Saturday, March 14, 2009

Another busy day ahead--I'll try to post something late tonight.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Looks like I won't be catching up on those incomplete blog entries, a friend is in town this weekend...
Alexander Cockburn, The Parable of the Shopping Mall
Zenit: Papal Letter on Society of St. Pius X
"We Must Have at Heart the Unity of All Believers"

Pius X Society Response to Benedict XVI
"We Fully Share His Utmost Concern for Preaching to Our Age"

Thursday, March 12, 2009

NLM: More on Thomas Aquinas Chapel -- it includes a link to Duncan Stroik's own page and flickr.
Maximos has intimated that paleoconservatives, Dr. Fleming in particular, are guilty of a kind of nihilism. This criticism of Dr. Fleming is shared by others over at WWWTW, so I'm a bit dismayed by the name-calling among "conservatives." Just because Dr. Fleming does not share the same political "advocacy" (since he does not think the solutions and measures being advocated are feasible, or agree with the underlying principles) does not mean that he is a nihilist. It's a difference of opinion about what is possible and what can be brought about as a result, and what therefore deserves out time, energy, and support.

What is the possible basis of agreement in American society over sexual morality and life issues? Not religion or natural law arguments. There is no rational consensus to be achieved, no argumentation or rhetoric that will persuade. Justifying opposition to the legal recognition of same-sex marriages through natural law morality will not be successful due to the lack of education (both moral and intellectual) among the masses. (There are differences even among Natural Law theorists which would probably serve as an obstacle to the non-adherent.)

Politics has thus become a power play, with the majority determining what the laws will be. A neutral "liberal democratic" state, governed by a "neutral" public reason is simply not possible given the fallen state of mankind and the loss of tradition and morals.

I think Dr. Fleming's lesson is being missed: when all of society is infected with, careful with giving more power to the state, even if one must seek to use the system to prevent further erosions of traditional morality and the common good. Perhaps he could have been more clear in his column, but it is more a blog than a journal, is it not?

Maximos writes:
It is far from clear that the opponents of the deconstruction of marriage law are actually arguing, as a substantive matter, that moral principles should be determined by public and democratic processes, as opposed to making the procedural point that, under the systems of law we have in this country, the judicial branches are not licitly empowered to legislate on these questions.
Even if traditional conservatives are successful in passing legislation that is in accordance with their moral precepts, relying on numbers may not work in the future, and the use of majoritarian democracy to decide morality is a bad idea in principle (Dr. Fleming: "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.") To what, then, can we appeal if the numbers are in favor of recognizing same-sex marriages, and such legislation is passed licitly by the legislative authority?

This is especially true if the number of Christians in this country is decreasing, as a recent survey seems to indicate.

So those who are concerned with protecting tradition must be politically involved in some way -- either pushing for legislation they favor (laws in conformity with traditional morality) or advocating for controls on the state. What is our primary goal in the political sphere? Dr. Fleming and others believe that tradition cannot win in such a social and political environment--the ideology of rights will be used to overturn traditional morality, strengthening court and government. Even if some notion of right can be reconciled with traditional Natural Law (and Dr. Fleming does not think it has been, though perhaps he might be open to its demonstration), how many people will remain attentive while we explain to them why their notion of right is wrong, and that ours is right? Wouldn't they rather rely upon their notion of right and its associations, divorced as they are from justice and duty and community?

(Some object to the use of rights language by the popes for similar reasons--how many can read such statements within their context, rather than with their own notions in mind and seeing papal affirmations of rights as a confirmation of modern rights theories?)

Dr. Fleming's proposal involves working for limiting the power of the state -- hence, the strategic alliance between paleoconservatives and paleolibertarians in the past. We saw this at work again with Ron Paul's campaign, but one fears that the number of people who actually want the government to have less power is small, while those who endorse the managerial welfare state are many and grow with each day as the economic crisis continues.

He advocates limiting state 'authority,' while seeking the conversion of others. Mobilizing those who abide by traditional morality to be politically active and to push for laws with which they agree is not enough, if it's just about numbers -- many have already commented that the passing of proposition 8 in California, even if it is upheld by the California Supreme Court, is a temporary victory. The youth are increasingly indoctrinated into sexual liberality and have no problems with same-sex marriage, and are repulsed by the strictures of traditional morality. If we can make a valid generalization about the state of things in America, the culture wars have already been lost.

Dr. Fleming concedes that such political action may be necessary, but one must ultimately reform society by seeking to bring others to Christ. If this is not done, political action can only be a stop-gap measure. Some groups of Christians may be reproducing more than their secular counterparts, but many of them are not doing a good job of reproducing Christians--that is, of raising their children to be serious about their faith, because they themselves do not provide a full witness to their Faith. As American continues its decline, we can no longer believe that America is populated by a "moral majority" that can no longer afford to be silent.

Are there some conservatives who think that winning elections is enough? Or believe that, conversely, the problem is merely a political one, of not having enough votes? Undoubtedly there are. The culture war may be a tool by the parties to gain and maintain power, especially in the case of the Republicans. Not a few Democrats actually believe in their radical libertinism.

Maximos argues that limiting the power of the state, instead of advancing the right sort of legislation, would leave voluntarism as the public orthodoxy intact:
Without desiring to belabour the point, this is, notwithstanding its historical truth in outline, purely hieroglyphic, in the Voegelinian sense of a form of discourse which somehow marches onward even though its historical, social, and material conditions have been espied by Minerva's owl in the shades of night: Where once this discourse evoked concrete social circumstances, it now evokes nothing at all, save the desire of some to both acknowledge reality and pretend that it is something other than it is. For while Fleming acknowledges the reality of the modern managerial state and its deformations of the moral life, it is fantastical to imagine that, if only we were to expose the nakedness of this idol, returning to our non-existent communities to undertake the impossibility of enforcing moral norms upon people who, in liberal society, will always have the option of checking out, like good voluntarists, whenever their whims are thwarted, the reality of the managerial state would somehow be altered. No, it wouldn't. The de facto moral orthodoxy would be that marriage is a purely private, voluntaristic contract, which the state either recognizes as such or takes no notice of, and those who dissent from this vision of (dis)order would be but one more voluntaristic faction among others, paradoxically creating themselves socially as people who do not believe that social formations are artifacts of will. The liberal/leftist doctrine that moral order and social order are artifacts of will would remain pristine in its operations, functionally the de facto orthodoxy of the society. However, the elect would at least remain untainted by the ontological evil of The State - if, that is, The State deigned to leave them to their conventicles, which it wouldn't. There is, in the end, an atmosphere of despair here, a sense, not that a mere political campaign is fruitless, but that an entire life-world must be hastened to its ultimate desolation, regardless of the consequences in the interim - which will be, beyond all caviling, the indefinite enthronement of a voluntaristic ethic and a state predicated upon that ethic, as upon an orthodoxy.
Maximos is making the case that since ecclesiastical authority is no longer recognized, only political authority can now enforce traditional mores. Otherwise, without resistance and reform, that authority will be used against those mores--it would not be content to leave alone those who dissent from the prevailing public orthodoxy.

But what is more likely to be attainable? A defense of Christian morality through laws, or the reduction of the power of the state? If those who are in power wish to eradicate traditional [Christian] morals and persecute those who follow them, they will do so--it seems to me that at the Federal level at least there are not enough votes to put defenders of traditional morals into office to make a difference, or to even force the Federal government to abide by the Constitution.

An view opposed to Dr. Fleming: Jennifer Roback Morse: Privatizing Marriage is not the Answer to the Same-Sex Marriage Debate

An interesting post about Burke: Edmund Burke, Anarcho-Conservative (via the Western Confucian).
Twitch: TAKEN Sequel and US Remake of DISTRICT 13 in the works
Teaser trailer for Japanese action film ‘Fist’
Sharon Smith, Bottom Feeders at the Trough
Bailing Out America's Most Corrupt Capitalists

GL, The aim is joy

The aim is joy
Gene Logsdon, Dave Smith,
I’ve taken lovely vacations over the years, but the latest one, at an exclusive hideaway we were lucky enough to know about, had to be the best ever. ... We could not have enjoyed the weekend just described without a very intimate knowledge of our surroundings.


Obama, Geithner get low grades from economists: report

I was starting to think it would be a credible criticism to use against the administration, but then I read this:

On average, the economists gave the president a grade of 59 out of 100, and although there was a broad range of marks, 42 percent of respondents rated Obama below 60, the paper said.

Geithner received an average grade of 51, while Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke scored better, with an average 71, the paper said.
Professional economists really don't know anything if they are giving Bernanke such high marks.

Mike Whitney, Haircut Time for Bondholders
Time for Geithner and Bernanke to Go
American Papist: Exclusive: Legion discontinues controversial "Prayer for Fidelity"
Former mentor of Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White, has his own cooking competition show--The Chopping Block. First episode on Hulu.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fatal Distraction by Gene Weingarten
Forgetting a child in the back seat of a hot, parked car is a horrifying, inexcusable mistake. But is it a crime?

(via Rod Dreher)
There is no national clearinghouse for cases of infant hyperthermia, no government agency charged with data collection and oversight. The closest thing is in the basement office of a comfortable home in suburban Kansas City, Kan., where a former sales and marketing executive named Janette Fennell runs a nonprofit organization called Kids and Cars. Kids and Cars lobbies for increased car safety for children, and as such maintains one of the saddest databases in America.

Fennell is on a sofa, her bare feet tucked under her, leafing through files. Amber, her college intern, walks up and plops a fax of a new wire service story on the table. "Frontover," Amber says. "Parking lot, North Carolina."

There's a grisly terminology to this business. "Backovers" happen when you look in the rearview mirror and fail to see the child behind the car, or never look at all. "Frontovers" occur almost exclusively with pickups and SUVs, where the driver sits high off the ground. There are "power window strangulations" and "cars put in motion by child" and, finally, "hyperthermia."

In a collage on Fennell's wall are snapshots of dozens of infants and toddlers, some proudly holding up fingers, as if saying, "I'm 2!" Or "I'm 3!" The photos, typically, are from their final birthdays.

Fennell has met or talked with many of the parents in the hyperthermia cases, and some now work with her organization. She doesn't seek them out. They find her name, often late at night, sleeplessly searching the Web for some sign that there are others who have lived in the same hell and survived. There is a general misconception, Fennell says, about who these people are: "They tend to be the doting parents, the kind who buy baby locks and safety gates." These cases, she says, are failures of memory, not of love.

Fennell has an expression that's half smile, half wince. She uses it often.

"Some people think, 'Okay, I can see forgetting a child for two minutes, but not eight hours.' What they don't understand is that the parent in his or her mind has dropped off the baby at day care and thinks the baby is happy and well taken care of. Once that's in your brain, there is no reason to worry or check on the baby for the rest of the day."

Fennell believes that prosecuting parents in this type of case is both cruel and pointless: It's not as though the fear of a prison sentence is what will keep a parent from doing this.

The answer to the problem, Fennell believes, lies in improved car safety features and in increased public awareness that this can happen, that the results of a momentary lapse of memory can be horrifying.

What is the worst case she knows of?

"I don't really like to . . ." she says.

She looks away. She won't hold eye contact for this.

"The child pulled all her hair out before she died."

For years, Fennell has been lobbying for a law requiring back-seat sensors in new cars, sensors that would sound an alarm if a child's weight remained in the seat after the ignition is turned off. Last year, she almost succeeded. The 2008 Cameron Gulbransen Kids' Transportation Safety Act -- which requires safety improvements in power windows and in rear visibility, and protections against a child accidentally setting a car in motion -- originally had a rear seat-sensor requirement, too. It never made the final bill; sponsors withdrew it, fearing they couldn't get it past a powerful auto manufacturers' lobby.

There are a few aftermarket products that alert a parent if a child remains in a car that has been turned off. These products are not huge sellers. They have likely run up against the same marketing problem that confronted three NASA engineers a few years ago.

In 2000, Chris Edwards, Terry Mack and Edward Modlin began to work on just such a product after one of their colleagues, Kevin Shelton, accidentally left his 9-month-old son to die in the parking lot of NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The inventors patented a device with weight sensors and a keychain alarm. Based on aerospace technology, it was easy to use; it was relatively cheap, and it worked.

Janette Fennell had high hopes for this product: The dramatic narrative behind it, she felt, and the fact that it came from NASA, created a likelihood of widespread publicity and public acceptance.

That was five years ago. The device still isn't on the shelves. The inventors could not find a commercial partner willing to manufacture it. One big problem was liability. If you made it, you could face enormous lawsuits if it malfunctioned and a child died. But another big problem was psychological: Marketing studies suggested it wouldn't sell well.

The problem is this simple: People think this could never happen to them.
The author of the article appears to be defending the parents--"it could happen to anyone." Busy people who forget, because we are not gifted with powerful memories, but fragile ones...

Still, can we find anything in common among the parents? Have such accidental, yet seemingly preventable deaths, happened in families where the division of labor is clear, when one parent is taking care of the child while the other one works? In some families, both parents have to work. But in others, this is a chosen lifestyle. More victims of wage slavery and of radical egalitarianism?

And do we allow ourselves to be distracted too easily, by failing to prioritize properly? If our children's well-being were really paramount, would we not make sure to have done our duty to ensure it, rather than making assumptions? There is a line between proper parenting and becoming compulsive or controlling, but do moderns suffer from an inability to prioritize, which leads to becoming easily distracted and loss of focus? Is this a problem with modern practical reason?

Some may not be able to balance their lives in such a way that they can take their time and act calmly--but is this not another indictment of our political economy?

Or if it is so easy for human beings to lose track of things, maybe we should abandon the sort of lifestyle that contributes to this, because it puts others at risk.
Opus Dei - RELATED DOCUMENTS - Statutes of Opus Dei

From the US Opus Dei site:
The Vocation to Opus Dei

This essay on the vocation to Opus Dei may be of interest to those who are discerning a vocation to Opus Dei, to their families, or to anyone else who would like a more in-depth description of the vocation to Opus Dei. The author is a member of Opus Dei who is a professor at Seton Hall Law School. The essay was first published in 1994.

Vatican Declaration on Opus Dei
This is the Vatican document, issued by the Sacred Congregation for Bishops and approved by Pope John Paul II, that explains the fundamental traits of the Prelature of Opus Dei.

This section gives in translation the chapters of Itinerarios de vida cristiana by Javier Echevarría (Planeta, 2001).

Bishop Javier Echevarria speaks of divine filiation. Opus Dei - WHAT IS OPUS DEI? - Message.
Opus Dei - FROM THE PRELATE - Letter from the Prelate (January 2009)
Opus Dei - FROM THE PRELATE - The True Face of Opus Dei

Related links:
ODAN: 1982 Statutes of Opus Dei -- Latin and English and 1950 Constitutions of Opus Dei -- Latin and English

Opus Dei info - Opus Dei 1982 Statutes

Edit. I just ran across this--Opus Dei cartoon and TV series to boost image - Telegraph.
Debra Murphy:
Patterns of Scandal in New Ecclesial Movements: Part One, Discerning a Pattern
Patterns of Scandal in New Ecclesial Movements: Part Two, Appearance vs. Reality
Patterns of Scandal in New Ecclesial Movements, Part Three: Conscience and Canon Law
Rod Dreher asks, "Chuck Norris, president of Texas?" Doing a search on Google, I found Texas Secede! and Texas Secession. There's also the Texas Ordinance of Secession. (For more on that part of Texas's history, see Narrative History of Texas Secession and Readmission to the Union.)
On War #295: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects

Defense procurement reform...
Creating a Home Graywater System (video)
Peak Moment #141
Trathen Heckman takes us on a step-by-step tour of how to make a safe, ecological and legal suburban home graywater system. Follow the water as it drains from the bathroom tub (and sink and laundry) through a unique valve leading into the backyard garden. It flows into an optional wetland and underground pond for filtering. The water is then piped below ground to several destinations in the yard, where it will supply water for plants growing above it. Trathen discusses the process with local government agencies, the system design and construction (with pictures), costs, resource books, and why to undertake a graywater system in the first place. (

(via EB)
The economic crisis impacts on public health
Dan Bednarz, PhD, Energy Bulletin
Today I report on a study with public health officials from across the nation... The questions are not about peak oil per se; that topic would make for a short interview, indeed. I’m inquiring about the current fiscal and economic crisis... (transcript of talk for the “After Peak Oil” Conference, Johns-Hopkins University, March 12)
"Im Ready To Go/Are You Afraid To Die?" By Ricky Skaggs

My Father's Son - Ricky Skaggs
Twitch: She’s Back! She’s Kicking! And She’s On Fire! It’s The New HIGH KICK GIRL Trailer!

There's also SHINJUKU INCIDENT Review.
Academic Labor in Dark Times By HENRY A. GIROUX
Making Democracy Matter

While Aristotle does say the ruler must make provisions for the education of the young to be citizens, this is not what he meant. And at this point conservatives and Christians should be wary of the state being involved in the moral and civic training of our children.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Keira Knightley vids

The Edge of Love - Clip 1 - Keira singing Blue Tahitian Moon

The Edge of Love - Clip 2 - Keira singing Maybe

Keira Knightley singing in The Edge of Love

Keira Knightley, The Edge of Love Interview - BBC Breakfast

Aaron Newton on the Bulls-Eye Diet

His blog
Growing Our Own And More On The Bullseye Diet
100 million new farmers? North Carolina writer calls for agricultural revolution
by Morgan Glover (EB)
The 4 Day Work Week
Aaron Newton | Hen and Harvest

Aaron Newton on sustainable land use planning and infill agriculture

A Nation of Farmers: Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil
Casaubon’s Book » Blog Archive » The Bullseye Diet
Asia News: Severe crisis for traditional model of Vietnamese family by J.B. VU
More people are divorcing, or separating into nuclear families. Preoccupation with making money is overshadowing concern for children's education. Since last year, the bishops have been urging family education. A pastoral letter from Cardinal Pham Minh Man.
Asia Times: Work makes a comeback
A "lifetime" of work has until recently usually meant just that, with no notion that it be followed by retirement and ease. The West's baby boomers, their pensions disintegrating just as they were coming into reach, are very painfully about to rediscover history. - Julian Delasantellis
California Catholic Daily: “An encouraging sign” -- Santa Clara University’s new president puts stop to planned campus performance of ‘Vagina Monologues’
Zenit: Holy See on Men and Women Sharing Responsibilities"Human Beings Are Not Only Autonomous and Equal But Also Interdependent" [2009-03-10]

One might think this would be another PC speech coming from the Curia--it does not talk about sex differences or the complementarity of the sexes. Nonetheless, it is true that both men and women have duties to take care of family members, especially parents, and others in their networks.

The overcoming of the dilemma between autonomy and dependence also favors a new vision of the work of care that can no longer be attributed only to certain groups, such as women and immigrants, but must also be shared between all women and men, in households as well as in the public sector.

In particular, it is more and more untenable that there continue to be attitudes and places - even in health care - where women are discriminated against and their contribution to society is undervalued simply because they are women. Recourse to social and cultural pressure in order to maintain the inequality of the sexes is unacceptable.

Mr. Chairman, since our debate mainly focuses on sharing responsibilities and caregiving between women and men in the context of HIV/AIDS, the very first thought goes to the primary and best meaning of care, namely taking care, protecting and promoting the wellbeing of others. In this context, HIV/AIDS calls into question the values by which we live our lives and how we treat, or fail to treat, one another.

Community-based care and worldwide support for those suffering from this disease remain essential. Home-based care is the preferred means of care in many social and cultural settings, and is often more sustainable and successful over the long term when based within communities. In fact, when many members of a community are involved in care and support, there is less likely to be stigma associated with the disease.

Unfortunately, community- and home-based care is largely unrecognized, and many caregivers face precarious financial situations. Very little of the funds spent every year on providing assistance to those who are suffering as well as on much needed research to combat the disease go to supporting them. Studies have shown that community and home-based caregivers actually experience more stress than medical personnel; so better support must be provided for these persons, particularly women and older persons who are caregivers.
With the discussion of community- and home-based (or family-based) caregiving, there is an implicit endorsement of the traditional understanding of the place of the household as the fundamental economic unit. The connection between a healthy household economy and the services that are rendered by members of a household to one another needs to be drawn out, but I don't expect the Holy See to come out with a statement condemning globalization. It would not be well-received, and besides they're too cautious to do such a thing without making sure there are reasons for such a condemnation, and there are too many conflicting reports about the net effects of globalization.

The Kruger Brothers.

(source of photo)
They were recommended by someone posting at Chronicles. Their official website. MySpace. CDBaby has [some of?] their CDs.

The three brothers are originally from Switzerland!

Kruger Brothers Bring Worldclass Bluegrass to San Diego

Kruger Brothers, I Know, You Rider

Kruger Brothers Reuben's Train

Kruger Brothers - Carolina in the Fall

Kruger Brothers "Dueling Banjos"

doubletimemusic @ Youtube

Kruger Brothers International Fan Club
Cornish Bluegrass Association - The Kruger Brothers
Kruger Brothers bring bluegrass to the symphony
The Kruger Brothers offer a sweet “Suite”
Kruger Brothers go grassy: bluegrass music news
European Bluegrass Blog: Kruger Brothers in Europe, Mar.-Apr. 2009
The New Acoustic Gallery - Krüger Brothers Band - 30.03.2009
Home - Double Time Music

Monday, March 09, 2009

Kevin R. C. Gutzman, The Obamanoid Constitution
New Urbanism 180° Urban Design & Architecture
Lou Dobbs has a radio show now--I found out about it just tonight, so I haven't had a chance to listen to it. Locally his show is supposedly broadcast by 910 AM - KNEW, but I don't see him listed on the station's weekday schedule. You can listen to it online from 2-6 PM ET. (There is also the option of downloading the show.)
Steve Sailer: Why did Asians end up in San Gabriel Valley rather than in San Fernando Valley?
Some photos for the TAC Chapel Dedication Ceremony.

NLM: A Glorious Weekend on a Few Fronts at Thomas Aquinas College, which links to The Faithful Rebel and his flickr photo album. His posts:
Holy Tradition Takes Center Stage at Thomas Aquinas College for Dedication Weekend
At Thomas Aquinas College, a House of God and Gate of Heaven is Dedicated

Edit. More photos at the Shrine of the Holy Whapping.
American Papist links to an article in Spero News: Legion of Christ delays explanation of Rev. Maciel. There is also this--Posted: LC donor invitation to "town hall meeting" with vocations director. From the Spero News article:

Whenever it grants formal approval to a religious institute, the Church would seem to be approving the “charism” of the founder. And because in Catholic belief popes can in some instances speak “infallibly” on matters of faith, it is possible to claim that the pope’s recognition of a religious order’s charism, characteristic work, and founder is an infallible judgment.
This is a bit of a stretch... to approve of an institute and the exterior manifestation of its charism is not to make an infallible judgement, nor a judgment that it is definitely from God--it is only a judgment that there is nothing obviously counter to Catholic faith and morals, and that it appears to be consonant with what the Church teaches about religious life, no? The article itself recognizes this:

For another, theologians have recognized that Church approval of a religious order is not necessarily an infallible judgment. The Second Vatican Council in 1964 in Lumen Gentium held that the pope is infallible when “as supreme pastor… he proclaims in an absolute decision a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.” Decisions on other matters fall within what is called, in technical language, the secondary objects of infallibility. Catholic theology is more careful than in the past to attribute infallibility to a secondary object such as the approval of a religious order.
Fr. Bannon gave a spiritual conference during the retreat I attended. As he is Vocations Director, it is not surprising that he has written so much about vocation discernment.

Discerning A Vocation, by Fr. Anthony Bannon, L.C.
Rejuvenating the Faithful: Thousands Gather in Baltimore for 2002
Center for Integral Formation
NLM: Archbishop Ranjith's Foreword to "True Development of the Liturgy"
A post at The Art of Manliness from last year: Bringing Back the Hat
Twitch: Korea Goes Noir With PRIVATE EYE and John Woo’s RED CLIFF II Coming To DVD and Blu-Ray!
TrekMovie: Star Trek Trailer #3: Shot-By-Shot Analysis

This post, ST09 Tidbits (T-59 days): Heroes Preview?, ST09 Game?, Spock Fu?, Nero Wart? + more? has a link to a website which has some drawings of the new Enterprise. It also has a snippet from an interview with Zachary Quinto:

Quinto: There was originally in the film a sequence that was, I think it was, like, Spock against like six people hand to hand. And so I spent a lot of time learning this particular form of martial arts, and … then, literally two days before we were shooting it, J.J. was like, ‘Yeah, we’re not going to do that. We’re not going to do that. It’s going to be a gunfight.’ And I was like, ‘OK … ‘ It’s actually worked out better, though. J.J. is always with a mind toward balance. And I think he understood in the context of the film what it needed, and it didn’t need that in that moment, and so it changed.

Vulcan martial arts?
I was recalling again yesterday the difference between liberalism and pre-liberal politics, and the implications on citizenship and political participation. What is the basic unit of society? The individual, or the family? If the individual, then why shouldn't each individual (if qualified) have a voice in government, or at least vote? But if it is the family, and there is a hierarchy in the family, then the one who holds authority in the family should represent the family in deliberations concerning the common good. But this isn't going to fly in today's society, just as restricting the vote to only those who are qualified will not work.
Mack Gerhardt on the need to get higher-caliber pistols: "'Go big or go home, you didn't come here to hurt people's feelings."

CBS is ordering a new show centered on the Washington Field Office - FBI -- the set-up sounds rather PC, but so is every other ensemble crime drama on CBS these days, Cold Case, NCIS, CSI, Without a Trace, Criminal Minds, and Numb3rs. (Not as bad as the stuff still on cable: The Closer, Saving Grace, In Plain Sight, and Damages. A couple of series have been cancelled since I last blogged about girl power on TV.) "It's so Hollywood."
Pilot: Teri Polo Goes to 'Washington Field'
Eddie Cibrian joins 'Washington Field'
Eddie Cibrian hazards 'Washington Field'

One of the other new shows will be a NCIS-spinoff, with Chris O'Donnell--his last TV show, Head Cases, didn't last very long.

CBS orders three drama pilots
Zenit: Q-and-A Session With Parish Priests (Part 5)
"We Must All Collaborate in Celebrating the Eucharist Ever More Profoundly"

Papal Comments at Conclusion of Lenten Retreat
"We Must Walk With Jesus"
And so he does it--Obama overturns Bush policy on stem cells (AP) . Kyrie eleison.

From the Archives: Stemming the Tide
by Monica M. Richert and Scott P. Richert

Edit. Rod Dreher, Stem cells and the politics vs. science dodge

Sunday, March 08, 2009

From Damian Thompson's post on The Sisters Who would be Queen:

John Vidmar OP, English Catholic Historians and the English Reformation 1585 - 1954
Haigh, English Reformations

English Catholic Historians and the English Reformation - John Vidmar
Oxford University Press: English Reformations: Christopher Haigh
Han Hye Jin's next drama.
I was listening to "Wide Open Spaces" by the Dixie Chicks (MySpace) on the radio today, and I remembered the altercation between them and Toby Keith and the original comments made at an overseas concert that sparked it.

If I were a native of Texas, why would I be proud of George W. Bush, who started an unjust war and strengthened the National Government at the expense of the Constitution, opposing everything good about the Southern political tradition? Paleoconservatives and paleolibertarians would not disagree with the sentiment the expressed about George W. Bush as a man or as a Texan. The Dixie Chicks were accused of being unpatriotic for opposing the war. The National Review has done the same with respect to paleoconservative and traditional conservative critics.

Besides the fact that so many from the South now serve in the military, the fracas is an additional reminder of the refashioning of the South after the War to Prevent Southern Independence and "Reconstruction" into a dutiful vassal state that sends its sons (and daughters now) to fight in wars started by Washington, D.C. Any criticism of Washington D.C.'s warmongering is batted down.

Nonetheless, what is the line between disrespect of the office and legitimate criticisms of the man holding it? And do the circumstances alter the morality of the act? Or contribute to scandal? Is criticism of the president in a foreign country equivalent to airing dirty laundry among those who should not be hearing it? Even if such a statement were made to preserve the good image of the United States and to separate the country from the Chief Executive, did it turn into ridicule because it was said overseas first? Was it politically embarrassing?

1. Should they, as artists, voice a political opinion to their audience?
2. And should this have been done in a different country?

Natalie Maines issued an apology for disrespecting President Bush. If it was a sincere apology, did she believe the disrespect was to be found in her statement itself, or was it due to the venue in which it was said?

I had a nice lunch today with some friends from high school, and someone who had been MIA before her senior year showed up today. It turns out that she has been living in the area for the past 15 years, after finishing college. There was some discussion at the table today during lunch about Sarah Palin's candidacy for Vice-President, and how she turned people away from the Republican ticket. A common complaint? She is too much of the "far right" and only chosen to placate social conservatives. As if Sarah Palin, even if she were to become president, would do anything to go against the status quo...

Yahoo! Movies: The Edge of Love (Limited) The complex relationship between Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, his wife Caitlin, and childhood friend Vera Phillips. More stills.

Opening the same weekend (March 13), in limited release: Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America and Tokyo Sonata.
American Papist: What are the Knights of Malta Thinking?

Two for Ip Man

Ip Man (2008)- Ip Man vs Northerner

Those Northerners! Such poor losers and cheats! hahaha.

Donnie Yen (甄子丹) on Ip Man

Asia Times book review: Anime and Japan's postmodern monsters

Otaku: Japan's Database Animals by Hiroki Azuma

About two decades ago, a geeky breed of techno-loners known as otaku emerged in Japan, spawning an industry that churned out anime, manga and video games. But a string of murders and the subculture's offbeat erotica have earned otaku a reputation as "perverts and threats to society", writes Azuma. As he points out, we may all be more in touch with our inner otaku than we care to admit. - David Wilson (Mar 6,'09)

Asia News: Pope: I pray for all women, for their dignity and value

Gokusen endings

Gokusen Season 1 Ending HD

Gokusen Season 2 Ending HD

Gokusen Season 3 Ending HD

Gokusen 2 Deleted Scene - Yankumi Wears Pink Dress

Yankumi's fashion sense

Teppei Koike Dresses Up as a Girl
Solemn High Ambrosian Rite Mass part1/15

Solemn High Ambrosian Rite Mass part2/15
Solemn High Ambrosian Rite Mass part 3/15
Solemn High Ambrosian Rite part 4/15
Solemn High Ambrosian Rite Mass part5/15
Solemn High Ambrosian Rite Mass part 6/15
Solemn High Ambrosian Rite Mass part 7/15
Solemn High Ambrosian Rite Mass part 8/15
Solemn High Ambrosian Rite Mass part 9/15
Solemn High Ambrosian Rite part 10/15
Solemn High Ambrosian Rite Mass part11/15
Solemn High Ambrosian Rite Mass part12/15
Solemn High Ambrosian Rite Mass part13/15
Solemn High Ambrosian Rite Mass part14/15
Solemn High Ambrosian Rite Mass part 15/15

For you, Sarge: RITO MÓZARABE - (San Pascual)