Saturday, March 01, 2008


My new non-stick wok? Scratched already. Bah.

No sign of JP in a couple of days. Where are you now?

I thought I would have gotten over this cold by now, but it seemed to get worse yesterday--maybe because I wasn't drinking enough water. My appetite is back at least... though going to Hometown for lunch today was a mistake. The food or the soda, not sure which. I've been in a foul mood because of the cold--I can sympathize with Saul Tigh in season 3 of BSG. Forget using fire--better to use bombs on those bridges. Usually I'm just resigned to letting friendships fade away... Add on top of that the thought that we're stuck in a system that will end up devouring itself, while people are content to accept the culture they've inherited and to perpetuate it, without critically examining its presuppositions and what makes it possible...

The OD called me this afternoon--he invited me to a dinner over at his friend's. Another church dinner/prayer meeting. (He had called me this morning to see if he could come pick me up to take me to church again.) It really makes me wonder if he's trying to get me to switch or something. He did say that he could introduce me to some of the singles there... but they won't marry anyone except other people in the church. That's understandable, but for now I haven't rejected the virtue of faith, so I'm leery of going back again. Doesn't seem to be much point in doing so, except to visit with his family.

Anyway, he asked me if I wanted to come out to the park and play with the kids, and I decided to do that, even though I was lying down at the time and could have used a nap. But the kids... well one of them at least was excited to see me, so that made it worth it. The OD had bought a stand for hitting soft "baseballs" (safe for kids), and we set that up for them. His daughter is a bit wild. hah. She was hitting the ball off rather well, though she needs to learn how to do it consistently.

He told me that xiao Jimmy's mom finally relented and is giving her "approval" to the relationship. No wedding date set yet, but xiao Jimmy is selling his house over in Stockton in preparation. May his mother not change her mind, or do something to poison the relationship with the in-laws! (She had set up a dinner so that both sets of parents could meet, but she backed out at the last minute, without giving a reason or apologizing.) So I may be helping him move some stuff out of the house in April. I don't know if the sale has been finalized yet--I should give xiao Jimmy a call some time.

My guess is they'll be having some sort of Buddhist wedding ceremony--at the Vietnamese temple? There is this one in San Jose, but I don't know if it is the one his gf regularly attends...

Southern Partisan has a new updated website

or so it seems to me--I hadn't performed a search for it for a long time...


Clyde Wilson: John C. Calhoun: A Statesman for the 21st Century

Nouriel Roubini, 12 steps of a global financial meltdown

NYU professor predicting a whale of a bear market
Legendary bear Nouriel Roubini lays out the case for a global financial meltdown. Pass the Prozac, please.

By Nouriel Roubini

Zenit: 2nd Lenten Sermon of Father Cantalamessa

2nd Lenten Sermon of Father Cantalamessa

"Keep Us From Pronouncing Useless Words When We Speak of You"

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 29, 2008 ( Here is a translation of the Lenten meditation delivered today by Capuchin Father Rainero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Pontifical Household, to Benedict XVI and the Roman Curia, titled "'For Every Useless Word': Speaking 'as With Words of God.'"

This is the second in a series of Lenten meditations titled "The Word of God Is Living and Effective."

* * *

1. From Jesus Who Preaches to Christ Preached

In the second letter to the Corinthians -- which is, par excellence, the letter dedicated to the office of preaching -- St. Paul writes these programmatic words: "We do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord!" (2 Corinthians 4:5). In a previous letter to these same faithful in Corinth he wrote: "We preach Christ crucified!" (2 Corinthians 4:5). When the Apostle wants to embrace the content of Christian preaching with a single word, this word is always the person of Jesus Christ!

In these statements Jesus is no longer seen -- as in the Gospels -- in his quality as preacher, but as that which is preached. Similarly, we see that "Gospel of Jesus" acquires a new meaning, without, however, losing the old one; from the "glad tidings" in which Jesus is the subject, one passes to the "glad tidings" in which Jesus is the object.

This is the meaning that the word "gospel" acquires in the solemn beginning of the Letter to the Romans: "Paul, servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, chosen beforehand to proclaim the Gospel of God, which he promised in the sacred Scriptures, regarding his Son, born from the line of David according to the flesh, constituted Son of God with power according to the Spirit of sanctification through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ, our Lord" (Romans 1:1-3).

In this second Lenten meditation we will focus on the Word of God in the mission of the Church. This is the theme that the third chapter of the "lineamenta" of next October's Synod of Bishops is concerned with. The following is an outline of the topics of that chapter:

The Church's Mission is to Proclaim Christ, the Word of God Made Man;

The Word of God is to be Accessible to All, in Every Age;

The Word of God: the Grace of Communion Among Christians;

The Word of God: A Light for Interreligious Dialogue:

(a) With the Jewish people

(b) With other religions

The Word of God: The Leaven in Modern Culture

The Word of God and Human History.

I will restrict myself to a particular, very limited point, which however, I believe influences the quality and effectiveness of the proclamation of the Church in all of its expressions.

2. "Useless" Words and "Effective" Words

In Matthew's Gospel, in the context of the sermon on the words that reveal the heart, a saying of Jesus is reported that has made readers of the Gospel tremble throughout history: "But I say to you that men will have to answer for every useless word on the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36).

It has been difficult to explain what Jesus intended by "useless word." Some light is shed by another passage in Matthew's Gospel (7:15-20) that addresses the theme of the tree that is known by its fruit and where the whole discourse seems to be directed at false prophets: "Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are rapacious wolves. You will know them by their fruit."

If Jesus' saying has some relationship with the saying about false prophets, then perhaps we can discover what the word "useless" means. The Greek term that is translated by "useless" is "argon," which means "without effect" (alpha privative, plus "ergos," which means "work"). Some modern translations, including that of the Italian bishops' conference, render the term with "baseless," and so with a passive value: a word without a basis, in other words, slander. It is an attempt to give a more reassuring sense to Jesus' threat. It is not at all particularly disturbing, in fact, if Jesus says that an answer has to be given to God for every slander!

But, on the contrary, the meaning of "argon" is active and signifies a word that does not establish anything, that produces nothing -- thus, empty, sterile, without effectiveness.[1] In this sense the Vulgate's ancient translation was more accurate: "verbum otiosum," an "otiose" word, useless, which is the understanding adopted today in the majority of translations.

It is not hard to understand what Jesus means if we compare this adjective with that which, in the Bible, always characterizes the word of God: the adjective "energes," effective, that which works, that is always followed by an effect ("ergos"). This is the same adjective from which energetic is derived. St. Paul, for example, writes to the Thessalonians that, having received the divine word of the Apostle's preaching, they had welcomed it not as the word of men, but, as it truly is, as "the word of God that works ("energeitai") in those who believe (cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:13). The opposition between the word of God and the word of men is presented here, implicitly, as an opposition between the word "that works" and the word "that does not work," between the effective word and the ineffective and vain word.

We also find this concept of the effectiveness of the divine word in the letter to the Hebrews: "The word of God is living and effective ("energes") (4:12). But it is an ancient concept; in Isaiah, God declares that the word that has gone out from his mouth will never return to him "without effect," without having "done that for which it was sent" (cf. Isaiah 55:11).

The useless word, for which men will have to answer on the Day of Judgment, is not, therefore, every and any useless word; it is rather the useless, empty word pronounced by him who should instead pronounce the "energetic" words of God. It is, in sum, the word of the false prophet, who has not received the word of God, but nevertheless persuades others to believe his merely human words are the word of God. What happens is exactly the reverse of what St. Paul says: Having received a human word, it is not taken for what it is, but for what it is not, that is, a divine word. For every useless word about God, man will have to answer! This, then, is the meaning of Jesus' grave admonishment.

The useless word is the counterfeit of the word of God, it is a parasite of the word of God. It is recognized by the fruits that it does not produce, because, by definition, it is sterile, without effectiveness -- for the good, of course. God "keeps vigil over his word" (cf. Jeremiah 1:12), is jealous for it and cannot allow man to make use of the divine powers that it bears.

The prophet Jeremiah permits us to hear, as through a loudspeaker, what is concealed beneath that word of Jesus. With him it is now clear that it is the false prophets who are the targets: "Thus says the Lord of hosts: Listen not to the words of your prophets, who fill you with emptiness; visions of their own fancy they speak, not from the mouth of the Lord. Let the prophet who has a dream recount his dream; let him who has my word speak my word truthfully! What has straw to do with the wheat? says the Lord. Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, like a hammer shattering rocks? Therefore I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who steal my words from each other. Yes, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who borrow speeches to pronounce oracles" (Jeremiah 23:16, 26-31).

3. Who Are the False Prophets?

But we are not here to give a disquisition on the false prophets in the Bible. As always, the Bible is speaking about us. That word of Jesus does not judge the world, but the Church; the world will not be judged over useless words -- all of its words are, in the sense described above, useless words! -- but it will be judged, if at all, for not having believed in Jesus (cf. John 16:9). The "men" who must answer for every useless word are the men of the Church; we are the preachers of the word of God.

The "false prophets" are not only those who from time to time disseminate heresies; they are also those who falsify the word of God. Paul is the one who uses this term, drawing it from the contemporary language; literally it means to water down the word, as do the fraudulent hosts when they dilute their wine with water (cf. 2 Corinthians 2:17; 4:2). The false prophets are those who do not present the word of God in its purity, but they dilute and extenuate it with a thousand human words that come from out of their heart.

I too am the false prophet, every time that I do not entrust myself to the "weakness," "foolishness," "poverty" and "nakedness" of the word and I cover it up, and I esteem what I have clothed it in more than the word itself, and the time that I spend covering it up is more than that which I spend with the word, remaining before it in prayer, worshipping it and allowing it to live in me.

Jesus, at Cana in Galilee, transformed water into wine, that is, [transformed] the dead letter into the Spirit that gives life -- this is how the Fathers of the Church interpreted the episode; false prophets are those who do the exact opposite, and change the pure wine of the word of God into water that does not inebriate anyone, into a dead letter, into vain chatter. Deep down, they are ashamed of the Gospel (cf. Romans 1:16) and of Jesus' words, because they are "too hard" for the world, or too poor or naked for the intellectuals, and they then try to season them with what Jeremiah called "visions of their own fancy."

St. Paul wrote to his disciple Timothy: "Be eager to present yourself as acceptable to God […] imparting the word of truth without deviation. Avoid profane, idle talk, for such people will become more and more godless" (2 Timothy 2:15-16). Profane chatter is that talk that is not relevant to God's design, which does not have anything to do with the mission of the Church. Too many human words, too many useless words, too many speeches, too many documents. In the era of mass communication the Church too runs the risk of falling into the "straw" of useless words, speaking just to say something, writing just because there are journals and newspapers to be filled.

In this way we offer to the world an optimal pretext resting content in its unbelief and its sin. When they have heard the authentic word of God, it would not be easy for unbelievers to go off saying -- as they often do after listening to our preaching: "Words, words, words!" St. Paul calls the words of God "the weapons for our battle" and says that they alone "destroy arguments and every pretension raising itself against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive in obedience to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

Humanity is sick from noise, the philosopher [Soren] Kierkegaard said; it is necessary to fast, but a fasting from words; someone needs to cry out, as Moses did one day: "Be silent and listen Israel!" (Deuteronomy 27:9). The Holy Father reminded us of the necessity of this fast from words in his Lenten meeting with the pastors of Rome and I believe, as is his wont, his invitation was not first directed to the world but to the Church.

4. Jesus did not Come to Speak to us of Frivolities

These words of Péguy have always struck me:

"Jesus, my child,"

-- it is the Church speaking to her children --

"did not come to speak to us of frivolities

He did not make the trip to descend to the earth,

to come to tell us riddles and jokes.

There is no time for entertaining ourselves.

He did not give his life,

to come to tell us fables."[2]

The concern to keep the word of God distinct from every other word is such that, sending his apostles out on mission, Jesus commands them not to greet anyone on the way (cf. Luke 10:4). I experienced at my own expense that sometimes this commandment must be obeyed to the letter. Stopping to greet people and exchange pleasantries as one is about to begin preaching inevitably disturbs concentration on the word that is to be announced and causes this word to lose its alterity in regard to all human discourse. The same exigency is experienced -- or should be experienced -- when one is vesting to celebrate Mass.

The exigency is even greater when it is a matter of the content itself of preaching. In Mark's Gospel Jesus cites the words of Isaiah: "In vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines that are human precepts" (Isaiah 29:13); then he adds, turning to the Pharisees and scribes: "Neglecting the commandment of God, you follow human traditions ... and in this way you nullify the word of God with traditions that you yourselves have handed down" (Mark 7:7-13).

When one never succeeds in proposing the simple and naked word of God, without making it pass through the filter of a thousand distinctions and precisions and additions and explanations, which in themselves are even right, but extenuating the word of God, one is doing precisely what Jesus reproved the Pharisees and scribes for that day: one "nullifies the word of God"; one dilutes it, causing it to lose the greater part of its power of penetration in the heart of men.

The word of God cannot be used for other ends or to clothe already existing human discourses with the mantle of divine authority. In times that are still near to us, one saw where such a tendency led. The Gospel was used to support every type of human project from class struggle to the death of God.

When a listener is so predetermined by psychological, factional, political or impulsive conditions, to make it impossible, from the outset, not to say what he expects and not to make him completely right about everything; when there is no hope of being able to lead the listeners to that point in which it is possible to say to them: "Convert and believe!" then it is well not to proclaim the word of God so that is not be used for party goals and, therefore, betrayed. It is better, in other words, to renounce a real proclamation, limiting oneself -- if one pursues the matter at all -- to listening, and trying to understand and taking part in the people's anxieties and sufferings, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom rather by presence and charity. Jesus, in the Gospel, shows himself to be very careful about not letting himself be used for the political ends of a party.

Obviously, the reality of experience, and thus the human word, is not excluded from the Church's preaching, but it has to be subordinated to the word of God, to the service of this word. As, in the Eucharist, the body of Christ assimilates those who consume it, and not vice-versa, so also in proclamation the word of God must be the more vital and stronger principle, to subjugate and assimilate the human word, and not the contrary. It is necessary, because of this, to have the courage more often to begin, in treating the doctrinal and disciplinary problems of the Church, from the word of God, especially that of the New Testament, and to remain thus linked to it, bound by it, certain that in this way one will more surely discover, in every question, what the will of God is.

One sees this same need in religious communities. There is a danger that in the formation given to young people and novices, in spiritual exercises and everything else in the community's life, more time is spent on the writings of the founder of the community -- often very poor in content -- than on the word of God.

5. Speak as With Words of God

I realize that a grave objection can be raised to what I am saying. Should the Church's preaching, then, reduce itself to a sequence -- or a barrage -- of biblical citations, with so many indications of chapter and verse, in a manner reminiscent of the Jehovah's Witnesses and other fundamentalist groups? Certainly not. We are the heirs of a different tradition. I will explain what I mean by being bound to the word of God.

We turn again to the second letter to the Corinthians, where St. Paul writes: "For we are not like the many who trade [literally: "water down," "falsify"] on the word of God; but as out of sincerity, indeed as from God and in the presence of God, we speak in Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:17); and Saint Peter, in his first letter exhorts Christians saying: "Whoever preaches, let it be as with the words of God" (1 Peter 4:11). What does it mean to "speak in Christ," or to speak "as with the words of God"? It certainly does not mean to repeat materially and only the words pronounced by Christ and by God in Scripture. It means that the fundamental inspiration, the thought that "informs" and rules everything else, must come from God, not from man. The preacher must be "moved by God" and speak as in his presence.

There are two ways to prepare a sermon or any written or verbal proclamation of faith. I can sit down at the desk and choose for myself which word to proclaim and the theme to develop, basing myself on my knowledge, my preferences, etc., and then, once the discourse is prepared, get on my knees to hastily ask God to bless that which I have written and make my words effective. This is already something good but it is not the prophetic way. The contrary is what should be done. First, get on your knees and ask God what the word is that he wants to speak; then, sit at the desk and use your own knowledge to give a body to that word. This changes everything because it is not God who must make my word his, but it is I who make his word mine.

It is necessary to begin with the certainty of faith that, in every circumstance, the Risen Lord has a word in his heart that he wants to reach his people. It is that which changes things and it is that which must be discovered. And he will not fail to reveal it to his servant, if his servant asks for it humbly and insistently. In the beginning there is an almost imperceptible movement of the heart; a little light that begins to flicker in the mind, a word of the Bible that begins to draw attention to itself and that illuminates a situation.

Truly "the smallest of all seeds," but afterward you will see that everything was inside; there was a single note that felled the cedars of Lebanon. Then go to your desk, open your books, consult your notes, consult the Fathers of the Church, the masters, the poets. But it is already something else. It is no longer the Word of God at the service of your culture but your culture at the service of the Word of God.

Origen describes the process that leads to this discovery well. Before finding nourishment in Scripture, he said, it is necessary to endure a certain poverty of the senses; the soul is surrounded on all sides by darkness, one enters onto ways that have no exit; until, suddenly, after toilsome searching and prayer, the voice of the Word resounds and immediately something is illuminated; he whom the soul sought comes to meet her, "springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills" (Song of Songs 2:8), that is, disposing the mind to receive his powerful and luminous word.[3] Great is the joy that accompanies this moment. It caused Jeremiah to say, "When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart" (Jeremiah 15:16).

Typically God's answer comes in the form of a word of Scripture that, however, in that moment reveals its extraordinary relevance to the situation and the problem that is to be treated, as if it were written precisely for it. Sometimes it is not even necessary to cite or comment explicitly on any biblical word. It is enough that it be present in the mind of the one speaking and inform everything that he says. If this is the case, then de facto he speaks "as with the words of God." This method is always valid: for the great documents of the magisterium as for the lessons that the master gives to his novices, for a refined address as for a humble Sunday homily.

We have all experienced how much one word of God that is deeply believed and lived gives to the someone before he speaks it and sometimes this occurs without his knowing; often it must be recognized that among many words it was that one that touched the heart and led more than one hearer to the confessional.

After having indicated the conditions of Christian proclamation -- speaking of Christ with sincerity as moved by God and under his gaze -- the apostle asks: "And who is up to this task?" (2 Corinthians 2:16). It is plain that no one is up to it. We carry this treasure in earthen vessels (2 Corinthians 4:7). We can, however, pray and say: Lord, have mercy on this poor clay pot that must carry the treasure of your word; keep us from pronouncing useless words when we speak of you; let us once taste your word so that we know how to distinguish it from all others and so that every other word will appear insipid to us. Spread hunger throughout the land, as you promised, "not a hunger for bread, or a thirst for water, but for hearing the word of the Lord" (Amos 8:11).

* * *

[1] Cf. M. Zerwick, Analysis philologica Novi Testamenti Graeci, Romae 1953, ad loc.
[2] Charles Péguy, "The Portal of the Mystery of the Second Virtue," in "Oeuvres poétiques complètes," Gallimard 1975, pp. 587 s.

[3] Cf. Origen, In Mt Ser. 38 (GCS, 1933, p. 7); In Cant. 3 (GCS, 1925, p. 202).

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

[Errors found in the English translation of last week's Lenten sermon have been corrected and the revised text can be found here:]

Men don't want to become teachers?

See this post by Dr. Helen (and the comments): Percentage of Male Teachers Hits 40-Year Low

Someone makes the point that the numbers are returning to what was the "norm" before the Vietnam War. Nonetheless, even if men weren't that involved in primary education in the last century, how about secondary education? And are less men become secondary educators now?

Friday, February 29, 2008

Walden Bello, Mouth-to-mouth will fail economies

Mouth-to-mouth will fail economies
The US government might yet pull the economy out of the jaws of recession through the short-term fix of raising spending on the military or the related disaster capitalism complex. But one way or another, the forces making for long-term global stagnation are now too heavy to be shaken off by the equivalent of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. - Walden Bello

Rhonda Vincent

Official Rhonda Vincent Website
Rounder Records - Rhonda Vincent -

Rhonda Vincent - Good Thing Going

RHONDA VINCENT - We Got A Good Thing Goin'

Rhonda Vincent & The Rage "Down to the River to Pray"

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage - Heartbreaker's Alibi

Hayley Westenra talks about New Zealand

Reviews for The Other Boleyn Girl

continue to be bad...

Rotten Tomatoes

The director gets most of the blame. Will a movie like this discourage people from reading a decent history book?

Looks like I'll be skipping this one...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Twitch review of Kabei

by Yoji Yamada

official website

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage - "Heartbreakers Alibi"

If Heartaches Had Wings

Rhonda Vincent - Good Thing Going

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage -I've Forgotten You (whole song)
Rhonda Vincent and the Rage - Prettiest Flower There
Rhonda Vincent & The Rage - If Heartaches Had Wings
Rhonda Vincent and the Rage - My Sweet love Aint Around

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage - Ghost of a Chance
Rhonda Vincent-I've forgotten you

80s pop: 'Til Tuesday-Voices Carry

A request from Sarge: 'Til Tuesday-Voices Carry

Lind, The Fake State of Kosovo

@ Counterpuch

John Lukacs interview

TCS Daily columnist Ed Driscoll speaks with historian John Lukacs on his latest book, "June 1941: Hitler and Stalin." (odeo)

The Wreck of Western Culture

Rod Dreher recommends it and lets us know that ISI will be publishing it this Fall: Western culture, wrecked this fall

The Wreck of Western Culture
humanism revisited

But is it another example of history of ideas that is actually bad history? In the past I was sympathetic to such efforts, but I grow more and more skeptical of them. Do we really need grand philosophical systems to explain the sinfulness of fallen man, especially of the political and economic elites behind the growth and development of the modern nation-state? And how influential were the liberals on the constitutions of these nation-states? (Especially on the questions of the nature and origin of society and political authority?) How much of what is understood to be part of liberalism actually antedates it and can be found in the medieval political and legal tradition?

To ask these questions is not to deny that liberals and their intellectual heirs may have had an impact on some level--indeed, perhaps instead of causing the rise of the modern nation-state, what they did was actually to undermine it while ostensibly providing a rationale and taking credit for its existence.

Community vs. Citizenship: MacIntyre's Revolt against the Modern State

John Zmirak on another ISI book, Human Goods, Economic Evils: Against Unselfishness

Mahrt, A Critique of Sing to the Lord

via NLM: A Critique of Sing to the Lord, by William Mahrt

E.M. Forster, The Machine Stops

From a suggestion in the comments section over at the Crunchy Con blog:


by E.M. Forster

LibriVox » The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster
Gilded Prisons of Technology
Aspects of E.M. Forster: The Machine Stops (1909)


When is it time to let go of some friendships, because there isn't really that much there any more? Or maybe there wasn't much there to begin with? People mature at different rates, while some never mature, and what may have been grounds for "friendship" when one was in high school may no longer be such.

St. Francis de Sales writes in Introduction to the Devout Life:

Friendship demands very close correspondence between those who love one another, otherwise it can never take root or continue. And together with the interchange of friendship, other things imperceptibly glide in, and a mutual giving and receiving of emotions and inclinations takes place; especially when we esteem the object of our love very highly, because then we so entirely open our heart to him, that his influence rules us altogether, whether for good or evil.

The bees which make that oriental honey of which I spoke, seek to gather nought save honey, but with it they suck up the poisonous juices of the aconite on which they light. So here, my child, we must bear in mind what our Saviour said about putting out our money to the exchangers; (1) we must seek to make a good exchange, not receiving bad money and good alike, and learning to distinguish that which is valuable from what is worthless, since scarcely any one is free from some imperfection, nor is there any reason why we should adopt all our friend's faults as well as his friendship.

Of course we should love him notwithstanding his faults, but without loving those faults; true friendship implies an interchange of what is good, not what is evil. As men who drag the river Tagus sift the gold from its sands and throw the latter back upon the shore, so true friends should sift the sand of imperfections and reject it. S. Gregory Nazianzen tells us how certain persons who loved and admired S. Basil were led to imitate even his external blemishes, his slow, abstracted manner of speaking, the cut of his beard, and his peculiar gait.

And so we see husbands and wives, children, friends, who, by reason of their great affection for one another, acquire--either accidentally or designedly--many foolish little ways and tricks peculiar to each. This ought not to be; for every one has enough imperfections of their own without adding those of anybody else, and friendship requires no such thing; on the contrary, it rather constrains us to help one another in getting rid of all sorts of imperfections. Of course we should bear with our friend's infirmities, but we should not encourage them, much less copy them.

Of course I am speaking of imperfections only, for, as to sins, we must neither imitate or tolerate these in our friends. That is but a sorry friendship which would see a friend perish, and not try to save him; would watch him dying of an abscess without daring to handle the knife of correction which would save him.

True and living friendship cannot thrive amid sin. There is a tradition that the salamander extinguishes any fire into which it enters, and so sin destroys friendship. Friendship will banish a casual sin by brotherly correction, but if the sin be persistent, friendship dies out,--it can only live in a pure atmosphere.

Much less can true friendship ever lead any one into sin; our friend becomes an enemy if he seeks to do so, and deserves to lose our friendship, and there is no surer proof of the hollowness of friendship than its profession between evil-doers. If we love a vicious person, our friendship will be vicious too; it will be like those to whom it is given.

S&C trailer

@ Yahoo

There are some family members who are interested in this, plus one former housemate.

A Jesuit recommends the show for Catholics.

From St. Francis de Sales:

Whatever is founded on mere sensuality, vanity, or frivolity, is unworthy to be called friendship. I mean such attractions as are purely external; a sweet voice, personal beauty, and the cleverness or outward show which have great weight with some. You will often hear women and young people unhesitatingly decide that such an one is very delightful, very admirable, because he is good-looking, well-dressed, sings, or dances, or talks well. Even charlatans esteem the wittiest clown amongst them as their best man.

But all these things are purely sensual, and the connections built on such foundation must be vain and frivolous, more fitly to be called trifling than friendship. They spring up chiefly among young people, who are easily fascinated by personal attractions, dress, and gossip--friendships in which the tailor and hairdresser have the chief part. How can such friendships be other than shortlived, melting away like snow wreaths in the sun!

Rorate Caeli: Styles and Tradition in the chasuble of the Roman Rite

Styles and Tradition in the chasuble of the Roman Rite

Sarge, you'll like this.

JMG on humanure

In the dark with both hands

by John Michael Greer

More: Humanure Handbook: Contents
Joseph Jenkins, Inc. - Humanure Headquarters
Humanure: Journey to Forever organic garden
Humanure! / Ultimate enviros turn brown to green
Farmer Scrub's blog: Our Humanure Setup
The Humanure Handbook :: Chelsea Green Publishing

Carolyn Baker reviews Re-inventing Collapse

Review of Dmitry Orlov's Re-inventing Collapse
The book opens with a "recipe" for collapse soup and notes that the United States has combined all of the ingredients. While Re-Inventing Collapse isn't a fluffy, feel-good novel, it is tempered with delicious outbursts of Dmitry's mischievous humor.

From a few days ago:

The five stages of collapse
A taxonomy of collapse. For those of us who have gone through the emotional stages of reconciling ourselves to the prospect of social and economic upheaval, it might be helpful to have a more precise terminology that goes beyond such emotionally charged phrases as the ever-popular "Collapse of Western Civilization."
published February 26, 2008.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley passes away

Taki Theodoracopulos: William F. Buckley As I Knew Him
Richard Spencer:William F. Buckley Jr.--R.I.P.
Justin Raimondo:William F. Buckley, Jr.—R.I.P.
From Conservative Heritage Times: William F. Buckley Has Passed Away
Rod Dreher: Bill Buckley is dead. A world ends. and Bill Buckley was a good man
Patrick Deneen: WFB Requiescat In Pace
John Derbyshire

Edit: From Daniel Larison--William F. Buckley, Jr., RIP
The American Spectator

While I eventually outgrew National Review as I did talk-radio, still I must acknowledge his role in helping me towards acquiring a different understanding of politics. I remember watching his show Firing Line while I was at Berkeley and being fascinated with his his accent (and demeanor). It sounded so refined. Was it affectation? Or genuine? While there is some controversy among netizens as to whether he disagreed with some of the Church's teaching, those who knew him said he lived like a true Christian in his dealings with others. Let us pray for his soul.

Hoover Institution Archives Firing Line Television Program Collection

Donnie Yen to play Bruce Lee’s Master YIP MAN

From Twitch:
Donnie Yen to play Bruce Lee’s Master YIP MAN

This movie doesn't seem like it is related to the other two that were mentioned earlier.

2 Yip Man movies?

And WKW will be directing one of them! That is going to be an odd movie, if it is done in the normal WKW style? And will there be a romantic element in the story as well?

From Tony Leung Plans To Wed Carina Lau:

Tony will begin filming for director Wong Kar-Wai (王家衛)'s production of The Legend of Yip Man <葉問傳> in June. With film-maker Raymond Wong (黃百鳴) also planning to film his own version of the story about the Wing Chun Grandmaster, Tony commented that the two directors will have very different methods of filming, so the clash should not cause too much of an issue.

The 19th ce and the Rise of the Atomistic Family, part 1

The Nineteenth Century and the Rise of the Atomistic Family (part 1)
Carle C. Zimmerman - 02/26/08

The following movements were particularly outstanding in the nineteenth-century confusion over the family:

  1. The rise and popularization of absolute and “causeless” divorce.
  2. The rise of race suicide again in France (Roman Gaul) where the dignitas family lost once more its conception that it exists for purposes of reproduction. Sacramentum and fides had been attacked; now proles was rejected.
  3. The spread of this idea into cultures derived from barbarian law (England, Sweden, Germany, and the United States) where the dignitas family also lost its reproductive conceptions. As proles was rejected in France, so it was rejected in the Western world.
  4. The rise of “evolutionary” history, with its conceptions of ever-moving, formless society, in place of factual history based upon what is known about man.
  5. The American nonrevolutionary experiment in family law nullification.
  6. The rise of the earlier Marxian antifamilism in Europe and its spread with the growth of Marxian conceptions of politics and economics.
  7. The instruction in nihilism of the family bond among the Slavs through the Russian Revolution. (This time the Eastern Empire gets an antifamilistic philosophy from the West, repaying it for the education in antifamilism received by the West from the East in the code of Solon to the Twelve Tables and in the introduction of later Greek philosophy to Rome.)
  8. The development of a “public” which would not permit dual marriage forms, along with the rise of social and intellectual classes who want non-dignitas marriage. Not being able to achieve it, especially among those cultures derived from the barbarian, by the use of a concubinatus or non-dignitas form, they have led the way in breaking up the dignitas form.

All of these changes, whether good or bad, are characteristic of the period from the end of the French Revolution to World War I. Absolute and causeless divorce became accepted and popular. For a period in the middle of the century, America nullified the family as a public contract under the control of law. In its formative stages, the Marxian conception of the all-powerful state was extremely antithetical to former conceptions of the family. It is true that Marxism visualized a perfected family, but this was to be achieved by freeing man rather than restricting him by positive laws. (The later Marxism, or all-powerful state conception, has gone in for rather severe family regulation by the state.)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More from Peter Hitchens on the death penalty

If it's all right for Cuba to have the death penalty, why can't we have it too?

Eric Bana

Eric Bana Online | | Your Online Source for ...
Eric Bana - For Fans of the Actor
Eric Bana - Yahoo! Movies

Eric Bana Central @
Eric Bana Online

Eric Bana as Henry VIII

AT: The fun's going out of Chinese festivals

The fun's going out of Chinese festivals
By Antoaneta Bezlova

The government decision to trim the May Day holiday to one working day from three and add three traditional Chinese festivals as one-day public holidays followed a recent international black-eye for China. The country saw one of its most treasured events, the Dragon Boat Festival celebrated in June, nominated and later successfully listed as an intangible part of the cultural heritage of neighboring South Korea.

The listing angered Chinese scholars and officials who accused South Korea of brazenly encroaching on China's cultural heritage.

Since the 2005 UNESCO listing of the Dragon Boat festival, South Korea has applied to have its ritualized Confucius memorial ceremony listed as another unique cultural heritage and is reported ready with an application for the listing of "Chinese traditional medicine" as "Korean traditional medicine".

To Beijing's angst, other countries have also succeeded in claiming parts of cultural heritage that China considers as its own. Vietnam was successful in listing royal court music (yayue in China) as its unique cultural form while Cambodia has claimed the famous shadow puppets for itself.

"It is not enough to talk just about territorial integrity - China needs to safeguard its cultural sovereignty too," argues literary scholar Bai Gengsheng. "Unlike material culture which is traceable, intangible cultural heritage can be very contentious and we must design strategies to preserve China's heritage from being lost to other countries."

The way forward in cultural preservation is much debated. Zhang believes the government has simply left no room for traditional culture to exist alongside China's modernity, choosing instead to artificially showcase it on special occasions.

Yayue - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ceremonial Music
Korean Performing Arts - Religious Dances
Traditional Korean Music - Religious Music - Buddhism ...
Traditional Dance and Music
Gagaku Roots

Holy Trinity Monastery videos

Trisagion/Prokimenon Holy Trinity Monastery

Creed/Ordination to Diaconate, Holy Trinity Monastery

Little Entrance, Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville NY

Great Entrance, Holy Trinity Monsatery, Jordanville NY

official website

Beijing risks Olympic-size thirst

02/26/2008 CHINA
Beijing risks Olympic-size thirst
There's a water shortage in the north after a winter of scarce rain. Hebei, which must supply water to Beijing, doesn't even have enough for its own needs.

PJB, The Return of Ethnic Nationalism

@ his blog; Chronicles

Further reflections at Rebellion.

What does he think of South Bend?

According to KK, Gordon Ramsay is in South Bend shooting an episode of Kitchen Nightmares. Has he visited Fiddler's Hearth?

Should we patronize the entertainment industry

The HK entertainment sex scandal (the story continues... or at least people are continuing to be baat, waiting to see if any new photos come out or what x or y will do next) got me thinking... how prevalent are "casting couches" in Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, the United States, and elsewhere? Or executives and managers demanding sexual favors in exchange for promoting an "artist" trying to break into the industry?

Should we financially support such an industry, if the majority of its key players are like this? Now, maybe things are not that corrupt in E. Asia (or here in the U.S.), but how do we know that they are not? It's not as if they are marketing fine art, but entertainment idols with their 'beauty' and youth who will keep the money coming in. Even if it's not a majority, how much is enough?

Or what about giving our time, attention, and money to artists who really do not contribute much for the edification of others? (For example, they are arrested for drunk driving or caught doing something indecent in public.) Besides, cohabitation and fornication seem to be on par for many young adults today, and even a greater percentage of "artists" and celebrities? Some have written about how hypocritical some Asian idols are, draping themselves with a pure and innocent image while doing the opposite in their private lives. (I read a while ago that the Korean singer Ivy has been in hiding since an ex-boyfriend blackmailed her, threatening to leak a compromising video. While he has been arrested and jailed, she is still in hiding.) At times I don't know which is worse, being hypocritical or being brazen about living such a lifestyle.

The suicide of Heath Ledger also reminds us that the entertainment industry attracts many who are psychologically or spiritually unhealthy, or it makes them so. The term "attention whore" is used often by teenagers to refer to themselves and others when they post photos of themselves online to solicit compliments; perhaps the whoring part is more literal when it comes to the dealings of managemers and company execs. (Are there any ties between the mainstream entertainment industries and pornography producers?) How many aspiring actors and actresses are there who decided to go into acting precisely because they thought this was the way to get the attention that they didn't get at home?

If we were to go into an economic depression, how much of the entertainment industry would survive? Should we be encouraging entertainment workers to get an honest job instead? (And if the case may be, to reform their lives?)

Both of the first two sets of questions require us to look at formal and material cooperation in evil, and it seems to me that it is possible to continue financially supporting such people without approving of the evil that they do. So perhaps the most morally relevant question is still this one: What about supporting the "art" that is created? Should we be wasting our money on projects and products that are not worth it? (And should we be providing them a livelihood when the products they provide are of questionable quality? Or should we be subsidizing better endeavours?)

We have become used to buying products aimed at pleasing the senses and not much more as "having culture." We are passive users of such products, instead of acting creatively, virtuously, artistically. Someone might object: but haven't patrons always been passive consumers of the art they supported? First, it is not a good thing for us to neglect our own native abilities to create art, especially with respect to music and singing. Not everyone is born tone-deaf. Second, the patrons of the past were not without the necessary background and education to appreciate great works of art. Most of us are. Third, it is one thing to patronize a life performance, and another to buy a recording. When we consider how much better some performer sounds on CD, because of the manipulation that can be done in a recording studio, as opposed to live in concert, are we wrong to think we have been deceived in thinking that someone has more talent than is actually possessed? If we can only listen to performances at certain times, we have to have some measure of self-discipline. A concert can be inserted into the life of the community or be given more meaning by being tied to some celebration. But now, all we need to do is pop in a CD or listen to our ipod or mp3 player--instant gratification, often while we ignore our neighbors sitting next to us.

I find it hard to believe that parents will buy their children an Ipod or mp3 player, and let them plug in. When I was growing up, I was envious of those who had a Walkman or Discman at such an early age, but now... doesn't it go against good parenting to stunt the emotional, aesthetic, and moral development of one's children through such toys?

As for movies... that discussion will have to be postponed...

Consumption is also part of the mindset/hunger behind idol-making and following. We project onto the idol and seek to possess him or her, perhaps creating a vivid fantasy life around the idol. At the very least we objectify the idol by focusing on that which pleases us (outer appearance and maybe talent) while remaining ignorant of their true personality. In this way, idols are not heroes, people whom we admire, honor, and seek to emulate (though we may wish to become a celebrity and have a luxurious lifestyle). We merely wish to have them. (Becoming a celebrity stalker is just this mindset going to an extreme.)

Celebrity 'worship' is strengthened, if not begun, during the confused years of adolescence, when hormones are first making their power felt. (With parents failing to protect their children from the influence of mass media and marketing, children as young as 7 and 8 begin to acquire these attitudes as well.) If only it were so easy for them to stop idolizing celebrities. Can we say that we eventually outgrow such childish attachments? But how many married women in their 30s and 40s still have their little crushes on George Clooney or Brad Pitt, for example? Do we start to believe that beauty is owed to us, and that we deserve nothing less?

I started writing on 2/12--by now it seems that the scandal is dying down, with the announcement by the actor at the center of it all that he will be retiring once his current obligations have been met. What impact will it have on the lives of the women involved? Is there a double-standard in how they are treated and viewed in Chinese society? It must be said that the actor has lost some advertising and spokesman contracts.

Lust knows no end in Hong Kong

By Kent Ewing

Edit: 3/2
More rumors that photos of other female celebrities have been found by the Hong Kong Police.

More Bourne?

From IGN:
More Bourne
Damon, director reportedly sign for another.
by IGN Staff

Other news--
A Date With the Terminator
Bale's Salvation release set.
by IGN Staff

February 26, 2008 - Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, starring Christian Bale and Sam Worthington, has been set for a May 22, 2009 big-screen release by Warner Bros.

T4, according to Variety, will begin filming on May 5 in New Mexico. The shoot will reportedly last two months.

The May 22, 2009 release puts the latest installment in the sci-fi action sereis up against Ben Stiller's Night at the Museum II: Escape From the Smithsonian.

Salvation will take place after the nuclear holocaust that concluded Terminator 3, with John Connor (Bale) leading a band of human survivors in the fight against Skynet.

Transporter 3 Announced
Statham plus Prison Break star onboard.

The Fall trailer

Monday, February 25, 2008

Godspy has some new material!

Check it out!

Get Married! The Case for Tying the Knot Early

What is the role of the father?

Reading through the Summa tonight and found this:

Now it is evident that the upbringing of a human child requires not only the mother's care for his nourishment, but much more the care of his father as guide and guardian, and under whom he progresses in goods both internal and external. (II II 154, 2)

With nourishment could we also say that the infant is "emotionally" nourished more by the mother than the father? Which isn't to say that an emotional bond between the father and children doesn't develop, but it seems to me that this isn't as immediate as the mother-child bond.

An accurate picture of France?

Or of the U.S., for that matter? From "Dark Side of the Boom" by Bill Bonner:

Driving along in rural France things look like they 'ought' to look. There are neat houses of stone, with shutters and woodpiles. There are open fields and hedgerows. You see stately oaks…fat cows…and well-tended gardens. There are no strip malls, almost no shopping plazas, few stop lights, and little traffic. It looks the way we think it should look, in other words…the way we want it to look.

"Remember our friend Isabelle, in Paris," Elizabeth went on. "She took a trip across the U.S. She said she was shocked to see such poor people - you know, she drove through some bad sections of town…and down through rural Mississippi. I explained to her that America is extremely varied. And that a lot of people who look very, very poor in America nevertheless will have a car, a TV and even air-conditioning.

"But she was appalled, and I can see why. In France, even poor people live in a way that seems…as the French say, "correct." Their houses are well maintained. They sit down for real meals. Out here in the country, they stack their wood up nicely and have these impeccably well kept vegetable gardens. They may not have any money at all, but they still live in a way that seems okay to us…we can imagine ourselves living that way. There's nothing shocking about it.

"But America is so big…and so many people in America have such different ideas about how you should live. Their aesthetic vision is so completely different…say from a prim New England town to a New Orleans slum…that there is no one 'correct' way to live. I can perfectly well imagine living in the New England town…it's part of my culture…it's part of my family history…and it's part of the way I think things ought to be. But I couldn't live happily in a New Orleans slum…or in West Virginia with junk cars in the yard and broken out windowpanes. And when you see people living like that…if you're not used to it, I guess it is a shock. But it's not a matter of money…or certainly not just a matter of money. It's more a matter of aesthetics…which is why they really are important."

St. Elias videos

St. Elias Church--Baptism & Chrismation

Панахида St Elias Church, Brampton, ON

Feast of Theophany (Йордан) St. Elias Church 2008

Dormition 1--St. Elias Church, Brampton, ON

Dormition 2--Tropar--St. Elias Church, Brampton ON

Dormition 3 St. Elias Church, Brampton ON

Dormition 4 St. Elias Church, Brampton ON

Troparia for the Reposed

Eternal Memory Вічная Память

Похорон Rite of Burial


Sokolica Monastery

Serbian Orthodox nun puts final work on a handcrafted icon of Virgin Mary, in Sokolica monastery, near ethnically divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008, as Kosovo province prepare for declaring independence from Serbia on Sunday. The monastery from 14th century is surrounded by ethnic Albanian villages and under permanent protection of KFOR troops.

(AP Photo/Srdjan Ilic)

Serbian Orthodox nun stands inside the Sokolica monastery, near ethnically divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica, Saturday, Feb.16, 2008, as Kosovo province prepare for declaring independence from Serbia on Sunday. The monastery from 14th century is surrounded by ethnic Albanian villages and under permanent protection of KFOR troops.

(AP Photo/Srdjan Ilic)

Sokolica Monastery

youtube vids

Lancaster Farming Speaks with Michael Pollan

via EB

Lancaster Farming Speaks with Michael Pollan
Tracy Sutton, Lancaster Farming (Pennsylvania)

Preliminary thoughts on health care

Health itself is not a common good, but a private one. Therefore, it cannot fall under distributive justice? How about medicine/medical care or health insurance though? Is the work of doctors and nurses on par with that of rulers, who are charged with direct care of the common good? It does seem ungainsayable to assert that those who have medical skills should have the burden of caring for the sick and injured, and that all should be working for the common good, though their tasks may be different.

But how do physicians, medics, and so on differ from the farmer? (The farmer who grows food not only for his family but for others.) We do not expect his remuneration to come from the public treasury, but from the one purchasing his products. Who, then, should pay for the doctor's services and expenses?

Even if health care is a "common good," it cannot but be limited due to the number of medical personnel, and so on. If it is to be apportioned in accordance with distributive justice, then on what basis? On the basis of illness alone? Or on the basis of "moral" merit as well? Would we say that food should be distributed according to need only, if food is to be distributed at all? Food does not seem to be a common good, even if that which goes into the production of food, land, sunlight, and water for example, are.

I need to investigate the nature of insurance: pooling of resources, risk allocation, and so on. Should insurance companies be able to choose their customers, regardless of whether it is for-profit or non-profit? How does an insurance company stay in business, if it does not balance the amount of money being generated through subscriptions with expenditures on health care?

The healthy made seek to divide risk with respect to accidents that cannot be foreseen or illnesses beyond their control. But what of those with family histories
of chronic illness, cancer, and so on? Should they be denied insurance simply because they are likely to incur a lot of medical expenses?

Are we spoiled with the expectation that in paying for treatment we should be able to get more out of it than we put in? Is there widespread abuse of the dividing up of burdens for payment? Do people see a doctor more or order more tests and treatments than necessary, because they think it is affordable?

Without looking at concrete proposals, will universal health care coverage require that certain people shoulder an unfair burden and thus be counter to distributive justice?

It may be easy to consider money in the abstract, without the labor and other resources needed to generate wealth--the modern mind is best by the tyranny of numbers; if something is not quantified, it is unimportant. Is the average standard of living an accurate indication of the amount of wealth being generated in an area?

We easily lose sight of the fact that wealth is not an end itself, but a means. The same could be said about health, though health is arguably a more important good than our possessions.

How many of the problems with the health care system are due to a lack of true local economies? How is it possible to calculate a living or just wage that is applicable to all of the United States when there are different standards of living and such? How much of an impact does the disparity in local economies affect medical care and health insurance costs?

WWWTW: At What Point Does This Slot Into a Larger Narrative?


can be hard to understand sometimes... the girl who is certainly in need of some affection in her life also has a tendency to abuse or "say mean things"... it could be that she is just hiding the fact that she likes someone, but maybe it's more than that.

Another girl from a different class came up to me today after school, and was showing me her head after I recognized her. I thought she was showing me her headband, but then she made a patting gesture on top of her head, so I gave her a couple of pats since that's what she wanted. Heh.

Zenit: On the Samaritan Woman

On the Samaritan Woman

"God Thirsts for Our Faith and Our Love"

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 24, 2008 ( Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today before reciting the midday Angelus with several thousand people gathered in St. Peter's Square.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this Third Sunday of Lent the liturgy this year proposes one of the most beautiful and profound texts of the Bible: the dialogue between Jesus and the Samaritan woman (cf. John 4:5-42). St. Augustine, about whom I am saying a great deal in the Wednesday catecheses, was rightly fascinated by this story, and he gave a memorable commentary on it. It is impossible for a brief explanation of this passage of the Gospel to bring out its richness: It is necessary to read and meditate on it personally, identifying oneself with that woman, who, one day, like many others, went to draw water from the well, and found Jesus there, seated by it, "tired from the trip," in the noonday heat.

"Give me to drink," he said to her, surprising her: It was, in fact, entirely unusual for a Jew to speak to a Samaritan woman, especially a woman who was a stranger. But the woman's wonder was destined to grow: Jesus spoke of a "living water" able to quench thirst completely and become "a spring of water welling up to eternal life" in her; furthermore, he showed her that he knew about her personal life; he revealed that the hour had come to worship the one true God in spirit and in truth; and in the end he confided to her -- something incredibly rare -- that he was the Messiah.

All of this happened, beginning from the real and sensible experience of thirst. The theme of thirst runs through the whole of John's Gospel: from the meeting with the Samaritan woman, to the great prophecy during the feast of the Tabernacles (John 7:37-38), to the cross, when Jesus before he dies says, to fulfill Scripture: "I thirst" (John 19:28).

The thirst of Christ is an entranceway into the mystery of God, who made himself thirsty to refresh us, as he made himself poor to enrich us (cf. 2 Corinthians 8:9). Yes, God thirsts for our faith and our love. Like a good and merciful father he desires for us all possible good and this good is God himself. For her part the Samaritan woman represents the existential unhappiness of those who have not found what they are looking for: She had "five husbands" and is now living with a man; her coming and going to the well represents a repetitive and resigned life.

But everything changes for her that day, on account of her conversation with the Lord Jesus, who shakes her up so much that she leaves the water jar and runs to tell the people of the village: "Come and see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ" (John 4:28-29)?

Dear brothers and sisters, let us too open our hearts to the confident hearing of the word of God to meet, like the Samaritan woman, Jesus, who reveals his love to us and says to us: The Messiah, your Savior, "It is I, who speak to you" (John 4:26). May Mary, first and perfect disciple of Christ, obtain this gift for us.

[After the Angelus, the Pope said the following in Italian:]

Recent floods have devastated large areas of the coast of Ecuador, causing very grave damage, which adds to the damage caused by the eruption of Tungurahua. As I entrust the victims of this calamity to the Lord, I express my personal nearness to those who are experiencing times of anxiety and tribulation and I invite all to a fraternal solidarity, so that the people of these areas can return as soon as possible to the normalcy of daily life.

Next Saturday, March 1, at 5 p.m., in the Paul VI Hall, I will preside at the Marian vigil of the university students of Rome. Students of other European and American countries will participate in it by radio and television links. We will invoke the intercession of Mary Seat of Wisdom for Christian hope to support the building of a civilization of love on these two continents and in the whole world. My dear university student friends, I expect to see many of you!

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

[The Holy Father said in English:]

I would like to extend a cordial invitation to Catholics throughout the world to support, by their prayers and their presence, the 49th International Eucharistic Congress to be celebrated in Quebec City from 15-22 June 2008.

I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Angelus. As we continue our Lenten journey may our resolve to follow closely the path of Jesus be strengthened through prayer, forgiveness, fasting and assistance to those in need. I trust your visit to Rome will increase your understanding of the faith and deepen your love of the universal Church. Upon all of you and your dear ones, I gladly invoke the strength and peace of Christ the Lord.

© Copyright 2008 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Ralph Nader explains his decision to run for president

The Meet the Press Transcript
Why I'm Running


So this is the third cold?

In three weeks? Or a prolongation of the second? This one might be the worst, with respect to the coughing. I don't know if I got this from the kids or from my mom, but today's gotta be the last day I teach for that classroom. I don't think I can handle getting a fourth cold, not with the work I should be doing.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Immigrating to New Zealand?

Check out the options and opportunities first... Immigration New Zealand

NASA Visible Earth shot:

There are a bunch of websites to inform and help people immigrate to New Zealand... how big is that sector of the NZ services industry?
Immigrating New Zealand Guide

New Zealand's response to Peak Oil | | Peak Oil ...

Kurt Cobb, The cult of continuity

The cult of continuity
History is chock full of wars, the rise and fall of empires and of whole civilizations, ravaging plagues, breathtaking discoveries, vast migrations, world-changing inventions and cultural evolution. So, it is a puzzle why so much emphasis is now put on the supposed inevitable continuity of modern industrial life.
published February 24, 2008.

Perhaps because much of the discontinuity of our time is far away from modern eyes we are missing the peril part of change. The depletion of the world's fisheries continues apace while few know that catches peaked in the late 1980s. The silent rape of the soil proceeds with barely a notice that billions of tons of topsoil slip away each year due to erosion. The world's vast water treatment facilities should tell us something is happening to the world's potable water; but such plants are rarely in the center of cities where everyone could see them and contemplate their meaning. Vast tracts of forest both in the tropics and in places such as Canada are being felled for fiber. But how many actually see it happening? And, if they did, would they understand its significance?

Richard Branson acknowledges peak oil

Branson acknowledges peak oil
In an interview with Global Public Media, Sir Richard Branson told journalist David Strahan that aviation could be made “truly sustainable” at the launch of test flight fuelled in part by coconut oil. But the Virgin boss conceded that meaningful supplies of alternative fuel might not be available before the advent of peak oil, which he said could happen within six years.

Magister mentions the Institute of the Incarnate Word

... members of which staff Our Lady of Peace: Religious Superiors Report to the Pope. Between Decline and Rebirth

It's spirituality is founded upon the Incarnation of the Word, and is expressed in both a strong missionary impulse and in the "evangelization of culture."

The central feature of formation in the institute is the teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas, mediated by one of the greatest Thomist philosophers of the 20th century, Fr. Cornelio Fabro.

In 2005, the Institute of the Incarnate Word began to publish all of the works, including writings never published before, by Fabro, who died in 1995. The "opera omnia" include about a hundred volumes, seven of which have already been printed, in Italian for now but in the future also in Spanish and English, and in the case of the principal works, in other languages.

Two sisters of Servants of the Lord and of the Virgin of Matarà can be seen in one of the photos provided in this post at NLM.

IVE Main Homepage
IVE Argentina
Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara USA
IVE Vocations
A publication of the Institute: theincarnateword

Cornelio Fabro

Breve Biografia di Padre Cornelio Fabro
La nozione metafisica di partecipazione secondo San Tommaso
more books at Editrice del Verbo Incarnato

an article by Fr. Fabro in Neoplatonism and Christian Thought

BSG season 4 promo pics

official website

KK's favorite, Grace Park:

I think Rekha Sharma is pretty:

The Sci-Fi World interview

Bonniwell's A History of the Dominican Liturgy

available through UMI Books On Demand

HK45 back up on the US site

Just wanted to let you know Sarge. haha. Who's going to get you that graduation present?

Sometimes it is better that things aren't at a human scale

For certain individuals, though not for society as a whole?

If this part of California were able to legislate in accordance with the desires of the majority, I think it would be much too permissive and yet authoritarian in its enforcement of "political correctness." Can you imagine how many people would be prosecuted for hate crimes by the "thought police"?

Today Rod Dreher gives an update about the homeschooling situation in Germany. If a state were to cross the line and write unjust laws, thus making educating one's children in virtue impossible, what choice would one have but to leave? Even if one's parents and siblings were living in the same area, I think one's obligations to one's children would be even greater and would warrant moving away to a different state.

For now the National government and the Supreme Court have the power to review state laws regarding freedom of religion and speech--there is only so much California can do to regulate either. If one is to work for political reform, one must also work to evangelize society as well--or the former may result in more obstacles to the latter.

Deconstructing Dinner


The Deconstructing Dinner Manifesto
Why does my tomato look so perfect, and how much fuel was required for it to travel here from Mexico? What about the truck my tomato hitched a ride on? How much energy was required to build that truck, and wait a minute, how much energy was required to make that fuel? I know a guy down the street who grows tomatoes. Why doesn't the grocery store around the corner sell his tomatoes? What about the road my tomato travelled on. How many workers are required per year to maintain that road? And how much fuel do they use to get to the highway that they're paid to maintain? Didn't I buy this tomato like a month ago? Why does it still look so perfect? And why did that girl at the checkout counter assume I needed a plastic bag for my tomato? She even gave me a puzzled look when I told her I didn't need one! Did I mention the guy down the street grows tomatoes?

Everyone's telling me to "go organic". What's the difference between organic and non-organic? And why is it that the organic produce at the grocery store is always wrapped in more packaging and stamped with more labels than the non-organic produce? Isn't organic produce supposed to represent a more ecologically friendly alternative? Why does the same company make both a fair-trade coffee and an unfair-trade coffee? How does that company justify selling an unfairly traded product? Was the truck that was transporting the coffee using organic fuel? If not, is the coffee still organic? Whew!

blog post at Vermont Commons about the show