Saturday, July 10, 2010

No More T-Mobile in 2011?

10 Brands That May Disappear in 2011 (via KG)

T-Mobile, the U.S. wireless provider, is owned by telecom giant Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY.PK - News). It is the No.4 cellular company in an American market that only supports two really successful firms -- AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless. Even the third-largest company in the market -- Sprint-Nextel (NYSE: S - News) -- has 50 million customers. T-Mobile had 34 million customers at the end of last year. T-Mobile only had a profit of $306 million in 2009. That was down from $483 million in 2008. T-Mobile not only faces three larger competitors, it also has to begin to offer 4G service to compete with Sprint's new WiMax service and LTE-based products from AT&T (NYSE: T - News) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ - News). T-Mobile may seek a partner to offer a 4G network, but there are no super-fast broadband networks likely to be finished before its three rivals offer the service. As it now stands, T-Mobile has no future in the U.S. A merger with Sprint-Nextel has been mentioned several times. The combined company would have a customer base about the same size as AT&T or Verizon. And the transaction would probably make Deutsche Telekom a large owner of the combined operation. Another alternative would be a merger with Virgin Mobile. Maybe Deutsche Telekom will just change the firm's name.
I've been a T-Mobile customer since I thought they offered the best plan for me; if things change in my life I might be willing to give up the cell phone.

Not even CZJ an save the company?

From last year: T-Mobile Brings Catherine Zeta-Jones Back.

2006: T-Mobile dropping Catherine Zeta-Jones

Why does FNL's take on abortion not surprise me? Tammy is the ideal Hollywood mom, who acknowledges how difficult the decision is, and is willing to support whatever decision her daughter would make, if she were to become pregnant. (The actress who plays coach's wife, Connie Britton, was just nominated for an Emmy.)

Fake Texas is getting on my nerves, and coach, despite being a teacher and leader of young men on the football field, is such a beta at home. Who writes these scripts? A favorite with critics... how does the show fare in Texas? Is it always the case that the critics' favorite is so destructive of traditional morality?

(This episode is also available for a time at NBC.)

Crude Awakening: Peak Oil & The End of Cheap Energy

I also found these at Google.

A Crude Awakening


You can download the movie from iTunes ($2.99) or watch it below.

The Oil Drum: Dear Candidate - What Will You Do if Growth Is Over...?

How many candidates would take the following letter seriously? Roscoe Bartlett, probably.

Below is a draft of a letter to an imaginary politician up for election later this year:

Dear ______________

You are currently running for office as _____________________ in ____________________. As you know, we are living through economically tough times, and I hear a lot about how the economy can be brought back to stability and prosperity.

However, have you ever considered that economic growth might actually not return? That we might have to build a societal infrastructure based on less?

If so, what would be your plans to mitigate such a situation, to make sure that life can go on for your constituents in a future where "more each year" is no longer possible?

Or alternatively, if you don't have any plans - are you 100 percent certain that growth and prosperity will ever return, and if so, why is it that you see no risk worth looking at?

I just changed the template for Diligite Iustitiam; unfortunately this current template cannot be tweaked, so I am thinking of changing to another one. We'll see what is available. (I should just learn html -- that's should be a marketable skill for a little while longer.)

Paul Gottfried on the Constitution

Dead Letter: Our Constitution of No Authority (via CHT)
"In a commentary for Chronicles (unavailable online), Tom Fleming makes an argument about the increasing irrelevance of the Constitution that I find mostly irrefutable."

His differences with Dr. Fleming?

What I can find to counter Tom Fleming’s argument is rather limited and would consist of the following: Although we’re holding an exceedingly poor hand and the momentum is mostly on the other side, we should use those resources that are available to us to keep our enemies from gaining more ground. Some arguments will be more helpful than other ones; and which ones will work will depend on the circumstances. For example, the appeal to nullification that Tom Woods makes in his most recent book is not likely to get us very far, given our two-party monopoly of the political conversation and given the erosion of any understanding of states as living communities.

The kind of state consciousness that existed when Jefferson and Madison raised the idea of nullification two hundred and fifteen years ago is a thing of the past. It does not relate to our less cohesive, perpetually mobile, and by now multiculturalized society. Such appeals will work even less once the GOP crawls back into power and predictably starts acting like the Democrats. Once that happens, Tom’s case will offend the Reps even more than the Dems.

But when telling arguments, including those in support of Nullification, can be marshaled to advance our interest in the short or middle term, we should never hold back. We should be every bit as opportunistic as we can in pursuing our goals. And we should stress the notion of legality in a society that continues to pay homage to that principle, however inconsistently. Calling attention to laws and precedents protecting our property and freedom from government attempts to de- and recode us behaviorally may be our best weapon against a derailed political order. In any case, doing something is better than simply giving up.

Another thought is that global democratic empires like the U.S. and the EU are beginning to suffer from the effects of overload. At this moment the EU’s human rights czars are trying to get Catholic countries, like Italy, to remove religious symbols, and in particular crucifixes, from public buildings. For years the EU has imposed PC guidelines on how its members should deal with invasions of Third World immigrants, gay and feminist lifestyles, and historical narratives that do not fit the imposed antifascist standards.

Similar disputes about control being placed on local and regional authorities have erupted in the U.S.; and we may hope that such dissension will continue to surface and grow even more severe. In these situations claims for more decentralized authority are likely to become more common; and even if these claims won’t bring about total system changes, they can assist us, for a time, in limiting bureaucratic and judicial overreach from the top.

Having made these defenses I should admit that I share Tom Fleming’s general pessimism about making the U.S. Constitution work again, as it once understood as mandating distributed authorities. Whether a constitution is written, as in the American case, or viewed as a series of unwritten precedents, as in the British case, there is no way to prevent its straying once the society that was willing to live by its restraints has vanished.

Joseph Pearce at the Eaten Alive Conference

September 2009 (h/t to RA).

Eaten Alive: What the Economic Crisis Has Done To Us (And What We Can Do About It)

Tom Woods on Nullification

Published by the Tenth Amendment Center: Whether They Want us to or Not

Original LRC column.

An introduction by Tom Woods to nullification.

Interview with Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, SJ

Zenit: Is Islam Part of God's Plan?
Interview With Jesuit Father Samir Khalil Samir

By Mirko Testa

(via the Western Confucian)

ZENIT: In what way can we insert the birth and diffusion of Islam within the salvific plan?

Father Samir: This is a delicate but legitimate question. We can express it thus: "Insofar as what has been given to men to know about this, does Islam have a place in God's plan?"

In the course of history, Christians of the East have often asked themselves this question. The answer of Arab Christian theologians was: "God has permitted the birth of Islam to punish Christians for their infidelities." I think the truth about Islam leads back to the division between Eastern Christians, a division often due to nationalist and cultural motives hidden behind theological formulas. This situation impeded them from proclaiming the Good News to the peoples of the region, something that Islam has done partially.

Islam served to reaffirm faith in one God, the call to dedicate ourselves completely to him, to modify our life to adore him. It was a healthy reaction, in continuity with the Jewish and Christian biblical tradition. But in reality, to come to this it eliminated everything that created a bit of difficulty, in particular: the human and at the same time divine nature of Christ; the One and Triune God, who is dialogue and love; and the fact that Christ became obedient unto death on the cross, that he emptied himself, as St. Paul says, out of love for us.

Hence, it is a rationalized religion, not in the sense according to the Spirit and divine rationality, but in the sense of being simplified of those aspects that human reason cannot contain. Hence, Islam presents itself as the third and last revealed religion ... and for us, obviously, it isn't. After Christ -- whom the Quran recognizes as Word of God, Verbum of God -- it is incomprehensible that God sent another Word that is the Quran.

If the Quran was in agreement and served to clarify the Gospel, I would say: why not? Like the saints who throw light on the Gospel and on the person of Jesus. But here, no: it is in contradiction. That is why I cannot say that God has sent a prophet -- which would be Mohammed -- with a new revelation. Even less can I say of him that he is "the seal of the prophets," khatam al-nabiyyin, as the Quran states, namely, that he completes and corrects and leads the revelation of Christ to fulfillment.

ZENIT: But then, what is Islam's place in God's plan?

Father Samir: I think that for us Christians it is a stimulus to lead us back to the foundation of it all: God is the Only One, the Ultimate Reality -- which is the fundamental Jewish and Christian affirmation, taken up by the Quran in the beautiful sura 112: "Yes: God is the Only One! God is the Impenetrable One!" etc. An affirmation, which modern life runs the risk of making us forget. Islam reminds us that, if Christ is the center of the Christian faith, he is so always in relation with the Father; to remain in unity, even if the Quran has not managed to understand what the Holy Spirit is.

We are questioned every day by Muslims about our faith, and this leads us to rethink it constantly from the perspective of Islam. I thank Muslims for their criticisms, so long as they make them as reflection and not as controversy. I would say the same for Christians' questions.

Our vocation, that of us Christians of the East, is to live with Muslims, whether we like it or not. It is a mission! It is difficult, but we must live together. Because of this, I would say that it falls to Muslims to defend the Christian presence, and to Christians to defend the Muslim presence. It is not up to each one of us, in fact, to defend ourselves, as this would lead to confrontation.

Therefore, I hope that the synod on the Middle East , which will take place Oct. 10-24, will help us Christians of the West and the East, but that it might also help Muslims, to rethink the meaning of the divine plan that we must rediscover in friendship and at times in confrontation: why are we together in this land of the Middle East, which is the land of Jesus -- certainly -- but also the land of Moses and Mohammed? This land must truly come to be "Holy Land."
Michael Perry:

The subtitle of my book The Idea of Human Rights (Oxford, 1998) is "Four Inquiries". Four inquiries, four chapters. The title of the fourth chapter: "Are Human Rights Absolute? The Incommensurability Thesis and Related Matters". In that chapter, I comment at length on, and explain why I am skeptical about, John Finnis' position regarding moral "absolutes": determinate moral norms that are exceptionless (unconditional). I hope MOJ readers who are interested in pursuing the issue will take a look at what I have to say in chapter 4 (pp. 87-106)--and, if they are at all inclined, let me know where, in their judgment, my argument misfires.
No absolute or exceptionless moral norms? How is this harmonious with orthodoxy?

Robert George's response to Mr. Perry's previous post. So adhering to one absolute is sufficient to make one not a moral relativist? "It boggles the mind." Mr. Perry's profile at MOJ.

Will the crisis be fixed pass when the old guard (of heterodoxy) finally passes?

Zenit: Chinese Martyrs Continue to Inspire

Chinese Martyrs Continue to Inspire

Hong Kong Catholics Mark Feast of 121 Saints

HONG KONG, JULY 9, 2010 ( Martyrdom isn't merely an event from the past, but an event that continues to inspire, says the Hong Kong diocesan weekly, the Sunday Examiner.

The newspaper reflected this week on the canonization in 2000 of 121 martyrs that had triggered conflict between the Holy See and the Chinese government at that time.

The canonization took place on Oct. 1, the National Day of China, and was viewed by Beijing as "an intentional provocation to hurt the Chinese people," the editorial recalled.

"Ten years have passed," it continued. "We need to consider whether anything was learned from these unfortunate disputes or did those 121 martyrs die in vain?

"Martyrdom is not merely an event of the past, but something that can inspire us today."

"On the mainland, many local Churches still struggle to be in communion with each other," the editorial stated. "The faithful suffer because of misguided political ideology and pressure to reject revealed truth. However, past experience has taught the Church that in every era, the presence of martyrs only strengthens the fidelity of the faithful toward the Church.

"The martyrs of China gave the ultimate witness to the Gospel with courage. Their faithfulness echoes the Confucian ideal of sacrificing oneself for a noble cause."

The editorial recalled that "the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians" (Tertullian, ca. 160-220AD), and "certainly, this seed of faith will bear fruit in China."

Among the 121 martyrs declared saints in 2000, the youngest was seven and the oldest 79, and there were 87 Chinese and 34 expatriate missionaries.

The saints, martyred between 1648 (the Qing Dynasty) and 1930 (the period of the Republic of China), including 6 bishops, 24 priests, 8 brothers, 7 religious sisters and 76 laypeople.

Today is the feast of the Chinese Martyrs, and a liturgical celebration was held at the Holy Martyrs and Blessed of China Mass Center, in the New Territories. They also attended a seminar on "How the Chinese Catholics follow the example of the Holy Martyrs and Blessed."

Get Low trailer

Airsoft MCR CQB

Saw this in Combat yesterday afternoon. (There was also an airsoft replica of the AK74, among others.)

A discussion about modifying the m14: 14 mods ,custom stocks , M4 stock what would you do? 21st century look

Fulton Armory
Troy Industries
Defense Review

Friday, July 09, 2010

James Bowman on honor

Mr. Bowman was a guest on a couple of episodes of the EWTN series The Abundant Life with Johnnette Benkovic.

The episodes may be available here:
Honor: What It Is and Why We Need It: Part 1
Honor: What It Is and Why We Need It: Part 2

(I can't tell at the moment, since the archived episodes page is not loading properly.)

Honor: A History (paperback)

On Our Honor: An NRO Q&A
Honor defined: the reflexive and the cultural
Decline of the Honor Culture
FrontPageMag interview

William B. May coming to Oakland

He will be giving a Manhattan Forum lecture on July 27 at 7 P.M. The title of his lecture is "Marriage and Children - Reshaping the Dialog to Reflect the Human Reality." Details.

(Robert George is giving a lecture on August 25. The fee, which will also cover admission for the Manhattan Forum Conference on September 18. Details.)

Catholics for the Common Good

"Facebook: The True Story"

Twitch: The New Teaser Demonstrates Why THE SOCIAL NETWORK Will Not Be Allowed To Advertise On Facebook.

official website

Items of Interest, 9 July 2010

Abstract of "Liturgy in the Life of the Church" by Robert Taft, SJ
"Eastern" Presuppositions and Western Liturgical Renewal
From 2009: Fr. Robert F. Taft gives keynote address honoring the late Fr. Alexander Schmemann

Border police bait & switch by Paul Sperry (via VFR)

Asia News:
Ningxia, priest and nun murdered by former seminarian
by Zhen Yuan
Wenping Zhang, 43, was arrested yesterday afternoon in Hohhot. He had been fired and promised to kill Fr Joseph Zhang. Victim’s funerals will be held on 11 July.

UN to condemn Cheonan sinking, not Pyongyang
38 tonnes of melamine milk seized (again)

Asia Times:
The'why' of Europe's banks by Chan Akya
The dismal state of European banks, in stark contrast to the Agriculture Bank of China's world record US$22 billion share sale, offers Chinese authorities a window on what should - and should not - be done to prevent Chinese lenders heading in the same direction that European banks followed over the past 20 years.

Operation enduring war
The United States accepts a persistent state of war in fear of appearing weak, while the detachment of modern warfare has fed a militarization of American society. As difficult to contain as an oil spill, the US's enduring fascination with war can only end with a rejection of the idea that it is seductive, along with an end to the constant doomsday scenarios. - William J Astore

Energy Bulletin:
Lighting the way to a new economy (original)
David Korten, Yes! Magazine

Listen carefully. This is serious. We seek: Within a generation, a global system of human-scale, interconnected Local Living Economies that function in harmony with local ecosystems, meet the basic needs of all people, support just and democratic societies, and foster joyful community life.

Transition in the big city - part I (original)
Joanne Poyourow, Transition US

The Transition movement coaches us to "begin in your own backyard." But what if your backyard happens to be one of the biggest megacities in the world?

Mike Whitney, EU Banking System on the Brink
Ralph Nader, Summer Reading: 10 Books That Might Change America
John Ross, Drug Cartels Win Mexico's Super Sunday Elections
Julie Hilden, Elena Kagan and the 1st Amendment: Reasons for Concern
Christopher Brauchli, Blackwater's Nine Lives
Dave Lindorff, Just Business

Philip Bess on the suburbs

Professor Bess's response to James Poulos's "In Defense of the Suburbs" is posted by Rick Garnett at Mirror of Justice.
Life After RC: Delegate appointed for Legion

"According to it's Bishop Velasio De Paolis."

Thursday, July 08, 2010

2 Interviews With the Creators of Restrepo

Making Of

Tim Hetherington is quite a speaker. I'm impressed.

CNN: New documentary shows raw side of life at war

Recent Mozilla Firefox updates

Have included something called plugin-container, which serves to isolate plug-ins from the browser, so that if the plug-in crashes, the browser will not. Unfortunately it seems to eat up a lot of RAM. Here are the relevant threads at Mozilla Support: here, and this one for disabling plugin-container.

Sierra Hull, Ricky Skaggs, and others

Hrm, Mr. Skaggs's with long hair...

Del McCoury Band

How is the authority of a husband to be exercised?

The blog Traditional Marriage is gone, but its author says she is revising her essays and plans on creating a new website for them. Several weeks ago, if you were diligent you could find some of the posts cached through Google. But I think these have disappeared.

Over at Full of Grace, Seasoned with Salt, a post that sparked some controversy was taken down and restored: The Wife Whisperer is Back.... Some might think that these two women are too young to be assuming the role of the teacher of women, but does what they have to say resonate with those who are honest about their experiences? The Hawaiian Libertarian, among others, has talked about the use of "game" in long-term relationships, or marriage, and how it is necessary for the psychological dynamics. Assuming authority once they are married is not enough for men, apparently -- one must act like an alpha. While those who embrace a companionate model of marriage or egalitarianism may deny this, it may be advisable to trust not what women say on this point, but to observe how they behave.

It does seem to be the case that if a woman no longer respects her husband then the marriage is liable to fall apart quickly.

We would like to think that men and women think and react alike; but if their brains are different, might it not be the case that interpersonal communication between husband and wife isn't limited to speech?

How to be the husband -- how much of the wisdom of the past has been lost because of negligence and egalitarianism?

Items of Interest, 8 July 2010

Daniel Larison, Obama and Afghanistan

Asia News:
Mgr Jia Zhiguo, underground bishop, released after 15 months
by Wang Zhicheng

A wall to “close” Beijing to migrants

Asia Times:
China flexes its naval muscle
China's annual naval exercises in the East China Sea always rattle the United States but this year they contained an extra sting. With a US aircraft carrier set for deployment in joint exercises with South Korea, speculation was rife that China would test so-called carrier-killer missiles off the north coast of Taiwan. - Peter J Brown

Beijing focuses on 'far sea defense'
The Chinese People's Liberation Army's modernization plans are in full swing, with signs emerging that the leaders are departing from their long-held emphasis on the army in favor of the air force and the navy. By enhancing the role of these two services, China could extend its power projection capability into the Pacific, while reducing the size of its total military force. - Joseph Y Lin

Paul Craig Roberts, Hillary Clinton's Latest Lies
Brian Cloughley, Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban
Anthony DiMaggio, Child Poverty: Forgotten Casualties of the Recession

Will the peak oil reality change how we raise children? (original)
by Annie Lussenburg aka Annie the Nanny

Let’s take a look at how all this might play out with a problem common among many parents, the family mealtime. Mealtimes are often fraught with difficulties. Picky eaters commonly eat within very limited parameters driving every one around them crazy. Mom and dad often trying to bend to their child’s increasingly extreme desires, find themselves stressed out trying to negotiate every forkful. They try one approach and then another. The child sees the mealtime as a mechanism to extract an increasingly bizarre set of wants and the list of what they won’t put in their mouth grows ever larger. The mealtime, instead of being a happy event and a chance for the family to connect, turns in to a nightmare.

So what has indecision got to do with mealtimes and how might it affect subsequent mealtime behavior?

Well firstly, mom and dad have been conditioned to believe in our complex society that if some choice is good, more must be better. Suddenly, everything needs to come with a choice. And every choice has the potential to create anxiety. From an adult’s perspective, the concept of offering all that choice is clear and seems to have no downside. After all, with that choice available why should parents provide dinner on a plate without enquiry as to their child’s wants and desires for that specific day? It’s so easy. However, a child has no idea of all the other factors that govern a choice of meal, no idea of nutrition level, no concept of your budget, the time available to make the meal, the availability of different kinds of foods and so forth.

Choice, being a learned concept needs to be very limited when first offered and well within a child’s ability to handle. In order to make the choice the child must be aware and understand the parameters a parent would use to decide. If they are not at that ability level, being handed the decision looks to the child as though the parent cannot make up their mind and has abdicated the position of authority. This is the hallmark of indecisiveness with the parent as the constantly lurching driver taking responsibility one moment and rejecting it at the next.

Parents often feel that the way that parenting issues are handled around the table is simply a reflection of their own personal parenting style. Surely these issues aren’t connected to anything else and couldn’t possibly contribute to behavior?

Oh, but they do. What if their ‘style’ was not really about choice but more a manifestation of the amount of energy available to them and what if their parenting style that was once defined by being able to offer tons of choice, suddenly lurched in the other direction? At one point, it won’t be practical to ask their children what they want and parents are increasingly going to revert to the same old, same old of generations past, a plain "here’s your dinner".

So what will the kids do? In situations where parents are running a personal café will the kids understand the increasing pressure they’re under and just buckle down to the new reality or will they ramp up their behavior to get them to revert to old habits? Will those picky eaters now decide to be non-picky without complaint? How this question plays out is invariably based on what kind of relationship people have with their children.

As we contemplate a post-peak life it’s worth asking do your children run you or do you run them? In other words, who in your family holds the authority? If the answer is that the children are used to calling the shots, parenting a child could become increasingly difficult just at the point in time when other pressures are at their most magnified. Loss of income, foreclosure, loss of a job are in and of themselves enough to deal with and don’t need to be exacerbated by the stress of behavior issues amongst the kids.

Preparation for post-peak living usually encompasses a range of measures, like food storage, or making the required financial decisions. Yet an examination of how your family works is no less important and is often forgotten. As we learn to deal with the reality of less effective government and the withdrawal of social services, what we’re going to be left with is the family. It’s important to make sure it’s working the best it can and that family members are in a position to help not hinder a family’s personal transition.

Peter Hitchens on the Entente Cordiale

Not all that Cordiale an Entente, and other matters

Mr 'J.R.Hartley' has actually raised one new question in the otherwise exhausted subject of our supposed Finest Hour. Mr 'Hartley' writes: ’Britain could have stayed out of the war in 1914 saving something like 1 million lives but we were obliged to uphold the sovereignty of Belgium, wasn't the Entente Cordiale still in place in 1939 & didn't the UK have alliances on the continent at this time?’

I don't want to start an argument about 1914 just now. But as far as I know our guarantee to maintain Belgian neutrality (Article VII, 1839 Treaty of London, does anyone have a text?) did not explicitly oblige us to go to war when Belgium was invaded. The main purpose of the clause was to prevent Belgium joining any alliance on her own account, which wasn't really an issue when the German Army came marching through on their way to Paris. If the Asquith Cabinet had known in 1914 that betraying plucky little Belgium would have saved a million lives and also preserved Britain's pre-eminent position, would they have declared war? I don't think so. But hardly anyone realised what the cost would or could be. I had always thought that an (as it happened, misplaced) fear of Germany's naval and colonial ambitions were the real reasons for Britain's decision to join in this war.

Back, though, to 1939. Now of course it's true that if Britain (followed by France under British influence) hadn't made the worthless Polish guarantee in the spring of 1939, there would have been no particular reason for France to ask for our (rather limited) help, or indeed for any other continental obligation to arise. At that stage of the war, and possibly much later, Hitler (whose lack of interest in Alsace-Lorraine has been dealt with in earlier threads) had no obvious reason to risk a war on two fronts by invading Europe's greatest military power and almost certainly involving himself in war with Europe's greatest naval power. But that is established to the satisfaction of all but the most obdurate here.

The real problem with the case proffered by Mr 'Hartley' is that the 'Entente Cordiale' was never an explicit military alliance, and its text mainly concerns forgotten Anglo-French disputes about Egypt and North Africa. It did open the way for staff talks between the British and French military and naval commanders before 1914, but that's it. There were agreements after the war began about the supreme command, but I don't know of any treaty of military alliance comparable to (say) the North Atlantic Treaty.

The 1914 arrangement seems to have been more or less repeated in 1939, though Gort wisely broke away from French Supreme Command when he decided to head for the coast. I don't think Britain had any other continental obligations in 1939, and would be grateful if anyone could confirm this, or put me right. The Netherlands were I believe officially neutral (having successfully stayed out of the 1914-18 combat). And in 1936, Belgium had abandoned an alliance with France (which I suppose was a breach of the 1839 London Treaty). I believe this is partly because Belgium, having seen the failure of France or anyone else to act over the direct breach of Versailles when Germany reoccupied the Rhineland, assumed it was now safer to be neutral than to be an ally of France. I believe there was a strong pro-German faction at the Belgian court which hoped to keep Belgium out of trouble by being as friendly as possible towards Hitler. Certainly many attributed the rapid collapse of the Belgian resistance to invasion (and her sudden surrender without consultation with her then allies) to something of the kind.

Barbara Ward, The Home of Man

(There is a reference to this book in Joseph Pearce's profile of E. F. Schumacher.)

Google Books

International Institute for Environment and Development

A note to Jerry Brown: (As if he would be reading this.)
Mr. Brown, if you were a friend of both Ivan Illich and E. F. Schumacher, why don't you bring some of their honesty, realism, and teachings to your campaign? Is it because you wouldn't be able to win office if you did so? Or is it because you didn't really learn anything from them? What did you do the first time when you were governor to foster a sustainable local economy?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Anthony Daniels (Theodore Dalrymple), “Public Health” as a Lever for Tyranny

PFS 2010 - Anthony Daniels (Theodore Dalrymple), “Public Health” as a Lever for Tyranny from Sean Gabb on Vimeo.

Items of Interest, 7 July 2010

Daniel Larison, Pre-Existing Rights
Joseph Pearce, The Education of E. F. Schumacher

Energy Bulletin:
Pancakes from perennial wheatgrass grain (original)
Gene Logsdon,

Wes Jackson, the celebrated plant geneticist, author, farmer (and years ago a fairly good football player), has been experimenting for decades now with the bold idea that perennial grains can be developed to take the place of annual grains, thus revolutionizing agriculture by making it unnecessary for so many millions of acres to be cultivated annually. I raise my forkful of wheatgrass pancake and I salute you, Mr. Jackson.

Carolina Chocolate Drops on Tavis Smiley


(Mr. Smiley also interviews Nicholas Carr and asks him how our use of the internet is changing the way we think.)

Laurence Vance on McDonald v. Chicago

Gun Liberty and McDonald

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Rob Hopkins on The Big Society

Some Reflections on ‘The Big Society’…. (original)
Rob Hopkins, Transition Culture

A few people have asked me what my thoughts are on the whole ‘Big Society’ concept being promoted by the new British government. I have attended a couple of events over the last week that have given me space to think about it all, so here I am with a few reflections...So, for those new to the idea, the ‘Big Society’ idea is David Cameron’s big idea, focusing on localism, returning power to local communities, making central government smaller and shifting its role to the devolution of power wherever possible, calling for “a massive, radical redistribution of power”.

David Cameron, The Big Society

David Cameron: 'big society' plan will give power to the people
David Cameron wants 'big society' to be one of his 'great legacies'
David Cameron: 'big society' will be legacy of coalition Government
David Cameron and the Big Society | The Next Right

Chris Martenson on Resilience

Resilience: personal preparation (original)
Chris Martenson, Post Carbon Institute

My “standard of living” is a fraction of what it formerly was, but my quality of life has never been higher. We live in a house less than half the size of our former house, my beloved boat is gone, and we have a garden and chickens in the backyard. (Video and PDF of book chapter.)

Scott Benson Point Aconi CD Release- Encore

More from the Point Aconi CD Release.

Items of Interest, 6 July 2010

Byzantine, Texas: For children, the Four Bows
Richard Spencer, Anarcho-Tyranny in Ontario
Rod Dreher,
Moynihan, decline of family, social chaos
Bill Hatch
, Water, Extinction and Power Politics in California

Benedict XVI's Reflection on St. Joseph
"He Too Is Called to Be a Disciple of Jesus"

Pope's Address to Youth in Sulmona
"The Secret of a Vocation Lies in the Relationship With God"

Papal Homily in Sulmona
"Let Us Not Be Afraid to Be Silent"

On the Perfect Model of Obedience
"We Too ... Are Called to Appreciate a Sober Way of Life"

Auxiliary Named for San Francisco
Archbishop George Niederauer turns 75 next year. Will his resignation be accepted?

Carolyn Baker on higher education

Carolyn Baker's Speaking Truth to Power has a new url?


As industrial civilization continues its descent; as unemployment expands over the next decade, perhaps to the point where jobs as we have known them no longer exist; as Peak Oil dictates dramatic constrictions in local and long-distance travel; as larger systems crumble and communities are forced to come together to save their local places or face extinction; as food production becomes intensely local, and as everyone is forced to downsize every aspect of life, we need to stop preparing youth for a world that no longer exists and start preparing them for a new economy and a new culture built around local cooperation and earth stewardship as opposed to global competition and endless growth.

Young people, and in fact all who are able, need to learn practical, tangible skills for navigating a post-petroleum, post industrial world. While many college-age people are opting to learn farming and food production skills, those represent only a handful of skills that will be needed in the Long Emergency. Training in natural healing, emergency response and first aid, permaculture principles of design, teaching basic education in home school or ad hoc settings, operating small businesses that serve and are supported by the local economy, metal and woodworking, electrical wiring and repair, bee keeping, ham radio operating, manufacture of clothing and shoes, water purification and storage, fuel storage, firearms and self-defense skills-all of these skills will be desperately needed in the future.

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Coffee Party Movement

Someone commented upon the Coffee Party Movement over at James Howard Kunstler's latest. Apparently, it has arisen in reaction to the various Tea Parties? What is the positive content of this group? The mission statement, to be found on the front page:

The Coffee Party Movement gives voice to Americans who want to see cooperation in government. We recognize that the federal government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges that we face as Americans. As voters and grassroots volunteers, we will support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them.

A little bit too Rousseauian? At the very least it endorses the nationalist conception of the United States. Bad. The CPM may be more activist and less partisan than the TPM, but is it really more anti-corporatist?

From Why I started Coffee Party USA By Annabel Park:

This is really at the root of our discontent: our government's relationship to corporate America and this special interest seems altogether unconstitutional.

As the Constitution dictates, we want a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Coffee Party USA is a democracy movement, and our goal is to have the government truly reflect the will of the people.

How do we restore the primacy of ordinary people in our government?

We can find immediate institutional solutions -- for example, changing Senate rules and procedures that impede government, countering misinformation and promoting campaign finance reform and term limits.

There is a profound relationship problem between the government and the people that it serves. Many Americans feel alienated from the corrupted political process, the dysfunction of the government and the seeming polarization of our society. The health care debate and the spectacle of the August town halls laid open all that alienation and despair.

Since August, many of us chose to cocoon in our homes, growing more frustrated and outraged over our diseased political system. This is a terrible state of affairs because the public's disengagement from politics is the greatest threat to a democracy.

We are proposing to address this threat, to practice democracy at the local level and create a home in the public sphere. What better place than a neighborhood coffee shop to create that home?

There are three steps to this model of participatory democracy.

The first step is creating a public space for open and civil dialogue. The second step is collective deliberation, considering facts and values to arrive at a decision. The third step is working toward implementing the decision.

We will practice all three steps as a community, pledging to be civil to each other.
Conservatives tend to think that the Federal Government was made to be inefficient for good reason -- to prevent it from accumulating and exercising too much power.

I read this and I see a SWPL vehicle that can be used to serve the Democratic party, just as the Republicans would like to use the TPM.

FAQ: What is the Coffee Party's position on illegal immigration? What is Annabel's position given her work on 9500 Liberty?

From what I can seen of their rhetoric, those who are heading the movement seem very much to be supporters of multiculturalism. What do they do when they encounter those who do not agree with their values? Use liberalism to trump them? Or would they really submit in accordance with the wishes of the majority of the local community? Or, would they instead, appeal to their own "hidden majority" encompassing all of the United States which is supposedly tolerant, progressive, socialist, and so on?

Show of Hands

Confederate Colonel reminds me of the song "Roots" by Show of Hands: Roots – An English Band’s Plea. The video has been floating around a while in traditional con/Southron circles. I wanted to see what else was available at YT.

Dalrymple on France

In a discussion of football (soccer):

Nowhere has this been more so than in France, where a veritable crisis has been caused by the utter failure of the national team. That team played lamentably badly, failed to win a single match, lost against the most mediocre opponents, was eliminated from the competition at the first hurdle, and worse still behaved abominably.
In 1998, the French team won the World Cup and there was a burst of national euphoria as a result. The team of 1998 was composed of blancs, beurs, noirs – that is to say, whites, Arabs, blacks – and this was taken, briefly, as evidence of the success of France as a multicultural and multiethnic society. Huge crowds greeted the successful team as it paraded in the modern equivalent of a Roman triumph. Preposterous triviality could go no further.
Twelve years later, when the French team lost miserably in the same competition, the opposite sentiments were widely expressed, at least in the newspapers and on the air. The team was now predominantly black and Arab; anyone who knew France only through its national football team would place the country somewhere between North and Equatorial Africa. One prominent white in the team, a spectacularly ugly and thuggish-looking man, so ill-educated that he could barely string a few words together, let alone a sentence, in his native language, had converted to Islam. Another white in the squad, a blonde Breton who was notably better-educated than his colleagues, had to be excluded from the team because none of the others would co-operate with or pass the ball to him.
When the Marseillaise was played before a match started in which the French were to play, the team refused to sing it or accord it any respect. While it is perfectly normal for many Frenchmen not to know all the words – which is probably as well, since they are horribly bloodthirsty, and include the hope that the impure blood of aristocrats may irrigate the ploughed furrows of the peasantry – almost all know at least the first four lines. The players appeared to be expressing their disdain for the country they supposedly represented and that had enabled them to become multi-millionaires by the age of 20. At the root of their resentment would not be injustice, but remembered slights, real or imagined.
A player named Anelka then insulted the team manager because the manager criticised the performance at half-time. The words used by Anelka were so gross that I will not translate them; the manager excluded him from the team and sent him home. Outraged by this assault on their inalienable right to freedom of speech, the team went on strike and refused to train for a day. It was hardly surprising that even sixth-rate teams were able to beat them.
Whereas the victory in 1998 was taken as proof of the success of French society, the defeat in 2010 was taken as proof of precisely the opposite. How was it that the country had raised up a generation of resentful, ill-mannered, ungrateful and thoroughly spoilt youths, who weren’t even very good at what they had been paid enormous sums to do? (One of the better-behaved and more dignified of them, a man called Thierry Henry, is paid more than $20,000,000 a year, before his advertising and publicity revenue.)
Of course, if the team had been successful, if it had repeated the success of 1998, no one would have raised these questions, and euphoria rather than depression would have been the mood of the moment. As it was, the team was the best propaganda possible for Jean-Marie Le Pen, of the Front National.
A parliamentary enquiry is to be held about the state of French football; the president himself has expressed his concern. Many people have said that debacle reflects the state of French society. Against all this, one writer in Le Monde did manage to point out in a short article to the effect that football is only a game, after all, and the whole spectacle a trivial one; but the opposite view of its importance prevailed.
I confess that I was surprised by how the French showed themselves as stupid about football as the English. It is true that the behaviour of the French team was used as a metonym for the horrible, resentful culture of the suburban housing projects that surround every French town of any size; but it was hardly necessary for the French team to have behaved so badly or to have lost for the latter to be widely known. It is also true that if you compare the faces of the English football team of, say, the 1950s with those of the team today, you will see the decline in civility of English society as a whole. But what really mattered to people in France was victory or defeat in the sporting contest, not the state of society. Football was more important to them than anything else, and a victory – or at any rate, a more dignified defeat – would have anaesthetised their thoughts about the country’s social problems.
It seems to me very odd, and not at all reassuring, that a country such as France, with a practically unrivalled history of achievement in all the major fields of human endeavour, should have been precipitated into an orgy of self-examination by something as trivial as a failure in a football competition, when it is utterly indifferent to questions of incomparably greater importance: for example, why it is completely incapable, after a continuous and millennial history of wonderful architecture, of erecting a decent building, one that is not an eyesore? (It is not alone in this, of course.) I have never seen this question so much as raised, let alone answered, though I do not think any reasonably alert person could drive through France without asking himself it.

Items of Interest, 5 July 2010

Patrick Deneen, More on CLS vs. Martinez
Rod Dreher, Coming: Dow 1,000?

Asia News:
Kerala, hand severed of Christian Professor accused of blasphemy
Chinese banks recapitalise as China follows in the footsteps of Greece

Expo, the Orthodox celebrate St. John of Shanghai
At the Expo, the Chinese authorities allow the Orthodox community to celebrate regular prayer services. Local communist officials also present at the ceremony commemorating the saint, who reunited the Orthodox community in the early thirties.

Energy Bulletin:
The CSIRO and the myth of progress (original)
Cameron Leckie, Online Opinion Australia

Busting the myth of progress is a precursor to changing industrial civilisations' current unsustainable path.

Alan Farago
, The Chinese Boy and the Bicycle
Ron Jacobs, Relaxing the Rules of Engagement
Dave Lindorff
, Afghan War Funding
The New York Times: A Conversation With Sebastian Junger.

See also this video from 2009: Stalemate in Korangal Valley.

If James Howard Kunstler were to start his own political party

It would be like this: My Tea Party.

His animosity towards the South shows up again:

The other tea parties have been silent on the war because of the ties between Christian fundamentalism and military chauvinism. This is due, I suspect, to the tea parties first emanating out of Dixieland, where an old Scots-Irish "cracker" belligerence persists in a romantic view of violence - and where, coincidentally, there happen to be so many US military bases, and families dependent on careers connected with them. The confusions of hellfire Christian theology with governance form an overlayment on this, so you end up with a political culture favoring military adventures abroad and pushing citizens around at home on matters of social behavior (while mouthing a lot of disingenuous nonsense about "liberty").
He does have a point, though, about the place of Southrons in the U.S. military. Why do so many cooperate with the empire in such a way? A mistaken form of patriotism.

Much of the rest is rather sensible, though I question how much of an "American common culture" there was to begin with. What is Mr. Kunstler thinking of when he says this?
Peter Hitchens, This mugger-hugger knows the truth, just like the ‘all mouth and no truncheon’ phoney

What unites Michael Howard and Ken Clarke (and the Labour Party, and the Liberals) is that they wilfully don’t have a clue about crime or disorder. They wilfully know nothing about policing. They wilfully don’t understand what happens in prisons. They know that the truth is very Right-wing indeed, so they hide from it.

Deliberate ignorance is the essential qualification for all politicians, academics and ‘home affairs correspondents’, and civil servants in the Ministry of Injustice which Mr Clarke now heads. All the information is readily available to anyone who wants it. But it leads to conclusions which our elite can’t bear, mainly the need to rough up, punish and frighten the wicked. So they pretend it doesn’t exist.
Who still makes crank calls this day and age? Some teenage girl(?) called after 2 in the morning... Next time I should be harsher in my response.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Robert George responds to Michael Perry: Dictatorship of Relativism.

Der Spiegel: How the Left Took Things Too Far

How the Left Took Things Too Far: The Sexual Revolution and Children
By Jan Fleischhauer and Wiebke Hollersen

(via Rod Dreher, How the cultural Left paved way for pedophilia)

Does that include taking children to clothing-optional beaches (as depicted in The Baader Meinhof Complex)?

The Distributist Review

The Distributist Review has a new website and look. (Webpage for the press.)

Chris Martenson corrects Boston Magazine

Bunkers ‘R not us: Correcting Boston Magazine’s take on this movement (original)
by Chris Martenson

Boston Magazine: The End is Near Inc.

His website.

NPR: Carolina Chocolate Drops and Jewel

Carolina Chocolate Drops: Tradition From Jug To Kazoo and The Two Sides Of Jewel: 'Sweet And Wild'.

More on the Carolina Chocolate Drops:
PRI feature
The band will be appear in the July 6 episode of the Tavis Smiley show. (His official site.)

Emanuel Perrier lecture on rights and politics

From the third day of "Dominicans and the Challenges of Thomism":

Emmanuel Perrier (Toulouse): Les thomistes ont-ils encore des raisons de parler du droit et de la politique? [download]

Check out the full conference and the gallery. Men in white!

Reality Check for the Greens

The Oil Drum: 195 Californias or 74 Texases to Replace Offshore Oil

Bach, Double Violin Concerto

Rachel Podger & Andrew Manze

Part 2

Part 3

Interviews with Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras

7th Festival Misteria Paschalia - interview with Jordi Savall


7th Misteria Paschalia Festival - interview with Montserrat Figueras