Saturday, June 19, 2010


Their website.
Fabius Maximus: “Most scientific papers are probably wrong” – New Scientist

The study was published in 2005 -- I doubt things have changed much in 5 years. The use of statistics to achieve probable reasoning, coupled with possible fallacies--they may affirm that it is impossible to achieve certitude, but then they arrogantly claim the next best-thing, without the awareness of what is required by logic.

Lost little sheep.

Living simply: Finding real happiness
Cecile Andrews, Energy Bulletin

We’re caught in a vicious circle: The more we’re concerned with money, the less time we have for others (making and managing money takes time). When we’re mainly concerned with money, others are our adversaries — we’re all competing for limited resources.

From the essay:

But wealth is not the central ingredient of happiness, and happiness has been on the decline. What does bring real happiness? What truly benefits people and the planet?

‘Hierarchy of needs’

Even though there’s much new research on happiness, it’s interesting to look at the work of Abraham Maslow, who, in 1943, explored what he called our “hierarchy of needs.”

First is the need for survival: We need air, water, food and shelter.

Next comes safety needs: We need to feel safe and protected.

Next are the social needs. We need family, friends, community and the public good.

Then come esteem needs: We need others’ respect, as well as our own self-respect. We need to use our own unique abilities for goals and a sense of challenge.

Finally, self-actualization — becoming the self you truly are. This involves a commitment to a higher purpose, finding a way of making the world a better place.

Maslow called these needs because if they are not fulfilled, there are negative consequences. Obviously, if a baby doesn’t get food, it will die; but if it doesn’t get love, it will grow into a violent, cruel person. If we don’t have respect, we will lack faith in ourselves and treat others with disdain. If we don’t find a purpose, our lives are diminished, and we become selfish and greedy, not caring about the common good.

But Maslow’s pyramid is a little deceptive. Each of those levels have something in common: social ties. Without other people we can’t survive, feel safe, feel respected or even feel actualized. It all involves people. But as I’ve said many times in this column, social cohesion has been severely undermined. Trust has declined dramatically; incivility haunts us.

There are many reasons — in particular, we work too many hours, and we don’t have time to come together. But probably the most important reason we’re so isolated is that we don’t understand the great need for social connections. We have always been a culture that admired self-reliance and individuality.

And because we do not realize that true security lies in other people, we have turned to wealth and possessions for a false security.

No religion, no God. The goods are external goods; there is no sense of happiness as an activity as in Aristotle's eudaimonism, except in the last good, "self-actualization," which is rather vague. Are inauthentic forms of self-actualization? Yes. Do we need rules to aid us attain true self-actualization? Yes. And is God more than a higher purpose? Yes.

Would liberals ever go back to the ancients (or the medievals) to see if they could learn from them? Probably not.

The author's website.

Gross National Happiness

Wine and local resilience, part 2 (original)
Don Plummer, The Trillium Patch

In the first post of this series, I mentioned my initial encounter with winemaking and wine drinking on an island in Lake Erie, after which I read anything and everything I could find about wine. One of the first books I read was Leon D. Adams' The Wines of America, a book long since out of print. While reading it, I was very surprised to learn that Ohio was once the leading wine producing state!

Rod Dreher, Pssst ... drill, baby, drill

mdavid writes:

Three of the projects were approved with waivers exempting them from detailed studies of their environmental impact -- the same waiver the MMS granted to BP for the ill-fated well that's been fouling the Gulf with crude for two months.

"Environmental impact"? This is a joke. What is needed is engineering analysis. This spill occurred due to an engineering mistake - the last thing we need is a bunch of environmental "experts" who don't have a clue about anything weighing in and putting valuable resources into political bribes and favors these environmental regulations are all about. Yes, the regulations that effect engineering are absolutely needed. The rest is all bunk - I know, I've been involved with drilling for over a decade and know all about how this game is played. It's a shakedown by the environmental lobby who offer zip to help. Of course, the public is ignorant and believes the media, which also knows zip.

Obama said he was ``closing the loophole that has allowed some oil companies to bypass some critical environmental reviews.'

He has no choice. Want to wreck the economy more than he already has? Stop deepwater drilling and find out. Oil is one of the few things America still makes, and we still don't make enough oil and have to import today...and we are in massive debt due to progressive government spending. Somebody needs to make the money for all the new taxes. Obama is screwed - he has to drill. It's sort of fun to watch big talkers like Obama squirm when reality bites.

"Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do" -- Wendell Berry.

I remember reading Berry's classic story of him using a backhoe...and elsewhere how he "needs" a car to "be of service" to other people...etc, etc, etc. Bottom line: everyone is yapping about how terrible the gulf spill is. Sure, it's bad. But they also opin how it's all the other guy's fault. That's what Berry is all about in this quote - it's the pols, never the user. Well, if you fly, or drive, go ahead and look in the mirror. We are the cause. There is simply no way to avoid environmental "impact" when living on the earth and consuming. Oil actually has one of the lowest footprints of any energy source. The only real way to make a lower "impact" is to use less. Something all these self-described environmentalists don't seem to want to do (see: Gore).

Road No. 1

From Chosun Ilbo:

So Ji-sub, Kim Ha-neul and Yoon Kye-sang (from left) pose at a press event for their new drama "Road No.1" in Seoul on Friday.

Kim Ha-neul

It's been a while since I've dropped by Yahoo KR. There are undoubtedly more photos there.

Twitch Film has a review of Restrepo


The results are both fascinating and unexpected. Interspersed with the in-field footage are candid interviews of the soldiers taken from their base in Italy, which reveal a depth to their personalities that strongly encourages us to identify (who wouldn't be disgusted, for example, on hearing that one's next posting would be in an area notorious for its high casualty rate, with an infrastructure so skeletal that one would be forced to burn one's own faeces in order not to alert the enemy?) On the other hand, there are moments when the soldiers discuss their targets with such an alarming lack of humanism that one is inclined to view them as little more than black-hearted killing machines; until, that is, one recognizes that it is this mind-blocking mechanism that is the very proof of their humanity.

More than anything else, the film succeeds in placing us on the level of the soldiers, and as such, it falls more comfortably under the heading of "necessary viewing" than "entertainment." During their one-year deployment to the remote outpost named after a fallen member of their detachment, their struggles are as much taken up with the fight against long stretches of boredom - or winning the hearts and minds of the local villages - as they are with the detection and elimination of a largely invisible enemy. Indeed, some of the most affecting scenes involve watching the soldiers interact with the village elders, from the weekly "shura" that the captain holds to address their concerns, to the large commotion caused by the inadvertent death of a cow.

More reviews at Rotten Tomatoes.
Theodore Dalrymple, Sympathy Deformed
Misguided compassion hurts the poor.

To sympathize with those who are less fortunate is honorable and decent. A man able to commiserate only with himself would surely be neither admirable nor attractive. But every virtue can become deformed by excess, insincerity, or loose thinking into an opposing vice. Sympathy, when excessive, moves toward sentimental condescension and eventually disdain; when insincere, it becomes unctuously hypocritical; and when associated with loose thinking, it is a bad guide to policy and frequently has disastrous results. It is possible, of course, to combine all three errors.

Friday, June 18, 2010

"You're not as good as you think you are."

That was Chef Gordon Ramsay's remarks to one of the contestants (who thought he was ready to be the leader of the blue team because he already had the requisite cooking skills) last week on Hell's Kitchen. It's also appropriate for those who think they do not need religion or God for moral rectitude.
Windsor Castle & St. George's Chapel & The Order of the Garter

Choir of St George's Chapel, Windsor - Magnificat

2010 Order of the Garter Service

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: A general view of the procession of The Order of the Garter Service on June 14, 2010 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England. The Order of the Garter is the most senior and the oldest British Order of Chivalry and was founded by Edward III in 1348. The patron saint of the Order is St George (patron saint of soldiers and also of England) and the spiritual home of the Order is St George's Chapel, Windsor. Every knight is required to display a banner of his arms in the Chapel, together with a helmet, crest and sword and an enamelled stallplate. These 'achievements' are taken down on the knight's death and the insignia are returned to the Sovereign. The stallplates remain as a memorial and these now form one of the finest collections of heraldry in the world. (Getty/Daylife)

Britain's Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh (R) take part in the procession of the Order of the Garter in Windsor, London June 14, 2010. The order was founded by King Edward III in 1348 and includes the Prince of Wales and 24 knights. (Reuters/Daylife)

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: Tourists watch as Queen Elizabeth II (R) walks in procession to attend The Order of the Garter Service on June 14, 2010 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England. (Getty/Daylife)

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh look on during the procession of The Order of the Garter Service on June 14, 2010 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England. The Order of the Garter is the most senior and the oldest British Order of Chivalry and was founded by Edward III in 1348. The patron saint of the Order is St George (patron saint of soldiers and also of England) and the spiritual home of the Order is St George's Chapel, Windsor. Every knight is required to display a banner of his arms in the Chapel, together with a helmet, crest and sword and an enamelled stallplate. These 'achievements' are taken down on the knight's death and the insignia are returned to the Sovereign. The stallplates remain as a memorial and these now form one of the finest collections of heraldry in the world. (Getty/Daylife)

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: Prince William (C) during the procession of The Order of the Garter Service on June 14, 2010 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England.(Getty/Daylife)

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: (L-R) Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince William and the Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex during the procession of The Order of the Garter Service on June 14, 2010 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England. (Getty/Daylife)

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: Former British Prime Minister John Major during the procession of The Order of the Garter Service on June 14, 2010 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England. (Getty/Daylife)

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C) walks to attend The Order of the Garter Service in the grounds at to St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, Windsor, southern England on June 14, 2010. (Getty/Daylife)

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: Queen Elizabeth II attends The Order of the Garter Service on June 14, 2010 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England. (Getty/Daylife)

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: Prince William, (L) and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex attend The Order of the Garter Service on June 14, 2010 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England. (Getty/Daylife)

Britain's Prince William attends The Order of the Garter Service, at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, Windsor, southern England on June 14, 2010. (Getty/Daylife)

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending The Order of the Garter Service on June 14, 2010 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England. (Getty/Daylife)

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (L), Prince Andrew, Duke of York (C) and Prince William leave after attending The Order of the Garter Service on June 14, 2010 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England. (Getty/Daylife)

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: Prince William (L) and Prince Andrew, Dukle of York leave after attending The Order of the Garter Service on June 14, 2010 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England. (Getty/Daylife)

Members of the British royal family attend the annual Garter ceremony at St George's Chapel in Windsor, England, Monday, June, 14, 2010, with from left, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie Countess of Wessex, Prince William, and Prince Andrew. The Most Noble Order of the Garter is Britain's oldest and highest level of chivalry which was formed by King Edward III in 1348, and is limited to twenty-four members, who attend with the sovereign at Windsor every June, when new members would be introduced at the service in St Georges Chapel. (AP/Daylife)

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh leave following The Order of the Garter Service on June 14, 2010 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England. (Getty/Daylife)

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaves after The Order of the Garter Service, at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, Windsor, southern England on June 14, 2010.(Getty/Daylife)

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: Princess Anne, Princess Royal leaves following The Order of the Garter Service on June 14, 2010 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England. (Getty/Daylife)

Msgr. Guido Marini: "The Authentic Spirit of the Liturgy in Roman Usage"

Pope Benedict XVI, at left, holds a candle during the Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, April 3, 2010. At right, Bishop Guido Marini. (AP/Daylife) [The caption is incorrect--I believe Msgr. Marini is not yet a bishop.]

NLM: Msgr. Guido Marini: "The Authentic Spirit of the Liturgy in Roman Usage" (scribd)

Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (full March 2010 issue of The Priest)
From Zenit:
Pope's Q-and-A at End of Priestly Year (Part 4)
"We Should Celebrate, Live, Meditate Always on the Eucharist" [2010-06-18]

The Priest's Preparation and Thanksgiving for Mass
Vatican Aide Encourages Prayer Before and After Liturgy [2010-06-18]

Papal Address at Rome's Diocesan Conference
"The Sunday Eucharist Is the Testimony of Charity" [2010-06-17]

Pope's Q-and-A at End of Priestly Year (Part 3)
"Celibacy ... Is a Great Sign of Faith" [2010-06-17]

Is Paul Craig Roberts back?

Progressives Want "Direct Action" But a Disarmed Public

Every Civil Liberty is Reduced to the Second Amendment

Even if progressives could realize that the Bush-Cheney-Obama Police State was a far more dangerous entity than Americans permitted to own pistols and semi-automatic rifles, no American is permitted to own the weapons that the oppressive government has. Perhaps if the sheeple could become aroused, we would have a replay of Joseph Stalin’s dictum that quantity overrides quality of weapons, and the American people, by sheer numbers, would prevail.

If progressives really desire direct confrontation with the evil doers who control our country, they will have to accept that the people must be armed, trained, and have an understanding of who their enemy is. As the Founding Fathers tried to beat into our heads, the enemy is always the government.

Somehow I just can’t see progressives getting this far. They would rather Americans be slaves of the state than armed.

I am not advocating armed rebellion, just pointing out an inconsistency in the progressives’ position.

Every civil liberty is reduced to the Second Amendment. This was recognized by our Founding Fathers, especially by Thomas Jefferson, and it was completely understood by William Blackstone, England’s greatest jurist. Blackstone wrote that whenever government broke free of the constraints placed on it by civil liberty, the “last right of the subject is having arms for their defense.”

Blackstone wrote in the 18th century that when legal constraints on government fail, physical checks remain: The right to bear arms expresses the “natural right of resistance and self-preservation when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.”

There can be no doubt that if Thomas Jefferson and William Blackstone were alive today, they would be on the no-fly list, if not kidnapped, renditioned and tortured to death in the Amerikan puppet state of Egypt.

If progressives like William Rivers PItt want direct action from Americans, they will have to give up their agenda of disarming the citizenry. Otherwise they are going to get people killed for nothing while the rest become Big Brother’s obedient servants, accepting a bare subsistence from “a caring government” in exchange for docility.

It is the conservatives who are armed, and they think the enemies are blacks, hispanics, pinko-liberal commies, and “terrorists.” Recently a friend told me that Obama was a marxist. Really, how did a marxist get elected with the support of the US military-security complex, the support of AIPAC, the insurance industry, Wall Street, Big Oil? How much money do marxists have with which to make campaign contributions? I mean, really. It is extraordinary that anyone could possibly believe that a stealth marxist could gain the White House. If he did, once he showed his colors, he would be assassinated, and Iran would be blamed, followed by an invasion.

The other day I saw a young man with a t-shirt with Obama’s image. Under it was the caption, ‘“socialist.” The stupidity of Americans is extraordinary. Wall Street is going to put a socialist in the White House?! If the word under Obama’s image had been “prostitute,” the message would have been on target.

Are We Ugly Americans?

Yesterday afternoon I started watching The Baader Meinhof Complex, as my b-i-l has Netflix instant view. The first three minutes probably would qualify as child porn in the United States; the family is shown at a clothing-optional beach, and not only is the father not wearing clothing, but so are his two prepubescent daughters. Maybe this is acceptable to show in movie theaters in Germany, but I don't think it would be tolerated in the United States. (I think Germany has a problem with the trafficking of children and with child porn, doesn't it?) I saw only the first 40 minutes of it, and it is an European film, with respect to sexual content (though there isn't that much, it briefly shows the father having an affair, and so on.)

What is interesting to me is the leftist revolutionary spirit -- my generation barely has a historical memory of the hippies and the student protests in the '60s and '70s. Who fomented all of this opposition to American foreign policy and involvement in the Vietnam war, and the desire for rebellion and anarchy? It is difficult not to see the hand of the Communists behind all of this. Were some German youths so anxious to reject Germany's Nazi history, resist totalitarianism, and embrace activism that they went to an extreme? So much so that they were easily manipulated by others? (Their own sinful pride should also be noted.)

How do other countries perceive Americans and the National Government? Has the perception changed since the 1960s?

Christopher Hitchens's review

Those intellectuals stick together.

John Haldane proclaims Robert George to be A New Voice for the American Right.

This being so, the Republicans are still struggling to find national leadership both in Congress and among state Governors. While social conservatism does not lack prominent voices, the most articulate and effective seem to be coming from outside the world of professional politicians, a matter of some discomfort to party managers. Together with familiar talk radio "shock jocks" and the new Tea Party activists, both of whom are a liability as well as an asset, is a newly prominent line of well-educated commentators and academics, many of them religious, though not in the manner popularly associated with the Evangelical Right.

Among the leading figures of this group is Robert George. Swarthmore, Harvard and Oxford educated, George occupies a distinguished position at Princeton, holding the McCormick Chair of Jurisprudence that was occupied in earlier times by Woodrow Wilson, who went on to be President of the University, Governor of New Jersey, two-term US President and Nobel laureate. Very unusually for that traditionally Waspish environment, George is an orthodox Roman Catholic.

Well-known as a scholar, lawyer and public commentator, he has acquired a new status as a leader of American intellectual conservatism, the heir to William F. Buckley Jr, Richard John Neuhaus, Irving Kristol, and Ralph McInerny, who have all died in the past two years. Indeed, if the verdict of a major profile recently published in the New York Times Magazine is to be believed, George is the leading American voice of thoughtful Christian conservatism. But any images of eccentricity or fogeyishness would be out of place: "Robby" George is youthful, stylishly dressed and fully up-to-speed with the electronic information culture.

George has had considerable influence outside the academy, having been a member of both the US Commission on Civil Rights, and the President's Council on Bioethics. But his centre of operations is in Princeton's elite academic environment and it was there that we talked about his ideas and his hopes for America.

Central to his work is the task of understanding and helping others to appreciate what he describes as "the profound, inherent and equal dignity of every human being and all that follows from that about how we should lead our lives, and govern ourselves as communities". According to George, this takes us to a true humanism that identifies principles of conduct (including justice and human rights) by considering the various fundamental and irreducible aspects of human wellbeing and fulfilment.

I haven't yet come across anything by Professor George to alleviate my doubts about his understanding of the American federal system. There are those on the "left" who critcize his American Principles Project as being another Republican website.
Humvee Replacement (JLTV) Ready in 2015 (Military Times)

I suppose the day of the light all-terrain utility vehicle is gone.
AP: Pope meets with head of scandal-tainted Legion

It's not clear what role Corcuera will have in the Legionaries' future. Critics say he and others in the Legionaries' current leadership couldn't have been unaware of Maciel's double life.

In its May 1 statement, the Vatican said Maciel's secret life was "unknown to the great majority of the Legionaries." But it didn't say all were kept in the dark, suggesting that a few must have known something.

In an internal memo sent from Legionaries' headquarters to territorial leaders after the Vatican communique, the Legionaries said that meant that the Vatican had determined that "those who are currently in the leadership of the Legion" didn't know about his misdeeds.

The communique says no such thing.

Jim Fair, a U.S. spokesman for the Legion, said the memo "wasn't in any way an attempt to interpret or deny or in any way change the meaning," of the Vatican statement, "but simply to suggest to people that they needed to read it."

Also unclear is the extent of power that the pope's delegate will have, particularly if the current leadership remains in place. The Vatican hasn't described the scope of the delegate's work, or whether he will also control the Legionaries' financial assets.

It boggles the mind how the leadership can continue to spin things...

From Life after RC:
Strictly the methodology
Corcuera in Rome
Loving Jesus = Loving RC

Keeping Regnum Christi Alive
RC is "worse than a cult"
The papal delegate

Cape Breton

Someday I'd like to visit Cape Breton.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Russell Arben Fox, Defining Red Toryism (Again)
Steve Greydanus reviews Stagecoach.

Laura Wood takes a critical look at John Paul II's writings on women

John Paul II and The Phony Feminine Genius

Oz Conservative: A generation of women living blind to the future

Items of Interest, 17 June 2010

Fred Reed on immigration: A Slightly Different Take

Asia News:

Seoul warns, North has 180,000 soldiers ready for war
A former South Korean SO officer warns Pyongyang is looking for a casus belli to drag peninsula into war. Called to settle the question, the United Nations condemns “actions against peace”.

Asia Times:
A North Korean leadership car crash
There aren't many certainties about North Korea; that Kim Jong-il will die is one of them. As North Korea's moment of truth approaches, Kim's three sons and others will fight for their place at the helm of Pyongyang, evident by the string of shuffles, dismissals and deaths that are expected to intensify in the coming months. Fasten your seatbelts. - Aidan Foster-Carter

Energy Bulletin:
A special gathering along the lake (original)
Christopher J. Ryan, AICP, The Localizer Blog

The Slow Money Alliance, an organization that seeks to build networks and develop new financial products and services to invest in small food enterprises and local food systems, connecting investors to their local economies, and building the "nurture capital" industry, held its national gathering at beautiful Shelburne Farms, Vermont on Thursday and Friday of last week.

Vision of the future : Dune (original)
Damien Perrotin, The View from Brittany

Science-fiction tells us more about the dreams, hopes, and fears of a time than about any actual form the future could take. It may, however, sometimes offer us a glimpse through a glass, darkly, of how this future might come to be. That is why Kunstler's The World Made by Hand and Greer’s Star's Reach are so interesting to read. They are not the only novels on this subject, however. Other science-fiction classics, not necessarily of the post-apocalyptic sub-genre, may help us to grasp what the fundamentals of a post-peak society could be. Frank Herbert's Dune is one of those.

Gareth Porter
, McChrystal's War Plan Fails
Kevin Zeese, The Holes in the Finance Bill
Sandro Magister, The Pope "Rethinks" Clerical Celibacy. In Order to Reinforce It

It is the sign, he says, that God exists and that one allows himself to be seized by passion for him. This makes it a great scandal, and the desire is to eliminate it. The complete transcript of Benedict XVI's latest statement on this issue. And of a surprising preview of it, from 2006.

NYTimes review of Restrepo.

Specialist Misha C. Pemble-Belkin. (Tim Hetherington, courtesy Chris Boot Ltd.)
Russell Kirk reviews two of Christopher Dawson's books: The High Achievement of Christopher Dawson.

Aisha trailer

(via Austen Blog)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Han Cinema has a review of the last episode of Three Brothers. It won't be shown on KBS America for another month or so, but I've seen parts of the last 4 episodes, and needless to say, the show ends on a happy note. I will wait until I watch the episodes with English subs before I say anything about whether there is a place for tradition in the show or not. We do see the mother changing slowly and beoming more agreeable towards the daughters-in-law. But I would like to see if tradition ends up taking a big hit or not.
Glastonbury Abbey in MA (not to be confused with the one in Somerset, UK) sent me a request for money. How much longer can Catholic institutions assume a single national economy in their fundraising efforts? How many of them could survive if sustainability and the development of local economies became priorities for the states? It's not a monastery that would be on the donations list of a traditionalist Catholic -- the liturgies remind me of what is celebrated at Assumption College.
Fabius Maximus, Who can we trust to defend our liberty? Will our culture’s rot spread to the military?
Dominican Liturgy: Historical Dominican Liturgical Colors

Edit. Godzdogz: Quodlibet 31 - FAQs about the Dominican habit

Welmer, Conservatives Celebrating Feminism

Ross Douthat recently wrote an article for the NY Times that basically endorses feminism, saying that conservative female candidates are proof of its success. Whether or not women in high offices is a good thing I’ll leave up to individuals to decide, but there’s nothing benevolent about feminism, which is at its core a supremacist ideology.

Only a couple decades ago, the idea that conservatives would embrace and support feminism would have been ridiculous, but here we are with Palin declaring herself a feminist and male conservatives emphatically agreeing and supporting her:

Fodder for the race-baiters and LEO-haters

Who escalated by interfering with the arrest and assaulting the police officer? Who was resisting arrest and not being compliant with the officer's orders?

So many people do not think about the rights of the officer, they react with emotion and bias. Check out reader reaction at the Daily Mail. Many of the readers, especially the women, are ignorant of use-of-force policies. They are so quick to equate physical evil with moral evil.

At least it hasn't been posted at LRC.

Items of Interest, 16 June 2010

Rod Dreher, Oil spill: Do we need another hero? and Oil spill: This will ruin your day

The Oil Drum:
BP Deepwater Oil Spill - the New (and Allegedly "Better") BP Plans - and Open Thread
BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - Why the Flow Rates are Increasing and Open Thread
BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - Why the Flow Rates are Increasing and Open Thread 2
Drumbeat: June 16, 2010 - BP agrees to $20-billion fund for spill victims

Energy Bulletin:
"No till" is a big white lie (original)
Gene Logsdon,

They are determined to believe, along with their university and USDA partners, that they are controlling erosion simply because they quit using moldboard plows and use no-till planters. The pretension reaches hilariously ludicrous proportions.

Interview with Albert Bates Sustainability Activist Extraordinaire (original)
Kathryn Alexander, Ethical Impact L3C
Download the audio file here.

Albert Bates is an expert in: permaculture, biochar, agriculture, law, politics and probably a few areas I've forgotten to mention. He's been a leading thinker and practitioner of sustainable living since he became a resident of The Farm in 1972. This wide-ranging interview will explore his thoughts on many topics - a must hear interview!!

Wine, local food, and local resilience: part 1 (original)
Don Plummer, The Trillium Patch

A few weeks ago, the sustainability media outlet ran an article titled "Is Biodynamic and Organic Wine Still Green If It Is Shipped Halfway Around The World?" Author Lloyd Alter discusses the carbon footprint of wine shipped from different parts of the world and questions whether wine shipped from such far-off places as Australia, even if it's grown "organically," can be considered "green".

A tepid plea for unspecified change
Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute

Last night's presidential speech on the Gulf oil spill had been pre-billed by the Washington Post as Barack Obama's "Jimmy Carter moment." But reading any of Carter's speeches (a good one to start with is that of April 18, 1977) side by side with last night's bromide is an invitation to nostalgia and bitter disappointment.

Paul Craig Roberts, Helen Thomas: an Appreciation
Ralph Nader, The Scourging of Helen Thomas
Anthony DiMaggio, Deconstructing Obama's BP Speech
Greg Moses, Gulf Crisis Implodes Obama Presidency
M. Kamiar, A Short History of BP
Robert Weissman, Closing BP's Escape Routes
Dean Baker, The Retail Sales Slump
Insight Scoop: Benedict XVI on the Doctor Angelicus, relationship of philosophy to theology

Father Kevin McKenna on Canon Law

Why Canon Law Can Be Befuddling

Speaker Notes Differences With Civil Law at 1-Day Seminar

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 14, 2010 ( The Church's law code is the "oldest, continuously functioning legal system in the world," but many people might struggle to understand it since it's so different from the civil law systems that govern nations, a canon lawyer from New York has suggested.

Father Kevin McKenna, pastor of the cathedral community in Rochester, New York, made this observation May 25 at a one-day seminar on canon law sponsored by the U.S. episcopal conference.

The bishops' conference paired with the Canon Law Society of America to offer the event, which they explained was "held in response to media interest in clergy sexual abuse."

Videos and texts of the four speakers' presentations, the questions-and-answers sessions, and a panel discussion are available online. ZENIT will provide commentaries on the talks on successive days this week.

Father McKenna, though not himself a civil lawyer, gave the introductory session on “Canon Law and Civil Law: Working Together for the Common Good.”

He offered a summary of "20 centuries of canon law development in one minute and a half," explaining how the current Code of Canon Law traces its roots back to the compilation of regulations found in the Acts of the Apostles. Over the centuries, the legislation of popes and councils were added to the code, creating what he called a "very unwieldy and untidy situation" that was first codified in the 20th century.

The canon lawyer noted the influence of Roman Law on the code, and noted how when it was codified under Pope Pius X, it was "modeled after the Napoleonic codes which at the beginning of the 20th century were quite common in Europe."

Pope John XXIII called for an update to the 1917 code and a new version -- the current one -- was released in 1983.


The Rochester priest went on to consider some similarities and differences between canon law and civil law, specifically of the United States.

Noting the three-branch system of civil government, he said this is one notable dissimilarity with canon law, which "invests all three functions within an ecclesiastical superior."

"The checks and balances which are interwoven into the tri-partite system of our government is in the Church structure seen most visibly in its recourse system, in which some decisions that are made at the local level -- normally dioceses -- can be forwarded to a 'higher' level -- normally a Roman Dicastery, or office, in Rome, using a very specific and time-related procedure," he clarified.

Father McKenna spoke of other differences: the civil law system of judges defining law, as their decisions become precedent for other cases, is "not operative in the canon law system," he said.

Another difference: the role of a constitution (or similar document) as the foundation or source of all law in the civil system. In this element, the priest noted an interesting fact about canon law: that during the last set of revisions, a sort of Church "Constitution" was considered, a draft that Pope John Paul II eventually rejected.

Father McKenna noted that civil law can change more rapidly than canon law. "The code system [of canon law] itself tries to provide basic concepts that can be adapted, hopefully to respond to changing circumstances, situations and individual cases, without the need for a new law," he added.


A key difference indicated by the priest was in the efforts to find facts and evidence in a case; he pointed out that the Church does not have an independent fact-finding body like the FBI or a police force.

He explained: "Canon law is grounded in the continental European tradition which can be dated to Roman law. [...] Roman-law based legal systems such as canon law, traditionally use an 'inquiry-based' approach to the investigation and adjudication of cases, while the common law uses more of an adversarial approach."

This element has sometimes given rise to a "complaint" about the "confidentiality that is imposed on a canonical trial when an allegation of sexual abuse has been made," Father McKenna noted. "In the canonical system it is the role of the judges -- or those delegated by the judges -- rather than the representatives -- or lawyers -- of the parties, to gather oral and written evidence. The process for finding facts and testimony takes place in a series of hearings that are normally conducted over a long stretch of time rather than in a single trial as in a civil case.

"Because in the canonical system of law evidence is normally to be accumulated and assembled over time, judges typically impose 'confidentiality' restrictions upon witnesses and their testimony to prevent the possible contamination of other witnesses who may appear later before the court. This is in contrast to the common law system and its trial procedures which would utilize cross-examination before juries."

The priest went on to note the manners in which the two systems can obtain cooperation from witnesses, contrasting civil law's possibility to impose physical punishments, and canon law's recourse to moral influence.

Mixed forum

Father McKenna also took time to explain that canon law covers crimes of a sort called "mixed forum," which means they are crimes both for the Church and for civil society. Sexual abuse would fall into this category.

"When an ecclesiastical court acts upon its proper jurisdiction to prosecute a crime, it should not interfere with the progress of a civil proceeding that is based on the same set of facts," he clarified.

He then looked at recent controversy regarding if bishops can be considered Holy See employees, and the extent of Holy See authority over bishops and dioceses.

Noting that this is a complicated issue even theologically speaking, he explained how bishops are not employees in the commonly understood sense, and how an individual bishop exercises authority in his own diocese.

He suggested that a civil court seeking to define this relationship would "unquestionably be forced to go deeply into Catholic doctrine, theology, history and canon law -- and perhaps 'resolve' theological issues heretofore not completely resolved by the Church itself."

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On the Net:

More information:
There are some who deride continental law because it does not sufficiently protect liberty. Are there crticisms warranted? Was it a good thing for the old code to be modeled upon the Napoleonic codes? "The canon lawyer noted the influence of Roman Law on the code, and noted how when it was codified under Pope Pius X, it was "modeled after the Napoleonic codes which at the beginning of the 20th century were quite common in Europe.'" This article brings to mind the criticisms put forth in this piece by Brian McCall: Forty Years of Novus Dis-Ordo (But what about the Code of Canon Law of 1917?) (My earlier blog post on the article.)

Given the organic accumulation of canon law, would any attempt to systematize and make it user-friendly be acceptable?

More from the Holy Father at the end of the Year of the Priest

Zenti: On the Year for Priests, Year of Fruits
"The Priest Is Formed by Christ’s Charity Itself"

Pope's Q-and-A at End of Priestly Year (Part 1)
"The Priest Does Not Just Do a Job ... He Is a Man Impassioned for Christ"

Pope's Q-and-A at End of Priestly Year (Part 2)
"True Theology ... Seeks to Enter More Profoundly in Communion With Christ"

(plus, Pope's Address to Italian Episcopal Conference)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

71 Into the Fire trailer

official movie website


They are prominent in 19th and early 20th century Spanish history, but I did not think they were still a vital political force, once Franco had stepped down and Juan Carlos became king. Perhaps their website does not give any sort of impression of their current state. But I was thinking of them briefly today, but for no particular reason.

A previous post on the Carlists.

There is this group on Facebook: Juventudes Tradicionalistas de España - JTE.

The Former Royal House of Spain (Carlist), 1939-1945

Spaniard Confederates

Carlism's Defense of the Church in Spain, 1833-1936, by Alexandra Wilhelmsen

The Mad Monarchist: Controversy, Carlism and Juan Carlos
Lalo Garcia's sacred art... what do you think, Sarge?

John Médaille reviews The Myth of Religious Violence

Lethal Loyalties: Dulce et Decorum Est (Distributist Review)

Nor was the rise of the modern state the solution to the problem, it was the cause. Long before the Reformation, the state was expanding its power at the expense of the Church. The taxing of the clergy, the consolidation of ecclesial courts into civil ones, intrusion into the educational system, the replacement of the Church’s charities with the welfare state, and royal control of clerical appointments were some of the signs of the expanding power of the state. The Reformation itself was part of this process, since so many of the “reformers” were more than willing to replace the pope with the prince to enforce a confessional conformity. The Reformation depended on lay power, and gave a justification for that power. The biggest source of power is always property, and the wealth of the Church was a tempting target. In 1524, King Gustav Vasa of Seeden welcomed the Reformation because it allowed him to transfer the tithes from the Church to the crown, and three years later he appropriated all Church property, nine years before Henry VIII did the same. In France, “secularization” meant the transfer of Church property to the crown.

But this confessional conformity required that local privileges and independence to be overturned. The Catholic Monarchs desired absolutism as much as did their Protestant counterparts. Charles V made war against the Protestant princes, with the help of at least some Protestants, in an attempt to turn the Holy Roman Empire into a centralized, sovereign state. In France, the crown attempted to unite the country under un roi, une foi, une loi, which required a war against the nobility. The nationalized churches became part of a clientage system, so much so that Pope Julius III could write to the French King Henry II, “You are more than pope in your kingdoms.”

After the state caused the wars, its apologists proposed the state as a solution. Hobbes, Locke, Voltaire, and Rousseau saw a strong state (or even a state religion) as a necessity. After all, membership in a religion was voluntary, but membership in the state was compulsory, and the state required a degree of conformity. It is not that the new state would be intolerant. On the contrary, it would enforce religious “tolerance,” but only for a “religion” shorn of any civil interests. Religion was to be a private passion—or fantasy—one which would not be allowed to serve as a source of resistance to the totalizing state. Hence, Catholics were excluded from this tolerance, not because of bigotry, but on the quite rational grounds that the Catholic Church could never confine itself to being a “religion” that could be conveniently domesticated and striped of its civil and economic concerns. This church could never fit into the truncated category of religion, and hence could not be compatible with the modern state. The actual trajectory is that first the state was “sacralized” by absorbing the powers of the Church, and then the state was “liberalized” by being tolerant of the “religions,” but only insofar as they present no genuine opposition to the power of the state.

The Myth of Religious Violence by William Cavanaugh (Jesus Radicals)

Review by Fr. Steve Grunow

Does Religion Cause Violence
Behind the common question lies a morass of unclear thinking.
by William T. Cavanaugh

Liturgy as Politics: An Interview with William Cavanaugh
The Unofficial William T. Cavanaugh Internet Archive
Wars of Religion and the Rise of the State (pdf)
Migrations of the Holy: Westphalia and the Sacralized State

William Finnegan investigates La Familia

The story in this week's issue of The New Yorker. There is a podcast accompanying the article: "Here Blake Eskin talks with Finnegan about life under La Familia rule, the cartel’s religious and political rhetoric, and the steps Mexico would have to take to combat organized crime." (mp3) (via John Robb)
Dawn Eden: My revised master's thesis is now available (via Mark Shea)

Karate in Okinawa

Kicking it with karate's grandmasters
In an age when karate has been diluted into a quest for self-perfection, to learn the fighting techniques useful for real life one needs to visit Okinawa, the Japanese martial art's true birthplace. While since World War II the sport's popularity has become global, only there can a grandmaster still send a 129-kilogram judo student flying simply by twitching his hips. - David Isenberg

This is what strikes me most about the original Karate Kid, in comparison with the new Karate Kid starring Jackie Chan and Will Smith's son -- the original had more realistic fighting (with the possible exception of the winning kick at the end). The new movie, featuring a lot of wushu, will not. (Trailer: Apple or Youtube.) Certainly Mr. Miyagi took a practical, no-nonsense approach, and this was deliberate on the part of the filmmakers. (I remember an interview with Pat Morita in which he made this point?)

From the article:
How does this modern form of karate differ from the way it was originally taught in Okinawa? Vince Morris, founder of kissaki-kai karate, and author of the Rules of Combat, wrote:
The main problem today is that few students ever learn in the same manner as those who studied under the direction of the old masters. It was much more an individual rather than a group process, and each student was constantly under the eyes of the master who would continually assess and correct the efforts of the student.

In order for the student to become fully apprised of the "rules of combat" they were continually matched with a partner in training drills (Tegumi [an early form of Okinawan wrestling]) which emphasized bumping, slapping, pulling, striking, throwing and all the other ancillaries to technique that are essential background knowledge.

In most modern dojo this is not usual. Therefore, unless the student gets practice elsewhere huge and important parts of martial arts "grammar" and ancillary concepts are just not available to them. Therefore, although in sports situations the student may well be effective, in the real street situations they are often out of the depth and can get into serious - sometimes disastrous - trouble.
In fact, while training in Okinawa is generally physically and mentally taxing, it is also non-repetitive, and personal. Okinawan teachers do not generally like military type "drilling" and prefer a low teacher-student ratio.

Generally speaking, the Okinawans abhor the practice of senior students beating up junior students which is the norm in Japanese high schools and colleges, and which is referred to as "sparring". Okinawans do not understand Western concepts of karate sparring. For them karate training is aimed at learning how to incapacitate or render unconscious an opponent with one, maybe two blows, so an easy escape can be made.
Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do
All Okinawa Shorin Ryu Kenshin Kan Karate & Kobudo Federation
All Okinawa Karate & Kobudo
Karate Shorinkan
Okinawa Karate News
Okinawan Karate Club of San Francisco
Okinawan Karate & Kobudo
Isshin-Ryu Traditional Okinawa Karate-Do
International Goju Ryu Karate Federation

Items of Interest, 15 June 2010

Daniel Larison, Obviously, Iran Would Retaliate Against U.S. Attacks
Rod Dreher, Life according to Seventeen magazine and Technology in the classroom goes bust
Michael Shedlock, Stephen Roach says China's Housing Boom is Not a Bubble; I say "Nonsense"

The Spearhead:
Welmer: Girls Display Entitlement in Fight With Cop, Feminist Actress Beats Boy at Mall,
SPLICE — Hollywood is Finally Getting it Right!

Energy Bulletin:
Peak water? (original)
Lakis Polycarpou, Columbia University Water Center

In the last few years, scientists have begun to look at whether consumption of renewable resources follows Hubbert’s model. So how useful is the concept of “peak water”?

More accidents await with President Obama’s errant energy policies (original)
Brent Blackwelder, the Daly News

President Obama triumphantly entered office with the popular promise of moving the United States to a cleaner energy basis, but his actions to date, along with those of the Congress, have promoted two types of dangerous energy developments: off-shore oil drilling and nuclear reactors. Nuclear expert Harvey Wasserman highlighted the dual dangers by noting, “As BP’s ghastly gusher assaults the Gulf of Mexico, a tornado has forced a shutdown of the Fermi 2 atomic reactor at the site of a 1966 melt-down that nearly irradiated the entire Great Lakes Region.”

The facts of life (original)
Dave Cohen, Decline of the Empire

Mike Whitney, The Next Housing Crisis
Fred Gardner, Helen Thomas' Watergate Scoop

Asia Times:
The Pentagon strikes it rich
The motive of the United States Department of Defense in using old data to publicize the potential US$1 trillion in mineral riches in Afghanistan's war-ravaged land is under scrutiny. Given increasingly negative news from the counter-insurgency campaign, the headline-generating figure could reverse growing public sentiment that the war is not worth the cost. - Jim Lobe

China not yet a miracle
Visitors to China impressed by its emergence as a modern power can too easily overlook the continuing extent of subsistence farming, a dependence on low-value-added manufacturing and an absence of innovation. Nor can any country progress without deep crises and severe setbacks, as the United States can attest. - Benjamin A Shobert

China's wind power has faulty connection
With China requiring increasing amounts of imported coal and oil to drive its economic growth, the country is encouraging the use of alternative energy, with wind power a favored sector. That has led to investment in wind farms outpacing the infrastructure for delivering their energy to consumers. - Ryan Rutkowski

McChrystal faces 'Iraq' moment
A double dose of bad news concerning the troop surges of the United States in Afghanistan suggests things are about to get worse for US General Stanley McChrystal, who faces a collapse of political support in line with an increase in unfavorable media coverage. The situation is painfully similar to that in Iraq in 2006, when support from US elites tanked following months of reports showing that Washington had lost control of the war. - Gareth Porter

Monday, June 14, 2010

Does the internet have a negative effect on brain function?

NYT: Your Brain on Computers
Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price

Mark T. Mitchell: Steven Pinker: The Internet Keeps us Smart

The Wired article I posted last month: Author Nicholas Carr: The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains

Video: The Conversation: Is the Web Rotting Your Brain?

Nicholas Carr's official website
Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog
"Is Google Making Us Stupid"
Nicholas Carr on the 'Superficial' Webby Mind
Book Review: 'The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains'

Short clip of the long pole form

AsiaNews: Strikes are a last resort for justice in China and for the economy
by Wei Jingsheng

The renowned dissident explains why his country’s economy could collapse unless huge profits generated by excessive workers´ exploitation are trimmed. However, this is impossible because Beijing has convinced the world that trade is worth repression.
Centurion redband trailer now available at Hulu. (Registration required.) Website.

This will probably sell well.

Had a dream this morning that I was a micronian...
The Gilroy Dispatch: Rosen edges current boss for DA seat

His campaign website. His FB.

One more point about Politics III, 3

Jowett's translation:

...[F]or even supposing that such a community were to meet in one place, but that each man had a house of his own, which was in a manner his state, and that they made alliance with one another, but only against evil-doers; still an accurate thinker would not deem this to be a state, if their intercourse with one another was of the same character after as before their union. It is clear then that a state is not a mere society, having a common place, established for the prevention of mutual crime and for the sake of exchange. These are conditions without which a state cannot exist; but all of them together do not constitute a state, which is a community of families and aggregations of families in well-being, for the sake of a perfect and self-sufficing life. Such a community can only be established among those who live in the same place and intermarry. Hence arise in cities family connections, brotherhoods, common sacrifices, amusements which draw men together. But these are created by friendship, for the will to live together is friendship. The end of the state is the good life, and these are the means towards it. And the state is the union of families and villages in a perfect and self-sufficing life, by which we mean a happy and honorable life.
I was thinking of communities in which racial or ethnic segregation exists -- can they really be called "communities," except equivocally? In the South, there was no intermarriage allowed, along with minor forms of segregation in public places, segregation of schools, and so on. If members of another group are not treated as members of a political community (and are not slaves or have not been deprived of citizenship or the rights to participate in political life as some punishment), then how can they be subject to the laws of that community? I am not claiming that citizens must explicitly consent to a law before it can be promulgated. But even if they have citizenship and are "represented," if they are not treated as members of the community then isn't there a problem with consistency? (No, since the states were forced by the Federal Government to give blacks the right to vote. But this, along with Reconstruction, and the consequences of the Civil Rights Act, show that attempts by the Federal government to eradicate racism cannot succeed. This must be accomplished from within those societies.)

If, for example, most whites did not want to associate with blacks or treat them as "their own," shouldn't they have let the blacks go their own way, forming their own communities and governments? But in this fallen world, who would let this happen? People want to hold on to their territory, even if they have more than enough land to satisfy their needs. (I'll leave aside the historical question of how many whites were actually racist and how many just acquiesced to the state of things.)

Is there anything more to society within liberal/social contract theory than what Aristotle would call alliances between individuals for mutual benefit? A theory about the origin, nature, and purpose of government that is predicated upon what can be only called barbarism (the acceptance of the moral idiot -- the individual without any deep social ties and obligations -- as the norm) cannot but be deficient.

Or is there more to social contract theory than this?

For more on racial discrimination, see this and this.

The Story of Bottled Water

(h/t to R. Aleman)


See also the Story of Cap and Trade:
Rob Hopkins, Lloyds on Peak Oil, Climate Change, Resource Depletion… a historic publication… (archived post at EB)

Lloyds Insurance and Chatham House report (pdf)

Comments by Matthew Wild: Business leaders predict 'global oil supply crunch and price spike' (EB)
Who's your farmer?
Megan Quinn Bachman, Ecowatch Journal

The new way of procuring food, by direct connection with a local farmer, is called “Community Supported Agriculture,” CSA for short, a movement which sprouted in Europe and Japan in the 1960s, and took root in the U.S. in the early 90s. It’s also an old way of procuring food, that is, from neighbors who you know and trust.


Some more Amanda Shaw vids

New Orleans Jazzfest

One more: