Saturday, May 30, 2009

"I Told You So" Carrie with Randy Travis from American Idol
Paul Valone, Charlotte Gun Rights Examiner
An article from the Catholic Counter-Reformation of the 21st Century, but interesting nonetheless and something that should be verified: THE APOSTLE SAINT THOMAS FOUNDED THE CHURCH IN CHINA. (The original French article.)

He set off again, with in his heart not only the memory of the Virgin Mary who had just been glorified in Her Body, but Her very testimony, gathered by St John and put in writing by St. Luke. It already existed, if we believe the hypothesis of Pierre Perrier, in the form of a written scroll: “The Gospel of the Childhood”, sfar d’talioutha, upon which the Apostle would not cease to meditate during his long peregrinations and which he would preach all the way to China! This work of reconstruction of the passage from the oral tradition to the written Gospels, far off the beaten track of modern and Modernist exegesis (cf. Évangiles de l’oral à l’écrit et Les colliers évangéliques, éditions du Jubilé, 2003) agree with what our Father, the Abbé de Nantes, wrote a few years ago on “the Gospel of the Virgin”, the first and secret source of all the others.

An inspired text that has been lost to us? How many such texts have there been?

The same evidence and interpretation is given at this Catholic apologetics website (?).

The book, of which the CRC article is a summary, is Thomas fonde l'Eglise en Chine (65-68 après Jésus-Christ) by Pierre Perrier and Walter Xavier. (

Christianisme en Chine : le livre qui change tout - France Catholique
Conférence de Pierre Perrier sur "Thomas fonde l’Eglise en Chine "
Diocèse de Lyon :: Thomas fonde l'Eglise en Chine (Lyon) (Le site des Chinois de Lyon)
L'apôtre Thomas en Chine ! Association EEChO

This post Saint Thomas apôtre jusqu'en Chine at this blog gives the link to the following interview with the author Pierre Perrier -- Saint Thomas apôtre jusqu'en Chine (part 1; parts 2 and 3).

From Brazos Press: Wendell Berry and the Cultivation of Life: A Reader's Guide by Matthew J. Bonzo and Michael R. Stevens.

CPYU Bookshelf interview with Mr. Bonzo. A review by Bill McKibben for Christianity Today.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Front Porch Republic: James Matthew Wilson, The Need for Autarchy and Kirkpatrick Sale, The Importance of Growing Up Village


So I want to argue that in some sense it was inevitable that when I began to formulate a politics, it had to be in opposition to the big, the oppressive, the autocratic, the expansive, the all-embracing, in favor of the communitarian, the local, the democratic, the human scale. I guess it was as a first taste of this that I led a demonstration of some 3,000 students at Cornell University in 1958 against an authoritarian university that declared it was acting in loco parentis (when one of the reasons people liked college is that they escaped their parents), decided to forbid “petting and intercourse” by undergraduates, and diminished student self-government.

Should universitis be in the business of running dorms? If so, then is it their responsibility to police what goes on within them? Perhaps universities should not be taking care of the students' sleeping and eating arrangements -- but that doesn't mean that they could not expel students for violating certain moral norms which the community adheres to, in its pursuit of truth. (Universities should do something about professors who sleep with their students, but who is going to inform the administration that this is happening?)

A university is not the same as a political community, and its governance should not follow the same standards -- especially if not everyone in the learning community is equal. (The case could also be made that not everyone in a political community at large is equal, either, but Sale seems to be a democrat of the traditional sort -- the kind of radical democrat opposed by Plato and Aristotle.)

Faryl Smith

She appeared on the second season of Britain's Got Talent.

Her official site. She was featured in a recent issue of Classic FM magazine.

Britain's Got Talent: 12 jr old Faryl Smith Video
13-Year-Old Faryl Smith Performs! - The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Faryl Smith Paul O'Grady Feb 26 2009

An Introduction to Faryl Smith
Faryl Smith - Interview and Ave Maria on This Morning
Faryl Smith exclusive interview - part one
Faryl Smith exclusive interview - part two

Faryl Smith & Katherine Jenkins - Amazing Grace

Faryl Smith & Katherine Jenkins Interview

Faryl Smith - River of Light - Loose Women Show

What an odd name for a TV show... are the trying to be cheeky?

Faryl Smith - Interview on GMTV

Faryl Smith - The Way Old Friends Do - GMTV

Hayley Westenra - Hine E Hine with Govan Citadel Songsters

Hayley Westenra at the Classical BRITS '09

Summer Fly (Live) - Hayley Westenra

Her sister:
Sophie Westenra and the the three tenors, Time To Say Goodbye

Sophie Westenra The Holy City

Sophie Westenra Songbird
Hayley and Sophie Westenra Panis Angelicus

Hayley Westenra "Down to the River to Pray"
Ave Maria Hayley Westenra
Hayley Westenra sings national anthem

More from BRITS '09:
Faryl Smith at the Classical Brits '09
Alison Balsom at the Classical BRITS '09
Darcey Bussell at the Classical BRIT Awards '09
Britain's Got Talent's, Faryl Smith
Katherine Jenkins at the Classical Brit Awards '09
HealthDay: Too Much Cola Can Cause Muscle Problems
Stanfurd is looking for some deputy sheriffs.

QUALIFICATIONS: 45 Sem. or 60 Quarter College Units. Police exp.(Intern, Cadet, Reserve) desirable. Laterals: (18 Mo. current CALIF. exp.) encouraged to apply. Completion of California accredited P.O.S.T. Basic Police Officer's Academy helpful. Vision 20/100 correctable to 20/30 each eye with normal color vision. Weight proportional to height. Deputies carry firearms and Mace.

More info.

Sarge, this might be of interest to you.

Obama names Miguel Diaz to be US ambassador to the Vatican

Theology professor nominated to be U.S. ambassador to the Holy See
Catholic Courier: Catholic theologian Miguel Diaz nominated for Vatican ambassador
Boston Globe: Obama names Diaz ambassador to Vatican
Ambassador to Vatican-Designate Miguel Diaz - Spiritual Politics
President Appoints Hispanic Catholic Theologian Miguel Diaz as Ambassador to the Vatican
Miguel H. Díaz named U.S ambassador to the Vatican

I had been waiting for some more commentary to show up online, but there hasn't been that much yet.

Fr. Z: Pres. Obama chooses Vatican Ambassador and John Allen on Pres. Obama and Miguel Diaz

Catholics in Alliance profile
faculty page


What does his CV reveal about him? Someone using Catholic theology to promote a certain agenda, namely promoting Latino identity? Does he explain carefully what he means by identity and culture? And does he oppose an assimilationism which would allow certain practices to survive, but require that Anglo customs and principles be accepted and practiced? And does he agree with the USCCB says about immigration? (Probably.)
Paul Gottfried, Social Conservative Porn

He takes on Ross Douthat's "Liberated and Unhappy."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

NLM: Ordination at the Toronto Oratory

Great photos! I attended Mass at the oratory once, when I was visiting Toronto two years ago.

The Oratory of St. Philip Neri - Toronto

Edit. More photos.
The American Papist: Live/Archived Video of CUA symposium + Kmiec/George debate

Videos of the different sessions can be found at these links:
Faith and Freedom
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Faith and Freedom
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Faith and Freedom
1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Discussion of Life Issues (the debate)
CUA School of Law
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Catholic University of America

Edit. (May 29)
the Obama administration and the sanctity of human life (the author has uploaded a mp3 recording of the debate)
Fr. Z: Discussion between D. Kmiec and R. George on the Obama Administration
Crunchy Con: Father Cutie, Episcopalian
The American Papist: Fr. Cutie, caught dating widow, decides to join Episcopal Church

Pray for all involved.

AP: U.S. military on high alert after N. Korea renounces truce

To Plan for Emergency, or Not? Heinberg and Hopkins debate
Rob Hopkins, Transition Culture
At the Transition Network conference, Richard Heinberg gave an online presentation looking at the concept of Emergency Planning for Communities ... For a while now, Richard and I have been discussing the tension between longer term planning for resilience and the more immediate and pressing responses demanded by sudden and rapid change. It is still an ongoing discussion, but ... What follows is the series of email exchanges we have had since late last year.

Corporate Frankensteins, by Ralph Nader

Over the following two hundred years, these ever larger corporations and their attorneys have been driving relentlessly, dynamically to erect systems of privileges and immunities that give the corporations themselves limited liability.

Their first big move was to take the chartering authority from the state legislature and place it inside an executive agency where chartering became automatic, shorn of the conditions the lawmakers once imposed.

Once chartering became automatic, perpetual and open-ended, corporate lawyers moved to have the courts – not the legislatures – turn corporations into “persons” for purposes of constitutional rights.

Their big breakthrough came with the Santa Clara case in 1886 when the U.S. Supreme Court allowed its summary headnotes to declare that the railroad in the case was a “person” for purposes of the 14th amendment. Through elaborations in later Supreme Court decisions, that meant that companies like Aetna, General Electric, Exxon and Lockheed had most of the same constitutional rights as real people like you.
Daniel Larison, Losing In The Long Run

The most significant part of her speech from eight years ago has scarcely been discussed at all, which is her acknowledgment that neutrality and objectivity do not exist. One should strive to minimize the role of bias, but it is ineradicable. More than that, it sometimes serves a valuable social function–surely, students of Burke can understand this. The people who actually find this shocking or dangerous reveal themselves as believers in pleasant fictions left over from the 18th and 19th centuries. Those who understand that everyone is from somewhere specific, that everyone is part of a particular tradition, heir to a certain background and shaped by the places where he has lived and the experiences in those places, and that universal Man does not exist anywhere in the world, are not troubled by this. For us, it is a simple restatement of the obvious. The idea that where we come from matters deeply and defines who we are is hardly one that conservatives should find outrageous.

Which brings up a good point--what do people mean by the terms 'neutral' or 'objective'? (Or 'dispassioned'?) What did Sotomayor mean? We may draw upon our experiences to understand "abstract" notions (justice) -- but what happens if we have not been living in accordance with the virtues? Can we make correct judgements about justice, for example?

I would tend to think that to be "netural" is akin to being just -- that is to same one is not partial to any side before examining "the facts of the matter" and one gives everyone his due, with respect to examining their side of the case. As for 'objective' -- a judge should be trying to get as complete a picture as possible, seeking all possible evidence before rendering judgment, and so on.

Edit. More from Dr. Larison -- Nuance.
Chet Richards, 4GW comes to a town near you

The question you might ask is not whether these trends are real but whether the type of conflicts they create should be considered as “war.” Does 4GW represent an evolution of war or of crime?
Certainly it is not a conflict between two nation-states. But a conflict between two factions within a society, or between members of a community, those whose loyalty and identity are oriented to the community at large, and non-members. 4GW may be the next stage in the decline caused by the loss of community and culture, the problem of size, and the centralization of political and economic power.
Rorate Caeli brings gives us links to photos of Eastern-rite hierarchical Divine Liturgies:

Services in the Cathedral of Khust
Services in the Cathedral of Mukachiv
Services in the Cathedral of Uzhhorod

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stephen Layton and Polyphony


BMG Music Service is finally going out of business; I was looking through their inventory this afternoon, and found this ensemble. It appears that they have performed a lot of contemporary "sacred music" by such composers as James MacMillan, John Tavener, Arvo Pärt, and Eric Whitacre (two of whose works are below).

Sleep - Eric Whitacre - Polyphony

Polyphony & Stephen Layton - Lux Aurumque

Polyphony - Hymn to the Virgin (by Benjamin Britten)

From 2008: Polyphony and Britten Sinfonia on Radio 3

David Pinkerton's Arvo Pärt Information Archive
A guide for the perplexed
John Michael Greer, The Archdruid Report
E.F. Schumacher's Small Is Beautiful, once required reading in the appropriate-tech movement, has lost none of its relevance in the thirty years or so since the period of its greatest popularity. Some of its core ideas may turn out to be essential in making sense of the murky economic territory on the far side of Hubbert's peak.


Third, Schumacher stressed the importance of a variable left out of most economic analyses – the cost per worker of establishing and maintaining a workplace. Only the abundant capital, ample energy supplies, and established infrastructure of the world’s industrial nations, he argued, made it functional for businesses in those nations to concentrate on replacing human labor with technology. In the nonindustrial world, where the most urgent economic task was not the production of specialty goods for global markets but the provision of paid employment and basic necessities to the local population, attempts at industrialization far more often than not proved to be costly mistakes. Schumacher’s involvement in intermediate technology unfolded from this realization; he pointed out that in a great many situations, a relatively simple technology that relied on human hands and minds to meet local needs with local resources was the most viable response to the economic needs of nonindustrial nations. Since the end of the age of cheap abundant energy bids fair to place the world’s industrial nations on something like a par with today’s Third World, struggling to feed large populations with sharply limited resources and disintegrating infrastructures, the same logic will much more likely than not apply to our own future as well.
Letter for Year for Priests
"A Year of Prayer by Priests, With Priests and for Priests"
Some more blogs about the LC and RC: Ex-LC Blog, Life after RC, and Cassandra.

ReGAIN Network
ex Legion of Christ Members
A Catholic Exchange on the Long Dropping of the Other Shoe: Foundational Shift for the Legionaries of Christ — Part One
A Catholic Exchange on the Long Dropping of the Other Shoe: Foundational Shift for the Legionaries of Christ — Part Two
Maria Elena Vidal has a new blog about Carmelite spirituality -- Fountain of Elias.

Related links:
Carmelite spirituality and the practice of mental prayer
Discalced Carmelites - Spirituality
Discalced Carmelites - Spirituality
Order of Carmelites. Prayer. Carmelite Spirituality
ICS Publications

By way of Piers Paul Read, I learned of this website: Catholic Spotlight
"Your chance to hear from Catholic authors, Catholic musicians, and other creative minds in the Catholic world. Tune in to find out what is hot and new in the Catholic world."

Recent podcasts of interest:
His interview.
CS#99: Colleen Hammond Dressing with Dignity
CS#96: William Michael Liturgy of the Hours and Classical Liberal Arts Academy
CS#93: Dr. Tim Gray Praying Scripture for a Change
CS#91: Matt Pinto Freedom
CS#88: Dr. Meg Meeker Boys Should Be Boys
CS#76: Dr. Greg Popcak Holy Sex
Domenico Bettinelli: Boston College Police to Mac, Linux users: We’re watching you (from April)
Leon Kass, 2009 Jefferson Lecture, "Looking for an Honest Man: Reflections of an Unlicensed Humanist"

Peter Lawler, Leon Kass as Postmodern Conservative and First Thoughts on the Education of Leon Kass.
China's Catholic Moment by Francesco Sisci

A freeze ensued for several years, but relations seem to be recovering. The greatest challenge to both the Vatican and the Chinese leadership is not diplomacy but the split between the patriotic and the underground churches. After years of isolation from Rome, parts of the underground church—notionally the Chinese Catholic Church, which is currently most obedient to Rome—are locked into improvisations of liturgy and doctrine that are hard to suppress and potentially embarrassing. The Vatican cannot cut the underground Catholics adrift after their long years of loyalty, often under frightful circumstances, but it cannot easily integrate them either. In some provinces, underground Catholics maintained their independence both from the Chinese government and from the Vatican, and they now answer to no one.
I'd like to see some support for these assertions.

The Cardinal Kung Foundation
Up From the Underground

PERSECUTED! Catholic Church in Communist China PART 1

PERSECUTED! Catholic Church in Communist China Part 2
PERSECUTED! Catholic Church in Communist China PART 3

The First Things website has been revamped -- Joseph Bottum, A First Look at the New FIRST THINGS.
Michael Shedlock: Consumer Confidence Soars; How Much Is Unwarranted Hope? and Manhattan Awash in Office Space; Residential Gridlock in California.
Peter Hitchens summarizes his recommendations for Tory members and British voters who are new readers: Dialogue, retorts, answers and general conversation. Previously, he had responded to BNP supporters: The continuing crisis and Not quite boring us into submission, the BNP's sad, deluded army of mug punters drone on. He also recommends the thrillers of Eric Ambler: Journey into Fear.

Edit. (5/30)
BNP's soft sell masks the poison
Mere Comments, Spanking to be Banned in US?

According to, there are 20 things parents need to know abou this treaty, including the elimination of spanking. From the website's linked footnote:

General Comment No. 8 (2006): The right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment (arts. 19; 28, para. 2; and 37, inter alia), CRC/C/GC/8, (2006):
“The Committee is issuing this general comment to highlight the obligation of all State parties to move quickly to prohibit and eliminate all corporal punishment…. Addressing the widespread acceptance or tolerance of corporal punishment of children and eliminating it, in the family, schools and other settings, is … an obligation of State parties under the Convention.”
The American Papist: Announcement: AmP to join APP June 1st

As a perfect example of these new opportunities offered by APP, I will be live-blogging a debate between Doug Kmiec and Robbie George at the National Press Club tomorrow. I will post details about that event next.

American Principles Project

From About the Project:

The United States of America does not need new principles. It needs renewed fidelity to the principles set forth in our Delcaration of Independence and the Constitution. These are timeless principles: truths that we hold, in Jefferson's immortal words, to be, "self-evident." They are, moreover, universal principles, not the historically contingent beliefs or customs of a particular sect or clan or tribe. They are rooted in the nature of man as a being who, by virtue of his God-given dignity and rationality, owns the right to participate in the great project of self-government as a free and equal citizen. Whatever others may say, we at the American Principles Project and all who join with us reaffirm the truth that each and every member of the human family is, "created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
How does this differ from a Straussian or a "proposition nation" account of the American system? It is one thing to accept that the national system is what we have; it's another to endorse it or to claim that it is in accod with the Constitution. Do national solutions have a chance of succeeding? Can they be passed by Congress and implemented by the President. I find it unlikely. Resistance by the states seems to be the better option.

Dr. Robert George on Our Struggle for the Soul of our Nation.
Dr. Robert George on Law and Moral Purpose.
Daniel Larison offers his thoughts On Sotomayor. He responds to Jonah Goldberg -- The Radical Status Quo Menace.

Rod Dreher: I was wrong about Sotomayor speech
Richard Spencer, America’s Wise Latina Lady and More on Red Sonia

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

N. Martin, A new agrarian culture (via EB)
Sandro Magister: Obama Graduates from Notre Dame. But the Bishops Are Making Him Retake the Exam
The bishops' conference of the United States wants the president to move from promises to action in combatting abortion. Many Catholics aren't convinced, and they're accusing even the Vatican of capitulation. Are they right? An unconventional analysis by the theologian Robert Imbelli

Edit. Obama and the Enduring Untruths by Hadley Arkes

And from Public Discourse:
Jon A. Shields: Notre Dame and Obama's Roe Problem
President Obama’s calls for honest dialogue on the abortion issue can only get off the ground if both sides agree that abortion is a contestable issue. But if it is a contestable issue, it should be settled by democratic processes—not judicial fiat.
Asia News: Tiananmen 20 years on
by Bernardo Cervellera
As of today AsiaNews will begin to publish a dossier on the 20th anniversary of the massacre of Tiananmen Square, which took place on June 4th 1989. It will include interventions from the protagonists of the democracy movement of that time and of today. They will speak of the past, but above all, they will speak of the needs and urgent issues that China faces in the present and the future.

05/26/2009 CHINA
Tiananmen: Do not forget the young man who defied the tanks
by Lu Decheng

Lu Decheng, a political refugee in Canada, was a worker who, during the Tiananmen protests, stained Mao’s portrait. For this he was sentenced to life in prison, but was freed after nine years. He describes the heroism of ordinary people who supported the students and warns the international community of the danger that a non-democratic China represents.

05/26/2009 CHINA
Farmers storm police station in Yingde, Guangdong

Incident is sparked by an unsubstantiated rumour that a farmer had died in prison. Poor rural communities are usually deprived of basic rights and are increasingly exasperated. Anything, however small, can lead to street protests that can turn violent.
I read this piece at Front Porch Republic and was reminded of Vox Nova. Well, it's just one contributor so far... I'd be interested in seeing how the author, Mr. Lew Daly, compares his project with the writings and recommendations of Dr. Allan Carlson.
Anthony Esolen, Pseudogamy 101, Pseudogamy 102, Pseudogamy 103

California high court upholds gay marriage ban (AP)
Gutzman, Napolitano talk 10th Amendment on Glenn Beck

Post Show Show: Constitution Day 2008

Glenn Beck: 1/7, May 25, Memorial Day, States Rights, 912 Project
Glenn Beck 2 7, May 25, Memorial Day, States Rights, 912 Project
Glenn Beck 3 7, May 25, Memorial Day, States Rights, 912 Project
Glenn Beck 4 7, May 25, Memorial Day, States Rights, 912 Project
Glenn Beck 5 7, May 25, Memorial Day, States Rights, 912 Project
Glenn Beck: 6/7, May 25, Memoria...
Glenn Beck 7 7, May 25, Memorial Day, States Rights, 912 Project
Discussion of Star Trek over at Taki's Mag:
Razib Kahn, Star Trek and humanity
Richard Spencer, Star Trek and the Jews
Razib Kahn, Star Trek, the Chinese and the traditionalism of science fiction

Another piece by Mr. Kahn: Cultural continuity & revolution.
Obama picks first Hispanic for Supreme Court (AP)

Who is Sonia Sotomayor? Judges of the United States Courts

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden escort his Supreme Court choice Sonia Sotomayor, Tuesday, May 26, 2009, before the announcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP/Daylife)

President Barack Obama walks with his Supreme Court choice Sonia Sotomayor to the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 26, 2009, where the president made the announcemen. (AP/Daylife)

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives with Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor (R), his choice as the nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter, at the East Room of the White House in Washington May 26, 2009. (Reuters/Daylife)

President Barack Obama looks on as his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor speaks in the East Room Ceremony of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP/Daylife)

U.S. Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor speaks after. U.S. President Barack Obama announced her as his choice of nomination for the Supreme Court justice, to replace retiring Justice David Souter, in the East Room at the White House, May 26, 2009. Obama nominated Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, selecting a woman who would be the court's first Latino. Obama's choice of the liberal Sotomayor, a 54-year-old judge on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, was unlikely to change the ideological balance of the high court because Souter, 69, was part of the panel's liberal wing. (Reuters/Daylife)

I'm curious -- how many female Federal judges have a correct understanding of the Constitution?

A farce in the making? Or will she go confirmed, because of 'serious' politicians? Both?

A reminder of what is at stake for these politicians--from Counterpunch, Sharon Smith, Obama and Abortion Rights: What We Learned at Notre Dame.

Other links:
Crunchy Con: Is Sotomayor the left's Harriet Miers?
Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court Nominee: All You Need To Know
Judge Sonia Sotomayor - Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor
Matthew Yglesias » Sonia Sotomayor's IQ
Matthew Yglesias » Sonia Sotomayor
Sonia Sotomayor Mother Jones

Edit. More:
James Antle, The case against Sotomayor
And more from Rod Dreher: How liberal is Sotomayor on abortion?, Sotomayor: An American moment, Sotomayor and identity politics
Fr. Z: Pres. Obama and the Supremes and Wedges
Two by Allan Wall: Memo From Mexico and Memo From Middle America.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Michael Shedlock, Jobless Graduates Face Dismal Jobs Market

John Derbyshire, College is for Suckers, The Great College Scam, and Yale, Jail, or a Lunch Pail?
Tom Piatak, Is College Worth It?

John Médaille, The Economics of Distributism III: Equity and Equilibrium

Crunchy Con: "Summer Hours": a crunchy-con must-see

L'heure d'été (2008)
IFC Entertainment - Film Detail > Summer Hours
Apple - Movie Trailers - Summer Hours
trailer at Yahoo! Movies

UK trailer

The story seems to have some things in common with A Good Year?
Solitary Thinking - Lee Ann Womack at 2009 ACM Awards

CMT : Videos : Lee Ann Womack : Solitary Thinkin'

Lee Ann Womack Home
YouTube: BarbecueWeb

This looks good: - Thrice-Cooked Ribs.
Bill Anderson: Krugman: Raising Taxes in California will Cure Everything

Does he really think his Nobel Prize means anything? Paul Krugman is the go-to guy for opinions on the economy for many Democrats, but I see nothing valuable being written by him.
Colleges Consider 3-Year Degrees To Save Undergrads Time, Money (via LRC)

North Korea conducts test of a nuclear weapon

Defying world powers, N. Korea conducts nuke test (AP)
Obama: N. Korea 'recklessly challenging' the world (AP)

A new test for the Obama administration and Secretary of State Clinton.
The American Papist: Report: 23 Legion priests to exit and form new religious group

I'd be interested in learning more about this split-away group, and any others.

Pope Benedict XVI at Cassino

Benedict XVI's Homily at Miranda Plaza in Cassino
"The Ascension Invites Us to a Profound Communion with Jesus" [2009-05-24]

On St. Benedict's Example and the Church in China
"Cultivate an Authentic Prayer Life to Assure the Social Progress of Peace" [2009-05-24]

Pope's Prayer at Monte Cassino Polish Cemetery
"Peace Is More Precious than any Corruptible Treasure" [2009-05-24]

Papal Address After Vespers at Monte Cassino
"St. Benedict Invites Every Person that Climbs This Mount to Seek Peace" [2009-05-24]

Pope Benedict XVI waves to pilgrims gathered for a mass during his pastoral visit in Cassino, southern Italy May 24, 2009. (Reuters/Daylife)

Pope Benedict XVI is given a statue of Saint Benedict as he celebrates a mass during his pastoral visit in Cassino, southern Italy May 24, 2009. (Reuters/Daylife)
Caleb Stegall's advice to college graduates -- Commencement Address (via the Western Confucian)

But for tonight, I’m all you have. So I have distilled a few things that I think are true; things that are true about the human heart; things that I want to share with you tonight.And the most basic truth—most basic for us in this time and place because it is the onemost obscured by the society we inhabit—is the truth articulated most poignantly byBooker T. Washington. Washinton was born into slavery and rose to prominence afterthe Civil War as a leader of Southern blacks. In 1895, speaking to an American Southstill struggling with Reconstruction, Washington wanted to urge blacks to stop looking tothe North for their needs and for their future, so he told this story.

There was a ship lost at sea for many days which suddenly sighted a friendly vessel.From the mast of the stranded ship was seen a signal: “Water, water. We die of thirst.”The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back: “Cast down your bucket whereyou are.” A second time, the signal, “Water, send us water!” went up from the distressedvessel. And was answered: “Cast down your bucket where you are.” A third and fourthsignal for water was answered: “Cast down your bucket where you are.” The captain ofthe distressed vessel, at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket and it came upfull of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River.

Cast down your bucket where you are!

In less poetic language, this is what I have sometimes called practicing the discipline ofplace. To practice this discipline is to believe that to suffer one’s place and one’s peoplein the particularity of its and their needs is the primary basis for finding love, friendship,and an authentic, meaningful life. This is nothing less, I would argue, than the key to thepursuit of Christian holiness, which is the whole of the Christian adventure: to live inlove with the frailty and limits of one’s existence, suffering the places, customs, rites,joys, and sorrows of the people who are in close relation to you by family, friendship, andcommunity—all in service of the truth, goodness, and beauty that is best experienced directly.

Now, what am I saying? Does this mean that I think you should always stay in one place,that you cannot be called elsewhere, or that you ought to forever limit your own horizons.No. I am neither foolish nor naïve enough to think that this is either possible or even agood thing. What it does mean is that the human heart, your heart, will never flourishand blossom if it is forever pining after the next thing, or captured by the false promise ofsomething better just out of grasp, always seeking satisfaction somewhere other thanwhere it is. Rather, it is that marriage between the endless internal horizon of your heartand the limited, restrained, concrete life of geography and community that has borne themost delightful and satisfying fruits of human history.

So cast down your bucket where you are.

This is at once the most radical and the most conservative thing you can do with your life.Yet you are heading out into a very conventional, middling, controlled world. Oh, theywill tell you that their marches for progress and rights are daring, that they are radical.Or they will tell you that their religious revivals are conservative, that they are the moralcenter. You will hear it all, but the truth is that for the most part, people are in the gripsof a boring, lifeless ideology of personal fulfillment, choice, and upward mobility. Welive in a society of tourists—and if tourists have one thing in common it is this—that theyare not at home.

Many if not all of you are off to college somewhere to further your education. This is nota bad thing, and may become a very good thing for you, but I am here tonight with awarning. The world of higher education is a strip mining operation, plain and simple, andyou will become the raw resource being mined. This is the result of a system designed todiscover and refine the most meritorious among you and ship you off to whatever spot inthe world you will be most “productive.”

You will hear over and over and over again, in many different forms, that nothing mustget in the way of making the most of your social and economic opportunities. No ancientbonds of tradition must hold you back (look to the Future, they will say); no loyalties toyour home, to the place of your memory and your belonging must interfere (you can be aJayhawk anywhere, they will say); no sentimental attachment to those who havebefriended and loved you can count (think of all the diverse experiences you will miss,they will say).

I say, resist! Resist the spirit of the age. It does not have your welfare in mind.

Castdown your bucket.

If you do, they will say you are crazy, or foolish, or worse. You will be a heretic in thechurch of convenience and exploitation and false freedom which feeds at a trough ofwaste and ruin.

See also what Sharon Astyk would say to our graduates: As You Go Out Into the World…

Memorial Day 2009

Band of Brothers - Main Title 'Requiem for a Soldier' Song

Katherine Jenkins

Band of Brothers Soundtrack - Main Theme

Band of Brothers Intro

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Featured this weekend on the Early Music Show: Palestrina!

6 days left to listen
Catherine Bott travels to Italy to try and discover more about the composer Palestrina.

Catherine Bott travels high into the Apennines to the ancient Italian city of Palestrina to try to discover more about the city's most famous son, the famed 16th-century composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Was he really born in this sleepy Italian mountain-side town?


Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli (excerpt)
Tallis Scholars
Peter Phillips (conductor)

Palestrina: Salve Regina
Ensemble Vocal Regional de Champagne-Ardenne
Francoise Lasserre

Vinders: O mors inevitabilis
Emmanuel Bonnardot (conductor)

Dufay: Ut Queant Laxis (a hymn revised by de Orto in Rome and still used in services it seems at the time that Palestrina was there)
This recording is preceded by the Antiphona: Puer qui natus est
Schola Hungarica
Janka Szendrei (conductor)

Palestrina: Motet: Exsultate Deo
Westminster Cathedral Choir
Stephen Cleobury (conductor)
ARGO 410 0052, Tr 1

Palestrina: Madrigal: la ver l'aurora
Andrea Damiani (lute)
Concerto Italiano
Rinaldo Alessandrini (conductor)
TACTUS TC521601, Tr 8

Segue to:

Palestrina: Virgine, tal e terra
The Hilliard Ensemble
Paul Hillier (conductor)
EMI CDS 7490108 CD2, Tr 19

Palestrina: Magnificat
The Choir of New College, Oxford
Edward Higginbottom (conductor)

Palestrina: Hymn: veni creator spiritus
Westminster Cathedral Choir
Martin Baker (conductor)
HYPERION CDA 67353, Tr 11.

Plus: Valentina Varriale
5 days left to listen
Lucie Skeaping with highlights of a concert from the city of Palestrina.

Restoring Mayberry: Blacksmithing

Restoring Mayberry: Blacksmithing
Tradition for Tomorrow -- website for the restoration of St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis.
Rod Dreher discusses Shop Class as Soulcraft: The value of hands-on work. He also talks about Summer interns on the farm, which links to this NY Times article (slideshow), which in turn mentions Full Belly Farm. KK will be glad to see this.

I also found this on Google: Green String Institute farming internships. The interns at Green String Farm have their own blog.

Related links: - Farm internships are hot commodity
Summer interns are going organic
Socially conscious students choose to intern at farms
Sustainable Farming Internships and Apprenticeships

Northern California's Full Belly Farm redifines what it means to be a family farmer
California organic farmer wins national sustainable farming award
Full Belly Farm and Paul Muller
Palo Alto Farmers' Market - Buy Locally - Full Belly Farm
Zenit: Pope Offers Compendium of Chinese Catholics Letter