Saturday, October 13, 2007

Icon: All Saints of North America

Orthodox saints...

Synaxis Of All Saints Who Have Shone Forth In North America

[from Saint John Maximovitch Eastern Orthodox Web Page; B&W of above ]

All Saints of North America Orthodox Church (OCA, Hamilton) -
Copies of the icon are available from All Saints of North America parish in Hamilton for a donation of $20 + $5 shipping/handling (CDN funds for Canadian ...

OCA - The North American Saints
All Saints of North America - Orthodox Christianity in the ...
All Saints of North America Orthodox Church, Calendar of Current ...
All Saints of North America - About Orthodoxy
Monastery of All Saints of North America (Dewdney, British ...

St. Edward the Confessor, October 13



St. Edward and St. Edmund

From Aidan Hart:

another icon

Patron Saints Index: Saint Edward the Confessor

Peter Rosset and Polyculture

I was reminded of him by Sharon Astyk in her latest blog entry. See also her How Much Did the Green Revolution Matter? or Can We Feed the World Without Industrial Agriculture?

Peter Rosset

BBC Wales: Back to the land

via EB

Patrick Holden, Peak Oil, Local Food and Transition (Video)

Rob Hopkins, Transition Culture An excellent documentary aired on BBC Wales last night, called Back to the Land, which was part of a series called ‘Week In, Week Out’. In featured Patrick Holden, the director of the Soil Association, discussing peak oil and the impact that finding out about it had on his life and on how he farms his farm in Wales, as well as looking at the bigger implications of its ramifications for food and farming. It also included interviews with myself and some peak oil deniers, and sets out a strong argument that the transition to life beyond oil could actually bring many benefits to society. You can watch the film here for the next week.

-----Text from the BBC-Wales site:

Back to the land

Patrick Holden, BBC-Wales Television

One of the country's top food campaigners explains why Wales is heading for massive food shortages and price rises unless more of us get back to the land and start growing our own. ---Oil wells are running, sparking a surge in food prices. This could leave us hungry. There are fears, in the worst case scenario, that this could lead to conflict and anarchy...These are some of the concerns raised in a Week In Week Out presented by one of Wales's leading food campaigners, Patrick Holden.A west Wales-based farmer for 30 years, Mr Holden claims our food distribution system is on shaky ground because of its dependency on oil.He says: "More and more people are coming to agree that oil production will peak in the next few years and when that happens its price could triple."Mr Holden says the end of cheap oil spells the end of cheap food.The petrol and food shortages of the fuel protests in 2000 could happen again, he warns. Mr Holden predicts the end of cheap oil will ignite social disorder and leave people hungry. The answer? We must all get back to the land - grow and eat food produced locally.(10 October 2007)

Study: for most efficient land use, add a little meat

From Cornell University, archived at EB:

Study: for most efficient land use, add a little meat
by Susan Lang

See Sharon Astyk, Feeding New York.

Claude Lewenz, How to Build a Village

via EB

Book Review: How to Build a Village
Malu Fink, WorldChanging
How to Build a Village, by New Zealand author Claude Lewenz, delivers on its promising title. This toolbox is packed with innovative, welcome, and simple solutions to some of the decade's biggest questions.How to Build a Village is a handbook, a toolbox, and an opener to a larger conversation about how better to be in the world. Have 50 years of suburbs delivered on their promise? The book offers solutions to the problems facing modern suburbs through the design and construction of a different type of living arrangement; a Village founded on improving quality of life.The Village differs from the suburban model of sprawling neighborhoods that necessitate a car to get to work and other amenities to describe human-scaled development, scaled at a friendly size for a human. Streets, buildings and the village grid are tailored to give those who live, work and play in and around them a feeling of intimacy, naturalness and safety. People remain the focus of the Village: they are its main resource and have priority. Emphasis is given to the construction of numerous plazas where people are able to gather, patterned on those in old Europe with cafe tables and local shops.(11 October 2007)

Originally at WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green ...

Village Forum - How to Build a Village - by Claude Lewenz
Village Forum - About the Author - Claude Lewenz
How to Build a Village (Manuscript Edition) by Claude Lewenz (Book ...
Houses & Gardens Article: Paradise Found - NZ House & Garden (print version)

The Independent, Shipping pollution 'far more damaging than flying'

via EB

Shipping pollution 'far more damaging than flying'
Daniel Howden, The Independent New research suggests that the impact of shipping on climate change has been seriously underestimated and that the industry is currently churning out greenhouse gases at nearly twice the rate of aviation.

Will this be enough to make normal people reconsider globalization? Probably not.

What are men looking for?

Funny discussion over at Dr. Helen's blog:
"So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset."

Roman Forum New York City Series

The schedule of lectures for this year.

The Roman Forum website

E.S. Savas, Breaking the Chinese Code

E. S. Savas
Breaking the Chinese Code
Welcome to the People’s Republic, land of “harmony” and “community.”

Chinese Realism

The Western Confucian has a post about Chinese realism in painting. Here are some other examples, in addition to the one posted by Mr. Snyder:

Stories about the nieces

After watching Mass on EWTN a couple of times, niece #1 has learned how to sing "alleluia," though she initially pronounced it like "ah-lay-loo-ah" instead "ah-lay-loo-yah" -- the syllables are very distinct. Niece #2, as I've written, occasionally interlocks her fingers, as if she is praying. (I have a picture of this that I haven't uploaded yet.) Niece #1 saw this and said, "Mui mui ------ , amen!" hahaha.

Niece #1 has been playing with statues of the Blessed Mother and St. Therese. She says, "Mama Mary loves [niece #1]. St. Therese loves [niece #1]." I wonder if she treats them as imaginary friens or if it's something real, linked to faith.

Yesterday's trip to SF

The interior of Holy Virgin Cathedral:

From yesterday:

It was raining today, and driving on 280 was a bit hazardous, so I was going rather slow, about 60 or so. The Highway Patrol was busy, I think the officer was pulling over speeders. I saw him whiz by the first time, with his yellow caution lights flashing, and then passed by him pulled over on the side of the road, after he had ticketed? warned? someone. Then he was off again and passed me again...

There were two other CHP cars on a road just off the freeway--I guess they were taking a break and chatting.

I decided to go to Holy Virgin Cathedral bookstore, since I hadn't been there for a while. I was looking for cds from Valaam, but I didn't find anything new. There was a cd from the monks at Chevetogne that I was interested in, but I wasn't sure if I had it already so I didn't get it. I ended up getting a CD commemorating St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco? (sung by Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary Choir in Jordanville, New York) and a book by Theophan the Recluse. There is some discussion of hesychasm in this book, but nothing in-depth. Nothing about seeing the divine energies.

What I read can be harmonized with "Latin" spirituality; there is an emphasis on apatheia, but I will have to see what Fr. Spidlik writes about this. I don't think they are aiming at a state of no emotion (like Vulcans or Buddhists), but towards a state of union with God.

The man minding the bookstore is a convert to Orthodoxy? His last name was Messinger... (first name Ryan)...

They were having a vigil service tonight--probably evening prayer? But I didn't have time to go inside and check it out--I hope next time. Mr. Messinger told a lady that the Akathist was being sung at another parish nearby, on Balboa. So will the ROCOR and Russian Orthodox jurisdictions remain distinct? Or will they eventually be merged? I should ask Daniel Larison, he would know the answer.

Kinokuniya SF is rearranging its shelves. No manga, anime art books in sight, though they may be brought back eventually--I think some gaijin were asking about that. They didn't have what I was looking for--apparently the issue was sold out, though the current issue is due to arrive on the 16th, unless there is a delay.

I learned my lesson about trying to find a parking space near Emperor Palace at night--the food is not worth the gas wasted driving the car around in a fruitless search. (Even if I ended up paying only $13.40 for 3 dishes.) Next time, I'll phone in the order and double-pack to pick it up. Dumb me, I forgot to get a menu while I was there, even though I had been holding one. (The si tau po was making a correction to the menu about the prices--which had been raised by $0.50.)

John Maximovitch - OrthodoxWiki

another icon
Saint John Maximovitch Eastern Orthodox Web Page
St. John Maximovitch
Father Demetrios Serfes -St. John (Maximovitch) of San Francisco
Life of St. John (Maximovich)
St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco
St John the Wonderworker
Photos of the holy relics of St. John Maximovitch
Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco
St John Maximovitch on The Exaltation of the Precious Cross

St. Theophan the Recluse

Bishop Theophan, the Recluse of Vysha
Theophan the Recluse - OrthodoxWiki
St. Theophan the Recluse On Prayer
Theophan the Recluse - Christian Classics
A Prayer Rule by St. Theophan the Recluse
What is an Anathema? - by Bishop Theophan the Recluse
Theophan the Recluse, Four Homilies on Prayer -

On The Teachings Of Father Agapit On The Jesus Prayer
Compiled by Reverend Presbyter Demetrios Serfes
Boise, Idaho
19 April 1999

(includes a photo of Theophan the Recluse)

Friday, October 12, 2007

The 1986 Hwang Jin Yi movie

<Hwang Jin Yi (KOREA 1986)

on sale at YesAsia

Should I check it out?

wiki on Hwang Jin Yi

SHG blog: Song Hye Kyo Heaven

LunaPark6 review of the 2007 movie

Alan Farago, Gore Still Lost Florida

Gore Still Lost Florida

So what does this say about the Bush family?

Peter Hitchens, Memories of Pyongyang

Memories of Pyongyang

Kim Tae Hee videos

CF LG CHOCOLATE-Hyun Bin,Daniel Henney,Kim Tae Hee


Love Story in Harvard - Making Film (Korea)

Kim Tae Hee - May Lee Show (full)

12th PIFF Star Road - Red Carpet October 05, 2007 9.30pm

12th PIFF Actors' Night

APAN Conference October 05, 2007

[PIFF 12th] Kim Tae Hee walking down the red carpet

No doubt there are photos of this at Yahoo Korea.

LW and KTH-Crenchia Photoshoot

KBS1 Love Request on 2007.09.29

金泰熙 김태희 Kim Tae Hee 30sec CF


Delta training video

Is this the one you're talking about Sarge?

Daniel Larison takes a quick look at Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire


Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire
by Judith Herrin

Princeton University Press:
Herrin, J.: Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire.

Times Online review
News for Medievalists: Review of Byzantium: The Surprising Life of ...

Extraordinary Use Oratory in San Jose

Here is a California Catholic Daily article reporting the news in January. (Free Republic post)

Augustinian priest Father Pedro Ottonello will serve as chaplain at the Oratory of the Chapel of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, located at 1298 Homestead Road in Santa Clara, telephone (408) 248-4330.
Mass Schedule:
Our Lady of Perpetual Help has Masses at 8, 9:30, and 11 a.m. and at 5:30 p.m. Confessions are 30 minutes before Mass.

The Institute of Christ the King is involved:
The oratory will function under the supervision of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, a worldwide foundation of priests founded in 1990 exclusively to celebrate the Mass and sacraments according to the 1962 Missale Romanum.
Valley Catholic article

Does this explain why the Saturady 7:30 P.M. Latin Mass (ordinary form) has been dropped at OLP? (I don't know if it has been dropped permanently, but last Saturday's Mass was in English.)

I expect low Masses, but I will try to check it out this coming Sunday.

Another California Catholic Daily article (gives good news about another diocese).

Miscellaneous blog coverage
Closed Cafeteria
Domus Dei
A Catholic Life

‘Chattanooga Declaration’ from the Secessionist Convention

via Rebellion

Visiting po po

I had a nice 1.5 day trip to Phoenix last Sunday and Monday. I had to take my po po to her doctor's appointment. Just a bit under 2 hours on the plane, though my flight back to San Francisco on Monday was delayed by an hour or so because they found a loose piece of metal near the engine cowling and had to check on that. Eventually they decided to tape it over with some tape (the passenger behind me joked that if all it needed was duct tape that he could go out and do it himself, instead of waiting for the maintenance crew to do it), and to leave it to be fixed in San Francisco.

How much longer will the conveniences of air travel continue to exist? It is so easy to take for granted easy quick travel. Even if our society cannot do without oil at present, nor can we as individuals and families live an oil-free life [most of us cannot], we should cultivate the gratitude for the conveniences that oil makes possible, and not to squander it on frivolous things? Travelling for the sake of family seems to be more justified than travelling for "tourism" or "leisure." We shouldn't feel entitled to oil and the use of oil--we do not own natural resources and can dispose ofthem as we please, as if we were Lord. Rather, we should use them for God and the common good.

On the day I was returning to California (I think I got the time right), my po po was giving me advice and making her concerns, and complaints, known [as usual]. It is hard to listen to her, especially when one is discounting much of her advice. For example, she was complaining about my mother not changing the wedding dates for my sisters, because according to Chinese numerology, they were inauspicious dates. I tried to tell her that my mother had no power to change the dates, since the wedding planning was all under the control of my sisters, but my grandmother couldn't understand this.

She emphasized that this was a part of Chinese culture, and that even though she had immigrated to the US, and Americans don't follow Chinese ways, she still followed them (and expected that her children and grandchildren would do the same).

It is difficult to evangelize the culture, when people are so set on their customs. From a Catholic perspective, numerology in any form is a form of superstition. But since po po isn't really Christian, apparently never having made a genuine conversion, she can't evaluate Chinese traditions from that perspective. (Even though she is always talking about how we should use our mind to judge things, and not accept them blindly or unquestioningly.) Small wonder that East Asian Catholics were persecuted for being impious, when they were trying to figure out what traditions could be kept and what had to be discared.

[But I did find out part of her religious history, and it seems that it's not what I thought previously: that somehow she was Christian and then rejected it; rather she was ill-prepared for baptism, and her attraction to Buddhism predated her baptism. She reconciles her "Christian" and Buddhist practices and beliefs by saying that she is repaying gwoon yam (guan yin) and Christ for what they have done for her. The story is that gwoon yam saved her from a ship that was starting to sink because there was a leak, and water was flooding the hold (where she and some others were in?). So she sees it as a question of justice, rather than of true belief. Of course, she says religions are all the same, they teach us how to be good people and to maintain custody over our sam/xin (heart-mind).]

Then she gave some relationship advice again, telling me not to take marriage so seriously or to be so quick to jump into marriage; rather I should take my time and try things out; it's ok to date (and even cohabitate, apparently; is she even so permissive about having children out of wedlock?) but that should be it. Why?

Guys lose out in marriage. She claimed that nui dzai (girls) weren't good marriage material these days, not knowing how to be good wives and so on. Marriage for guys is sit dai (disadvantageous/detrimental). Guys have things rough--in a divorce they lose money and custody of the kids.

She used my cousins as examples of marriage not being worth it.

If I remember the 3 points that I made in L&R, one needs to look first of all for compatability in:
1. religion
2. goals/lifestyle (including formation of children)
3. character [morals]

(With respect to #3, manners is included, and is increasingly become more of a deal-breaker. How can one raise children with the same manners, or an even better set, if one's spouse doesn't observe them?)

Po po did ask why I didn't have a girlfriend yet, and wondering if i was going to end up being a monk. She even said that if I get too old, no girl will like me. I replied that I didn't have a gf yet because I need to have a job first, and I think she understood that, saying that as soon as I find a job and get that part of my life settled, I should start wan nui pang yau (looking for a girlfriend).

I made the point once, using St. Thomas More and Alice More as examples, of how a marriage might work out and even be happy, despite big differences in education or intellectual level. Now being learned is not the same as being intelligent, and having practical wisdom may be better than speculative wisdom as a quality in a spouse. It seems that Alice More was a woman of simple piety, but a devout woman nonetheless? And their marriage underscores the practical nature of marriage, and the division of labor that is needed for the sake of proper functioning of the household. How did St. Thomas and Alice spend their time together? Would advocates of companionate marriage say that their marriage was lacking with respect to the ideals of companionate marriage?

[Marriage Models; What's Love Got to Do with It]

But what do most people today look for when they look at common interests? Similar hobbies, leisure activities, tastes in mass entertainment? Anything beyond "how are we going to have fun together?" Is this not the desire for pleasurable activities that characterizes friendship among the young (according to Aristotle)? A friendship which is not the same as friendship based on virtue, and more oriented towards the self than the other (but not necessarily 100% selfish).

Having fun is relatively easy, unless one is married to a killjoy or a miser. Being responsible and attentive to the demands of duty... that's difficult.

Still, I would like to get married to a letter-writer.

I called Watcher on Sunday, and he asked if it wasn't sad that I was talking to him instead of a girl. Not really... after all, there are other things I need to work on first if I am to be a good husband and father, so it does bother me.

I do need to be careful about being desperate (like Captain Wentworth) and engaging in wishful thinking, creating a fantasy that is not in accord with reality, overlooking flaws and such and pretending that there is potential (especially with respect to religion) when there isn't... discernment is important. It's probably a good thing that the last attempt at courtship didn't work out... so much was lacking. I think the same can be said of most of the other attempts, if not all.

Yeah, maybe I will end up looking at Ave Maria Singles or haha

Despite the "lecturing" and complaining, I'm glad I got a chance to visit po po, even though I was grumbling a bit before about how inconvenient it was. Hrm. I gotta call my mother and see if she gave her the directions about taking the urine sample.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Jacob Hornberger, The Failed Legacy of Interventionism

from Counterpunch:

October 11, 2007

"By their fruits you will know them."

The Failed Legacy of Interventionism


The New Hampshire Union Leader recently attacked Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul's noninterventionist foreign-policy views, making the standard pro-empire, pro-intervention arguments that have come to characterize the conservative movement. The paper implied that the United States should continue meddling and intervening all over the world.

The paper harked back to interventionists' favorite war, World War II, ridiculing the vast majority of American people who opposed U.S. entry into that conflict. Not surprisingly, the paper failed to mention why Americans were so opposed to entering into World War II: still fresh in their minds was the bitter fruit of World War I.

Ironically, the primary reason for entering World War I was remarkably similar to one of the reasons President Bush gave for the invasion of Iraq: to spread democracy or, as President Wilson put it, "to make the world safe for democracy." While President Bush dreams of bringing peace to the Middle East, Wilson's dream was more grandiose: World War I would be the war "to end all wars."

Some 20 years later, Hitler's totalitarian regime was waging war against Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. So much for "making the world safe for democracy" and the "war to end all wars." So much for the more than 100,000 American lives lost in World War I.

The interventionists have described World War II as the "good war" - the war in which good prevailed over evil. Never mind that their concept of "good" includes the communist takeover of all of Eastern Europe and half of Germany. And never mind that it was U.S. officials who delivered Eastern Europe and East Germany to their communist partners.

And never mind that the interventionists soon discovered a new official enemy to replace the Nazis, one that could be used to justify the ever-growing budget of what General Eisenhower would later term the "U.S. military-industrial complex." That new official enemy was, of course, the communists. Yes, the same communists whose World War II victory some interventionists still celebrate today.

The World War II victory was followed by more than 50 years of Cold War plus hot wars in Korea and Vietnam that took the lives of almost 100,000 American men, as well by interventions in countries all over the world, including Iran, Guatemala, Chile, Cuba, and Iraq.

In the Middle East, there was the CIA coup in Iran that ousted the democratically elected prime minister, followed by U.S. support of the brutal regime of the shah. There was the partnership with Saddam Hussein, which included the delivery of weapons of mass destruction for him to use against Iran. Later, turning on Saddam, there was the Persian Gulf intervention, followed by more than a decade of brutal sanctions. There was the infamous statement by UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children from the sanctions was "worth it." There was the unconditional financial and military support of the Israeli government.

President Bush's undeclared war of aggression on Iraq - a country that never attacked the United States - which has resulted in the deaths and maiming of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, none of whom had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks, is just one more intervention among many others.

Not surprisingly, all this meddling and intervention has produced terrorist blowback - i.e., the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and the attacks on the USS Cole and the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and, of course, the 9/11 attacks.

"By their fruits you will know them." Herein lies the legacy of almost a century of empire and interventionism: death, chaos, mayhem, and terrorism, not to mention out-of-control federal spending that is leading to severe monetary crisis.

The Founding Fathers warned us against empire, militarism, standing armies, and war. They pointed out that among all the enemies of liberty and prosperity, these were the greatest. That's why they stood for a limited-government republic, one in which the federal government lacked the power and the means to go abroad "in search of monsters to destroy"; Americans in the private sector, however, would be free to interact with the people of the world while devoting their efforts to building a model society of freedom at home.

Today, with their nation mired in the sands of Iraq, Americans have ample opportunity to choose between conflicting paradigms - the morally bankrupt paradigm of empire and interventionism that will only bring more death, destruction, and monetary chaos - or the morally sound paradigm of noninterventionism and free commerce envisioned by our American ancestors.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is the editor of The Failure of America's Foreign Wars.

Alan Farago, Corruption and the Law of Intended Consequences

The Crimes of Florida's Shadow Government
Corruption and the Law of Intended Consequences


Michael Yates, Travels Across Greenspan's America

Michael Yates
Travels Across Greenspan's America

2 on Iraq

On War #236: Not so fast, John, By William S. Lind (@ Counterpunch: The Iraq Mirage)

Col. Douglas MacGregor
Washington's War

Varia, 11 October 2007

Lee Honey Charms 'Hero' Hero

Traditional Korean Dress Fascinates Sen. Clinton

A Life Dedicated to Pansori

Int'l Awards Only the Start for Jeon, Kang

Papal Address to South Korean Ambassador

Papal Address to South Korean Ambassador

"No Cost Is Too Great for Persevering in Fidelity to the Truth"

VATICAN CITY, OCT 11, 2007 ( Here is the address Benedict XVI gave today when receiving the letters of credence of the new South Korean ambassador to the Holy See, Francis Kim Ji-Young.

* * *

Your Excellency,

I am pleased to welcome you to the Vatican to accept the Letters of Credence by which the President of the Republic of Korea has appointed you Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Holy See. I take this occasion to renew the expression of my respect and warm affection for the Korean people, and I ask you to convey to President Roh Moo-hyun and all your fellow citizens my prayerful good wishes for the peace and prosperity of your nation.

Your Excellency has noted the remarkable growth of the Catholic Church in your country, due in no small part to the heroic example of men and women whose faith led them to lay down their lives for Christ and for their brothers and sisters. Their sacrifice reminds us that no cost is too great for persevering in fidelity to the truth. Regrettably, in our contemporary pluralist world some people question or even deny the importance of truth. Yet objective truth remains the only sure basis for social cohesion. Truth is not dependent upon consensus but precedes it and makes it possible, generating authentic human solidarity. The Church -- always mindful of the truth’s power to unite people, and ever attentive to mankind’s irrepressible desire for peaceful coexistence -- eagerly strives to strengthen concord and social harmony both in ecclesial life and civic life, proclaiming the truth about the human person as known by natural reason and fully manifested through divine revelation.

Your Excellency, the international community joins with the citizens of your country in their heightened aspirations for newfound peace on the Korean peninsula and throughout the region. I take this opportunity to reiterate the Holy See’s support for every initiative that aims at a sincere and lasting reconciliation, putting an end to enmity and unresolved grievances. Genuine progress is built on attitudes of honesty and trust. I commend your country’s efforts to foster fruitful and open dialogue while simultaneously working to alleviate the pain of those suffering from the wounds of division and distrust. Indeed, every nation shares in the responsibility of assuring a more stable and secure world. It is my ardent hope that the ongoing participation of various countries involved in the negotiation process will lead to a cessation of programmes designed to develop and produce weapons with frightening potential for unspeakable destruction.

Your country has achieved notable successes in scientific research and development. Prominent among these are advances in biotechnology with the potential to treat and cure illnesses so as to improve the quality of life in your homeland and abroad. Discoveries in this field invite man to a deeper awareness of the weighty responsibilities involved in their application. The use society hopes to make of biomedical science must constantly be measured against robust and firm ethical standards (cf. Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 6 November 2006). Foremost among these is the dignity of human life, for under no circumstances may a human being be manipulated or treated as a mere instrument for experimentation. The destruction of human embryos, whether to acquire stem cells or for any other purpose, contradicts the purported intent of researchers, legislators and public health officials to promote human welfare. The Church does not hesitate to approve and encourage somatic stem-cell research -- not only because of the favourable results obtained through these alternative methods, but more importantly because they harmonize with the aforementioned intent by respecting the life of the human being at every stage of his or her existence (cf. Address to the Pontifical Academy for Life Symposium, 16 September 2006). Mr. Ambassador, I pray that the inherent moral sensibility of the Korean people, as evidenced by their rejection of human cloning and related procedures, will help attune the international community to the deep ethical and social implications of scientific research and its utilization.

The promotion of human dignity also summons public authorities to ensure that young people receive a sound education. Faith-based schools have much to contribute in this regard. It is incumbent upon governments to afford parents the opportunity to send their children to religious schools by facilitating the establishment and financing of such institutions. Insofar as possible, public subsidies should free parents from undue financial burdens that attenuate their ability to choose the most suitable means of educating their children. Catholic and other religious schools should enjoy the appropriate latitude of freedom to design and implement curricula that nurture the life of the spirit without which the life of the mind is so seriously distorted. I appeal to Church and civic leaders to move forward in a spirit of cooperation to guarantee a future for Catholic schooling in your country which will contribute to the moral and intellectual maturation of the younger generation for the benefit of all society.

Your Excellency, on this happy occasion as you begin your mission, I assure you that the Holy See and its various offices will be ever ready to assist you in carrying out your duties. I invoke divine blessings upon you, your family and the people of your country, who hold a special place in my thoughts and prayers at this time.

© Copyright 2007 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Change is Local

From Boundless:
CHANGE IS LOCAL by Glenn Packiam
CRASH AND BURN by Candice Watters

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Review: Hwang Jin Yi

The movie is a sad love story; it doesn't focus on Jin Yi's striving for excellence in the performing arts (dance/music) or the fine arts (poetry)--though she does write poetry in the movie, her gained this ability from an older lady who tutored her when she was growing up. The movie does not really examine the life of a gisaeng in depth like the Ha Ji-won drama, and her abilities aren't shown in order to inspire our admiration (like in the drama), but to remind us of how much she had fallen in life. (She leaves the house where she was raised after it is revealed that she is not really of a yangban family, but the daughter of a slave. If I understood the drama correctly, in the drama she is portrayed as being an orphan under the care of a Buddhist monk.)

The plot is not really complicated, and as for the acting--Song Hye Gyo does speak in the "traditional" manner and in the traditional language, and she does not really show that much emotion, as is expected. It did make me wonder though how people behaved in the past--what sort of expressions, gestures, and intonations did they have?

It is long by asian standards, slightly over 2 hours, but I suspect some additional scenes were excised, besides the ones on the special features disc. The story involving the yougn admirer Myong Wol (Ming Yuet) barely has any time dedicated to it. He appears in one scene, seeking the attention of Hwang Jin Yi, in another scene he is shown being lovesick and the object of ridicule by his father's friend, and then he's dead.

Confucians end up looking bad, like hypocrites, pretending to be virtuous but actually being rather depraved. One scholar in particular prides himself on being "pure," refusing to be in the presence of gisaeng, but he is unmasked as having a fetish for young widows. The only scholar worthy of respect turns out to be a Buddhist(?) and is a recluse, not serving in government.

It is unclear what sort of transformative effect this encounter Hwang Jin Yi with the scholar has on her. He emphasizes that the root of her problem is her selfish desire for life, and that she will only gain enlightenment when she realizes that she is one with everything else, and that there is no self. (Hence I characterize him as Buddhist, even though this is not explicitly stated.)

Does this bring her back to her senses? But what sort of decline did she experience prior to that encounter? Yes, by then she had become used to being a gisaeng and servicing men sexually. And she enjoyed playing the little game of unmasking the pretentious with the magistrate, who does not claim to be a gentleman but wants to show that scholars who do make that claim are not really so. But she does not really confront the magistrate about his own base character until later, after another incident. The lesson the Buddhist scholar imparts to her doesn't play any role later in the movie; she doesn't feel any less pain, nor become resigned to what happens at the end because of it. From a pure Buddhist standpoint, is she not still immersed in illusion, and does it not even grow stronger, when she admits that she loves Yoo Ji-tae's character? So what is the point of the encounter?

As I wrote earlier, Jin Yi does write poetry, and she plays a stringed instrument (don't ask me which one of the qin family). But she doesn't dance! (I don't know if the historic Hwang Jin Yi was known for her dancing, but I suspect she was.)

Still, despite the weaknesses of the movie it is a gorgeous film. I just wish there was more for the sake of proper development of the story, even if Asian audiences can't handle a 2.5 hour-long movie.

I saw First Amendment of Korea with Yeh Ji-won not too long ago. Both that movie and this movie reminds us of the plight of women who are forced to become prostitutes. Can we really say that they are just victim of circumstances, or can we go even further and assert that they are victims of an unjust social system?

wiki: Prostitution in South Korea
Time: Base Instincts
Korea: facts on trafficking and prostitution

In a small hunter-gatherer or agricultural community, is there a place for a prostitute? There may be a need for an exchange of favors, but given the size of the community the value of one's reputation and the risk of being ostracized weigh more heavily than any advantage that might be gained (unless one is in really dire straits).

And I do believe that Margaret Mead was wrong--in "primitive" societies that are not in decline, there is a premium placed on chastity. (Primarily because of a concern for legitimacy and the family or clan group? Also, such societies are more aware of carrying capacity than those who take their economic arrangements for granted, being ignorant of them.)

The Margaret Mead and Derek Freeman debate

Margaret Mead, Derek Freeman
Freeman responds about Mead-Freeman controversy: on the ethics of ...
The Fateful Hoaxing of Margaret Mead: A Historical Analysis of Her ... - Google Books Result
Margaret Mead

Still, is prostitution as a "profession" unto itself possible in small communities? Or is it a product of an urbanized and economically diversified society that has limited economic freedom for most? Some might claim that the Bible itself has a negative view of the urbs. Anarcho-primitivists and admirers of Ishmael.

[I point out that one section of the philosophy of person course at BC has Ishamel on its reading list. I found that to be a bit much, but it's not surprising, given the wide range of people accepted into the graduate program in philosophy. It may not be as poisonous as some contemporary philosophers, but its interpretation of Genesis is incorrect, and is an obstacle to the worship of the one true God. Besides, I don't see it offering a humane solution to the current ecological problems affecting this country, with its denigration of agriculture.]

When natural resources are not distributed equitably and economic freedom is limited, what other recourse do some women have than to sell their bodies to men in order to survive (and perhaps to feed family members)?

No wonder Christ was known to have showed such great mercy to prostitutes. While we may not know if all prostitutes are excused, being exploited victims of injustice, should we not have compassion for them and seek to relieve them of their suffering when possible, both directly and indirectly, by addressing the causes of inequity? (Which leads to the question: Was St. Pius V's policy towards prostitutes in the Papal States the correct one?)

Due is not on the film's soudntrack, not as a song at least; I think a version of it is used for the end credits. I'm disappointed by the extras disc--I was hoping for more footage of Song Hye Gyo.

Hwang Jin Yi OST - Due - Geu Dae Ga Na Ra Myeon (MV)

Selected previous posts on the movie: Official Hwang Jin Yi website
Photos: Hwang Jinyi press conference
Making of Hwang Jin Yi

Now will the Ha Ji-won drama ever be released here in the US on DVD?

BSG promos

via AICN

season 4.x promo

Razor promo

Archdruid Report: Climbing down the ladder

Climbing down the ladder (originally published here)

by John Michael Greer

Republican debate in Michigan

Transcript for last night's Republican debate in Michigan: Washington Post

NY Times transcript

Fred Thompson is ridiculously uninformed. At least Mitt Romney has a clue about what's going on in Michigan. (His response comes after Thompson's.)

BARTIROMO: The economy is America's greatest strength. In a recent poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, two-thirds of the American people said that we are either in a recession or headed toward one. Do you agree with that? And, as president, what will you do to ensure economy vibrancy in this country?

THOMPSON: I think there is no reason to believe that we're headed for a recession. We're enjoying 22 quarters of successive economic growth that started 2001 and then further in 2003 with the tax cuts that we put in place.

We're enjoying low inflation. We're enjoying low unemployment. The stock market seems to be doing pretty well.

I see no reason to believe we're headed for an economic downturn.

As far as the economic prosperity of the future is concerned, I think it's a different story. I think if you look at the short term, it's rosy. I think if you look at a 10-year projection, it's rosy.

But we are spending money we do not have. We are on a mandatory spending lockdown that is pushing us in a direction that is unsustainable. We're spending the money of future generations, and those yet to be born. That has to do with our mandatory spending problem.

Everyone knows that we have to address that. And it's the fundamental and foremost challenge, I think, facing our country economically.

BARTIROMO: Senator, you painted a very nice picture. The Dow and the S&P 500 today at new highs -- tonight -- record numbers.

And, yet, two-thirds of the people surveyed said we are either in a recession or headed for one.

Why the angst?

THOMPSON: Well, I think there are pockets in the economy that, certainly, they're having difficulty. I think they're certainly -- those in Michigan that are having difficulty. I think you always find that in a vibrant, dynamic economy.

I think that not enough has been done to tell what some call the greatest story never told, and that is that we are enjoying a period of growth right now and we should acknowledge what got us there and continue those same policies on into the future.

And the transcript for the Republicans at the All-American Presidential Forum (one of the best debates thus far).

Zenit: Mentioning the Mass Intention

Mentioning the Mass Intention

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Revitalizing China's Dust Bowl

Revitalizing China's Dust Bowl
Mara Hvistendahl, WorldChanging
Western China is turning into a massive dust bowl. Desertification now affects fully one-third of the world's population -- and what's happening in Western China represents the largest conversion of productive land to desert anywhere in the world, consuming over one million acres of land each year. The dust isn't confined to the west: every spring, massive sandstorms roar through Beijing, blanketing the city with tons of dust.

The October issue of the Canadian magazine The Walrus has an excellent feature by Patrick Alleyn on efforts to combat desertification in China (subscription-only, but 10-day trials are available). Benoit Aquin's startling photos, which accompany the article, have been circulating on Chinese bulletin boards.

In China, desertification is exacerbated by overgrazing by sheep and other animals. As Chinese make more money, they are eating greater quantities of meat; by last year, herd numbers had increased fourfold over 1960s levels. The Chinese government has responded by imposing grazing bans and relocating rural residents to settlements that are effectively ecological refugee camps.
(8 October 2007)

via EB

NPR: Will Southwest's economy dry up?

Will Southwest's economy dry up? (Audio and transcript)
Stacey Vanek-Smith, Marketplace, National Public Radio (NPR)

via EB

IGN preview of BSG Razor


AN: Guangxi: stop the Pope’s Letter, even by brain washing

Guangxi: stop the Pope’s Letter, even by brain washing
Obligatory political sessions for Catholic priests, “guilty” of having publicly distributed the Pope’s Letter to China’s Catholics. The office for religious affairs orders the sequester and closure of internet sites, as well as a campaign to stop “Vatican penetration” of its faithful. A similar script to ’99.

Nuestra Belleza de Mexico 2007

official site

¡Cero glamour y maquillaje! : Favorita a la corona - Miss Mexico
Nuestra Belleza México 2007 : Las mexicanas buscan coronarse ...

Nuestra Belleza Mexico 2007

llega al Hotel en Mnzanillo NB belleza mexico 2007

llegada a Manzanillo Nb Mexico 2007 parte 2

Llegada Manzanillo NB Mexico 2007

Nuestra Belleza Xalapa 2007 en Mandarin Litros

RBMexico has some daily reports from the pageant.

Axesso por TV Azteca Culiacán Martes 11:15 pm

Axesso por TV Azteca Culiacán Martes 11:15 p.m.

Holy See Address on Development

Holy See Address on Development

The Copenhagen Summit already foresaw the problems that the rapidly globalizing economy would provoke if not accompanied by a renewed attention to the social dimension of economic development. Today the world suffers from the unhinging, in greater or lesser degree, of social development from economic progress. Hence the Copenhagen Declaration and Program of Action continue to be relevant. They indicate the necessary means to overcome marginalization and to create the conditions for all to benefit from economic development.

While the responsibility for social equity lies primarily with individual governments, the international community has the duty to cooperate actively in its implementation, both by creating trade and financial conditions favorable to the growth of all national economies and by rejecting conditionalities that would restrict states from adopting policies aimed at helping the less favored sectors of society, such as the disabled and the elderly. The international community is called to assist states develop such policies, promote a new culture of solidarity and empower the poor to be protagonists of their own development.

And if it is impossible to balance the two?

Education is at the basis of all social policies. The value of education goes beyond economic development and the satisfaction of one’s basic needs. Education enables individuals and peoples to establish with others relationships founded on mutual respect and friendship and not on coercion. An educated society facilitates the fight against corruption that erodes the possibility of economic growth of the poorest. It also helps create a legal framework that leaves ample space to the rights of property and free enterprise, while safeguarding at the same time the full enjoyment of the social and economic rights of all without exception.

What sort of education is he talking about here? How is this different from the stuff that liberals put forth with regard to economic development?

Stars' fashion at the PIFF

Zenit: Cardinal Bertone: Businessmen Help Fulfill God's Plan

Cardinal Bertone: Businessmen Help Fulfill God's Plan

Speaks to Group of Christian Entrepreneurs and Managers

TURIN, Italy, OCT. 8, 2007 ( Professional businesspeople cooperate with God's plan for the world when they do their work, said the Pope's secretary of state.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said this at the 60th meeting of the Christian Union of Entrepreneurs and Managers, which ended Sunday.

Cardinal Bertone said that business activities, even though they follow market laws, help to bring about the fulfillment of God's plan for the world. [questionable]

Thus, he contended, the Church cannot remain quiet when seeing the dignity of the human being attacked. Respect for the working person's inalienable rights is a need that must not be forgotten, especially in dealing with the young, the cardinal said.

Cardinal Bertone encouraged respect for the education and formation offered by the Church and giving volunteer workers and nonprofit businesses professional experience in the market.

Giancarlo Abete, the vice president of the group, said, "Man must not serve the economy; rather the economy must be at the service of man," since the role of the businessman is twofold: on one hand, to make profit [also questionable], but on the other, to be responsible in dealing with the society around them.

Now LC is friendly to a certain stratum of society--might it be possible that what the Cardinal was saying is slightly different?

Zenit: Prayer Still Important at St. Peter's, Says Pope

Prayer Still Important at St. Peter's, Says Pope

Community Entrusted With Papal Intentions

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 8, 2007 ( Benedict XVI wants St. Peter's Basilica to be characterized by a community of prayer to remember the Pope and his intentions.

The Pope made this comment today while receiving in audience members of the chapter of St. Peter's Basilica, the group entrusted with the care of the ancient church.

The Holy Father explained: "I trust in you and in your ministry so that St. Peter's Basilica can be an authentic place of prayer, of adoration and praise to the Lord."

"In this holy place, where thousands of pilgrims and tourists come everyday from all over the world, more than elsewhere it is necessary that next to the tomb of St. Peter there be a stable community of prayer that guarantees continuity with tradition and at the same time intercedes for the intentions of the pope in the Church and world today."

The basilica's chapter was founded by Pope Leo IX in 1053 to increase the solemnity of divine worship in the church with the help of the Benedictine monks from the Monastery of St. Stephen Major.

Today, Archbishop Angelo Comastri, the archpriest of the basilica, leads the 34 canons who make up the chapter.

The Pope said that in recent decades the activities of the chapter in the life of the basilica "was increasingly oriented toward rediscovering its true original functions, consistent in its ministry of prayer."

"If prayer is important for all Christians, for you, dear brothers, it is a so-called professional task," the Holy Father explained.

He added, "Prayer is a service to the Lord, who deserves to be praised and adored, and at the same time it is a witness to others. And where God is praised and adored with faithfulness, blessing is not lacking."

The Pope entrusted to the chapter a special mission: "to recall, with your prayerful presence near Peter's tomb, that nothing comes before God; that the Church is always oriented toward Him, to his glory; that the primacy of Peter is at the service of the unity of the Church and this is at the service of the salvific design of the Most Holy Trinity."

How about chanting the divine office in St. Peter's?

Zenit: Date Set for 1st Beatifications in Japan

Date Set for 1st Beatifications in Japan

TOKYO, OCT. 9, 2007 ( Father Pietro Kassui Kibe and 187 companions, Japanese martyrs of the 17th century, will be beatified next year in Nagasaki. The beatifications will be the first held on Japanese soil.

The Vatican informed Archbishop Takeo Okada of Tokyo, president of Japan's episcopal conference, that the beatification will take place Nov. 24, 2008, reported AsiaNews.

Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, will represent Benedict XVI at the ceremony.

In a letter to Japan's Catholics, Archbishop Okada announced "with joy" the Vatican's decision: "I hope that we take to heart the meaning of the treasure our predecessors in the faith left us."

There were priests, religious men and laypeople among the 188 Japanese martyrs.

Kibe, a convert to Christianity, had fled persecution from the government and moved to Rome, where he entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained a priest. He returned to Japan to carry out his ministry among the oppressed faithful, and in 1639 was captured, tortured and killed in Tokyo.

PCR, Cato’s Trade Report: Blinded by Ideology

Cato’s Trade Report: Blinded by Ideology (also at Counterpunch); the Cato Institute report

via blog

While PCR does not subscribe to that version of liberal capitalism that justifies outsourcing, he nonetheless, like PJB, does believe in the nation-state, and sees no problem in applying the principle of comparative advantage at that level:

Few economists have bothered to think about the issue of offshoring, preferring to dismiss concerns about it as manifestations of the old protectionist fallacy. They learned in graduate school that free trade is always mutually beneficial and ceased to think when they passed their exams. This is especially true of “free market economists” who believe that economic freedom, which they identify with the freedom of capital, is always good. Thus, most economists mistakenly believe that offshoring is protected under the authority of free trade doctrine.

However, free trade doctrine is based on the assumption that domestic capital seeks its comparative advantage in its home economy, specializing where its comparative advantage is best and, thereby, increasing the general welfare in the home economy. David Ricardo, who explicated the case for free trade, rules out an economy’s capital seeking absolute advantage abroad instead of comparative advantage at home.

While "protectionism" is better than allowing America to lose its manufacturing ability through outsourcing, it is not the ideal, as it still allows for the concentration of capital, the reduction of economic freedom, and exploitation. However, if the American people are too degraded to work embrace reform and the sacrifices that it involves, then nothing can be done; all there is left to do is to wait and watch things play themselves out, and I do not have reason to think that the ending will be a happy one.