Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sarge told me that his friend had recommended me for the job in Af, but the person in charge of the hires for the project decided not to go ahead with the hire, b/c I lacked military experience, even though he thought my resume looked good. Sarge's friend thought that I was a sure thing for the hire. I'll have to thank him when I see him in October.

The Holy Father at Westminster Abbey

I didn't get a chance to watch this live yesterday...

Westminster Abbey
Papal Visit


the Holy Father were to visit a non-white country, how many white Catholics would be featured in the various ceremonies and liturgies (assuming any were to be found among the expatriates and immigrants)? Where is the line between a sincere expression of inclusivity by the local Church and the desire to cater to the demands of multiculturalism for the sake of appearance?

Parts 2, 3, 4

Pants vs. skirts

A post on the question of modesty in women's dress at The Thinking Housewife (along with a discussion of authority): Skirts, Pants and Totalitarianism

The text often cited by traditionalists is the Notification concerning Men's Dress Worn By Women by Giuseppe Cardinal Siri (translation by Bishop Williamson). (Some discussion of that text here.) I don't think I have anything new at the moment to add to the discussion--the reactions elicited by the post at CatholiCity gives some indication of the problems associated with easy access to the Internet for anyone with an opinion. Apparently, there are a lot of issues all tangled up together -- whether men should have any say over what their wives wear, whether women should be modest, whether women should care about maintaining their appearance, and so on... feminists have answers to these questions, and it seems to me that some Catholic women may be repeating their answers and attitudes.

Immodesty and Women Wearing Men's Clothing by Marian Therese Horvat, Ph.D.
Trish Thuy Trang is supposed to be making an appearance at Children the Moon Festival/Tet Trung Thu in Downtown San Jose tonight. (Plaza de Cesar Chavez, 12:00pm - 10:00pm)

Alas, I won't be able to go. (Besides, I haven't found parking in downtown San Jose to be easy.)

Pauline Maier on the Constitution

Harmony Hunter interviews Constitution expert Pauline Maier (mp3)

(via the FB page for Colonial Williamsburg)

I have one of her books (which I have not read yet), and they have been recommended on Amazon and elsewhere. How good of a scholar is she? I can't speak to that. Her appearance on Charlie Rose.

A review of her American Scripture (Random House).

Plus: Kevin Carson, A Government of Laws? Tell Me Another One

Friday, September 17, 2010

Patrick Deneen, Constitution Day

Front Porch Republic

The United States: A republic or a union of republics? This question has been addressed by Southern conservatives, paleoconservatives, and paleolibertarians before. I lack their ability to give a critique of this piece by Wilson Carey McWilliams, but if he is mistaken on this point, then might it not be the case that his representation of the Constitution and  "the ideas behind it" might be wrong? Would McWilliams have considered himself a Straussian? One can endorse the communitarianism of McWilliams without accepting his account of American intellectual and political history. How relevant are the liberal sympathies of various delegates and framers of the Constitution to our understanding of that document? I might agree that there is nothing in the Constitution that hinders social fragmentation, especially in its treatment of citizenship--but is this shortcoming due to liberal assumptions, or just ignorance and uncrtical acceptance of what had come before (in particular, the easy physical mobility of Americans)?

A ETZIONI, Wilson Carey McWilliams's Conservative Communitarianism
The Active Society Revisited (Google Books)
Amitai Etzioni

In reaction to the recent "Tea Party" victories in recent Republican primaries --
Tea Party Nation? by Thomas Fleming
PJB, Rockefeller Republicans
An old post by Dr. Anthony Esolen has been brought up by The Thinking Housewife, Ten Arguments for Sanity, 7-8, in which he speculates on the origins of male SSA. A reader at the Thinking Housewife and the proprietrix of the blog are somewhat skeptical, but I think what Dr. Esolen has written is echoed by various [Catholic] psychologists writing about the genesis of SSA (for example, this).

I'd have to double-check what is written in The Battle for Normality and The Truth about Homosexuality.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

2010 Infantry Warfighting Conference

"Developing the Maneuver Force for Wide Area Security and Combined Arms Maneuver."

website and downloads

What do Lind and other theorists of maneuver warfare think of the conference and the Maneuver Center of Excellence?

Part 6 of Thomas Storck's series on CST

John Paul II, Laborem Exercens

See also Hugh Walters, The Thomist Inheritance and the Household Economy of Father Vincent McNabb. (Note the identification of social justice with general, or legal justice.)

Top Chef

(source: Yahoo TV)

The season 7 finale is currently available on Hulu.

With allegations in the past that the show is rigged, and with its home network being Bravo, should one be suspicious that  the contestants for Top Chef do not get where they are (including the initial pre-selection and qualifications) based only on merit? Looking at the current season's cast, I am struck by the low number of white males and the (overly-)diverse makeup of the contestants. Affirmative action? Liberals don't care about the sort of suspicions they may sow in a polity; it's all a power grab in the name of redressing injustice. Do they care that they may be undermining justice as a result of their policies?

Turning cooking into a competition may work in drawing male viewers, but if the competition is perceived to be unfair and driven by other ideological considerations, how many of them will continue to watch?

Education as Indoctrination

Paul Gottfried, PCU

Although one finds some real students in the sciences and occasionally even in the humanities, much of what goes on in college courses, and especially in education, social work and communications, rarely rises above the ridiculous. College learning has become devoid of ideational substance or real study requirements.
But who should be authorized, I hear from college administrators, to say whether a student has acquired enough learning to receive a college degree? Apparently it should depend on what the provider and customers think the product means. It’s like intelligence, which we are told exists in multiple forms, all deserving equal respect? And unless a graduate hopes to go on to medical school, a prestigious law school, or some other professional school requiring in-depth learning, no one will care what that former student has learned, providing he/she comes with a degree. There are accreditation boards, but from my experience, it would seem that those doing the visitations have exceedingly limited understanding of a proper learning environment. PC indoctrination and minority recruitment are the major concerns of the Middle Atlantic Board that pays visits to my college.

It might be countered that colleges are providing a service for which lots of people pay and therefore it would be niggling to complain about a commodity others value. Unfortunately this argument doesn’t work. We are talking not about the sale of Snicker bars or baseball cards but about something more significant. We are describing the degeneration of what used to be higher learning into an ominous development with long-range implications. The more higher learning becomes associated with what is infantile as well as dishonest, the more deeply it affects our understanding of higher education, the sciences and the process of becoming an educated person.

College education is being turned into a prolonged yap session for college enrollees -- together with an expensive “college experience” that usually entails minimal study time. We have predigested material that the professor is supposed to provide, along with fun and games. Such inventiveness is necessary to make sure the coordinator of the “learning group” gets rave evaluations. Without such evaluations instructors upset their employers, who are looking for tuition-bearing bodies. A common complaint on the right is that education is becoming an exercise in memorizing cultural Marxist views. But I would add that students pick up this gibberish as a form of ersatz learning. It is easier to learn which groups White Christian males oppressed the worst than to study calculus or Latin. Most of the students I encounter can do A without much effort, but plainly not B.

Although PC is taught at elite universities, its function there is entirely different from what it is elsewhere. In the Ivies, for example, PC constitutes the ideological basis of the present managerial order. It is the sacral and legitimating teaching of the ruling class that has to be passed on to a new generation of priests, in order to maintain the system. PC and diversity as transmitted at the top are not at all what they are at the bottom. At less than distinguished colleges, they are the candy of the intellectually challenged or hopelessly mediocre, which is pushed for among other reasons to keep government agencies and leftist accreditation boards off the backs of college administrators.

See also The Academic Bubble  by Scott Locklin. Dreaming of a Culture War by Paul E. Gottfried.
Dave Cohen, I Consume, Therefore I Am (EB)

Regarding our Fate here in the United States, the writing was on the wall when Americans, actual living & breathing human beings, were labeled and treated as units of consumption. Officially, we are consumers. Apparently, Americans are evaluated solely on whether they are spending enough money. Consuming boosts Gross Domestic Product, and GDP is the only thing that counts. It doesn't matter whether you've got the money or not. The virtue of Thrift, of living within your means, got tossed out the window a long, long time ago.

Mystical Body Mystical Voice

Mystical Body Mystical Voice (alt) will be having a presentation for the Diocese of Oakland on November 3.

Andrewe Bacevich responds to the pretensions of the Secretary of State

Hillary Clinton's 'American Moment' Was Nothing But American Blather

The Secretary of State's speech for the Council of Foreign Relations:
Hillary Clinton: This Is ‘A New American Moment’ (FULL VIDEO)
CFR transcript

LWRC Piston Disassembly


Saul Alinsky: Useful for conservatives?

Tools for Radicals by Jesse Walker (via Daniel McCarthy)

I think I recently saw something on Alinsky in connection to community archived at Energy Bulletin. Here is something from earlier this year.

Another George/Lee piece on embryos

Patrick Lee & Robert P. George, Confused on Fertilization
Another failed effort to show that human embryos are not human beings.

See Embryo: A Defense of Human Life.

Larry Vickers's announcement


Soldier Systems post

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

EWTN schedule for the Holy Father's visit to the UK

Now with times:

Thu. September 16

Arrival in Scotland at 5:30 AM ET / 2:30 AM PT
Visit with Her Majesty The Queen at 6 AM ET /3 AM PT
Mass at Bellahouston Park at 12 PM ET /9 AM ET

Fri. September 17

St. Mary's University at 5:00 AM ET /2 AM PT
Meeting with Youth at 6:30 AM ET / 3:30 AM PT
Meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury
at 10:30 AM ET / 7:30 AM PT
Westminster Hall at 12:00 PM ET / 9 AM PT
Westminster Abbey at 1PM ET / 10 AM PT

Sat. September 18

Mass in Westminster Cathedral at 5:00 AM ET /2 AM PT
St. Peter's Residence at 12:00 PM ET /9 AM PT
Hyde Park at 1:00 PM ET /10 AM PT

Sun. September 19

Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman
Live at 4:30 AM ET / 1:30 AM PT
( Encore 9:00 PM ET /6 PM PT & 1:00 PM ET /10 AM PT )
Departure at 1:00 PM ET /10 AM PT

I suspect that some of the other events may be rebroadcast as well...
NLM: 13th-Century Dominican Stabat Mater: Text and Music
Buried Treasure
Gene Logsdon,
What could be a simpler, more secure food supply? Even if the electricity goes off, even if the house blows away, even if we are visited with “the rocket’s red glare and bombs bursting in air,” our buried treasure will be safe.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Operation Dark Heart has a website??

Here (MacMillan).

The book recently caught some attention after it was revealed that the DIA was trying to buy up all of the copies of the first printing:
Pentagon Fighting Release of New War Memoir, 'Operation Dark Heart'
Pentagon tries to buy entire print run of US spy expose Operation Dark Heart

DIA letter

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer interviewed on the Alex Jones Show  (more)
LT. COLONEL Anthony Shaffer (intelligence officer) OPERATION ABLE DANGER -9/11
Some more videos
Able Danger: The Shaffer Interview
Able Danger blog

Interview with Fr. Ian Boyd

Zenit: Setting the World Right, With G.K. Chesterton's Help
An Interview with Father Ian Boyd of the Chesterton Institute

One of the few draws to cable for me

Video: Man vs. Wild: Swept Away


Kelley Vlahos on Erik Prince

The founder of Blackwater, now Xe Services--The Picture of Erik Prince.

(The U.S. Training Center???)
A collection of essays by Theodore Dalrymple: Second Opinion. An excerpt: The Poetry of the Welfare State.

O'Connor Violin Method

O'Connor Violin Method

Harmony Project L.A. uses the O'Connor Method

Mark O'Connor Violin Method from Mark O'Connor on Vimeo.

Mark O'Connor Violin Method: Westward Journey from Mark O'Connor on Vimeo.

NPR: Ricky Skaggs: A 'Mosaic' Of Modesty, Openness by Ken Tucker (mp3)
Found out today that today was the last day for VL and TL at the school; last year during Coral, iirc, T. has said her family was thinking of moving to a different part of San Jose so they could go to a better school district. She also made a comment relating the quality of the current district to the ethnic composition of the student body. That's how Asian parents think?
JoBlo: You want some Star Trek sequel talk? Well, here's some tibits from Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman

Items of Interest, 14 September 2010

Daniel Larison, “Limited But Energetic”
Rob Hopkins, What can communities do? (via EB)
Michael Shedlock, How Student Debt Wrecks Marriages, Inhibits Family Formation, and Delays the Housing Recovery

Catholic Answers Live, September 13, 2010: Cardinal Newman: Then and Now
Guest Fr. C. John McCloskey
(rm, mp3)

Sandro Magister, Why Kneel for Communion
Benedict XVI wants it that way, at the Masses he celebrates. But very few bishops and priests are imitating him. Yet this is one reason why churches were given ornate floors. A guide to the discovery of their significance

Asia Times:
Time running out for Japan
Japan's faltering growth serves as a reminder of how little its governments have done to revitalize the long-struggling economy beyond a stream of stimulus spending. The luxury of ample domestic funding to pay for this will not be available much longer. - Kunal Kumar Kundu

Taliban and US get down to talks
Preliminary peace talks between the Taliban and the United States have begun, with the Pakistan military and Saudi Arabia acting as go-betweens. A US concession could be the release of Pakistanis detained at Guantanamo Bay. Much thornier issues include a continued US presence in northern Afghanistan and what to do with al-Qaeda, which is busy extending its reach. - Syed Saleem Shahzad 

Hang on a second
Google is flouting its ability to give customers what they never knew they wanted by offering "instant" search results, which are predicted even as keywords are being entered. The problem now is what to do with all the resulting 2.5 seconds saved per search. Martin J Young  

"How un-Christian"

Mere Comments: Hilarion Not Nice at Nicean Dinner

We need more bishops calling a spade a spade.

the full text

Monday, September 13, 2010

Christopher Burchfield has a featured post at The Thinking Housewife

Our Feminized Forests


The Filipino martial art, known in the US primarily for its use of various weapons included sticks and edged weapons. Twitch has a review of a recent documentary: ESKRIMADORS Review.

Edit. A Trailer For Filipino Martial Arts Documentary ESKRIMADORS

More on Eskrima:

Part 2

Dan Inosanto video
Latosa Escrima
Escrima Concepts
Tactical Combat Escrima
Stanford Eskrima

Dan Inosanto doing BJJ:

Steve Andrews interviews Robert Hirsch

Interview with Bob Hirsch on his team’s new book—“The Impending World Energy Mess”  (original)
Steve Andrews, ASPO-USA 
Robert L. Hirsch, Roger Bezdek and Robert Wendling have coauthored a new publication, this time a book called "The Impending World Energy Mess: What It Is and What It Means to You," a book to be released by publisher Apogee Prime late this month...He has spent his entire career working in the energy realm, from the oil sector to numerous forms of electric power generation. In 2005, this team published "The Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation and Risk Management." Steve Andrews caught up with Bob Hirsch last week for Steve's last interview and final work with the Peak Oil Review.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

America and Islam After Iraq with Michael Scheuer

Road No. 1

The MBC drama Road No. 1 (로드 넘버원), starring Kim Ha Neul, is available on hulu with English subtitles.Hulu has been adding Korean dramas in the last few weeks. I suppose they found out Korean dramas are popular with a substantial number of people in the United States and elsewhere, and many of these fans use the internet to watch them.

Kim Ha Neul reminds me of Lee Eun Joo in Taegukgi -- their characters endure a lot, and yet they somehow seem delicate. The first opening battle sequence attempted to be realistic in the fashion of Taegukgi and Saving Private Ryan (though there was less shaky cam), but the combat was too fake. And the CGI for the explosions was very noticeable. A squad against... what was supposed to be a platoon? And the main character decides to call in artillery on his own position? And then orders his men to fix bayonets and rush the enemy? Hmmm...

But if I continue watching it, it will be for the melodrama - the separation of lovers, the mandatory love triangle, misunderstandings, plus the danger and tragedy of the Korean War as the setting of the story.

(I think the khaki dress uniforms are great, too. It's too bad the US Army got rid of its own khakis.)

I'm waiting for the DVD of 71 Into the Fire (포 화 속으로) to be released.

The Psychology of Combat
When I was in high school, the argument was frequently made in class and in "educational films" that soldiers must learn to demonize and dehumanize the enemy in order to kill. Is this really the case? Do soldiers depersonalize as a psychological defense mechanism, to the point of becoming numb to the killing? Or do they have to personalize even more -- making combat "personal" -- in order to kill too? That is, we make out our opponents to be true believers or those who intentionally wish to destroy our homes and so on -- and so they get what they deserve. What of the emotions of hate and anger?

Without the belief that our cause is right and just how can we kill without losing their sanity or their soul?

Is it the case that even with the conditioning techniques employed by the U.S. military to make it easier for soldiers to kill that some intellectual and emotional reinforcement is necessary? I need to finish reading Col. Grossman's books.

The Warrior Science Group

A thought on Asians adopting the ghetto look -- this is a "safe" and "accepted" form of rebellion (in East Asia as well as the U.S.?), but is it also a way to be anti-white (or to reject "white" culture)? An identification with the "oppressed" against the perceived "oppressor"?

Peter Hitchens: Bombing cities is just wrong – even when the planes are ours


Can we be straight about the Blitz, now that it is 70 years since it began?

Most of us have two absolutely clear reactions to it. The first is that dropping bombs on women and children in their homes is a wicked form of warfare.

The second is that - despite all the horrors of being bombed - the British people were not demoralised or blasted into defeatism, but worked all the harder for victory because it was the only way to get back at the enemy who dropped death on them from the sky.

Yet as soon as anyone suggests that we were wrong to bomb German women and children in their homes - as I firmly believe we were - they are shouted down by cries of ‘They asked for it!’.

Actually, they didn’t ask for it at all. The children, as always, had no say in the matter.

And the people who bravely voted against Hitler to the last lived in the poor urban areas which we deliberately bombed.

And when anyone argues - as I do - that the bombing of German civilians was also an ineffective way of fighting the war, doing surprisingly little damage to the Nazi war effort, they are shouted down by apologists who seem to think that Germans responded to bombing differently from British people.

It’s not true, and those who have studied the facts agree.

Yet I am absolutely in favour of a memorial, large and majestic, in a place where as many people as possible will see it, to the young men who nightly climbed into their bombers and flew over Germany.

They believed they were helping to destroy a great tyranny. They trusted their leaders.

That is why they set off, hearts in mouths, in the full knowledge that they probably wouldn’t come back, and that they were likely to die in a specially horrible fashion.

Not since the Somme in 1916 had so much steadfast valour and youth been squandered by old men who ought to have known better.

On the Bomber Command war memorial, alongside the shattering number of names and the chokingly sad ages at which they died, should be the words ‘Lions, led by Donkeys’.

It reminded me of the later comments to this post by Edward Feser: Happy Consequentialism Day.

"Squirrel Hunter"

Memories of John