Saturday, April 03, 2010

Friday, April 02, 2010

Arvo Pärt, The Passion of Christ according to St. John

part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Selections from Counterpunch, April 2, 2010

Pam Martens, The Guys Who Got It Wrong: Obama's Economic Brain Trust

Afshin Rattansi, Meet Lt. Col. Chris Gough: Killing by Drone and Proud of It

Anthony DiMaggio, The Afghanistan Paradox

Bruce E. Levine, Drugged Warriors: Sharp Rise in U. S. Military Psychiatric Drug Use ... and Suicides
Sandro Magister, Water, Bread, Wine, Oil. The Four Elements of the New World
The pope explains Christian cosmology using the symbols of the sacraments. The oil of peace, but also of combat. Against the old and new empires that lift up injustice as law
Zenit: Meditations for Good Friday Via Crucis
Penned by Cardinal Ruini, Pope's Vicar for Rome
CNA: Satan behind media attacks on the Pope, asserts Italian exorcist

Does Fr. Amorth risk discrediting himself through too much media exposure and pointing the finger at the devil as the cause of a lot of bad events?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Tod Brilliant, Obama Administration Cops to Likelihood of Looming Global Oil Shortage: PCI Requests Transparency of Energy Policy
Zenit: Papal Homily at Last Supper Mass
"Truly You Are a God Who Is Close, You Are a God-With-Us"

During my stay in Kentucky I have once again been impressed by Southern politesse. While it is not always accompanied by genuine affability, it certainly is much better than what one finds in Boston or California. I found the bailiff who was present during the hearing to be friendly and jovial. He is what I imagine a typical older Southern man to be like. And then there's the accent... At first thought, learning Southern manners might be easy, but slipping in and out of different codes of conduct, both word and deed, seems more like play-acting than a genuine way of life. Shouldn't Southern manners require more of a commitment and training? A more conscious cultivation involving the establishing of a real relationship with others?

Cadiz reminds me of Front Royal. What sort of local economy exists in those two areas? There isn't much to "downtown" Cadiz. It's a rather depressing sight. (And this afternoon, the air smelled very bad for some reason, like something was burning. Pollution?) Is it the case that obesity is more prevalent in the South? The Local Harvest search results for Cadiz seems to reveal a bigger market for local agriculture than I had expected. Then there are the bad hairdos... what else could better represent the supposed cultural backwardness of the South? (Trailer parks and white trash.) Still, does the greatest hope for traditional conservatism really lie in the South? (See Dr. Wilson's latest, It’s True What They Say About Dixie.)

I was considering visiting the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site, but the monument isn't open yet. Once again I won't be able to see much of Nashville, even though I am flying in and out of its airport. Station Inn and Layla's Bluegrass Inn might be of interest. Historic and Civil War sites too. Where is Julianne Hough these days?

Rebellion pokes fun at Chronicles -- or is the author of that post exhibiting a more hostile attitude?
Jeremy Beer, George A. Panichas, RIP
The Brussels Journal: The Invention of the Violin and the Spanish Guitar

In Spain, two new fretted string instruments related to the lute emerged in late medieval times and spread around the Western world. These were the vihuela (Spanish guitar) and the viol. Our modern, classical guitar is a direct descendant of the vihuela. Because it was plucked it was often called vihuela de mano (hand guitar). Related to it was a Spanish instrument called the vihuela de arco (bowed guitar), better known as the viol. The viol was developed in Spain in the late 1400s. It had six strings and was fretted and tuned like the lute and vihuela, but it was bowed, not plucked. It came in different sizes and was played with the instrument resting on the lap and legs. It is often called by its Italian name viola da gamba (leg viol). Having entered Italy from Spain, it quickly spread from there throughout Western Europe.

The violin is slightly younger than the viol and emerged in Renaissance Italy. It was portable and held off the shoulder. Its small size caused it to produce higher pitches, and because of its brighter sound it was often preferred for dance music. Throughout the sixteenth century, the viol was considered the aristocrat of string instruments whereas the violin was more low-class, appropriate for semi-professional musicians to play for dancing in taverns. Not until the seventeenth century did it emerge as the dominant bowed string instrument. The violin family now consists of the violin, viola and cello along with the double bass. Italian instrument builders developed the art of violin-making to a peak that has never been surpassed.

Violins appeared after 1520 in northern Italian towns such as Mantua, Ferrara and above all Cremona. Antonio Stradivari (ca. 1644-1737) from Cremona was the most prominent member of a renowned family of instrument-makers. He is often known to the general public under the Latinized version of his name, Stradivarius, or the colloquial “Strad.” He was possibly a pupil of Nicolò Amati (1596-1684), who came from another Italian dynasty of violin-makers.
John Robb: JOURNAL: Militia Fantasies
The arrest of a heavily armed Christian militia in Michigan, beyond what it tells us about where the US is headed, provides a great example of how NOT to conduct insurgency. Lots of small unit training (weapons and camouflage), a Web site (including YouTube videos) that states intent/shows preparations, and the planning of fantasy attacks on police with IEDs will result in one thing: rapid arrest/death. It's just pathetic.
NLM: Anima Christi, new (to me) chant edition
Catholic Light: Pray, don't prey

The Archdruid Report: Riddles in the Dark

The Archdruid Report: Riddles in the Dark
World facing oil pricing uncertainty - "triple digit" oil predicted
Matthew Wild, Peak Generation
At an International Energy Forum meeting in Cancun, Mexico, the world’s energy ministers and oil producers are trying to agree on ways to prevent oil price spikes in the immediate future – although at least one economist is predicting “triple-digit” oil later this year.


Pope Benedict XVI, left, prays before blowing inside an amphora containing holy oil, center, during a Chrism Mass, in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Thursday, April 1, 2010. Benedict XVI urged priests to oppose violence as he led a ceremony dedicated to the priesthood Thursday, marking a Holy Week with his church buffeted by clergy sex abuse scandals. The Chrism Mass marks the start of the Easter celebrations. (AP/Daylife)

Pope Benedict XVI blows inside an amphora containing holy oil during a Chrism Mass, in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Thursday, April 1, 2010. Benedict XVI urged priests to oppose violence as he led a ceremony dedicated to the priesthood Thursday, marking a Holy Week with his church buffeted by clergy sex abuse scandals. The Chrism Mass marks the start of the Easter celebrations. (AP/Daylife)

Fr. Z: Benedict XVI’s Chrism Mass sermon: “In the lamp of our lives, the oil of mercy should never run dry.”

And from Zenit: On the Paschal Mystery
"Let Yourselves Be Enthralled by Him"

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

When I arrived at Lake Barkley Lodge, I asked my friend if what I saw was the reason why she repeatedly asked me if I minded staying here. The lake does not not seem to have any life, Spring has not come yet for the trees. The bridges to the second-floor rooms seem rickety, and the rooms themselves could do with some interior renovation. They are rather olb and remind me of a half-converted cabin. The view from the sundeck or the marina at night reminds me of Crystal Lake. My friend's lawyer said that the only people who stay at the lake are "newlyweds and half-deads." There are certainly a lot of senior citizens here.

The court hearing was today. The judge seemed sympathetic. He wants to arrive at a decision by the end of April.
Joel Salatin And Polyface Farm: Stewards of Creation, Annie Corrigan, Eartheats
(via EB)
The trailer for Clash of the Titans reveals much about the movie. I thought it might be an impious,even if the teenage angst against the gods is made to seem justified. AICN has two reviews of the movie which confirm my fears about the movie.
Pitching Manure
Gene Logsdon,
As a boy and younger man, I rejoiced when tractor front end loaders and skid loaders came into vogue to lift the manure and relieve us of long hours of manual labor. But there is something to be said for forking manure by hand. For some reason, it inspires philosophical meditation if you are alone, and philosophical conversation if you have company.

The Thinking Housewife: A Man and Woman Dancing

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Perspective on Ag 2.0 Silicon Valley
Jason Bradford, Farmland LP
I attended the Agriculture 2.0 Silicon Valley conference co-hosted by New Seed Advisors, U.S. Venture Partners and Spin Farming...The agenda was much larger and diverse than in New York, and given the level of interest I expect more events are being planned. The following are some notes and thoughts that reflect the highlights of the day for me.

That Which May Be Gained: A Return to Scale, Community, and Morality
Dan Allen, Energy Bulletin
Bound by the tangled cord of its own sins, Industrial Civilization sits immobilized -- with the gun of reality pressed to its temple. Monumental changes are imminent – probably (hopefully) a swirling mix of both bad and good. In order to maintain our present sanity and maximize chances for the best possible futures, we need to both envision and embody the positive change we wish to see in the coming post-carbon era. As such, I suggest this: a return to life at a proper ‘human’ scale, the reclamation of functional human communities, and the widespread internalization and application of a true morality.
Hidden History of Cooperation in America by Kathy McMahon (original)
Wage Slaves
Today, few people understand the meaning of my tee-shirt that reads: “Work is the blackmail of survival.” Today, we understand that “work” means “employment.” This would not have been so two hundred years ago.

For the American living before 1800, a ‘wage slave’ was a mere step removed from an actual slave. To be an employee was one step above indentured servitude. You did it when necessity demanded, but only for as short a period of time as possible, and then returned to become more independent—your own boss.

The story of how we became ‘wage slaves,’ and the multiple revolts against this station, is a fascinating one, and part of our ‘untold history.’

In 1800, few worked as wage-earners. By 1870, over half the workforce were employees; by 1940, over 80% worked for someone else and in 2007, 92% accepted a salary. If increasing wages don’t satisfy us, it is, perhaps, because deep within our souls we recognize the fact that ‘wage slave’ is a ‘low dog’ position, a vulnerable and dependent state.

A wage slave is “someone who feels compelled to work in return for wages in order to survive.” The notion that wage work is coerced by social conditions, and is actually a form of slavery, is a notion that arose early in the transformation of wage-earning, 1836, as women in Lowell became millworkers.

From that point onward, “early American workers planned to accomplish their liberation from wage slavery by substituting for it a system based on cooperative work and by constructing parallel institutions that would supersede the institutions of the wage system.” Curl p.3

By the 1880’s the population had reached 50 million, and by 1886, 1 in 12 wage-earners over 15 years old (1 million) were members of the Knights of Labor. Their goal was not simply to improve working conditions and wages, but “to raise members out of wage slavery entirely.” Opposition to wages took the form of protective and mutual –aid organizations, including unions, cooperatives, and parties.
NLM: Heiligenkreuz Abbey and the Cause of Abbot Karl Barunstorfer

Select Counterpunch articles, March 30, 2010

Ralph Nader, When the Banks Own the Congress
Alan Farago, An Economy Without Firewalls
Laura Carlsen, Juarez, Murder Capital of the World
Zenit: Homily at Mass for Pope John Paul II
"His Was a Suffering Lived to the End for Love and With Love"
Life after RC: Radio interview (an interview Alvaro Corcuera here).

Monday, March 29, 2010

GQ: A Dagger to the CIA, by Robert Baer

Welmer focuses on one aspect of the story in particular: Affirmative Action CIA Agent gets Herself and Others Blown Up.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Second Stringers

I heard them perform some music on a local Nashville? radio station tonight... their FB group. They are performing on Saturday night, at Vanderbilt:

Ingram Hall, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University
Saturday, April 4, 2009 from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm

The concert is free. Unfortunately I won't be able to attend, since I should be flying back to CA for Easter Vigil.

One of the members of Second Stringers is Eva Walsh:

Eva Walsh: MySpace and CD Baby
Sandro Magister, Legionaries. The "Nomenklatura" That Must Disappear (via Life after RC)
The collapse of journalism / The journalism of collapse
Robert Jensen, School of Journalism, University of Texas
The first step in crafting a new narrative for journalists is to reject technological fundamentalism and deal with a harsh reality: In the future we will have to make due with far less energy, which means less high-technology and a need for more creative ways of coping. Journalists have to tell stories about what that kind of creativity looks like. They have to reject the gee-whizzery of much of the contemporary science and technology reporting and emphasize the activities of those with a different worldview.

Zenit: Benedict XVI's Palm Sunday Homily
"The Cross Is Part of the Ascent Toward the Height of Jesus Christ"
If I wake up, I should be flying into Nashville today...