Saturday, May 09, 2009

Fr. Z: STUNNING DVD - The Monks of Le Barroux

The DVD looks good--I'd consider buying it if they produced the DVD in a format appropriate to North America.

(The monastery's website: Abbaye Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux)
NLM: Noble Simplicity and the Liturgiologist Edmund Bishop

It includes the essay "Noble Simplicity" by Fr. Anthony Symondson, S.J., which discusses Bishop's description of the Roman rite, "[The] genius of the native Roman rite is marked by simplicity, practicality, a great sobriety and self-control, gravity and dignity..."
Twitch: Longer Teaser For Yoichi Sai’s Ninja Epic KAMUI! and Second Trailer Arrives For NEON GENESIS EVANGELION 2.0: YOU CAN (NOT) ADVANCE!. AndFrench Trailer and Making-of Videos for BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE.
Ex aedibus writes over at the American Papist:

The apostolic visitation into Miles Jesu isn't really known, perhaps because Miles Jesu itself is quite small in comparison to the Legion or Regnum Christi. From their website, it seems that it emerged out of the Cursillo movement. They were founded by a Spanish Claretian, Father Alphonsus Maria Duran. In 2007, Cardinal Ruini, Vicar of the Diocese of Rome, initiated a visitation into Miles Jesus at the request of nineteen leaders in Miles Jesu and a priest who personally appealed to the Cardinal for exclaustration. The visitation, now completed, resulted in the appointment of an extraordinary, external superior. Father Barry Fisher, C.PP.S., a priest belonging to the Congregation of the Most Precious Blood, has been charged with the task of running Miles Jesu and overseeing the completion of the final version of their statutes. Miles Jesu appealed to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life to quash the visitation, but they were unsuccessful.

The blog The Truth About Miles Jesu has a bit more about this.

Miles Jesu website

They also run this website: Cause for Canonization of Servant of God Queen Isabel the Catholic.
I find this a bit off-putting, even though I don't have any problems with Queen Isabel being raised to the altars if the Church finds it appropriate: "The greatest woman in history since the Mother of God?"

Clerical Whispers: The Truth about Miles Jesu :: View topic - Vatican Concludes Investigation Of Miles Jesu
Phillip Plait examines the "science" of Star Trek. (original)
Zenit: Neocatechumenal Way Founder Awarded Doctorate
The Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family is awarding an honorary doctorate to Kiko Argüello, one of the initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way.

The institute, situated at Rome's Lateran University with other locations around the world, announced that on May 13 it will invest as doctors "Honoris Causa" both the Spanish founder, Francisco (Kiko) Argüello, and an Italian sociology professor, Pierpaolo Donati.

A statement from the institute notes that the contributions of both men to the field of family studies are valued as "authoritative references for its own teaching and research work."

The institute underlined "the strong commitment of the Neocatechumenal Way on family issues" by its emphasis on "the experience of the 'domestic celebration' with which it sends families on a mission."

It also pointed out the value of the lay group's "promotion, together with other ecclesiastical organizations, of major initiatives in support of the family," especially the "Family Day in Italy and the 2007 Feast of the Holy Family in Madrid."
Can ethics (and Οικονομικά) be built upon sociology? Or would that be fallacious? (But not necessarily the naturallistic fallacy.)
Daniel Larison on the new Trek: So Star Trek Isn’t Star Trek Anymore

Of course, I have found almost every assumption that undergirds the old Star Trek universe utterly ridiculous and unrealistic even by sci-fi standards. It is indeed the meliorist’s and progressive’s dream come true, which is another way of saying that it is impossible. There is almost nothing in the franchise’s politics that I find attractive, and the regular sermonizing was at times very unpleasant*. Yet I learned to like it not just in spite of its preachiness and precious political correctness, but also partly because those were constants one could rely on.
AP: After crash, MA transit GM seeks operator cell ban

"A conductor told police he was texting at the time of a trolley collison Friday."

Friday, May 08, 2009

The schedule for EWTN's coverage of the Holy Father's trip to the Holy Land.

I didn't watch anything today, but I do want to see these two events tomorrow.

VESPERS (90 min)
Pope Benedict XVI will preside at the celebration of Vespers with priests, religious, seminarians and ecclesial movements in the Greek-Melkite cathedral of St. George in Amman.
Sat 5/09/09 10:30 AM ET / 7:30 AM PT LIVE
Sat 5/09/09 6:00 PM ET / 3 PM PT

MASS IN AMMAN (2 1/2 hrs)
The Holy Father will celebrate Mass and pray the Regina Coeli at the international stadium in Amman.
Sun 5/10/09 3:00 AM ET / 12 AM PT LIVE
Sun 5/10/09 2:00 PM ET / 11 AM PT

It looks like he will be meeting Patriarch Theophilos III next Friday.

The Holy Father will attend an ecumenical meeting at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. Afterwards he will visit the Holy Sepulchre and the Armenian patriarchal church of St. James in Jerusalem.
Fri 5/15/09 2:15 AM ET / (Thu) 11 PM PT LIVE
Fri 5/15/09 3:30 PM ET / 12:30 PM PT


Patriarcat latin de Jérusalem
The Patriarch of Jerusalem (Orthodox)
Armenian Patriarchate of St. James Jerusalem
Teaching in the Twenty-First Century
By R.R. Reno

I don't understand how he can make this claim:
Colleges and universities may fail in many ways, but in the main all the testing and applying does a good job sorting students by aptitude, achievement, and inherited cultural values. The end result: a pretty clear picture of winners and losers in twenty-first century American society—which is why the kids keep coming, and parents keep paying.

Aptitude and achievement? The ability to do certain tasks for corporate America, and be officially recognized for this? That's all the degree does, to lend support to this claim. How many people with the right skills, acquired through other means, but without the necessary degree or credential, can get hired? I would think not so many.

Colleges may be able to certify who has passed the basic level of literacy needed to work in corporate America. Not much else.

Slowly, however, I have come to realize that we tend to teach as much in response to our fears as our hopes. There are, perhaps, two main and very different intellectual fears. The first is a fear of opportunities squandered, of truths unnecessarily missed. The second is a fear of deception, of falsehoods wrongly cherished.

It is crushingly obvious that the present dictatorship of relativism is profoundly motivated by the second fear.

I don't see the acquiescence to the subversion of tradition and the lack of humility and faith among students as being motivated by fear. I think it is motivated by something else. Some may be motivated by a erroneous zeal for justice, but there is something behind the error, a moral flaw and not an intellectual one.

Piers Paul Read and Ron Hansen are coming to OLoP

From Ignatius Press, USA Book Tour 2009 - The Death of a Pope by Piers Paul Read:
"An Evening in Conversation with Piers Paul Read and Ron Hansen" (flyer), Our Lady of Peace Church, June 3, 2009, 7:30 PM

Mr. Read is actually speaking at the DSPT on May 23, at 7:30 PM:
Lecture: "The Novelist who is Catholic or the Catholic Novelist? A Conversation with Piers Paul Read" (flyer)

IP interview: The Death of a Pope by Piers Paul Read
Insight Scoop: "Catechists and Commissars"
Piers Paul Read from HarperCollins Publishers
Google Books: Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors - 1975 - 436 pages
A Season in the West - 1989 - 246 pages
Monk Dawson - 1970 - 224 pages
Articles at

Ron Hansen:
Santa Clara University - College of Arts and Sciences - Hansen, Ron
Santa Clara Magazine - Spiritual Exercises
NCW — Ron Hansen
Macmillan: Exiles: A Novel Ron Hansen: Books
The Wreck of the Deustchland
I was listening on the radio to an episode of the World Over that featured Fr. Thomas Euteneuer (I think it was the same one as this one, but I haven't downloaded the file so I can't say for sure), and they mentioned Fr. James Labar, who was one of Fr. Euteneuer's mentors.

NCReporter: Exorcism: To Hell, and Back
Seattle Catholic - The Reality of Evil

Also featured on that episode, during the first half: Marybeth Hicks, who is the author of the book Bringing Up Geeks.

Archives for the ‘Marybeth Hicks’ Category
Catholic Mom Columnist Marybeth Hicks
HICKS: Sunday morning blame - Washington Times
Marybeth Hicks : 'Sexting' Uncool, But Also Wrong -
Marybeth Hicks - Penguin Speakers Bureau -
Kevin Gutzman now has his own website.
AP: White House aide resigns over flyover flap
AP - Louis Caldera steps down due to his role in the photo-op that sparked panic and flashbacks in New York City.
Crunchy Con: Guenther von Hagens' cadaver porn

I still haven't gone to a Body Worlds exhibit, and I don't plan on it. When von Hagens made an apperaance on Regency House Party, I was offended, and I decided that I would not be purchasing the DVD or the companion book any time soon, if ever. While it is true that the aristocracy would be interested in scientific developments, I would guess that the actual display of corpses would be repugnant to them. What were the show's creators thinking?

So he is now arranging displays of sex by the corpses? How does one respond to that?

Thomas Hibbs: Shocking display relies on society's morbid voyeurism - Regency House Party
Burning off the asparagus bed
Gene Logsdon,
The carbon police frown on my practice of burning the asparagus bed. I am contributing to global warming, they say. Never mind all those jets flying high overhead, each of whose engines contributes more carbon emission in one minute than my burning asparagus patch does in a couple thousand years. Those very important people riding around in jetliners are doing the Lord’s work (like dropping bombs on people), while I am just a heathen dancing in this lovely May weather while I scarf down fresh asparagus.
What should the Bay Area do if the economy never recovers?
Aaron Lehmer, Bay Localize
(via EB)

Bay Localize website. Alas only one job opening right now.
ORBIS CATHOLICVS: Giovani e Tradizione a Roma

(via NLM)
The American Papist: Fr. Cutie exposed by Mexican tabloids, scandalizes the Church

When I first saw him on Telemundo, I thought he was too good-looking for his own good, and being a media celebrity was dangerous. I don't know if this ultimately did lead to the what transpired, but didn't others suspect the same thing? Should the Church be regularly represented by those who are not as good-looking on TV? And would Telemundo have given a plain-looking (or worse) priest the spotlight? I doubt it.

Please pray for all involved.

Edit. Rod Dreher.
Evolution of Hayley Westenra's Voice: 'Amazing Grace' Through The Years

Thursday, May 07, 2009

AoM: Understanding the Dress Shirt: Custom Shirt Giveaway

The contest has come and gone, I think, but the article tells you everything you need to know about the dress shirt.

Rebellion: "Update from Oklahoma!"

Wow. I should include Oklahoma in the list of states that I would move to, if I could... Tulsa, or perhaps even Clear Creek, to be near the monks.

From earlier this year: Oklahoma House Votes 83 to 13 to Restore Sovereignty under the 10th Amendment (This was what was vetoed by Gov. Brad Henry. What's his story? His official bio.)

Clear Creek Monastery - Oklahoma Food Cooperative - Shop

(In case you're wondering, the others on the list so far are Montana, Idaho, and Texas. Maybe Virginia and South Carolina.)

I had used the example of the ants and the grasshoppers before, in reference to those who were thrifty and saved as opposed to those who were bound up with the consumerist culture. I could include among the latter group those who saved wisely but put their trust in the oligarchy and the stock market, believing that they could profit greatly without much effort. The past few days I have been thinking also about parents who have been too lax, or have completely accepted the lies regarding licentiousness and pass these on to their offspring. "Don't have children, I don't want to clean up your mess." And yet, will there come a time when I have to protect my own from their children, through force if necessary? When you read stories like this, it makes you fear for the future of this country.

A thought: Culture is a pseudo-habitus, but really the interaction of many habits. It pertains more to the rational part of the soul, and because they involve choice, are much more important than the accidents of the body, over which we have no control. (Skin color, and everything else popularly attributed to 'genetics.')

Those who deny that culture is important for unity do not understand that custom, mos, is itself normative, and a form of law--while not basic precepts of natural law, customs are nonetheless determinations of the natural law and can have the same binding force. It is law in all its forms that gives shape to a society and orders it to the common good. Culture is not some morally neutral entity, a supplement to the liberal morality embodied in "rights" and written laws--those who think so have a very poor understanding of what culture is.
Asia Times: Obama does his Bush impression
This week's summit between United States President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai and President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan was less about saving lives than it was about rhetorically re-inventing - and physically relocating - the past administration's "global war on terror". The question is: how far will the three leaders go to wipe out al-Qaeda in Afghanistan or halt the Predator drone war? - Pepe Escobar (May 7,'09)
The American Papist: Video: Fr. Corapi on Notre Dame Scandal
The American Papist: Update: Fr. Thomas Berg leaves the Legion of Christ

Twitch: Ang Lee Gets All Hippy With TAKING WOODSTOCK.

The same guy who did The Ice Storm now does a movie "inspired by a true story" and centered on Woodstock. Does he see that there is a possible connection between the two stories? Maybe he doesn't, but if he's going to celebrate Woodstock (and by extension the Summer of Love), he should just go ahead and endorse in the name of "becoming a free spirit" marijuana, free love, and everything else Christians and traditional conservatives rightly decry.

My opinion of him has just gone down even more. Didn't think that could happen.

Danny Bloom on Ang Lee's TAKING WOODSTOCK Film at The Insider

Elliot Tiber Taking Woodstock: A true story of a riot, a concert, and a life
Elliot Tiber - The Woodstock Hero

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work

Matthew B. Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work

Rod Dreher expects to write something about this book soon.

A brief interview with Matthew Crawford here (pdf) -- html
Archive of his articles at The New Atlantis, including Shop Class as Soulcraft (scribd).
Shop Class as Soulcraft
Medicate U. Matthew B. Crawford
Institute for Advanced Studies In Culture at the University of Virginia
Two from Zenit:
Jesuit Named to Congregation for Eastern Churches

Neocatechumenal Way Accompanies Pope to Holy Land
"The youth will visit parishes in Upper Galilee in order to hold meetings with Orthodox, Byzantine and Maronite young people of the region."

Have they reformed their liturgies in accordance with the directives from the CDW? I suppose the pope is being patient, but shouldn't someone have a talk with the leadership of the Neocatechumenal Way? And what would Eastern Christians think about their way of life and spirituality? (Or the icons of Kiko Argüello?)

Related links:
Congregation for the Oriental Churches
Congregation for Eastern Churches
Congregation for the Eastern Churches Picture Gallery
Cyril Vasil: the new secretary for the Congregation of Eastern Churches

Neocatechumenal Way - Official Site
The Neocatechumenal Way - U.S.A.
Benedict XVI: To members of the Neocatechumenal Way on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of its Origins in Rome

Entrevista a Kiko Argüello en PopularTV
My Spanish is very basic--Sarge, maybe you can watch it and tell us what you think.
No Place Like Home, by ALAN FARAGO Federal Stress Test for Land Use, Not Just Banks

Congress recently permitted banks to no longer mark to market their toxic assets. In a real sense, this action postpones the day of reckoning for sprawl and its rotted foundation: derivative debt tied to mortgage backed securities. This wink and nod papers over—at immense taxpayer expense—and delays accounting for the excesses of the debt that showered billions on Wall Street and its supply chain.

In the final stage of the housing boom, from California’s Central Valley to the suburbs of Washington DC, it was called “the ownership society”: a marriage of greed and political imperatives accruing mainly to operatives and special interests identified with the Republican Party. Although we are through all that, by not confronting suburban sprawl and its costs directly, the Obama White House takes on considerable risk.

Here, there is danger in letting sleeping dogs lie. The construction and building industries, related to sprawl housing and construction of fringe suburbs, is dead as a doornail. Perhaps it is a pragmatic not to ask too directly; who owns what? On the other hand, the taxpayer does own a multi-trillion dollar share of assets that are rotten, toxic, cratered: our choice.

And since it is our choice, really, whether to shoulder such enormous fiscal burdens as the costs of suburban sprawl rotting on balance sheets everywhere, we might ask some common sense questions. For instance, if the day of reckoning of asset values is being delayed so that an incipient recovery (‘green shoots’) can help financial institutions and jobs through the crisis, what is the end result we have in mind?

A very small, powerful, and wealthy constituency is waiting for the pump to be primed, so that suburban sprawl can rise from its ashes and all asset bubbles begin inflating again. This is, after all, the path of least resistance. Marriages of convenience are convenient precisely because roles are well established. Economists offer no solution to the way greed lubricates political ambition and deforms democracy at the same time.

So if this is where we are headed, then it stands to reason that the recovery-to-be looks exactly like the same sprawling, platted opportunities for growth that are now half-empty subdivisions, or, millions of square feet of empty condos and strip malls and other commercial space built in the last gasp of an artificial boom serving hedge funds, flippers, and banks turned speculators. President Obama says otherwise, but there is nothing in TARP, or TALF, or any other specific funding measure to prevent stimulus moneys from flowing down exactly the same channels in respect to the built landscapes of America's suburbs.

If we want, as a nation, another model of economic growth; one that does land us in the same crisis we are in, today, then “stress tests” for banks are a very rough tool for a job that requires fine thought and action. Banks are agnostic. They will sell loans to whatever the market wants and is within legal parameters. The market pretends to be agnostic, but it is not.

Indeed, if you pull the thread of controlling regulations intended to keep solid financial institutions far from the hands of speculators—in particular as relates to property development—where you end up is a place much closer to the need for “stress testing”: the underlying zoning and land use for construction and development.

The question of the hour is not why banks should be subject to stress tests but why land use decisions by local—and sometimes state—government are not. This is, after all, the fertile soil from which so much debt exploded like noxious weeds.

Banks and other financial institutions involve economic activities that link the interests of all Americans and so are regulated by the federal government. But test of federal interest is also true of land use, especially in farmland that converts to fringe suburbs through zoning changes by local government. Why should “one size fit all” when it comes to federal regulation of banks and insurance companies, but that control of private property is whatever owners can persuade local government to allow?

Both financial markets and raw land for suburbs have provided the opportunity for speculators arbitrage the inefficiency of laws regulating financial derivatives and what can be built from those confections of debt. The absence of regulations in financial derivatives marches hand in hand with the blushing bride: an empty, hollowed out regulatory structure that has failed to protect quality of life, environment, and communities.

A truer scenario for economic recovery would impose a stress test on zoning for land development, incorporating a higher set of hurdles than “concurrency” models that turn local zoning decisions into a game of counting angels on the head of a pin.

I can't see how local economies can be developed and strengthened without a change in zoning laws.
The principal's secretary said the letter of return was sent out last week--as far as I know it hasn't been received yet, but it simply said I wasn't selected for an interview. They're looking for someone with a religious studies degree with experience teaching high school.

It sounds like a legitimate reason, and maybe they have a lot of candidates who meet those conditions. How many of them are from the area, though? And where did they get their degrees? Prove me wrong that the new candidate will not be maintaining the status quo with respect to "Catholic" education within the diocese.

Life is about knocking and seeing what doors are opened to let you go in, what doors remain closed, and what doors are shut in your face after someone answers.

Perhaps it is a fit punishment. And it may be arrogance that thinks of Luke 9:5 as being somehow appropriate: "And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them." After all, it may be better for my soul that I am not hired for such a position at the current time.

Still for a diocese to be in bad shape -- it is not due only to the lack of leadership of the bishop, but it is a nexus of choices may be individuals in authority all over. If I can'd do something for the Church, so be it.
SCU and the Jesuit School of Theology uniting -- Santa Clara University and the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley Joining Forces

Under the new arrangement, JST will remain in Berkeley and become a school of Santa Clara University known as the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University. Degrees granted by JST eventually will bear that name.

“This partnership solidifies and fortifies SCU and JST in their shared goal of engaging in global theological study, contextual education, and justice-oriented ministry,” said Michael Engh, S.J., president of Santa Clara University. “It will also help ensure a continued, strong Jesuit presence at SCU,” he added.

School officials say that many prized facets of JST and SCU will remain unchanged after the integration. For instance, JST will remain a member of the nine-school ecumenical Graduate Theological Union, which operates a world-class theological library and the largest doctoral program in theology in the United States. JST students will continue to have the right to cross-register at UC Berkeley. And both schools will retain the academic freedoms they currently enjoy. The Vatican Congregation of Catholic Education in Rome will continue to set standards for the granting of JST ecclesiastical degrees.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

American Wars Through Revisionist Eyes
Jeff Riggenbach on the official view vs. the truth.

Edit. Also from LRC: Women, Stop Watching Oprah and Learn to Love Guns by Karen De Coster
News about Ave Maria U: Vision for college unswayed by recession By MITCH STACY (AP)

Another rich man who didn't see it coming...
Jeff Bond's review of the Star Trek movie:

Nitpickers will have a field day with some of the movie’s science, tech and logic issues. Questions such as ‘Is Delta Vega a moon or a planet’ and ‘is there anything a transporter can’t do’ will be clogging message boards for the next few years, and fans already resistant to the reboot may also wince at the amount of coincidence that drives the plot. You can make a strong case that this is intentional—that it’s the universe attempting to right itself and undo the damage Nero has done to the time stream. There’s a fascinating bridge scene with Spock theorizing about the effect of Nero’s actions on destiny itself, but just a little more lip service to the idea would help make Kirk’s rise from lowly (but promising) cadet to starship captain easier to swallow.

While many superhero films (and I’m convinced the currently popular superhero genre was an inspiration for the new Trek) make the mistake of focusing too much on their villains, Star Trek’s Nero is clearly a device to propel the plot and turn Trek’s universe upside down. And for those hardened dead-enders holding out the hope that the magic Star Trek Reset Button will erase this movie’s profound changes to canon, well—spoiler alert!—you’re out of luck. You’ll have to get used to Star Trek’s new canvas, but the changes made aren’t arbitrary ones—they deepen the characters, making them not only instantly relatable to Trek neophytes but, in my opinion, that much more fascinating if you’ve been absorbing the series from the beginning. The reboot removes the biggest curse of “prequilitis”—the total lack of suspense derived from knowing how history unfolds in these TV and movie franchises. That safety net is gone now and future Treks can use the familiarity and baggage of a whole universe of familiar characters but tell new and unpredictable stories about them.

So... in effect one film geek was able to get fan fiction turned into an official movie. And now they can do whatever they want with the characters. That's not spposed to be a reboot?

Not that the original "story" (the amalgamation of all that was canonical) did much more than to put into audiovisual form the secular humanist ideas of the creator and scriptwriters. (One could rgue as to how much unity there is to the "story.")

The universe is working to elevate Jim Kirk? There isn't a God, but there is an impersonal force...

Mr. Bond makes a point that I alluded to in this post, for the lack of the TOS movie franchise's success:

I’m old enough to remember the thrill of rushing out to see Star Trek – The Motion Picture in 1979 after years of anticipation—and coming away from it crushingly disappointed. Since then Star Trek films have been hit and miss, but even as I’ve enjoyed some of them there’s an acknowledgment that I have never gotten what I’ve wanted from these movies—because what I’ve wanted is to re-experience the thrill I got out of watching the wonderful character moments in episodes like “Journey to Babel” and “Amok Time”—while seeing the Trek characters in a MOVIE with the kind of scope, action and drama I was used to seeing from the post-Star Wars era. And as heretical as it is to say this, that was never possible while watching the original cast do their Trek movies. As much as I loved those people, as good as they still were at what they did, it required a frustrating act of faith to watch old men and women trying their best to fit into the uniforms and chairs they inhabited decades earlier. The movie series had to jump through hoops to keep poor Sulu sitting at the helm as an old man while Spock—a Vulcan with a lifespan of hundreds of years—looked 20 years older than everyone around him, his father included. Gallivanting around the universe is a game for the young, and what I wanted was to see those heroes again in their prime. That’s what struck me when I was watching this movie—that I was finally seeing what I wanted a Star Trek movie to be. This is the most emotionally involving Star Trek film in at least twenty years, and the first in an equally long time to leave you breathlessly anticipating the next chapter. I can’t wait to see where these characters boldly go, and I can only hope Abrams returns to direct. His work here is a quantum leap above his filmmaking in Mission Impossible III and shows him capable of handling epic scope, high-octane action, and humor all while pulling very strong performances out of his cast.

Living vicariously through fictional characters... instead of living life. The epic stories of old were meant to inspire and bind. But now we are just passive consumers, eager viewers of drama because our lives have no depth.

But: Is this also a problem with serial novels, like the Maturin-Aubrey series? Possibly. Can we not enjoy a story just as a story, as an escape from reality. We then come to the question of which is better--reading or viewing a movie or television show. Certainly, I think the reading of novels should be done in moderation as well, even if it is a better way to spend leisure than watching TV or movies. Other sorts of books are more important than recent fiction (for example, spiritual reading). Otherwise, too much reading of fiction can become a part of the consumerist mindset and reinforce isolation from one's neighbors, no?

(A shorter version of this post appears at Starstruck.)
Fr. Finigan alerts us to the Padre Pio Prayer CD.


The Sixteen

(source of image)

Totus Tuus- The Sixteen conducted by Harry Christophers

(And this bit of news -- Arrangements for installation of Archbishop Nichols. The Installation Mass will be shown on BBC 2. Alas, those of us living in the US will be able to watch it online.)

Edit. More about the installation--NLM: Installation of Vincent Nichols to Westminster to be Celebrated at Original High Altar. Blog for the event.
The Hunt for Gollum is now online.
The Sartorialist. Representative of Aussie fashion? Or much more than that? The photos are nice.

An interview with Fr. Corapi

at the National Catholic Register; interview by Anthony Flott. (via Mark Shea)

At about this time last year, you revealed that you had a parathyroid tumor. How was that treated, and how is your health now?

I probably went to physicians in my area 11 times for different physicals. They did all kinds of tests. They kept diagnosing pneumonia, virus this and that, and I just didn’t get better. So I went to the Mayo Clinic and had exhaustive testing, and they did diagnose a parathyroid tumor.

As it turns out, it seems that was false. What it ended up being, of all things … [was] two things: chronic sleep deprivation and acute vitamin D deficiency — which, by the way, is an epidemic in northern climates. Most physicians still don’t know about it and still don’t routinely test for it. You wouldn’t believe how sick it can make you. The normal way to get it is sunlight. UVB rays stimulate your skin to synthesize what they call vitamin D.

Living in a northern climate, we have hardly any sun for six months. I have to take supplements, which they gave me in massive doses, and got my levels up. I’ve got the sleep deprivation pretty well under control, which made me feel incredibly better within about a month.

Did you learn anything new about suffering through this sickness?

Yes. I can still hear my grandmother’s voice saying, “Offer it up, Johnny.” And that was kind of standard teaching in those days.

The teaching hasn’t changed, but I think in many cases it hasn’t been presented to succeeding generations, and it really is at the very heart of the faith. …

One of the things I learned was my incredible weakness. I’ve always told people this: Don’t think I’m any better at this than you are. I may know the theology and I desire to be pleasing to God … but it’s not easy. It’s much easier to talk about it, but when you’re in the midst of it — when your spouse dies, when a child dies, when you get cancer, when you lose your job in the worst economy in memory, when financial difficulties close in on you — it’s easy for preachers to talk, but it’s another thing to live through the pain of the moment.

In August you will be preaching in Buffalo with what you say is one of your most powerful presentations ever on the person and power of the Holy Spirit. What makes it so powerful?

Especially in these times, I felt that people not only need education in the faith — we’ve always tried to do that — but they also need inspiration.

I find that there is a lot of — I don’t want to call it quite hopelessness — but there’s a lot of distress out there around our country and around the world.

The remedy is the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit we have been given is no cowardly Spirit. He’s the Lord and giver of life. What I want to do is take a synthesis of the Church teaching on the third person of the blessed Trinity, the Holy Spirit; I want to incorporate that into the present moment.

It’s going to be very, very relevant. It’s going to concern things that are going on today in our country. I’m going to incorporate some of the Church’s social teachings into this conference, especially components of it that deal with economic things, the danger of socialism. … I’m really looking forward to being with the people again. I’ve missed them.

I’ve heard you say that when you first were ordained many fellow priests told you that you couldn’t preach the way you do, “hitting people between the eyes with the word of God.” Yet, you pack auditoriums and receive mailbags full of letters. Why has your bare-bones, hard-hitting way been so successful?

From before I was ordained, I knew I was called to preach. My superiors confirmed that. It’s basically the only thing I’ve ever done. … If I wanted to tone it down, dull the edge of the sword, I couldn’t if I wanted to.

From the very beginning, in general, I’ve had a great, great reception and response from the good Catholic people. I know there are some who, of course, are on the other side of things, and they hate me as much as the good folks love me. I’ve never been so conscious of being loved or hated as since I’ve been a priest.

You know, I think that’s what the truth does. If you present the truth clearly, unambiguously, it will elicit radical responses one way or the other.

A great passage from the Gospels is where Jesus said, “You think I’ve come to bring peace? I have not come to bring peace, but division that will separate a house of five, three against two and two against three.” People will probably scratch their heads reading that, but it’s the truth. What does it mean? What brings division? Truth. …

Those who are ill disposed, those who are confirmed in sin, they react negatively. They’ll behave violently. Those who are well-disposed will react positively. And so that’s why it elicits such strong emotions. I’ve had death threats multiple times over the years — many times.

People can’t understand: “Why do you have security at events?” Well, the FBI told me I better take it seriously, because they do. And it’s because of the truth.

(source of image)

Fr. Corapi's website. For more information about his talk in Buffalo on August 15. He is a favorite of my mother and her friends, and they are planning to attend.

Fr. Corapi's Conversion Story - Condensed Version

Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT)
SOLT Ministries

Shawn Tribe does a series on the Mozarabic Rite

The Mozarabic Rite: Introduction

May 7: The Mozarabic Rite: The Two Missals
Winslow T. Wheeler, Of Pork and Baloney: Obama's Defense Budget

For decades, the media have taken their descriptions of the size of the defense budget straight from the Pentagon's annual press release - without even rudimentary double-checking. This year, they will cite the top-line dollar amount at $534 billion - the amount they reported on Feb. 26.

Wrong. That number ignores an additional $6 billion the Pentagon will get in "mandatory" appropriations, mostly for personnel-related expenses. The data are available from the Office of Management and Budget, but its press releases are more complicated.

Some, but not all, of the news articles will also ignore the additional $130 billion sought to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Barring last-minute changes to the numbers by Gates and OMB, the correct amount for the president's request for the Pentagon in 2010 will be $670 billion.

The articles will also leave out the money being sought by the Department of Energy for nuclear weapons and other appropriations, such as for the Selective Service and the National Defense Stockpile. Again, not in the DOD press release. Add another $22 billion.

Consider the human costs of current and previous wars in the Department of Veterans Affairs - surely, a legitimate defense cost. Add $106 billion.

Also consider the Department of Homeland Security: Add $43 billion.

What about the military and economic aid to Iraq and Afghanistan, gifts and loans to Israel and others, U.N. peacekeeping costs, and all the rest from the State Department? Add $49 billion.

Also, there is an account buried in the Department of the Treasury to help pay for military retirement. Add about $28 billion.

Each year, we pay interest on the national debt. People disagree, sometimes strenuously, on how much is DOD's share. About 20 percent of federal spending goes to the Pentagon: That's another $57 billion.

Add it all together, and you get $974 billion - almost $1 trillion.

If you want to know how much we spend for defense in a generic sense, you can about double the $534 billion many articles will report.
Some of the recent additions to First Principles Journal:
Last Things: On the Preservation of Kindness by James V. Schall, S.J. - 05/06/09
Elegy for Popular Catholic Literature by Virgil P. Nemoianu - 05/01/09

And at The Catholic Thing:
The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty By George Marlin
Practical Romance By Brad Miner

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Peter Hitchens on Bob Dylan: Subterranean Homesick Whinge. The King of Self-Pity is back

Southern cuisine

How unhealthy is "Southern" cuisine? Is it very fattening? (Can we speak of a Southern cuisine? Or are there various regional and ethnic cuisines in the South, such as Cajun?) The list of states in the South I'd like to visit: Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Texas. I wouldn't mind visiting some of the other states as well, but those are at the top of the list. Naturally, I'd like to try some authentic Southern food while visiting those areas. Some might complain that I didn't include North Carolina at the top. Ft. Bragg is located there, and Raleigh is ok... but I'd go there primarily to visit Sarge and the people he knows.

What about the recipes of Paula Deen? Will they give me a coronary?


Paula's Recipe Index, Southern Cooking, Main Dish, Dessert
Paula's Home Cooking : Food Network
Paula Deen's The Lady and Sons Restaurant - Savannah, Georgia
Cooking with Paula Deen magazine
Paula Deen Interview
A Q&A with ... Paula Deen

Elizabethtown - Interview with Paula Deen

Elizabethtown Official Movie Site - Directed by Cameron Crowe

More on Southern cuisine:

Wiki: Cuisine of the Southern United States
Southern Food and Recipes
Southern Food – Southern Cuisine – Southern Cooking Recipes
On Southern Cooking
Julep's New Southern Cuisine
Dining in South Carolina - SC Dining Guide - South Carolina Dining

When it comes to finding a husband, women generally stay within their own race/ethnic group--very rarely do they look for someone not a member. (If they live in an ethnically diverse community, perhaps, or if they are reacting against a bad father.) I am not sure what that means for me; there aren't many devout Asian Catholic women who are willing to homeschool. What are my chances in the South? Probably slim. Unlike, CatholicMatch does not let you specify what sort of 'date' or 'husband' you are looking for with a checklist that includes ethnicity. It would save me some time if women would just say, "I'd prefer to date someone of my own ethnic group." (Perhaps it is so obvious that they don't need to say, "I'd prefer to date someone with a stable job.")

Perhaps it is acceptable for women not to respond to messages at online dating sites, but I still think it's impolite not to reply, even if it is a really short answer.

While women might specify what sort of character traits they are looking for, there is really no way for them to know through online messaging if a man possesses those traits or not. So upon what basis do they make the initial decision whether to receive his advances or not? Common activities or interests? That's a rather weak basis for determining compatability and whether the marriage will be successful or not. (Especially if those activities are rather frivolous.)

I am starting to think that Dr. Laura is right--online dating services should be avoided. It's better to use one's network of family and friends and church. The problem is what is one to do if such a network doesn't really exist.

I suspect even traditionalist Catholics here in California are probably looking for someone in their ethnic group. Those who might be willing to consider someone outside of their ethnic group... probably attend a university here, and have more friends of different ethnic backgrounds, and go to a typical Catholic parish.
Special Christendom lectures/podcasts are now available through iTunes.

The Simpsons - Mapple Store

Students downsize college dreams, by Michael Birnbaum

Would you marry someone with substantial personal debt? How can a person even consider himself to be available for marriage? It seems that these days people who are dating should be exchanging credit reports, and coming clear about their financial state up front.
Yahoo News: Birthmarks explained
There are many old wives' tales about birthmarks, but scientists know the truth.
HK45 Review


Asia Times: Chinese workerslose more than jobs

Millions of China's migrant workers are losing more than jobs as the country struggles to maintain growth in the global downturn. Newly won rights appear threatened, "old" folk of 30 or more are overlooked when vacancies do arise, and pay is being cut. All good reason for getting angry. - Ivan Franceschini


In daily discourse, when it is reason against emotion, emotion often wins. There are plenty of [pseudo-]holydays that should be eliminated from the calendar. But who wants to argue with women about this?
Review: 'Tar Sands' by Andrew Nikiforuk
Frank Kaminski, Seattle Peak Oil Awareness (SPOA)
If you’ve been following energy news with a discerning eye, then you already know better than to buy into all the hype about the Canadian tar sands...Far from being a panacea for declining supplies of conventional oil, the sands could...leave Alberta resembling “a third-rate golf course in the Sudan”...The quote comes from Andrew Nikiforuk’s new book Tar Sands, a powerful, eloquent litany of horrors associated with North America’s frenzied dash toward tar sands bitumen.
The American Papist: Rumor: Archbishop Chaput to oversee Legion visitation in the US?
Dean Baker, Why Economists Should Learn Arithmetic
The Systematic Risk Regulators

He is the author of Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy. Google Books

CSPAN: Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy
I dreamt I was running someone's presidential campaign. haha. laughable.
NLM: Morning Prayer, English and Latin and Cardinal Cañizares Writes About Usus Antiquior and Liturgical Reform.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Dr. Helen: The Spanking Controversy
Tea at Trianon recommends a movie that I had not heard of before: Sinner (2007).



So that is Nick Chinlund? I've seen him in only action/drama shows or movies until now.
Mr. Kunstler repeats himself--The Bottom--but it's a good summary of what he thinks the problems are and if they are being addressed by the current administration.
John Médaille, Life in Circle Six

A discussion on usury. Found this on Google -- Calvin Elliott, Usury: A Scriptural, Ethical and Economic View.
A Disposable Society by Patrick Deneen

In a way, our inattentiveness and the plastic stirrer are deeply and profoundly related: they both derive from our massive employment of fossil fuels. The coffee stirrer - and all the plastic that undergirds our throw-away society - are made primarily from chemicals derived from fossil fuels. And our inattentiveness is primarily undergirded by that amazing resource that allows us much of the time to live elsewhere than where we actually are - whether by fueling the transportation system that has made global mobility as easy as chewing gum, or primarily powering the electrical grid that serves as a virtual transporter, affording a constant and often illusory, hypnotic and addictive form of displacement and disembodiment. Our lack of any relationship to the coffee stirrer is born of the same resource that made the stirrer.
Taking control of development at the local level
Christopher J. Ryan, AICP, The Localizer Blog
In traditional communities, blocks were short and navigable, retail and services in compatible and attractive corner stores within easy walking distance, and other destinations like schools and libraries easily walkable as well. Critics suggest that this model is outdated and no longer desired. Yet research suggests that most people when offered the option will choose the new urbanist model.

Jeff Leys, Obama's War Budget

At first glance, it is easy to conclude that the proposed 22 percent reduction in war spending from 2008 to 2009 represents a significant shift in war strategy and is indicative of a drawing down of the twin wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sadly, such a conclusion would be wrong.

What follows is a discussion of the three main components of the war budget: Personnel costs; Operation & Maintenance costs; and Procurement costs. This discussion is based upon data and material produced by the Department of Defense Comptroller; the Congressional Research Service; the budget justification materials of the branches of the military; and the Fiscal Year 2009 Bridge Fund appropriations passed by Congress last June. (Please see the end of this article for the source material used in preparing this analysis).

This discussion includes total war funding for 2009, including both that amount appropriated by the Democrat-controlled Congress last June and the amount being requested by Obama in the currently pending supplemental spending request. It should be noted that the war funds approved by Congress last year were contained in the bill crafted by the Democratic Party leadership.

It should also be noted that while funding levels are reduced from 2008 to 2009, in each of the three categories, President Obama is in fact seeking new funding to the tune of $75.8 billion. That said, Personnel costs are reduced by $1.7 billion in 2009. Operation & Maintenance costs are reduced by $1.9 billion. Procurement costs are reduced by $37 billion. Even so, a closer look at the numbers behind the numbers reveals that the reductions are not as significant as they may appear to be at first glance.
NLM: Compendium of the 1955 Holy Week Revisions of Pius XII: Part 8 - The Hours of the Celebration of the Holy Week Liturgies by Shawn Tribe
From the Rockford Institute: John Randolph Club Returns to San Antonio
The Rockford Institute and Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture present
The 20th Annual Meeting of the John Randolph Club“The Future of America: Hell or Texas?” November 13-14, 2009
San Antonio, Texas

If I had the $$$ and the time, I'd be going. It would also be a good opportunity to visit San Antonio, see Sarge's family, and attend Mass at Our Lady of the Atonement.

Atonement Academy

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
San Antonio Missions: Spanish Influence in Texas
The Five Spanish Missions of Old San Antonio
The website of the Texas San Antonio Mission

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Why the 10th Amendment? by Brion McClanahan (via Conservative Heritage Times)

It becomes clear, then, that those who push for reasserting State power must know how the Founders defined a republic in both size and scope and what they meant by republicanism. Returning to the founding principles of the United States is an obvious way to end the insanity in Washington D.C., but it won’t happen if State’s rights are consistently viewed as a knee-jerk reactionary response to unconstitutional federal legislation. Yes, the 10th Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights, but why did the Founders insist on state sovereignty? Rather than a theoretical fabrication at the 1787 Philadelphia Convention or the State ratification conventions, State’s rights were explicitly linked to the stability of the United States from the Revolutionary War forward. That is the key to the State sovereignty movement.

Professor McClanahan is the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers, which is supposed to be published at the end of June. (Hmm. H.W. Crocker III has written The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to the Civil War.)

From Donald Livingston in the current issue of Chronicles:

The United States is not now and has never been a republic. It is a federation of states, each of which, in Article IV of the Constitution, is guaranteed a republican form of government. But a federation of republics is not itself a republic any more than the federation of nations in the United States, or in the European Union, is a nation. A federation is a service agency of the political units that compose it. Whatever else a republic might be, it is not a service agency of something else. So instead of talking about 'restoring the old Republic,' we should talk of restoring republicanism in a federation of states. And this can only mean recalling the vast domain of unenumerated powers that the Constitution reserves to the states and which have been usurped by that artificial corporation, known as the United States, created by the states for their welfare.

Some words from Robert M. Peters:

It is to note, that although our term “republic” is a rendering of “res pulica,” a republic is itself, in its Aristotelian sense, the manifestation as polity of a social order which is organic in nature, reflecting in its confessing or living out, a function in the cosmic order, being a symbiotic relationship of various commonwealths - family, Church, local community, etc. - and thereby having unto itself unique traditions, customs and laws. Thus in a healthy society, res pulica and res familiaris are in an intricate dance with one another, if I may mix my metaphors. When the republics which formed the union of constitutionally federated republics delegated and enumerated specific rights to the general government -their creature and their agent - they reserved unto themselves all of the other rights and authorities unique to them individually. Those rights and authorities which Virginia reserved to herself were not the same as those which Rhode Island reserved for herself, for they had different components and different historical experiences, although there were, of course, enough common elements among them to bring them to the compact table.

The Hobbesian state which took power in 1865 had and continues to have absolutely no sensibility for real commonwealths, communities and republics. The Hobbesian is a man with a bulldozer - a monopoly on coercion and the ability to define the limits of his own power. He sees the landscape of the union of constitutionally federated republics as a mere patch of divergent weeds to be pushed down, drained of their essence and ultimately eradicated. On the ground which he has made barren, he will build his Utopia, which will some form of banal sameness.

The Hobbesian state can be possessed by different demons; but they all seek, as is the wont of demons, barren sameness: Stalin wanted a classless society and pursued sameness with terror and death. Hitler wased one race and pursued ssmeness with terror and death. The “fascitoid social democrats” who possess and embody our Hobbesian state also pursue sameness with the weapons of “civil rights,” “equality” and “social justice.” Their volent phase is yet to come.

Yet, despite the fact that the fall is working its way through the cosmic order, with the Hobbesian state being one manifestion thereof, there is a Cosmological Absolute, Who has in the Second Person of the Trinity, the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, become our Kinsman-Redeemer through His passion, death, resurrection and ascencion and has thereby undone as the Second Adam what the First Adam, in his fall, did. We must, therefore, in faith, hope and charity, await the workingout of this process and confess through our lives these things. I firmly hold that those fleeting moments of history, when the scale is right, when republican men can be found - freeholders who acquire and live out the cardinal virtues, the capital virtues and ultimately the theological virtues, men like Cincinatus, Washington and Jefferson Davis and when folks are focused on kith and kin, then we have a foretaste, although passing and momentary, of that Restoration which is yet to come in the plan of Providence. To paraphrase T.S. Eliot: this is the cause which is never truely lost because it has, as yet, to be fully gained. In the fullness of time, so is our hope, it will be. It is our duty to nurture it, not as an abstraction, but as a reality, be it but in the relative safety of our homes, and to be ready, with courage, to showcase it, when the historical opportunity presents itself.

Viktoria Mullova




Featured on today's edition of the Early Music Show. Her official website.

Bach. BWV 1004. Chaconne violin solo. Viktoria Mullova. 1

Bach. BWV 1004. Chaconne violin solo. Viktoria Mullova. 2

Viktoria Mullova interview in London
Decca Music Group - Viktoria Mullova

Onyx Artists - Viktoria Mullova
Viktoria Mullova ArkivMusic
Viktoria Mullova: the fiddler who came in from the cold - Telegraph
Bach: Six Solo Sonatas and Partitas by Viktoria Mullova - Telegraph
Music Is The Key: J. S. Bach SONATAS Viktoria Mullova
Music: Bach: 6 Solo Sonatas & Partitas by Viktoria Mullova
Classical Music :: The Classical Source :: Viktoria Mullova
MPR: Classical Notes: BBC Proms: Viktoria Mullova
Cover Story
Viktoria Mullova - Yahoo! Music
Viktoria Mullova - Ice Queen melts to the blues

(Saturday's program: Ensemble Tourbillon and Noemi Kiss
Daniel Larison on Collaborators
James Burnham, Congress and the American Tradition (published by Transaction Publishers)

Of this book Mr. Scott Richert writes in the current issue of Chronicles:

Burnham's 1959 book Congress and the Americna Tradition is his most conservative, and most consistently underrated, work. Asked by publisher Henry Regnery, in the wake of the McCarthy hearings, to write a defense of Congress's investigatory powers (which are never mentioned in the Constitution), Burnham gave Regnery much more: a serious work of political history that revives the Framers' understanding of the nature and role of Congress and places that understanding within the Anglo-American (and more broadly European) political tradition. (20)

(source of photo: National Review and the Triumph of the New Right)
James Burnham
Sempa James Burnham (I)
08/23/01 - James Burnham, The New Class, And The Nation-State
James Burnham and the Struggle for the World by Daniel Kelly

Also by Mr. Burnham: The managerial revolution. George Orwell wrote an essay on this book, James Burnham and the Managerial Revolution (wiki).

More Josée Vautour

Josee Vautour et Paul Hebert au Theatre capitol

Josee Vautour - When you say nothing at all by Alison Krauss

Josée Vautour singing No place that far by Sara Evans

Josée Vautour singing Red high heels by Kellie Pickler - Josée is a rising star