Saturday, January 12, 2008

Michael Pollan has a new book out

source of photo
Michael Pollan
In Defense of Food - Michael Pollan - Penguin Group (USA)
Publisher's intro:

What to eat, what not to eat, and how to think about health: a manifesto for our times

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, the well-considered answers he provides to the questions posed in the bestselling The Omnivore's Dilemma.

Humans used to know how to eat well, Pollan argues. But the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused, complicated, and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists-all of whom have much to gain from our dietary confusion. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." These "edible foodlike substances" are often packaged with labels bearing health claims that are typically false or misleading. Indeed, real food is fast disappearing from the marketplace, to be replaced by "nutrients," and plain old eating by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Michael Pollan's sensible and decidedly counterintuitive advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food."

Writing In Defense of Food, and affirming the joy of eating, Pollan suggests that if we would pay more for better, well-grown food, but buy less of it, we'll benefit ourselves, our communities, and the environment at large. Taking a clear-eyed look at what science does and does not know about the links between diet and health, he proposes a new way to think about the question of what to eat that is informed by ecology and tradition rather than by the prevailing nutrient-by-nutrient approach.

In Defense of Food reminds us that, despite the daunting dietary landscape Americans confront in the modern supermarket, the solutions to the current omnivore's dilemma can be found all around us.

In looking toward traditional diets the world over, as well as the foods our families-and regions-historically enjoyed, we can recover a more balanced, reasonable, and pleasurable approach to food. Michael Pollan's bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we might start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives and enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto: Books ...

More links:
BookPage Interview January 2008: Michael Pollan 3
A conversation with Michael Pollan By Tom Philpott Grist ...
?In Defense Of Food: Solutions To The Omnivore's Dilemma? An ...
Author Michael Pollan goes 'In Defense of Food' -
San Francisco Bay Guardian : Article : Eat the faith
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto - Michael Pollan - First ...
What would Michael Pollan eat?
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan - Houston Chronicle
Science Friday Archives: Michael Pollan - In Defense of Food (mp3)
NPR : 'In Defense of Food' Author Offers Advice for Health
NPR : Author Comes to Natural Food's 'Defense'
Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food. - By Laura Shapiro - Slate ...
‘In Defense of Food’ Michael Pollen offers advice for better ...
New Michael Pollan book « Further thoughts
In Defense of Food

IGN Interview with Michael Emerson

Benjamin Linus on Lost! Interview here.

John Médaille reviews Joseph Pearce's Small is Still Beautiful

Small is Bountiful

Zenit: Cardinal Arinze on Language in Liturgy, Part 1

Cardinal Arinze on Language in Liturgy, Part 1

"Latin Is Concise, Precise and Poetically Measured"

ST. LOUIS, Missouri, JAN. 11, 2008 ( Here is the first part of Cardinal Francis Arinze's Nov. 11 speech at the Gateway Liturgical Conference, held in Missouri. The cardinal is the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

* * *



St Louis, Missouri (U.S.A.)
Saturday, 11 November 2006

1. Excelling Dignity of Liturgical Prayer

The Church which was founded by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ strives to bring together men and women from every race, language, people and nation (cf. Rv 5: 9), so that "every tongue should acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord to the glory of God the Father" (Phil 2: 11). On Pentecost day there were men and women "from every nation under heaven" (cf. Acts 2: 5) listening as the Apostles recounted the wonderful works of God.

This Church, this new People of God, this Mystical Body of Christ, prays. Her public prayer is the voice of Christ and his Bride the Church, Head and members. The liturgy is an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In it, full public worship is performed by the whole Church, that is, by Christ who associates with him his members.

"From this it follows that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of his Body the Church, is a sacred action surpassing all others. No other action of the Church can match its claim to efficacy, nor equal its degree of it" (Sacrosanctum Concilium [SC], n. 7). From the sacred spring of the liturgy, all of us who thirst for the graces of the redemption draw living water (cf. Jn 4: 10).

Consciousness that Jesus Christ is the high priest in every liturgical act should instil in us great reverence. As St Augustine says: "He prays for us, he prays in us, and he is prayed to by us. He prays for us as our priest; he prays in us as our head; and he is prayed to by us as our God. Let us therefore recognize our voices in him and his voices in us" (Enarratio in Psalmum, 85: CCL 39, 1176).

2. Different Rites in the Church

In the sacred liturgy the Church celebrates the mysteries of Christ by means of signs, symbols, gestures, movements, material elements and words. In this reflection we are focusing on words used in divine worship in the Roman or Latin Rite.

The core elements of the sacred liturgy, the seven sacraments, come from our Lord Jesus Christ himself. As the Church spread and grew among various peoples and cultures, various ways of celebrating the mysteries of Christ also developed. Four parent rites can be identified as the Antiochene, Alexandrine, Roman and Gallican. They gave rise to nine major rites in the Catholic Church today: in the Latin Church the Roman Rite is predominant, and then among the Eastern Churches we find the Byzantine, Armenian, Chaldean, Coptic, Ethiopian, Malabar, Maronite and Syrian Rites.

Each "Rite" is an historic blending of liturgy, theology, spirituality and Canon Law. The fundamental characteristics of each undoubtedly go back to the earliest centuries, the essentials to the apostolic age if not to Our Lord himself.

The Roman Rite, which is the subject of our reflection, is in modern times, as we have said, the predominant liturgical expression of the ecclesial culture we call the Latin Rite. You will know that in and around the Archdiocese of Milan a "sister Rite" is in use that takes its name from St Ambrose, the great Bishop of Milan: the "Ambrosian Rite". In certain locations and on special occasions the liturgy is celebrated in Spain according to the ancient Hispanic or Mozarabic Rite. These two venerable exceptions do not concern us here.

The Church in Rome used Greek from the beginning. Only gradually was Latin introduced until the fourth century when the Church in Rome was definitely latinized (cf. A.G. Martimort: The Dialogue between God and his People, in A.G. Martimort, ed.: The Church at Prayer, Collegeville, 1992, I, p. 161-165).

The Roman Rite has spread in most of what was known as Western Europe and the continents evangelized largely by European missionaries in Asia, Africa, America and Oceania. Today, with an easier movement of peoples, there are Catholics of the other rites (roughly identified as the Oriental Churches) in all these continents.

Most rites have an original language which also gives each rite its historical identity. The Roman Rite has Latin as its official language. The typical editions of its liturgical books are to this day issued in Latin.

It is a remarkable phenomenon that many religions of the world, or major branches of them, hold on to a language as dear to them. We cannot think of the Jewish religion without Hebrew. Islam holds Arabic as sacred to the Qur'an. Classical Hinduism considers Sanskrit its official language. Buddhism has its sacred texts in Pali.

It would be superficial to dismiss this tendency as esoteric, or strange, or outmoded, old or medieval. That would be to ignore a fine element of human psychology. In religious matters, people tend to hold on to what they received from the beginning, how their earliest predecessors articulated their religion and prayed. Words and formulae used by earlier generations are dear to those who today inherit from them. While a religion is of course not identified with a language, how it understands itself can have an affective link with a particular linguistic expression in its classical period of growth.

3. Advantages of Latin in the Roman Liturgy

As was mentioned above, by the fourth century, Latin had replaced Greek as the official language of the Church of Rome. Prominent among the Latin Fathers of the Church who wrote extensively and beautifully in Latin were St Ambrose (339-397), St Augustine of Hippo (354-430), St Leo the Great († 461) and Pope Gregory the Great (540-604). Pope Gregory, in particular, brought Latin to a great height in the sacred liturgy, in his sermons and in general Church use.

The Roman Rite Church showed extraordinary missionary dynamism. This explains why a greater part of the world has been evangelized by heralds of the Latin Rite. Many European languages which we regard as modern today have roots in Latin, some more than others. Examples are Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Portuguese and French. But even English and German do borrow from Latin.
The Popes and the Roman Church have found Latin very suitable for many reasons. It fits a Church which is universal, a Church in which all peoples, languages and cultures should feel at home and no one is regarded as a stranger.

Moreover, the Latin language has a certain stability which daily spoken languages, where words change often in shades of meaning, cannot have. An example is the translation of the Latin "propagare". The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples when it was founded in 1627 was called "Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide". But at the time of the Second Vatican Council many modern languages use the word "propaganda" in the sense in which we say "political propaganda". Therefore, there is a preference in the Church today to avoid the expression "de propaganda Fide", in favour of "the Evangelization of Peoples".

Latin has the characteristic of words and expressions retaining their meaning generation after generation. This is an advantage when it comes to the articulation of our Catholic faith and the preparation of Papal and other Church Documents. Even the modern universities appreciate this point and have some of their solemn titles in Latin.

Blessed Pope John XXIII in his Apostolic Constitution, Veterum Sapientia, issued on 22 February 1962, gives these two reasons and adds a third. The Latin language has a nobility and dignity which are not negligible (cf. Veterum Sapientia, nn. 5, 6, 7). We can add that Latin is concise, precise and poetically measured.

Is it not admirable that people, especially well-trained clerics, can meet in international gatherings and be able to communicate at least in Latin? More importantly, is it a small matter that 1 million young people could meet in the World Youth Day Convention in Rome in 2000, in Toronto in 2002 and in Cologne in 2005, and be able to sing parts of the Mass, and especially the Credo, in Latin? Theologians can study the original writings of the early Latin Fathers and of the Scholastics without tears because these were written in Latin.

It is true that there is a tendency, both in the Church and in the world at large, to give more attention today to modern languages, like English, French and Spanish, which can help one secure a job quicker in the modern employment market or in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their country.

But the exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI to the students of the Faculty of Christian and Classical Letters of the Pontifical Salesian University of Rome, at the end of the Wednesday General Audience of 22 February 2006, retains its validity and relevance. And he pronounced it in Latin! Here is my free English translation: "Quite rightly our Predecessors have urged the study of the great Latin language so that one may learn better the saving doctrine that is found in ecclesiastical and humanistic disciplines. In the same way we urge you to cultivate this activity so that as many as possible may have access to this treasure and appreciate its importance" (in L'Osservatore Romano, 45, 23 February 2006, p. 5).

Zenit: Interview with Dominican Sister Helen Alford

Justice and the Order of Preachers

Interview With Dominican Sister Helen Alford

By Miriam Díez i Bosch

ROME, JAN. 11, 2008 ( The whole concept of human rights is threatened if there is no such thing as the truth of the human person, says a Dominican nun who recently edited a work that reflects on her religious congregation's contribution to social ethics.

In this interview with ZENIT, Sister Helen Alford, dean of the faculty of social sciences at the University of St. Thomas, the Angelicum, in Rome, explains how justice needs truth to have a firm foundation.
The Dominican co-edited with Father Francesco Compagnoni the book titled "Preaching Justice: Dominican Contributions to Social Ethics in the 20th Century."

Q: Dominicans are famous for being preachers of truth. What then is the connection between truth and justice?

Sister Alford: It is very hard to make sense of justice, and impossible to give it a solid basis, without a sense of truth.

This problem is made clear if we look at the problems that the idea of human rights is experiencing today. If there is nothing that we can hold to be true about the human person, over and beyond cultural or historical differences, then the whole concept of human rights is threatened.

On the other and, if we can accept that one can move toward a truer and deeper understanding of a situation, even with great difficulty and the need for a lot of patient research, then one can begin to formulate what is the just thing to do in those circumstances.

The Dominicans discussed in the book "Preaching Justice" committed themselves, sometimes for a whole lifetime, to deepening their understanding of the social problems that faced them, and, thanks to the Thomistic moral formation they received, they had the tools -- an understanding of the moral principles and of the virtues needed for putting these principles into practice -- to formulate just responses to them.

Q: Are the concepts of the social apostolate and the new evangelization the same?

Sister Alford: There is a big area of overlap, but I think the two terms are not the same -- and that is why it is worth having both of them.

In the idea and practice of the new evangelization, explicit reference is made to our faith in renewing culture and public life. In the idea of the social apostolate, explicit reference can be made, but does not have to be; the social apostolate can also be carried out in an implicitly faithful way, on the basis of philosophical concepts and principles that are coherent with the faith, but which can also be accepted by nonbelievers.

Servais Pinckaers, the important Dominican moral theologian, shows the crucial importance of the implicit faith-based approach in his contribution to "Preaching Justice" on Dominique Pire, the Belgian Dominican who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1958.

After the war, Pire wrote he was horrified to see the lack of unconditional kindness in the refugee camps: "Some only help Protestants, others only Catholics, and still others will only help Hungarian Catholics." This shock inspired him to devote his life to working with whoever would collaborate with him for peace and reconciliation, and in so doing he lived his vocation as a Catholic and a Dominican to the full.

Q: Benedict XVI encourages Catholics to be engaged in public issues. Why is there sometimes a tendency to remain distant from public spheres?

Sister Alford: I think there are two general comments we can make. First, the idea of the universal call to holiness and the real way in which laypeople are sanctified through their vocation is still relatively new in the Church; while people may no longer think that one has to be a priest or a nun to be really holy, they may not have fully realized what a Catholic politician, or business leader or academic is called to do in bringing their faith to bear on their area of competence -- as we said above, this can be done implicitly as much as explicitly.

Second, the technical complexity of the issues involved can be bewildering. In the face of globalizing financial systems, for instance, what can one say that could be taken seriously by financial experts and also really lead to a more just economic order? The fear of saying something that reveals ignorance of the technical issues involved can hold people back too.

It is here where the Catholic and pontifical universities need to be more active, since we should be forming future leaders in public life with both the philosophical and religious grounding they need to sustain their vocations and the technical competence to be able to tackle real social problems and propose practical solutions.

Louis-Joseph Lebret, the French Dominican who developed the idea of the "human economy," and who was also one of the directors of the top French research institution, the CNRS, is an example to us in this.

Q: As a dean of a faculty in a pontifical university in Rome, what is your perception of the students' interest in social issues?

Sister Alford: I think the fundamental idea that "the Church's social doctrine is an integral part of her evangelizing ministry" -- Compendium of the Social Teaching of the Church, No. 66 -- is still to be fully understood by many students. While some are fully convinced of this, many others have not grasped its significance.

Sakamoto Fuyumi

IwaiZake Sakamoto Fuyumi 祝い酒 坂本冬美 紅白歌合戦 演歌

螢の提灯 -坂本冬美(sakamoto Fuyumi)

坂本冬美 - 男の情話


Sakamoto Fuyumi - Yozakura Oshichi 夜桜お七

IwaiZake Sakamoto Fuyumi 祝い酒 坂本冬美 紅白歌合戦 演歌

From her past life as a pop singer? Heh. Of course there is the high school uniform.

HIS/LIVE パープル・ヘイズ音頭~500マイル

No idea what this is? The Beauty Week Award 2006

Some thoughts about law enforcement

Over at Chronicles, Paul Craig Roberts has initiated a discussion about contemporary law enforcement and the people employed as police officers: Criminals With Badges—How the Police Create Crimes. There is controversy, indeed.

The first professional police force in the United States was established in Boston. We hear tales of corruption in early big city police departments. While the professionalism and code of conduct of LEOs in big cities like Chicago, Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles have undoubtedly improved since then, incidents of police misconduct do occur from time to time. While some paleolibetarians may go a bit too far with their scorn of police officers, citizens should be worried about the abuse of power if those wearing a uniform and badge are not exempt from the same negative influences and decay that cities in general are undergoing. If the culture of large cities leads to its inhabitants becoming impersonal and rude to strangers, how can it not have an impact on those who will eventually become police officers?

The most important quality necessary for a LEO, as for anyone involved with government, is the virtue of justice, both legal justice and particular justice. LEOs should be treating their fellow citizens appropriately and justly, especially when apprehending them or using force. However, the examinations given by police departments, along with the background check and psychological evaluation, cannot provide direct insight into someone's character. Candidates with [extreme or unsuitable] psychological problems can be eliminated, but it seems to me that those who have not been caught committing a felony could escape detection. (Even people who occasionally take illegal drugs could pass the drug tests if they were smart about it? It would require abstaining for long periods of time, but if they are not "addicted," that should not pose a problem.) Someone who is inconsistent in his lying may be caught in a written test or during the interviews. Still, it seems possible for a candidate with serious moral problems to pass the review during the evaluation process. (If I am wrong, your corrections are welcome.)

[A related question: how has the review process been affected by pressures from without and within police departments to adhere to some contemporary notion of social justice (i.e. radical egalitarianism or affirmative action)?]

A common complaint is that some LEOs behave as they do because they are on a power trip, misusing their authority over others. There are a lot of youtube videos online that purportedly record this, and much space at the Lew Rockwell blog has been used to highlight supposed abuses. While it is possible that the character of a LEO can become corrupted because of his work, how many others were corrupted to begin with, and escaped detection when they were applying for employment? What sort of moral training can a police department employ for its officers and cadets? An ethics course in the academy would not be sufficient.

Without endorsing everything that Hilary Clinton has said, it does take a village to raise a child in that the child's contact with people outside his immediate family is an introduction to his life as a citizen. The members of a community do have some role to play in his moral formation, monitoring his interactions with others and correcting or praising his behavior when appropriate.
When social relationships have been destroyed or "bureaucratized" then the family must do all of the work, and given the constraints imposed upon parents by the current political economic system, how many of them can do this well?

It is difficult to develop the affection proper to civic friendship for people you barely know, much less civic friendship, in a contemporary megapolis. This is the case for both children and adults.
While here in California at least LEOs are required to live within a certain distance of their station, how many of them live in the neighborhoods they patrol? And how familiar can they be with the neighborhoods if they are in a car driving quickly by?

With respect to the question of which provides more effective policing, patrolling on foot vs. cruising in a car, it seems obvious that the former is better. Peter Hitchens advocates a return of the bobby and gives good reasons with respect to crime prevention and the apprehension of the guilty. The foot patrol is necessary for police deparments seeking to develop ties with the community and becoming familiar with other members of the community -- but closer ties with the community is not an instrumental goal, valuable only for the sake of "lowering crime." It is, rather, valuable in itself. Foot patrols would help develop and reinforce civic friendship, and train LEOs to exercise authority with humanity, Confucius' ren. The LEO would no longer seen as an outsider to the local community, a mere functionary or distant enforcer of the laws of an even more distant government.

Now it may be that patrolling in a car is necessary in areas characterized by sprawl, and the police department cannot afford to have a localized presence. What are the municipalities where these departments are located to do when the consequences of peak oil become prominent?

Could a militia be used appropriately for certain police functions? At least in emergencies? How much training did members of a posse receive before they could go out and apprehend or kill a criminal-at-large in the "Wild West"? Is the division of function between a militia and a posse necessary? (Not for Plato, in his Republic.) Can the power of arrest be taken away from ordinary citizens? It seems not. When someone is defending himself from an assailant and manages to incapacitate him, he will also need to restrain him and transfer him to the authorities. Would this not imply a power of arrest? Do small towns need professional police force? Or can it rely upon volunteers instead? (Or on the citizens, either as individuals or as members of kin groups and the like?) Does a professional police force foster the impartial enforcement of the law and the protection of rights? What sorts of checks would need to be in place if family and friends of the victim, or if individual citizens, were to carry out the demands of justice?

While the prestige value of the guardians in Plato's utopia is high, it is not as high as that of the philosopher-kings, who rule and legislate. Is it the case that traditionally this work has been looked down upon? Or is that attitude related to a mistrust of government? Or is the negative attitude due to corruption and abuse of power? How did the medievals view sheriffs and others?

Wiki: sheriff; sheriffs in the United States; conservator of the peace; marshal; constable; law enforcement; police

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Macross F discussion

THAT Animeblog » Macross Frontier 01: Come for the loli stay for ...
AstroNerdBoy's Anime & Manga Blog: Macross Frontier 01
Mecha Talk :: View topic - The Official Macross Frontier Mecha Thread
Wakaranai » The Low-down on Macross Frontier
OtakuBooty: Macross Frontier, Episode 1
Macross Frontier - AnimeNation Anime Forums
Macross Frontier Images
GEARS :: View topic - Macross Frontier!
Macross Frontier Episode 1 is out! - Page 2 -
Macross Nexus Forums
Macross Frontier


So it's a VF171 that's the standard fighter of the fleet, a variant of the VF17? Ok... there are some complaints that the VF25 is too much like the VF1. But I think this design choice was deliberate; it is the 25th anniversary of Macross, and why not pay hommage to the original series by having a valkyrie design that is similar to the first, though different in other ways (notably the battroid mode)? I still wonder what happened to the VF21/22--why isn't it being used in the fleet?

YF21 Omega One / VF22 Sturmvogel: A LEGO® creation by Sebastiao ...

And there are plenty of bishie-haters. (I'm one of them.)

This is one of the main characters--if you weren't looking carefully, would you think that you are looking at a female or a male?
It's Saotome Alto, a male.

Bishōnen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bishonen Guide... understanding the pretty boys of anime, manga, j ...
Anti-Bishie Index Page

Fake Star Trek teaser

I don't know what the story is behind it, JJ Abrams's name is attached to it in the AICN post.

Thread at about fake trailers. Fans duke it out over possible changes to the bridge design.


In the morning I should be signing a lease agreement with the manager of the new place, and then I will be able to move on Wednesday. My sisters and brothers-in-law are in town this weekend, so we met up for lunch at Bombay Garden on El Camino Real, just off Lawrence Expressway. The nan was ok, though some of it was burnt. But apparently this is how it is supposed to be done, according to KK. Well, my personal preference is non-burnt nan, so maybe I don't like authentic nan then. "Oh well." As for the rest of the food--there is a wide selection, but in the end, I don't really like Indian food that much. (Though I do like the mango soft serve, but there is something wrong with the machine there? The ice cream melts too quickly.) One can eat only so many tandoori drumsticks, and the fried fish in batter + curry was good--but after a couple of pieces, the curry got to be too much. I also liked the lentil stew. Still... I probably won't be going to Indian buffet any time soon again.

Aftewards I ran some errands while they went back to the hotel, where they took the nieces swimming. I gather that they all had a lot of fun. Too bad I wasn't around to watch the nieces swimming. (Or splashing water as the case may be.) Then we struggled to figure out what to do for dinner. The nieces got tired and #1 fell alseep so while the MD stayed with them, the rest of us drove over to Mercado and checked out Taxi's. The burgers there are pretty good, and cheaper than what one would get at Counter. Then over to 7-11 for drinks, where everything is 1.5-2x what it costs in a normal grocery store. (Except for the Arizona iced tea, which was selling for $.99.)

I returned home for the owner of the place to ask me to move home; this after she had said it would be possible for me to stay until the end of the month, before she left for Taiwan, or possibly until March, when she returned. She said she just can't handle living with another person. Well! What to make of that. Fortunately I had been able to finalize finding another place so quickly, so I asked if it would be ok for me to stay until Wednesday, when I would be moving out, and she agreed. For now?

No more informal agreements with people I don't really know, even if they are among my mom's friends. Well, my mother knew about her character beforehand, but she didn't think something like this would happen. The MD reminded her that she told her it was a bad idea.

It just shows that "character doesn't change" and that sometimes it is just foolish to act and depend upon others as if it did. In the case of some single people [old maids], there is a good reason why they are single and not living with others. The daughter of one of my mom's friends just got married recently, and she has been having difficulty adjusting to living with someone else. (The husband even waits in a separate room until the wife is sleeping before he goes to bed, because she can't fall asleep if he is in the same bed!) She may not get a divorce because she's Catholic, but how long can her husband, who is not Catholic, put up with things like this?

Stephen Baskerville, The Failure of “Family Policy”

The Failure of “Family Policy”
by Stephen Baskerville

A good summary of traditional conservative analysis of the social breakdown that has taken place in America in the last century:

Many social conservatives have cast “family values” in terms of issues that, while undeniably important, are more consequences than causes of family breakdown. Today, the most direct threat to the family is not homosexuality, pornography, popular culture, euthanasia, cloning, or abortion. It is the elephant that barged into America’s living rooms almost four decades ago: As Michael McManus of Marriage Savers writes, “Divorce is a far more grievous blow to marriage than today’s challenge by gays.” While this, too, began as a lifestyle option, it quickly translated into highly destructive policies.

IGN interview with Karl Urban

From LOTR; he will be playing Dr. McCoy in the new Trek movie, and is playing Woodrow Call in Comanche Moon. I was lukewarm about the adaptation, but it's time to watch a western. The miniseries starts this coming Sunday.

Nice hat!!!

CBS site (includes preview and behind the scenes video)
Larry McMurtry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Larry McMurtry interview
Stanford Magazine: Feature Story: November/December1999
wiki on the novel

Photos from the CBS site:

This will be a different image of Steve Zahn, I think. I've seen him in Out of Sight; I don't remember him being in any other movies I've seen.

And Val Kilmer is in it!

The CBS intro:
Val Kilmer, Steve Zahn, Rachel Griffiths, Karl Urban, Linda Cardellini, Elizabeth Banks and Wes Studi star in COMANCHE MOON, a new six-hour mini-series based on the book by Larry McMurtry, and the final chapter in the "Lonesome Dove" saga to be made into a movie, will air Sunday, January 13, Tuesday, January 15 and Wednesday, January 16 at 9pm et/pt. Academy Award and Golden Globe Award winners Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana are the executive producers and writers.

COMANCHE MOON, the prequel to McMurtry's bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "Lonesome Dove," which was the basis for the multiple Emmy Award-winning mini-series "Lonesome Dove," follows Texas Rangers Augustus "Gus" McCrae (Zahn) and Woodrow F. Call (Urban), now in their middle years, as they continue to deal with the ever-increasing tensions of adult life--Gus with his great love, Clara Forsythe (Cardellini), and Call with Maggie Tilton (Banks), the young prostitute who loves him and bears him his son, Newt (Joseph Castanon). Kilmer plays Captain Inish Scull, a Yankee aristocrat and hero of the recently concluded Mexican War. Griffiths plays Inez Scull, the Captain's sexy wife who doesn't hesitate to fill her time with other men when he's away from home. Wes Studi plays Comanche Chief Buffalo Hump.

Two proud but very different men, McCrae and Call enlist with a Ranger troop in pursuit of three outlaws: Buffalo Hump, the great Comanche war chief; Kicking Wolf (Jonathon Joss), the celebrated Comanche horse thief; and Ahumado (Sal Lopez), a deadly Mexican bandit king with a penchant for torture. Assisting the Rangers in their wild chase is the renowned Kickapoo tracker Famous Shoes (David Midthunder). They are joined by their comrades-in-arms, Deets (Keith Robinson), Jake Spoon (Ryan Merriman) and Pea Eye Parker (Troy Baker), in the bitter struggle to protect an advancing western frontier against the defiant Comanches who are determined to defend their territory and their way of life. The Rangers also encounter Buffalo Hump's violent outcast son, Blue Duck (Adam Beach).

PCR, No Escape from War and Unemployment

80 Percent of Americans Have Experienced a Falling Share of US Income
No Escape from War and Unemployment

Zenit: Fr. Cantalamessa--He has annointed me

He Has Annointed Me

Gospel Commentary for the Baptism of the Lord

By Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap

ROME, JAN. 11, 2008 ( Jesus himself gives an explanation of what happens to him in the baptism in the Jordan. Returned from the Jordan, in the synagogue at Nazareth he applies to himself the words of Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has annointed me ..." Peter uses the term "annointed" in the second reading, speaking about Jesus' baptism. He says: "God has annointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power."

What we have here is a fundamental concept of the Christian faith. The name "Messiah" in Hebrew and "Christos" in Greek mean "annointed." We ourselves, the ancient Fathers said, call ourselves Christians because we are annointed in imitation of Christ, the Annointed par excellence. In our language, the word "annointed" has many meanings and not all of them are positive. In antiquity, annointing was an important element in life. Athletes were annointed with oil so that they could be quick and agile in races and men and women were annointed with perfumed oil so that their faces were beautiful and resplendent. Today, for the same purposes, there is an infinity of products available and many of them are dervied from various types of oils.

In Israel the rite had a religious significance. The kings, the priests and the prophets were annointed with perfumed oil and this was the sign that they were consecrated for divine service. In Christ all of these symbolic annointings become reality. In the baptism in the Jordan he is consecrated king, prophet and eternal priest by God the Father. This did not happen through the use of material oil but through spiritual oil, that is, through the Holy Spirit, "the oil of joy," as a Psalm says. This explains why the Church highlights so much the annointing with sacred chrism. There is a rite of annointing in baptism, in confirmation, in the ordination of priests and there is the annointing of the sick (which was once called "extreme unction"). An annointing is administered in these rites because through them we participate in the annointing of Christ, that is, the fullness of the Holy Spirit. We literally become "Christians," that is, annointed, consecrated, and people who are called, as Paul says, "to spread the sweet perfume of Christ in the world."

Let us try to see what all of this says to us men of today. Today so-called aromatherapy is very much in fashion. It uses essential oils that emit a perfume to maintain health and as therapy for certain disturbances. The Internet is full of advertising about aromatherapy. There are perfumes for physical maladies, like stress; there are also "perfumes for the soul"; one of these is supposed to help us achieve "interior peace."

It is not my place to make a judgment about this alternative medicine. However, I see that physicians discourage this practice, which is not scientifically confirmed and which in fact, in some cases, provokes counter indications. But what I would like to say is that there is a sure, infallible aromatherapy that does not provoke counter indications: that one made up of a special aroma, the perfumed ointment that is the Holy Spirit!

This aromatherapy of the Holy Spirit heals all the ills of the soul and sometimes, if God wills it, the ills of the body too. There is an African-American spiritual in which the following words are continually repeated: "There is a balm in Gilead / to make the wounded whole." (In the Old Testament Gilead was a place famous for its perfumed ointments. Cf. Jeremiah 8:22.) The song continues: "Sometimes I feel discouraged / and think my work's in vain / but then the Holy Spirit / revives my soul again." For us, Gilead is the Church and the balm that heals is the Holy Spirit. He is the scent that Jesus has left behind, passing through this world.

The Holy Spirit is a specialist in the illnesses of marriage. Marriage consists in giving oneself to another; it is the sacrament of making of oneself a gift. Now, the Holy Spirit is the gift made person; he is the giving of the Father to the Son and the Son to the Father. Where he comes there is renewed the capacity to make a gift of oneself and with this the joy and the beauty of living together.

The philosopher Heidegger made an alarmed judgment about the future of human society: "Only a god can save us," he said. I say that this God who can save us exists; it is the Holy Spirit. Our society has need of massive doses of the Holy Spirit.

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

* * *

Father Raniero Cantalamessa is the Pontifical Household preacher. The readings for this Sunday are Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7; Acts10:34-38; Matthew 3:13-17.

An unofficial translation of Abbot Zielinski's text on Gregorian chant


(Reminder: Fr. Claude Barthe on Mediator Dei)

Maison Ikkoku live action series


More Shimatani Hitomi vids

Eh! How did I go this long without knowing about her? Maybe I had heard of her but just forgot after not keeping up with the JPop scene...

Crossover • Index page

(PV) Shimatani Hitomi - Sekaiju No Dare Yori Kitto ( 島谷ひとみ)

Shimatani Hitomi / サイケデリック*フューチャー

島谷ひとみ-『Neva Eva』070606 PV


Shimatani Hitomi - Neva Eva - Live

Neva Eva TV SPOT 30"

島谷ひとみ/(Shimatani Hitomi )Garnet Moon

島谷ひとみ/ (Shimatani Hitomi )viola

島谷ひとみ Shimatani Hitomi-.Special.Live.crossover-viola


島谷ひとみ/ (Shimatani Hitomi )angelus

Shimatani Hitomi - Angelus (Live)


島谷ひとみ レイニーブルー

Shimatani Hitomi - Camellia [MV]

Shimatani Hitomi - Destiny -Taiyou No Hana- [MV]

Hitomi Shimatani Live: Taiyou Shin + Camellia

Shimatani Hitomi Destiny

Shimatani Hitomi - Mermaid - Live

Ayumi w Hitomi Shimatani - Papillon

Ayumi Hamasaki & Hitomi Shimatani - Amairo no kami no otome

島谷ひとみ Shimatani Hitomi-[YUME日和 live]

Hitomi Shimatani in National Anthem "Kimigayo"

Nakashima Mika - Kimigayo

Maison Ikkoku

One of the many stories by the prolific Rumiko Takahashi (Rumic World).

めぞん一刻OP1 ~悲しみよこんにちは~

Maison Ikkoku op - Alone Again Naturally

Maison Ikkoku ed - Cinema

Maison Ikkoku #24 Ending めぞん一刻 24話 エンディング

SUKI SA Opening Maison Ikkoku

Maison Ikkoku - Suki Sa(Anzen Chitai).

Maison Ikkoku
Maison Ikkoku Home Page
Life at Maison Ikkoku
Maison Ikkoku (TV) - Anime News Network

Anzen Chitai
Anzen Chitai

Anzen Chitai - Kanashimi ni Sayonara (live)

Anzenchitai  悲しみにさよなら

(PV) Shimatani Hitomi - Kanashimi ni Sayonara  〝悲しみにさよなら〟

安全地帶 - Kanojou Wa Nanika O Shitteiru

安全地帯 - ワインレッドの心 (ベストテン)

安全地帶 - ワインレッドの心

Some writings by John C. Calhoun

John C. Calhoun: Political Writings

Includes the following:
Introduction, by Jon Roland
Disquisition on Government (1851 posthumous)
Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States (1851 posthumous)

Conservative Times has the links

to the youtube clips for the debate last night:

1 of 9 - Fox News South Carolina Republican Debate 1/10/07
2 of 9 - Fox News South Carolina Republican Debate 1/10/07
3 of 9 - Fox News South Carolina Republican Debate 1/10/07
4 of 9 - Fox News South Carolina Republican Debate 1/10/07
5 of 9 - Fox News South Carolina Republican Debate 1/10/07
6 of 9 - Fox News South Carolina Republican Debate 1/10/07
7 of 9 - Fox News South Carolina Republican Debate 1/10/07
8 of 9 - Fox News South Carolina Republican Debate 1/10/07
9 of 9 - Fox News South Carolina Republican Debate 1/10/07

Sandro Magister on SJ GC35

Last Call for the Society of Jesus – To Obedience
The Jesuits elect their new superior general and discuss the reasons for their decline. But the Vatican authorities have already said what they expect from the order: more obedience to the pope, and more fidelity to doctrine

Includes the complete text for the homily by Cardinal Rodé .

Example of a place selling HK45

Impact Guns

Sarge, check out the price--and note that it's out of stock. Heh.

AN: China--Inflation continues to grow; drastic measures from the government

01/10/2008 CHINA
Inflation continues to grow; drastic measures from the government

AN: The head of some inspectors who beat a man to death has been arrested

01/11/2008 CHINA
The head of some inspectors who beat a man to death has been arrested
On January 7, the inspectors beat and kicked to death Wei Wenhua, who witnessed their dispute with locals. After widespread national protest, the local head of the communist party is now promising "justice". Under accusation is a security force that too often acts violently.

Watcher is blogging again


Michael Shedlock, Read Between Bernanke's Lines: Things Are Going To Get Worse

Read Between Bernanke's Lines: Things Are Going To Get Worse

MG, Incredible inedible ethanol

Incredible inedible ethanol
An entire third of the grain output of the American farm system will disappear from the world's food supply as it is turned into ethanol, and that's on top of the terrifying increases in food prices we are already seeing. Starvation leads to nastiness, writes The Mogambo (see also Big Mogambo Book Of Economic Stuff, Chapter 10, "The Lesson To Be Learned From The French Revolution And Several More Since Then").

Photos of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem

at Unam Sanctam

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Opus Sanctorum Angelorum

My mom (and my niece?) would like this... Work of the Holy Angels

From the comments section in the thread by Fr. Z on Bishop Schneider

Edit. Thank you, commentors!
Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross. Not to be mistaken with the Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross.

Transcript for the Republican debate in Myrtle Beach today

available at The State

Here are the candidates' responses to the first question, which deals with the economy:
WALLACE: Thank you, Brit.

Good evening, gentlemen. There are growing concerns that the country is headed for a recession. Here in South Carolina, they lost more than 12,000 manufacturing jobs in just the last year.

Governor Romney, do you believe that we're headed for a recession? And given your record in Massachusetts, which had the third lowest job growth of any state during the years you were governor, why should voters trust you over these other gentlemen to handle a slowdown?

ROMNEY: Well, first, Chris, let's get the record straight. Could we be headed for a recession? Absolutely. Do we have to be headed for a recession? Absolutely not.

Recessions hurt working families. They hurt people across this country. Our hearts go out to the people who are affected by job slowdowns and growth slowdowns. And so this is something we're going to have to address in a very aggressive way.

As to my record in the state of Massachusetts, I'm very proud of the fact that after many, many months of declining job growth, I took over the state and helped turn that around. And in my years as governor, we kept adding jobs every single month after we saw that turnaround.

The pipeline for new jobs coming into our state was in single digits when I came into office. When I left, it was over 200. And some of the biggest employers are still coming into the state. Every month since I've left, we keep on adding jobs. So I'm proud of what we did there.

What do we have to do at the federal level to keep a recession from occurring?

Number one, we're going to have to make sure that we stop the housing crisis.

Number two, we're going to have to reduce taxes on middle-income Americans immediately.

Number three, we're going to have to deal with gas prices. We're going to have to finally become energy independent and make the investments in new technology that will allow us to get there.

And, finally, R&D, investments in science and technology. That's an area where America can continue to lead the world.

It's time for us not just to talk about improving our economy; we're going to have to do the hard work of rebuilding our economy, strengthening it.

And I know that there are some people who think, as Senator McCain did, he said, you know, some jobs have left Michigan that are never coming back. I disagree.

I'm going to fight for every single job, Michigan, South Carolina, every state in this country. We're going to fight for jobs and make sure that our future is bright. We're going to protect the jobs of Americans and grow this economy again.

WALLACE: Since you mentioned his name, Senator McCain, you have 30 seconds to rebut. MCCAIN: One of the reasons why I won in New Hampshire is because I went there and told them the truth. And sometimes you have to tell people things they don't want to hear, along with things that they do want to hear.

There are jobs -- let's have a little straight talk -- there are some jobs that aren't coming back to Michigan. There are some jobs that won't come back here to South Carolina.

But we're going to take care of them. That's our goal; that's our obligation.

We need to go to the community colleges and design education and training programs so that these workers get a second chance. That's our obligation as a nation.

We're not going to end somebody's career and life of productivity at age 35 or 40 or older. We're going to design education and training programs that meet the needs of this information technology revolution that we are in.

And by the way, I don't believe we're headed into a recession. I believe the fundamentals of this economy are strong, and I believe they will remain strong. This is a rough patch, but I think America's greatness lies ahead of us.

WALLACE: Senator McCain -- and you have 90 seconds to answer this full question -- some of these ideas that are being talked about, like education and research and development, are longer term.

If we're talking about a recession in the next few months, in 2008, what kind of short-term, more immediate government fixes would you propose to try to keep the slowdown diminished or to reverse it? And would you support them even if they added to the government deficit?

MCCAIN: Well, the first thing we need to do is stop the out-of- control spending. Out-of-control spending is what caused the interest rates to rise. It causes people to be less able to afford to own their own homes.

We need to stop the spending. And that way we can get our budget under control and we can have a -- basically a strong, fundamental fiscal underpinnings.

The second thing that we need to do, of course, is stop spending $400 billion a year overseas to oil-producing countries that come right out of our economy immediately. Some of that money goes, unfortunately, to fund terrorist organizations.

We've got to -- and we can use Detroit for this, where there's tremendous technology in the state of Michigan, and tremendous abilities to develop technologies to reduce this dependency on foreign oil, and eventually eliminate it, and stop this outflow of some $400 billion a year. Education and training is obviously important, but stop the spending. As president, I know how to do it. I'll wield that veto pen, and I won't let another pork-barrel earmark spending bill cross my desk without vetoing it. And I'll make the authors of it famous.

I know how to do it. I saved the taxpayers $6 billion on a bogus tanker deal. I'm called the sheriff by my friends in the Senate who are the appropriators, and I didn't win Miss Congeniality. And as president, I won't win Miss Congeniality, either.

I'll stop the outrageous spending, and that'll be the best thing that can happen to America's economy.

WALLACE: Governor Huckabee, you have started running a TV commercial in Michigan that says voters want a president who reminds them of the guy they work with, not the guy who laid them off.

Do you believe we're headed for a recession? And do you have a short-term government economic stimulus package that you think would be more effective than what you've heard so far from Governors Romney and Senator McCain?

HUCKABEE: Chris, I hope we're not headed toward recession, but if we are, there's four factors that will be the reason.

The first one is fuel prices. When gasoline gets as high as it is, and oil goes to $100 a barrel, it impacts the way people live. It may not impact people at the top, but people who barely make it from paycheck to paycheck know that it doesn't just affect the fuel going to and from work.

Everything they reach for on the shelf of their store costs more because it took more money to transport it to that store.

HUCKABEE: So that's the first thing we have to realize, is with our dependency upon foreign oil, if we don't begin to reverse that and become energy independent, we well could continue this enslavement to foreign oil, and ultimately wreck our economy.

The second thing, subprime mortgages. Two million people today in America risk losing their homes. Now, there's culpability on both lender, as well as a lot of borrowers who bought more home than they could.

And I commend the president. I think he's handled this right without trying to rush in an do something with taxpayer money to fix this, but certainly to get the parties to make it work.

Two other thing, health care costs, and the other is education cost. All those factors together.

And a lot of people are working harder this year than a year ago, and yet they're not getting ahead. Even if they make more money, they're not making enough money to make up. So the first thing is not raise taxes, cut the marginal tax rates, if anything, and eventually go to a fair tax which really does stop the penalties on people's productivity.

WALLACE: Mayor Giuliani, you announced plans for a big tax cut yesterday. And you have been running ads that say reducing taxes actually will increase revenues. But the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office, as well as two chairmen of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, all say that tax cuts don't pay for themselves, that in fact they add to the deficit, they don't reduce it.

So, given that, do you stand by your statement?

GIULIANI: Well, the reality is that some tax cuts do add to revenues. Other tax cuts don't add to revenues. It depends on the tax cut. And tax cutting has been part of the Bush program, the Reagan program, the Kennedy program, and it always led to significant increase in economic activity.

The Club for Growth looked at our plan, which is the biggest tax cut in history, and said that it would be a significant improvement in the economy and it would add to growth in the economy. Now, let me give you an example.

If you cut something like the corporate tax at 35 percent, you bring it down to 30 percent, you will get more revenues from that cut, because our corporate tax is the second highest in the world. If you cut some other tax, you might not get those kinds of revenues.

So, the question is: What tax are you cutting? Is it anti- competitive? If it is anti-competitive, you're actually going to get more revenues from that tax cut. But that's not the only answer to how you deal with a possible recession.

You also have to cut spending as significantly as you cut taxes. You have to be willing to impose cutbacks on each one of the federal agencies, the civilian agencies. I would do that the way I did as mayor of New York City, the way Ronald Reagan did it as president of the United States.

You have to be willing to engage in regulatory reform so that we have a picture here in the United States where we're not regulating businesses out of the country. The main things you have to guard against are overtaxing, overspending, overregulating and over-suing. And if you can find balance there, you will do things that are necessary to prop up the economy and to allow us to have a growth economy.

It's not just one thing.

WALLACE: Senator McCain, as a deficit hawk, I just want to ask you for a 30-second rebuttal on that.

Do you believe the tax cuts pay for themselves or do you believe that they add to the deficit?

MCCAIN: I think they stimulate the economy. I think that one of the first things we have to do that I forgot to mention is make these tax cuts permanent, because we've got to give some certainty to families and businesses all over America that these tax cuts will not expire and then give them the effect of a tax increase. So I believe they stimulate the economy, but, Chris, you've got to cut spending.

I'm proud to have been a member of the Reagan revolution, a foot soldier. And we cut taxes, but Ronald pay Reagan knew we had to cut spending at the same time. And that was our great failure as a party, is we cut taxes and then we let spending get out of control.

And frankly, it cost us a great deal. If we had adopted the tax cut package that I had, which entails spending cuts, then we would be talking about more tax cuts today.

WALLACE: Congressman Paul, do you support a government program to stimulate the economy?

PAUL: Well, a government program is too vague. What kind of a government program?

If it's appropriating money and trying to stimulate that way and spend more money, no, that would be the wrong thing to do. But a government program of a -- of a reduced tax burden, yes, that would be.

Also, to solve this problem, you have to understand why we're in a recession. I believe we're in a recession. I think it's going to get a lot worse if we continue to do the wrong things that we've done in the past, that it's going to be delayed, just as what happened in the Depression.

But you have to understand that over-stimulation in an economy by artificially low interest rates by the Federal Reserve is the source of the recession.

PAUL: The recession has been predictable. We just don't know exactly when it will come.

If you do the wrong thing, it's going to last for a long time. The boom period comes when they just pour out easy credit and it teaches people to do the wrong things. There's a lot of malinvestment, debt that goes in the wrong direction, consumers who do the wrong things, and businessmen who do the wrong thing.

So we have to attack this and understand the importance of Austrian theory of the business cycle. If you don't, we're going to continue to do this and the longer you delay the recession, the worse the recession is, and we've delayed a serious recession for a long time.

The housing market's already in depression and a lot of people are hurt and the standing of living in this country is going down. Look at what's happening to the dollar.

And what is being offered by the Federal Reserve and Treasury and everybody in Washington? Lower interest rates. Well, lower interest rates is the problem. Artificially low interest rates is the artificial stimulus which causes the bubble, which allows the inevitable recession to come.

So what we need to do is deal with monetary policy and not pretend that artificial stimulus by more spending is going to help. That won't do you one bit of good.

WALLACE: Senator Thompson, I'd like to get your opinion, also, on whether or not we're in a recession or headed for one. And, as well, you have proposed a big tax plan, but much of it, including, for instance, extending the Bush tax cut, wouldn't help in the short run.

Do you support a short-run government stimulus package or should we just leave the economy alone?

THOMPSON: First of all, I need to defend Rudy a little bit on his tax plan, because it looks an awful lot like the one I put out a couple of months ago.

So the government never loses as much revenue as the experts say we're going to. With the '01 and '03 tax cuts in place, we received more revenue into the government in one day in April of this year than ever before in the history of the country.

So much for the experts, as far as that's concerned. It does stimulate growth and it's overall beneficial for the economy.

Unemployment is up to five percent. That used to be considered full employment, but we're going in the wrong direction with regard to that. It's not just the subprime market now. It's poured over into the general housing market.

Credit is scarce. It's affected the consumer credit market in general. If you're talking about automobile loans or you're talking about credit card thieves or anything like that, the money is getting tighter and tighter.

We still have a bunch of two-handed economists in Washington. On the one hand, we may go into recession, and, on the other hand, we may not. Nobody knows. But I think that as we proceed, we need to count on the fed doing the right thing in terms of the interest rates and we need to look seriously at whether or not we should do things such as speed up depreciation schedules for businesses, those that create jobs, have a deduction for capital expenses instead of having to capitalize them, things of that nature.

We had a stimulus package back in '01. It's targeted toward the lower income people. I think that has to be considered somewhere along the line if the economy calls for it, not today, but perhaps a little later on.

But we have to keep in mind a great many lower income people don't pay income taxes to start with. So an income tax rebate like we've tried before would not work.

We would all be a lot better off if people knew that these tax cuts of '01 and '03 were not going to expire at the end of 2010, which they're scheduled to do.

Shoji Kawamori speaking about Macross Frontier

John Zmirak on the humanities

Are the Humanities Useful?
Posted by John Zmirak on January 10, 2008

Thomas More College gets a mention.

Spider-Man and Mary Jane's breakup

In Newsweek

Okay... I'm sure this will do nothing to improve Pete Takeshi's opinion of Marvel. I suppose that's the problem with the American production of serials (both in comic book form and on television)--the producers want to keep it around as long as possible, for the sake of revenue. How to keep the series fresh and the fans hooked? This is in contrast to East Asia, where the majority(?) of series do come to an end, and so there is less of a possibility of creative exhaustion (unless one writes predominantly in one or several genres, in which case the rate of exhaustion is quickened).

Happy Birthday!

to my mother!

From Other Mother-Daughter Paintings: "Baby's First Caress" (1891) by Mary Cassatt

An interesting painting from a LDS (Mormon) painter:

J. Kirk Richards: Artist, Musician, Author

Links to images of the Madonna and Child/Holy Family

Fabius Maximus, Good news about Global Oil Production!

Good news about Global Oil Production!

Interviews with Dmitri Orlov and JHK

Via EB, Peak Oil--Jan 10

The Long Emergency: Orlov and Kunstler (Podcast)
KMO, C-Realm Podcast KMO welcomes author Dmitry Orlov back to the program for a discussion of keeping people fed in times of turmoil and for a reading from Orlov’s soon-to-be-published book, Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects. After that, James H. Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century, drops by to talk about the fate of surburbia in the post-petroleum era.(9 January 2008)Dmitry Orlov reads a devasting excerpt about the American food supply from his upcoming book. He then discusses food production in Russia. -BA


See also: Another Nail in the Coffin of the Case Against Peak Oil (PDF), Matthew R. Simmons, Simmons International

GL, Wood is more precious than gold

From Energy Bulletin:
Wood is more precious than gold
Gene Logsdon, Organic To Be (Dave Smith)
You can’t eat gold like you can the bounty of trees in fruits, nuts, maple syrup, and various edible mushrooms and herbal treasures of the woodland. You can’t warm yourself with gold. You can’t bask in the shade of gold.

Zenit: St. Thérèse's Parents Nearer to Beatification

St. Thérèse's Parents Nearer to Beatification

Causes for 6-Year-Old and Cardinal Newman Advancing

By Marta Lago

ROME, JAN. 10, 2008 ( A married couple, a 6-year-old girl and a cardinal-convert from Anglicanism may be among those beatified soon by the Church.

Cardinal José Saraiva Martins spoke with L'Osservatore Romano about a few of the more than 2,200 cases being studied by the Congregation of Saints' Causes, of which he is prefect.

The beatification process of Luigi Martin and Celia Guérin is nearing completion, he said. They are the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Their heroic virtue was officially recognized in 1944.

Antonietta Meo, a 6-year-old who cheerfully endured bone cancer, might also soon be beatified, Cardinal Saraiva Martins said. Benedict XVI recognized her heroic virtue just last month. She would be the youngest non-martyr to be beatified.

Cardinal John Henry Newman, a 19th-century English convert from Anglicanism, may also soon be raised to the altar. Pope John Paul II recognized his heroic virtue in 1991.

"I personally hope that his beatification can happen in a truly short period of time, because it would be very important in this moment for the path of ecumenism," Cardinal Saraiva Martins said.

And, as far as Pope John Paul II, "all of the documents that have been collected have been turned in to our congregation," the cardinal said. "Currently, the 'positio' [report] is being prepared, which will have the most relevant and meaningful elements of the process, systematically and organically organized. This is necessary for the evaluation of Pope Wojtyla's practice of heroic virtue by the theologians, cardinals and the bishops who are members of the dicastery.

"For now, we're not talking about a timeline."

Zenit: Dicastery for Saints' Causes Readies Norms

Dicastery for Saints' Causes Readies Norms

Document for Bishops to Reflect Benedict XVI

By Marta Lago

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 9, 2008 ( Diocesan bishops will receive new instructions from the Holy See on the process of beatification and canonization, emphasizing the importance of a reputation of sanctity, says a Vatican official.

Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation of Saints' Causes, confirmed this in L'Osservatore Romano, announcing a document that the dicastery is preparing to release.

The document will explain changes that Benedict XVI made to the process of causes of canonization.

"Celebrating the rite in the native lands" of those elevated to the altar is the biggest change instituted by this pontificate, the cardinal said. "It draws the people of a given nation even closer to the universal Church."

The new document has "certain instructions on how to proceed in the examination of the admissibility of new cases, and about what to do to concretely begin and carry forward the diocesan phase of the process," Cardinal Saraiva Martins added. Thus, it can "better respond to the new spirit introduced by Benedict XVI in the procedures of the rites of beatification. It involves very important innovations, capable of effectively highlighting the theology of the local Church as it was energetically reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council."

Caution and precision

The cardinal emphasized that the beatification of a member of God's people should be a community event, "in a climate of faith that becomes joy and ecclesial celebration because one of their own has been elevated to the honor of the altars."

And, he said, precisely because of this importance and the fervor that such events elicit, "it is necessary to proceed with more caution and precision."

The prefect said that a process can begin if someone has renowned sanctity: "Without a reputation of sanctity, nothing gets under way. It is the faithful who indicate to the Church that a figure is exemplary."

"I don't deny that there can be other promoters, such as, perhaps, the justified sentiment of a religious family with their founder or a brother or sister," he said. But "without the impulse that flows from a reputation of sanctity, it is difficult to get the process under way."