Thursday, August 30, 2007

Congee Queen

Ok, I need to check this place out. Open to at least 12 AM (1 AM on Friday and Saturday for the flagship store... woohoo).

Hello WonTon doesn't have it's own website; review.

I'll probably be looking through the guide back and the LD's emails during the car ride--no time to think about where to go right now...

Revolutionary Guard

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard special forces participate in military manoeuvres at an undisclosed location near the Gulf in 2006. The Revolutionary Guards have dismissed US plans to list the elite force as a terror group in order to strangle its growing economic power, warning that its "iron will" would not be deterred.(AFP/FARS NEWS/File)

Global Security
Iran Military Forum

Revolutionary Guards threaten to ‘punch’ U.S.
Iran’s elite corps responds to U.S. plan to list it as a ‘terrorist’ organization

Iranian Unit to Be Labeled 'Terrorist'

U.S. Moving Against Revolutionary Guard

'Faux Bourdon' chant

NLM post and video


Jane writes:
Fauxbourdon or faux bourdon is, as Fr. Thompson said, a 15th Century practice involving one voice singing a perfect fourth below the cantus firmus, and another part played or sung in sixths below, although the lowest part is often rhythmically independent of the upper two, making the counterpoint more interesting. It could be done as a simple harmonization of a chant, but is not usually used for harmonization of psalm tones; Dufay is said to have invented faux bourdon and used the technique frequently, writing short faux bourdon pieces in which the bass is instrumental, and longer pieces with faux bourdon sections.

There is an English practice with a similar name--faburden--which is more often associated with improvisation and the kind of psalm-tone harmonization heard here. Faburden involves one voice singing a a fourth above the chant, and one voice singing thirds and fifths below the chant (he must begin and end on a fifth, and never sing two fifths in a row, but may sing as many thirds as he likes).

A third practice with a similar name is falsobordone, an Italian practice of harmonizing psalm tones in four parts, with root-position triads and the chant in the top voice.

This is confusing, I know--it took me a semester-long seminar on 15th Century counterpoint to sort it all out. I think I hear a voice singing higher than the cantus firmus in that video, which means that this schola is singing faburden rather than faux bourdon or falsobordone, since faburden is the only practice in which a voice sings harmony above the chant.
Ignacio recommends: Ensemble Organum's "Messe des Invalides" and "Corsican Chant"

References to 'faux bourdon':
Guillaume Dufay: The Man & His Works
Faux-bourdon - Wikipédia
Largement utilisé pour chant sur le livre, le faux-bourdon se ...
JSTOR: Guillaume Dufay's Concept of Faux-Bourdon
Fauxbourdon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Christian Bale interview


Time on Mother Teresa


At least there's this:

A new, innocuously titled book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (Doubleday), consisting primarily of correspondence between Teresa and her confessors and superiors over a period of 66 years, provides the spiritual counterpoint to a life known mostly through its works. The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever — or, as the book's compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, "neither in her heart or in the eucharist."

That absence seems to have started at almost precisely the time she began tending the poor and dying in Calcutta, and — except for a five-week break in 1959 — never abated. Although perpetually cheery in public, the Teresa of the letters lived in a state of deep and abiding spiritual pain. In more than 40 communications, many of which have never before been published, she bemoans the "dryness," "darkness," "loneliness" and "torture" she is undergoing. She compares the experience to hell and at one point says it has driven her to doubt the existence of heaven and even of God. She is acutely aware of the discrepancy between her inner state and her public demeanor. "The smile," she writes, is "a mask" or "a cloak that covers everything." Similarly, she wonders whether she is engaged in verbal deception. "I spoke as if my very heart was in love with God — tender, personal love," she remarks to an adviser. "If you were [there], you would have said, 'What hypocrisy.'" Says the Rev. James Martin, an editor at the Jesuit magazine America and the author of My Life with the Saints, a book that dealt with far briefer reports in 2003 of Teresa's doubts: "I've never read a saint's life where the saint has such an intense spiritual darkness. No one knew she was that tormented." Recalls Kolodiejchuk, Come Be My Light's editor: "I read one letter to the Sisters [of Teresa's Missionaries of Charity], and their mouths just dropped open. It will give a whole new dimension to the way people understand her."

The book is hardly the work of some antireligious investigative reporter who Dumpster-dived for Teresa's correspondence. Kolodiejchuk, a senior Missionaries of Charity member, is her postulator, responsible for petitioning for her sainthood and collecting the supporting materials. (Thus far she has been beatified; the next step is canonization.) The letters in the book were gathered as part of that process.

The church anticipates spiritually fallow periods. Indeed, the Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross in the 16th century coined the term the "dark night" of the soul to describe a characteristic stage in the growth of some spiritual masters. Teresa's may be the most extensive such case on record. (The "dark night" of the 18th century mystic St. Paul of the Cross lasted 45 years; he ultimately recovered.) Yet Kolodiejchuk sees it in St. John's context, as darkness within faith. Teresa found ways, starting in the early 1960s, to live with it and abandoned neither her belief nor her work. Kolodiejchuk produced the book as proof of the faith-filled perseverance that he sees as her most spiritually heroic act.

Two very different Catholics predict that the book will be a landmark. The Rev. Matthew Lamb, chairman of the theology department at the conservative Ave Maria University in Florida, thinks Come Be My Light will eventually rank with St. Augustine's Confessions and Thomas Merton's The Seven Storey Mountain as an autobiography of spiritual ascent. Martin of America, a much more liberal institution, calls the book "a new ministry for Mother Teresa, a written ministry of her interior life," and says, "It may be remembered as just as important as her ministry to the poor. It would be a ministry to people who had experienced some doubt, some absence of God in their lives. And you know who that is? Everybody. Atheists, doubters, seekers, believers, everyone."

From Mere Comments:
Eloi, Eloi by Anthony Esolen
Mother Teresa's Little Faith

Another example of why the Fed. gov't has too much power

Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal

via Lew Rockwell blog

Test At NIJ-Certified Lab Validates Pinnacle Armor's Six-Year Warranty

Another "PASS" For Dragon Skin: Test At NIJ-Certified Lab Validates Pinnacle Armor's Six-Year Warranty

Previously: More Washington Corruption:
Another Attempt And A New Player -- The Department Of Justice
Joins Efforts To Kill Dragon Skin

Summary of the 2007 Boyd Conference

by Chet Richards and Donald Vandergriff, here

Planes Replace Trains for Modern Pilgrims

Planes Replace Trains for Modern Pilgrims

Vatican Charters Foster Prayerful Atmosphere

ROME, AUG. 29, 2007 ( Pilgrimages in the 21st century need modern amenities to accommodate modern pilgrims. And the Vatican's recent deal with Mistral Air reflects that.

And to be eventually replaced by foot... perhaps.

The Vatican behind the times like everyone else?

Lind, The Truth Tellers

The Surge Behind the Spin
The Truth Tellers


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fraternidad de Cristo Sacerdote y Santa Maria Reina

So Sarge what do you think of this group?

NLM post

I liked the ISP pics too.

New look for Hyori

Summit of the Starlets - Jessica Alba and Lee Hyo-lee
Korean cosmetics brand Isa Knox has unveiled the story to its much-anticipated commercial starring Lee Hyo-lee and Jessica Alba.

The ad for the company's Double Effect Advanced Serum emphasizes the two starlets' sex appeal and embraces their unique charms.

Beneath the headline, "A woman's face is lies", a tearful Lee breaks up with a man while a smiling Alba does the same. Then, in the latter part of the ad, the situation is reversed and the copy tells us, "Now Lee Hyo-lee smiles" and "Jessica Alba weeps". The ad intends to suggest that women make no bones about telling a lie to finish with men. The company says the copy "A woman's face is lies" denotes that a woman's skin is lies, too.

The two stars were the center of attention during the filming of the commercial in Vancouver, where observers commented on their gorgeous and quite similar figures. The two resemble each other in stature, shape, hair style and even healthy-looking copper skin tone.

Their beauty managers took great pains to adorn the stars, who were competing for national pride. Their stylists each transported about 50 outfits to Canada, filling their hotel rooms with clothes like a boutique.

The commercial is slated to air next month.


IGN stuff

Right at Your Door review. Hrm, it's probably a good thing that I avoided watching it last weekend.


Beowulf images

Why are they making Saw IV? From AICN: Wrong Turn 2. Depraved.

Paul Haggis is working on an original Bond story.

A bunch from Counterpunch

Will Bush Take Everything Down With Him?
More Shame, More Sorrow


A Hegemonic Hubris
More War on the Horizon


Bernacke's Bail Out of Wall Street
Uncle Ben and the Nanny State


Which Side is the Pentagon On?
The Costs of the Afghanistan War


Time to Step Up to the Plate
Environmentalists and the Housing Crisis

All Work and No Play Dulls the Nation
The Vanishing American Vacation


Liturgy Should Inspire Action, Says Cardinal Bertone

Liturgy Should Inspire Action, Says Cardinal Bertone

Urges Christians to Be Good Citizens

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 28, 2007 ( The liturgy should inspire Catholics to contribute to bettering the world with testimony and social action, says Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone said this in a message sent on behalf of Benedict XVI to the 58th Italian National Liturgical Week, in progress in Spoleto through Friday.

"To live as a Christian, we must harmonize personal faithfulness to Christ with 'citizenship,' with a commitment to being present in the world as his witnesses," Cardinal Bertone wrote.

He continued: "Each liturgical celebration helps to carry out a wise reading of history with an attentive discernment of events, so that the soul of believers will open to the eschatological prospective that enables them to work in the earthly city while looking beyond what is passing, to catch a glimpse of the Risen One.

"Christians, throughout history, knew how to recognize what is good, true, noble and positive in the various societies in which they found themselves.

"Aware of Christ's invitation to be 'salt' and 'leaven' of the earth, they worked, sustained by the Holy Spirit, to animate, with the richness of evangelical love, the cultures and traditions of their time."

Active participation

The letter invites the participants in the Italian National Liturgical Week to reflect on "how to carry out that mission in today's society with an evangelical faithfulness celebrated in the liturgy and lived in day-to-day existence."

"For every Christian generation, the Eucharist is the indispensable nutriment that sustains it while traversing the desert of this world, parched by ideological and economic systems that do not promote life, but rather degrade it; a world where the logic of power and possession dominates rather than that of service and love; a world where the culture of violence and death often triumph," Cardinal Bertone said, citing the Pope's homily from the solemnity of Corpus Christi.

For this reason, he wrote, "an active participation in the celebration of the liturgy makes the Christian more aware of his responsible vocation to be a sign and witness of a radically new way of acting in the world."

"Called to contribute to the construction of the earthly city, they work so as to favor the dynamics of participation and responsibility, of solidarity and subsidiary in the economic and social realm, which are at the service of the person and the common good," the secretary of state added.

The letter ended by mentioning Benedict XVI's desire that the 58th Italian National Liturgical Week "help the Italian Christian communities to assume their own responsibilities, so that human existence will fully develop in its personal, familial, social and cultural dimension."

This should sound familiar to those acquainted with the writings of Lambert Beauduin, O.S.B., and Virgil Michel, O.S.B.

Fr. Virgil, St. John's monks spread idea that liturgy creates ...

Virgil Michel Center
Virgil Michel House
JSTOR: The Social Thought of Virgil Michel, O.S.B.
JSTOR: Virgil Michel and the Liturgical Movement

Sunday Liturgy Call to Self-Giving: Dies Domini, John Paul II and Virgil Michel, O.S.B.
by David Fiore

Ramsay Blasts 'Kitchen Nightmares' Lawsuit

Ramsay Blasts 'Kitchen Nightmares' Lawsuit

By James Hibberd

“I don’t want to start that kind of bullshit over here,” he said. “You know it just scares me that litigation can just happen overnight, and then you’re on the defense.”

Welcome to the United States.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Paul B. Farrell, If we are Rome, Wall Street's our Coliseum

If we are Rome, Wall Street's our Coliseum
Comptroller General warns (again), we're 'bankrupting America'

Lowell Monke, Unplugged Schools

Unplugged Schools
Education can ameliorate, or exacerbate, society's ills. Which will it be?
by Lowell Monke

I first encountered the idea of the compensatory role of schools in 1970, while preparing to become a teacher. In Teaching as a Subversive Activity, Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner argued that one of the roles of schools in a free society is to serve as a cultural thermostat—to take the temperature of the culture, determine where the culture is over- and underheated, and then gear instruction to compensate for those extremes. If a culture becomes too enamored with competition, schools would emphasize cooperation; if it overemphasizes individuality, schools would emphasize community responsibility; if it allows poor children to go hungry, schools would (and do) develop lunch and breakfast programs to feed them; and so on.

But from what wisdom or tradition does one seek guidance in determining what is the mean and what needs compensation?

But I appreciate his suggestions for more "natural" learning methods, especially bringing children into actual contact with nature.

Dick Courteau, Horse Power

Horse Power
A practical suggestion that would transform the way we live
by Dick Courteau

James Grant, The Fed’s Subprime Solution

Dr. Paul mentioned Mr. Grant in his interview with Michael Medved as being someone he looks up to as an authority in economics; of course, Mr. Grant is a member of the Austrian school.

Grant's Online - Home Page

The Fed’s Subprime Solution

THE subprime mortgage crisis of 2007 is, in fact, a credit crisis — a worldwide disruption in lending and borrowing. It is only the latest in a long succession of such disturbances. Who’s to blame? The human race, first and foremost. Well-intended public policy, second. And Wall Street, third — if only for taking what generations of policy makers have so unwisely handed it.

Possibly, one lender and one borrower could do business together without harm to themselves or to the economy around them. But masses of lenders and borrowers invariably seem to come to grief, as they have today — not only in mortgages but also in a variety of other debt instruments. First, they overdo it until the signs of excess become too obvious to ignore. Then, with contrite and fearful hearts, they proceed to underdo it. Such is the “credit cycle,” the eternal migration of lenders and borrowers between the extreme points of accommodation and stringency.

Significantly, such cycles have occurred in every institutional, monetary and regulatory setting. No need for a central bank, or for newfangled mortgage securities, or for the proliferation of hedge funds to foment a panic — there have been plenty of dislocations without any of the modern-day improvements.

Late in the 1880s, long before the institution of the Federal Reserve, Eastern savers and Western borrowers teamed up to inflate the value of cropland in the Great Plains. Gimmicky mortgages — pay interest and only interest for the first two years! — and loose talk of a new era in rainfall beguiled the borrowers. High yields on Western mortgages enticed the lenders. But the climate of Kansas and Nebraska reverted to parched, and the drought-stricken debtors trudged back East or to the West Coast in wagons emblazoned, “In God we trusted, in Kansas we busted.” To the creditors went the farms.

Every crackup is the same, yet every one is different. Today’s troubles are unusual not because the losses have been felt so far from the corner of Broad and Wall, or because our lenders are unprecedentedly reckless. The panics of the second half of the 19th century were trans-Atlantic affairs, while the debt abuses of the 1920s anticipated the most dubious lending practices of 2006. Our crisis will go down in history for different reasons.

One is the sheer size of the debt in which people have belatedly lost faith. The issuance of one kind of mortgage-backed structure — collateralized debt obligations — alone runs to $1 trillion. The shocking fragility of recently issued debt is another singular feature of the 2007 downturn — alarming numbers of defaults despite high employment and reasonably strong economic growth. Hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities would, by now, have had to be recalled if Wall Street did business as Detroit does.

Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd, in the 1940 edition of their seminal volume “Security Analysis,” held that the acid test of a bond or a mortgage issuer is its ability to discharge its financial obligations “under conditions of depression rather than prosperity.” Today’s mortgage market can’t seem to weather prosperity.

A third remarkable aspect of the summer’s troubles is the speed with which the world’s central banks have felt it necessary to intervene. Bear in mind that when the Federal Reserve cut its discount rate on Aug. 17 — a move intended to restore confidence and restart the machinery of lending and borrowing — the Dow Jones industrial average had fallen just 8.25 percent from its record high. The Fed has so far refused to reduce the federal funds rate, the main interest rate it fixes, but it has all but begged the banks to avail themselves of the dollars they need through the slightly unconventional means of borrowing at the discount window — that is, from the Fed itself.

What could account for the weakness of our credit markets? Why does the Fed feel the need to intervene at the drop of a market? The reasons have to do with an idea set firmly in place in the 1930s and expanded at every crisis up to the present. This is the notion that, while the risks inherent in the business of lending and borrowing should be finally borne by the public, the profits of that line of work should mainly accrue to the lenders and borrowers.

It has not been lost on our Wall Street titans that the government is the reliable first responder to scenes of financial distress, or that there will always be enough paper dollars to go around to assist the very largest financial institutions. In the aftermath of the failure of Long-Term Capital Management, the genius-directed hedge fund that came a cropper in 1998, the Fed — under Alan Greenspan — delivered three quick reductions in the federal funds rate. Thus fortified, lenders and borrowers, speculators and investors, resumed their manic buying of technology stocks. That bubble burst in March 2000.

Understandably, it’s only the selling kind of panic to which the government dispatches its rescue apparatus. Few object to riots on the upside. But bull markets, too, go to extremes. People get carried away, prices go too high and economic resources go where they shouldn’t. Bear markets are nature’s way of returning to the rule of reason.

But the regulatory history of the past decade is the story of governmental encroachment on the bears’ habitat. Under Mr. Greenspan, the Fed set its face against falling prices everywhere. As it intervened to save the financial markets in 1998, so it printed money in 2002 and 2003 to rescue the economy. From what? From the peril of everyday lower prices — “deflation,” the economists styled it. In this mission, at least, the Fed succeeded. Prices, especially housing prices, soared. Knowing that the Fed would do its best to engineer rising prices, people responded rationally. They borrowed lots of money at the Fed’s ultralow interest rates.

Now comes the bill for that binge and, with it, cries for even greater federal oversight and protection. Ben S. Bernanke, Mr. Greenspan’s successor at the Fed (and his loyal supporter during the antideflation hysteria), is said to be resisting the demand for broadly lower interest rates. Maybe he is seeing the light that capitalism without financial failure is not capitalism at all, but a kind of socialism for the rich.

In any case, to all of us, rich and poor alike, the Fed owes a pledge that it will do what it can and not do what it can’t. High on the list of things that no human agency can, or should, attempt is manipulating prices to achieve a more stable and prosperous economy. Jiggling its interest rate, the Fed can impose the appearance of stability today, but only at the cost of instability tomorrow. By the looks of things, tomorrow is upon us already.

A century ago, on the eve of the Panic of 1907, the president of the National City Bank of New York, James Stillman, prepared for the troubles he saw coming. “If by able and judicious management,” he briefed his staff, “we have money to help our dealers when trust companies have [failed], we will have all the business we want for many years.” The panic came and his bank, today called Citigroup, emerged more profitable than ever.

Last month, Stillman’s corporate descendant, Chuck Prince, chief executive of Citigroup, dismissed fears about an early end to the postmillennial debt frolics. “When the music stops,” he told The Financial Times, “in terms of liquidity, things will get complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. We’re still dancing.”

What a difference a century makes.

Borrowers, Beware
The James Grant Paradox

Bill Bonner, Blinded by the Divine Light of ‘Capitalism’

Blinded by the Divine Light of ‘Capitalism’

by Bill Bonner

His new book:
Mobs, Messiahs, And Markets - Bill Bonner and Lila Rajiva

link at Agora Financial Publications; Amazon

Fr. Cantalamessa on Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa's Dark Night Unique, Says Preacher

Father Cantalamessa Calls Her Saint of the Media Age

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 27, 2007 ( Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta's dark night of the soul kept her from being a victim of the media age and exalting herself, says the preacher of the Pontifical Household.

Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa said this in an interview with Vatican Radio, commenting on previously unpublished letters from Mother Teresa, now made public in Doubleday's book "Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light," edited by Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the cause of Mother Teresa's canonization.

In one of her letters, Mother Teresa wrote: "There is so much contradiction in my soul. Such deep longing for God -- so deep that it is painful -- a suffering continual -- and yet not wanted by God -- repulsed -- empty -- no faith -- no love -- no zeal. Souls hold no attraction. Heaven means nothing -- to me it looks like an empty place."

Father Cantalamessa explained that the fact that Mother Teresa suffered deeply from her feeling of the absence of God affirms that it was a positive phenomenon. Atheists, he contended, are not afflicted by God's absence but, "for Mother Teresa, this was the most terrible test that she could have experienced."

He further clarified that "it is the presence-absence of God: God is present but one does not experience his presence."


Father Cantalamessa contended that Mother Teresa's spiritual suffering makes her even greater.

He said: "The fact that Mother Teresa was able to remain for hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament, as many eye-witnesses have testified, as if enraptured … if one thinks about the condition she was in at that moment, that is martyrdom!

"Because of this, for me, the figure of Mother Teresa is even greater; it does not diminish her."

The Capuchin priest further lauded Mother Teresa's ability to keep her spiritual pain hidden within her. "Maybe, this was done in expiation for the widespread atheism in today's world," he said, adding that she lived her experience of the absence of God "in a positive way -- with faith, with God."

Not scandalous

Father Cantalamessa affirmed that Mother Teresa's dark night should not scandalize or surprise anyone. The "dark night," he said, "is something well-known in the Christian tradition; maybe new and unheard of in the way Mother Teresa experienced it."

He added: "While 'the dark night of the spirit' of St. John of the Cross is a generally preparatory period for that definitive one called 'unitive,' for Mother Teresa it seems that it was one stable state, from a certain point in her life, when she began this great work of charity, until the end.

"In my view, the fact of this prolongation of the 'night' has meaning for us today. I believe that Mother Teresa is the saint of the media age, because this 'night of the spirit' protected her from being a victim of the media, namely from exalting herself.

"In fact, she used to say that when she received great awards and praise from the media, she did not feel anything because of this interior emptiness."

Hayley Westenra, Who Painted the Moon Black

Hayley Westenra, Both Sides Now

video posted by Universal Music Group


From the concert:

Too bad I'm not Bavarian. Or European.

Rod Dreher links to this post about Europe by Patrick Deneen.

AICN on BSG: Razor


Unrated extended edition dvd! Great!

From the AICN post:

If you go here and vote on which Battlestar Galactica: Razor box you like best, you’re rewarded with an Esurance commercial, followed by a new promo clip from the coming TV-movie.

Plus, an early review of American Gangster.

Box office receipts, Korea

From Chosun Ilbo:

Box Office (4th Week of August, 2007)

May 18 Preview
Opening Date : July 26
Director : Kim Ji-hoon
Main Cast: Ahn Sung-ki, Kim Sang-kyung

D-War Preview
Opening Date : August 1
Director : Shim Hyung-rae
Main Cast: Amanda Brooks, Jason Behr

The Houseguest and My Mother Preview
Opening Date : August 22
Director : Lim Yeong-seong
Main Cast: Jeoung Jun-ho, Kim Won-hee

Underground Rendezvous Preview
Opening Date : August 15
Director : Kim Jong-jin
Main Cast: Im Chang-jung, Park Jin-hee

Changing Partners Preview
Opening Date : August 15
Director : Chong Youn-su
Main Cast: Park Yong-woo, Uhm Jung-hwa

Stardust Preview
Opening Date : August 15
Director : Matthew Vaughn
Main Cast: Charlie Cox, Claire Danes

The Simpsons Movie Preview
Opening Date : August 23
Director : David Silverman
Main Cast: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner

Someone Behind You Preview
Opening Date : August 23
Director : Oh Ki-hwan
Main Cast: Yoon Jin-seo, Park Gi-woong

Happy Killing Preview
Opening Date : August 30
Director : Kang Kyung-hun
Main Cast: Yea Ji-won, Lim Won-hee

Wide Awake Preview
Opening Date : August 8
Director : Lee Gyu-man
Main Cast: Kim Myung-min, Kim Tae-woo

May 18 is #1. I definitely want to watch that. I'll check the preview for Happy Killing... but I don't have high expectations, looks like a comedy. Another Uhm Jung Hwa movie... about relationships, sex, and contemporary mores no doubt...