Saturday, January 30, 2010

I saw the trailer for Takeshi Kitano's latest; to what sort of Japanese men do his yakuza movies appeal? Are they popular with the young, or the average Japanese salaryman?
Twitch: Takeshi Kitano. OUTRAGE. First Trailer.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Classical Liberal Arts Academy (link from a comment to Mr. Hargrave's post)

Joe Hargrave asks, Middle Ground Between Storck and Sirico? (via The Distributist Review)

I'm not going to enter into the debate between distributism/CST and the Austrian school at this point -- you can go over to the comments at the Distributist Review, where the question of how much practical cooperation there can be between members of these two groups is being addressed. What I do want to say is that for now, I wouldn't want to characterize the development of the Anglo-American political tradition as the Anglo-American Enlightenment. It is the whole question of which understanding fo the tradition is correct: the republican one, or the Lockean one? Furthermore, if there is an agrarian, localist impulse it is to be found in the South and the Southern tradition, rather than that of the North. I am still not clear as to what Dr. Wilson and John C. Calhoun (and others) mean by free trade, and how this fits in with their understanding of political economy, but Dr. Wilson is a believer in free trade (free markets) but it appears that he is not a supporter of big corporations as well. Is it too late for the South to bring its tradition back and live in accordance with it?

Dr. Ralph McInerny has passed away.

Joseph Bottum, Ralph McInerny (1929-2010)

Please say a prayer for this great American Thomist.

Center of Ethics and Culture
Philip Giraldi recommends three Italian movies, including La Scorta. (Have to pick that one up.)
Repomen is another dystopian look at the future, but it takes for granted that cheap energy and improvements in technology will continue. More of a sci-fi dystopian movie? (Trailer.)
Winslow T. Wheeler, The New Pentagon Budget: Spending Even More, Buying Even Less
Zenit: Benedict XVI's "Novel" Traditions -- Interview With Consultor for Pontifical Liturgies
(via NLM)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

From Olive Trees to Overcapacity by Adam K. Webb

From a different perspective, it might have been far better if the more justice-oriented blocs of the traditionalist coalition had won. The red-bereted Carlists, for example, gravitated to Franco’s side more by circumstance than conviction. They combined some eccentric legitimist ideas about the monarchy with a distributist economic vision. Their on-and-off struggles from the nineteenth century, with widespread popular support in the mountains of northern Spain, included a battle to defend local traditions, small scale property ownership, and the village commons. Their piety also made them the preferred branch of Franco’s coalition for the leftists to surrender to during the civil war; prisoners were treated quite chivalrously, while the fascist-inspired parts of the right were more likely to put them up against the wall in the village square.

I have no idea where I might look to find a living Carlist today. Moreover, the Carlists could probably not have redefined modern Spain on their own. But people like them were not few. A somewhat different lineup of forces a few decades ago, or the right kind of fracturing of the governing coalition after the war, and Spain might have been less hemmed in by false choices that have led it into its present dilemma. Whatever we might say in hindsight, though, reopening those kinds of debates will probably not happen within any one country today. It is, at the very least, a debate about the meaning of the “Europe” that we are supposed to be feverishly constructing.
Daily Mail: You CAN get old overnight

Ever feel as if you've aged ten years overnight? New research shows this might not be just paranoia.

While it used to be thought ageing was gradual, scientists now believe we have a tipping point when we suddenly lose the battle to hold back the years.
In a study of 100 Japanese women aged between 22 and 55, scientists from beauty brand SK-II discovered that while 'skin power' - the ability to protect itself from UV exposure and pollution, and to renew and regenerate itself - steadily declined, it went into freefall at 35.

So what causes this tipping point? 'It comes when the skin's ability to maintain elasticity and good levels of collagen and hydration is outweighed by UV damage, exposure to free radicals and stress,' says Laura J. Goodman, senior scientist at P&G Beauty.
This theory is supported by Harley Street plastic surgeon Rajiv Grover. He recently presented the results of a ten-year study of 100 women, in association with Q-Med, the company behind facial fillers such as Restylane.

Every year he measured brow height, cheek volume, the crease that runs from the nostril to the outside of the lip and jowl thickness.

'While some measurements showed a gradual decline, cheek volume - one of the key factors in a youthful appearance - can drop off suddenly, by as much as 35 per cent in a year,' he says.

However, almost all of the patients who saw an ageing spurt had suddenly lost a lot of weight, suffered a serious illness or undergone a stressful experience, such as divorce, bereavement or redundancy.

His advice to anyone wanting to avoid the tipping point? 'Avoid stress, yo-yo dieting, the sun and smoking. It may not keep you forever young, but it'll stop you looking old before your time.'
Russell Arben Fox, Thinking About the States, Again
AOL News: Pope's Self-Flagellation Rooted in Church History

Do Catholic schools remember Divini Illius Magistri?

In Divini illius magistri, Pius XI also writes:

False also and harmful to Christian education is the so-called method of "coeducation." This too, by many of its supporters, is founded upon naturalism and the denial of original sin; but by all, upon a deplorable confusion of ideas that mistakes a leveling promiscuity and equality, for the legitimate association of the sexes. The Creator has ordained and disposed perfect union of the sexes only in matrimony, and, with varying degrees of contact, in the family and in society. Besides there is not in nature itself, which fashions the two quite different in organism, in temperament, in abilities, anything to suggest that there can be or ought to be promiscuity, and much less equality, in the training of the two sexes. These, in keeping with the wonderful designs of the Creator, are destined to complement each other in the family and in society, precisely because of their differences, which therefore ought to be maintained and encouraged during their years of formation, with the necessary distinction and corresponding separation, according to age and circumstances. These principles, with due regard to time and place, must, in accordance with Christian prudence, be applied to all schools, particularly in the most delicate and decisive period of formation, that, namely, of adolescence; and in gymnastic exercises and deportment, special care must be had of Christian modesty in young women and girls, which is so gravely impaired by any kind of exhibition in public.

This is clearly not being observed by "orthodox" Catholic colleges and universities such as Steubenville, Christendom, Thomas Aquinas College, Wyoming Catholic College, Benedictine College, or Ave Maria University (and so on). Older Catholic universities succumbed to the trend initiated by secular or Protestants schools of becoming co-ed a while ago.

Who takes this seriously? Perhaps those schools affiliated with the SSPX, and certain Catholic schools that are not operated through the diocese. Schools run by Opus Dei are also single-sex; those run by the Legionaries admit both boys and girls, but the classrooms are single-sex after a certain grade. I believe all of Opus Dei's schools are at the secondary level, none are at the primary level. However, I believe its colleges and universities are coeducational, as is the case with the Pontifical Universities in Rome.

Coeducation seems to be wrong at least at the secondary level, if we understand that to refer to grades 7 to 12. I remember how distracting girls could be in 5th grade, and there were classmates who had "boyfriends" and "girlfriends" so early. Also, competition and casual familiarity between boys and girls reinforces feminist dogma about gender being a social construct, the destruction of femininity, and conflict between the sexes. (Schools are used increasingly to emasculate young boys as well.) It seems then this should be applied at the primary level as well.

What, then, of the college or university level? Since "raging hormones" do not disappear after one graduates from high school, coeducation should be banned there as well. Supporters might argue that through self-discipline and the help of grace, the distraction of the opposite sex, as well as the temptation to sexual sins, might be lessened, but that misses the other point of Pius XI's instruction, which is concerned with the sort of education that is to be provided to young men and women. Since men and women are not the same, the sort of education they should receive is not the same either. His stricture is not merely prudential, taking cognizance of what happens when young men and women have prolonged contact with one another, but is also about pedagogy, and what is appropriate for men and women.

I do think that much of university education should be done during the teen years as well, so that concerns of "delaying social contact with the opposite sex and opportunities for dating/courtship" could be addressed if colleges and universities (particularly Catholic institutions) got out of the business of offering a remedial education to those who had completed high school, and started replacing high schools instead.

Pius XI on Christian education


Let us not read the encyclical with modern connotations -- we may associate education with modern American public schooling and its purposes, but it is clear from the encyclical that Pius XI is talking of something more than that, of Christian paideia which is intrinsically moral, and not just intellectual or technical or vocational:

7. It is therefore as important to make no mistake in education, as it is to make no mistake in the pursuit of the last end, with which the whole work of education is intimately and necessarily connected. In fact, since education consists essentially in preparing man for what he must be and for what he must do here below, in order to attain the sublime end for which he was created, it is clear that there can be no true education which is not wholly directed to man's last end, and that in the present order of Providence, since God has revealed Himself to us in the Person of His Only Begotten Son, who alone is "the way, the truth and the life," there can be no ideally perfect education which is not Christian education.

Man is created to live in society.

11. Education is essentially a social and not a mere individual activity. Now there are three necessary societies, distinct from one another and yet harmoniously combined by God, into which man is born: two, namely the family and civil society, belong to the natural order; the third, the Church, to the supernatural order.

12. In the first place comes the family, instituted directly by God for its peculiar purpose, the generation and formation of offspring; for this reason it has priority of nature and therefore of rights over civil society. Nevertheless, the family is an imperfect society, since it has not in itself all the means for its own complete development; whereas civil society is a perfect society, having in itself all the means for its peculiar end, which is the temporal well-being of the community; and so, in this respect, that is, in view of the common good, it has pre-eminence over the family, which finds its own suitable temporal perfection precisely in civil society.

13. The third society, into which man is born when through Baptism he reaches the divine life of grace, is the Church; a society of the supernatural order and of universal extent; a perfect society, because it has in itself all the means required for its own end, which is the eternal salvation of mankind; hence it is supreme in its own domain.

14. Consequently, education which is concerned with man as a whole, individually and socially, in the order of nature and in the order of grace, necessarily belongs to all these three societies, in due proportion, corresponding, according to the disposition of Divine Providence, to the co-ordination of their respecting ends.

The rights of parents to educate their children is inviolable and prior to any right of the state.

41. From such priority of rights on the part of the Church and of the family in the field of education, most important advantages, as we have seen, accrue to the whole of society. Moreover in accordance with the divinely established order of things, no damage can follow from it to the true and just rights of the State in regard to the education of its citizens.

42. These rights have been conferred upon civil society by the Author of nature Himself, not by title of fatherhood, as in the case of the Church and of the family, but in virtue of the authority which it possesses to promote the common temporal welfare, which is precisely the purpose of its existence. Consequently education cannot pertain to civil society in the same way in which it pertains to the Church and to the family, but in a different way corresponding to its own particular end and object.

43. Now this end and object, the common welfare in the temporal order, consists in that peace and security in which families and individual citizens have the free exercise of their rights, and at the same time enjoy the greatest spiritual and temporal prosperity possible in this life, by the mutual union and co-ordination of the work of all. The function therefore of the civil authority residing in the State is twofold, to protect and to foster, but by no means to absorb the family and the individual, or to substitute itself for them.

44. Accordingly in the matter of education, it is the right, or to speak more correctly, it is the duty of the State to protect in its legislation, the prior rights, already described, of the family as regards the Christian education of its offspring, and consequently also to respect the supernatural rights of the Church in this same realm of Christian education.

45. It also belongs to the State to protect the rights of the child itself when the parents are found wanting either physically or morally in this respect, whether by default, incapacity or misconduct, since, as has been shown, their right to educate is not an absolute and despotic one, but dependent on the natural and divine law, and therefore subject alike to the authority and jurisdiction of the Church, and to the vigilance and administrative care of the State in view of the common good. Besides, the family is not a perfect society, that is, it has not in itself all the means necessary for its full development. In such cases, exceptional no doubt, the State does not put itself in the place of the family, but merely supplies deficiencies, and provides suitable means, always in conformity with the natural rights of the child and the supernatural rights of the Church.

46. In general then it is the right and duty of the State to protect, according to the rules of right reason and faith, the moral and religious education of youth, by removing public impediments that stand in the way. In the first place it pertains to the State, in view of the common good, to promote in various ways the education and instruction of youth. It should begin by encouraging and assisting, of its own accord, the initiative and activity of the Church and the family, whose successes in this field have been clearly demonstrated by history and experience. It should moreover supplement their work whenever this falls short of what is necessary, even by means of its own schools and institutions. For the State more than any other society is provided with the means put at its disposal for the needs of all, and it is only right that it use these means to the advantage of those who have contributed them.[32]

47. Over and above this, the State can exact and take measures to secure that all its citizens have the necessary knowledge of their civic and political duties, and a certain degree of physical, intellectual and moral culture, which, considering the conditions of our times, is really necessary for the common good.

48. However it is clear that in all these ways of promoting education and instruction, both public and private, the State should respect the inherent rights of the Church and of the family concerning Christian education, and moreover have regard for distributive justice. Accordingly, unjust and unlawful is any monopoly, educational or scholastic, which, physically or morally, forces families to make use of government schools, contrary to the dictates of their Christian conscience, or contrary even to their legitimate preferences.
Note that the Holy Father does not say that state has, first of all, a duty to teach children intellectual virtues or arts, or to give standards governing their instruction. The duties of the state relate primarily to the moral and religious formation of children. They may be educated to a "certain degree of physical, intellectual, and moral culture" for the sake of the common good. I also take this task to be subordinate to and governed by the task of the state in fostering the [moral] training of citizens.

Would Aristotle disagree with Pius XI on any of these points? Would he assign to the family the primary responbility? I think the parts of the Politics about legislation concerning education and the practices that he recommends should not be absolutized, as if only the polis trains the young. These parts need to be balanced with what he says about the father's responsibility to educate his children.

Pius does talk about the education of children in the arts and sciences [intellectual virtues]:

77. Since however the younger generations must be trained in the arts and sciences for the advantage and prosperity of civil society, and since the family of itself is unequal to this task, it was necessary to create that social institution, the school. But let it be borne in mind that this institution owes its existence to the initiative of the family and of the Church, long before it was undertaken by the State. Hence considered in its historical origin, the school is by its very nature an institution subsidiary and complementary to the family and to the Church. It follows logically and necessarily that it must not be in opposition to, but in positive accord with those other two elements, and form with them a perfect moral union, constituting one sanctuary of education, as it were, with the family and the Church. Otherwise it is doomed to fail of its purpose, and to become instead an agent of destruction.

Note that he subordinates the institution of the school with respect to the arts and science to the family and to the Church, and not the state.

Volcker is the man for HCK Liu

Volcker - time for real change
United States President Barack Obama's decision to lean more on ex-Fed chief Paul Volcker reflects the US economy's dismal state and his failure to halt the decline in jobs. Yet full employment is an achievable goal. He could attack financial sector corruption, starting with a look at his own White House. That would be change in which to believe. - Henry CK Liu

Doug Noland: The Volcker Rule

Alas, Fed chief Bernanke wins 2nd term in closest vote.
The Peak Oil Crisis: A Meeting in California
by Tom Whipple

SJ Mercury: Pizarro: Author Michael Pollan packs the Campbell Heritage Theater

"And if you want to hear the program, it'll be broadcast at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 on KLIV-AM (1590) as part of its Commonwealth Club series."
How To Ruin Organic Farming
Gene Logsdon, The Contrary Farmer
This is supposed to be good news. Our dear government has finally recognized that organic farmers are at least as deserving of bribery as all those sinful chemical farmers.

Even though he is a member of the Austrian School, Michael Shedlock seems to judge the SCOTUS decision negatively: "No, I'm Not A Nascar Driver"
Patrick Ford comments on Ron Unz's article, "His-Panic": "Ron Unz's new article at The American Conservative is terrible and dishonest. He deliberately excludes people incarcerated for crimes they were convicted of in Federal Court, instead only looking at people incarcerated for Crimes they were convicted of in State Courts. PC hits the cover at TAC."
Mr. Jeff Culbreath is now blogging at What's Wrong with the World. Great!

Learning Latin

Collins's A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin (which was used at OLGS when I was there, I don't know if that is the case now, since Fr. Brannan, SJ is no longer the teacher of Latin and Greek there) makes a good supplement to Wheelock -- it may be a suitable replacement within the seminary setting. Catholics who wish to have a classical education should make use of both, though. There may be other textbooks which are better than Wheelock, but I'm not a teacher of Latin, so I do not know what those may be. (It's been a while since I've looked at the catalog for Bolchazy-Carducci.) Familia Sancti Hieronymi offers a living language course on tape, but I am inclined to agree with Dr. Fleming that this is not effective or sufficient for most people beyond a certain age. (Fr. Reginald Foster, OCD may disagree.)

If I would make a suggestion -- it would be a useful exercise for students to translate the psalms and texts from the Divine Office (and also the Eucharistic Liturgy) so that they can comprehend what they are praying. (Over-reliance on bilingual missals during Mass is a hindrance, rather than a help.) I personally don't think enough time was spent during the year of spirituality on learning Latin. Things may be different now at OLGS. Is the goal of attaining reading comprehension of liturgical texts too ambitious a goal for first-year Latin? (We're not talking about reading comprehension of more difficult texts like the works of St. Augustine, for example.)
SHOT Show 2010: Kimber and Glock

Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, January 28


St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
SEP entry; IEP.
McInerny Center for Thomistic Studies
Stephen Loughlin's Page
Center for Thomistic Studies

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CNN: Obama calls for 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal

I suppose he's decided that now is the time to keep at least one of his campaign promises, and maybe to try to win back support from one of the groups that gave him support. He is no better than the Republicans when it comes to deferring to the corporations, but when it comes to sexual morality and related moral issues, he is aligned with those who seek to destroy Christian morality.
JMG, This Presupposition of Passivity

It’s not as though this presupposition of passivity is limited to this one topic, either. Show me a social problem in America today and it’s better than even odds that the debate around it focuses on whether it’s caused by circumstances outside of anyone’s control, on the one hand, or by the machinations of some sinister cabal on the other. That such problems might occasionally, or more than occasionally, be the logical consequence of actions actively pursued by the majority of Americans is right off the radar screen of our collective conversation – and if anybody has the bad taste to suggest that unwelcome view, the usual response is to insist that some circumstances or cabal was responsible for making Americans do whatever it was they did.

We are complicit in perpetuating an unjust and unsustainable political economy.

In my experience, there are at least two things essential to any viable community that the vast majority of Americans find completely unacceptable. The first is an accepted principle of authority; the second is a definite boundary between members and nonmembers.

Which reminds me of the use of exile and ostracization as means of punishment. If some do not wish to associate with others, can they really be forced to live together as a community?

I’ ve come to think that this is perhaps the single most important reason why all the enthusiastic talk about communities in the peak oil scene, or for that matter in similar subcultures, has produced so few results. Page through the archives of The Oil Drum, or any other peak oil site that’s been around for a while, and you’ll find plenty of people talking about how “we” ought to imitate the Amish, or medieval monasteries, or some other classic example of resilient community. Yet you won’t find a lot of proposals that such imitations ought to adopt the principles of authority and the very strict boundaries between members and nonmembers that have played so large a role in making these communities as successful as they have been, because very, very few people in our culture are willing to accept the core presupposition that underlies these things – the necessity, especially but not only in times of crisis, of placing the needs of the community ahead of the wants of the individual.

There is no "individualism" without a crisis of virtue. Atomized living (enabled by cheap energy) perpetuates itself across generations, making it difficult for people to acquire the virtues they need to live with others well. People become set in their habits and if there is no emergency, easily give up trying to compromise with others.
Tonight, Michael Pollan appears for Silicon Valley Reads 2010 at the Heritage Theatre in Campbell. His talk starts at 7:30 and is open to the public. (I won't be going tonight, and I don't have his book ready for him to sign, but he will be appearing at the College of San Mateo in May.)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Michael Pollan
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis
The comments at Eirenikon to the news that Fr. Aidan Nichol's Rome and the Eastern Churches is being republished by Ignatius Press prompts this question: "Can ethnic or political identity ever be separated from religious identity?" Can a people divided by religious differences (Orthodox and Catholic) live in peace? In theory one can make a distinction between the good of living together in community and the good of belonging to the same Church, and the former is not reducible to the latter, but people have a strong attachment to the identity they create to define themselves.
Gordon Ramsay in India

Ramsay, instead of dealing with the food in detail, takes every chance to focus on his own being. Every opportunity to remove his shirt is taken. There is one scene where he hunts for fish (a particularly unsuccessful enterprise) in Kerala, another where he is riding on a raft dragged by bulls in muddy water. Machismo, in such displays, comes first. He has little to say about the complex interaction of spices and the extraordinary world of food he encounters. He has nothing to say about the cultural values, which he mocks with boorish intensity. One scene is particularly jarring. In a display of childish intensity, he resorts to embracing the meditative ball in a pool. The other attendants, who never touch it, look on in bemusement.

Gordon's Great Escape
PCR, Rule by the Rich

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Via Kevin Lee: Citizens United v. FEC in the Corporate Blawgosphere
Dr. Helen interviews Lawrence Kane, author of The Little Black Book of Violence - What Every Young Man Needs To Know About Fighting. (PJTV)

YMAA page
RNS: At 88, nun keeps pushing for controversial pope’s sainthood (via NOR)
John Robb's entry on Carroll Quigley's The Evolution of Civilizations reminded me of John Bagot Glubb. Quigley is an advocate of decentralization but a democrat as well. What is his understanding of democracy?

(A pdf copy of the book can be found here.)
Zenit: What a Theologian-Pope Tells Theology (Part 1); Part 2.
EB: Richard Heinberg: Peak Coal and Blackout (book review)
Damien Perrotin (translated from French by Laura Bennett),
A more accurate statement than "As a teacher, I have learned a lot from my students" is "Working as a teacher has made me realize how ignorant I actually am, and how poor my own education was." The former statment is one of most annoying and obnoxious platitudes that I've had to hear repeated over and over, even if it is popular among Uhmericans and liberals.
The Thinking Housewife takes a look at what's going on over at The Spearhead, crticizing some of those who leave comments there: Misogyny Unleashed.

What should one expect from what often turns into a male gripe session for some? Is this ok when women do it? Who doesn't lament bad experiences with members of the opposite sex, looking for a sympathetic ear and validation? Who isn't prone to exaggeration and bad generalizations when hurt and angry? No doubt there are lot of men posting who are still angry at their ex-wives and girlfriends. If they were treated badly, especially if children were involved, who can blame them?

As for the purpoted "misogyny"--what can men do in response to bad behavior by women and to feminism? Some of the answers given by men online:
1. There is the extreme solution, taken by some, of shunning women completely.

2. Socializing only with those women who meet certain standards, and judging promiscuous women appropriately.

3. Pushing for political change and a reform of legislation so that divorce laws, etc. are more fair.

4. The PUA strategy of using women, and waging this sort of war on womankind so that they reform their behavior (or to have fun until the party ends when society falls).

Let's just look at #1 and #4 -- they may be some hatred of women there, but if most men, especially those who are in demand by women, were to choose one of these two roads would there be many feminists left down the road? I'm not looking just at the failure to propogate an ideology due to the lack of reproductive success resulting from men not marrying women (as many single woman may still turn to artificial insemination to have children, or one-night stands), but the loneliness of older women may lead younger women to question their life strategies. I don't think this is the likely outcome, but I don't think any "secular" solution will be effective. (Even the changing of misandrist laws is not sufficient to discredit feminism as an ideology that feeds on pride.)
Fr. Finigan: Eastern Churches must face East
Myths of Recovery By MICHAEL HUDSON
Which Economy is Obama Talking About?

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Gift of the West by Robert Louis Wilken

the book
Thomas Storck, Is Thomas Woods a Dissenter? A Further Reply, Pt. 4
Has Obama Sold Out to Big Ag?
How Water Hogs Hijacked Obama's Delta Science Team
Judges' Shock Ruling Okays Fantasist's "Repressed Memories" Fraud

[T]he commonwealth is the last sanctuary for sex fantasists keen to lock someone up, perhaps for life, on no evidence at all.
On January 15 the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts distinguished itself as the last court in America to accept, in the face of voluminous research and scientific opinion to the contrary, repressed memory (also called massive amnesia, dissociative amnesia, recovered memory) as valid evidence in a criminal prosecution.

It did so in its ruling in the case of Paul Shanley, the defrocked Catholic priest who in 2005 was convicted of raping and otherwise molesting a child on nothing more than the tearful “recovered memories” of the now-grown accuser. Shanley had become the eye of the panic storm over priestly abuse that swept through Boston and then the nation in 2002. The accuser, Paul Busa, was one of three young men who all had the same personal injury lawyer; all went to the same therapists; all talked together at length; all described nearly identical heinous assaults occurring in the same place and time when they were little boys in the same religious education class; all, miraculously, experienced total amnesia after each assault, so that they went innocently with the priest to be raped again and again every Sunday for years; and all, even more miraculously, recovered their memories of these agonies at the same time, after The Boston Globe decided to make Shanley its No. 1 “depraved priest”.

They also all were plaintiffs in a civil suit that the Archdiocese of Boston settled, before Shanley’s trial and against its lawyers’ advice, thereby collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for their claimed suffering. Busa pocketed $500,000. His friend Gregory Ford, the first to recover his memories and, until he was discredited, the poster child of priests’ victims, got at least $1.4 million, the biggest individual payment made by the Catholic Church in Boston in the midst of the scandal. All three, along with another man, who was represented by the same personal injury lawyer, made essentially the same claims but had been in a different class as a kid, were complainants in the criminal indictment against Shanley brought by the then-Middlesex County DA, Martha Coakley.
Supremely Swindled, By ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
Corporate Power and the Deregulation of Campaign Finance
Michael Hudson, Will Obama Put Muscle Into the White House's New Populist Play?
AmCon: His-Panic, by Ron Unz

Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.

Reaction at CHT.
American Conservative: Hometown Hero by Susan McWilliams
Robert Nisbet’s conservatism of community against the state
Sandro Magister, "The Pope Is the First Among the Patriarchs." Just How Remains to Be Seen (via Fr. Z)

Is there more to femininity than nature?

The girls, especially the kindergarteners, at school make me wonder when and how they lose their girliness and become typical Uhmerican women. The causes behind the transformation, feminist indoctrination within the schools and without, bad example from older women, and the unchecked formation of bad habits. (How is a tomboy made?)

It seems to me that there is more to being feminine than being female or having female characteristics (high-pitched voice, emotional and verbal expressiveness, and so on). There are several teachers at a certain school that can be said to have girly voices and expressions, and yet their demeanor is more masculine than feminine. One teacher, talking about her recent injury and surgery, remarked that she used to box and could do 250 pushups. I don't know what to think about the ability to do pushups; she found boxing to be a relaxing activity. (I forgot her exact words.)

There is some variability in the sort of bodies and temperaments we are born with. Some women may be more energetic and impulsive (the physical foundation for the development of a tomboy), while for other women, restraint and a tranquil disposition are natural. But what men see as "feminine" is not merely due to nature, but reinforced through training and practice -- how a woman handles herself, her movements, how she speaks to and with others and what she says, the manner in which she treats others, her reactions. Just because some women have a natural disposition to act in a "feminine" manner does not mean that not all women cannot learn to act similarly. And even a natural disposition should be raised up through the acquisition of virtue, and so learning does not destroy nature but perfects it. It used to be that deportment was one quality which separated ladies from women who were less educated.

Feminists would deny many of women's desires (and interests) are really different from those of men. Virtue is necessary for the right ordering of desire (and the actions that issue forth from them). Still, as Aristotle rightly points out, the virtue of a woman is not the same as that of a man.

Feminists who conform their behavior to their radical ideology, instead of being ladies with their proper virtues, give men the impression of being weak, pathetic attempts to be men. Rather than redirecting male energy through grace, gentleness and supportive persuasion, more and more Uhmerican women try to do it through direct confrontation and conflict. Maybe they should learn taiqi.

Two posts from the Thinking Housewife on Sarah Palin: Sarah the Feminist and "The World is Her Oyster."

And so-called American conservatives continue to believe that she is their ideal politician? "We've all become feminists."

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Jero: American Enka Singer 1 ジェロ

Jero: American Enka Singer 2 ジェロ

Jero: American Enka Singer 3 ジェロ

He's going to be in San Francisco on March 28.
official website
Jero (ジェロ): US Tour comes to SF
JCCCNC Events, this January - March


Moriyama Aiko 森山愛子
Ilya Somin: Should People Acting through Corporations be Denied Constitutional Rights Because Corporations are “State-Created Entities”?
Photos from Phase XX of the construction of the OLGS chapel.

It would be nice if it had more of a Ravenna Romanesque appearance, with mosaics. I don't see a problem with a rood screen for a Romanesque sacred space; it shouldn't be limited to Gothic (or neo-Gothic) alone, though obviously the rood screen wouldn't be in a Gothic style. Is there any possibility of the Roman rite going old Roman or Byzantine with respect to sacred architecture, altar design, and so on? It doesn't look like it will...

This gallery for the Sisters of Bethlehem Monastery is no longer available to the public.

The Monastic Family of Bethlehem of the Assumption of the Virgin and of St. Bruno
Sisters Of Bethlehem In Livingston Manor - Phatmass Phorum
Orthfully Catholic: Monastic Family of Bethlehem of the Assumption of the Virgin and of St. Bruno

Amidst the Mystery ~chant from the desert

FSSP - North American District
Thomas Gordon Smith Architects
SIG Sauer - 2010 SHOT Show - AR15.Com

Springfield Armory Display.wmv
Brussles Journal: The Rotten Heart Of The Union
IGN review of Legion.

In movies, it's usually the Devil who comes to Earth seeking to bring about Armageddon, but in Legion it's God who decides to destroy mankind. That's the premise of this apocalyptic thriller, a sort of cross between Assault on Precinct 13 and End of Days. The Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany), having defied a vengeful God, comes to Earth to save humanity. Why does God want to smite us all again (the first time was the Great Flood, remember)? Because after centuries of war and hatred, He's finally grown tired of our s**t. Michael, however, hasn't lost faith in humanity.
(Apple trailer)

What does God need an army of angels for, if He wanted to destroy humanity? Does the movie, like Supernatural or Prophecy, depict angels as material beings? Even the IGN reviewer criticizes its movie for its lack of sense in portraying God. (The worst of all possible interpretations of the "God of the Old Testament"? Vengeful, petty, without compassion, possibly incompetent and not omniscient. Why bother to create human beings if we couldn't live up to His expectations?)

We have the absent God in Supernatural. Has Hollywood hit a new low in its attacks on God with Legion?