Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Being Primal: Interview with Richard Nikoley: Unplugged and Uncensored-Part 1

First of 4 parts.

Those Near and Dear.

Begun on  July 15 at 10:40 A.M.
Generally I have come to detest making examples of blogs or mining articles at certain websites and  posts at other blogs for easy posts focused primarily upon criticism. There are a few that draw my ire or annoyance, and it would be too easy to pick on them for the sake of increasing "original" content on my blog. These days I try to maintain an apathetic attitude to most other blogs and refrain from commenting or responding: what do I have to do with you? I don't even know you.

Can Clarence Thomas curb the National Government?

New Blue Nightmare: Clarence Thomas and the Amendment of Doom by Walter Russell Mead (via VFR)

Another gem from Robert Peters on Ron Paul and the Constitution:
Mr. Paul’s big mistake and mine as well in my more misplaced hopeful moments is that one can “return to the Constitution.” That cannot be; that experiment has failed; the embryo of the failure was tucked into the Constitution itself in the “general welfare clause” and the “commerce clause.” The foul egg was nurtured by Hamilton, Marshal, Webster, Story and Clay. It hatched into the cockatrice of Lincoln and the Republican Party. What the Hobbesian state does not, disregarding all subsidiarity, subsume itself, it allows its corporate, for-profit and not-for-profit, allies to consume. The Fed is an important link between the state and its allies.

But what sort of Western?

ABC Buys Western From Ron Moore

Ron Moore has received credit for making DS9 interesting; I think BSG was ultimately a failure and I couldn't stand the soap opera of the later seasons. Apparently his isn't the only Western that might be appearing on TV in the near future. Will these Westerns be traditional enough to bring male viewers back?

Profile: Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings

Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings: Two Voices, 10 Kinds of Sad

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.

An interview from 2 years ago.

No Romy, No Michele, No Grosse Pointe

Sitting at Costco Monday afternoon, I was thinking about the 20-year HS reunion. The deadline for discounted advance tickets is coming up [it's actually today]; after that date tickets will be $100 or so. I have been mulling over going to the reunion, while the friends with whom I maintain contact have no interest, as they're not interested in talking to anyone they might see at the reunion. I was feeling it might be nice to talk to some of our classmates and get an update on their lives.

But how many would reciprocate that sort of interest? Is it just going to turn out to be a gathering of the popular people? After all, despite networking with many of them on Facebook, I know how many of them actually respond to posts on their wall and the like. There are a few who do communicate, but the vast majority don't. (I haven't seen any indication that those who have been friendly will be attending the reunion.) Maybe it's too much to expect from a social networking website, but all the hype about networking with people from your past is rather bogus. Most people have moved on, and quite a few have done so physically as well. How many of our graduating class live within a 20 mile radius of the high school? A few have gone further, living in San Francisco, others have left the state.

There are limits to the number of people you can know, and people prioritize with their relationships. Typically their circles change as they get older. But shouldn't high school relationships have some sort of significance, if they are based upon a local community? We just don't have that.

It might be better just to save the ticket money for books than to go and end up not talking to too many people because they'd rather talk to someone else.

They finished repaving the street on Monday afternoon. The job was supposed to be completed on Friday; I heard that the crew knocked over a utilities pole in the morning. This was the cause of the brief power outage. How much did the city pay to contract the work out to a firm out in the peninsula? Even if it was a small amount, could it have been better spent on some sort of transition to the post-carbon age? Right in front of the house is evidence of the lunacy that Kunstler and others talk about -- the financing of an infrastructure (and auto-dependent way of life) that cannot be sustained.

Complete English translation of German military analysis of peak oil now available
Rick Munroe, Energy Bulletin

Recovering lost knowledge about exhaustion of the Earth’s resources (such as Peak Oil)
by Fabius Maximus

Also via EB: Aleklett's new book: "Peeking at Peak Oil"

A Localization Oprah Strategy by James Miller

Don't bother with

The Private Man: Hates Happy Relationships

I don't think Catholic Match is much better -- I don't see any evidence that the expectations of women using the service are being ameliorated by the website.

Mark Sisson asks some questions about fighting and violence

MDA: The Role of Fighting in a Primal Life and Violence: An Introduction to a Primal Instinct

Is the confidence- (and self-esteem) and character-building a by-product of learning how to do something well, so long as it reinforces the masculine identity? I also think the acquisition of fighting skills needs to be separated from employing them in competition, or even in sparring.

As an aside: Uncle thinks that deliberately getting hit in order to know what it is like is rather stupid and can lead to serious damage. But he speaks from the perspective of someone involved with Chinese medicine.


Review: Warrior

Watch Tom Hardy Beat some Ass in New WARRIOR Clip

Edit. Fast Paleo: Why Fighting is Paleo

Dr. O'Reilly's lecture on Catholic liberal education

TAC: Catholic Liberal Education by Dr. Paul O’Reilly (mp3)

Sicut lilium inter spinas

Alamire / David Skinner 29-08-2011 FOMU11
BBC3: Composer of the Week: Tomas Luis de Victoria (1548-1611) episodes available now on BBC iPlayer

Alas, access will be expiring soon.

Items of Interest, 31 August 2011

Joel Salatin: How to Prepare for A Future Increasingly Defined By Localized Food & Energy (mp3)

City Forest Farming
Gene Logsdon, The Contrary Farmer, Mulligan Books

Monsanto’s cotton strategy wears thin (EB)
April Davila, Our World 2.0

Facing the new reality (EB)
Various contributors including Sharon Astyk, Nate Hagens, Richard Heinberg, Dmitry Orlov..., Community Action Partnership
The full report (pdf).

Review: Life Without Oil by Steve Hallett With John Wright (EB)
Frank Kaminski, Mud City Press

Carson Rejoinder to Gregory

Lloyd Kramer: Why the History of Nationalism Matters in a Global Age, Part 1
Lloyd Kramer: Why the History of Nationalism Matters in a Global Age, Part 2

What about the problem of scale in relation to identity-formation? He does not seem to address this. (A proper scale enables one to make judgments about how much consolidation is necessary.)

Kelley B. Vlahos, Who Says Obama’s Bad for Business?

Lew Rockwell interviews Donald W. Miller, Jr. MD: Government Is Sending Us to Early Graves

The Paleo Solution – Episode 95 (mp3) - (an interview with William Davis MD, author of Wheat Belly)

The LLVLC Show (Episode 492): Dr. Ernest Curtis Exposes The ‘Cholesterol Delusion’ And Low-Carb Physician Dr. Steven Horvitz (mp3)

MAXIMILIAN C. FORTE, The Top Ten Myths in the War Against Libya
DIANA JOHNSTONE, Gaddafi’s Libya as Demon
PATRICK COCKBURN, Islamists at the Heart of the Libyan Rebellion

Reality TV and the soul

I thought 1 Night, 2 Days was ending, but it isn't, they're just replacing the cast now? I watched the Actresses and Actors specials, but haven't watched many of the episodes since then, though it is generally a funny show and I can understand its appeal and popularity. There is the interaction between the cast members and the guests, travel, the games/competition. If only the U.S. had more family-friendly reality shows like this. Still, what lack in Korean life is the show addressing? Is it an indicator that people need more leisure time, especially to enjoy it with their friends? (Or that they do not have enough friends to begin with?)

After all, despite being a good show, it is still television and an instrument that inhibits or destroys community life while posing as a cure for its loss.

Soompi on Invincible Youth, Season 2.

The Goat Rodeo Sessions - Teaser Two

Vox Populi:

What feminism is, in Gloria Steinem's own words:

“Feminism starts out being very simple. It starts out being the instinct of a little child who says ‘it’s not fair’ and ‘you are not the boss of me,’ and it ends up being a worldview that questions hierarchy altogether.”

In other words, it is an intrinsically childish ideology founded on an abstraction and defies empirical reality and the entire historical record of Man. That sounds about right.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gordon Ramsey hearts In and Out

Fox All Acess
Denver Post: Photos: Final Mass for Archbishop Charles Chaput in Denver

A lot of "conservative" Catholics are fans of the former archbishop of Denver. He may be among the better American bishops, but has he done enough with respect to liturgical orthopraxis? And then there is his seeming embrace of the proposition nation and "nationalist" conservatism. It would not be surprising if Yankee culture dominated late 20th century American Catholicism. How about in the early 20th and late 19th century?

ABC Final Mass from on Vimeo.

His installation Mass in Philadelphia will be September 8, 2011.

The Trouble with Girls

Hitfix: Listen: 'American Idol' Scotty McCreery's new single, 'The Trouble With Girls'

I Agree!

Down with Research Papers!
They rely on easily accessible sources and deference to conventional opinion; students should be assigned essays instead.

By Thomas Bertonneau

Sierra Hull - Tell Me Tomorrow

Items of Interest, 30 August 2011

Robb Wolf: Food independence or elitism? An interview with Joel Salatin (part 3 of 5)

High School Shortchanged Us, Students Report

Where the Action Is in School Reform

JOHN WALSH, Meet Professor Juan Cole, Consultant to the CIA
BRIAN MCKENNA, Medicine’s Complicity in the Cruelties of Capitalism

The Vilification Of Enoch Powell
Karen De Coster: A Cardiac Surgeon on the Glory of Saturated Fat
HanCinema: [Celebrity News Station] 2nd anniversary of the late actress Jang Jin-yeong

May she rest in peace.

"Tennessee Wagoner" by April Verch Band on Good Hope Island

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gillian Welch on Conan

here (via Front Porch Anarchist)

A leftist owns up

to failing in solidarity.

On the Riots and the Need for a New Commons by MATT WILDE
The Middle Class Optic
Plainly, the reverse is true. We live, in essence, segregated lives. As much as middle-class Londoners like to believe that they live in a multicultural and mixed city, most of us actually share precious little with those who face un- and underemployment, dependence on shrinking and strained public services and police harassment. Even those of us who live in ex-council properties do not, in truth, share much beyond the spaces we temporarily inhabit. In most cases we will move on and out, send our children to private schools or quiet comprehensives outside of the city and reproduce the distance over and over again.

If we want to live in a society in which everyone feels they have a stake, we have to find a way of getting beyond the social othering that renders our ‘communities’ largely notional. Undisputedly, political struggle is vital if we are to challenge the gross inequities and that are foisted upon more and more people in our society. We should strive for political and economic systems – for social relationships – that are genuinely equitable and inclusive. But without a real community base underpinning it, any political movement will remain similarly notional, relying on moral impetus rather than lasting community structures that could genuinely offer an alternative. Thirty years of neoliberalism has eroded our capacity to generate social movements with an enduring social grounding.

Will he change his tune if he is mugged by reality?

Items of Interest, 29 August 2011

Discretion Is Advised by W. James Antle, III

How al-Qaeda got to rule in Tripoli By Pepe Escobar

The Economics of Happiness by Jeffrey D. Sachs

Commentary: When technical feasibility doesn’t matter by Sharon Astyk (EB)

The Seneca effect: why decline is faster than growth by Ugo Bardi (EB)

"Learning Styles" Debunked (Again) by Catherine Gewertz

Jimmy Moore, Thanks To #AHS11, I’ve Shifted My Diet To A Low-Carb Paleo Approach

New Sustainable Butcher Shop From a Chez Panisse Alum Opens in Berkeley

Preaching Friars

The Subdeacon in the Dominican Rite from Jesson, The Urban Monk on Vimeo.

James Howard Kunstler interviews Richard Heinberg

KunstlerCast: Part 1 (mp3)
At Jesuit Colleges, Lay Presidents Now Advance the Mission

Alas, full access is available for subscribers only. If you go to the website you can take a poll. Let them know what you think of the website and their subscription. News about an overrated industry that is doing more harm than good overall and opinions by those who have a vested interest in its well-being? Guess what I think about the relevance of the website and how much I am willing to pay for the news.

As for the Jesuit colleges and universities... I am waiting for them to fade away for betraying the legacy of St. Ignatius of Loyola. That punishment has been a long time coming.

The Remnant: And Then There Were None (Where have all the Jesuits gone?)

A contrast: Thomas More College Introduces the Usus Antiquior this Autumn -- And You Can Help Them

The season finale of No Reservations


Anthony Bourdain on Leonard Lopate: The Ten Best Quotes

Function over appearance

MovNat – “Le Methode Naturelle” Evolved

Friedman's Theory of Differentiated Leadership Made Simple

MB's wife recommends Edwin Friedman.

The Edwin Friedman Model of Family Systems Thinking
A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix by Edwin H. Friedman
Edwin Friedman on Leadership

Sunday, August 28, 2011

At the American Journal of Public Health, experts examine the risks posed by peak petroleum by Matthew C. Nisbet (EB)

"In a contrast to climate change, conservatives are the closest to experts in their risk perceptions while liberals tend to hold lower levels of concern. Our findings suggest that this issue might an important opening for engaging a broad spectrum of Americans on energy policy."
The New Scot would like this: Trebuchet – A Gravity-Operated Siege Engine: A Study in Experimental Archaeology

The New Omatics on Pig in a Pen

KPFA (available for 2 weeks)

Their website. They will be performing for the Family Square Dance of the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, Saturday, September 18.

More on Barefoot Running

NY Times video


Barefoot Ted
Harvard Professor Daniel Lieberman on Barefoot Running

Pretty Fair Maid

The debt bomb, net energy and ancient Greeks by Kurt Cobb (EB)

Father Raymond J. de Souza on WYD 2011

Giving the young something to believe in (via Insight Scoop)

Why is he using "she" for the generic third-person singular pronoun? An imposition by the editor(s?) (The website does appear to be Canadian.)
Those of us who work full-time with young adults know that even the highly privileged Canadian university student is at something of a loss in answering these questions. The Internet gives you plenty of data, but little wisdom. The seductive world of social media provides hundreds of friends, but little actual friendship. The modern university, devoted to endlessly celebrating the sheer magnificence of each individual student, is rather silent about who she really is, and what she ought to do. Talented young people have an almost infinite array of options, but a mission in life is hard to find. Consequently, without a strong identity and mission, so many young people feel very much alone.

But is what they received at WYD nonetheless too vague as to provide them insight into living the lay vocation? (Especially for those who come from "first-world" countries.)

Top Ten Monks

Anthony Bourdain explains the last episode of No Reservations this season

Anthony Bourdain, Southern Comfort

The show begins in New Orleans, a city I feel very connected to—and continues deep into the heart of Cajun country and culture. The South—particularly (but not exclusively) Louisiana, is where “American” food comes from. There are certainly other uniquely regional cuisines and specialties in this country—but creole and Cajun constitute uniquely American-born mutations. They could not have occurred anywhere else. Like the birth of jazz—they were created at bizarre yet magical intersections of cultures and circumstances—the end products of long journeys, much pain and simple pleasures.

A report of the local MovNat one-day workshop

At MDA: Worker Bee Field Trip: MovNat One-Day Fundamentals Workshop

James Vincent McMorrow: Tiny Desk Concert


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Relating Ortega y Gasset to conservatism

IC's Top 25 Philosophical and Ideological Conservative Books
No. 19 - Jose Ortega y Gasset: The Revolt of the Masses
by Dr. Enrico Peppe

But is the assessment correct? Reading the summary makes me think Ortega y Gasset was more likely Nietzsche, though perhaps not a nihilist. I started Revolt of the Masses, but...

Ortega y Gasset’s Metaphysical Cure for Invertebrate Cultures
Ortega y Gasset's “Revolt” and the Problem of Mass Rule

Review of Christopher Lasch's Revolt of the Elites
New Oxford Notes: An All-New 'New Liturgical Movement'?
But the Pope isn’t so skeptical. He is determined, it seems, to will into an ecclesial reality the mutual enrichment of the two Masses. If, by a working of the Holy Spirit, his vision of a mutually enriched Roman rite someday comes to fruition, then what? Well, then we might be looking at an altogether new Mass, a third form that blends the best of both the ordinary and extraordinary forms.

This notion isn’t as farfetched as it might seem. This May, at a conference on Summorum Pontificum held in Rome, Kurt Cardinal Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, hinted that the motu proprio is “only the beginning” of a “new liturgical movement.” The Holy Father, he said, “knows well that, in the long term, we cannot stop at a coexistence between the ordinary form and the extraordinary form of the Roman rite.” In the future, says Cardinal Koch, the Church “naturally will once again need a common rite.” This new common rite doesn’t figure to be either of the two extant forms of the Mass. It would instead be the result of a “process of growth and purification” — and a lengthy one at that, if the process is to be organic and not synthetic, as many have characterized the “development” of Pope Paul’s New Mass. The first phase of this process, the cardinal suggests, is the present one, in which “the two [current] forms of the Roman rite can and should enrich each other.” Perhaps now we are getting an inkling of what Pope Benedict has in mind — and it is a vision on a grander scale than any of us had imagined.

Could the two main streams of Benedictine liturgical thought — the “reform of the reform” and the “restoration of tradition” — one day flow together into as-yet uncharted waters? That a third form of the Mass could be drawn from the two current forms sounds fantastical. But really, how improbable is it? After all, who could have imagined half a century ago that in the space of five short years the Church would jettison the pageantry and majesty of a centuries-old Mass in Latin in favor of a stripped-down, folksy, “on-the-spot product” (as Benedict himself once described the New Mass) in the vernacular?

A Mutualist Justice System

Or "anarchist": Darian Worden, Justice Without the State

The criminal enterprises of the state should not be replaced, but instead displaced, by cooperative alternatives. This may seem like nitpicking, but to me it emphasizes the differences between authoritarian and anarchic functions. Authoritarian systems command obedience to those on top through force, threats, denial of alternatives, and encouragement of conformity. This is their primary function, and anarchists do not intend to create anything to replicate this function.

Instead, anarchists tend to believe in the ability of people to establish rules as equals, to work out consensus and compromises, and use violence only as a last resort. This is how social relations work on a basis of mutual benefit rather than power politics.

Does this borrow too much from a certain kind of liberalism or the liberal understanding of the state? The author proceeds with an example from the medieval period:

This is not the place to fully theorize about anarchist justice systems or fully describe precedents, but I’ll scratch the surface. A precedent Gary Chartier mentions in his excellent book The Conscience of an Anarchist is the merchant’s law of Medieval Europe. Courts established voluntarily within the merchant community made decisions based on standards that had evolved over time. Another precedent is found in Terry Anderson and P.J. Hill’s work on how American settlers handled disputes in the Western frontier, which was not nearly as violent as Hollywood would have you believe.

An argument for subsidiarity and the guild system, not for anarchy?

More on mutualism.
Alte, Sir, will you please take my vote? (See this old thread at VFR: Thoughts on gyneocracy and liberalism.)

Cicero, The Republic and The Laws


Mailvox: concerning the questions:
1d. There is zero utility in attempting to teach science to schoolchildren who can't read, can't do math, and will never be scientists. They can't understand it, aren't interested in it, and have no use for it. It makes no difference if you're trying to teach them mainstream scientific theory, iambic tetrameter, or running the 100m dash in five seconds. It isn't ever going to happen. My return question: how can you justify teaching public schoolchildren mainstream scientific theory and not teaching them basic personal economics like how to balance a checkbook or calculate compound interest or basic physical fitness?

Maureen O'Hara

LSRebellion: Wherefore art thou Cherokee?

Related: Cherokee Nation Judicial Branch
Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Issues Ruling on Non-Indian Citizenship
Freedmen decry CN court order By TEDDYE SNELL


The next exhibition at the Tech Museum: Islamic Science Rediscovered.

Do the leftists really think Muslims would be so accepting of diversity if they took over? Via Carnage and Culture: Srdja Trifkovic: Islam as the Agent of Revolutionary Change.

What is known as Islam’s “golden age” happened largely in spite of Islam, rather than thanks to it. Connecting the brief blossoming of arts and sciences in Baghdad and Cordoba with the “benevolent” influence of Islam is the same as saying that the high level of scholarship on Pushkin or Tolstoy in Moscow in the 1950s was the result of Stalinism and dialectical materialism, or that the Berlin Philharmonic under Furtwaengler was as good as it was in the late 1930s thanks to Nazism. But the true causes of squalor and corruption in the Muslim world are indeed moral and cultural, rather than economic. After that brief period of flowering its had very little to offer to the world, either in the sphere of ideas or in the sphere of material production—even though it had that unique geographic position at the crossroads of civilizations . . . The problem cannot be resolved by seeking to import Western technology and Western know-how, while retaining the old mindset. We’ve already seen it with the Ottoman Turkey in the 19th century. They’d brought in Western engineers and military officers, and doctors, to train their Muslim students, but the latter never managed to produce more than what was imparted to them.

James Schall, On the Fragility of Islam

Westminster Cathedral Choir 2011 US Tour

Info here. No stops in DC or Boston, and nothing past the Mississippi.

A new CD out in November: Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611), De Beata Maria Virgine & Surge propera

Hayley Westenra - Paradiso - Behind The Scenes Pt. One

Highlander's Farewell

Friday, August 26, 2011

Where Soldiers Come From


Will enough people who do not have members serving in the US military or have served watch the movie so that there is some bridging of the gap between the military and the civilians in this country? Will it lead them to reconsider American foreign policy and the loss of republicanism? Mouthing empty words about supporting our troops does nothing to prevent them from making useless sacrifices. If we loved those in uniform we would work to end our interventions overseas and the Military Industrial Complex. The documentary is probably not intended to make that sort of advocacy. But it isn't just a record about young American males who joined the army.

International Symposium: Council and Continuity

Rorate Caeli: "Springtime" or rupture? Arch. of Phoenix may weigh in

The symposium is in October, but I don't think I could make it (or afford to go).

When I saw this post on the 5th anniversary of Fr. Philippe's passing in the feed, I couldn't help but think of this.

Some of his papers.

Elizabeth Wright passes

VFR (via Jared Taylor); her blog. Requiescat in pace.

Items of Interest, 26 August 2011

László Dobszay, Requiescat in Pace

Sandro Magister, Professor Ratzinger? Too Easy

Tomgram: Chris Hellman, The Pentagon's Spending Spree

How to talk about the end of growth: Interview with Richard Heinberg by Lindsay Curren (EB)

Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering (Audio)

Alice Waters: Her Next Project, Her Favorite Restaurants And 40 Years of Chez Panisse

The future of food – the global south shows the way

Phillip Blond, England’s Riotous Values
Long Live Early Music!

Merell Barefoot
Bormio Vibram FiveFingers Out!

Dalrock: Thoughts on the Future of Marriage, Why a woman’s age at time of marriage matters, and what this tells us about the apex fallacy and Women today assume they can have marriage merely for the taking

Feeding the mind (Ambleside Online)
The Seven Liberal Arts and the West Door of Chartres Cathedral
The Medieval University
“The Machine of Industrial Era Education”

Hollywood Tries a New Battle Plan
After years of war movies about conflicted fighters, a new crop of films is shifting focus: to tactics, technology and teamwork. Making a fictional drama with real-life SEALs.

Ana Moura dá show no programa de Jô Soares

Real food education: an interview with Joel Salatin (part 2 of 5)

Life as a Child in the 18th Century

AllKPop: KBS plans to air “Invincible Youth – Season 2″ this fall

Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle School Concer

Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle School; Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle School Concert:
Friday, September 2 · 8:00pm - 10:30pm
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
307 Church Street

Some more local music events:

April Verch will be performing in Pleasanton again on November 12.

Baroque Band, under the directorship of Garry Clarke, will be in the area for the SFEMS, November 4-6.

New Esterhazy Quartet

Chris Thile one man Mandolin Quartet + IMPROV Stepbrothers

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Archdruid Report: An Elegy for the Age of Space

The Archdruid Report: An Elegy for the Age of Space: The orbiters are silent now, waiting for the last awkward journey that will take them to the museums that will warehouse the grandest of our...

John Michael Greer on Myth

Again, from last week's post:

We have an effectively limitless supply of information, but then it’s not information that I got from reading The White Stag at age eight, and it’s not a lack of information that’s dragging us down to a sorry end.

The problem—for it is a problem, and thus at least in theory capable of solution, rather than a predicament, which simply has to be put up with—is the collapse of the framework of collective meanings that gives individual facts their relevance. That framework of meanings consists, in our culture and every other, of shared narratives inherited from the past that form the armature on which our minds place data as it comes in.

A couple of years ago, in a discussion on this blog that touched on this same point, I made the mistake of referring to those narratives by their proper name, which is myth. Those of you who know how Americans think know exactly what happened next: plenty of readers flatly insisted on taking the word in its debased modern sense of “a story that isn’t true,” and insisted in tones ranging from bafflement to injured pride that they didn’t believe in any myths, and what was I talking about?

The myths you really believe in, of course, are the ones you don’t notice that you believe. The myth of progress is still like that for most people. Even those who insist that they no longer believe in progress very often claim that we can have a better world for everybody if we do whatever they think we ought to do. In the same way, quite a few of the people who claim that they’ve renounced religion and all its works still believe, as devoutly as any other fundamentalist, that it’s essential to save everybody else in the world from false beliefs; the central myth of evangelical religion, which centers on salvation through having the right opinions, remains welded into place even among those who most angrily reject the original religious context of that myth.

But there’s a further dimension to the dynamics of—well, let’s just call them cultural narratives, shall we?—unfolding in America today. When the shared narratives from the past break apart, and all you’ve got is popular culture spinning feedback loops in the void, what happens then?

What happens is the incoherence that’s become a massive political fact in America today. That incoherence takes at least three forms. The first is the rise of subcultures that can’t communicate with one another at all. We had a display of that not long ago in the clash over raising the deficit limit. To judge by the more thoughtful comments in the blogosphere, I was far from the only person who noticed that the two sides were talking straight past each other. It wasn’t simply that the two sides had differing ideas about government finance, though of course that’s also true; it’s that there’s no longer any shared narrative about government that’s held in common between the two sides. The common context is gone; it’s hard to think of a single political concept that has the same connotations and meanings to a New England liberal that it has to an Oklahoma conservative.

It’s crucial to recognize, though, that these subcultures are themselves riddled with the same sort of incoherence that pervades society as a whole; this is the second form of incoherence I want to address. I wonder how many of the devout Christians who back the Republican Party, for example, realize that the current GOP approach to social welfare issues is identical to the one presented by Anton Szandor LaVey in The Satanic Bible. (Check it out sometime; the parallels are remarkable.) It may seem odd that believers in a faith whose founder told his followers to give all they had to the poor now by and large support a party that’s telling America to give all it has to the rich, but that’s what you get when a culture’s central narratives dissolve; of course it’s also been my experience that most people who claim they believe in the Bible have never actually read more than a verse here and there.

Mind you, the Democratic Party is no more coherent than the GOP. Since the ascendancy of Reagan, the basic Democrat strategy has been to mouth whatever slogans you think will get you elected and then, if you do land in the White House, chuck the slogans, copy the policies of the last successful Republican president, and hope for the best. Clinton did that with some success, copying to the letter Reagan’s borrow-and-spend policies at home and mostly toothless bluster abroad; of course he had the luck to ride a monstrous speculative bubble through his two terms, and then hand it over to the GOP right as it started to pop. Obama, in turn, has copied the younger Bush’s foreign and domestic policies with equal assiduity but less success; partly that’s because the two Middle Eastern wars he’s pursued with such enthusiasm were a bad idea from the start, and partly because his attempts to repeat Bush’s trick of countering the collapse of one speculative bubble by inflating another haven’t worked so far.

I’ve discussed more than once before in these posts the multiple ironies of living at a time when the liberals have forgotten how to liberate and the conservatives have never learned how to conserve. Still, there’s a third dimension to the incoherence of contemporary America, and it appears most clearly in the behavior of people whose actions are quite literally cutting their own throats. The kleptocratic frenzy under way at the top of the economic pyramid is the best example I can think of.
In his talk about incoherence, I hear echoes of MacIntyre.

As for the impulse to impose orthodoxy -- the intellect is ordered to truth. But is the desire to make sure everyone has right belief a post-Christian one that is rooted in a rejection of Christianity and the authority of God and His Church? A traditional Thomist distinguishes in the act of faith between the material object and the formal object, which is God Himself. Dogma is what has been revealed by God about Himself. So we could object that the understanding of Christianity that may be implied is not correct -- the faith which saves is not of truths, but of Truth Himself.

Still, what we witness is not the instruction of the ignorant by the moderns, but an imposition of a new faith, which we are to accept based on their authority, which is usually justified upon their being experts or teachers or scientists. One system of belief seeks to displace another. The new orthodoxies of liberalism and scientism, both children of the Enlightenment? The authority of God has been replaced by that of man. In order to pass on knowledge, one must first have it. And yet our experts are ignorant of their own ignorance. (What, then, of analytic discussions of epistemology?)

How many of us possess a meaningful history, one that is more specific than a vague and general national narrative, recounting ties to a specific people or community?

Wolfgang Smith: Science and Myth, The Hidden Connection, The Plague of Scientistic Belief

Dr. Fleming continues his series on jerks.

Jerks: Cases of Arrested Development

From his comment:

It is not just that Jerks are predominantly male but that jerkitude is a quintessentially male quality that grows out of our nature, when that nature fails to ripen into manhood. Many “great men” are jerks–conquerors like Napoleon, statesmen like Churchill, novelists like Hemingway, self-important surgeons and scientists. Women by contrast, even stunted women, are born to care about other people, because they are designed to be wives and mothers. One of the teenage girl’s most annoying qualities is their affection for melodrama, but they do not simply make themselves the stars of their ongoing soap opera; they let others share the limelight. The way they carry on over a sick friend or a girlfriend who has been jilted! And Lord help us if someone they met once somewhere has died in a car accident. I was talking with a friend of mine not long ago about the awful tragedy songs of the 50′s and 60′s–”Teen Angel,” “Tell Laura I Love Her, “Honey,” “Patches,” “Last Kiss.” My stomach is curdling as I write the titles. Most of you are too young to remember these–but you can get them off Youtube–but the one thing my friend and I distinctly recalled is that no guy could ever stand them. (“The Leader of the Pack” was unintentionally amusing, though.) And we loved the parody, “I want my baby back.”

What is the feminine equivalent of the Jerk? I think we all know the answer and it rhymes with witch. But while the Jerk is an otherwise normal male who has not grown up enough to acknowledge other people’s existence–at least not consistently–the b–ch is a terrible deformation of the female character. The act is part domineering mother but, and this is significant, partly an imitation of what women perceive to be male behavior. It is a common complaint in offices that when women do what men do routinely, they get known as b–ches. This is only partly true, because this sort of woman goes way over the top in her aggressive and exploitative behavior, but the element of truth doesn’t make them any more tolerable. The sassy, self-assertive, scheming female–Scarlet O’Horror as Jones calls his boss in A Confederacy of Dunces–does things a man would get punched out for. I don’t want to dwell on this, because it is too easy for men, who are responsible for the way the world is, to point the finger at their victims.

The Thinking Housewife, Male Authority Revisited
Alte, The Patriarch
Oz Conservative, A leftist woman responds

NYT: A Conversation with Daniel Lieberman

A Conversation With Daniel Lieberman
Born, and Evolved, to Run

Part 2 and Part 3

Once again, his homepage and Run Barefoot.

On the way to lunch at Costco this afternoon I heard the dj mention the new Adidas minimalist shoe. Apparently he's never heard of Vibram. I think I'd rather give my money to the small minimalist shoe companies than to a giant like Adidas.

Well, it seems to be that paleolibertarians are more willing to try minimalist shoes and barefoot running than trad- or paleocons. (And age isn't really a factor -- I read
that Lew Rockwell has been trying out minimalist shoes.) While Paleos might be willing to try them out for exercise, I doubt they would be willing to wear minimalist dress shoes (these have not been developed yet, though there are minimalist athletic shoes) during formal or semi-formal occasions. I could be wrong.

Runblogger's Guide to Minimalist Running Shoes
Minimalist Shoes
From the beginning of the year: Preview of New 2011 Minimalist and Barefoot Style Running Shoes

Mark Sisson would say, "Don't forget play."

Living disconnected (EB) by Dave Pollard

First Mr. Pollard summarizes the article he wrote last year, "What Are You Going to Do When the Internet's Gone," including his alternatives to the Internet:

In the same article I described what I think we will do with our time instead:
  • Instead of downloading music and film, create our own music and theatre, in live performance
  • Instead of taking photos, draw, paint, sculpt
  • Instead of blogging, write a journal, and meet in our community and share stories and ideas, cook together, rant, organize, build something together
  • Instead of playing online games, organize a real-space scavenger hunt, eco-walk, or bicycle rallye, or play board games
  • Instead of taking online courses, unschool ourselves in our own communities, and learn about our place… or show/teach others what we know (including, most importantly, teaching children how to think and learn for themselves)
  • Instead of organizing online petitions and complaining online about the state of the world, go visit our local politicians, get involved in community activities that make a difference (disrupt, show our outrage, satirize, or create something better)
  • Instead of looking for health information online, set up a local self-help health co-op, offering preventive care, self-diagnostic and holistic self-treatment information
  • Instead of porn… well, use your imagination

Items of Interest, 24 August 2011

The Distributist Thinking of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Karen De Coster, Frugality and Self-Sufficiency? Say It Isn’t So!

Federalism: The Cure for Our Constitutional Crisis


CLANCY SIGAL, In Praise of Ron Paul

Bill Gates wants to solve the poop problem
Gene Logsdon, The Contrary Farmer, Mulligan Books

Don’t defend the university, transform it!
Amy Clancy, STIR

The roads to our alternative energy future
Barath Raghavan, contraposition

Bluegrass Blog: New video shoot for Bearfoot

Sam Shepard IS Butch Cassidy By Joe Leydon (trailer)

Saint Paul and Christian Classical Education

IEW Seminars in NC

The end of an era?

Steve Jobs resigns from Apple, Cook becomes CEO

Well, he won't be blamed if Apple starts doing poorly because the failing economy catches up to it.
The Art of Manliness: The History and Nature of Man Friendships
Take a look at these photos of man friends from the late 19th and early 20th Century. These guys were pretty touchy with each other. In fact, it was these photos that inspired me to write the post. During my weekly searches for vintage pics of men for the blog, I kept on coming across old photographs of men being really affectionate with one another. It’s pretty jarring to our modern man sensibilities.

OneSTDV: Masculinity, Crying, Emotion, and Sports Movies
Alice Waters: Edible Education
The Mother of the Locavore Movement Serves Up Her Gastronomic Curriculum

Alice Waters: Edible Education on

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

40 years of Chez Panisse

NPR: Alice Waters: 40 Years Of Sustainable Food (mp3)

Inside Scoop SF: Listen to Alice Waters, Michael Bauer, Charlie Hallowell and Russell Moore on the radio

Michael Pollan On Cooking As A Spectator Sport

Jeff Bridges, AOL Music - Sessions


Liberty, Justice, and the Common Good: Political Principles for 2012 and Beyond by Ryan T. Anderson

Are SoCons once again playing into the hands of the Great Oligarchy Party? What do the past 30 years show about Republicans' true desire to do the things that SoCons ask them to do? Very little. SoCons continue to look for remedies to social ills (or morals legislation) at the National level, rather than at the local level. Only one contributor, Jane Robbins, will talk about any form of localism or "states' rights."

*There is the question of what good the Supreme Court can do in restoring the "nation's moral compass" in its role. Will it stem the tide on same-sex marriage?

Items of Interest, 23 August 2011

Vivat Latinitas! My lively summer speaking a dead language. by Ted Scheinman (Paideia Institute)

Interview: Gordon Ramsay talks stress, smoking and getting his ass kicked

Interview with Sally Fallon (in which she talks about the Rawesome Foods raid)

Lindsay Curran, Economics has failed us...but there is life after growth! (EB) - a review of Richard Heinberg's latest book.

Sharon Astyk, On Settling Down (EB)
More about community in a post that hasn't been finished yet. Community is important, and a solution must through a concerted effort, but is community in itself enough? What of identity and core values?

Patrick Cockburn, Qaddafi Has Lost; But Who Has Won?

David S. D'Amato, Real Welfare Reform

Asian Americans In California To Benefit From Redistricting
This could not be true, unless ethnic communities existed. Is that a good sign? And, Asians(-Americans) are not a homogeneous voting bloc, though they generally do favor making money?

Good day for paleo links

Robb Wolf: A short history of Polyface Farms: an interview with Joel Salatin (part 1 of 5)

MDA: Guest Post: Robb Wolf Answers Your Paleo Diet Questions

Links for Dr. Feinman's AHS presentation here.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Apologies Of An Economic Hitman

via JM
Distributism as a Way of Life Christopher Ferrara, The Austrian Version of the English Enclosures III
Sandro Magister, Vatican Diary / A new doctor of the Church. And seventeen more on hold (via Insight Scoop)

The Jesuit priest at the seminary, Fr. PB, questioned why St. Therese of Lisieux was made a doctor -- if she qualified, then St. Ignatius of Loyola should surely be named a Doctor of the Church as well.

Kirkpatrick Sale on Conversations with Harold Channer

Originally aired on January 19, 1996.

Kurt Cobb's definition of conservatism

Who are the real radicals? by Kurt Cobb (EB)

I have tried to categorize America's political parties along a continuum not of conservative to liberal, but rather of conservative to radical. By this I mean that conservatives would want to preserve a way of life that ensures the long-term continuity and survivability of human communities. But I find only radical political parties in America. Therefore, crowded on the radical end of the spectrum I characterize the following groups in decreasing order of radicalness (with only tiny distinctions between them):

1. Libertarians - They champion allowing unfettered radical change to the Earth's surface, oceans and atmosphere and unfettered exploitation of its resources. Their distinguishing characteristic from other parties is that they--I mean the real Libertarians--believe government should favor no particular group in this process.

2. Republicans - Like Libertarians they champion allowing unfettered radical change to the Earth's surface, oceans and atmosphere and unfettered exploitation of its resources. But they tend to rail against the evil of cities and laud the totally unsustainable and ahistorical hypertrophy of the suburbs. Unlike Libertarians they are eager to use government to steer public resources toward favored constituencies, primarily the wealthy.

3. Democrats - Democrats believe that radical changes to the Earth's surface, oceans and atmosphere and exploitation of its resources should proceed at a slightly slower pace than Republicans do, and that there should be a minor appearance of public spiritedness by inconveniencing some industries with health and safety regulations and by redistributing some wealth via the tax system and government services from the wealthy to the middle and lower classes. Not surprisingly then, like Republicans, Democrats see government as a way to steer public resources toward favored constituencies, primarily, but not exclusively, the wealthy.

4. Socialists - Socialists are like Democrats used to be. Socialists continue to see government as a way to share society's wealth very broadly with the entire population, primarily through publicly-funded education, health care, transportation, pensions and a variety of social services. They tend to believe that government control of and/or stringent regulation of large parts of the economy are the best way to serve the public interest. Some socialist governments have embraced the idea that radical changes to Earth's atmosphere are unwise and have taken modest, but hardly adequate steps toward curbing those changes.

5. Greens - We must distinguish between what I call the techno-optimist Greens and the ecologically-grounded Greens. The techno-optimists feel that technology will allow us to repair radical changes we've made to the Earth's surface, oceans and atmosphere and prevent new ones while radically reducing our exploitation of resources. We'll do all this without missing a beat when it comes to living modern, technological lives. Our use of resources may go down, but we won't have to give up any of the things we've come to expect. They believe that government will have a major role in this transition through regulation, incentives and taxation. One cannot dismiss their ideas as completely without merit. But they certainly partake of the radical catechism of the four previously mentioned parties. On the other hand, ecologically-grounded Greens accept that the modern industrial way of life cannot succeed. They sometimes offer a vision of what I'll call a craft-based, agriculturally-oriented society retaining some of the key technical benefits of industrial society.

A commitment to sustainability (or stewardship) is an important index but it may not be sufficient when examining at platforms. The question of scale may be implied; it is important both for sustainability and for the well-being of the political community. Ecologically-grounded Greens (for example, Kirkpatrick Sale) may be more committed to localism and smaller political entities than the others, who are more likely to be advocates of centralization and the nationalist conception of the United States.

Communal health care

Some more thoughts...

Out of the following two options, which is more economically feasible for patients: doctors charging for each service, or the community contributing to his living? In the case of the latter, I suppose it would be considered public health care, as it the doctors are there for the benefit of society. This assumes that the political economy allows for all to contribute in some way. It also presupposes some measure of stability for the community and its political economy. All would contribute to his living (and certain services?). But it wouldn't make health care a right, except in so far as the doctor owes something in return for the living he has received from the community.

It would cover accidents and illnesses, but injuries that involve fault would require the guilty person to shoulder the burden of paying for the health care?

At the very lease it would require an emphasis on preventive health care, grounded in a truly healthy diet and fitness plan, and not the FDA's current recommendations.

How are other expenses to be paid for? (Tests, cost of supplies, drugs, and so on--everything else in a hospital besides the doctors?) Is the burden to be on those who need the treatment? Or should these expenses be spread out among the community as well?

Done a disservice...

Zooey Deschanel apparently likes Hello Giggles, a group blog by women. (I don't know if she contributes to the blog, though she has done some videos for its youtube channel. Edit. She does have a profile at the website and is listed as one of the authors.)

In general the typical woman's blogs holds little appeal for me, but it's repulsive if it embodies the thinking of the modern liberated woman. Hello Giggles may not be the exact opposite of Traditional Christianity (there are group blogs that are more overtly feminist), but it's still evidence that the typical young Uhmerican woman has lived and breathed feminism all her life. Perhaps this is best countered, not through persuasion (alone?) as that is unlikely to work (by itself), but by other means.

I can see why some men promote a marriage strike. Women may feel the need to enforce group think, but if adopting it leads to them not having a relationship, they may reconsider. Did the socons on the internet ever come around to agreeing that the solution was not for men to get married willy-nilly, but to uphold their principles and exercise leadership (what some would identify with game) and be selective in choosing a wife?

Dalrock, Alpha Women, Beta Men

Shania Twain, Thank You Baby! (For Makin' Someday Come So Soon)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Scotty McCreery, "Love You This Big"


Stetson and Cia, "Save Me Tonight"

Works by St. John of the Cross

Apropos of the announcement about St. John of the Cross, some links to his works:

Catholic Spiritual Direction
Internet Archive

General introduction to the collected works of St. John of the Cross

WYD 2011

Benedict XVI to seminarians
St. John of Avila (John of the Cross) to be proclaimed Doctor of the Church

What were the historical circumstances that lead to St. Teresa of Avila being declared a Doctor of the Church before him? That is, why weren't they both declared Doctors of the Church at the same time?

Something from MoJ by Robert Araujo, S.J.: Advice to Catholic University Educators

Papal Homily at Mass With Seminarians
"We Have to Be Saints"

Benedict XVI's Reflection on Way of the Cross
"The Cross Was Not a Sign of Failure, but an Expression of Self-Giving in Love"

Holy Father's Words to University Professors

"You Provide a Splendid Service in the Spread of Truth"

Friday, August 19, 2011

Stromberg on Röpke

Some Constructive Heresies of Wilhelm Röpke

More Stromberg on John Taylor of Caroline

Joseph R. Stromberg, The Political Economy of John Taylor of Caroline
Artificial Aristocrats Can Only Sustain Their Projects through Political Despotism

Country Ideology, Republicanism, and Libertarianism
John Taylor of Caroline (1753-1824), Federalism, and Empire

And: Civil War and the American Political Economy and Civil War and the American Political Economy: Response to a Critic

Slavery in the North - not sure if the author has an agenda other than historical research.
A review of Eugene D. Genovese's The Political Economy of Slavery: Studies in the Economy and Society of the Slave South.
Daniel MacCarthy's review of Adam Tate's Conservatism and Southern Intellectuals, 1789-1861: Liberty, Tradition, and the Good Society.
A Place for Interposition?
The Constitutional Republicanism of John Taylor of Caroline

Enjoy the weekend!

NPR: Rosanne Cash Interprets Her Father's Country List

Plus, an interview with Kate Bush.

Other Lives: Tiny Desk Concert

More retro photos would be nice...

The Finalists for the Art of Manliness Put Up Your Dukes Contest: Vote for Your Favorite!

There has been a recent fad of using apps to simulate polaroid photos and the like. I'd like to see more b/w portraits, some faux Daguerreotypes.

Hey Victoria fans!

Deutsche Grammophon Releases a 10-CD Box Set of Tomás Luis de Victoria

Ensemble Plus Ultra

Straussians in China?

Something I discovered while going through the PomoCon archives in search of the posts on True Grit: My Book and Chinese Straussianism by Peter Lawler.

The video associated with this comment to a post by Robert Cheeks on the movie is no longer available.

Iris Dement, "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms"

Carl Scott recommends the Anamnesis review: Charles Portis v. the Coen Brothers: More True Grit Studies
Peter Lawler, The Virtue of True Grit
True Grit and the Law - True Grit, Orestia, and the Rule of Law