Saturday, August 02, 2008

Peter Hitchens, Rage is no excuse for murder ... not even for women

The Law Commission is a mysterious but amazingly potent body which seems to think its job is to weaken the laws of the land.

It is astonishing how many such bodies there are, working away like termites, deep in the ancient oak roof beams of our civilisation, helped by civil servants, kept in fees and biscuits by taxpayers who would shudder if they knew what their money was being spent on.

Its latest idea is to invent more excuses for murderers. In this case, they seem mainly designed to help women who decide to hack or burn their ‘partners’ to death (leaving them is apparently not viewed as an option), though others will also be able to claim provocation, too.

There’s obviously a politically correct motive for this. But it’s not really the worst part of it.

What shocks me is the way it weakens the whole idea that deliberately killing someone else for your own benefit is always wrong.

It also quietly spreads the idea that we now live in a more vicious society, where violent assaults spawned in rage and resentment can be allowed, especially if women are the killers.

In the end, I suspect it will be used to ensure that killing a fellow human will no longer automatically mean a ‘life’ sentence.

This will mean the final dishonouring of the promise given by the liberal elite when they abolished hanging. Don’t worry, they soothed, murderers will still get life sentences.

This was a lie when it was first said, and it has become a deeper lie as the years have passed and the ‘life’ sentence has become a sicker and sicker joke. It almost never means anything of the kind.

Now they think the public has been so completely softened up that the courts can stop pretending altogether.

When on reads about some of these murders, it appears that they were not done out of passion or self-defense, but premeditated. And yet, no one wants to talk about the bias in how they are presented in the media or judged by the courts, with the exception of people like Dr. Helen.

Law Commission
wiki entry
Sarge, here is the PCED document I was talking about.
Cop the Truth: LtCol. Dave Grossman on 'Warrior Values'
AFP: Australian doctors warn against 'designer vagina' craze
via Drudge

What a world.
Rorate Caeli interview with Luc Perrin
Theme song for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games-We Are Ready

I find the introduction a bit annoying. And the rest of the song as well. So sue me.
Normally I don't go along with the hooplah surrounding the Olympic Games because it aims for a sentimental feel-good display of world harmony, and yet has betrayed the original intentions of the modern founder, becoming another stage for nationalism to rear its ugly head. The fact that China has invested so much money and effort in order to prove its emergence as a world power just makes my reaction worse this time around.

2008 Beijing Olympics song"Welcome to Beijing" MV(full)

A Mei - Forever Friends 永远的朋友 (Beijing Olympic song)


Friday, August 01, 2008

Our Ohio: The Amish
夜来香 / 上戸彩 YeLaixiang by Ueto Aya 「李香蘭」夜來香
鄧麗君 Teresa Teng 贺新年 New Year Blessings

Ok, it's not the right occasion for the song, but since I just found the song and it's Teresa Teng, why not post it.
Oh no. Twitch: ‘Space Battleship Yamato’ returns to space after 25 years!

It looks like it will get the computer-generated animation treatment...

I blogged about the series here.
Youtube video of Clear Creek.

This is interesting too: Abbey of Our Lady of the Annunciation, Church Dedication
China Philharmonic performs Mozart for Pope Benedict XVI at Vatican
It's a good thing I don't work at the library... I think it would wear out my patience faster than a classroom of children. Certain people remain clueless about not using cell phones within the library... and then there are the old people who are clueless about computers, the volume of their voices, and many other things... and then there are those who take it upon themselves to remind people of the rules but in a less than uncivil manner... the messiness of ordinary life.
U.S. Economy Loses Another 51,000 Jobs by PETER MORICI
Daniel Larison, Democratic Globosclerosis
What a multipolar world really shows is the limits of multilateral institutions. During most of the Cold War, the U.N. did not provide much in the way of collective security because the member states were either divided between the two superpowers or organized under the Non-Aligned Movement, and after the Cold War the U.N. was able to provide meaningful collective security only when the remaining superpower backed the action. Now that there are multiple new powers emerging in the world, the multilateral framework, which presupposes a consensus that will almost never exist among so many divergent interests, has been breaking apart. This has been exacerbated by the consistent targeting of Russian and Chinese satellites for sanctions and attack, while leaving U.S. allies that have their own egregious records unscathed, but these are simply symptoms. The problem, if you want to call it that, is that the artificial and unusual disparity of power between the U.S. and the rest of the world that occurred in the wake of WWII has been steadily narrowing, and it will continue to do so. This is essentially a return to something more like a normal state of affairs after the extremely abnormal 20th century.

An effective single supranational authority over the common good of all humanity? Looks less and less likely to be achieved by human power alone. Perhaps this is one of those things that will never be achieved because of original sin, and has been reserved to Christ alone.
Twitch: Divine Trailer for 신기전 (The Divine Weapon) and Kang Hye-Jung Joins the Hollywood Ranks in Wedding Palace

Plus More Concept Art for Imagi’s GATCHAMAN and [K-FILM CAPSULE REVIEWS] 아름답다 (Beautiful)

Thomas Woods interviews Bill Kauffman

06/03/2008 - Bill Kauffman, author, Ain't My America: The Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle American Anti-Imperialism
Does being antiwar make you a "liberal"? Not according to Bill Kauffman, who joins Tom to talk about the Old Right, which believed in peace and free markets. Learn this forgotten history, and how Ron Paul is bringing it alive again!
Michael Shedlock: Jobs Decline 7th Consecutive Month

2 from Touchstone

Unmarried, Still Children
Joan Frawley Desmond on Children Who’ve Been Raised for Everything but Marriage

The Way We Weren’t
Churches in the Fifties Were Filled, But Were They Faithful?
by William Murchison

William Byrd, 'Sing Joyfully'

Tallis Scholars

Winchester Cathedral Choir

Taipei Chamber Singers

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Metropolitan Cantor Institute (a part of the Byzantine Archeparchy of Pittsburgy)

Recorded samples.

News from IGN

Raging Bull vs. Mad Max
De Niro joins Gibson in Edge of Darkness.

Exclusive: Carter Already Planning X-Files 3
Show creator eyeing alien invasion story.

But will the studio be so eager to do it once they see the box office receipts? Perhaps the film will do better overseas.
Michael Shedlock: Schwarzenegger Cuts Wages of 200,000 Workers
But given that the legislature is extremely unlikely to do anything sensible, I think voters should take matters into their own hands and lower the salary of the Governor, all the state officers, including the state senate and congress. Another idea would be to float a proposition to increase the size of districts and eliminate 3/4 of the state legislators across the board. Something also needs to be done about "free" education and medical services that is causing California to be flooded will illegal aliens.
Twitch: The Official Trailer For Wong Kar Wai’s ASHES OF TIME REDUX Arrives!


With the film now rolling out on the festival circuit - it’s coming here to Toronto as part of the Toronto International Film Festival in September - those who were hoping for something more linear than the original cut are generally leaving disappointed while others are leaving enthused by the chance to finally see a master’s work properly presented.
I don't think a linear storyline was ever part of WKW's original intention--one learns about the characters' pasts through flashbacks, as they experience pain, regret, loss, and longing.

The quality of the print looks much better than what's been available through the HK DVD for a long time. The trailer is a bit misleading--the movie isn't as action-packed as the trailer makes it seem.

And... 전설의 고향 (Hometown of Legends) Unveils its Fox with Nine Tails

Maybe it's just the quality of the video, but the show seems to have a different quality of color--more like a theatrical film--than your typical KBS drama (or any drama for that matter), which is usually more bright and 'realistic'...

According to Twitch, there's a new trailer for Ultraman 2008 up.

AR, Reviving the Household Economy, Part One

John Michael Greer, The Archdruid Report
On the radar screens of conventional economics, value created outside the market economy rarely makes a blip. This first part of a two-part series discusses the roles that the "invisible economy" of household production might play in a future of scarce and expensive energy.

NLM: DVD of a Solemn Mass in the Dominican Rite
[MV] Six Years In Love OST (Kim Ha Neul & Yoon Kye Sang)

Kim Ha Neul in Singapore, Elle Clips

Kim Ha Neul in Singapore (Elle Clip #1)
Kim Ha Neul in Singapore (Elle Clip #2)
Kim Ha Neul in Singapore (Elle Clip #3)
Kim Ha Neul in Singapore (Elle Clip #4)

Nell MV with KHN

Leo Strauss, John Locke as "Authoritarian"

John Locke as "Authoritarian"
Leo Strauss (from IR 4:1, November-December 1967) - 07/31/08
Locke's "two tracts on government" are in fact disputations on the question as to "whether the civil magistrate may lawfully impose and determine" the use of otherwise indifferent things as they relate to religious worship. As one who regards the people as an "untamed beast," Locke comes down quite logically on the side of the monarch and his ability to control all matters bearing upon the peace of the state. . . .
I don't think I'll be able to read this any time soon... but here's some genuine Leo Strauss.
A nice larger version of Small Town Southern Man...

Mervyn's in trouble

Via Michael Shedlock, Credit Crunch Reaches Critical Mass: Mervyn's Filed Bankruptcy

The one down the street is hiring, though. Our family has purchased a lot of clothing from Mervyn's, and I think the sisters still shop there on occasion? Or maybe just one of them.

official site

Chuck Spinney, Should Obama Escalate the War in Afghanistan? A Thought Experiment

4 smoothies in 2 days is a bit much... I went to the closest Jamba Juice today at 6:30 and it was packed with people and their buy 1 get 1 free coupons. I think there were only 1 or 2 people who didn't have the coupon. Yesterday when I went around 4 or so, it was pretty empty. I don't know if things got busy after people got out of work. I ran into one of the housemates there--she told me that she had already gone to the store 4 times this week, and was storing smoothies in the freezer. (Crazy!)

After a coupon like that, who could pay for a smoothie full-price?

Ave Maria by Desprez and Gombert

Josquin Desprez - "Ave Maria"

HATSUNE MIKU sings "AVE MARIA"(Josquin Des Prez)

Nicolas Gombert 'Ave Maria'
W. James Antle III , Second Thoughts on the Dixiecrats

St. Ignatius of Loyola, July 31

Peter Paul Rubens:

(complete painting)

Also by Rubens:


Br. Robert Lentz, ofm , Trinity Stores:

From Meljohn Tatel:

LUC - An early portrait of St. Ignatius of Loyola:

St. Ignatius of Loyola
Saints for Now: St. Ignatius Loyola
Origin of the Society of Jesus

Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola | Christian Classics ...
Medieval Sourcebook: Ignatius Loyola: Spiritual Exercises
The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola
loyola ignatius spiritual exercises
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius

selected letters of st ignatius of loyola

On Ignatian/Jesuit spirituality:
ignatian spirituality
Companion of Jesus

(I haven't looked to see authentic the following are.)
Ignatian Spirituality
Jesuits Online: Finding God in All Things
Characteristics of Jesuit Spirituality
Ignatian Spirituality
Apostleship of Prayer
Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits
Online Spirituality Resources

The Jesuit monogram:

The Autobiography of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Ignatius Press:
A Pilgrim's Journey
Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life

Institute of Jesuit Sources:
A Pilgrim's Testament: The Memoirs of Saint Ignatius of Loyola
The Jesuits: Their Spiritual Doctrine and Practice
The Ratio Studiorum: The Official Plan for Jesuit Education

St. Ignatius Catholic Church, a Jesuit Parish in San Francisco
The Parish of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I missed series V of Foyle's War... guess I'll have to watch it on DVD or something...

official site: Foyle's War

Thomas Woods interviews Kevin Gutzman

06/24/2008 - Kevin R.C. Gutzman, author of Virginia's American Revolution
Tom continues his discussion with Kevin Gutzman, this time covering the American founding, nullification, secession, and other topics they didn't tell you about in school.

First part of that interview can be found here.

To Nuke the Fridge

See the Postmodern Conservative and the linked article in the NYT:
In “Indiana Jones,” the hero’s improbable achievement was to survive a nuclear blast by hiding in a refrigerator. Hence, “to nuke the fridge” means to introduce a wildly implausible element to a once-respected franchise, or more generally, to signal the abandonment of past standards of quality.
Isn't Tony Stark being propelled in his first suit by an explosion high in the air and crashing into the desert without any serious injury as bad?

Byzantine Discalced Carmelites

Found this on the FB page for St. Teresa of Avila. The chapel:

More photos. Video?

Institute of Carmelite Studies Publications

Character Posters for Painted Skin

Thanks to Monkey Peaches.
Two tormented Chinese Catholic souls
The normalization of ties between Beijing and the Vatican comes after years of strained relations that had forced Catholics in China into "official" and "underground" camps. Neither branch, though, has responded to the Chinese government or to the Vatican - they both fear more threatened than ever before. - Francesco Sisci
(Jul 30, '08)

William S. Lind, Why McCain is Wrong on Iraq

EWTN Coverage of the Dedication of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe:

The Dedication Mass of The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe live from La Crosse, Wisconsin, featuring commentary by EWTNews Director Raymond Arroyo.
Thur 7/31/08 1:00 PM ET & 10 AM PT
Fri 8/01/08 12:00 AM ET & 9 PM PT (Thur)

John Dowland: Weepe You No More Sad Fountains - Sting

Annie Lussenburg, Annie the Nanny
A lot of parenting is about common sense. Deep down as parents, we realize that if a child gets showered with gifts, they become unappreciative. If they receive things because they stamp their feet and scream, that behavior will continue because it has been rewarded. In the last few decades however, common sense seems to be on the decline and its commonality is certainly fading. Let me give you an example.
Michael Shedlock: New York Governor Warns Of Economic Crisis

Good luck to the governor, who has proposed cutting spending.
Today is Sarge's birthday. If you could, please keep him in your prayers.

St. George, pray for our soldiers and for us!

Here's another nice icon...

Choir of King's College, Cambridge - Tu Es Petrus

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Monastery of St. Benedict

From the comments to the NLM thread on the new traditional Benedictine foundation in Italy:

I think everyone should also check out this new foundation in Italy. They pray the traditional offices in Gregorian chant. They say the new Mass but in Latin. They seem to be growing. They strive to a live a traditional monastic life based on the Rule of St. Benedict.

Two interesting notes is that the monastery is 1) at the birth place of Sts. Benedict and Scholastica 2) That most of the members of American. Check out their site (make sure your speakers are on so you can hear the chant).
I had forgotten that this was the foundation associated with Fr. Cassian Folsom, O.S.B. Sorry Sarge, no tonsure.

The Abbey's library
ZENIT - Benedictines Come Home
The Church Up Close
Some more photos: monks Oratory Monastery Benedictine Norcia (4) on Flickr

You can listen to samples of the cd produced by the monks here. Some recordings of Vespers.

Magdalen has a Norcia program--Magdalen College - Program of Studies - Music Program - Norcia (Fr. Folsom is on the faculty of Magdalen)

Some articles by Fr. Folsom:
Cassian Folsom, OSB - Sacred Signs and Active Participation at Mass
Cassian Folsom, The Holy Spirit and the Church in the Liturgy
Cassian Folsom, As Easter Draws Near
Google Books: Handbook for Liturgical Studies: Introduction to the Liturgy (Fr. Folsom has an article in the book, "Liturgical Books of the Roman Rite")

He is also mentioned in the following: Ratzinger speaks at Fontgombault

Other links:
The Abbey of Montecassino - Home Page
OSB. General Information. Monte Cassino, Italy.

New Norcia - Australias only monastic town

Marmion Abbey & Academy

Some details about the G.I. Joe Movie

from IGN:

Stuart Beattie mentioned a few of the key relationships in the film, some of which were spelled out in detail for attendees. Duke (Channing Tatum) and the Baroness (Sienna Miller) have a history together which plays out during the course of the movie. It turns out the two were fiancées, but Duke left his bride-to-be at the altar. Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) and Scarlett (Rachel Nichols) have a flirtatious, romantic thread in the film, but it mostly consists of Ripcord, who is new to the unit, trying to woo Scarlett to no avail. It was mentioned that there was a Snake Eyes/Scarlett dynamic, though the writers apparently struggled with the ninja's more dramatic moments since he can't speak. The third dynamic mentioned was that of Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, who are even shown growing up together as children.

Come on, Duke and the Baroness had a relationship in the past? That's just dumb. The Baroness as a jilted army girlfriend? I really doubt it--doesn't she have aristocratic pretensions? Why would she date a commoner? (It also explains part of her attraction to Destro.) They should keep the Snake Eyes/Scarlett relationship, although iirc it doesn't really come to existence until later in the comics. We'll see how much they keep of the Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow story. (In the comics Storm Shadow joins Cobra to find out who killed his uncle, who taught both Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow ninjitsu.)

I didn't see the first Punisher movie, so it's not clear to me if a Marvel movie that was supposed to be about 1st SFO-D can be realistic, though maybe it will follow the example of The Kingdom or Miami Vice in its action sequences. If there is too much Alias or Mission Impossible or a host of bad syndicated shows about spies, it should rightly flop.

I'll say it again--they should make a movie about an actual operation involving American special forces. On the other hand, I can't see a G.I. Joe movie being a recruitment tool for the U.S. military.
Perhaps the sprinkler system flooded an ant nest yesterday; when I was walking up to the front door I saw lots of ants scurrying around in the wet grass and on the concrete--some were carrying ant larvae. I decided to use some of the ant-killer spray since I have half the bottle left. When I came out this afternoon, a lot of the dead ants and larvae were gone. I had seen ants carry the bodies of dead ants with them. What do they do with the bodies? Do they really cannibalize them? I guess this is really true of your garden-variety ants...

Hitomi Shimatani vids

Shimatani Hitomi - Wake You Up - Live

Perseus/Sky High (Live)

Somewhere - 島谷ひとみ&東京ニューシティ管弦楽団

Camellia PRIMA ROSA Version (Live)


島谷ひとみ - 雨の日には 雨の中を 風の日には 風の中を


Shimatani Hitomi - Angelus (Live)

Hitomi Shimatani in National Anthem "Kimigayo"
NLM: A Firsthand Report from the New Traditional Benedictine House in Italy

Our friend had the opportunity to talk to the monks coming from Le Barroux who have settled there, including dom Jehan de Belleville, an early companion of the recently deceased dom Gérard Calvet, the founder of Le Barroux. While their new house is a new, seperate foundation (i.e. not a filial foundation of Le Barroux), dedicated to St. Catherine of Siena, the monks do not want their new undertaking seen or interpreted as a division or a form of dissent with respect to the current abbot of Le Barroux. Instead, they stress the positive aspect of extending the traditional Benedictine charism also into Italy.
A diplomatic or charitable spin on things?
Fr. Z on the new uniforms of the Vatican's gendarmerie

Another everyday uniform which has given up the tie? (The tie is still retained for the dress uniform.) Since it is hot during the Summer, it is understandable that a short-sleeved shirt would be chosen, but I can see why some think it is too 'casual.' It is difficult to get rid of that association in one's mind. (Though there may be something about the appearance itself, too.)

Vatican: Gendarme Corps

The old uniform?

I think these are carabinieri but I'm not sure. I thought the uniforms of the carabinieri had a tab on the collar, like in this photo:

wiki: Law enforcement in Italy

Would it be accurate to say that men are more enthusiastic about wearing uniforms than women? There is a natural inclination among men to see their vocation as being part of a greater whole, or group, and working for the goals of that group, almost like being a tool, while women are more interpersonal, and identify with relationships to particular individuals?

Plus: A blog with a lot of old photos of Church life and people: Hallowed Ground
Catholic Press Photo

Mom: "Do you like Pope John Paul?"
Niece #1: "He's very pretty."

International Hat Collection: European gendarmerie and police hats BSG panel at ComicCon, via AICN
PJB, Obama's War?

Check out the comments:
> Hello everyone, As you know I am not a very political person. I just
> wanted to pass along that Senator Obama came to Bagram Afghanistan for
> about an hour on his visit to 'The War Zone'. I wanted to share with
> you what happened.
> He got off the plane and got into a bullet proof vehicle, got to the
> area to meet with the Major General (2 Star) who is the commander here
> at Bagram.
> As the Soldiers where lined up to shake his hand he blew them off and
> didn't say a word as he went into the conference room to meet the
> General. As he finished, the vehicles took him to the ClamShell (pretty
> much a big top tent that military personnel can play basketball or work
> out in with weights) so he could take his publicity pictures playing
> basketball. He again shunned the opportunity to talk to Soldiers to
> thank them for their service.
> So really he was just here to make a showing for the American's back
> home that he is their candidate for President. I think that if you are
> going to make an effort to come all the way over here you would thank
> those that are providing the freedom that they are providing for you.
> I swear we got more thanks from the NBA Basketball Players or the
> Dallas Cowboy Cheer leaders than from one of the Senators, who wants to
> be the President of the United States . I just don't understand how
> anyone would want him to be our Commander-and-Chief. It was almost that
> he was scared to be around those that provide the freedom for him and
> our great country.
> If this is blunt and to the point I am sorry but I wanted you all to
> know what kind of caliber of person he really is. What you see in the
> news is all fake.
> In service,
> CPT Jeffrey S. Porter
> Battle Captain
> TF Wasatch
> American Soldier
> American by birth
> MARINE by the grace of God
> Semper Fi
> Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
> Caveats: NONE

Alison Krauss & James Taylor, How's the world Treating you

Mike Whitney, Bad News and Bank Runs
Cosmos-Liturgy-Sex: Anglican Use Rite in the News

Anglican Use Society (Sarge you can find a list of Anglican use parishes at this website.)
More from St. Francis de Sales:

SAINT JAMES says, “If any man offend not in word, the same is, a perfect man.” Beware most watchfully against ever uttering any unseemly expression; even though you may have no evil intention, those who hear it may receive it with a different meaning. An impure word falling upon a weak mind spreads its nfection like a drop of oil on a garment, and sometimes it will take such a hold of the heart, as to fill it with an infinitude of lascivious thoughts and temptations. The body is poisoned through the mouth, even so is the heart through the ear; and the tongue which does the deed is a murderer, even when the venom it has infused is counteracted by some antidote preoccupying the listener’s heart. It was not the speaker’s fault that he did not slay that soul. Nor let any one answer that he meant no harm. Our Lord, Who knoweth the hearts of men, has said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” And even if we do mean no harm, the Evil One means a great deal, and he will use those idle words as a sharp weapon against some neighbour’s heart. It is said that those who eat the plant called Angelica always have a sweet, pleasant breath; and those who cherish the angelic virtues of purity and modesty, will always speak simply, courteously, and modestly. As to unclean and light-minded talk, S. Paul says such things should not even be named among us, for, as he elsewhere tells us, “Evil communications corrupt good manners.”

Those impure words which are spoken in disguise, and with an affectation of reserve, are the most harmful of all; for just as the sharper the point of a dart, so much deeper it will pierce the flesh, so the sharper an unholy word, the more it penetrates the heart. And as for those who think to show themselves knowing when they say such things, they do not even understand the first object of mutual intercourse among men, who ought rather to be like a hive of bees gathering to make honey by good and useful conversation, than like a wasps’ nest, feeding on corruption. If any impertinent person addresses you in unseemly language, show that you are displeased by turning away, or by whatever other method your discretion may indicate.
Via Pete Takeshi: Eight reasons even the innocent shouldn't talk to the police

Edit: Finally had a chance to watch this--it's a good lesson about the purpose of the Fifth Amendment? Right to protect one's self against self-incrimination is for the innocent as much as the guilty, if not more so. Though how much of the public understands this? I didn't, before I watched the video--we tend to think that only those who are guilty take the fifth, because they have something to hide.
Zenit: Vatican Message to US Migration Congress

A message from Renato Cardinal Martino.

If paleos read this, it will surely provoke some sort of reaction. I think it presents an overly optimistic picture of 'migration'. The message refers to the instruction Erga migrantes caritas Christi - The love of Christ towards migrants (Catholic Culture archive), which I will have to read. It may be necessary to accept the the movement of large populations in times of emergency, but praising multiculturalism as a good in itself, without acknowledging its problems, is a bit too much:

As a matter of fact, this condensed expression condenses a series of positive features, rising above the controversial and dark facets of migration, beginning with the observation that "the passage from monocultural to multicultural societies can be a sign of the living presence of God in history and in the community of mankind, for it offers a providential opportunity for the fulfillment of God’s plan for a universal communion" (n. 9).

What does the original instruction add?

Therefore Christians are called to give witness to and practise not only the spirit of tolerance – itself a great achievement, politically and culturally speaking, not to mention religiously – but also respect for the other’s identity. Thus, where it is possible and opportune, they can open a way towards sharing with people of different origins and cultures, also in view of a “respectful proclamation” of their own faith. We are all therefore called to a culture of solidarity[7], often solicited by the Magisterium, so as to achieve together a real communion of persons. This is the laborious path that the Church invites everyone to follow.
Can there be a respect of identity if identity is built upon a competing tradition? How far must tolerance extend? If conformity to a community's mores cannot be legislated, then might it not be understandable if the citizens of that community seek some measure of separation? Would it not be better to share the land and other resources while maintaining separate communities, in order to protect the a community's way of life?

How can we talk about what the Church can do with respect to migration, if the Church in those areas to which people are immigrating is in such bad shape? It would be one thing to write such a document if the Church were healthy, but in a time like this, does it really contribute anything meaningful? And does such a document not reinforce the failed politike grounded in the modern nation-state? While it may be too late for some contemporary nation-states to look for a localist solution to what ails them, should not the Curia at least do what it can to encourage such solutions, instead of issuing documents giving universal recommendations or guidelines? (Particularly if such recommendations do not seem to be grounded upon an understanding of political science.) If people were willing to migrate to a country were experiencing civil war, famine, pestilence, per impossibile, would we encourage it to welcome such migrants? Would we not say that the addition of people to the polity would not be good for all involved? And yet is it not possible that industrialized countries have problems that have not yet fully manifested themselves, even while having an appearance of affluence and prosperity?

How influential are such documents upon political leaders and citizens? Is writing of such documents necessary to justify the existence of certain offices?

More, if I ever have time to read the instruction.
John Zmirak, Anarcho-Fantasy--The Dream of a World Without the State

Here is a large photo of the WYD icon

I thought the other one was the official WYD icon...
You can find some large photos from World Youth Day 08 at the official site. Unfortunately there are no large photos of the Holy Father wearing the apron for the dedication of the altar at St. Mary's Cathedral.

Macross Frontier, ep 16

I thought the Ranka Attack was a bit weak, but it was just a test to see if it could be used against the Vajra. Since she seemed to be suffering a bit in the last episode because of the fighting and the destruction on both sides, it might be a surprise to see her cooperate with the government in destroying the Vajra. But then again she is rather immature and so she is compliant to authority.

Macross Frontier - 16 | Random Curiosity

The opening with Mr. Birla (a Zentran) and the trains reminded me of Galaxy Express 999.

Antares squadron.

Brera defending the VB-6 Konig Monster and Ranka.

At the beginning of the series, Sheryl was very confident (too much self-esteem?) but she seems to be losing some of this as Ranka's career progresses and she remains sick and unable to really do much. Is there more to Sheryl than being an idol singer? She is stubborn and tenacious, and apparently wants to hold on to Alto. But what else does she have going for her, character-wise? Curious, strong-willed, proud, and seemingly intelligent... but is she too self-absorbed? (Like Minmei before she grew up a little?)

Star Crossed Anime Blog :: Macross Frontier - 16 :: July :: 2008
Macross Frontier 16 | Sea Slugs! Anime Blog
Yukan Blog! » Blog Archive » Macross Frontier - 16: Sheryl’s Lost ...
THAT Animeblog - Macross Frontier 16:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Twitch: Chae Si-Ra Injury Delays Sageuk 천추태후 (Empress Cheonchu)

It's funny, I'm getting more updates about Korean dramas and movies these days from Twitch than from Soompi or KFCCinema. I just don't have the time to negotiate the threads at the two forums.

Chrissy Crowley vids

official site; MySpace

Rambles: Chrissy Crowley, self-titled

source of the following:


Chrissy Crowley at a Rollo Bay Ceilidh
The Western Confucian: American Researchers Discover Chinese Daughters-in-Law

How does one resolve the tensions that arise between daily contact between the wife and the in-laws? In traditional Chinese culture it was understood that when a woman was married, she became a part of the husband's family, and her ties with her own family had been severed. So there would be no problems of showing 'favoritism' to her own family, or her parents competing with his parents for time with them (and the children) and so on. And, her parents would no longer have any sort of authority over her, nor would she consult them for advice (probably), since she would be under the authority not only of the husband, but of his elders as well.

In another post (not yet published) I remark that Dr. Laura usually counsels couples to maintain some sort of distance between themselves and their parents, especially if they are newlyweds. iirc, she has advocated that since the integrity and health of the family comes first, if in-laws who move in become difficult, they should seek alternate accomodations (or be put in nursing care if they have poor health). This sort of advice would be shocking to traditional East Asians, I think, though the younger generation seems to not place much weight on the manifestation of filial piety mentioned in the article.

Part of the problem in Chinese culture is with parents who are used to having authority and do not relinquish it, even when their children come of age. As a result, their children have difficulty making decisions on their own. (Until it comes time for them to rebel, for the sake of their psychological health. This seems to happen often when they settle in the United States.) Some measure of independence is necessary, if by independence we understand it as having the ultimate authority in deciding what should be done for the good of one's family, instead of obeying the dictates of one's parents. We get the problem at the opposite extreme in many parts of American society--people expect social security, their pension, and so on to take care of them (and to enable some measure of an 'independent' existence, free from the help of others), rather than relying upon their children for such support. Indeed, some (surprisingly enough like my mother) even say that they would not would not pass that norm onto them, or expect their children to perceive such an obligation.

Chinese parents do need to learn the difference between giving advice and commanding (whether it be explicitly or implicitly through 'guilt trips' and emotional manipulation). And if they are staying at the home of their children, they need to realize that they do not have control of the environment and the way things are run. (Though the adult children should take their needs into consideration, and their preferences to some degree.) Adult children need to learn to see their parents as a resource to which they can still turn for advice.

I do not think it would be inaccurate to say that in the past American (and English) families were patriarchal--but one finds an increasing expectation among Americans that the families of both spouses should receive equal attention. But surely it can be admitted that if the expectation that the care of the parents should fall primarily on the [first] son, it is easier to figure out the necessary social arrangements to make this happen, and to take care of any exceptions to this? This would seem to be a more pressing need in certain kinds of communities, either those that are too diffuse, or too big. In smaller communities, where everyone lives in close proximity it would be easier for the spouses to take care of both sets of parents, if this should be necessary.

I still don't care for the movie. The movie deals with relationships between Chinese mothers and American-born daughters, and the culture clash between them. I can't think of a movie that deals with the tension between a wife and her in-laws, except perhaps Pushing Hands.

Engaging the Culture?

Mr. Jeff Culbreath gives a response to a debate about how much engagement Catholics should have with the culture around them. Tea at Trianon also has something on this question. I've combined the comments I left at Tea at Trianon and added to them--

"Engaging the culture" sounds so amorphous and runs the risk of committing an error of 'reifying' something that has no substantial reality in itself--Christians are called to love their neighbor, and we do so in accordance with the specific vocation God has given to us, so if anything lay people are called to engage their neighbors. (One of the difficulties in answering the question is because of the use of the word 'culture,' which is used analogically to reform not only to the norms and traditions of a community, but to the artifacts by which such norms and traditions are transmitted, as well as the actions and practices which embody those norms and traditions.)

As for mass culture/entertainment, I do think that any right-thinking person would seek to eschew that as much as possible, even though one should appreciate what is true, good, and beautiful as a foundation for dialogue. But all would be better off learning how to entertain themselves through music and so on, and thus avoid what is produced in Hollywood or elsewhere. It's just a better way to promote communal life.

Culture is a means whereby we engage our neighbor, and can also be its fruit. Those who are called to be full-time artists will have to discern how to use their abilities and under what conditions, but the rest of us who are normally just 'consumers' of mass culture may have some talents that we should cultivate in service of the local community. And if not, we can at least try to host or help with wholesome festivities and gatherings.

I admit that I am one of the biggest consumers of mass culture, though I try to be discerning. Discussing the true, good, and beautiful through the products of mass culture is sadly one of the few ways one can have a conversation of substance as well as start a dialogue. The culture wars continues, but many people have become resigned to their differences and do not refuse to discuss 'politics' or 'political issues' because of the acrimony that it can cause. (Which makes one wonder what sort of foundation there is for communal life, other than having a common bourgeois existence with all of its accompanying values? That's simply not enough to sustain a true friendship.) Culture is ordered to friendship; it is also true that it is difficult to have an impact on the culture of a community without friends. And so lay Catholics need to appreciate the necessity of developing friendships with other Catholics for living out their vocation.

The vocation of a Christian artist is perhaps very difficult these days, given the lack of funding from traditional sources and opportunities. How few of our artists are skilled in traditional ecclesiastical arts, and those that are cannot find enough employment because of the disdain for the Catholic artistic heritage by the powers that be in parishes and chanceries. If they are to make a living, they must avail themselves of what other opportunities there are in this society.

Those who seek to reform the culture must do so locally (and this is relevant not only to the Catholics laity and Christians, but to traditional conservatives in general), through their immediate networks, instead of putting their hope in some sort of nation-wide change, mediated by the entertainment industry. Which is why I think the decline in the use of the parish setting, as it had traditionally been in the United States, for gatherings and festivities is another casualty of the spiritual warfare in which we are all engaged. There are very few loci in which a true community can come together, at least in suburbia. We can engage the culture by promoting music, dance, cooking(!), and other arts at our celebrations. Even short plays and performances could be welcome at such occasions.

Now what can a single person do, apart from aiding the efforts of his family? If I get married, I hope my wife will be as eager to entertain others as my seniors have been.

Josef Pieper, In Tune with the World: A Theory of Festivity

Reuters: Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson at Hudson Institute on June 30
Hudson Institute > Hudson Upcoming Events Detail
People, Patterns, and Philanthropy in Rural America: webcast, transcript
Panel discussion with Wendell Berry, Herman Daly, Dee Davis, Alex Echols, Wes Jackson, Linda Reed, and Karl Stauber. Moderated by Krista Shaffer.
Michael Shedlock: Open Letter To Obama

He asks at the end: Senator Obama I ask you, "What's it gonna be?" If he is elected, I would guess, "More of the same."

Quick review of The Tudors, season 2

I've been going through the second season of The Tudors, mostly to see how they develop the character and story of St. Thomas More. This review is based on what I've seen up to episode 7.

Based on my first impressions of the first season and the second, the producers do not depict the strong friendship between St. Thomas and Henry VIII or the king's love for his friend well--it is more assertion than anything else. This is how it really seemed in episode 5, which depicts St. Thomas' trial and execution--Henry VIII is shown raging at God and proclaiming his love for St. Thomas, but it struck me as being melodramatic. Perhaps the problem is that not enough of the personal history of the two men was shown. (Then again, the scriptwriting for what has been shown has been weak--in one scene Henry is shown holding his daughter and he makes the comment that perhaps some day she will be the one ruling an empire -- out of character and just an attempt by the writers to be clever.)

The historical inaccuracies have been noted elsewhere, and as someone who prefers the accent on historical rather than on drama or fiction, they have a negative impact on the entertainment value of the series for me. And there is the amount of skin and coupling shown on the show--I don't think I can think of a movie where this sort of 'realism' has been necessary. On a whole, I can't recommend the show. One is better off reading a well-written history of the period. (Especially if it has pictures. heh.)

I do like looking at the costumes, but I will leave it up to the experts to debate whether the production has been historically accurate or not.

If there is anything positive, St. Thomas More is depicted as being devout and a strong adherent to the Faith, as I noted earlier. He is also a good father. Alas, not much of his famous wit and mirth is shown (though given the quality of the writing, we should not be surprised if those responsible have little familiarity with what is required for wit). Nothing really of his Christian humanism. Some may quibble about how much conscience is emphasized, and his actions in response to the king may be misperceived as 'political machinations.' And those who are already predisposed to be anti-Catholic will see his opposition to heresy as intolerance. (I note that Catholic historian Eamon Duffy opposed making St. Thomas More patron of statesmen precisely because of how he handled heretics.) I thought it was nice that he is also shown praying in Latin--it does lend an air of erudition--but how one ultimately evalutes this depends on one's religious convictions, Catholic [traditional or 'modern'], Protestant, or other. Does the show capture his sanctity? Can any AV media really do that? I enjoyed Jeremy Northam's performance nonetheless--I can't say the same about some of the other actors.

I think the show has tried to remain neutral towards the whole dispute between the Catholics and the Protestants--Catholics recognize the problems with the Church at the time. St. John Fisher is shown as being committed and free from corruption, if not holy. But there may be a subtle anti-Catholic bias in how the clerics associated with the Roman Curia and Paul III (played by Peter O'Toole) are portrayed.

There will be a third season. When they run out of wives for Henry VIII, will they continue the story into the reigns of Queens Mary and Elizabeth?

(Some more photos here.)

Some photos @, yahoo! TV, The Tudors wiki


Sarah Bolger (wiki) as Mary Tudor
Sarah Bolger dishes more about her role on The Tudors, Season 2
Mary Tudor by wonderful and pretty Sarah Bolger on Flickr:

Sarah Bolger interview The Spiderwick Chronicles with Emma

Sarah Bolger - "Spiderwick Chronicles"

The books: The Spiderwick Chronicles; the movie

Google Books: The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir (Grove Press)
The Six Wives of Henry VIII | PBS The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Masterpiece Theatre | Henry VIII
Lili Forberg's photoblog

Good news for Pete Takeshi

and perhaps MW, if he weren't with the Carmelites.

Twitch: EVIL DEAD 4. It’s Coming.

Will Bruce Campbell be back? Bubba Ho-Tep. He is also in USA Network's Burn Notice, which Pete Takeshi might want to check out eventually.

Hmmm... Luc Besson and Korea Team Up for “Da Vinci-esque” Qin Shi Huang?
Double hm. [K-FILM CAPSULE REVIEWS] 내 사랑 유리에 (My Love, Yurie)
Porn film made at First World War memorial

So would Myers' defenders defend this as well? They would probably say 'respect of national symbols' is 'rational' because patriotism is 'rational' while [mono]theism is not.

(1) However atheism is a belief; it cannot be proven that there is no God, because God and existence cannot be shown to be contradictory.
(2) Talk about the probability of there being no God probably rests on some version of naturalism or the problem of evil or the lack of intelligibility, all of which can be dealt with.
(3) And why should rationality come into play at all, if we are dealing with beliefs, and what matters is 'freedom of expression' more than anything else?

Sharon Astyk, Everything you needed to know

Sharon Astyk, Casaubon's Book

Sharon Astyk, Casaubon's Book
Ok, I’m going to try and work some more on the list of necessary skills. So five more entries on this subject - and more coming. Last time was the absolute minimum - but I’m still working on a list of everything you might ever need to know.

Lucas willing to do another Indy movie

Details at AICN.

The time to do a 4th and a 5th movie was about 10 years ago, so that they could end the series on a high note. Isn't that what they were trying to do with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, while paving the way with a possible spin-off? Harrison Ford may be in good shape for his age, but his on-screen credibility as an action hero is fading. There's been a dearth of well-written dramas for a while--I'd rather see Mr. Ford acting in one than in an action movie. Or maybe a 'post-Civil War' drama/Western?
NLM: Fantastic interview with Stift Heiligenkreuz monk
I glanced at a couple of episodes of the Korean show Mystery, and it seems to be a sort of 'popular' (as opposed to 'journalistic') investigation show of strange happenings. Some of the episodes appeared to be dealing with bizarre psychic/spiritual events, something that resembled possession to me. Hmmm...

Jeremy Northam videos

SHOWTIME The Tudors- Jeremy Northam - Behind the Scenes

Emma & Knightley
Possession 2002 - Ash & Christabel (Josh Groban)
tudors bloopers - part one