Saturday, June 23, 2007

SHG, "My Story"


Bill Bonner, Bears Throw in the Towel

Bears Throw in the Towel (attached to it is his The New Capitalism)

The Mogambo Guru: Richard Daughty
06/20/2007 - Death By Inflation Report
"You and your money, and the money of your little goon squad storm troopers here, is what is dying, and is going to die! And you will follow it into the grave as inflation kills you all!"

This might be of some interest:

06/21/2007 - Ron Paul's Missed Opportunity
By David Gonigam "…Rep. Ron Paul's presidential campaign has reached a turning point. What he does in the next few weeks will determine whether his national profile will continue to grow and the principles of liberty continue to spread…"

Turning the Curious Into Converts

The missed opportunity came at the end of the interview. Colbert rattled off the names of about a dozen government agencies and asked Paul to raise his hand each time if he wants to abolish them. Paul obliged each and every time. Which is fine as far as it goes. But he missed a chance to turn the curious into converts. I suspect the reaction from many viewers was similar to that of the leftist blogger Manila Ryce:

“[Stephen Colbert] did not let Paul get away as easily as fellow liberals [Jon] Stewart and [Bill] Maher have. Instead, he pointed out the differences between Paul’s far-right ideology and that held by the left. Stephen’s audience obviously wanted to cheer for Paul, but seemed thoroughly confused after they realized that the enemy of your enemy isn’t always your friend.”
Colbert's list started with the Department of Education. Paul could have raised his hand, stopped him right there, and said: “Yes, I want to abolish the Department of Education. I know that sounds pretty radical, but let me tell you why.”

That last sentence is crucial to the success of Paul’s campaign going forward. He can’t say it often enough to preface unorthodox views that will be unfamiliar to liberals -- and for that matter, many younger conservatives with little memory of Ronald Reagan’s small-government rhetoric. Without compromising his principles (as I’m sure he never would), Paul must nonetheless acknowledge that his views might make people a bit uncomfortable; that basic expression of empathy alone will make them much more receptive to what he has to say.

And what he could have proceeded to say was something like this:

“You know, there was once a time when most Republicans wanted to abolish the Department of Education. But a funny thing happened. When Republicans won political power, they realized, 'Hey, we can use this Department of Education to push our own agenda on the rest of the country.' And that's why you have these endless fights now over how our kids are supposed to be educated, Republicans and Democrats each wanting to impose a one-size-fits-all solution on the entire nation. It's crazy. If they want to teach creationism in Oklahoma, fine, let them. If they want to teach condom use in New York City, that's fine too. Why should this all be imposed from Washington, D.C.? You know, there isn't one word in the Constitution about education, and that's because the Founders knew that education was something best left to states and communities and parents and teachers. But what do we have now? We have this crazy No Child Left Behind law where every kid in the nation is getting drilled in how to pass standardized tests and they're not actually learning anything. And don't forget, that law is the brainchild of Ted Kennedy every bit as much as it is of George W. Bush.”

At that point, the allotted time for the interview would have been over, and Paul would have given Colbert’s audience an awful lot to stop and think about. This message of devolution (or if you prefer, states’ rights) is central to Paul's brand of libertarianism, and it could really resonate with liberals who feel as if Christian fundamentalists are trying to impose Taliban-like rule nationwide and conservatives who still retain a memory, however deeply suppressed, of a time not very long ago when they had an innate suspicion of centralized power in Washington, D.C.

A Nation Divided

The fixation on a one-size-fits-all template has seized hold of both liberals and conservatives in nearly every matter of “public policy,” and the resulting free-for-all has left the America of 2007 a deeply divided country. The divisions began with the ascendance of political Christianity in the ’80s, gathered pace during Clinton’s polarizing presidency in the ’90s, reached a crescendo with the 2000 Florida recount, took a breather after Sept. 11, and have gathered pace again since the spring of 2004, when the outrages at Abu Ghraib prison and the slaughter of the four U.S. contractors in Fallujah began turning large numbers of Americans against the Iraq war.

Amid all these divisions, Ron Paul could bring a message of healing -- not a message of unity: The country is beyond unity at this stage of its history -- and no amount of Barack Obama platitudes will change that, but a message of healing nonetheless -- a message that it’s OK for diverse peoples and communities to have different values, to make different choices, to live and let live.

Chances are that’s what America is going to look like in a couple of decades anyway. If nascent secession movements in Vermont, Hawaii, and elsewhere don’t come to fruition, those states and all the rest will nonetheless have much more autonomy as, in time, power devolves from Washington. In all likelihood, the process will come about acrimoniously, perhaps even violently, as competing factions fight each other to exhaustion and our bloated domestic bureaucracy and overseas empire collapse under their own weight. But what if the process came about peacefully, as the factions come to realize as the Founders did that there’s relatively little to fight about when political power is decentralized? Ron Paul can help to bring about that realization, start changing the national dialogue and at the same time, build additional support for his presidential campaign from across the political spectrum.

Roger Morris, The tortured world of US intelligence, Pt 1

The tortured world of US intelligence

BOOK REVIEW How to project 'soft power' The First Resort of Kings by Richard T Arndt

Scripture Catholic


The Husband as Head of Family

Orthodox perspectives on the authority of the husband: Fr. Gregory's Orthodox Catechism;
Deacon Raphael; St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels - Teachings on ...

A take similar to Pope John Paul 2's:
Reflections on Ephesians 5:22-33 The St. Nina Quarterly

Father Alexander's website has been updated, it appears. Unfortunately the booklet on marriage doesn't seem to be available.

Some Catholics continue to believe that JP2 presented a novel teaching about "mutual submission" that reversed centuries of teaching by popes, theologians, and the Church Fathers about the headship of the husband. It should be obvious what their response to Catholics holding the traditional position might be; how would they deal with the Orthodox, who generally hold the same teaching on this matter? More charges that the Orthodox are culturally (and "theologically") backward and in this case sexist? How is that going to contribute to ecumenism.

If this Scriptural moral teaching is culturally conditioned, then what other teachings are culturally conditioned? Scripture tells us what sort of precepts of the Old Law are no longer binding, though it does not give an extended theological treatment of the question, like Aquinas. Other sayings may need to be reflected upon prayerfully and in submission to the Magisterium so that we can discover their rationale. Do we really want to reduce what St. Paul (and St. Peter and so on) say about the authority of husbands to the same status as his statement about women wearing headcoverings in Church? (As for that example--as a command pertaining to the virtue of modesty, could one not say that it is not merely an enforcement of the cultural mores of that time, as if those mores are arbitrary and have no real justification, or worse representative of efforts by men to suppress women?)

an old post from Jimmy Akin on spiritual headship
an exchange between Old Oligarch and another blogger about this teaching
Dear Newlyweds

Touchstone Archives: Soft Servants
What Is an Orthodox Woman?

Msgr. Jia Zhiguo, underground bishop is freed

Msgr. Jia Zhiguo, underground bishop is freed
He returned home yesterday evening after 17 days passed in solitary confinement, under constant surveillance in a military barracks. The arrest may be linked to the imminent publication of the Pope's letter to China’s Catholics.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Msgr. Giulio Jia Zhiguo, underground bishop of Zhengding was released yesterday. Police had sequestered him June 5th last. AsiaNews sources confirm that yesterday afternoon at 17.30 (local time) the bishop returned home to the Episcopal residence of Zhengding (Hebei), after 17 days detention.

AsiaNews sources say on this occasion the bishop was not subjected to interrogation or coercion. He was only kept in isolation and surveyed in an army barracks near Zanhuang (Hebei). On previous occasions he had been interrogated and subjected to coercion in the attempt to make him adhere to the Patriotic Association, the organism which controls all Churches and which is seeking to build a Church independent of the Vatican. The bishop has been sequestered a total of nine times since 2004.

The motive for this latest arrest remains unclear, but experts explain to AsiaNews that it may be a “provocation” in view of the imminent publication of the Pope’s letter to China’s Catholics. According to many faithful, the police and government in Hebei fear that the Pope’s letter may result in tension and unrest. Even at the time of John Paul II’s death the police cracked down on the Church and closely followed the bishops to make guard against “revolt” and unadvisable gestures.

Hebei is one of the provinces worst hit by the Chinese governments anti Catholic persecution, and the area with the greatest concentration of underground Catholics. The last arrest of Msgr. Jia dates to November 2005. In the past Msgr. Jia spent over 20 years in prison. As a free citizen he is under constant police surveillance, limiting his pastoral activities. He cannot visit the faithful of his diocese, not even to administer extreme unction to dying Catholics.

Cancerous substances found in Chinese food and veterinary medicines

Cancerous substances found in Chinese food and veterinary medicines
The Ministry for Agriculture admits the incident, but maintain there has been “a slight improvement” since 2006. Now 95% of products are in order, yet green malachite, nitro furans and brass sulphate have been found in more food. Expired produce repackaged and sold as new. Meanwhile the trial opens of Zheng Xiaoyu’s secretary.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Veterinary medicines without a license or substandard to the requirements, food products containing cancerous substances, old snacks expired by over two years re packaged, counterfeit products. The long battle to insure food security in China is confirmed.

June 21 the Ministry for Agriculture declared that the analyses of about 20% of veterinary medicines resulted substandard. The problem is aggravated by the massive presence of counterfeit products: without official approval, produced by inexistent companies or even long banned, or fake facsimiles of existing products without approval.

Notwithstanding the minister announced “a small improvement” compared to a year ago and has promised increased quality control.

This week, the Ministry of Agriculture, eager to reassure consumers, said tests of fruit, vegetables, meat and fish in major cities showed that more than 95 per cent of products were up to standard. But it admitted problems existed. Malachite green, a cancer-causing chemical used by fish farmers to kill parasites, was found in some samples, as were nitrofurans, an antibiotic also linked to cancer.

Earlier this month Wan Maomao Frozen Food Co. in Anhui was discovered to have recycled “zongzi” – rice gluten snacks covered in bamboo leaves – by repackaging them even though they had expired two years earlier. Zongzi is traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat festival in June. In 2006 the national quality inspection administration announced that 10 percent of rice dumplings made by 133 producers nationwide had failed tests because they contained excessive amounts of food additives; Wan Maomao was among them. The tests showed that the leaves contained high amounts of copper sulfate or copper chloride, normally used to make the leaves bright green.

Meanwhile in Beijing, the closed door trial against Cao Wenzhuang, ex secretary of Zheng Xiaoyu, the former director State Food and Drug Administration. Zheng was condemned to death in May for having accepted money and gifts amounting to 6.49 million Yuan to authorize substandard medicines, among them an antibiotic that killed at least 6 people. Cao denies all responsibility, but court officials say the charges are “very serious”. (PB)

Attachment parenting

Stumbled across this while reading a thread about wage slavery (at Vox Nova). No idea what to make of it.

The 8 Principles
Attachment Parenting Blog :: nursing, breastfeeding, family bed ...
AP Information
Welcome to Attachment Parenting International
Attachment Parenting...parenting styles, gentle discipline, family ...
Attachment Parenting: breastfeeding, co-sleeping, gentle ...
The Natural Child Project - Celebrating attachment parenting and ...
The Natural Family Site: Attachment Parenting
Attachment parenting
MommyThink Attachment Parenting and Natural Mothering Website
Online Pediatric Consultation:: Attachment Parenting Doctor
Attachment & Bonding:Attachment Parenting

Wears The Baby - for Mindful Families practicing attachment parenting
Welcome To Peapods Natural Toys & Baby Care
Baby Slings and Attachment Parenting MamaRoo Style!
Kangaroo Korner
Maman Kangourou baby carriers. Babywearing at it's best
Wearing With the Kangaroo Carry - Baby Slings, Pouches, and ...
Kangaroo Kids Online - St. Louis baby slings
Baby sling French brand - Kangaroo Carrier

(Hrm... I don't think I found the site where my sister the MD got hers.)

The originator of the term, Dr. Sears.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Generation F*cked: How Britain is Eating Its Young

Generation F*cked: How Britain is Eating Its Young

via GodSpy

Papal Message for World Mission Sunday

Papal Message for World Mission Sunday
"All the Churches for All the World"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 22, 2007 ( Here is the Vatican translation of Benedict XVI's message for the 81st World Mission Sunday, to be celebrated Oct. 21.

* * *

"All the Churches for all the world"

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On the occasion of the World Mission Day, I would like to invite the entire People of God -- Pastors, priests, men and women religious and lay people -- to reflect together on the urgent need and importance of the Church's missionary action, also in our time.

Indeed, the words with which the Crucified and Risen Jesus entrusted the missionary mandate to the Apostles before ascending to Heaven do not cease to ring out as a universal call and a heartfelt appeal: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you". And he added, "Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Matthew 28:19-20).

In the demanding work of evangelization we are sustained and accompanied by the certainty that he, the Lord of the harvest, is with us and continues to guide his people. Christ is the inexhaustible source of the Church's mission. This year, moreover, a further reason impels us to renew our missionary commitment: the 50th anniversary of the Encyclical of the Servant of God Pius XII, "Fidei Donum," which promoted and encouraged cooperation between the Churches for the mission ad gentes.

"All the Churches for all the world": this is the theme chosen for the next World Mission Day. It invites the local Churches of every continent to a shared awareness of the urgent need to relaunch missionary action in the face of the many serious challenges of our time.

The conditions in which humanity lives have of course changed and in recent decades, especially since the Second Vatican Council, a great effort has been made to spread the Gospel.

However, much still remains to be done in order to respond to the missionary call which the Lord never tires of addressing to every one of the baptized. In the first place, he continues to call the Churches of so-called "ancient tradition", which in the past provided the missions with a consistent number of priests, men and women religious and lay people as well as material means, giving life to an effective cooperation between Christian communities.

This cooperation has yielded abundant apostolic fruit both for the young Churches in mission lands as well as in the ecclesial situations from which the missionaries came. In the face of the secularized culture, which sometimes seems to be penetrating ever more deeply into Western societies, considering in addition the crisis of the family, the dwindling number of vocations and the progressive ageing of the clergy, these Churches risk withdrawing into themselves to view the future with ever less hope and weakening their missionary effort.

Yet, this is the very time for opening oneself with trust to the Providence of God, who never abandons his People and who, with the power of the Holy Spirit, guides them toward the fulfilment of his eternal design of salvation.

The Good Shepherd also invites the recently evangelized Churches to dedicate themselves generously to the missio ad gentes. Despite the many difficulties and obstacles they encounter in their development, these communities are constantly growing. Fortunately, some of them have a large number of priests and consecrated persons, many of whom, although there are so many needs in loco, are nevertheless sent to carry out their pastoral ministry and apostolic service elsewhere, even in lands evangelized long ago.

Thus, we are witnessing a providential "exchange of gifts" which redounds to the benefit of the entire Mystical Body of Christ.

I warmly hope that missionary cooperation will be intensified and that the most will be made of the potential and charisms of each one. I also hope that World Mission Day will contribute to making all the Christian communities and every baptized person ever more aware that Christ's call to spread his Kingdom to the very ends of the earth is universal.

"The Church is missionary by her very nature", John Paul II wrote in his Encyclical "Redemptoris Missio," "for Christ's mandate is not something contingent or external, but reaches the very heart of the Church. It follows that the universal Church and each individual Church is sent forth to the nations.... It is highly appropriate that young Churches "should share as soon as possible in the universal missionary work of the Church. They should themselves send missionaries to proclaim the Gospel all over the world, even though they are suffering from a shortage of clergy'" (n. 62).

Fifty years after the historical appeal for cooperation between the Churches at the service of the mission of my Predecessor, Pius XII, with his Encyclical "Fidei Donum," I would like to reaffirm that the Gospel proclamation continues to be timely and urgent.

In the Encyclical "Redemptoris Missio" cited above, Pope John Paul II, for his part, recognized that "the Church's mission is wider than the "communion among the Churches'; it ought to be directed not only to aiding re-evangelization but also and primarily to missionary activity as such" (n. 64).

Therefore, as has often been said, missionary commitment remains the first service that the Church owes to humanity today to guide and evangelize the cultural, social and ethical transformations; to offer Christ's salvation to the people of our time in so many parts of the world who are humiliated and oppressed by endemic poverty, violence and the systematic denial of human rights.

The Church cannot shirk this universal mission; for her it has a binding force. Since Christ first entrusted the missionary mandate to Peter and to the Apostles, today it is primarily the responsibility of the Successor of Peter whom divine Providence has chosen as a visible foundation of the Church's unity, and of the Bishops directly responsible for evangelization, both as members of the Episcopal College and as Pastors of the particular Churches (cf. "Redemptoris Missio," n. 63).

I am thus addressing the Pastors of all the Churches chosen by the Lord to guide his one flock so that they may share in the pressing concern to proclaim and spread the Gospel.

It was precisely this concern that 50 years ago impelled the Servant of God Pius XII to bring missionary cooperation more up to date with the times.

With particular concern for the future of evangelization he asked the "long established" Churches to send priests to support the recently founded Churches.

Thus, he gave life to a new "subject of mission" which took the name of "Fidei Donum" precisely from the first words of the Encyclical.

Of it he wrote: "As We direct our thoughts, on the one hand, to the countless multitudes of Our sons who have a share in the blessings of divine faith, especially in countries that have a long Christian tradition, and on the other hand, as We consider the far more numerous throngs of those who are still waiting for the day of salvation to be proclaimed to them, We are filled with a great desire to exhort you again and again, Venerable Brethren, to support with zealous interest the most holy cause of bringing the Church to all the world". He added: "Please God, may it come to pass that Our admonitions will arouse a keener interest in the missionary apostolate among your priests and through them set the hearts of the faithful on fire!" (cf. "Fidei Donum," n. 4).

Let us give thanks to the Lord for the abundant fruits obtained by this missionary cooperation in Africa and in other regions of the earth.

Throngs of priests, after leaving their native communities, have devoted their apostolic energy to the service of communities which have sometimes only recently come into being in poor and developing areas. Among these priests are many martyrs who have combined with the witness of their words and apostolic dedication the sacrifice of their lives.

Nor can we forget the many men and women religious and lay volunteers who, together with the priests, spared no effort to spread the Gospel to the very ends of the earth. May World Mission Day be an opportunity to remember in prayer these brothers and sisters of ours in the faith and all who continue to work in the vast field of the mission.

Let us ask God that their example may everywhere inspire new vocations and a renewed mission awareness in the Christian people. Indeed, every Christian community is born missionary, and it is precisely on the basis of the courage to evangelize that the love of believers for their Lord is measured.

Consequently, we could say that for the individual members of the faithful it is no longer merely a matter of collaborating in evangelizing work but of feeling that they themselves are protagonists and corresponsible. This corresponsibility entails the growth of communion between the communities and increases reciprocal help with regard to the personnel (priests, men and women religious and lay volunteers) and the use of the means necessary for evangelization today.

Dear brothers and sisters, the missionary mandate entrusted by Christ to the Apostles truly involves us all. May World Mission Day therefore be a favourable opportunity to acquire a deeper awareness and to work out together appropriate spiritual and formative itineraries which encourage inter-Church cooperation and the training of new missionaries to spread the Gospel in our time.

However, let it not be forgotten that the first and priority contribution that we are called to offer to the missionary action of the Church is prayer. "The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few", the Lord said; "pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest" (Luke 10:2).

"First of all, therefore", Pope Pius XII of venerable memory wrote 50 years ago, "Venerable Brethren, We trust that more continuous and fervent prayers will be raised to God for this cause" ("Fidei Donum," n. 49). Remember the immense spiritual needs of the numerous populations who are far from the true faith or who stand in such great need of the means of perseverance (cf. n. 55). And he urged the faithful to increase the number of Masses offered for the missions, saying that "this is in accordance with the prayers of Our Lord who loves his Church and wishes her to flourish and enlarge her borders throughout the whole world" (ibid., n. 52).

Dear brothers and sisters, I also renew this invitation, which is more timely than ever. May the unanimous invocation of the "Our Father who art in Heaven" be extended in every community, so that his Kingdom will come on earth.

I appeal in particular to children and young people, who are always ready and generous in their missionary outreach. I address the sick and the suffering, recalling the value of their mysterious and indispensable collaboration in the work of salvation. I ask consecrated people, especially those in cloistered monasteries, to intensify their prayers for the missions.

Thanks to the commitment of every believer, the spiritual network of prayer and support for evangelization is being extended throughout the Church. May the Virgin Mary who accompanied with motherly solicitude the development of the newborn Church, also guide our footsteps in our time and obtain for us a new Pentecost of love. May she especially make us all aware of being missionaries, that is, those who have been sent out by the Lord to be his witnesses at every moment of our life.

I assure my daily remembrance in prayer to the fidei donum priests, to the men and women religious and lay volunteers working on the frontiers of evangelization as well as to all who in their various capacities are dedicated to Gospel proclamation, as with affection I impart my Apostolic Blessing to all.

From the Vatican, 27 May 2007, the Solemnity of Pentecost.


© Copyright 2007 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Friday fun

Had dinner with Fujian Gal tonight at Victoria's; I don't have many friends here in Boston, which is ok with me, hasn't really bothered me thus far. The restaurant was packed when we got there (around 8), but by the time we left it was less than half-full. I had a chance to take a better look at the photos of si tau po on the wall--I think she got married, since there was a couple of photos of her dressed up in a formal gown, and I think another of her in a cheongsam or something else Chinese. Fujian Gal was feeling a bit nauseous before dinner; she felt sick the other night and threw up. I'm not sure if it was because she had skipped several meals or hadn't been drinking enough water to counter water loss due to the heat.

She was wondering if there are any good doctors, since it appears that those whom she meets while working are willing to cheat on their wives. Eh. However, she is interested in some opthamologist and was trying to find out if he is married or not. Hmmm.

She mentioned that one of her former supervisors (the regional manager?), who had been laid off in the last P----r purge, called her up last week(end?) and said that he liked her and wanted to meet up with her, and has been calling her since. While she doesn't like him, she thinks she may have led him on by being nice to him, responding to his text-messages, responding somewhat to his flirtations. Next week she is supposed to meet with him and she will try straighten things out. However, she is afraid of "being mean" and "hurting his feelings," to which I said she is just being honest by telling him that she's not interested and she shouldn't worry so much about him, since he should be able to handle it. After all, it is her prerogative to turn him down.

larger version

We went to see Ocean's 13 at AMC Chestnut Hill--as usual, there weren't many people at the theater, and another benefit of going there is that parking is free. Since we arrived at the theater early, Fujian Gal decided to sit on another movie while we waited for O13 to start--we sat in on Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. I didn't care to watch the first one, though I did find what I saw of this one somewhat entertaining. The CGI wasn't that great though.

She expressed an interest in seeing I am Legend, but she didn't know what it was about. I told her that it was about a disease, a bit like 28 Weeks Later, though I didn't think it would be as scary.

As for O13, one doesn't expect a "piece of art," as its stars acknowledged during the interviews, through the use of sarcasm. So, as a recording of Hollywood pretty people having fun it serves its purpose, and is better than O12, though it lacks Catherine Zeta-Jones. I was laughing througout the movie, so mission accomplished.

The movie does sort of embody what is wrong with America, especially in its depiction of Las Vegas. Easy opportunity and easy money, ostentatious displays of opulence and luxurious settings, and being cool and stylish and pretty... isn't this what some people think of when they think of the American dream? Isn't Donald Trump the ideal American who's been successul in attaining it (at least with respect to wealth, if not looks)? Sure, there are references made to Oprah and her "charity" work, but perhaps that is also a clever joke aimed at celebrities who think they are doing so much for society. (Then again, maybe they do take Oprah seriously as a philanthropist and spiritual guru.)

O13 Yahoo Movies clooneyfiles home
Clooney Network
100% Brad Pitt
Brad a Brad Pitt fan site formerly The Brad Pitt Center
:: Brad Pitt WEB :: • • • Your source for everything Brad Pitt
Matt Damon Fan [Dot] Org /// Version 10 /// Your #1 Source For ...
Matt Damon Fan [dot] NET: Matt Damon FAN Network

Photo: Harrison Ford, Indy 4

source: Access Hollywood

I guess he's gone back to the short hair look--fitting for the 50s... but I do admit that I was thinking of his guest shot on an episode of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles:


Get a wedding dress... at Target?

Isaac Mizrahi for Target Unveils Wedding Collection / Target Corp

What's next, the Jaclyn Smith Wedding Collection at K-mart?

"Isaac" Style Network Isaac Mizrahi
Isaac's Style Book

First 8 minutes of Live Free or Die Hard

at Yahoo! Movies

When it was first made public that the movie would be rated PG-13, many suspected that it would not be as good as the first one, having lost the extra edge that R-rated movies have (more blood and guts? profanity?). Bruce Willis was on a private publicity campaign at AICN to reassure fans that the movie was as good as the first, but many remained skeptical. Now reviews have been mixed (here and a negative one). While the computer geek is rather annoying, I think as an action movie it probably won't disappoint, and I might go see it once I return to CA.

official website

Isaiah 59

1 Ecce non est abbreviata manus Domini,
ut salvare nequeat,
neque aggravata est auris eius,
ut non exaudiat;
2 sed iniquitates vestrae diviserunt
inter vos et Deum vestrum,
et peccata vestra absconderunt faciem eius
a vobis, ne exaudiret.
3 Manus enim vestrae pollutae sunt sanguine,
et digiti vestri iniquitate;
labia vestra locuta sunt mendacium,
et lingua vestra iniquitatem fatur.
4 Non est qui invocet iustitiam,
neque est qui iudicet vere;
confidunt in nihilo et loquuntur vanitates:
conceperunt laborem et pepererunt iniquitatem.
5 Ova aspidum rumpunt
et telas araneae texunt;
qui comederit de ovis eorum, morietur,
et, quod fractum est, erumpet in regulum.
6 Telae eorum non erunt in vestimentum,
neque operientur operibus suis;
opera eorum opera iniquitatis,
et facinora violentiae in manibus eorum.
7 Pedes eorum ad malum currunt
et festinant, ut effundant sanguinem innocentem;
cogitationes eorum cogitationes iniquitatis,
vastitas et contritio in viis eorum.
8 Viam pacis nescierunt,
et non est iudicium in gressibus eorum;
semitae eorum incurvatae sunt eis:
omnis, qui calcat in eis, ignorat pacem.
9 Propter hoc elongatum est iudicium a nobis,
et non apprehendit nos iustitia;
exspectamus lucem, et ecce tenebrae,
splendorem, et in caligine ambulamus.
10 Palpamus sicut caeci parietem
et quasi absque oculis attrectamus;
impegimus meridie quasi in crepusculo,
inter sanos quasi mortui.
11 Rugimus quasi ursi omnes
et quasi columbae gementes gemimus;
exspectamus iudicium, et non est,
salutem, et elongata est a nobis.
12 Multiplicatae sunt enim iniquitates nostrae coram te,
et peccata nostra respondent nobis;
quia scelera nostra nobiscum,
et iniquitates nostras cognovimus:
13 peccare et mentiri contra Dominum
et recedere a Deo nostro,
loqui violentiam et transgressionem,
concipere et murmurare de corde verba mendacii.
14 Et conversum est retrorsum iudicium,
et iustitia longe stat,
quia corruit in platea veritas,
et aequitas non potuit ingredi.
15 Et facta est veritas in oblivionem,
et, qui recedit a malo, spoliatur.
Et vidit Dominus, et malum apparuit in oculis eius,
quia non est iudicium.
16 Et vidit quia non est vir,
et aporiatus est, quia non est qui occurrat;
et salvavit sibi brachium suum,
et iustitia eius ipsa confirmavit eum.
17 Indutus est iustitia ut lorica,
et galea salutis in capite eius;
indutus est vestimentis ultionis
et operuit se zelo quasi pallio.
18 Secundum opera sic retribuet:
iram hostibus suis,
retributionem inimicis suis,
insulis vicem reddet.
19 Et timebunt, qui ab occidente, nomen Domini,
et, qui ab ortu solis, gloriam eius,
cum venerit quasi fluvius violentus,
quem spiritus Domini cogit.
20 Et veniet pro Sion redemptor
et eis, qui redeunt ab iniquitate in Iacob,
dixit Dominus.
21 Hoc foedus meum cum eis,
dixit Dominus:
“ Spiritus meus, qui est super te,
et verba mea, quae posui in ore tuo,
non recedent de ore tuo
et de ore seminis tui
et de ore seminis seminis tui,
dixit Dominus, amodo et usque in sempiternum ”.

Anthony Esolen, Nothing More than Feelings

Nothing More Than Feelings

Lind, Some British Thoughts on Maneuver Warfare

Some British Thoughts on Maneuver Warfare
By William S. Lind

3GW, not 4GW, but still worth a read

And: 6/18/07 FMFM 1A, Fourth Generation War, Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Marine Corps. Revision 4 now available (178 KB PDF)

Feast of Ss. Thomas More and John Fisher, June 22

last year's post

Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) [Tudor writer, statesman, philosopher ...
Utopia by Thomas More
Utopia by Saint Sir Thomas More - Project Gutenberg
Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation by Saint Sir Thomas More ...

iEMLS: Sir Thomas More and the Art of Dialogue

Thomas More College of Liberal Arts--Classical Education in the ...
The College of Saint Thomas More
Thomas More College
St. Thomas More College

St. John Fisher Web Page

Conservatism, Real and fake

Conservatism, Real and fake

Also posted at Conservative Heritage Times, but attributed to Harrison Bergeron

Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation

website (Weston Price, that is.)
link to Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
Politically Incorrect: The Neglected Nutritional Research of Dr ...
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration [Weston A. Price, DDS ...

(See also this post.)

Papal Address to Mar Dinkha IV

Papal Address to Mar Dinkha IV
"We Are Asked by the Lord to Join Our Hands and Hearts"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 21, 2007 ( Here is the address Benedict XVI gave today when he received in audience Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, and his entourage.

* * *

Your Holiness,

I am pleased to welcome you to the Vatican, together with the Bishops and the priests who have accompanied you on this visit. My warm greetings extend to all the members of the Holy Synod, the clergy and the faithful of the Assyrian Church of the East. I pray -- in the words of the Apostle Saint Paul -- that "the Lord himself, who is our source of joy, may give you peace at all times and in every way" (2 Th 3:16).

On several occasions Your Holiness met with my beloved predecessor Pope John Paul II. Most significant was your visit in November 1994, when you came to Rome, accompanied by members of your Holy Synod, to sign a Common Declaration concerning Christology. This Declaration included the decision to establish a Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East. The Joint Commission has undertaken an important study of the sacramental life in our respective traditions and forged an agreement on the Anaphora of the Apostles Addai and Mari. I am most grateful for the results of this dialogue, which hold out the promise of further progress on other disputed questions. Indeed, these achievements deserve to be better known and appreciated, since they make possible various forms of pastoral cooperation between our two communities.

The Assyrian Church of the East is rooted in ancient lands whose names are associated with the history of God's saving plan for all mankind. At the time of the early Church, the Christians of these lands made a remarkable contribution to the spread of the Gospel, particularly through their missionary activity in the more remote areas of the East. Today, tragically, Christians in this region are suffering both materially and spiritually. Particularly in Iraq, the homeland of so many of the Assyrian faithful, Christian families and communities are feeling increasing pressure from insecurity, aggression and a sense of abandonment. Many of them see no other possibility than to leave the country and to seek a new future abroad. These difficulties are a source of great concern to me, and I wish to express my solidarity with the pastors and the faithful of the Christian communities who remain there, often at the price of heroic sacrifices. In these troubled areas the faithful, both Catholic and Assyrian, are called to work together. I hope and pray that they will find ever more effective ways to support and assist one another for the good of all.

As a result of successive waves of emigration, many Christians from the Eastern Churches are now living in the West. This new situation presents a variety of challenges to their Christian identity and their life as a community. At the same time, when Christians from the East and West live side by side, they have a precious opportunity to enrich one another and to understand more fully the catholicity of the Church, which, as a pilgrim in this world, lives, prays and bears witness to Christ in a variety of cultural, social and human contexts. With complete respect for each other’s doctrinal and disciplinary traditions, Catholic and Assyrian Christians are called to reject antagonistic attitudes and polemical statements, to grow in understanding of the Christian faith which they share and to bear witness as brothers and sisters to Jesus Christ "the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Cor 1:24).

New hopes and possibilities sometimes awaken new fears, and this is also true with regard to ecumenical relations. Certain recent developments in the Assyrian Church of the East have created some obstacles to the promising work of the Joint Commission. It is to be hoped that the fruitful labour which the Commission has accomplished over the years can continue, while never losing sight of the ultimate goal of our common journey towards the re-establishment of full communion.

Working for Christian unity is, in fact, a duty born of our fidelity to Christ, the Shepherd of the Church, who gave his life "to gather into one the dispersed children of God" (Jn 11:51-52). However long and laborious the path towards unity may seem, we are asked by the Lord to join our hands and hearts, so that together we can bear clearer witness to him and better serve our brothers and sisters, particularly in the troubled regions of the East, where many of our faithful look to us, their Pastors, with hope and expectation.

With these sentiments, I once more thank Your Holiness for your presence here today and for your commitment to continuing along the path of dialogue and unity. May the Lord abundantly bless your ministry and sustain you and the faithful whom you serve with his gifts of wisdom, joy and peace.

[Original text: English]

© Copyright 2007 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

China to Dynamite Marian Shrine

China to Dynamite Marian Shrine
TIANJIAJING, China, JUNE 21, 2007 ( ).- The sanctuary of Our Lady of Mount Carmel will be dynamited following a government decision that the pilgrimage site is a place of illegal religious activity.

The Henan Province government will prevent the annual July 16 pilgrimage, which normally draws 40,000 pilgrims for the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, AsiaNews reported.

The shrine was built in 1903 by a priest from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, Monsignor Stefano Scarsella, then apostolic vicar to northern Henan. The shrine was meant to thank the Blessed Virgin for preserving Christians from the dangers of the Boxer Rebellion.

The sanctuary lies in Tianjiajing, in the Diocese of Anyang, in a scenic, mountainous area that some speculate will be used for a commercial or government building.

The provincial government has mobilized 700 soldiers for military exercises in the area since May 12, when the planned destruction was announced. Roads leading to the shrine are closed and pedestrians who go near the area are searched.

The faithful of the Diocese of Anyang, appealing through AsiaNews, said: "We ask all our brothers and sisters in the Lord to pray for us and spread our message to all the faithful of the world."

Benedict XVI to Proclaim a Year of St. Paul

Benedict XVI to Proclaim a Year of St. Paul
VATICAN CITY, JUNE 21, 2007 ( At vespers on the eve of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Benedict XVI will proclaim a Year of St. Paul, marking the 2,000th anniversary of the Apostle's birth.

The Holy See announced today that the Pope will make the pronouncement next Thursday, June 28, from the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

It is estimated that the then Saul of Tarsus was born between A.D. 6 and 10.

Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, mentioned the possibility of the dedication during a press conference Feb. 28.

In that meeting, the cardinal presented the archaeological research surrounding what is traditionally accepted as St. Paul's sarcophagus under the basilica's main altar.

He encouraged sanctuaries around the world to participate in celebrating the year, particularly places linked to St. Paul in Jerusalem, Turkey and other regions of the Middle East.

Last fall, Benedict XVI dedicated four Wednesday catecheses to the figure and thought of St. Paul.

Liberal virtue

Perhaps one of the most important virtues for liberals is their version of "tolerance." One of the most prominent exemplars of this virtue on daytime TV is Barbara Walters, on The View. This morning they were discussing the news that a certain actress (who has a new movie coming out, A Mighty Heart, and is famous for adopting children from all over the world) stated that she would like to have 14 kids. Now, it has been somewhat controversial on The View that a woman would want to have so many kids--both because of the number, and the "restriction" that it brings. But what I am drawing attention to is this: Ms. Walters then mentioned the fact that this actress is not married to a certain blonde actor (star of Troy and one of the 13 in Ocean's 13), quickly adding, "But that's ok." But is this how she really "feels" about those who are not married but have children out of wedlock? I think not. Several weeks ago they were talking about a certain NBA star who told his girlfriend that he might not be able to be present for the delivery of their second child. And while acknowledging that the discussion was centered on whether he should be at the NBA finals or at the hospital, Ms. Walters asked, "Why isn't he married to her?" After all, they were having a second child. iirc, she also said something how it was ok for them to be unmarried still. But her reaction I think reveals what she really believes about the matter.

Of course, she might be hesitant to condemn decisions by the famous and beautiful people--after all, she makes her living as a journalist and interviewing famous and beautiful people. Still, I think she has also trained herself to be "tolerant" of all choices, and not to make any sort of determination of right and wrong, good or evil. But, as Dr. Laura points out frequently to her callers (and I don't doubt that she will never be on The View again, after how she was treated the last time she was on the show), "What sort of example are you giving to your sons? Aren't you teaching them that they can treat women this way, having sex with them without a commitment?" And let us not even excuse the women and put the blame totally on the men in such cases through the victim mentality that radical feminists like to foster--men treat women as "unpaid hookers" (in the words of Dr. Laura) because women allow them to. There is culpability on both sides, as "it takes two to tango." So if we recognize that not all "domestic arrangements" are equal, nor equally beneficial to children, should we not make it plain and clear that the actions leading to those different arrangements are not equally praiseworthy?

But Ms. Walters would rather be the paragon of liberal virtue than a witness to the truth.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What is the impact of baptism?

If baptism really transforms a person, could we say that a state in which the number of citizens who are baptized is decreasing will become more disordered, and that this will be reflected in the statistics of crimes committed and so on? And that the savagery that one would witness in those parts of the world that have not been opened to Christ will once again be seen, though not
so frequently at first?

Sure, baptism does not destroy free will, but we don't want to go to the other extreme and say that it doesn't do anything, until someone by his own free will comes to acknowledge Christ as His Lord and Savior, do we? Does not baptism establish the Christian in a relationship with God, and serve as a "guarantee" in a way of God's help, even if the conditions around him are bad, he is not properly catechized or formed, and so on?

A definitive answer to this will not be known until the Last Day, and I think the subject matter of the question precludes an easy tentative answer in this life... but it was something I was thinking of again while taking a walk towards Watertown.

If a true politeia is to flourish anywhere, I would think it would be one consisting of Christians striving for holiness. (Hence, I am curious about the true nature of the Italian city-states and their conception of citizenship.) But even a Christian state cannot overcome the problems of size.

This week from Boundless

We men can't help what we find beautiful in a woman. Or can we?

EAT THE CAR by Heather Koerner
To stay at home with your kids, it's best to start planning now. But what happens when it's too late to plan? Or your plans just didn't work?

Most of us want to have great marriages some day. A few hundred married couples share their insights on how to make that happen.

Earlier this week:
The girl he's interested in may be infertile. Should he avoid the potential struggle of childlessness and just find someone else?

Plus, from last week:
When is it all right to date someone who isn't a Christian?

William Mahrt, An Introduction to Sacred Music

from Mr. Jeffrey Tucker at NLM--William Mahrt speaking at the sacred music colloquium 2007: An Introduction to Sacred Music.

Photos from Sarge

not of himself though... photos from the old Carthusian rite:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Order of Charity

Daniel Larison writes:

Freedom presupposes a moral order that entails other, prior obligations between kin and between fellow citizens. Within a polity, fellow citizens have more obligations to one another than they have to non-citizens. Even if the net benefits of a policy accrue to many citizens and non-citizens, but come at the expense of fellow citizens, it is very likely unjust and contrary to the obligations that members of a polity have towards one another. For the success of any polity in providing for the welfare of its members, there must be a certain degree of solidarity, and it is those things leading towards social fragmentation and disunity that need to be justified. Incidentally, on this point Christian social thought has much to say and has ample room for a solidaristic, patriotic nationalism.
The order of charity, and the "particularity" of our obligations to others, is something ignored by Mohists and certain liberals, especially Catholic liberals. I wonder by what pathway Mr. Larison has acquired this teaching of paleoconservatism. Conservative texts? Christian texts? Both? It is certainly a part of Thomistic moral theology, and I would go so far as to claim that it is part of the Tradition as well. I do not know to what text Orthodox Christians would refer.

Enka vids

Nagai Miyuki - Yosakoi Shigure

Mizumori Kaori - Mirenno Hatoba

Mizumori Kaori - Hitori Satsumaji ひとり薩摩字路

Mizumori Kaori- Tsugaruno Furusato 津軽のふるさと

Kadowaki Yuki- Kamomewa Kamome かもめはかもめ

Nagayama Yoko - Kizuna

Nagayama Yoko sings Yoko no Shinjuku Oiwake 洋子の新宿追分 - 長山洋子

Nagayama Yoko - Jon Kara Onna Bushi

Kawanaka Miyuki -Kanazawano Ame

sannjii has more. See also si153153.

Ron Paul, MSNBC Super Tuesday


Just saw a commercial where they mentioned peak oil, and then asked the viewer to help them make the remaining 1/2 last longer. Unbelievable. Their campaign: Will You Join Us. Are they going to give Americans "the hard truth"?

Daniel Larison on the 4 concerns about immigration

It Must Be Immigration And Libertarianism Week

The cost of “child slaves”: 17 euros each, better again if mentally retarded

The cost of “child slaves”: 17 euros each, better again if mentally retarded
For years there have been groups dedicated to trafficking human beings. The police admits that it knew of factories using child labour, but fails to explain why it did not intervene. Children may have been stolen from other provinces.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Following the liberation of hundreds of slaves in Shanxi and Henan, a humiliating reality is emerging: in the China of the economic boom, there are groups who have been abducting and selling human beings into forced labour for years. Investigations reveal that the child and adult “slaves” were kidnapped from many provinces. The police has admitted that it has been aware of the problem for years, but failed to intervene.

Zhou Jinghuan in under three years circulated 3 thousand workers, selling them for a mere 170 Yuan (17 Euro each) to brick factories or mines in Henan. In 2006, a report carried by state TV spoke of how human trafficking was widespread in Henan, but this coverage did not result in police intervention.

The television report spoke of Zhou, who “worked” in Zhengzhou and preferred the mentally retarded, easier to circulate and control, “obedient and happy if you give them some wine”: 30% of her merchandise. Those who refuse to be sold are beaten; those who try to escape are forced to knell on broken glass. Those who flee are often found near railway stations, given that they have no money or documents. The report says that the slave trader has been arrested, but fails to speak about the aftermath.

Meanwhile yesterday, Zheng Baigang, director of the Ministry for Public Security admitted that Henan police discovered that child labour was flagrant in brick factories in 2004, following reports filed by the parents of kidnapped children. At the time the police made preliminary investigations, but “stopped” when the factory “owners” fled to nearby Shanxi, because – Zheng explains - “the problem was solved in the province under the instructions of our leaders”. That pushes many to the conclusion that kidnapping and exploiting minors is not a series crime, if the authorities were contended by having “sent away” the perpetrators. Either way it fails to explain why there have been no controls since then.

From information emerging in recent days it appears that human trafficking is widespread. In Henan on June 8th Ji Xiulan a wanted criminal, was arrested. Shanghai Daily reports that she had been hunted for years together with her husband for having trafficked at least 118 babies from Guangxi selling them on to Henan, Hubei and Anhui. She was discovered by chance in March 2003 when the car she was transporting 13 children broke down in Henan.

At least 68 parents have contacted media in Hebei fearing that their disappeared children may be among the slaves of the brick factory.

Moderate Islam has no chance?

Rod Dreher passes this along:

"Journey Into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization," by Dr. Akbar Ahmed
Journey into Islam
The Globalist Biography of Akbar Ahmed

Articles on Islam by Professor Akbar S. Ahmad
On Faith: Akbar Ahmed Blog
Foreign Correspondent - 19/09/2001: Interview with Prof. Akbar Ahmed
Akbar Ahmed: Islam Under Siege by Akbar Ahmed - The Globalist ...
SARID: People
Lateline - 17/04/2006: Professor Akbar Ahmed on Islam
Internationalist Magazine (Brookings)
YouTube - Interview with Akbar Ahmed

Jihad Watch: Akbar Ahmed and me
Interview with Akbar Ahmed (pdf)

From Sandro Magister
The Muslim Diplomats Go to School – With the Jesuits
For three weeks, at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, representatives of the Islamic states of the Mediterranean and the Middle East studied the Catholic Church and its international politics. And it will be repeated next year

Why Saint Francis “Is a True Master” for Today’s Christians
And why Saint Augustine is, too. From Assisi and from Pavia, the destinations of his two latest trips within Italy, Benedict XVI proposes the two great converts as models. And he criticizes their modern “mutilations”

The dangers of blogging

A little while ago, having an interest in Catholic social doctrine and following the example of several in the Catholic blogosphere (or more specifically, those affiliated with St. Blogs in one way or another), I posted a link to Vox Nova. After a month of looking through their posts I have to say that this is probably not a site you would want to go to if you were to look for authentic Church teaching. You'd be better off reading the primary sources that they make use of, most of which are available online, the encyclicals of the 19th and 20th century, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church, and so on.

Some of the contributors have academic credentials; it is clear that many of the other contributors are amateurs. If we were to go by the standards of academia, what sort of books and articles have they published? On the other hand, if we recognize that academia is filled with factions and that peer-review in itself is no guarantee of the quality of the work, then we have to rely on the judgment of those whom we trust. And so, what would orthodox Catholic philosophers and theologians, both "traditionalist" and non-traditionalist, make of this website?

Putting forth oneself as an authority is a rather dangerous thing to do, even if one believes one's self to be merely repeating the teaching of the Church. Proof-texting is not enough, and must be accompanied by summation and interpretation. If one is going to work as a theologian, one must give the context, and show how the text fits with other teachings of the Church, rather than looking at it in isolation.

Now Vox Nova presents itself as reflections and musings about Catholic social teaching. But the critical attitude that some of its contributors take towards other Catholics surprises me, and I'm used to this sort of thing, having seen the polemics that takes place in academia and in traditionalist and "neocath" circles. That sort of petty partisanship, which doesn't really add anything to the discussion or debate of a certain topic, can be an offense against charity.

From the statement of purpose:

Vox Nova is a response to the ecclesial mandate to promote the common good in every sphere of human existence. We come from varying backgrounds and carry diverse social outlooks, traversing a wide range of demographics and political sympathies. Vox Nova is free, to the furthest extent possible, from partisanship, nationalism and demagoguery, all of which banish intellectual honesty from rational discourse.

United in our Catholic, pro-person worldview, yet diverging in our socio-political opinions, we seek to provide informed commentary and rigorous debate on culture, society, politics and law, all while unwaveringly adhering to, and aptly applying the principles of Catholic doctrine. We are not intellectually wedded to any single political ideology. Following the example of the rich tradition of Catholic social doctrine from Pope Leo XIII to Pope Benedict XVI, we do not forge artificial blockades between "faith and morals" and "social judgments." We do not and will not filter Catholic doctrine and morality through contrived categories in order to morph our Catholic faith and practice into some ideologically acceptable form.

As far as I can see, the biggest theoretical weakness affecting the blog is a lack of a grasp of political philosophy, which is, like any part of philosophy, a handmaid to the service of theology--in this case "political theology". (What is also needed is a good understanding of the Natural Law and its precepts--and at least one member of Vox Nova clearly should refrain from speaking on these matters, despite having done so over at the Crunchy Con blog.) While it is probably true that there are Catholics whose understanding of the Faith has been distorted by the filters they have adopted as members of a political faction, one has to wonder about the attitude of those who are confident that they have the resources to save their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ from their errors but do it in such a haphazard way. I am not surprised that many Catholics who have engaged with some of the contributors on this or that point have walked away from the conversation, repulsed by their manner of speaking.

Also of concern is their apparent lack of awareness (shared by most Americans and their politicians) of many of the fundamental problems facing this country and its economic structure. While they recognize poverty and climate change, do they know about peak oil? Soil degradation? Diminishing water supplies? Destruction of local ecosystems? The precarious situation of the dollar? The Federal deficit? Central banking? The power of the corporations? I have yet to see someone advocate a strategy for relocalization--most appear to be supporters of the centralizing and consolidationist tendency of the modern nation-state, and one takes this even further, pushing for the U.N. to have a supranational authority. (And here one must understand the differing weights that are to be given to various statements from the popes.)

If someone believes he has something to teach, and the calling to do it, the Internet is an apostolate of last resort--publishing a well-written book would be higher, and teaching in a college or seminary would be number one. One should focus on the local, instead of presuming to address a large audience. I look forward to the day that the Internet loses its power. Though some say that in this spiritual desert, the Internet can be a powerful resource for those seeking wisdom and truth, do we not still have books? I would rather one pray for a teacher or master than rely too much on the Internet. It's more consonant with relocalization, and the Internet is problematic, for those concerned with the environment and with the use (or mis-use) or energy. Perhaps it is best that we not take the Internet too seriously as a tool of mass communication, being detached from our own writings and striving against any desire for a sense of self-importance.

The prayer and penance we do may be of greater use than the stab we take at writing or teaching.

As for Catholic apologists--there are many who have done good work, and have strengthened the faith of other Catholics, and brought converts to the Church. Nonetheless apologists who are not actually theologians need to humbly recognize their deficiencies and fight against the temptation to put themselves forth as authorities when they lack the appropriate competence.

While the appeal to authority has some place, one should be careful not to make one's self the definitive authority issuing some sort of ruling on the orthodoxy or heterodoxy of someone who disagrees with us. While it may be relatively easy to show that some errors are such, this is not the case with all, since the Church has not defined every error. Perhaps it would be better to conduct the discussion as a disputation, rather than as tribunal.

Having provided the link to Vox Nova on my blog, I do believe that I should write some sort of warning for those who do read it. I hope I have maintained the semblance of charity in this post, if not the spirit, but I know I can trust some of you to point out any problems you see with this post, and I will try to make the appropriate changes.

Should Catholics blog? by R.J. Stove


Xanga is down

Not sure what's going on--upgrade? Hacker/virus?

The Philosopher wants to switch internet service providers again--from Comcast back to RCN. Evidently RCN has a new deal, with phone, cable tv, and internet all separate, and for $30 each. He is thinking of cancelling Comcast service (alone with phone service) and getting a cell phone. Will he be able to get a cell phone for $30/month? Perhaps he'll get a prepaid phone like the New Scot.

2005 interview with Roscoe Bartlett

US Congressman Roscoe Bartlett
Peak Oil: The Future of Food Security, Fuel and the Economy

Play Audio.
TRT: 28:38
Date: 2005-05-18US

Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (Rep, Maryland), was interviewed by Dave Room of the Postcarbon Institute. Bartlett, a former teacher among other things, is the only person in Congress who speaks on peak oil and says that he's willing to repeat and repeat until Congress understands, which at the time of this interview almost no one did. He mentions that his assistant, Dr. John Darnell, is also a scientist and very well informed about peak oil. He suggests to call your Congressman and ask about "peak oil" so they will know of our concern.

Bartlett's impetus to speak has been his long concern for the prediction of MK Hubbard that the US would peak in oil in 1976, and Hubbard was correct. He predicted that world oil would peak in 2000 and the fact is that oil is probably peaking right now. It is obviously a limited resource and is diminishing. It's made even worse because the demand for oil is growing along with the diminishing supply. When that larger need (China is biggest demand), along with less oil availability coincide (and it's beginning) it can lead to major issues of war and economic breakdown. Natural gas will be exhausted at about the same time as oil. Since our whole food system-- growing and delivery (average food on our plates travels 1500 miles)-- and society rest on the use of these fossil fuels, it's in the interest of the United States to take these realities into consideration in planning to lessen the pain and suffering the reality of declining oil will bring.

Bartlett says that we should have started 25 years ago to develop other methods of creating energy and already, with less time, it's getting more challenging to develop alternative energy at a fast enough rate. to make the difference we need. The US uses 25% of all the world's oil-- even more reason to be a leader in cutting back our use and changing the deeply engrained oil dependence of our society. Europe uses half as much energy as the US. He suggests that we should grow our own food locally. Also, just the change of having two people in a car rather than one would make a huge difference in oil use. Coal is not an answer since it is also limited. We need a new yardstick by which to judge success other than how much energy we use. We need to change the US culture-- get off the grid, out of debt, and into alternative energy and focus on conservation and efficiency NOW.


Table of Contents

Still applicable today.

Peter Hitchens's latest

On the effort to curb or even ban parents' power to administer corporal punishment in the U.K.; he encourages people to renew their passports before fingerprinting and registering become a compulsory part of the process; finally, his reactions to what has been happening in the West Bank.

Ron Paul banner

borrowed from the Ron Paul 2008 website

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Vow of Stability

via Rod Dreher's Vow of Stability

The Vow of Stability:A Premodern Way through a Hypermodern World
Gerald W. SchlabachBluffton College

Hilary Clinton as Tony Soprano

via Drudge Report

Hilary Spoofs Sopranos finale

Is this supposed to make her more like the rest of us? Being in touch with pop culture? I found her acting skills to be non-existent. Too bad there's no question of whether she got whacked at the end of the ad.

I Got a Crush on... Obama


If this was really down by a bunch of Obama fans, they're doing him no favors by linking him with John Kerry. (And the song includes the typical praises of Obama which are unsubstantiated.)

More of The Tudors to come?

Apparently the show has been renewed for a second season. As far as I know, season one ends with Cardinal Wolsey in disgrace and St. Thomas More becoming chancellor. As for the quality of the show, I can't say much about it. Will it go beyond two seasons? Perhaps the writing will improve next season, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

American Conservative features Ron Paul

in its latest issue --

Lone Star
By Michael Brendan Dougherty
Ron Paul is making a long-shot presidential bid to revive conservatism and lasso a party gone wild.

See also--
How the West Was Lost
By Theodore Dalrymple
The Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent by Walter Laqueur

Ron Paul INN interview

on big business, etc.

via Lew Rockwell


To my sister the MD and her husband on the birth of their daughter Jordyn last Friday.

Pokarekare Ana (with chorus)

Classic Brit Awards 2004

Hayley Westenra's live performance in Anniversary of Welsh Anthem,2006.

MG: Oil Shys Away from Detrimental Dollar

Oil Shys Away from Detrimental Dollar
By The Mogambo Guru "It is a sad fact to face, but the dollar's buying power is decreasing as the global demand for oil is increasing. And so we turn to the Mogambo - hiding in his ultra-fortified bunker - for a full assessment of how "Freaking Doomed!" we really are. Read on…"

Hayley Westenra

Hayley Westenra
Shenandoah One Fine Day E Pari Ra Medley

Hayley Westenra EPK

Hayley Westenra - Dublin - May it be

Why Architecture Matters, Part 2

the next installment in Philip Bess's guest column for Right Reason

The 100 Mile Diet interview

via EB

The 100 Mile Diet (Audio)
CSJR, Global Public Media
For one year, James MacKinnon and co-author Elisa Smith abstained from foods grown outside of a 100 mile radius of their Vancouver home. In this interview for CJSR radio in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Jason Melnychuk learns more from the co-authors of The 100 Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating.(15 June 2007)

100 Mile Diet: Local Eating for Global Change
Living on the 100-Mile Diet :: Life ::
Living On The 100 Miles Diet (TreeHugger)
The Lure of the 100-Mile Diet TIME Books The 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith J.B. ...
AlterNet: Environment: 100-Mile Diet: Your Body Will Thank You
Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon talk about The 100-Mile Diet - CBC ...
100 mile diet society
100 mile diet challenge
Living on the Hundred-Mile Diet Peak Oil ...
100-mile Diet: Q&A With a Couple Who Did It - Gaiam Community

This one's rather humorous (well, for guys at least haha):
Free Nitrogen! Comes with a Handy Dispenser!
Sharon Astyk, Casaubon's Book

ISN Conference Report

A good conference, and I hope it is the first of many for the Institute for the Study of Nature.

The flight down wasn't bad, no bumps or turbulence. Champaign is rather rural--I was surprised to see so many farms while flying over Illinois. There are some ugly strip malls, and the university itself is a prominent part of the town. I don't know if there are a lot of small farmers in Champaign, though I saw a lot of small farms on the flight over. I couldn't believe how hot it was--on Saturday it hit the mid-90s.

After checking into the hotel, I went to McDonald's for lunch, because I had a craving. Bad idea... I felt sick after eating the food there, and drinking too much soda is not a good idea for me. I should have picked some better places to eat, since I would have been reimbursed. Ah well...
I think I'm ready to swear off McD's (again).

Most of the papers were good, even though not all of them were written from an "Aristotelian" viewpoint. I think everyone appreciated the discussion of math and measurement, and I did like Dr. Lundberg's paper on Leonhard Euler and the vocation of the mathematician.

Euler 2007
Leonhard Euler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Euler Archive - the works of Leonhard Euler online
The Euler Society
Euler's Formula
The Prime Glossary: Euler's constant
Project Euler

Dinner the first night was at a pizza joint in the second downtown, the downtown that served the college. Papa Del's, I think. Chicago-style pizza is good, but it's very unhealthy--thick crust, lots of cheese... Definitely better than what I had at Uno. Dr. Augros talked about talked a little about his dissertation and how he chose it--basically something that he would be interested i, but not so controversial and could slip in under the radar, without having to read a lot of secondary literature that would be forced upon him by faculty who thought itould be necessary to make it more "scholarly."

Someone brought up the GREs and standardized testing, along with IQ. Dr. Joe Audie (one of the tutors for the seminar) told us how he used to have faith in IQ and the Bell Curve, but then he read Thomas Sowell; the Flynn effect entered the conversation.

Race and IQ by Thomas Sowell -- Capitalism Magazine
The Inequality Dogma by Thomas Sowell -- Capitalism Magazine and IQ: part II::By Thomas Sowell

Dr. Mike Augros teaches for the Legionaries in New York. He is very very impressive, a true successor to the Laval school. I'm glad I got a chance to talk with him briefly. He did his grad work at BC, and I hope to get a copy of his dissertation. (I will have to e-mail him, since he said he would get me an e-copy, if it's not available through the microfilm service.) He also described himself as pessimistic at dinner, and I'm intrigued--what is he pessimistic about?

He also said he disliked writing merely to get published. He enjoys writing about things that he is interested in, and focusing on primary sources. Too many academic journals are concerned with staying up-to-date, and addressing issues raised in secondary literature, all in the name of "scholarship," when in fact what does get published is often very bad scholarship. Really--it's publishing for the sake of maintaining the appearance of being relevant. Since he doesn't have to write for the sake of his livelihood, he doesn't bother to "try to get published."

If the Legionaries in the U.S. are getting their training in philosophy from him, they are in good hands. I had been worried about their intellectual formation, but this is a good sign.

I sat next to Dr. Dougherty during dinner, and he mentioned that he had thought that I was a priest or a Benedictine, so he was tempted to say "Father" when he saw me. Scary. Though I do not think I have a vocation to the priesthood, comments like these do prompt me to re-consider, though not to much. As for the monastic life, I do see the appeal, but I don't think I would enter a monastery any time soon.

He has an article about culture at pensarecristiano? He likes Nicolas Sarkozy's book Testimony, and believes Sarkozy will help re-Christianize France.

Dr. Tom McLaughlin is currently the... president (or is it vice-president) of the Society for Thomistic Natural Philosophy--there should be some overlap between the missions of the two groups. His paper on inertia was thought-provoking, though I don't agree with his conclusion that inertia is something real. The Jacques Maritain Association also has some people interested in natural philosophy. Where is Dr. Marie George? Dr. Carrroll gave a paper on creation and modern-day cosmologies, and reiterated the point that Aquinas thought creation was a demonstrable doctrine, and that the metaphysical definition of creation is not the same as the theological definition.

Dr. Ryland mentioned the Westchester Institute. Just found out that it was founded by a Legionary, Fr. Thomas Berg.

I didn't get a chance to chat much with James Barham; he was also a tutor for the seminar, and seems to be surviving at ND, from what I hear. He seems to know a lot of the work done in biological structuralism, he mentioned Ho and some others. He's also written on emergentism, which I need to read more about.

After the last day of the conference, we went to Biaggi's for dinner. The food there was rather good. Probably should have gotten lunch there the next day. I think it's better than Olive Garden--I got the chicken marsala (as usual), and the chicken was not overdone.

Having gone to the vigil at the Newman Center, I was planning on getting some other things done on Sunday morning. Didn't happen. I went to lunch at Steak and Shake. The food there is probably overpriced, I'd prefer In and Out. There was a Hooters next to it, but I decided not to go there. Imagine trying to get reimbursed for that. hahaha

Several of the participants came up to tell me that they enjoyed the paper, which surprised me. (I wonder if they took it personally when I didn't return the compliment--not that it was appropriate since not all gave papers, but some of them did. I was a bit struck by the fact that they thought so well of the presentation, and then I wasn't so quick as to think of something positive to say about their paper.) Perhaps I should be reassured but instead I need to work even harder...