Saturday, October 06, 2007

Photos: Catherine Zeta-Jones

Catherine Zeta-Jones poses for photographers in New York, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007. Zeta-Jones was celebrating her new role as the face of the jewelry brand Di Modolo. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones enters a news conference room to promote her film "No Reservations" in Tokyo September 19, 2007. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (JAPAN)

Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones waves to the media after her news conference to promote her film "No Reservations" in Tokyo September 19, 2007. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (JAPAN)

Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones poses after a news conference to promote her film 'No Reservations' in Tokyo September 19, 2007. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (JAPAN)

Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones poses with a cake for her upcoming birthday on September 25, at a news conference to promote her film ' No Reservations' in Tokyo September 19, 2007. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (JAPAN)

Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones smiles for photographers as she arrives at a premiere of her film "No Reservations" in Tokyo September 18, 2007. The movie opens in Japan September 29. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao (JAPAN)

REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao (JAPAN)

Daniel Larison on Country Folk

and Lincoln

Whatever else one might say about Lincoln (and I could say a great deal), I think this is mistaken. You can cheer on Lincoln until your voice gives out, I suppose, but you will have a devil of a time inventing the Garibaldi from Springfield as a font of American conservative thought. Their enemies called them the Red Republicans for a reason. Reihan, continuing to blog up a storm while Ross is away, helps explain the thinking that would draw meliorist/reform conservatives towards Lincoln as a model.

A modern conservative appropriation of Lincoln seems mistaken to me since, obviously, I think Lincoln’s politics are the antithesis of the decentralist, distributist-cum-populist tradition that properly makes up what best approximates a native conservative tradition in America. If judged according to Burkean hostility to Jacobinism and “armed doctrines” generally, Lincoln would have to be classified as an enemy of the permanent things.

The “native” American tradition to which I refer is the Country tradition, which, like everything almost everything in early republican America, has its origins in Britain. This tradition even had some latter-day representatives inside the Party of Lincoln, such as La Follette, and post-New Deal and post-WWII decentralists began to look to the GOP as an alternative, but it has never been their natural home and has never really been receptive to their message for very long. If modern conservatives wish to belong to the Country tradition, Lincoln is necessarily out of the picture, and if they wish to embrace Lincoln they pretty much have to turn their back on virtually the entirety of that tradition. Nationalism, centralism and government working on behalf of corporate and industrial interests (tendentiously dubbed by its early advocates as “the American system”) are all aspects of “Lincolnianism” that are directly opposed to the Country tradition. In the American context, what would that tradition include? I think it would include love of place and tradition, constitutional and federal republicanism, support for regional diversity, conserving local communities, keeping a broad distribution of property as a safeguard against abuse of power, and preventing the concentration of power and money in a few hands. Lincoln represents the tendency to uproot, level or destroy pretty much everything that a great many traditional conservatives believe that we should be conserving.

David Macaray, De-Skilling America's Labor Force

Automation's Evil Twin
De-Skilling America's Labor Force


A recent announcement by Big Three automakers that they plan to invest a billion dollars over the next decade in the development of robotics reminded me of a remark made by an HR representative of the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, some years ago.

Peak oil still hasn't sunk into the minds of the automaker execs yet. Is there a future for the automobile industry? No, not even with alternate fuels or electricity.

Taipei announces new missile capable of striking Shanghai

Taipei announces new missile capable of striking Shanghai
The new rocket will likely be displayed at the October 10 National Day military parade. It should have a range of 1,000 kilometres. Washington confirms arms sales to Taipei to counter Beijing’s growing military threat

Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Taiwan announced the deployment of a cruise missile capable of hitting targets in mainland China. Military sources said that it will likely be displayed om National Day October 10.

The development of a long-range Taiwanese cruise missile was first confirmed by the former defence minister, Lee Jye, in April. Lee said that it was defensive in nature and would be “used in counterattacks against China's ballistic missiles” to strike only “airfields and radar stations.”

Taiwan has complained that the mainland has deployed 900 missiles targeting Taiwan.

Analysts say the weapon being discussed is the "Hsiung Feng IIE" surface-to-surface missile, which Taiwan has reportedly tested but never displayed nor deployed. It is believed to have a range of about 1,000 kilometres (630 miles), which would enable it to hit Shanghai.

However, the missile still needs sophisticated US satellite guidance technology.

Wang Kao-cheng of Taipei's Tamkang University said the cruise missile program would founder without US technology. The United States remains Taiwan's major weapons supplier.

The US House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a resolution declaring that the United States would continue to provide Taiwan weapons for its defence. It mentioned that China’s greatly improved military "poses an increasing threat to Taiwan and ultimately to the United States military presence in Asia."

Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has taken certain steps recently to underscore the island's claim to sovereignty such as applying for United Nations membership.

Beijing has always claimed Taiwan as part of its territory and stated its willingness to use military force against any initiative that would turn the island’s de facto independence into official recognition.

Washington has criticised Taipei for its pro-independence measures but has encouraged the sale of defensive weapons to Taiwan, and, in 2002, President George W. Bush pledged to "help Taiwan defend itself if provoked."

Fabius Maximus, Kilcullen explains all you need to know about the Iraq War

Kilcullen explains all you need to know about the Iraq War

Part VII of a series about America’s new Long War

By Fabius Maximus

Lind, Beyond the OODA Loop

On War #235: John Boyd's Book, William S. Lind

also at Counterpunch: Beyond the OODA Loop

Garage sales

As I was driving DeAnza this morning I saw the tables set up, and knew that the flea market was taking place today.

There's something else happening this weekend--the city's annual city-wide garage sale. From the City of Cupertino Event Calendar:

Saturday, October 02, 2004 - Sunday, October 03, 2004

City-wide Garage Sale

09:00 am - 04:00 pm

Annual City-Wide Garage Sale

Cupertino residents and community groups will hold individual garage sales at their homes or on private property, on the same weekend. The city estimates that between 500 and 600 households will register to be included on the city's list of sales.

There is no registration fee and participants keep all profits from their sales.

Contact: Cupertino Public Works Dept, 408-777-3354

The city even printed up maps of homes and other locations where garage sales are being held. Where else but in suburbia can you find such craziness disguised as concern for the environment or whatever else? How many shoppers will be walking today? Perhaps a few? But will car-drivers be the majority?

Perhaps this is not the case and most people are walking.

People are obviously selling things they no longer need. (I doubt people are selling valuables only because of financial necessity--paying off a mortage or what have you.) How much better off would they have been if they had not purchased those items in the first place? How much of their "stuff" did they really need? Or are the items just consumables--to be used until one gets tired of them or something better comes along, or in the case of clothing, because they are no longer fashionable? How much of the clothing that we possess would we be willing to keep and wear for the rest of our lives? There's something to be said for stability in fashion, not only cultural benefits but economic and environmental benefits as well. (Although economic liberals might think that it is better to have such a huge clothing industry.) Sure, it may be better to find new owners for their things than tossing them out into the garbage and having them end up at the local landfill--but is that what is going to happen if they don't find someone willing to purchase the items? Or will they just put everything back into storage in the garage?

Thriftiness is better applied before making the original purchase, not after, in trying to sell something off to someone else.

Are garage sales just symbols of the amount of waste and consumption that goes on in suburbia?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Gone Baby, Gone

is getting some positive buzz... perhaps October will be a better month than September. I'll check out The Assassination of Jesse James next (unless Sarge gives a positive review of The Kingdom), and perhaps Michael Clayton as well.

official site
Yahoo! Movies

Dark Blue World

Movie about Czeck pilots who leave their country after the Germans invade and join the RAF to fight the Germans. Good WW2 movie--reminds me of the movie The Battle of Britain (imdb) in many respects.

[And no wonder, according to the wiki entry, "Dogfight footage from the 1969 film Battle of Britain was seamlessly integrated with contemporary film footage using computer imagery and mastering to create the aerial sequences."]

There is some fornication, but what war movie these days doesn't feature fornication in it? Soldiers are prone to that sort of thing, it seems. At least in this movie it isn't that explicit. The big conflict? Can love for the same woman destroy a friendship?

The filmmakers wanted to show heroes who were also real men; I don't know if the suffering of the pilots at the hands of the Communists after the war has been addressed by the Czech government, or if they have been commemorated in some way, but surely it is right to do so.


Perhaps Seraphic Single would enjoy this movie.


Another trailer (I think this might be the Czech trailer, which is on the DVD as one of the extras.)

Czech squadrons
Ministry of Defence | Defence News | Czech veterans pay tribute to ...
TheHistoryNet | Aces | World War II: Interview with Czech Ace Frantisek Perina

Miho Kanno vids

[cf]Kanno Miho-sofina:FINE-FIT

[Domoto Kyoudai] Gackt + Miho Kanno - Gundam + Leg Cramp

Taiho Pharmaceutical Tiovita Drink Japanese AD - Miho Kanno

Kanno Miho - Ai wo Kudasai [ENG Sub]

Kanno Miho - Ai wo Kudasai

菅野美穂 チオビタCM

菅野美穂 チオビタCM2


Benedict XVI: Natural Law Is Base of Democracy

Benedict XVI: Natural Law Is Base of Democracy

Says Ignoring It Is a Crisis for Human Civilization

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 5, 2007 ( Benedict XVI says that natural law must be the foundation of democracy, so that those in power are not giving the chance to determine what is good or evil.

The Pope said this today when receiving in audience the members of the International Theological Commission, who had just completed their annual plenary meeting, held in the Vatican this week under the presidency of Cardinal William Levada.

The Holy Father discussed with the theological experts what he considers the antidote to "ethical relativism."

Natural law, the Pontiff explained, is "the norm written by the Creator in man's heart," which permits him to distinguish good from evil.

But, he contended, partly because of "cultural and ideological factors, today's civil and secular society is in a situation of confusion. The original evidence for the foundations of human beings and of their ethical behavior has been lost, and the doctrine of natural moral law clashes with other concepts that run directly contrary to it.

"All this has enormous consequences on civil and social order. A positivist conception of law seems to dominate the thought of many scholars."

Benedict XVI explained that according to these scholars, "humanity, or society, or in effect, the majority of citizens, become the ultimate source for civil legislation."

Unnecessary relativism

He continued: "The problem that arises is not, then, the search for good but the search for power, or rather the balance of power.

"At the root of this tendency is ethical relativism, which some people even see as one of the principle conditions for democracy because, they feel, relativism guarantees tolerance and mutual respect.

"But if this were true, the majority at any given moment would become the ultimate source for law, and history shows with great clarity that majorities can make mistakes.

"True rationality is not guaranteed by the consensus of the many, but only by the openness of human reason to the reason of the Creator and by listening together to this Source of our rationality."


Benedict XVI affirmed that natural law is actually a guarantee of freedom.

He explained: "When fundamental essentials are at stake: human dignity, human life, the institution of the family and the equity of the social order -- in other words the fundamental rights of man -- no law made by men and women can subvert the norm written by the Creator in man's heart without society itself being dramatically struck ... at its very core.

"Thus natural law is a true guarantee for everyone to live freely and with respect for their dignity, protected from all ideological manipulation and from all arbitrary abuses of the powerful.

"No one can disregard this appeal. If by reason of a tragic clouding of the collective conscience, skepticism and ethical relativism managed to annul the fundamental principles of natural moral law, the very democratic order itself would be profoundly undermined at its foundations."

The Pope said that men and women of all faiths should combat this possibility.

He said: "Against such clouding -- which is a crisis for human, even more than for Christian, civilization -- the consciences of all men and women of good will must be mobilized, both laypeople and followers of religions other than Christianity, so that together they may make an effective commitment to creating ... the conditions necessary for a full awareness of the inalienable value of natural moral law.

"The advance of individuals and of society along the path of true progress depends upon respect for natural moral law, in conformity with right reason, which is participation in the eternal reason of God."

12th Pusan International Film Festival

official website

Ah! Gotta find pictures for this later.

Hollywood Reporter

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Richard Heinberg, As the World Burns

As the World Burns

A discussion of the finale of Top Chef Miami

at Matthew Yglesias

Hrm! Interesting! Ah well... I can depend on KK and the MD to make delicious food at least ;)

Another reason to dislike Sex and the City

At Fumare. And yes, what is the archbishop of New York thinking?

Yukie Nakama vids

ICOCA CM 「チャッチャといこか」 (JR西日本)


【CM】Yukie Nakama, Ryoko Hirosue, Yu Aoi, Alisa Mizuki....

[cf]Nakama Yukie-au:new-1/2


【CM】 Yukie Nakama - au by KDDI 誰でも割 「桃太郎篇

【CM】 Yukie Nakama - SHISEIDO TSUBAKI 「白ツバキ誕生篇」60s

【CM】 仲間由紀恵・他 - SHISEIDO TSUBAKI 「白ツバキ誕生篇


Epicure Nakama Yukie

[cf]Nakama Yukie-Takeda Pharmaceutical:benza-block

Hmm... this should be interesting:
japanese stars(plastic surgery before & after)

I don't know how valid the conclusions are, there is some debate about that in the comments section.

Laszlo Dobszay on the Law of Faith and the Law of Prayer

at NLM

I'm sure Sarge will like this: Archdale King's "Liturgies of the Past" reprinted

Nagasawa Masami vids

nagasawa masami@Hongkong interview

Ken Hirai - cry&smile!! (Knorr CM - クノール カップスープ) [...


長澤まさみ Nagasawa Masami New TV Drama PR

NTT-WEST hikari 30sec masami nagasawa #2

Nagasawa Masami NTT 西日本cm 安全性




長澤まさみ 07 Epson CM colorio me

明石家さんま&長澤まさみ 初デート



In the latest issue of Combat Handguns -- the HK 45

website for the magazine (go to website to see cover of the current issue, which features the 45)

An article from Guns & Ammo Handguns:
Designed for military use, it uses a blend of proven design features.

Papal Homily in Velletri

Papal Homily in Velletri

"We Have Believed in Love: This Is the Essence of Christianity"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 3, 2007 ( Here is a Vatican translation of Benedict XVI's Sept. 23 homily during his visit to the Diocese of Velletri-Segni.

* * *




St Clement's Square
Sunday, 23 September 2007

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I willingly return among you to preside at this solemn Eucharistic celebration, responding to one of your repeated invitations. I have come back with joy to meet your diocesan community, which for several years has been mine, too, in a special way, and is always dear to me. I greet you all with affection. In the first place, I greet Cardinal Francis Arinze who has succeeded me as titular Cardinal of this Diocese; I greet your Pastor, dear Bishop Vincenzo Apicella, whom I thank for his beautiful words of welcome with which he has desired to greet me in your name. I greet the other Bishops, priests and men and women religious, the pastoral workers, young people and all who are actively involved in parishes, movements, associations and the various diocesan activities. I greet the Commissioner of the Prefecture of Velletri-Segni and the other civil and military Authorities who honour us with their presence. I greet all those who have come from other places, in particular from Bavaria, from Germany, to join us on this festive day. Bonds of friendship bind my native Land to yours, as is testified by the bronze pillar presented to me in Marktl am Inn in September last year on the occasion of my Apostolic Visit to Germany. As has been said, 100 municipalities of Bavaria have recently given me, as it were, a "twin" of that pillar which will be set up here in Velletri as a further sign of my affection and goodwill. It will be the sign of my spiritual presence among you. In this regard, I would like to thank the donors, the sculptor and the mayors whom I see present here with numerous friends. I thank you all!

Dear brothers and sisters, I know that you have prepared for my Visit today with an intense spiritual itinerary, adopting a very important verse of John's First Letter as your motto: "We know and believe the love God has for us" (4: 16). Deus caritas est, God is love: my first Encyclical begins with these words that concern the core of our faith: the Christian image of God and the consequent image of man and his journey. I rejoice that you have chosen these very words to guide you on the spiritual and pastoral journey of the Diocese: "We know and believe the love God has for us". We have believed in love: this is the essence of Christianity. Therefore, our liturgical assembly today must focus on this essential truth, on the love of God, capable of impressing an absolutely new orientation and value on human life. Love is the essence of Christianity, which makes the believer and the Christian community a leaven of hope and peace in every environment and especially attentive to the needs of the poor and needy. This is our common mission: to be a leaven of hope and peace because we believe in love. Love makes the Church live, and since it is eternal it makes her live for ever, to the end of time.

Last Sunday, St Luke the Evangelist, who was more concerned than others to show Jesus' love for the poor, offered us various ideas for reflection on the danger of an excessive attachment to money, to material goods and to all that prevents us from living to the full our vocation to love God and neighbour. Today too, through a parable that inspires in us a certain surprise since it speaks of a dishonest steward who is praised (cf. Lk 16: 1-13), a close look reveals that here the Lord has reserved a serious and particularly salutary teaching for us. As always, the Lord draws inspiration from the events of daily life: he tells of a steward who is on the point of being dismissed for dishonest management of his master's affairs and who, to assure a future for himself, cunningly seeks to come to an arrangement with his master's debtors. He is undoubtedly dishonest but clever: the Gospel does not present him to us as a model to follow in his dishonesty, but rather as an example to be imitated for his farsighted guile. The short parable ends, in fact, with these words: "The master commended the dishonest steward for his prudence" (Lk 16: 8).

But what does Jesus wish to tell us with this parable? And with its surprising conclusion? The Evangelist follows the parable of the dishonest steward with a short series of sayings and recommendations on the relationship we must have with money and the goods of this earth. These short sentences are an invitation to a choice that presupposes a radical decision, a constant inner tension. Life is truly always a choice: between honesty and dishonesty, between fidelity and infidelity, between selfishness and altruism, between good and evil. The conclusion of this Gospel passage is incisive and peremptory: "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other". Ultimately, Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon" (Lk 16: 13). Mammon is a term of Phoenician origin that calls to mind economic security and success in business; we might say that riches are shown as the idol to which everything is sacrificed in order to attain one's own material success; hence, this economic success becomes a person's true god. As a result, it is necessary to make a fundamental decision between God and mammon, it is necessary to choose between the logic of profit as the ultimate criterion for our action, and the logic of sharing and solidarity. If the logic of profit prevails, it widens the gap between the poor and the rich, as well as increasing the ruinous exploitation of the planet. On the other hand, when the logic of sharing and solidarity prevails, it is possible to correct the course and direct it to a fair development for the common good of all. Basically, it is a matter of choosing between selfishness and love, between justice and dishonesty and ultimately, between God and Satan. If loving Christ and one's brethren is not to be considered as something incidental and superficial but, rather, the true and ultimate purpose of our whole existence, it will be necessary to know how to make basic choices, to be prepared to make radical renouncements, if necessary even to the point of martyrdom. Today, as yesterday, Christian life demands the courage to go against the tide, to love like Jesus, who even went so far as to sacrifice himself on the Cross.

We could then say, paraphrasing one of St Augustine's thoughts, that through earthly riches we must procure for ourselves those true and eternal riches: indeed, if people exist who are prepared to resort to every type of dishonesty to assure themselves an always unpredictable material well-being, how much more concerned we Christians must be to provide for our eternal happiness with the goods of this earth (cf. Discourses, 359, 10). Now, the only way of bringing our personal talents and abilities and the riches we possess to fruition for eternity is to share them with our brethren, thereby showing that we are good stewards of what God entrusts to us. Jesus said: "He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much" (Lk 16: 10).

Today, in the First Reading, the Prophet Amos speaks of the same fundamental decision to be made day by day. Using strong words, he stigmatizes a lifestyle typical of those who allow themselves to be absorbed by a selfish quest for profit in every possible form and which is expressed in the thirst for gain, contempt for the poor and their exploitation, to one's own advantage (cf. Am 8: 5). The Christian must energetically reject all this, opening his heart on the contrary to sentiments of authentic generosity. It must be generosity which, as the Apostle Paul exhorts in the Second Reading, is expressed in sincere love for all and is manifested in prayer. Actually, praying for others is a great act of charity. The Apostle invites us in the first place to pray for those who have tasks of responsibility in the civil community because, he explains, if they aspire to do good, positive consequences derive from their decisions, assuring peace and "a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way" (I Tm 2: 2). Thus, may our prayer never be lacking, a spiritual contribution to building an Ecclesial Community that is faithful to Christ and to the construction of a society in which there is greater justice and solidarity.

Dear brothers and sisters, let us pray in particular that your diocesan community, which is undergoing a series of transformations due to the transfer of many young families from Rome to the development of the "service sector" and to the settlement of many immigrants in historical centres, may lead to an increasingly organic and shared pastoral action, following the instructions that your Bishop continues to give you with outstanding pastoral sensitivity. His Pastoral Letter of last December proved more timely than ever in this regard, with the invitation to listen with attention and perseverance to God's Word, to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and to the Church's Magisterium. Let us place your every intention and pastoral project in the hands of Our Lady of Grace, whose image is preserved and venerated in your beautiful Cathedral. May Mary's maternal protection accompany the journey of you who are present here and all those who have been unable to participate in our Eucharistic celebration today. May the Holy Virgin watch over the sick, the elderly, children, everyone who feels lonely or neglected or who is in particular need. May Mary deliver us from the greed for riches and ensure that in raising to Heaven hands that are free and pure, we may glorify God with our whole life (cf. Collect). Amen!

© Copyright 2007 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

More Kimono Links

More links I found in the two kimono magazines at Kinokuniya. Websites for kimonos, accessories, fabrics:

Ichinokura Style
Kimono Shop

KIE: a magzine about traditional Japanese culture

Koyuki appears to be the model for Precious magazine.

What's going on with The Unit

Last night was the second part of the season premiere of The Unit (which features a new opening song, by the way). While I was initially excited about a confrontation between the Unit and the CIA, I wonder if this wasn't a squandered opportunity to raise the quality of the story-telling.

It's hard to characterize the ideology of the script-writer--left-wing conspiracy nut? Right-wing supporter of the military and patriotism? Certainly there was criticism of those who see themselves as the last patriots and defenders of the country, willing to do whatever it takes in order to protect it, including kidnapping, operating illegal prison facilities and ships, torture, and execution. And what of the cabal that is working behind the scenes, and has the American presidency in its pocket? While the members of the Unit believe that they are serving their country and are answerable to the American people, would not these revelations undermine their faith and trust in the government?

But, it looks like that next week things will be back to normal. But the lack of character development/drama for the colonel's (ex-)wife (and other characters) and greater exposition of this story-arc was disappointing? There wasn't enough politicking shown, but perhaps that is consonant with the plot--after all, the politicians, including the president, are the tools of the people who actually have power. No Japanese-style exhibition of all the machiavellian machinations taking place. Besides, given the dynamics of the show (and its budget), things can only be shown on a small-scale. Still, it is interesting that only Alpha team was framed--what about the rest of CAG? Wouldn't they be trying to help out their fellow soldiers? Where is the group loyalty?

The series up to this point has taken the stance that the use of torture to extract information is useless. When Mac is captured by Federal agents (or private persons working for the powers that be?), we sympathize with him as he is beaten in an attempt to make him sign a confession, and we despise torture as a result. But then Jonas Blaine and his team also resort to torture, shooting out a kneecap in order to get the information they need (and taking a page from Jack Bauer on 24). They also threaten the use of force on their enemies in the future. (I think they avoid threatening the families as well, but I'll have to rewatch the episode.) This is understandable--after all their enemies declared war on them first, and are subverting the American government. I suppose that there may be no legal means available to bring the ptb to justice, but at the end of episode Brown does say that the Unit has the evidence of their crimes that it needs to keep them at bay. But will that stop them from doing other illegal acts in the future? It would seem not--they just wouldn't get the Unit involved or draw its attention. After all, the Unit isn't an intelligence agency, so it's not their job to do surveillance on these people.

Very puzzling why the producers of the show wanted to take it in this direction and yet draw it to such a quick conclusion, without satisfying its audience.

What does Eric Haney himself make of this episode?

Yahoo TV page for the show
The Unit Talk

League of the South/Middlebury Institute Meeting

AP article

via blog

Second North America Secessionist Convention
League of the South blog entry

Middlebury Institute; League of the South; Second Vermont Republic

Dr. J. Michael Hill, president of The League of the South, is shown in this undated photo provided by The League of the South. (AP Photo/The League of the South, FILE)

Keira Knightley Coco vids

Coco Mademoiselle with Keira Knightley


Keira Knightley Coco Mademoiselle-BTS

Keira Knightley-Elle 2007 and Chanel Promo

Keira Knightley for Chanel Coco Mademoiselle

Planet Keira: Keira Knightley news, views and gossip

Too skinny...

Seraphic Single questions whether there is any reason to why men find certain features more attractive to others, rejecting the explanation offered by evolutionary psychology. I tend to think that there is a reason why men are attracted to women who have the signs of healthy, fertility, and hardiness (for a lack of a better word at the moment). While there is variation because men can also be conditioned to respond to other features, nonetheless, that sort of flexibility does not imply that there is not some sort of instinct at the level of sense appetite. And so if one finds that there is a cross-cultural preference for certain features (after properly excluding other possible explanations), it is valid to look for an explanation tied to reproductivity and other bodily goods that are needed for reproductivity, such as health.

I do reject the explanation given by evolutionary psychology that would "excuse" men's promiscuity and desire for multiple partners. This I see as being the result of men's selfish desire, and ultimately original sin. Ignoring for moment the other issues affecting evolutionary psychology, evolutionary psychology cannot take into account original sin.

It cannot accept original sin as a "datum," not because of the error of naturalism, but simply because this is a revealed datum and not one knowable by human reason. (Or so it is said--but I am thinking that while the Fall, as it is recorded in Sacred Scripture, can be accepted only on the basis of supernatural faith, something like original sin--being alienated from God, can be inferred, if we maintain that (1) the natural love of God is something proper to human nature and yet (2) we are incapable of this, and therefore there must be a reason for this.

Still, even if it cannot take into account original sin, it does tend towards the error of determinism, ignoring human freedom and not having a proper understanding of human agency. One needs to look at the formality of the desire--generally men who are promiscuous are not seeking to beget children, but to gratify themselves. In fact, if men were promiscuous for the sake of having more children (as evolutionary psychology might claim), then they wouldn't be using contraception or resorting to abortion. Now the evolutionary psychologist might give an ad hoc explanation along the lines of "we've evolved since then so that we can act against our basic impulses, but the basic impulse to propagate with any available female remains," but then they must explain this freedom that they now accept (but had rejected when looking at the origins of a certain behavior).

This may not be the same as the male preference women with a certain body type, or with red cheeks or soft skin and so on, if indeed the attraction to these features is "pre-"rational, or animal (not to be understood in a perjorative sense, but as referring to the level of sense appetite).

As for sex, I was reflecting recently that the unity that is gained through the conjugal act is oriented towards producing children. It is said, and I think with truth, that in a fallen world, men say "I love you" in order to get sex, while women give sex in order to hear "I love you." While there are women who are promiscuous for the sake of pleasure alone and their numbers may be increasing, this sort of behavior is counter to the feminine nature and repugnant to most women. If they choose not to be chaste, they do not go to the opposite extreme of sleeping with every man they meet, but they do so within what they perceive to be a "committed relationship" though their idea of commitment may differ from that of the man (or from right reason).

Such women offer themselves/their bodies in the name of "love." Some may do so in order to keep a man and because they are afraid to be alone, but others think it proper to unite themselves because of "love," when in fact they are following their natural inclinations to join with a man and reproduce, but without the guidance of right reason. Is it incorrect to say that such an act is selfish in so far as it is counter to right reason and the love of God? Some who accept some version of the "theology of the body" would like to characterize the intention of all those who fornicate or have contraceptive sex in this way, but it does not to me to be universally correct. (Of course, one knows that it is a sin against God and does it anyways. In which case it is selfish.)

The problem for many (women) is not the lack of love of the other, but a lack of a proper understanding of what love entails, and the authentic goods in which love properly consists.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Nobu Matsuhisa

Nobu Matsuhisa
Myriad Restaurant Group : Nobu
Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa
Super Chef: super chef: Nobu Matsuhisa

Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, chef, returns to his Asian roots ...
Random House Authors Nobuyuki Matsuhisa

Hmmm... Welcome to Keiko Aoki's Profile Page
Is that the same person as the author of this book? Easy and Healthy Japanese Food for the American ...

I think so...

Traditional Japanese clothing

Companies selling kimonos:

I'll see if I can find some more companies tomorrow when I visit Kinokuniya again.

This company seems to be geared towards those who are interested in traditional Japanese culture? I'm not sure what product they sell, but they were advertising traditionally-inspired clothing in one of the magazines I was browsing last week.

More Get Karl Oh Soo Jung MVS



More from Zenit

Pope Supports Lisieux's Mission Year
What a Deacon Can Do
Cardinal Arinze: U.S. Faithful Want Formation

Pope Remembers Cardinal Van Thuân

Pope Remembers Cardinal Van Thuân
"He Lived on Hope and Spread It Among Those He Met"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 2, 2007 ( Here is a Vatican translation of Benedict XVI's Sept. 17 address to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân.

* * *


Castel Gandolfo
Monday, 17 September 2007

Your Eminence,
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I address a cordial welcome to all of you, gathered to remember beloved Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân, whom the Lord called to himself on 16 September five years ago. Five years have passed but the noble figure of this faithful servant of the Lord lives on in the minds and hearts of all who knew him. I too cherish many personal memories of the meetings I had with him during the years of his service here in the Roman Curia.

I greet Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino and Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, respectively President and Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, together with their collaborators. I greet the members of the San Matteo Foundation established in memory of Cardinal Van Thuân, and of the International Observatory, called after him and created for the dissemination of the Church's social doctrine, as well as the deceased Cardinal's relatives and friends. I also express my sentiments of deep gratitude to Cardinal Martino for his words on behalf of those present.

I willingly take the opportunity once again to highlight the shining witness of faith which this heroic Pastor bequeathed to us. Bishop Francis Xavier -- this is how he liked to introduce himself -- was called to the Father's House in autumn 2000, after a long and difficult period of illness faced in total abandonment to God's will. A little earlier, my venerable Predecessor John Paul II had appointed him Vice-President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, of which he later became President, and he set about publishing the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. How can we forget the outstanding features of his simple, ready cordiality? How can we not shine light on his conversational skill and his ability to make himself close to everyone? We recall him with deep admiration while we remember the great visions full of hope that inspired him and that he was able to present easily and engagingly: his fervent dedication to disseminating the social doctrine of the Church among the world's poor; his longing for evangelization in Asia, his Continent; his ability to coordinate activities of charity and human promotion which he encouraged and supported in the most remote places of the earth.

Cardinal Van Thuân was a man of hope. He lived on hope and spread it among those he met. It was thanks to this spiritual energy that he was able to withstand all the physical and moral difficulties. Hope sustained him as a Bishop who for 13 years was cut off from his diocesan community; hope helped him to see in the absurdity of the events that had happened to him -- he was never tried throughout his lengthy detention -- a providential plan of God. He received the news of the disease, the tumour that was later to lead to his death, at the same time that he learned of his appointment as Cardinal by Pope John Paul II, who held him in high esteem and was very fond of him. Cardinal Van Thuân liked to repeat that the Christian is the man of the moment, of the now, of the present time that must be welcomed and experienced with Christ's love. In this ability to live in the present shines forth Cardinal Van Thuân's intimate abandonment in God's hands and the Gospel simplicity that we all admired in him. And could it be possible, he used to wonder, that those who trust in the Heavenly Father then refuse to allow themselves to be embraced by him?

Dear brothers and sisters, I accepted with great joy the news that the Cause of Beatification of this unique prophet of Christian hope is being initiated. As we entrust this chosen soul to the Lord, let us pray that his example may be an effective lesson for us. With this hope, I cordially bless you all.

© Copyright 2007 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Monday, October 01, 2007

Julian Delasantellis, No such thing as a sure thing

No such thing as a Sure Thing By Julian Delasantellis

Interview with Rob Williams

touching upon secession and Vermont

60 Minutes Interview with Judge Clarence Thomas


Varia, 1 October 2007

Venus Williams of the U.S. holds a Koryo celadon, Korean traditional pottery, which was her trophy for winning the final match against Maria Kirilenko of Russia at the Korea Open tennis tournament in Seoul on Sunday./REUTERS

On Lazarus and World Hunger

On Lazarus and World Hunger
"He Who Is Forgotten by All Is Not Forgotten by God"

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 30, 2007 ( Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today before reciting the midday Angelus with the people gathered in the courtyard of the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo.

* * *
Dear Brothers and Sister!

Today, the Gospel of Luke presents the parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus (16:19-31). The rich man embodies the unjust spending of wealth by those who use it for unbridled and egotistical luxury, thinking only of satisfying themselves, without taking care of the beggar at their door.

The poor man, on the other hand, represents the person that only God cares for, and unlike the rich man, he has a name, Lazarus, an abbreviation of Eleazar, which means “God helps him." He who is forgotten by all is not forgotten by God; he who is worth nothing in the eyes of men, is precious in the eyes of the Lord.

The story shows how earthly injustice is overturned by divine justice: After death, Lazarus is welcomed “into Abraham’s bosom," that is to say, into eternal beatitude, while the rich man ends up “in hell among torments." It is a new, definitive, unappealing state. Therefore it is during this life that one must repent; doing so afterward is useless.

This parable also lends itself to a social interpretation. Paul VI’s encyclical “Populorum Progressio," written 40 years ago, remains memorable. In speaking about the fight against hunger, he writes: “It involves building a human community where men can live truly human lives … where the needy Lazarus can sit down with the rich man at the same banquet table” (No. 47).

The cause of the numerous situations of misery are -- according to the encyclical -- on the one hand, "servitude to other men” and on the other, “natural forces which they cannot yet control satisfactorily” (ibid).

Unfortunately, certain peoples suffer from both of these forces. How can we not think, especially in this moment, of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa, stricken with serious flooding over these last few days?

But we cannot forget many other situations of humanitarian emergency in various regions of the planet, in which battles for political power lead to the worsening of environmental problems already weighing on the people. The appeal Paul VI gave voice to back then: “The hungry nations of the world cry out to the peoples blessed with abundance” (“Populorum Progressio," No. 3), has the same urgency today.

We cannot say that we do not know the road to take: We have the law and the prophets, Christ tells us in the Gospel. Whoever chooses not to listen would not change even if someone came back from the dead to warn him.

May the Virgin Mary help us to take advantage of the present time to listen and to put into practice this word of God. May she make us attentive to our brothers in need, to share with them the abundance or the little that we have, and to contribute, beginning with ourselves, to the spreading of the logic and style of authentic solidarity.

[After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father addressed the pilgrims gathered at Castel Gandolfo, saying:]

I follow the serious events taking place in Myanmar with great trepidation and I wish to express my spiritual closeness to that dear people in this moment of sorrowful difficulty that they are experiencing. While guaranteeing them my intense prayer and support, I invite the entire Church to do the same and I hope that a peaceful solution can be found, for the good of the country.

I recommend the situation of the Korean peninsula to your prayers, where important developments in the dialogue between the two Koreas are a hopeful sign that the efforts of reconciliation in act can consolidate in favor of the Korean people and to benefit the stability and peace of the entire region.

[Translation by ZENIT]

* * *

[To the English-speaking pilgrims he said:]

I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Angelus, including members of the Acton Institute, and administrators and benefactors of Seton Hall University. Today’s Gospel reading reminds us to be generous with the good things we receive in life. In this spirit, may your visit to Castel Gandolfo and Rome be a time filled with thanksgiving and renewed love of the universal Church. Upon you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of Christ the Lord!

© Copyright 2007 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Viva Mariachi!

I was planning on waking up early this morning to get ready for the Mariachi festival, but I ended up waking up later than expected, because I stayed up too late. Instead of going to OLP for Mass, I went to the home parish, and endured that experience. There was a Mariachi Mass at 9 as a part of the festival; but I wasn't planning on going to that--it's a bit too much inculturation for the liturgy. Afterwards, I drove to downtown San Jose, and make a quick stop at Nikaku, to check out some GITS books. The si tau po was there this morning. She seemed more friendly this time around (though perhaps my memory of her being not as friendly before is false).

I parked on a side street, and was worried that the car might get broken into, but fortunately nothing happened. The location of the concert was moved to Arena Green in Guadalupe River Park. It had been at Discovery Meadow the previous times I went to the festival. There were less people than in previous years; only two stages for performances (perhaps the organizes realized that the third stage at Discovery Meadow was not really getting much attention from people and not worth the effort--its location at the back of the park was probably a reason why it wasn't as popular as the other two stages--I think the stage was also smaller than the others).

I don't know why attendance was so low. (Has it been declining over the years? The last time I went to the Mariachi festival was probably in 2000... maybe 1999?) Was this year the first time the festival was pushed back to September? The weather is cooler than it would be in July, but I still needed a lot of liquids today. Food at the festival was of course overpriced, but there was the Safeway booth with free samples of the Safeway generic brand products (including ice cream--which ran out quickly). For lunch I got a chicken sandwich (which cost $8--but at least there was a lot of chicken, and seemed to be a better deal than the burritos which were going from $6.50 to $7). Admission for the festival was only $5--I think that's stayed constant.

Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles was probably the best group that I saw today. "Women who are musicians and can [really] sing are hot." haha. Hrm, they have a MySpace page. And some cds? (I'll have to check that out.)

Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles Photo Gallery by Equinoccio at
Females in mariachi
KRCC News: Individual Archive

Photos of Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles:

Laura Sobrino:

There were some attractive women attending the festival--I don't know if Sarge is interested in Mexican women...

I wish I could have stayed for Mariachi Internacional Guadalajara and Mariachi Sol de Mexico (L.A.), but I had to pick up my mother and Fr. Bob from the retreat and drive him to Los Gatos. Mariachi Cobre did not perform on Sunday--did they leave town already? Or did they have something else scheduled? Or is it because Sunday's public concert wasn't worth it?

Mariachi Cobre:

More Mariachi Cobre videos.

Mariachi Vargas:

More Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan.
Eugenia León y el Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán Lola Beltan and Linda Ronstadt "Hay Unos Ojos"
Alejandra Orozco La Guadalajareña Ahijada de Mariachi Vargas

Mariachi Links:
Welcome to Puro Mariachi!
El Mariachi: mariachi music, mariachi culture, mariachi songs, mexico
Mariachi Connection - Dance
MARIACHI USA Festival at Hollywood Bowl - Celebrating 18 Years of ...
Mariachi Search - - Mariachis in your area
Mariachi Education Resources
Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza
Mariachi Cardenal de Stanford
Mariachi Vasquez - Mariachi Music - Best Mariachi Group - Mariachi ...
Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference
Mariachi Music Online Community
mariachi alegre
Austin Mariachi
MENC's Mariachi Education Site - Main Page
Mariachi Spectacular
Mariachi Viva Mexico
Dallas Texas Proudly Presents El Mariachi Los Gavilanes
Mariachi Academy of New York
Mariachi Los Gallos
mariachi radio
Mariachi Colima de Javier Magallon, Oakland, CA 94601 powered by ...
Mariachi Garibay
Mariachi Voz de America
Mariachi Jalisciense
Mariachi Suroeste
Thank you for visiting the UTB Mariachi Escorpión
Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan
Vargas de Tecalitlán - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Virtuoso Mariachi - Jeff Nevin
Mariachi Divas Official Website

Sarge says the extraordinary form of the Roman rite is celebrated at Sacred Heart in Dunn, NC. Good!

Ch. 32 is showing subtitled Korean dramas, Fantasy Couple is being shown at the moment. Nice!
Hrm, it's available at YesAsia for pre-order. No sign of Ha Ji Won's Hwang Jin Yi yet, or Uhm Jung Hwa's previous drama... it would be nice if her latest drama becomes available. Her most recent movie is set to be available on 10/30.

I didn't really do anything to celebrate the mid-Autumn/Harvest Moon festival... ah well... the Santa Clara Moon Festival was being held at Memorial Park this weekend, but I figure it is probably not "Asian" enough for my tastes. The other night, when I went to Togo's on Prospect, I noticed that the Togo's was rather "Anglo"--I don't think Saratoga is that much different from Cupertino in its demographics, but I suppose it is closer to Los Gatos than to Cupertino. Everyone working there was in high school;

I don't think any of my friends in the area would have been interested in attending the festival, even if they had the time. I am a bit partial to Spanish and Latin American culture. The question of how different Latin American culture is from Anglo culture, especially with respect to political customs, is one I will return to later. Will California eventually revert to being a Mexican territory? If current immigration trends continue, I don't see why it wouldn't, though who knows what the political future of California is. There are some Anglos who are resentful and see the changing demographics of California with the influx of Latinos and Asians as an "invasion." Then there is the talk about expelling non-Anglos by force, and keeping America for whites. The number of people who think this way is probably small, but what will happen when things get bad?

I must admit that it feels odd not being in Boston. I don't miss the city, but I feel a bit out of place here, not because I'm not used to California, but it is due more to the fact that I haven't found my "place" yet--I'm not settled in my vocation. That does bother me, and not being able to work on the thesis (which is due in part to my own lack of initiative, but also because of current circumstances) doesn't help things. I should abstain from reading blogs and participating in discussions, even if they are intellectually simulating. There are some that I will definitely not read regularly from now on, if at all.

I should take a walk tonight...

Hmm... Misato Nonoka.