Saturday, May 07, 2011

Saw some clogging on an episode of Justified -- would people hold on to wearing shoes for the sake of the dance? Or going barefoot most of the time, and donning shoes just for dancing?

Ruminating on how a radical embrace of the barefoot lifestyle can be harmonized with traditional culture... it seems to me that contra dancing could be done shoeless...

Best Bluegrass Clog Dancing Video Ever Made
Clog Dancing On The Porch With Bascom Lunsford
Beautiful Contra Folk Dancing







Alexander Cockburn, Fashion Critic

And his thoughts on the White House's OBL Affair: A Volcano of Lies.

Footnote: Peering briefly at the royal nuptials in a house high up in the mountains above Malibu, I was surprised to see how spectacularly tacky the British upper classes have become. They looked very vulgar. The appalling cuteness of the Aston Martin supplied the coup de grace.  The groom didn’t know how to stand up properly. Contrary to effusive comparisons,  the bride’s much touted dress from the atelier of the wildly overpraised late Alexander McQueen, was a far cry from Grace Kelly’s, designed by Helen Rose, who had dressed her in High Society and The Swan. The bride’s headdress hung like a dishrag.  The only vestments born with confidence and aplomb were those of the churchmen. The Archbishop of Canterbury, with his emphatic beard and specs, had a splendid cope. His voice was confident. I’d like to see him in debate with one of Teheran’s ayatollahs. But the Anglo actresses watching the event on our mountain were ecstatic. My daughter Daisy, returning to London two days later, reported that the young women she was encountering were all swept away by the event and eager for marriage. 

You Must Think Happy Thoughts

Begun on April 15.

I am referring to the BS exercise that is the normal application process for a job, not to the PC environment of certain companies. (Can the corporate workplace be compared to a totalitarian regime in that respect, with HR and management functioning as thought police?) One has to express a desire to further one's career, an interest or belief in the company and its mission, dedication, and so on. How do those seeking work without wishing to compromise their integrity or ideals succeed, when they cannot beg for work? It seems to me that today hiring one's self out is not the same as before. It is more difficult to do so and one has less opportunities to prove one's self based on ability, product, and experience alone.

It is not enough that you give your labor, but you must also hand over your mind and soul to your employer. Modern-day professed enthusiasm for the company, the work, the product and the mission trumps any old-fashioned work ethic (Catholic or Protestant).

It seems to me that a white collar wage slave must be able to talk about grandiose life plans and implicitly show a desire to make the company's meaning and purpose one's own in order to be hired. Without a social network or valuable personal recommendations, can an employer really evaluate the character of a prospective employee? I imagine that the gatekeepers in HR are impressed with those who successfully BS them about fulfillment. Maybe I'm wrong about how much the initial HR review of a resume and cover letter gauges interest and "compatibility." The interview will give various people a better idea of what a person is like, with respect to social skills and interest, and an employer, when choosing between candidates for a position will probably want someone who wants to be there at the company and is thinking of working there for a while. They may want to find motivated workers, but duty doesn't count enough.


 
It reminds me a bit of universities and of medical schools, which no longer serve the local community by finding someone who wants to stay in the area and is suited for the work, but choose applicants based on other considerations, including enhancing their admissions profile.

Perhaps the technogeeks are doing what they like; is this true of everyone else in the white-collar sector, working for large companies? How much of the work being done in the (post-)industrial economy is truly useful or beneficial for society? (I.e. furthering the common good and our ultimate end, as opposed to promoting consumption for the sake of production?)


Once hired, a male in most corporations is neutered -- unable to openly express what one believes or feels; going along to get along is the SOP and necessary for keeping one's job. In a PC work environment, there is thought control -- one can't think bad thoughts. Otherwise one may lose one's job on the basis of some excuse (or worse, a false accusation of harassment or some other PC crime).
Am I too much of an outsider, relying too much on the experiences of others and my own imagination to write this?

Something from Common Dreams:
Delusion and Denial Part 1: Work, Jobs, Careerism, Charity
by Kristine Mattis

Mary Surratt: Guilty or Innocent



The Conspirator
YT channel

Amateurs

Bin Laden Killing: How the White House, Pentagon and CIA Botched the Storyline (link via VFR)

Alamire on Soundcloud

Here

William Lind pushing for 3GW reform

Generation Gap

Maneuver-warfare tactics require a unique military culture. The difference begins with outward instead of inward focus. In a Second Generation armed service, attention is focused inward, on orders, rules, processes, and procedures. In the Third Generation, the focus is outward, on the enemy, the situation, and the result the situation requires. Getting that result trumps everything else, including orders. In fact, an order does not tell the subordinate what to do. It tells him what result his superior at least two levels up is trying to obtain, the “commander’s intent,” and leaves him wide freedom of action as to how to accomplish his mission that is part of that intent.

A Second Generation military culture is centralized, prizes obedience over initiative—initiative disrupts “synchronization,” a Second Generation fetish—and rests on imposed discipline. A Third Generation culture is decentralized, values initiative over obedience, and relies on self-discipline. Only these cultural characteristics make fluid, time-competitive maneuver-warfare tactics and operations possible.

From these cultural requirements flow other characteristics of a Third Generation military. The officer corps is small: not a pyramid, but a mesa that tops out at the rank of battalion commander with only a tiny “spike” of general staff officers and senior commanders rising higher. Nothing drives centralization more powerfully than an officer surplus above the company grades.

TAC June 2011 issueThere is no “up or out” promotion system like that found today in the U.S. military, where an officer must constantly buck for promotion or leave the service. If someone wants to remain a sergeant or captain his entire career and is good at his job, he may. The poison of promotion politics is devastating to the strong character effective officers need. The military definition of strong character is eagerness to make decisions and act.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Today's peak oil lesson

For a second grade class -- I didn't explicitly mention peak oil, but the social studies lesson was on natural resources and how they are limited. I told the students that plastics come from oil, and that to waste plastic is to waste oil -- we should recycle plastic, or better yet, not use it in the first place...

Rhonda Vincent, "Taken"

Bluegrass Blog: Rhonda Vincent releases Taken video

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Growing Roots: Peter Maurin and the Agronomic University by Eric Anglada

Peter Maurin, Apostle to the World by Dorothy Day
Peter Maurin's Personalist Gift to the Catholic Worker

Re: Osama not being a Muslim leader

An Orthodox Muslim: Bin Laden’s Theology and Terrorism by Srdja Trifkovic

Citizen Soldier DVD Extended Version

Several years old now... this was played a lot in movie theaters, and I see it, I can't help but think propaganda for the National Government and the Union Army.


Some more commercials:




(The most recent?)

I haven't seen anything for 2011 yet...

What is Vengeance?

Marc DeGirolami asks in relation to the killing of OBL, "Is Vengeance Forbidden?"

Vengeance could be used to name an emotion, in which case it seems to be not the same as hate but is related to anger. As Mr. DeGirolami notes, St. Thomas Aquinas links the act of the will named vengeance to justice. It is not the same as hatred.

More from Dr. Fleming: Rule By Assassination II (Dr. Fleming also examines Ayn Rand in Jerks: The Individualist, Part I.)

The AAM commences its tour of East Asia

Its latest blog entry. The first stop: Seoul, South Korea - Friday and Saturday.

Transcript for Prince Charles's speech at Georgetown

Here.

This is the challenge facing us. We have to maintain a supply of healthy food at affordable prices when there is mounting pressure on nearly every element affecting the process. In some cases we are pushing Nature’s life-support systems so far, they are struggling to cope with what we ask of them. Soils are being depleted, demand for water is growing ever more voracious and the entire system is at the mercy of an increasingly fluctuating price of oil.

Remember that when we talk about agriculture and food production, we are talking about a complex and interrelated system and it is simply not possible to single out just one objective, like maximising production, without also ensuring that the system which delivers those increased yields meets society’s other needs. As Eric has highlighted, these should include the maintenance of public health, the safeguarding of rural employment, the protection of the environment and contributing to overall quality of life.

So I trust that this conference will not shy away from the big questions. Chiefly, how can we create a more sustainable approach to agriculture while recognizing those wider and important social and economic parameters – an approach that is capable of feeding the world with a global population rapidly heading for nine billion? And can we do so amid so many competing demands on land, in an increasingly volatile climate and when levels of the planet’s biodiversity are under such threat or in serious decline?

The link for the video is posted here.

Raj Patel on how many people the world can feed

Raj Patel, Can The World Feed 10 Billion People?
Byzantine, Texas: New Orthodox studies program forming in San Francisco - Saints Cyril and Athanasius of Alexandria Institute for Orthodox Studies

Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco

Will they be in the Bay Area?

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge To Visit California, United States of America

The discussion of Vatican 2 continues

Sandro Magister, The Church Is Infallible, But Not Vatican II

And it made mistakes, maintains traditionalist historian Roberto de Mattei. The dispute continues for and against the popes who guided the Council and put its innovations into practice

Jimmy Moore interviews Tim Ferriss

The LLVLC Show (Episode 468): Tim Ferriss Promotes His Slow-Carb Approach From ‘The 4-Hour Body’ (mp3)

The Four-Hour Workweek


Check this out:
Dr. Charles Mobbs: Diabetic Kidney Damage Can Actually Be Reversed With A High-Fat, Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet

And a discussion of Whole Foods:
Low-Carb Conversations Podcast (Episode 8): Andrew DiMino And CJ Low Carb Confront Whole Foods Pushing Veganism (mp3)


Something from 2009 with one of my favorite American actresses: Actress Courtney Thorne-Smith Says Low-Carb Is How Hollywood Eats (Episode 287)

Kershaw Blur, again

info




An older version of the knife:

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Paleo Solution with Guest Gary Taubes

The Paleo Solution – Episode 78 (mp3)
The Art of Manliness: Classical Rhetoric 101: The Five Canons of Rhetoric-Delivery

The Archdruid Report: The Downside of Dependence

The Archdruid Report: The Downside of Dependence: "I’m not sure if last week’s Archdruid Report post hit a nerve, or if thoughts similar to the ones I discussed there have been busy all by t..."

L'Angelus Performs Cajun Twist/Take On Me Medley

Xiao Jimmy's wife gave birth prematurely last weekend, on the 28th, but the baby is doing well. Mother is still recovering though.
Zenit: On Prayer: 1st Audience in New Series
"Virtually Always and Everywhere, People Have Turned to God"

Suspicious without a cause?

Thanks to feminism and affirmative action, I have to ask if she was held to the same exact physical standards as men.

NYC’s first Asian-American woman firefighter rides a bike to work, and loves it

Prince Charles at Georgetown on Food Security

Listen here.

Patrick Deneen has some information about the conference -- I do not know if the audio for Wendell Berry's session will be posted.

An earlier press release
Prince Charles to Attend Food Sustainability Conference
Prince Charles urges agricultural reform

Listener-supporter radio in the Bay Area

With the recent changes in the local radio stations, I've been scanning the channels more often. KPFA has some decent classical hours and last weekend I discovered "Panhandle Country", which airs at 3:00 PM every other Sunday. (I believe it alternates with Pig in a Pen.) The host is a bit of a Marxist (so I gathered from his comments about May 1 being the true Labor Day, recognized by the rest of the world and which the U.S. will not adopt...), but the music is excellent. (What should I expect from a radio station located in Berkeley.)


Archive of past shows: Panhandle Country, Pig in a Pen

Now if we could get a radio station to replace the loss of classical KDFC. (Which apparently still exists, but covers barely beyond Napa.) KDFC is no longer commercial but is listerner-supported, just like KPFA.

"Probably a final word on the Royal Wedding."

Peter Hitchens, On Not Knowing the Difference (See also Old misery guts hits back.)

Discussion of OBL's killing at MOJ

OBL, the Death Penalty, and Targeted Killings by Eduardo Penalver 
The Strike Against Bin Laden as a Military Operation, Not Law Enforcement by Greg Sisk
Moral Clarity and Targeted Killing: Operation Valkyrie as a Test Case by Greg Sisk
Imminence, Unlawful Aggressors, and Proportionality in Self-Defense by Marc DeGirolami
I'm a Runner: Bear Grylls
The sixth season of Man vs. Wild tests Grylls's survival skills in remote areas of Arizona, Scotland, and Borneo.

His website and blog. Man vs. Wild.

Items of Interest, 4 May 2011

Herman Daly, Not production, not consumption but transformation

Israel Shamir, US Knew Where Osama Was Since 2005
Mike Whitney, American Savagery
Robert Fisk, Why are We Still in Afghanistan?

There's a lot more on Osama Bin Laden at Counterpunch...

Blackwater’s New Ethics Chief: John Ashcroft

Japan should look to satoyama and satoumi for inspiration
Anantha Kumar Duraiappah, Kazuhiko Takeuchi and Carmen Scherkenbach, Our World 2.0

The practices of satoyama and satoumi refer to traditional Japanese land-management methods in inland (satoyama) and coastal (satoumi) areas. The concepts, which comprise not just agricultural techniques but entire socio-ecological systems, have provided in the past for sustainable, high-biodiversity areas that produce a range of “ecosystem services” — from timber, rice and fish to energy (biomass and hydropower for instance) and tourism. Although not quantifiable in purely economic terms, the concepts have provided residents and visitors with significant cultural and social benefits.

A wallet full of scrambled eggs
Gene Logsdon, The Contrary Farmer

For some reason, no doubt because I am a child of the money economy, my biggest distress was over my billfold. It was covered in yellow slime. I hurried over to the machine shed where I knew some rags were hanging, and commenced to clean up my proud symbol of capitalism. Then I tried to wipe the yokes and white stuff out of the pocket although by now much of it was all sliding lasciviously down my leg.

China as Number One? Don’t bet your bottom dollar
by Tom Engelhardt

Posting this late

as I found it only today...

Steve Martin on Conan

Is this for real?

White House Insider: Obama Hesitated – Panetta Issued Order to Kill Osama Bin Laden (via VFR)
The happiness fix by Caitlin Howlett

Another piece dealing with The Economics of Happiness; at the end of the article the author provides this list of recommendations:

14 ways to chase your happiness

It takes only the simplest of ideas and actions to start fostering a sense of contentedness in your life.
1 Buy your food locally. More conversations happen at farmers’ markets and the local bakery than big supermarkets, so make grocery shopping a social outing rather than
a chore.
2 Join a community garden. Grow your own vegies, green your neighbourhood and learn from the other green thumbs in your area.
3 Build meaningful relationships. Make time for family and friends and inspire them by helping to brainstorm ideas, solve a problem, or make a connection with another friend of yours.
4 Be near nature. Just getting out into the park will dramatically lift your mood, so make a regular habit of a walk in the outdoors.
5 Declutter. The more we have, the less we seem to savour, so remember that less is actually more and donate your excess goods to someone who will use them.
6 Sleep. Get into a regular sleeping pattern and don’t burn the midnight oil too often – that way you’re getting enough rest and vitamin D.
7 Cook for friends. Share good food and good conversation with appreciative people who make you laugh.
8 Get some chickens. Being around and caring for pets helps to keep their owners happy and healthy; and chickens are a very eco-friendly addition to any household.
9 Donate your time where it’s needed. You could visit the elderly, remove weeds from bushland or clean up the local river.
10 Join or start a local group. It could be anything from a community choir to a book club. But allow for flexibility and don’t overload your schedule.
11 Help organise a local fête. Recreate vibrancy in your local community and celebrate what’s special about your area.
12 Ride your bike. Exercise is a great mood-booster, plus it’s an emissions-free transport option.
13 Write to your local MP. Share your ideas about what you’d like to see happen to make your local area even better.
14 Attend a political rally challenging consumer culture. Or get involved with groups such as Global Trade Watch, The Australia Institute, Cultivating Community, or Pigs Will Fly.

Related:
Cecile Andrews - Slow is Beautiful(blog)

Steve Martin on Ellen D.

More Than a Comedian: Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers
bio

interview clip

Related:
Steve Martin: An Accomplished Banjo Player

The Lovell Sisters, "In My Time of Dyin"



MS
Farewell to the Lovell Sisters…hello to Larkin Poe

Larkin Poe (MS and FB)







Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Gordon Biersch in San Jose

Tonight the family had dinner at Gordon Biersch in downtown San Jose. I ordered the mushroom swiss burger -- the surface of the burger tasted burnt, and I would have to say that as a result, the burgers at BJ's are better. My brother-in-law ordered another beer, having forgotten that he was going to finish KK's beer, so I had some (actually, all) of it. It is my brother in law's favorite, Märzen. The last beer I had was Chimay, so I thought its taste was mild in comparison with that. Would I have it again? Drinking beer is probably not for me -- I was feeling sleepy about 10 minutes after I consumed the beer, and I was having a bit of a headache. Low alcohol tolerance.

The restaurant does have a nice friendly atmosphere, even if the interior is a bit dark; I can see why professionals working in the area might want to visit.
Walking through downtown SJ though, I found that it doesn't really appeal to me, though I would like to walk through it again late at night, when the clubs are open.

Chapel veils

WDPTRS

Is it for the sake of humility? Or modesty? And if a veil causes you to stand out because no other woman is wearing one, should you refrain? Some dismiss the argument that women should not dress out of respect for the weakness of men because it is a problem for men not women, and they may even try to use a reductio argument targeting with a slippery slope objection -- how much modesty is enough, if a man can be stimulated even by ----.

I think the argument could be made that St. Paul was not giving a precept for a specific culture or in reaction to something (only prostitutes were unveiled, etc.). If it is the case that hair is a marker for health and vitality and a sign that a woman is a suitable mate, something that men instinctively look at when judging whether to pair with a woman or not, I don't now if I would call this a weakness or attribute this to original sin. I think a man may be attracted or look at a woman without any sexual concupiscence, though it could be said that being moved by nature, without will, to look at an attractive female may be a part of general concupiscence. Weakness in the sense that it is not wholly voluntary, then, taking notice of an attractive women.*

It may be easier for a man to stop looking if he can't see the hair (just as if a woman is wearing modest clothing). Uncovered hair, on the other hand, is something that men will "naturally" look at, not because of some sexual fetish but because it is an indicator of health. While a chapel veil may be an oddity at an OF liturgy, I think most men will get used to it after a while, and they won't stare at a veil just because it is there -- it doesn't have the same sort of significance as hair. (Though it may signal that the woman wearing it has traditionalist tendencies and may be the sort of woman he would want to marry... and then she'll be a source of distraction of him as a result.)

Yes, the face can also be diverting, but if a man is standing behind a woman, he won't be looking at her face, but he may be looking at her hair. Similarly, for a woman

I suppose the ancient Christians had reasons for separating the sexes -- some even drew up a curtain between the two groups.

What about the (over-)use of cosmetics by women going to church? Are they drawing too much attention to themselves, even if they are doing so mostly out of habit and unthinkingly? What about dressing up for church, as opposed to dressing "modestly"?

When did the wearing of hats become the dominant practice in the UK? I think many of the hats worn at the Royal Wedding last week were counter to modesty--another occasion for women trying to make a fashion statement or draw attention to themselves.

Anyways, I wasn't trying to give a final answer on the question on whether the precept to wear a veil in church was applicable to all human societies, but what people have written about hair as a signal to physical/sexual attraction got me thinking about the precept in relation to that.

Something from Ed Peters.

Edit. Alte has something on the topic.

*Postscript. After more consideration --
The looking at hair seems to be instinctual for men. That observation of hair (or the face, etc.) can lead a man to gaze upon a woman because of an attractiveness, or desire to do so though he should be occupied with other matters, is due to concupiscence. The difficulty in understanding this may be due to an erroneous association of concupiscence with only the sexual appetite.

Bruce Thornton on the CSU system

Mission Lost by Bruce S. Thornton
California’s state university system offers everything but a liberal education.

The California State University

Alas, the author seems to be a neocon classicist in the vein of his collaborator and CSU colleague Victor Davis Hanson.

Uncommon Knowledge interview: part 1 and part 2 and part 3 and part 4

Fora.tv interview from 2008

City Journal has a new website dedicated to California issues.

Dr. Fleming on the killing of OBL and the Uhmerican celebrations

Rule by Assassination

It was initially reported that US forces tried to apprehend OBL, but he resisted and he was shot. It is now being reported that he was not armed but "resisted."

Related:
Joseph Bottum, The Mass Man

Items of Interest, 3 May 2010

Andrew Bacevich, Arab uprising: The U.S. must take a nonviolent stance

Headstash: The Evolution of Bluegrass: From McCoury to Krauss

The context of Hubbert’s Peak in world oil forecast
Gail Tverberg, ASPO-USA

Hubbert's Curve still remains important because it provides something close to an upper limit to the amount of oil that can be produced. The reason I say "close to" an upper limit because there is still the possibility of technological advances, making new types of production economic. Experience to date shows that the role of these advances is likely to be fairly small, though.
CNU: Suburban Slums and the New Urbanism Antidote- a guest post by Sharon McMillan, the New Urban Mom

Related:
New Urban Mom

Sarah Jarosz

NPR: First Listen: Sarah Jarosz, 'Follow Me Down'

Her official website and her MS.







Watch the full episode. See more Austin City Limits.


With Steve Martin on Austin City Limits:

Watch the full episode. See more Austin City Limits.


Complaining about mosquito bites while a crocodile bites our leg
Nate Hagens, Post Carbon Institute (EB)

Monday, May 02, 2011

A good post on humility by Jeff Culbreath: "I do not concern myself with great matters, or things too wonderful for me."

Something Borrowed



A romantic comedy, a chick flick, or emotional porn for women? It's based on the novel. Maybe men do have to put a foot down and say no when their gfs or SOs ask them to watch such movies with them -- they reinforce false notions of romantic love and the unrealistic ideal of companionate marriage. A soulmate = a woman who looks like a man on the outside.

The novel seems to be more feminist than the movie -- "It addresses the stigma against single women in their thirties and the pressure that society places on them to get married. 'This is a realistic situation that women face in today's society,' according to one book review." It is one thing for people to be judgmental of singles, especially when they do not know them, but on the other hand, the majority of people are probably called to marriage, and most women experience the desire to bond and to have children.

The book has received high ratings at Amazon. A woman's mind is too precious to be wasted on chick lit... I think Austen fans with any sense about traditional mores should be able to explain the difference between Austen's novels and the majority of today's fiction written for women.

Apple

Undercover Boss - UCR

Yesterday's episode of Undercover Boss featured the chancellor of UC Riverside, Timothy White. The only prominent white male in the episode was Chancellor White, I believe. I didn't watch all of it, it failed to hold my interest. One of the employees was a female Chemistry professor -- Asian? So we got the feminist spin on women in science, and how women need to be encouraged to go into the (hard) sciences. The episode seemed to be heavily slanted towards women and minorities, and there is no question in my mind that the chancellor had a hand in that -- I don't think this was due (entirely) to the show's producers. He may welcome the demographic changes in California and be a great believer in "diversity," but does he really have to live with the consequences? Does the chancellor have a nice residence on campus, like the chancellor of UCB? Academics with science backgrounds can be as dogmatic in their liberalism as their counterparts in their humanities, and the chancellor is probably a proud adherent and enforcer of the PC liberal orthodoxy. At the end of the episode, the chancellor promises that he will continue to innovate in order to keep the cost of (higher) education low. But does he even address the question of whether a college education is necessary for everyone? What about the higher education bubble? He doesn't, as far as I can tell. As I said, though, I didn't bother to watch the whole thing.

Does any "boss" ever go on to  make himself or his company look bad? From the outset, how can it be anything more than propaganda for management, disguised as "reality TV"? That's the problem with reality TV -- who believes that it is genuine, instead of an opportunity for those appearing to use it for their ends, whether it to be to gain stardom (or notoriety) or to trumpet one's own virtue or the greatness of one's organization? Even big academic institutions need advertising, as they're all competing for students (and $).

Eventually, the episode will become available on CBS.com.

Washington Post article
So is there anything to the timing for the release of the long-form BC and yesterday's announcement that US forces had killed Osama Bin Laden?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Can we declare victory and bring the troops home now?


White House
Political Punch

I'm too ignorant to speak of the long-term consequences of his death (if it really happened) on the Global War on Terror. But I do think that smart terrorists who really wanted to cripple the United States would not have so much invested in one leader. What I wanted to draw attention to was the parts of Obama's speech that put forth various nationalist myths, especially that one line about unity and indivisibility. In another part he talked about community -- as if the living arrangements for many of us really embody that. These are the lies we are told and that we tell ourselves to make us feel better, even though we sometimes recognize that all is not right with our country and our way of life. And then there was the conclusion -- citing the killing of Osama Bin Laden as an example of American can do-ism, which is not due to wealth or power, but to our being American. What the hell does that really mean?
Inflated American pride? Some form of American exceptionalism? What exactly makes us American? Belief in the proposition nation -- but this isn't enough if it is going to give any substance to Obama's claims about our abilities. What sort of character do Americans really have?

No, we were able to get Osama (if we really did so) because we could violate another country's sovereignty at will and borrow money from others to finance our war-making. Let's be clear about that. If we didn't have our power and status, we wouldn't be able to do any of this, and who could describe the use of that power and status as being just, whether in Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Iraq? Only someone adhering to the Washington Rules, like President Obama.

A reaction to the news at Fabius Maximus.

Alison Krauss & Union Station - Dust Bowl Children [Live]

Yesterday the family drove to SF Chinatown to have dinner at Enjoy, a Chinese vegetarian restaurant. I had gone to a Chinese vegetarian restaurant before, I believe it was with Hsin-Nan and her bf and the restaurant was in Berkeley. I hope it is the last time I have to go to a Chinese vegetarian restaurant. The imitation meat didn't taste like meat (and much of it was made from soy!); the meal was not as satisfying as lunch or dinner at Sweet Tomatoes, and the prices were rather outrageous -- as much as, or even more than meat dishes at the other Chinese restaurants in the area. And it was Chinese food, which generally is not appetizing to me, because of the vegetable oil or the sauces.

On the restaurant window? and in some of the literature it was written, "All life is precious." Is all life equally precious? Apparently not, since we can eat plants and fungi. Are animals less precious than humans? Or are they equally precious? If animal life is so precious, why isn't don't humans intervene to prevent animals from killing each other, just as they would prevent other human beings from injuring or killing each other? Is this such a simple-minded retort?

Peter Hitchens on the Royal Wedding

They wouldn't have thought much of this wedding back in 1953

The MD and her family are here this weekend, so I probably won't have time to write my reflections until tomorrow.