Saturday, September 12, 2009

Christopher Check, An Invitation to The John Randolph Club

The post has more information about the 20th Annual Meeting of the John Randolph Club, which will be held in San Antonio, Texas on November 13-14, 2009.


Tonight my friend the OD invited me to his church for a "special" dinner, which turned out to be part of a special outreach for the region. He had two reasons for inviting me, one of which was that this would be an opportunity for me to meet some more girls, since they would be coming from all over the region, and not just his church. Alas, I don't think there was anyone close to my age and single.

As for the church... of course, TJC claims to be the true Church of Christ, sent by Him during these final days to bring salvation to mankind. So what happened between the time of Pentecost until now? The Church simply apostasized (either gradually or suddenly -- how familiar are the pastors of the TJC with the Church Fathers and the teahcings and practices of the early Church? The so-called "Apostolic Churches" should do what they can to be reconciled with one another, so that they can present a clear witness to the common teachings of the Apostolic Church, even if they cannot come to an agreement on the nature of the primacy of the bishop of Rome. (And yes, TJC does claim that its teachings are apostolic.)

Reading through the brochures, I found much that I could agree with. But it is the differences that stand out and make me wary of going there. As a guest, how confrontational can I really be? I am invited to be a guest of their church, not to tell them about the Catholic Church. A conversation with one of the OD's fellows almost lead to a discussion about Christianity and what it is, but it was cut short by the arrival of another person.

Members of TJC are encouraged to pray in "tongues" -- it is something that they can do once they have been baptized and received the Spirit. Being in a room of people
using glossolalia, shaking, and clapping has always weirded me out, and it perhaps is the biggest reason why I have a strong emotional aversion to returning to the OD's church. It's probably the last time I'll be going there...

What are the marks by which we can identify the true Church? According to TJC, "every Christian needs to seek a church that shares the one faith that the apostles once shared (Galatians 1:8, 9, 11, 12; Epheasians 2:20, 21), has the abidance of God's Spirit (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 2:22; Romans 8:9, 16, 17; Revelation 22:17), and is confirmed by signs and miracles from God (Mark 16:20; John 5:36: Hebrews 2:4)." How does TJC show that God's Spirit is presence? Speaking in tongues? "Receiving the Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking in tongues, is the guarantee of our inheritance of the kingdom of heaven." At the end of the praise service, there was to be a final prayer with laying on of the hands by the pastors. The OD's brother-in-law looked at me and using body language asked if I was going to go up to the front of the church where people who would have laying on of the hands would be, and I shook my head. I'm a bit wary of being touched for reasons that should be obvious.

As for signs and miracles: "Since the establishment of the True Jesus Church until today, many have found the truth of salvation in this church and have experienced the wonder of Gd's power." Not exactly objective evidence...

TJC teaches that "Sacraments--which includes baptism, footwashing, and the Holy Communion--are actions in which God effects salvation on the believer through the use of physical elements." Holy Communion is unleavened bread and grape juice -- TJC apparently is opposed to alcohol, given that during dinner, one of the church members was criticizing the doctor at his college for drinking. (The OD and his wife say they don't really drink alcohol, but perhaps there is a religious reason for this--I've never asked before.)

Does the TJC have a proper understanding of grace and nature? If not, then why would these "sacraments" other than baptism be necessary, beyond the fact that they were commanded by Jesus?*

*Which reminds me--what do the Orthodox think of the distinction in Catholic teaching between grace and nature? There are some American converts who are opposed to this distinction, but what about among bishops, both here and abroad?
Cal Catholic Daily: There Be Dragons
Filmmaker Roland Joffe to Make Movie on Life of St. Josemaria Escriva

Vatican page.
St. Josemaria Institute
Opus Dei
St. Josemaría Escrivá Historical Institute (University of Navarra page)
Note: Cop in the Hood
(Peter Moskos on foot patrols.)
Maclin Horton, On Caritas in Veritate

Anderson Family Bluegrass

Anderson Family Bluegrass - You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive

Anderson Family Bluegrass - Little Maggie

Anderson Family Bluegrass

Cal Performances, 2009-10 Season

Music Before 1850:

Oct 24 & 25, 2009 Davitt Moroney, harpsichord
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier
Dec 4, 2009 The Tallis Scholars
Jan 23, 2010 Europa Galante
with Fabio Biondi, director & violin
Mar 16, 2010 Hespèrion XXI
Jordi Savall, viola da gamba & director
May 1, 2010 Concerto Köln
It's odd, this year I'm getting a lot of kids leaning against me while I'm sitting down... I don't know why that is.
Chicago Boyz on a neglected lesson of 9/11 -- the importance of the reserve militia: Flight 93 (via John Robb).
The Gathering Note talks with Alex Lingas, Cappella Romana Artistic Director - Part One

The Gathering Note talks with Alex Lingas, Cappella Romana Artistic Director - Part Two

Cappella Romana
Chrissy Crowley @ Rollo Bay Fiddle Fest 2009
Sierra Hull & Hwy111 - From Now On
Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy at Milwaukee Irish Fest '09
Texas governor sends Rangers to Mexico border (via Drudge)

Texas Department of Public Safety - Texas Rangers Historical Development
Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum
Texas Rangers LEA
Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum
Big Government has the latest on the ACORN exposé videos.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Mistakes Economists Make by Dave Cohen (archived at Energy Bulletin)
Asia Times: China's military comes to terms with its past
By Alexander Casella
Robert P. George, What Marriage Is—And What It Isn't

Questions about learning "science" and math.

Is it easier for women to memorize from texts? While men generally require some sort of sense knowledge of the actual thing being studied in order to memorize?

A series of if, then reasoning passes a causal analysis in modern science coursework?

Math requires some sense knowledge, but not that much, since quantity is abstracted from our sense impressions of the world. We don't sense quantity in itself, but as it is present within matter. If women perceive more colors, is there something different about the vision of men?
NLM: Compendium of the Reforms of the Roman Breviary, 1568-1961: Part 2 - Some Further Observations on the Medieval Office
Start by Asking the Right Questions - Thinking About the Terms for the Debate on Local and Organic Food
Sharon Astyk, Casaubon's Book

One of the reasons discussions of whether “organic” and “local” can “feed the world” often founder so badly is the whole set of presumptions that preceed such a discussion. So let’s talk about those - James McWilliams’ book _Just Food_ and others have stirred up a good bit of controversy on this subject, and lots of people seem to know the answers. But the real problem is that most people don’t really seem to understand what the questions are.


Mike vs. Mike

How to Fight Deflation By MIKE WHITNEY
Give a Worker a Raise

Contrast with Michael Shedlock, Bakery Union Wins Battle, Loses War

Perhaps Mr. Shedlock is just being a "realist," and unions should not press their demands if this will only lead to jobs being moved somewhere else, but he probably does think that morality has nothing to do with the market. And that is the problem.
Chaos on the Border by Ted Galen Carpenter (via AmCon)
Franklin C. Spinney, Portrait of an Afghan Firefight: Up Close and Personal

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The website for Cottage Grove School is down, if it was ever up in the first place.
Reconsideration: Werner Jaeger's Paideia (pdf)

I was talking about education for a bit with my friend MB today and he brought up Jaeger... I think I have Paideia, but I haven't read through it yet. I should...
History of the Purposeful Degradation of Schools in the U.S (Alex Jones interviews John Taylor Gatto)
J. T. Gatto interviewed by Lennart Mogren, Sweden, March 2003
NLM: Diary of Adrian Fortescue: Images
NLM: Compendium of the Reforms of the Roman Breviary, 1568-1961: Supplement - Glossary of Terms Related to the Divine Office
Fr. Z: An American bishop calls the Kennedy funeral a “scandal”

The blog of Bishop Rene Henry Gracida: Abyssus Abyssum Invocat.

Some of his writings:
Denying Holy Communion: A Case Study
A Twelve Step Program for Bishops
Zenit: On St. Peter Damian
"Jesus Must Truly Be at the Center of Our Life"
Michael Pollan, Big Food vs. Big Insurance (via Rod Dreher)
A Terrible Ambivalence
John Michael Greer, The Archdruid Report

The recent debate in print between Paul Kingsnorth and George Monbiot on the possibility of saving industrial civilization from itself never quite got past some very problematic core assumptions. The Archdruid offers a third opinion on the subject.


WSJ--John Fund Interviews David Walker: Warning: The Deficits Are Coming!
The former head of the Government Accountability Office is on a crusade to alert taxpayers to their true obligations.

Despite an occasional detour into support for government intervention, Mr. Walker remains the Jeffersonian he grew up as in his native Virginia. "I view the Constitution with deep respect," he told me. "My ancestors and those of my wife fought and died in the Revolution, and I care a lot about returning us to the principles of the Founding Fathers."

He notes that today the role of the federal government has grown such that last year less than 40% of it related to the key roles the Founders envisioned for it: defense, foreign policy, the courts and other basic functions. "What happened to the Founders' intent that all roles not expressly reserved to the federal government belong to the states, and ultimately the people?" he asks. "I'm pleased the recent town halls show people are waking up and realizing it's time to pay attention to first principles."

With that we parted, as he had to get back to work. Today's Paul Revere is hard at work on a book due out in January from Random House that will be called, "Come Back America."

The book; audiobook.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Guy R. McPherson, Nature Bats Last

Within the span of a couple generations, we abandoned a durable, finely textured, life-affirming set of living arrangements characterized by self-sufficient family farms intermixed with small towns that provided commerce, services, and culture. Worse yet, we traded that model for a coarse-scaled arrangement wholly dependent on ready access to cheap fossil fuels.

Steve Sailer reviews Paul Gottfried's latest book.
John Carney, What Obama Should Have Told The Kids Today

For most of you, college is an expensive waste of time. At some of our elite schools, you would form connections that are invaluable. It’s one of the things our elite colleges do best—putting the highly intelligent in the same place as the well-off and well-connected. Going to these schools serves as heuristic for employers—your admission to the school is short hand for intelligence and diligence.

But this kind of education—the standard college education—is really only suitable for somewhere around 15% of the population. Unfortunately, we now send a much higher proportion of our students to college, which amounts to a terrific economic waste.

Much of this waste—let’s call it the college education bubble—is due to distorted economics, bad government policy and misplaced social pressures. Government subsidized loans have made college attainable for many—but the ultimate debt burden can be untenable for many. The economic rewards of attending college can make it attractive—but most of those are concentrated in the extremely smart and capable. Perhaps most damaging of all, we have a create a culture of collegiate achievement that discourages you from pursuing your education and careers in ways best suited to your abilities.

There’s a serious danger that the college education bubble may burst. As more and more people get college degrees, which inevitably have to become easier to get in order to increase the amount of graduates beyond its realistic levels, the market will eventually figure out that the degree doesn’t mean what it used to. It will become less useful as a heuristic for intelligence and achievement. And college graduates will find themselves with an asset—a degree—whose value is dropping while their debt remains high.

(via Rod Dreher)
Oil Spin. Ignore the optimists. Peak oil is real. by Matthew R. Simmons

(via Rod Dreher)
William Lind, Putting “Defense” Back in “Defense Department”
Hulu: Rick Steves goes to Iran.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


China a republic? A democracy? How terms were abused, and continue to be abused in the 20th century!

Twitch has the trailer for Jian Guo Da Ye 建国大业 (The Founding of a Republic). And one thought that patriotic epic films were in the PRC's past. This new film commemorates the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. I don't think the movie will be as even-handed in dealing with the Nationalists as The Assembly.

How can it not be a propaganda piece? I'm disappointed by all of the Hong Kong actors and directors involved with this production. It is too much to call them Communist collaborators?

I think it is safe to say that most contemporary actors are narcissistic. How many are not "attention whores," having a strong desire to be the object of attraction for many people? They may play the hero on-screen, but how many of them would be willing to die for their country? (Compare this with the number of actors who served in the military during World War II.) I suspect this defect is even more widespread in East Asia (and is not at all tempered by mandatory military service in countries such as South Korea).

Greek plays were performed during religious occasions. How did the actors see themselves and their work? Were they concerned with creating a following? (This would seem to be difficult if based on the face alone, since that was covered by a mask. Through a distinctive voice, then?) Or were the actors religious, content with being anonymous performers, or just amateurs, like the medieval guilds putting on mystery plays?

Mainland actors may have the excuse that they do not know any better. But what about those who grew up in Hong Kong? How can they extol the Communist Party? Simply because the Communists are at least Chinese, while the British were foreigners? How can they claim to be proud of Hong Kong's democratic system, when they are undermining it in spirit by supporting the CCP in such a fashion, a group that knows nothing about true republicanism or active citizenship?

We are already seeing a renewal of state patronage of Confucianism in an attempt to fill in the spiritual and moral void created by Communism and the revolutions of the early 20th century. The Party is trying to undo what it has done, but it's probably too late. Trying to inflame the youth of China with a new fervor for the Communist Party will probably fail. The Communists can claim success in modernizing and industrializing China, and bringing material comfort to the masses, but how can they then refute the claim that they've done this too well, that this is all the young people in the cities really want now, some measure of material success and prosperity, and that nothing else matters, not even reproducing? Who can blame but themselves for the lack of spiritual values or the desire for anything transcending the here and now (most importantly, the family)?

In deviant regimes, citizens are not directed to virtue and the common good, but only for the benefit of those who rule. Even if we grant the Communists' claim to being the cause of China's material prosperity, it seems to be the case that those who rule have benefited in a disproportionate manner. And ensuring that material needs are satisfied is not sufficient -- the abundance of material goods in a polity cannot make up for its lack of virtue.

History shows us many examples of patriotism and love of the common good being perverted through statism and totalitarianism into something dehumanizing and servile. One may perhaps find a love of the small and the local among the peasants who are attached to their villages and land. But even among them, what dominates their sense of identity? Being Chinese and part of one empire. (Or one nation, though I would prefer to reserve the use of nation to a people with a distinct people. There is one political unit, the PRC, with many peoples of different ethnicities, or many nations.) While urban dwellers who have access to the Internet are the most vocal of Chinese nationalists on forums and blogs, do those who live in the villages lack the same nationalistic spirit?

Yes, there are some Mainland cuties starring in the movie, including Zhao Wei. I don't know if they'll be to help me stomach the movie long enough to watch it in its entirety.


Related links:
The thoughts of Chairman Mao (starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li)
Jackie Chan, Jet Li add star power to Chinese propaganda film as officials try to woo young
Taiwan says it won't censor China's propaganda film
Chinasmack: Jian Guo Da Ye” Movie Celebrates PRC 60th Anniversary

Trailer at Youtube; Kungfu Cinema

The Epoch Times: Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party
Foreign Affairs: Will the Chinese Communist Party Survive the Crisis?
Zenit: Vatican Letter on Catholic Education
"Religious Education in Schools Fits Into the Evangelizing Mission of the Church"

Pope's Message for Mission Day

Pope's Message for Mission Day

"We Should Have a Longing and a Passion to Illumine All Peoples With the Light of Christ"

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 7, 2009 ( Here is a Vatican translation of Benedict XVI's address for the 83rd World Mission Day, which will be celebrated this year on Sunday, Oct. 18.

The message, dated June 29, feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, was published Saturday in six languages.

* * *

"The nations will walk in its light" (Rev 21:24)

On this Sunday, dedicated to the missions, I turn first of all to you, my brothers in the episcopal and the priestly ministry, and then to you, my brothers and sisters, the whole People of God, to encourage in each one of you a deeper awareness of Christ's missionary mandate to "make disciples of all peoples" (Mt 28:19), in the footsteps of Saint Paul, the Apostle of the nations.

"The nations will walk in its light" (Rev 21:24). The goal of the Church's mission is to illumine all peoples with the light of the Gospel as they journey through history towards God, so that in Him they may reach their full potential and fulfilment. We should have a longing and a passion to illumine all peoples with the light of Christ that shines on the face of the Church, so that all may be gathered into the one human family, under God's loving fatherhood.

It is in this perspective that the disciples of Christ spread throughout the world work, struggle and groan under the burden of suffering, offering their very lives. I strongly reiterate what was so frequently affirmed by my venerable Predecessors: the Church works not to extend her power or assert her dominion, but to lead all people to Christ, the salvation of the world. We seek only to place ourselves at the service of all humanity, especially the suffering and the excluded, because we believe that "the effort to proclaim the Gospel to the people of today... is a service rendered to the Christian community and also to the whole of humanity" (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 1), which "has experienced marvellous achievements but which seems to have lost its sense of ultimate realities and of existence itself" (Redemptoris Missio, 2).
All Peoples are called to salvation

In truth, the whole of humanity has the radical vocation to return to its source, to return to God, since in Him alone can it find fulfilment through the restoration of all things in Christ. Dispersion, multiplicity, conflict and enmity will be healed and reconciled through the blood of the Cross and led back to unity.

This new beginning can already be seen in the resurrection and exaltation of Christ, who draws all things to himself, renewing them and enabling them to share in the eternal joy of God. The future of the new creation is already shining in our world and, despite contradictions and suffering, it enkindles hope for new life. The Church's mission is to spread hope "contagiously" among all peoples. This is why Christ calls, justifies, sanctifies and sends his disciples to proclaim the Kingdom of God, so that all nations may become the People of God. It is only in this mission that the true journey of humanity is understood and attested. The universal mission should become a fundamental constant in the life of the Church. Proclamation of the Gospel must be for us, as it was for the Apostle Paul, a primary and unavoidable duty.
The Pilgrim Church

The universal Church, which knows neither borders nor frontiers, is aware of her responsibility to proclaim the Gospel to entire peoples (cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 53). It is the duty of the Church, called to be a seed of hope, to continue Christ's service in the world. The measure of her mission and service is not material or even spiritual needs limited to the sphere of temporal existence, but instead, it is transcendent salvation, fulfilled in the Kingdom of God (cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 27). This Kingdom, although ultimately eschatological and not of this world (cfr Jn 18:36), is also in this world and within its history a force for justice and peace, for true freedom and respect for the dignity of every human person. The Church wishes to transform the world through the proclamation of the Gospel of love, "that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working … and in this way … cause the light of God to enter into the world" (Deus Caritas Est, 39). With this message I renew my invitation to all the members and institutions of the Church to participate in this mission and this service.
Missio ad gentes

The mission of the Church, therefore, is to call all peoples to the salvation accomplished by God through his incarnate Son. It is therefore necessary to renew our commitment to proclaiming the Gospel which is a leaven of freedom and progress, brotherhood, unity and peace (cf. Ad Gentes, 8). I would "confirm once more that the task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church" (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14), a duty and a mission which the widespread and profound changes in present-day society render ever more urgent. At stake is the eternal salvation of persons, the goal and the fulfilment of human history and the universe. Animated and inspired by the Apostle of the nations, we must realize that God has many people in all the cities visited by the apostles of today (cfr Acts 18:10). In fact "the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him" (Acts 2:39).

The whole Church must be committed to the missio ad gentes, until the salvific sovereignty of Christ is fully accomplished: "At present, it is true, we are not able to see that all things are in subjection to him" (Heb 2:8).
Called to evangelize even through martyrdom

On this day dedicated to the missions, I recall in prayer those who have consecrated their lives exclusively to the work of evangelization. I mention especially the local Churches and the men and women missionaries who bear witness to and spread the Kingdom of God in situations of persecution, subjected to forms of oppression ranging from social discrimination to prison, torture and death. Even today, not a few are put to death for the sake of his "Name". The words of my venerable Predecessor, Pope John Paul II, continue to speak powerfully to us: "The Jubilee remembrance has presented us with a surprising vista, showing us that our own time is particularly prolific in witnesses, who in different ways were able to live the Gospel in the midst of hostility and persecution, often to the point of the supreme test of shedding their blood" (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 41).

Participation in the mission of Christ is also granted to those who preach the Gospel, for whom is reserved the same destiny as their Master. "Remember the words I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too" (Jn 15:20). The Church walks the same path and suffers the same destiny as Christ, since she acts not on the basis of any human logic or relying on her own strength, but instead she follows the way of the Cross, becoming, in filial obedience to the Father, a witness and a travelling companion for all humanity.

I remind Churches of ancient foundation and those that are more recent that the Lord has sent them to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, and he has called them to spread Christ, the Light of the nations, to the far corners of the earth. They must make the Missio ad gentes a pastoral priority.

I am grateful to the Pontifical Mission Societies and I encourage them in their indispensable service of promoting missionary animation and formation, as well as channelling material help to young Churches. Through these Pontifical Institutions, communion among the Churches is admirably achieved via the exchange of gifts, reciprocal concern and shared missionary endeavours.

Missionary zeal has always been a sign of the vitality of our Churches (cf. Redemptoris Missio, 2). Nevertheless it must be reaffirmed that evangelization is primarily the work of the Spirit; before being action, it is witness and irradiation of the light of Christ (cf. Redemptoris Missio, 26) on the part of the local Church, which sends men and women beyond her frontiers as missionaries. I therefore ask all Catholics to pray to the Holy Spirit for an increase in the Church's passion for her mission to spread the Kingdom of God and to support missionaries and Christian communities involved in mission, in the front line, often in situations of hostility and persecution.

At the same time I ask everyone, as a credible sign of communion among the Churches, to offer financial assistance, especially in these times of crisis affecting all humanity, to enable the young local Churches to illuminate the nations with the Gospel of charity.

May we be guided in our missionary activity by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of New Evangelization, who brought Christ into the world to be the light of the nations and to carry salvation "to the ends of the earth" (Acts 13:47).

To all I impart my Blessing.

From the Vatican, 29 June 2009


© Copyright 2009 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Zenit: 5 to Be Beatified in October-November
An Offbeat Way To Make Good Hay
Gene Logsdon, Dave Smith, Organic To Be

An intrepid new garden farmer has been asking me lately about the details of making hay. I can tell by his questions that he is very intelligent but has never experienced the culture of the hay field. Until now, it had never occurred to me how difficult the situation has to be for him. I was unceremoniously handed a hay fork about seventy years ago, and in a sense never let go.


Michael Shedlock:

Reflections On Unions

I received many emails regarding Public Support of Unions Collapsing.

Some think that unions would "Save America" and that my stance is "Un-American".

Sorry folks, it is crystal clear that public unions have wrecked many cities. Pension promises have been made that cannot possibly be met without bankrupting everyone else. As for private unions, look at GM, auto parts, and any other collapsed businesses.

Unions benefit the few, at the expense of everyone else. Moreover, a key point that nearly everyone misses is that because of automation, manufacturing jobs are shrinking everywhere, including China. Those jobs are gone and they are not coming back.

In general, union wages are too high, with too many benefits relative, with too few people earning them. It's good for the few employees, it is bad for everyone else.

It's Not How Much One Makes But How Far It Goes

Like it or not (and most don't) this is a global economy. The US cannot make itself into a self-sustaining island. Moreover, the idea that we can pay everyone $35 an hour and compete globally is ludicrous.

As I have said many times, the problem is not wages, but how far wages go. Greenspan and Bernanke have wrecked the US dollar. Financial engineering drove property prices up to insane levels. The US wastes $trillions attempting to be the world's policeman. There are so many student loan programs that the cost of education has soared. This is what happens when one throws money around.

Get rid of those things and the US dollar would soar. Deflation is not a curse but a cure. Wages and prices need to come down.

Finally, there is also a major attitude problem in the US. Too many think they "need" an SUV, granite countertops, a huge house, TVs in every room, Nike shoes, and anything and everything else, all on credit.

Want and need are two different things. The party is over. The Collapse Of The "Ownership Society" marks the end, and tourist towns will be increasingly in trouble.

I don't agree with him regarding unions, globalization, and the living wage, but I'm not surprised by what he writes here.
More from Peter Hitchens on WW2: Anniversary Waltz with Michael White.

Joseph R. Stromberg on Albert J. Nock

Radical Conservative (via AmCon)
Joe Hargrave, Aristotle & Distributism: Part I (h/t to Richard Aleman)
KK reminds us that the St. Anthony of Padua Institute is holding An Evening with G.K. Chesterton -- Dr. John Chuck Chalberg will be portraying Chesterton. (Surprise, surprise, he performed at Baylor this past Spring.)
The Corporate Stranglehold on Education by HENRY A. GIROUX
Is Higher Education in Need of a Moral Bailout?
NLM: Compendium of the Reforms of the Roman Breviary, 1568-1961: Part 1 - The Basic Structure of the Divine Office
Kevin Gutzman responds to Austin Bramwell: The Genuine Article.
Asia Times: A Byzantine vision for Russia
A film on the fall of the Byzantine Empire made by a close confidant of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin offers a rare insight into the thinking of the country's elite. Like the masks actors wear in Venetian plays, the film is a disguise, in this case, for what Russia needs to do to deal with the dangers to its east and to its west. - Dmitry Shlapentokh (Sep 8, '09)
Asia Times: Possible October surprises
The inflation that might be expected in the United States from unprecedented expansionary monetary policies has failed to appear, while huge budget deficits have yet to produce higher interest rates. Far from being signs of a new economic paradigm, this merely means new bubbles are forming. - Martin Hutchinson
SJ Mercury: San Jose cops checking whether garage killing was linked to Dub Show Tour

20th homicide of the year.
Interview with Bob Hirsch - The Stonewalling of Peak Oil
Steve Andrews, ASPO-USA

Robert L. Hirsch is the lead author of a seminal report–Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation & Risk Management—written for the US Dept. of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE, NETL) and released in early 2005. He has remained very active with respect to his concerns about peak oil. ASPO-USA’s Steve Andrews tracked him down last week and posed some questions about the report, then and now. Bob will be a presenter at the ASPO-USA conference in Denver next month (October 11-13).


Monday, September 07, 2009

The Name That Must Not Be Mentioned by Paul Gottfried (A defense of PJB against Victor Davis Hanson, h/t to the Western Confucian)

Mass education covering up for the incompetence of the teacher?

Certainly it is more difficult to cover up one's lack of expertise when one is dealing with students one-on-one rather than as a class of 20 or more. How many teachers rely too much on teacher's workbooks and such in order to give a lesson? How many teachers could give a lesson without one of these ubiquitous teaching aids? It seems easy to lean on a large class size so one doesn't really have to teach and just recite a lesson out of a book. One is quickly tested as to how much one really understands when a child fails to understand the lesson. The teacher must then look for another way to explain the material, or to find the source of the misunderstanding or the appropriate imagery to accompany the explanation.

Exams for teachers may be able to quantify how many grammatical rules a teacher knows, but they cannot test the teacher for the possession of the "arts" -- grammar, rhetoric, logic, and so on, the skills that are needed for writing essays and speaking well. A teacher must master the basics, but not in a haphazard way. Rather, they need to acquire the arts as arts, so that they can re-present their knowledge to their students in an orderly and systematic fashion.
J. H. Huebert, President Obama’s Bad History Lesson
The 2009-10 season of the Boston Early Music Festival:

Saturday, May 1, 8pm
Hespèrion XXI & La Capella Reial de Catalunuya
directed by Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras
It'd be nice to be in Boston to attend that performance. I don't think they'll be returning to Berkeley this academic year... but I should check CAL performances.

Related links:
Paul Gottfried, The Bad Old Days.

I would finally note a point that Alan J. Levine develops exhaustively in Bad Old Times: The Myth of the 1950s (Transaction Publishers, 2008), a brilliant revisionist work on a supposedly repressive decade that its author was not able to have published by a major commercial press, for obvious reasons. Levine shows that in comparison to earlier decades in the twentieth century, the 1950s were a period of enormous upward mobility and major economic and social breakthroughs for ethnic minorities, including blacks. But even more significantly, it was a decade of academic and intellectual freedom relative to what we would later see in the U.S., once the social Left had begun to take over our universities, politics and media.

During the height of the McCarthy era, left-liberals continued to run our elite academic institutions, and they were free to browbeat and even ostracize rightwing dissenters, as happened to Willmoore Kendall, who allowed his contract at Yale to be bought out in 1963 after years of social isolation. In comparison to the PC control that has taken over our increasingly government-run educational system since the 1950s, the McCarthy era coincided with a brief moment of relative intellectual freedom. Moreover, as Levine demonstrates, there was screaming and publicized dissent against McCarthy’s methods throughout the period of his influence in the early 1950s, and by 1954, when McCarthy had gone after the army and the Eisenhower administration, many conservatives turned against him openly and decisively. But what should not be forgotten, Levine cautions, are the grave security problems and Communist infiltration that had given rise to McCarthy’s accusations. Down to the present, the liberal establishment has either denied or obscured the validity of these concerns, while invoking “McCarthyism,” as a catch-all description for all security checks in the postwar period.

Taki, Queen of the Court. Margaret Court was a Catholic and became a Pentecostal? Does she ever have doubts or regrets about her decision?
John Zmirak, What Do Sky-High College Tuitions Really Buy These Days?

Pope Benedict XVI arrives at the shrine of Santa Rosa during a visit to the Italian city of Viterbo September 6, 2009. (Reuters/Daylife)

La Serenissima is featured on the Early Music Show, with a program on Vivaldi.

La Serenissima at Cadogan Hall

La Serenissima - La fida ninfa

Antonio Vivaldi - Concerto fragment for bassoon RV468

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto for violin, 2 cellos, strings & b.c. in C major (RV 561)

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto for violin, strings & b.c. in B flat major (RV 370) - I. Allegro II. Grave

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto for violin, strings & b.c. in B flat major (RV 367) - III. Allegro

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto for 'violino senza cantin', strings & b.c. in D minor (RV 243) - I. II.

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto for 'violino senza cantin', strings & b.c. in D minor (RV 243) - III.
Zenit: Benedict XVI's Homily in Viterbo

Dear Brothers and Sisters, every liturgical assembly is the space of the presence of God. Gathered together for the Holy Eucharist, the disciples of the Lord proclaim that he is risen, that he is alive and the giver of life, and they bear witness that his presence is grace, is a task, is joy.

Let us open our hearts to his word and welcome the gift of his presence! In the first reading the prophet Isaiah (35:4-7) encourages "those whose hearts are frightened" and announces this stupendous novelty, that experience confirms: when the Lord is present, the eyes of the blind are reopened, ears of the deaf hear, the lame "leap" like a stag. Everything is reborn and everything revives because wholesome waters spring up in the desert. The "desert," in its symbolic language, can evoke the dramatic events, difficult situations and solitude that often mark life; the most profound desert is the human heart, when it loses the ability to hear, to speak, to communicate with God and with others. One then becomes blind because he is incapable of seeing reality; he closes his ears to not hear the cry of those who implore his help; his heart is hardened in indifference and egotism. But now -- the prophet announces -- all is destined to change; into the "arid land" of this closed heart a new divine blood will flow. And when the Lord comes, he will say to "the frightened of heart" of every age, "Courage, fear not!" (35:4).

Justin Raimondo weighs in on the discussion of World War II, begun by Pat Buchanan: The “Good War” That Wasn’t. (Or is he just summarizing Buchanan's book?)

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Verde Tea Cafe in Cupertino has closed. (A victim of the recession, or beat out by the competition?) It's been replaced by Bonjour Crepe.

Edit. According to the yelp reviews, it's been closed since the beginning of the year? I suppose I haven't been around Cupertino enough this year to have noticed. The lease was not renewed because of complaints by neighbors...
A.P. U.S.-German rift emerges over Afghan deaths case
When I first heard the news, it was not clear to me why the Germans decided to call in an air strike, instead of engaging the enemy on the ground. The article says that the German commanders thought 120 enemy soldiers were gather together in one place? Would the enemy really do that, knowing that the coalition forces have easy access to airstrikes? Does that really make any sense? Would the pilot have been able to easily identify civilians among the crowd? (Especially if combatants dress like civilians?)

If the German soldiers weren't sure if civilians were in the area, and if the tankers could not move, would it have been that bad to let them go, if they couldn't confront those responsible for stealing the tankers without a risk of civilian casualties?

Daylife photo search
Zenit publishes the Letter Sent to Regnum Christi in US.
Rod Dreher says, "Goodbye, Facebook."

I'm still thinking of doing the same thing, eventually. Or maybe I shouldn't take it so personally when people de-friend me without an explanation. (Most of them have been high school acquaintances.)