Saturday, March 07, 2009

Who will be the new enemy in the remake of Red Dawn? Since it takes place in a post-9/11 world, some think that it will somehow involve terrorists. But terrorists taking over the entire United States? Sounds more like Invasion USA. If it's going to be a right-wing fantasy, it should really show the National Government imposing martial law, and turning into 'fascist' state, with the rebels doing their best to wage 4GW against the National Government. In such a movie, the ending would probably have to be more pessimistic than in the original...

publicity still for the original

Some predictions about how BSG will end

Read at your own risk.

Some are crazy and farfetched, but...
1. Galactica is a dying ship--we'll see it have a 'heroic' end as it brings the humans to their new homeworld.
2. Bill Adama is the leader who will die according to the prophecy.
3. The humans and cylons find a way to successfully reproduce, creating a hybrid race.
4. Bill Adama is resurrected, along with Roslin, who will have already died from her cancer.
5. The enemy cylons are negated as a threat after Cavil is removed from his leadership position. (Hera will be restored to her parents.)
6. The love triangle between Adama, Starbuck, and Anders is not resolved. (Or Starbuck remains with Anders, who will recover from his head injury.)
7. The debate about religion, the colonials' polytheism vs. the cylons' monotheism, is not resolved either. Instead we have the humanistic message that the humans and cylons can finally get past their enmity and differences, and become one.
8. Galen and Tori will not be hooking up again. (I believe they were lovers on Earth.) Nor will he find out that Tori spaced his wife.
9. Lee will become President.

I'm leaning towards a happy ending right now, though there are indications that the ending will not be so bright and cheery.

official site
Zenit: Sant'Egidio Founder Awarded as Peacemaker and Q-and-A Session With Parish Priests (Part 4)
Twitch: Japanese Trailer For Derek Yee’s THE SHINJUKU INCIDENT With Jackie Chan and UK Trailer for BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE

Friday, March 06, 2009

Episodes of Gokusen can be found at Veoh. Season 1, Episode 1, Part 1.
EntropyPawsed:Sense of Place
Frank Gifford, EntropyPawsed

Development of a sense of place is integral to leading a fulfilled low energy lifestyle. One might even say a nature linked low energy lifestyle requires an expanded sense of place.


Gokusen movie in the works. I haven't watched the series up until now though I had seen clips of it at Youtube, but since Yukie Nakama is in it, why shouldn't I check it out?

Gokusen Movie Report

Gokusen - Feel Your Breeze MV

24hr television - Matsujun & Nakama Yukie (17/6/08)

Gokusen [ごくせん] ::
Gokusen - DramaWiki
Feel Your Breeze - Emily's Gokusen Page
Gokusen | Watch Gokusen Japanese Drama Online
Mad Max Anime in place of a live-action sequel? AICN has the details.
Newt Gingrich is talking about running in 2012? And he'll be converting to Catholicism this year? I'm not questioning his sincerity, but I can't help but be suspicious of the motives of politicians. Is he a Republican? Sure. Is he the sort of leader we need at the head of the Executive Branch? Probably not. But there will be Catholic Republicans cheering him to run for the Presidency precisely because of his religion...
A second clarification from Dr. Fleming:

A friend living in Europe just called, seeking clarification. Am I arguing, he wanted to know, against every using the law to enforce or reinforce morality? And, he added, is it really wrong for decent Californians to try to protect themselves by way of referenda? The answer to both is no. My broad point has to do with the proper relationship between government and other more basic institutions–family, church, community. Laws may and should buttress the common sense of morality inherited from our ancestors. When foolish or tyrannical rulers try to destroy our moral institutions, we should use the legal remedies available to us, including referenda. What I am objecting to is the blanket assumption that moral questions can be settled by an appeal to the principle of majority rule. Our goal should be to protect what we have left of our moral traditions from the intrusion of government, and therefore we should be very chary about appealing to the state and federal courts, if only because they gain power from every appeal–like the SciFi monsters that gain strength from attacks on them.
The Art of Manliness: Soda Review: Which is the Best Cola?

The Agent of Change Doesn't Disappoint

Source: Obama to reverse limits on stem cell work (AP)
New Trek trailer is up--you can watch the embedded youtube video at the AICN post. Or at Apple. It's probably available at the official site as well.

Trek Movie: Amazing New Star Trek Trailer Online [UPDATE: Now in HD + Official Site Updated w/music]

The trailer may push some of the undecided to go watch the movie, and it is probably a successful manipulator of emotions, with the music and its appeal to the audience to identify with James T. Kirk. But it hasn't changed my mind about the reboot. (Because that is really what it is, regardless of what Abrams and Orci might say.)

Edit. Apparently the filmmakers decided that past visual sequences for starships travelling at warp speed wasn't flashy enough, so they've jazzed it up. (Much as the special effects team of ST: TMP attempted to do?)
Mark Shiffman, The Human Meaning of Property

His reference to Simone Weil was surprising; I don't know what to make of her, since I don't know much about her, but in the past the wrong sort of philosophical crowd has associated themselves with her, so I didn't consider looking into her work. But it's time for a re-assessment. He cites her “Draft for a Statement of Human Obligations” -- an honest 'pagan' trying to express our obligations to the divine? How familiar was she with Christian philosophy? Did she ever meet Edith Stein? (I don't think she did. What might have happened if she had?) Schiffman writes:

Weil is clear that rights are a product of legal recognition, not its foundation. (See her extraordinary essay “Human Personality,” available in Two Moral Essays from Pendle Hill.) But the shaping of these rights ought to be guided by the natural needs of the soul. She recognizes the psychological fact on which Locke bases his rhetorical argument for natural rights: we feel violated if others do not respect the claim that we feel results from our investment of our labor and love in things. But she does not attempt to parley it into a theory of rights-claims.

On the contrary, Weil is attempting to recapture an older intuition at the heart of the language of rights as it developed in the middle ages, an intuition that we often speak of in terms of “respect for human dignity,” but that she more adequately analyzes in terms of respecting the human aspiration for the good. The notion of rights ought to be, and implicitly always is, founded on the recognition of the obligation to such respect. (See the other extraordinary essay in the same pair, “Draft for a Statement of Human Obligations.”) Our labor, love and sense of ownership ultimately revolve around and embody our efforts to attain the good in our lives, and our social institutions should be shaped so as to respect that central aspect of our souls and its outward means. Agrarian family ownership is the complete model for these efforts, because it embodies the fullest integration of the varied goods that nourish a human life. (See Wendell Berry’s lovely novel Hannah Coulter.)

He contrast Weil's understanding of the right of property with that of Richard Weaver:

Weaver’s statement differs in two crucial respects from Weil’s. He does speak of a “metaphysical right” of property, and he sees the moral significance of responsibility for property in terms of cultivating the human person rather than in terms of psychic and social need. These two features are both grounded in what one might call Weaver’s Aristotelian vision of the human person as a being whose nature finds fulfillment in the attainment and exercise of virtues. The responsibility for property that is intimately connected to our life as a person (and this is the meaning of proprietas: what is one’s own and characteristic of oneself) calls upon virtues that render us more complete human beings. Foremost among these virtues is practical judgment, informed by long-term views of our life as a whole and our relationship to our community. Thus only property that satisfies this criterion falls under “metaphysical right,” i.e. must be recognized as rightly belonging to our very being and its fulfillment as what it most truly is. This recognition rests on grounds independent of law, and needs to be appropriately embodied in law.

Mr. Shiffman seems to be putting the foundation of the right to property in a form of personalism which emphasizes the respect for the dignity of the human being. Is that respect first an act of charity? Or an act of justice? Protecting the right to property is necessary for human beings to develop virtue.

In so far as he contrasts this account of rights with that offered by liberal political and economic theories, it serves as a critique of those theories. It may seem to some that there are some affinities with a Marxist theory of labor and value, but this is probably more with regards to what is to be done in the real world than with the premises. And even then, the conclusions may be starkly different [promoting an economic order in which the just price is respected vs. some sort of inevitable revolution and overthrowing of an existing order].

I would add that our sovereignty over things and what we produce is ordered towards God and the common good, and any right to property is subordinate to the obligations we have to God, our communities, and one another. Is the right to property both a limit on [positive] law and a limit imposed by [natural] law, and derived from the naturally just? It would seems so, but I will have to work out a fuller explanation.

More on Simone Weil:
Welcome to the Simone Weil home page
A bilingual Simone Weil Reader
An Interview with Simone Weil
HERMENAUT: Simone Weil: 1909-1943
Simone Weil on Plato's Allegory of the Cave - 1 of 2
Encounter - 7/05/00: Simone Weil
Simone Weil , philosopher, teacher. woman of controversey
The Christian Platonism of Simone Weil

Google Books: The Need for Roots: Prelude to a Declaration of Duties Towards Mankind
(the title itself is interesting)
Lectures on Philosophy

Books about her--Simone Weil: "the just balance"
Simone Weil: the way of justice as compassion
Simone Weil: An Apprenticeship in Attention
Simone Weil: Portrait of a Self-exiled Jew
Simone Weil: an introduction to her thought

Teresa Benedict of the Cross Edith Stein (1891-1942) - biography
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Edith Stein
EDITH STEIN - Life - Discalced Carmelite Order
ocarm - Teresa Benedict of the Cross
Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross Edith Stein
ICS Publications
Personal Connections: The Phenomenology of Edith Stein // Hesburgh

Dr. Fleming clarifies his latest post:

On anti-Family arguments, most modern leftist and even liberal political theorists have called either for the elimination of families or the reduction of their significance. Freud sees the family as a neurotic reenactment of the primal crime that led to the Oedipus complex, and many feminists have called for the abolition of the family or for doing away with rules on incest. From Locke to modern libertarians, classical liberals have viewed the family as a mere contract between individuals, who are free to dissolve it so long as (according to conservative liberals) it does not impose a burden on others: Locke, for example, though in his usual trivial way that parents should be free to divorce once the children were grown. This is a very long story, one that I began to outline in my first book and will be a large part of my next one, supposing anyone will publish it.

The right-to-life ideology is hopeless and is best ignored. They are well-intentioned people but entirely muddle-headed. What do they imagine the state to be? Is it a universal form of organization found everywhere and possessed of the same duties and rights? Obviously not. Since this is the subject of the book I am at work on, I will confine myself to a few brief points: 1) The state is an historically invented phenomenon, and, depending on definition it was either invented in the ancient Near EAst (a proposition I do not accept) or at the end of the Middle Ages. In either case, political organizations is a varied phenomenon. In general, the household has been a castle into which rulers do not intrude except in extreme cases–treason and great crimes like murder. 2) In the Christian world, it was the Church’s job to regulate marriage, not the state’s. 3) The transfer of authority from Church to state has been one of the great mistakes of the Renaissance/Reformation, and the consequences include state education, child protection statutes, no-fault divorce, and Gay Marriage. Enough is enough. 3) The language of the common good being invoked is Marxism with a human face. Decent societies never entrusted the rulers with some authority over private and family life as modern states possess. The most aggressive states–say Renaissance Florence and Venice–did establish mechanisms (e.g., a dowry fund or laws on dowries and inheritances) to promote marriage and procreation for the purpose of avoiding a decline in the citizenry (a legitimate concern), but Christian marriages were arranged between the families involved. In much of Europe, by the 11th century, the Church had begun to play a more aggressive role, partly to eliminate the irregularities that persisted among the barbarian French and Germans. In Tuscany, however, marriage did not even involve the presence of a priest, much less a Church ceremony, until the Council of Trent.

Finally, let us be clear about what we mean by terms like state and common good. If the state is a permanent institution, separate from the people it presumes to rule, and the judge of its own authority, we must suffer it without necessarily trusting or respecting it. If the state is simply an organic expression of the way people live together and work out their problems, it should not really be called a state but something else, like commonwealth, republic, politeia, or civitas. In either case, it does not exist to create or enforce virtue, as Thomas says, but to maintain conditions favorable to a virtuous life. Does anyone think that the states of the USA or the Federal Government are even making a feeble attempt at doing that? If not, then the state cannot be entrusted with teh power to regulate marriage or the rearing and educating of children.

I am not suggesting, ------, that the Church is in a position today to reassume its historical powers. I am saying that working to build up an anti-Christian immoralist regime is the last thing that Christians should be doing. As much as it is possible, one can rely on private resources, on local communities and parishes. Where this is not possible, we must go the law and treat our neighbors as gentiles, as Our Lord instructed. There is no simple solution, but there are broad outlines of the direction in which we should be going.
Tattooed Barbie has parents outraged
I can imagine the Mattel spokesperson making the following defense: "We have always believed that Barbie should be a role model for our daughters, and foster within them a positive self-image. Tattoos are an accepted fashion statement among our young women--why should we perpetuate a stigma intolerant of individual tastes and choices of expression?"

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Solemn High Mass at Mission Santa Clara (part 1)

Solemn High Mass (part 2)
mission mass3
Solemn High Mass at Mission Santa Clara (part 4)
Solemn High Mass at Mission Santa Clara (part 5)

I have a post on this event, but I haven't put it up yet. Check the videos out. I don't think you'll be able to see me--I was all the way in the back...
California Catholic Daily: “Ever loyal to the Vicar of Christ and faithful to the teaching Church”
Thomas Aquinas College dedicates new $23 million campus chapel this weekend
More HQ Lost cast photos.

For some reason the coding for going to the next page is not working, so I'd recommend using the search engine to find photos. (For example, "Lost Juliet".)

Going my way?

Why would you want to marry someone who doesn't have the same destination as you? Someone who believes that the end is God Himself?

And even if she believes that it is God, she may disagree about the way to get there. So if you two would be constantly arguing about directions, why would you want to endure that sort of marital discord? So a successful marriage requires that you two agree about the destination, and how to get there.

I suppose something could be said about men's sense of direction... and their ability to guide and to take initiative. Of course, some deny that such differences exist, or that there is a diversity of function...

Elizabeth Mitchell!

(stills @ Yahoo! TV)

The only reason why I keep watching Lost? Things haven't gotten that bad yet, but I do think her character Juliet Burke is more attractive than Evangeline Lily's Kate Austen, both physically and personality-wise. Well, if we overlook their propensity for premarital sex. And then there is the question of which character is actually more feminine.

Actress Elizabeth Mitchell arrives at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008. (AP Photo by Chris Pizzello)

Rotten Tomatoes photos:

Elizabeth Mitchell: The Lost Interview - The Daily Beast
Mitchell has hopes Juliet won’t die on ‘Lost’
Elizabeth Mitchell Interview - Lost Crazy
The Trades - Interview: Elizabeth Mitchell: Lost with the Others
TV Guide interview
TV Addict interview

Elizabeth Mitchell Fan Site
Elizabeth Mitchell Fan
Elizabeth Mitchell Pics Actress Archives
Elizabeth Mitchell Online
Celebrity Wonder
All Star Pics
Elizabeth Mitchell Pictures - Elizabeth Mitchell Photo Gallery
Blaine Ashley pics
evangeline lilly fan

As for the show itself...

*spoiler alert*

From the very beginning, it's been obvious the questions the story needs to answer well in order for it to be successful:

1. What is the nature of the island?
2. And what explains the purposefulness behind all of the things that have happened? Mere fate or change? Some supernatural intelligence? If it turns out that it is the island itself which has intelligence, I'll be very disappointed.

So is the love triangle between Kate, Jack, and Sawyer broken? Well it was actually replaced by a love rectangle, with Juliet--but has that rectangle grown more complex? Or are there two pairs of lovebirds now? (No comment about the coupling!) I wrote that question as I was watching the most recent episode, "La Fleur." By the end, it appears that it is the former--things have gotten more complicated.

And what happened to the rest of the survivors who stayed on the island!!!

Lapidus left with a woman... I think it must have been Sun. For some reason she didn't disappear off the plane like Jack, Hurley, and Kate. And Ben didn't disappear... I think because the island didn't want him back.
As a counter to the view presented by Dr. Fleming, there is this speech by Robert George, On the Moral Purposes of Law and Government -- download the mp3 here.

(From a blog entry on the speech at On Marriage and Family.)

The text for a similar speech can be found at First Things: Law and Moral Purpose.
Zenit: Q-and-A Session With Parish Priests (Part 3)
"The Priest as Teacher Must Himself Be Well Formed"

Injury forces Jewel to quit -- I hope she can come back for a future season of Dancing with the Stars. This season's contestants. Holly Madison Is Joining DWTS. More coverage @ People Magazine.

Dr. Fleming weighs on the debate over Proposition 8.

If we generalize Mayor Newsom’s argument, I think we can agree. Should basic moral principles be decided either a democratic political process, whether the decision is made by a direct referendum or by democratically elected representatives or judges or by judges appointed by democratically elected public officials? Let me just draw up a random list of moral violations that have either been decriminalized or trivialized by legislators and judges–sodomy, rape, public use of profanity–or new moral and legal rights that have been discovered–women’s, children’s and animal’s rights, the right to rent a room from someone who does not like you because of your ethnicity or sexual misconduct….

The list of both sorts of outrages would be endless. If a monarch had done these things, he would have been proclaimed a tyrant. But when 20% or the population or less–or officials whose authority rests on these small percentages–overturns a longstanding custom, the usual response is to seek redress through the political processes that are responsible for the tyranny.

Marriage, until very recently, was never a mere contract between individuals or a government-created institution. Legitimate societies have always been interested in regulating inheritance laws, discouraging a decline in the reproduction of citizens, and in preventing dilution of the citizen ethos by marriage with non-citizens, but government has not, typically, defined marriage and the family, much less redefined them. The exceptions are the Jacobins of the French Revolution and the ideological states of the past 100 years, principally Marxist and democratist states.

Who made Gavin Newsom or Ken Star or Mike Huckabee, Barney Frank or James Dobson prophets or philosopher-kings that they should presume to define marriage? We have suffered enough from venal and ignorant politicians who think they are economists or patriarchs. Until people who regard themselves as conservatives are willing to find some moral and spiritual solvents to set them free from the tarbabies of political parties and ideologies, they will never even begin to resist the tyranny that Americans accept so willingly.

It is not just, as I have so often argued in the past, that politicians cannot be trusted to solve moral problems, but that there is a realm of human moral responsibility into which legislators and judges should either not enter or, if they do, their actions should be limited to preserving an ancient tradition. Democracy, in declaring that every moral issue can be determined by majoritarian politics, is a corrosive and revolutionary force that first destroys the social, then the cultural, and now the moral order. It is on the verge of attacking the natural order: Do not be surprised if Congress, while outlawing pet chimpanzees, permits intermarriage among all primates.

San Jose Mercury: California Supreme Court hears Prop. 8 arguments
California Courts: Courts: Supreme Court: High Profile Case

Marcus Eremita

Mere Comments: Sell All & Buy Mark!

icon by Van Donkelaar Studios

St. Mark the Ascetic
Mark the Ascetic - OrthodoxWiki
Instructions of Blessed Mark the Ascetic (from Instructions of the Holy Fathers on Spiritual Life)
Saint Mark the Ascetic-discourse on spiritual struggle
Mark the Ascetic — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Marcus Eremita - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Patrology: The Lives and Works of the Fathers of the Church

Miscellaneous: Russian and Ukrainian Icons
George A. Panichas, The New Pantheons of Our Civic Social Order (Modern Age 44:3, Summer 2002)

Today an especially dramatic sign of deterioration is that of the sports scene, often referred to as “Sports Culture.” Even those who are not sports enthusiasts, or barely attuned to sports matters, are becoming aware of what is happening in the world of sports. It is, in fact, a world from which one can hardly escape, even for one day, and even in times of national crisis. On television, in periodical literature, and in the national newspapers, sports are in constant and unalleviating evidence. In educational institutions, at all levels, sports are an incontestably dominant concern and subject.

Sports celebrities become “icons” indiscriminately revered by young and old alike. The focus of our consuming attention, they ascend to a mythic status in the minds and hearts of many Americans and are transformed into heroes and even martyrs. An entire city will suddenly ex­plode in ecstasy when its victorious sports team returns, to be paraded and garlanded as new divinities of athleticism. Sports contests become panegyrical occasions for frenzy, climaxing even in pandemonium. Revels are the order of the day, when the only veneration we seem to summon is impelled by athletes of prowess.

The nature of our loyalties is repeatedly tested and measured by the extent of our acceptance of a reigning sports culture and its partic­ular ethos. This ethos has much to reveal about us as a people, both in­dividually and collectively. It tells us something about character and culture; about our principles and standards; about the inner and outer condition of our institutions and polity. In short, it tells us some­thing about the condition of American civilization as we enter the twenty‑first century.

To be sure, the forms that a super‑ athleticism takes can be anchored in effort, discipline, devotion, if not in imagination, which are admirable qualities in themselves. But when the law of measure, of moderation, is violated to the point of excess, a resultant impressionism and superficiality accrue. Unfortunately, the classical view of human existence, one that counsels order, is one that, along with the moral virtues, is now rejected in a postmodern world that glorifies imperial might in all of its passions and irrationalisms.

Increasingly sports culture also becomes a metaphor of violence as is variously demonstrated in a number of major sports. The offshoots of this orientation of violence are to be observed widely, whether in the participation of the onlooker (in the context of professional wrestling, for instance) or in actual acts of violence by players themselves and by supporters (in soccer and hockey matches). What we end up with here is a transmutation of courage and fairness in contests of strength as the heroic concept itself is turned on its head. “Overreaching glory is a ruin,” Aeschylus rightly reminds us.
How much of his critique can be applied to the high school football culture in Texas, as depicted on the show Friday Night Lights?
Bruce S. Thornton, The Obama Administration and the Monopoly on Education
What changes can we expect see in higher education from the policies of the Obama Administration? Unfortunately in this instance the slogan fails: things will go on very much as they have been, avoiding the real changes that need to take place. . . .
Rebellion: Robert E. Lee was a terrorist (which links to Glenn Greenwald's The newly released secret laws of the Bush administration).

The memo: "Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the U.S." (pdf)

Will 'conservatives' (i.e. Republican cheerleaders) please stop praising Bush?
John Michael Greer, The End of Retirement (original)
An Amazing and Prolific Urban Homestead
Jules Dervaes, Mother Earth News
With a passion for homesteading and a fierce determination to provide organic, whole foods for his family, Jules Dervaes decided that getting back to the land was the only option. And he didn’t let living in urban Pasadena, Calif., stop him.


Trailer @ Apple for Public Enemies (via AICN). Stills at Yahoo! Movies. Here's one of Christian Bale:

I wonder which has sold more copies, the theatrical version of Miami Vice or the director's cut. Someone who has seen an early version of Public Enemies compares the action sequences to Michael Mann's movie from the 90s, Heat.

There's a lower-quality version of the trailer available at Trailer Addict.
Benjamin Dagnl, Striking a Blow Against the Beer Cartel
A Grassroots Victory in Utah

Dawn Eden remembers Fr. Canavan

R.I.P. Francis Canavan S.J.

Related links:

Came across this blog: Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit?
Patrick Deneen, Free Riding. Rod Dreher comments. Daniel Larison responds (FPR).

I was going to try to finish a response today, but I don't think that will happen. I hope I can finish it in a timely manner.

Stuffy? Prudish? Imperialist? Chauvinistic?

Or, gasp, Monarchist?! Or just a well-done historical piece? Tea at Trianon brings to my attention a review of the movie The Young Victoria. You can go here for the international trailer. It is also posted at the Telegraph review. Or watch it below:

Wow. Emily Blunt. She looks nice in the movie, without the gaudy makeup you see in The Devil Loves Prada. YouTube - The Devil Wears Prada Emily Blunt interview

Emily Blunt Is Young Victoria
Emily Blunt at
Orlando Sentinel - Young Victoria: Emily Blunt's breakout film?
Emily Blunt attended the premiere of Young Victoria
Emily Blunt Premieres "The Young Victoria"
Photos From The Young Victoria UK Premiere and Afterparty
Emily Blunt and The Young Victoria UK Premiere, London at The Insider
Emily Blunt Pictures - UK Film Premiere: The Young Victoria
'The Young Victoria' Premiere - Photo Gallery on Yahoo! Movies
Emily Blunt and The Young Victoria UK Premiere, London
Photos: The Young Victoria world premiere
"The Young Victoria" Premiere: Keira, Rupert, Emily Blunt And Some Princesses
Emily Blunt at the Young Victoria premiere in London
Empire: Movie News - Right Royal Young Victoria Premiere – The Largest Entertainment Photo & Video Archive
BBC - Newsbeat - Entertainment - In pictures: Young Victoria premiere
Holy Moly Latest Index Galleries Gallery Article The Young Victoria
Emily Blunt arrives for the World Premiere of The Young Victoria
First Look: Emily Blunt in ‘The Young Victoria’ Trailer

Duchess of York attends The Young Victoria premiere - Telegraph
Jonathan Ansell and Hayley Westenra

Hayley Westenra & Jonathan Ansell - Un Giorno Per Noi
All I ask of you Jonathan Ansell & Hayley Westenra
Hayley Westenra & Jonathan Ansell "Today Won't ...
Hayley Westenra & Jonathan Ansell - Un Giorno per Noi

Hayley Westenra [Artist] - Shenandoah One

Meav Ni Mhaolchatha & Hayley Westenra singing "The Last Rose of Summer"

Hayley Westenra Interview

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Tucker Carlson's next project

A "conservative" news site:

RMG: Tucker Carlson Talks about new venture
Speaking of Liberty - Tucker Carlson -

(via CHT)
Special time with Han Hye Jin @ magazine photo shoot
Zenit: Q-And-A Session With Parish Priests (Part 2)
"To Be in the Church … Means to Be in the Prospect of a Great Opening to the Future"
Sandro Magister, The Mystery of Fr. Giussani, Revealed by his Writings
For the first time, a book presents the spiritual biography of the founder of Communion and Liberation. At the center of everything are a "coming" and an "encounter." An extract from the volume's culminating chapter
I should learn more about CL catechesis.

Giussani must have meditated for a long time on the teaching method of Jesus. In fact, he tried to duplicate it in his relationship with young people. [...] In this volume, he talks about three factors in the teaching method of Jesus. Especially the aspect of following. Jesus is a master to be followed. In the same way, in Christianity it is necessary to follow someone who lives the original event concretely in his own life. Then there is the need for renunciation. Christ asked his followers to leave everything, although he promised a hundredfold to those who would do so. There is no Christianity, for Giussani, if there is no sacrifice, acceptance of trial, detachment. Finally, the third principle, it is necessary to proclaim one's allegiance to Jesus in front of everyone: so that men may know that He is the center of our affectivity and our freedom.

Only love can explain and enable this process, can usher us properly into this inconceivable claim by Jesus. Otherwise, the only result can be opposition. What could the Jews do in the face of someone who identified himself as the source of the law, who maintained that he had the power to forgive sins, to judge between good and evil, to be the way, the truth, and the life? We must say either that Jesus is insane, or that He is truly God. But in order to arrive at this conclusion, in order for this possibility to appear on our horizon, we must have an openness of soul, a sense of discomfort with our own evil, a genuine discovery of Jesus and his infinite humanity.

There is a seal, a particular sign in the preaching and life of Jesus that for Giussani is the most enlightening sign of his divinity: the conception of man that He proclaimed.

Jesus came to reveal the Father to us, to tell us that we are children, that in each of us there is a reality higher than any other reality subject to space and time. Every person contains within himself an original, irreducible principle, the foundation of inalienable rights, the source of values. It is this that we call soul, spirit, that level of our personal being that is in immediate relationship with the infinite. Already in the first volume of the trilogy, entitled "The religious sense," Giussani dwelt on this theme, which was extremely important to him. It could be said that it was the keystone of his entire cultural position, the reason for his opposition to all power, and of his veneration of the Church as the guardian of the intangible truth of man. "Jesus concentrated on this problem, the relationship with the Father. Without that relationship, the individual man does not have the possibility of having his own face, he does not have the possibility of being a person."

With Jesus, the discovery of the person enters the world: He is the messenger, Giussani says, of the exclusive and total dependence of the individual man on the Father, He is the great educator of religious piety. This is the most suitable attitude for man, the one that leads him to discover prayer, his awareness of his fundamental dependence on God, that constant dependence that involves every moment and every slightest aspect of our lives. In this way, existence is realized as a dialogue with the great presence, the Being who is love, who gives himself constantly. [...] Our dependence on the being who creates us is fulfilled in our complete self-donation, in sacrifice, in "giving ourselves" [...].

Giussani's vision of salvation absolutely does not avoid the topic of sin, much less that of original sin. He was well aware that man by himself constantly falls into the temptation of referring everything to himself: he needs another, he needs to accept the love of another, to be liberated from being free. All of this creates tension in his life, a struggle, a search. If his immersion into the Eastern tradition led Giussani to feel that the divine transfiguration is already at work in the world, his closeness to modern man and in particular to the Protestant world – with which he became familiar during his studies in America – made him feel that he shared in the entire drama of fallen man. In the Church, he saw the path of redemption. Ever since God became man, He has saved man through other men, in order to make salvation possible everywhere and for all time. These will be the themes of the third volume of "PerCorso," entitled: "Why the Church."
Damian Thompson: Is it time to dissolve the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi? (via American Papist)

See also his Lady Jane Grey: another Protestant myth dismantled by a Catholic historian . (Review in the Spectator.)
Daniel Larison responds to E. D. Kain: Prosperity, Myth And Liberty (FPR). This comment by Mr. Kain at his post is interesting:

I am in favor of same sex marriage though I’ve done my best to frame my arguments as cultural (or civilizational) rather than through the lens of reason.

And I also think that it’s important to tackle SSM culturally before it’s pushed politically… Dominican History…online and Leonine Commission links on the Dominican History Lectures.

Plus, the website for the Leonine Commission.
Touchstone: The Making of Lent
William J. Tighe on the Origins of the (More or Less) Forty-Day Fast

(via Mere Comments)
Jan Lundberg, Counter argument for "Stimulus," growth and employment (via Carolyn Baker)

In 1991 I wrote in the Spring 1992 edition of Population and Environment: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, that the U.S. socioeconomic failure would be worse than the Soviet Union's collapse, because we were so petroleum-dependent compared to the Russians who on the household level were growing their own potatoes. Through the 1990s I predicted collapse of the U.S. economy due to the coming global peak of oil extraction, in our Auto-Free Times magazine which became Culture Change. I have also predicted an eventual Ecotopian outcome, even in the U.S. that I've jokingly called the United Paved Precincts of Amerika.

I have learned that the kind of economy and social structure we have been living under is lacking in any sound foundation for long-term continuity. In fact, our survival is threatened by our present system. The political solutions that have been allowed to circulate are really economic band-aids that do not threaten the power structure. This is a prime reason it is so hard to predict where we are going to end up as a people. Our culture and Western Civilization are so threatened from within -- the system's own contradictions and failures -- that collapse prevents us from imagining in much detail what kind of new (or traditional, close-to-nature) culture or society can be around the corner. Likewise, technology worship and clinging to material things hold us back.

BBC Radio, Choral Evensong

Program for Ash Wednesday 2009:

For Ash Wednesday. From the Chapel of St John's College, Cambridge.
Responses: Tomkins
Psalm: 51 (Allegri)
First Lesson: Isaiah 1 vv10-18
Canticles: Short Service (Byrd)
Second Lesson: Luke 15 vv 11-32
Anthem: Tribulationes Civitatum (Byrd)
Hymn: Lord Jesus, think on me (Southwell)
Organ Voluntary: Prelude in C minor, BWV 546 (Bach)

Junior Organ Student: John Challenger
Director of Music: Andrew Nethsingha.

4 days left to listen!
Wendell Berry was on The Bob Edwards Show this past Monday--$2.95 for the download.
E. D. Kain, Redefining Prosperity (via Daniel Larison)

Check out the blog, The League of Ordinary Gentlemen. Mr. Larison also links to Prof. Bacevich's review of The Accidental Guerilla.
Dan Bacher, The California Water Wars
Why It's Not a Conflict Between Fish and People

Unfortunately, this characterization of the battle to save the Delta as a one of “people versus fish” couldn’t be further from the truth. Because of massive exports of water to the Westlands Water District and Kern County and the Governor’s plan to build a peripheral canal to divert even more water, thousands of jobs are threatened as they never have been before!

These include thousands of jobs in the recreational and commercial fishing industries, the tourist industries of coastal and Sacramento Valley communities, and on Delta and Sacramento Valley farms.

This is not an issue of “fish versus people versus fish” nor “fish versus jobs.” The battle to save the Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas, really comes down to a conflict between a future based on sustainable fishing, farming and recreation or a future based on corporate agribusiness irrigating toxic, drainage impaired land that should have never been farmed at the expense of Delta and Sacramento Valley farms and healthy fisheries.
Zenit: Q-and-A Session With Parish Priests (Part 1)
"Let Us Not Lose the Simplicity of the Truth"

(From last Thursday's meeting with priests of the Diocese of Rome.)
NLM: Documentary on William Byrd
Hayley Westenra - All Things Bright and Beautiful/Prayer live concert

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Turns out Yahoo Personals isn't free. heh.

More from that spokesman for Catholicism, Douglas Kmiec

Insight Scoop: Douglas Kmiec comes out against Proposition 8...

And he continues to show how unfit he is for office

AP: Obama suggests buying stocks, defends revival plan
Blooming Flower (花) - Hayley Westenra
モーツァルトの子守歌-Hayley Westenra

Choices have consequences

I was going to say actions, but lack of action can also be an action, if it is deliberately chosen. When does concern for consequences become too much? When it prevents the right or prudent action from being done. It seems paradoxical--after all, it is part of prudence to take into account the possible consequences of the various actions one may take. But it may turn out that how people may react is not as important as first responding appropriately to them, especially if they have it coming... their choices have consequences, too.

"We all have it coming."

So is the intended response proportionate? In accord with justice? Even if it is in accord with justice, is it in accord with charity?
Maybe I just don't comprehend the attachment of some men to their cars, to the point that they call it a 'relationship'--but Eric Bana's latest does seem to be a vanity project. (C'mon, Dr. Phil giving him advice? Is there any other red flag that would be bigger?) I'd rather watch something like The Objective, even though I can't stand most horror movies. (Sarge thinks the SF team in the movie looks authentic.)

AU website for Love the Beast; US.
[HDTV] Korean Karaoke - Flight of the Conchords

Flight Of The Conchords Season 2- Oh, Dance Baby

Flight Of The Conchords - Oh, Dance, Baby (Best Version, High ... [TRANSLATED]

GL, Pole Beans Need Better Public Relations

Pole Beans Need Better Public Relations
Gene Logsdon, Dave Smith,
I suppose it’s because pole beans require some kind of scaffolding to climb on that they aren’t as popular as bush beans...But if you have tasted Kentucky Wonder pole beans cooked with bacon grease or a slab of real country-cured ham fat nestled among them, you know that they are so much more delectable than any bush bean that the extra work is worth it.


Last night the OD and his wife had xiao Jimmy, his wife, and me over for dinner. It was nice... I wish we could do things like that more often. Xiao Jimmy asked me if there were free dating sites, and I thought of Craigslist, but he reminded me about Yahoo Personals. So I took a look at it again last night, and stayed up quite late. Alas, I was not called for work this morning. I note that it, like, has a limit on the number of profiles you can save. I suppose the creators thought 100 saved profiles would be enough for anyone. hahaha. I think I saw one or two faces at YP that I had seen at I had looked at YP once before, but was reluctant to do anything with it, because to get full access one has to put one's profile up on the Internet, and I don't know if I want my personal information on like that. Of course, one could be dishonest and make a fake profile... maybe I can limit how much I reveal about myself. (YP even asks that people be honest, etc.)

I had a dream the sequel for Master and Commander was being produced...

Zenit: Father Groeschel to the Legion of Christ

Father Groeschel to the Legion of Christ

"This Is Not the Legion of Anybody Except of Christ"

THORNWOOD, New York, MARCH 2, 2009 ( Here is the text of a homily given Feb. 20 by Father Benedict Groeschel, one of the founders of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, when he concelebrated Mass at the formation center of the Legionaries of Christ in Thornwood.

Father Groeschel hosts Sunday Night Live with Father Benedict Groeschel on EWTN, directs the Office for Spiritual Development for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and teaches pastoral psychology at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York and at the Institute for Psychological Sciences in Arlington, Virginia.

* * *
Well, brothers and sisters, I'm delighted to be here and grateful to God that I can talk, because I came down with laryngitis yesterday. And I wanted to be with the members of the Legionaries and of Regnum Christi in a time that obviously is one of great suffering, of pain, but also of promise.

It happened just by an unusual circumstance that this little book of mine, "The Tears of God," arrived yesterday. I wrote it and sent it to the publisher a year ago. The name of the book is "The Tears of God: Persevering in the Face of Great Sorrow and Catastrophe." And so I brought several copies with me. It's hardly a book; it's a long essay with prayers, but I hope that it will be helpful to you all.

And first of all, let me say that the Legionaries have many friends, and I've been on the phone with a number of members of Regnum Christi who are friends and associates of mine, especially through the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, which I am a faculty member of. And I'm so delighted to know that the spirit of the Lord is with you in this time of suffering and that people are holding on.

Now: "You all need reform!" We ALL need reform! When do we need it? Every single day, no matter what goes on. Send anybody around to me who says, "They need reform!" and I'll tell them, "Wake up, smarty!" Our Divine Savior says, "The time has come, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news." And that is something that must go on every single day.

When I was a young fellow, fourteen years old, I saw a book: "The Confessions of St Augustine." And I started to read it. The only translations were old Anglican translations in very stilted language: Dr. Pusey's translations. And it intrigued me. (I skipped over the parts about the Manicheans.) But the whole story of St Augustine, not only his conversion, but also his great belief on every page that God, that Christ, called to him no matter what was happening, even before his conversion. He wrote, "You called me with an unheard voice, and you pushed me on with a hidden goad."

Right in the first paragraph, there is a sentence. It almost knocked me on the ground when I read it: "You have made us for yourself, oh God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you." And down through the ages, the spirit of St. Augustine has guided religious orders in the West over and over again (St. Benedict, St. Francis, St. Dominic, many, many others... St. Ignatius). And on into modern times. "You have made us for yourself, oh God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."

And in St. Augustine, you read a great deal about human weakness, about how much we need every day to be converted. You'll never read in St .Augustine: "We've arrived." Absolutely not.

And at times, in individual lives, and sometimes in corporate lives, events occur which are difficult for us to comprehend, to get our arms around. And often, not always, but often, the answer is a personal, individual call to repentance on our part, on OUR part. And the willingness to go on.

The friars, work with the poorest section of society, and we get along very well with humble people. Right during the priests' scandal, this great scandal four years ago, two of our brothers are walking down Broadway. It's a little hard to miss us, you know. (At least we LOOK religious; I wish we WERE that religious.) And this truck driver with a leather jacket and a handful of keys walked by the two brothers. He turned around and he says, "Hey brothers, don't let the turkeys get you down."

It's a great motto. Now, it's not elegant, and those of you who speak English in a second language: get someone to explain to you why they call them turkeys. (How do you say it in Spanish? "Pavo" is turkey?)

Now, what goes on is that each individual soul is called in the way that the Holy Spirit calls us to turn all of the events of life -- successes, failures, joys, sorrows, virtues, and even sins -- to turn them all into our personal repentance and following of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Legionaries of Christ were built and sustained by a deep Christological theology and devotion. It will stand you in the best stead at this time. This is not the Legion of anybody except of Christ.

And I encourage you... my little book is about this. That's Christ on the cover with tears running down his face. This painting was made in the 19th century. No one knows who made it, but it shows Christ in the agony, crowned with thorns, and the tears running down his face. The tears of Christ are the tears of God. He weeps with us. He wept in the garden. He wept at the death of his friend Lazarus. Don't ever, ever think that he does not weep even now.

If you look at the religions of the world, there are unique qualities about each of them, that were founded by sincere people, far away from Christianity, and perhaps with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in those cultures: Buddhism, for instance. And in those religions, God never suffers. In the Jewish religion, from which we come, God gets mad. He gets annoyed. He also gets happy; he rejoices when things are going well. But in Christianity, God suffers. An incredible, impossible thought. The absolute, infinite, divine being, eternal, unchangeable... That he could weep: This is the mystery of the Incarnation. Christ comes and weeps with us. He suffers with us. We have the unthinkable reality of a God who dies. Incomprehensible. Theologically, we have explanations through the Councils of how it could happen, but it's a mystery of mysteries. And the devotions of the centuries, especially of the Sacred Heart, reveal that Christ in a mysterious way suffers with us today.

Pope John Paul quoted the French writer Léon Bloy that "Christ is on his cross till the end of the world in his Mystical Body." And so Christ suffers with you in a very special way.

Years from now, you'll think back on these difficult days, and I hope you'll remember that Christ suffered with you. Let the cross be your guide. St. Augustine says, "When the cross was first preached to the few who believed, it was mocked by the multitudes. But by the power of the cross, the blind saw, the lame walked, the lepers were cleansed, and even the dead rose so that even among the powers of this world, men would come to believe that there is, in fact, nothing more powerful than the humility of God." Nothing more powerful than the humility of God.

And if I may say this as a friend to your community, this is a time when the face of Christ, covered with tears and sweat, calls each of us to participate in the humility of God. Amen.
Daniel P. Wirt, MD, Single-Payer Health Care Reform

Monday, March 02, 2009

Cicero Bruce, The Stand of Allen Tate (from Modern Age 42:4, Fall 2000)

Clearly the South that Tate knew as a boy had been compromised. Yet up to about 1914 the people who called themselves Southerners were still rooted in the soil, rooted in their traditions, and rooted in a way of life inscribed with the permanent values and intelligible principles that had been passed down from one generation to the next. Having reconciled vice with virtue, the South knew from experience what the modern world has tried to forget: the depravity that lurks inexorably in the hearts of humankind everywhere. This knowledge, along with their cultural ties to the past, humbled the best Southerners and contributed to their conservatism. As Tate suggests in his two interpretive Civil War biographies Stonewall Jackson: The Good Soldier (1928) and Jefferson Davis: His Rise and Fall (1929), the refined remnant of antebellum society rarely discussed money or how much of it someone had. For this remnant the quality of a particular man was, according to the narrator of Tate’s acclaimed novel The Fathers, “bound up with his kin and the ‘places’ where he lived,” not with his income or way of earning it, and “‘Class’ consisted solely in a certain code of behavior.”11

For Tate the New South that arose after 1918 from the ashes of the Confederacy was not a reconstruction, but an obliteration. He remained convinced that what was good and right about the Old South perished along with what was mean and vile; the cure for what ailed the old order, in other words, had been in many ways worse than the disease. He maintained that while the “cynical materialism of the new order brought to the South the American standard of living . . . it also brought about a society similar to that which Matthew Arnold saw in the North in the Eighties and called vigorous and uninteresting.”12Much like the town portrayed in William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” the New South that Tate oppugns in his writings joined the march of progress, and its people, tempted by dreams of avarice, willingly conformed themselves to the ways of industrialization, urbanization, and standardization—for fear that they be otherwise ridiculed like Emily Grierson, who refused to let the postal service affix a number to her mailbox.

Tate insisted that the Confederacy was defeated in and after the Civil War because the South failed “to bring out a body of doctrine setting forth its true conviction that the ends of man require more for their realization than politics.”13He encouraged his fellow Agrarians not to make the same mistake. If the Agrarians were to succeed in forwarding their cause, they had to be of a religious mind, he argued, and they had to be able to understand each other’s religion. Such an understanding, he proclaimed, “is necessary to fire the enthusiasm of a group; it is reciprocal in its action.”14What the Agrarians—or anybody else opposed to progress for the sake of progress—needed, according to Tate, was the intelligence of sacred tradition.

This was precisely what Tate thought humanism lacked. In “The Fallacy of Humanism,” his most controversial essay, which appeared in the journal Criterion about a year before the Agrarians took their stand in print, he made this judgment jarringly plain. Here he denounced the humanistic writings of Norman Foerster, Babbitt, and Paul Elmer More. He alleged that their New Humanism (or Neohumanism) denied the polarities of life, of Heaven and Hell, and disparaged the timeless myths by which man lives and organizes his literature. Furthermore, he argued that it did not possess the authority of religion from which values emerge and around which they unify themselves to form a coherent moral system. Moreover, he contended that authority for the humanists lies not in sacred tradition, but in individuals, not in unity, but in diversity. And most important, he claimed that the New Humanism could offer no consistent point of view without “the background of an objective religion, a universal scheme of reference.”15

Some of his poems.

Allen Tate's Life and Career
Fugitives and Agrarians: Photographs
Alan Jacobs's blog, Text Patterns. (Notice @ the American Scene.)

The struggles within the Church continue...

Rorate Caeli: Wagner Affair over -- The Holy Father has relieved the Rev. Mons. Gerhard Wagner from accepting the office of Auxiliary Bishop of Linz (Austria).

Both Rorate Caeli and Fr. Z link to the Der Spiegel interview with Bishop Fellay.

Fr. Z also posts this tidbit: Vatican Radio: Prof. at Pontifical school criticizes Summorum Pontificum.

I had heard that Bishop Williamson had a blog, but never really paid much attention to it--Fr. Z mentions it in this post. Does the blog show that the bishop is crazy in his opinions?
Daniel Larison joins another group blog: Front Porch Republic. He writes: "Many familiar TAC contributors and other bloggers well known to many of you will be joining in the discussions on localism, limits and liberty." Sounds very promising!

Edit. Notice @ Patrick Deneen's blog: Front Porch Republic
The Blu-ray edition of P&P 95: is it worth it? (via Austen Blog)
Thomas Fleming, Religio Philologi: Lenten Tests
The American Papist: Vatican denounces errors behind the economic crisis
Paul Craig Roberts, Obama's Budget

Papal Message on Unity With Orthodox

Papal Message on Unity With Orthodox

"This Beautiful Church Awakens in Us the Nostalgia for Full Unity"

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 2, 2009 ( Here is a translation of the message Benedict XVI sent to a ceremony Sunday in which the president of Italy turned over the keys to a Russian Orthodox church in southern Italy to the president of Russia.

The Holy Father was represented at the ceremony by Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, retired archbishop of Palermo, Italy, who read the message on the Pope's behalf.

* * *

The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, who has asked me to represent him in this significant ceremony, sends his cordial greetings to the religious and civil authorities and to all those present, in particular to the president of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, to the president of the Russian Federation, Dmitriy Medvedev, to the ministers, to His Excellency Mark, "ad interim" president of the Department of External Church Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate, and to the most excellent Monsignor Francesco Cacucci, pastor of this particular Church. He wants to renew, above all, his fervent best wishes to the patriarch of Moscow and of All Russia, His Holiness Kirill I, asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten his demanding ministry.

The Pope is pleased at the fact that this building responds, here in Bari, to the devotion of the Russian Orthodox to St. Nicholas. The Russian people has never faltered in its love for this great saint, who has always supported it in moments of joy and in difficulties. This is witnessed also by this Russian Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas, built at the beginnings of the past century, to welcome the pilgrims who, in particular in their trips to the Holy Land, made a stop in Bari, a point of encounter between East and West, to venerate the relics of the saint. How could we not recognize that this beautiful church awakens in us the nostalgia for full unity and maintains alive in us the commitment to work for union among all the disciples of Christ?

In truth, the history of Bari and of this region is marked in a profound way by the presence of the Eastern world, and ecumenical sensitivity is one of the characteristic traits of the populations of Apulia. Precisely because of this, the Holy Father Benedict XVI hopes that this ceremony too will contribute so that Bari continues being, as Pope John Paul II of happy memory said, a "natural bridge to the East," offering its precious contribution to the path toward full communion among Christians.

With these sentiments, invoking the intercession of the Mother of God and of St. Nicholas, the Pope renews his greetings to those present and sends them his blessing through my own.

[Translation by ZENIT]