very detailed and involved regulations on foreign food growers, manufacturers, shippers et al, on page 265 it reads:
“SEC. 404. COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS.
Nothing in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be construed in a manner inconsistent with the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization or any other treaty or international agreement to which the United States is a party. “

In other words, the US can regulate all it wants, but the WTO has the final say.

*Authorizes 825,000,000 to pay 3,800 new staff for fiscal year 2010 alone. Does not include HS in the list of agencies that will be hiring. It also lists numbers of added staff into year 2014.

*From my interpretation of this bill, and the broad way they define “importer” it would seem travelers coming into the US from foreign countries may no longer be allowed any type of food items.

*This bill seems to include the home gardener who sells veggies to their neighbors as part of the “foodborne illness” problem.

*According to Senator Harkin, this bill has 90 votes in hand to pass as is.

There are other things in this bill I have left out of this summary for the sake of brevity. Transportation, employee rights, issues on smuggling….Despite the omissions, I hope this summary of S.510 has been helpful.

Your new food: Approved by Homeland Security. Brought to you by Monsanto and Con Agra because they’re powerful enough to withstand the regulatory storm coming. Getting a say in it all doesn’t hurt much either.

How can I not be a fan?

Spiritually in Tune: Natalie MacMaster, a Catholic mom who leans on Mary (via Mark Shea)

I should check and see if she is coming to California any time soon. Ugh! Looks like I just missed her:

October 28 Napa, CA Napa Valley Opera House » View Details
29 Campbell, CA Heritage Theatre
30 San Rafael, CA Marin Center

November 03 Livermore, CA Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center
04 Arroyo Grande, CA Clark Center for the Performing Arts
05 Lancaster, CA Lancaster Performing Arts Center
06 Poway, CA Poway Center For The Performing Arts


Maybe next year, if she comes around these parts again.

The Christophers Podcasts:
Patricia Heaton & Natalie MacMaster
Natalie MacMaster & Sandi Patty





Cape Breton Aire





She is going to NC in December:

Uniforms

Stars and Stripes: Army testing combat uniform designed with women in mind
(via the FB page for Grey Group Training)

Lot of complaints by grunts that the US Army is wasting time, effort, and money on this crap instead of providing enough multicam uniforms to our combat forces in Afghanistan.

While at Lackland AFB last week I saw the new Navy working uniforms. I like the shade of blue, but camo for those serving on ships? Ridiculous. (The uniforms I saw seemed to have more shades of blue, and less shades of white and grey?) The uniform makes sailors look silly and less professional.


Navy Uniform Matters
Two New Navy Working Uniforms Announced
More Camo news
New Navy Uniforms

I like the coat.


Samantha Cameron (R), wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron (not pictured) and his mother Mary Cameron (L) attend the Remembrance Sunday service in Whitehall, London, on November 14, 2010. (Getty/Daylife)

Samantha Cameron (R), the wife of Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, and his mother Mary, attend the annual Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, in central London November 14, 2010. (Reuters/Daylife)

another
Peter Hitchens criticizes her choice of hat (with some additional comments here).

As a contrast, here are some photos of the Royal Family:

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives for a service of remembrance at the Cenotaph in London to commemorate the sacrifices made by Britain's armed forces, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. (AP/Daylife)

Britain's Queen Elizabeth attends the annual Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, in central London November 14, 2010. (Reuters/Daylife)


Britain's Queen Elizabeth II lays a wreath on the Cenotaph during the Remembrance Sunday service in Whitehall, London, on November 14, 2010. (Getty/Daylife)

LONDON - NOVEMBER 14: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Colonel in Chief of the Welsh Guards attends a remembrance service at the Guards' Chapel on November 14, 2010 in London, England. Prince Charles met service personnel at the Welsh Guards Museum and laid a wreath at the Guards' Memorial during the Welsh Guards Regimental Remembrance Sunday ceremony.

LONDON - NOVEMBER 14: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Colonel in Chief of the Welsh Guards attends a remembrance service at the Guards' Chapel on November 14, 2010 in London, England. Prince Charles met service personnel at the Welsh Guards Museum and laid a wreath at the Guards' Memorial during the Welsh Guards Regimental Remembrance Sunday ceremony. (Getty/Daylife)

LONDON - NOVEMBER 14: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Colonel in Chief of the Welsh Guards attends a remembrance service at the Guards' Chapel on November 14, 2010 in London, England. Prince Charles met service personnel at the Welsh Guards Museum and laid a wreath at the Guards' Memorial during the Welsh Guards Regimental Remembrance Sunday ceremony. (Getty/Daylife)

Britain's Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, attends a service at the Guards' Chapel where he met service personnel at the Welsh Guards Museum and laid a wreath at the Guards' Memorial for the Welsh Guards Regimental Remembrance Sunday, in London, on Sunday Nov. 14, 2010. (AP/Daylife)

Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (L) and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend the annual Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, in central London November 14, 2010. (Reuters/Daylife)

The Countess of Wessex (L), The Duchess of Cornwall (C) and Prince William (R) watch from a balcony during the Remembrance Sunday service in Whitehall, London 12 November 2006. The Queen led the tributes to Britain's war dead alongside political leaders. The Festival of Remembrance is an annual event to honour those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. More than one million men and women from Britain and the Commonwealth died in World War I between 1914 and 1918, and nearly 500 000 in World War II from 1939 to 1945. (Getty/Daylife)

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 14: Cherie Blair, wife of Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (C) watches from a balcony on Whitehall in front of the Cenotaph during Remembrance Sunday in Whitehall, on November 14, 2010 in London, England. Remembrance Sunday tributes were carried out across the nation to pay respects to all who those who lost their lives in current and past conflicts, including the First and Second World Wars. (Getty/Daylife)

Britain Prince William walks towards the Cenotaph during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony events in Westminster, London, 11 November 2007. Remembrance Sunday is the annual event in which Britain remembers it's fallen from all conflicts. Official at (L) is unidentified. (Getty/Daylife)

Britain's Prince Philip, center, stands with his children Princess Anne, left, Prince Andrew, second left, Prince Charles, second right, and Prince Edward, right. during a service of remembrance at the Cenotaph in London to commemorate the sacrifices made by Britain's armed forces, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. (AP/Daylife)

Gurkhas?


Remembrance Sunday took place today when people in Britain and the Commonwealth observe two minutes silence to remember those who have fought and died in war. London, UK. 14/11/2010 (Demotix/Daylife)
The Shock of Recognition by R.J. Snell

Classical liberal theory grounded natural rights in “substantial equality,” as French political theorist Philippe Bénéton terms it. In theory, not always in practice, the liberal taught that humans were equal in their humanity. All were equal in their substance even if differing in religion, politics, class, race, sex, ability, and so on. Consequently, natural rights were acknowledged in recognition of sameness. Others were the same flesh and blood and soul as me, and I was to look at others and recognize that this “other” is morally equal to me in dignity and rights.

Now it is not so. Bénéton argues that classical liberalism and its assumption of sameness is undone by subversive and radical versions of contemporary liberalism. Having refused to accept any limitations on freedom, radical liberalism must also lose human equality, for a substantial human nature would imply a stable, fixed order wherein some actions would be considered more or less worthy of a human. But such order and its assumption of value is antithetical to a purely indeterminate freedom whereby one is entitled to each and every identity one claims for oneself.

Of course, a refusal of human commonality renders recognition of the substantial equality of the other impossible, for if neither I nor other persons are defined by our common humanity, what could possibly oblige me to treat them with the same dignity I demand for myself? How can we claim human dignity when a common measure of humanity is refused?

Conquest through diplomacy and economics is better than war.

Peter Hitchens:

Next we have 'Tony', again so bold that he dare not let us know his surname. He opines: ‘Twice now the whole idea of linking “Berlin Time” to a nasty Euro conspiracy has been roundly kicked on the Mail website as little other than a fantasy that cynically attempts to exploit any lingering WWII sentiment, or even resentment toward a long dead and irrelevant Kaiser. When that failed, he calls “foul,” arguing that the voice of the people has been strangled by an obscure single interest group. More likely, Mail readers simply agree with the idea of more daylight toward the end of the working day. After all, at this time of year we're all going to work in the dark or near dark. Setting the clocks forward another hour makes no difference to that, does it? I couldn't care less if the sun was due south at 12 noon or 1pm, quite frankly. No one is going to be able to tell the difference. Perhaps Mr Hitchens would care to engage the debate on more adult terms instead.’

Well, on the contrary, my original article traced the invention of Central European Time to its historical source, namely Wilhelmine Germany. It pointed out that the same empire had imposed CET on conquered territories in the 1914 war. And that its direct descendant, the Third Reich, had done the same in the 1945 war. And that when those countries were briefly released from German pressure, they reverted to a time-zone closer to their own meridian.

'Tony' presumably knows little of the process by which the European Union has sought to integrate the economies and transport systems of its members, nor has he noticed that this integration has all been one way - that is to suit the interests of Germany, the country whose enormous power the EU was designed to contain and channel into peaceful rather than warlike forms of dominance.

Nor did I call 'foul'. I truthfully pointed out (reproducing on this site the actual posting) that 'Lighter Later' has urged its supporters to post on the site. I discovered this by a simple process of deduction. Large numbers of postings had appeared (much greater than the normal level of comments on such articles) using such politically correct terms as 'xenophobic', not much favoured by readers of these newspapers. They also seemed to have been written by people who had not read the article. So I looked at the 'Lighter Later' website to see if such a call had been made there. And it had. The following day a similar message was posted about a poll on the website. Some people may think this is legitimate. I just believe that, when it happens, it ought to be recorded that it has happened.

If anyone still resents the Kaiser, I don't know who he is. Even my grandfather, who lost most of his friends in the 1914 war, and only survived himself because he had the luck to be posted to India, had softened on the subject by the time he died many years ago. But a lot of people, in my view rightly, see that (as Otto von Bismarck once said) many of Germany's interests are advanced 'in Europe's name'. If different countries co-ordinate their time, there is a simple 'who whom?' question. Who is conceding to whom? Since time is not abstract, but based upon the rotation of the earth, the country which gives up its own meridian, and switches to that of another, is objectively and demonstrably the 'whom' - the weaker, servile part of the relationship.

As I pointed out yesterday, no free and independent country in the world, outside the influence of German economic and diplomatic pressure, has adopted a time zone 15 degrees of longitude away from its own meridian. No more have they abolished their own borders (another amazing achievement of German diplomacy, absurdly unsung). And attempts to shift time so far from nature in this way in Britain, the USA and Portugal, have been rejected in the past precisely because they were so unpopular with normal human beings.

I have also referred to known evidence of covert propaganda by the EU and its supporters in this country, particularly the Connaught Breakfasts, details of which were revealed in the BBC programme 'A letter to The Times', broadcast on Radio 4 on the 3rd February 2000 and jaw-droppingly revelatory. There is no doubt at all that this has taken place in the past. Why should it not still be going on?

An accurate assessment of German ambition? While they may flagellate themselves over the Nazis and encourage a form of self-hatred among the masses, it would seem that the elites are content to conquer Europe through other means. If only the EU would fragment because of the economic crisis...

(His first posts: Don’t let them force you to live your life on Berlin Time and Berlin Time and Time Again.)

Gallant Grahams

(via Jeff Culbreath)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dmitry Orlov on community

But what is community?

Note the emphasis on tribalism.


Who can out-grump James Howard Kunstler?

Interview with Peter McAllister

The dramatic decline of the modern man
Our ancestors were stronger and faster than we are. What happened? An expert explains

(via Mark's Daily Apple)

Manthropology: Macmillan (alt) and Google Books



Modern men are wimps, according to new book

I must be in a lousy mood

if I can't enjoy a beauty pageant.
Watch live video from missca2011 on Justin.tv

Who keeps these organizations going? Corporations, advertisers, the fashion industry, and ex-beauty queens? Do the contestants really think that these contests are held purely for their benefit? Symbiosis. But how completely useless. As if contestants and the winners are singled out for any reason other than physical appearance. At least they haven't been abolished in accord with the dictates of feminism, though there have been some changes (which aren't as extreme as some of the changes in Scandinavia).

I can only think of Bruce Willis's line from 12 Monkeys: "You're all dead."

Whit Stillman is making a movie?

Really? Given the time that has elapsed since his last movie came out, I am curious as to whether his visual style has changed.


by Mara Altman 
Tracking down the revered director as he makes his first new movie in twelve years—if he hurries.



Complete interview. Criterion Collection: The Last Days of Disco

It's easy to be nice when cheap energy makes an easy life possible.

How quickly would our fake virtue dissolve if things became difficult for an extended period of time (and I mean more than a week)?

Someone offers a "reformed" socialism as a solution to our crisis:
A strategy to reverse overshoot and achieve sustainable well-being
Frank Rotering, Energy Bulletin
In order for humankind to resolve its ecological predicament, capitalism must be historically superseded. People who are aware of the system’s growth compulsion and the environmental destruction that results may well suspect that this statement is true. But carrying this train of thought forward is difficult. Why? Because currently the only well-known model for moving beyond capitalism is that of the socialist tradition. This model, however, arose in the context of class struggles rather than overshoot, and in my view it incorporates several grave errors. I therefore believe that an alternative model for the post-capitalist transition must be developed.
The end justifies the means, and a critical situation demands that extreme measures be taken. Politics is about  power, and I don't disagree with this: "The full implementation of organic change requires economic control, which in turn necessitates political power. How this is achieved will depend largely on the reaction of expansionists once legitimacy has moved decisively to the new logic. Where they are willing to relinquish power in accordance with the popular will, legal methods should be used. Where they refuse, the forcible seizure of power will be necessary and justified." But I don't trust anti-Western revolutionaries to know what is right and best for the rest of us.

If this national union lasts that long...

VFR: Why the browning of America threatens the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party

Sarah Palin needs to...

be silent.


Daniel Larison: Hoping For Political Disaster
Oz Conservative writes about the liberalism of Kang You-Wei. Back in the day when I was studying Chinese history at Cal, I thought he was courageous and patriotic in his press for reform, but even then I thought he went too far in some of his advocacy. Now, I can see his that his wrong-headed idealism was a form of liberalism.
CA's Handgun Safety Certificate Program (and the corresponding FAQ). The study guide.
Peter Chojnowski, A Parallel Economy

A reminder of why distributism is relevant:
Peak Energy, Climate Change, and the Collapse of Global Civilization: The Current Peak Oil Crisis
Tariel Mórrígan; Global Climate Change, Human Security & Democracy, UCSB,
(pdf)

The Economy Is Not Coming Back

Gilles d'Aymery, Swans Commentary