Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sebastian Junger on Q TV

From this thread at Catholic Answers Forums -- [Syro-Malabar] Congregation of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate


New Mount Carmel Foundation

I came across the website for the non-profit organization set up by lay people to help the Wyoming Carmelites handle fund-raising for their new monastery: New Mount Carmel Foundation, Inc. I noticed that in the photos on this website, the habits are slightly different from those shown on the monks' website:

Their [old?] habits were all dark brown. Was there a change in their habits, and does this reflect something else? Sarge thinks that may reflect that they are more monastic than mendicant, and that they are attempting something "new."

Here are some more photos, including this one with a familiar face.

John Médaille, Distributism and the political economy


If an economy is to achieve equilibrium, that rough balance between supply and demand upon which orderly markets depend, then obviously there must be sufficient demand distributed through the mass of men to clear the markets. Since most men do not have sufficient productive property to make their own way in the world, the mass of goods must be distributed to the mass of men by wages. And for this to work, there must be a certain justice in the wage; if the workers get a declining share of the output, markets will fail; there will not be enough purchasing power to clear the markets, and they will have to be supplemented by government spending or by consumer lending. But both of these are temporary fixes, at best, which merely delay the collapse rather than mend it. Mending the situation requires us to fix the wage system itself.

Wages are a part of distributive justice, which deals with how to distribute the output of some social enterprise, be it a state, a firm, or a family. Distributism is the political economy which explores the effects of distributive justice on the economic order. It is the claim of the distributists that justice is central to the economic question. When we speak of remoralizing the markets, as Phillip Blond puts it, we are not talking about adding something to an already complete science of economics; rather, we are speaking of something which is central to political economy and without which the science cannot be complete.

We usually think that wages pertain to commutative justice... something to reconsider, especially their relationship to natural resources (which are common) and labor (which seems to not be common).
Roger Ebert likes Never Let Me Go, based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. I've lost interest in Keira Knightley as an actress, but the movie itself may be worth a look. (Not sure if I'd tackle the novel...)

Rotten Tomatoes
Yahoo Movies

[Edit. I forgot to add this remark last night -- I knew Ebert was an altar boy when he was young, but did he also receive a Catholic education? He writes in his review: "Two of the requirements for a being with a soul in Thomist philosophy are free will, and the ability to love. Donors qualify for both." A Thomist would talk about rationality and how the capacity to love is included in rationality, this seems to be more like a "Franciscan" account. Where did he pick this up?]

It's been a long week, and I was at the Gun Rights Policy Conference today; maybe I'll post something on it tomorrow.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Two items via EB

Carolyn Baker refers to the film Good Food: "Good Food": A movement, not just a movie.

Would the Pacific Northwest be a better place to farm than California?

Matthew Wild reviews Peak of the Devil (blog).

Gene Logsdon's book on manure

Selling a book that has no name
by Gene Logsdon (EB)

Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind
Prairie Public Radio: Holy Shit, Managing Manure to Save Mankind

Mr. Logsdon does have his own website:  The Contrary Farmer. The title of his book might seem irreverent, or it may be just tongue-in-cheek; has Mr. Logsdon reconciled himself to his Catholic past? It calls to mind Harry Frankfurt's On Bullshit.

Google Books
the essay

Holy See on Millennium Development Goals


The campaign for development carried out by international agencies has revealed that success is not so much economic assistance but rather creativity and resourcefulness, commitment and countless sacrifices of "small actors." For example, there are local governments and municipal authorities, the myriad of subjects who make up civil society — large and small NGOs, international and national trade unions, cooperatives, consumer associations, advocacy groups— as well as a plethora of "Faith-based Organizations." Such local ownership constitutes a new phenomenon, which has succeeded, almost spontaneously, in combining the most modern technology with so-called "appropriate" and "intermediate technology" thus giving life to the expression "small is beautiful." Indeed, this reality was predicted many years ago by economists such as Ernest Friedrich Schumacher, and strongly inspired by the Encyclicals Rerum Novarum of Pope Leo XIII and Mater et Magister of John XXIII (cf. also Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, n. 72).

The struggle for development has therefore stressed the importance of actively mobilizing all subjects of civil society; and in this way, has proven to be, beyond a doubt, the centrality of the human person, as the subject primarily responsible for development (Caritas in Veritate, no. 47). Real men and women who have formed partnership and alliances to bring the north and the south together are showing that it is possible to unite the immense possibilities of intelligence and human will in the service of integral human development. There is a vast amount of experience, from Africa and from other poor regions, to demonstrate that positive change is possible. This involvement, at the ground level, where local communities become key actors in their own development, is something indispensable for the true effectiveness of international aid and for better international financial and commercial structures, which nevertheless continue to be necessary.

Have there been changes in the way the Vatican understands economic development of the third world that would mitigate Ivan Illich's criticisms of it?

Joseph Pearce on Bl. John Henry Newman

UK Hearts Opened to Message of Faith and Reason
Interview With Newman Scholar Joseph Pearce
(via Insight Scoop)

St. Pio, September 23

My mom was telling the the MD's daughters that that today is the feast day of Saint Pio. She then took out her holy cards to show them a picture of him, but niece #2 picked Padre Pio's holy card out. Po Po was astonished and asked niece #2, "How did you know that was Padre Pio?"

Niece #2 replied, "I saw Padre Pio in a dream. I was walking inside a church, and then I saw him. Padre Pio was smiling, and he went inside [into] the church to pray, and then he came outside. And then he said, 'Thank you for saying prayer.' I even gave him a hug!" Po po was questioning whether she made it up; "I'm not lying!"

Padre Pio Foundation of America
Padre Pio, Cappuchin Priest, Stigmatic

John Robb on Facebook and other internet companies

Cognitive Slaves

 If we awarded 4/5 ths of the value of Facebook (and the same exercise could be done with Google at a couple of million superusers) to its superusers, leaving the tool managers $5 billion in value, each superuser would now be worth $200,000 from their contributions to this tool alone.  But they aren't.  They haven't earned a penny for their effort. 
One way to look at this is that we are truly in trouble.  If the industries of the future are based on cognitive slavery, we all lose.  However, as an entrepreneur, an optimist (believe it or not), and a believer in the potential for social/economic improvement, I think this can be corrected.  I believe it's possible to build tools and the companies that manage them, in a way that actually rewards the people that do most of the work.  All we need to do is make it possible.

It's not clear to me why he thinks that companies like Facebook and Google have a future.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Anthony Esolen on Issues, Etc.

Discussing marriage (mp3). (via Mere Comments)
The agenda (pdf) for the Gun Rights Policy Conference being held this weekend near the San Francisco Airport. Pre-registration is closed, but you can still register in person at the conference.

Theologian David B. Hart talks about his family background

The Greatest Nation on Earth

 His family roots are indeed deep. He then proceeds to consider whether the United States is the "greatest nation on earth":

In recent decades, moreover, as the emerald fields and forests of my native Howard County have been swallowed up in the gray squalid sprawl of urban development, to accommodate all those (principally northern) Ausländer who have moved into the region to work in D.C., and as the soft, lyrical, distinctly Southern lilt of the central Maryland accent has been drowned under a hideous deluge of slurred syllables, guttural vowels, and glottal stops, I have at times found myself thinking of Americans much as the Helots must have thought of the Spartans.

Perhaps this explains, at least in part, my inability to join full-throatedly in that interminable chorus of self-congratulation that is American patriotism. Not to say I do not appreciate our national virtues or magnificent landscapes. I certainly have no desire to live anywhere else. My devotion to baseball is damnably idolatrous.

But, in general, my love of country is a quiet, somewhat reclusive emotion that does not like to disport itself in the open. I cannot feel whatever my compatriots feel when they make wildly exorbitant claims about America’s unsurpassable epochal importance; I certainly cannot seriously credit the claim—which I have heard all my life—that America is the “greatest nation on earth,” or even the “greatest nation in history.”

What could that possibly mean? 

What country earns Mr. Hart's vote for the greatest country on earth? Bhutan. (Which has been promoted through Gross National Happiness -- wiki.)

AFP: Happy Bhutan proposes a new global goal

Bhutan's Prime Minister Lyonchoen Jigmi Yoezer Thinley addresses the Millennium Development Goals Summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York, September 20, 2010. (Getty/Daylife)

United Nations Millenium Development Goals
2010 MDG Summit
UN Millenium Project

Bhutanese dancers take part in the annual Tsechu festival in Thimphu September 18, 2010. The biggest masked dance festival of the year, features fancifully costumed dancers performing masked dance-dramas celebrating events in the life of Guru Rimpoche, who introduced Buddhism in its Tantric form to Bhutan in the eighth century. (Reuters/Daylife)

Different groups performing dances during Tshechu festival honouring Guru Padmasambhava, an Indian saint who contributed enormously to the diffusion of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Thimphu, Bhutan. 17/09/2010 (Demotix/Daylife)

Different groups performing dances during Tshechu festival honouring Guru Padmasambhava, an Indian saint who contributed enormously to the diffusion of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Thimphu, Bhutan. 17/09/2010 (Demotix/Daylife)

Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigme Yoser Thinley (L) greets President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed (2R) on his arrival to attend the 16th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Thimphu on April 28, 2010. Bhutan is the host the annual summit of South Asian leaders for the first time on April 28-29. (Getty/Daylife)

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, second left, and Bhutan Prime Minister, Jigme Y. Thinley, second right, look on as Indian Foreign Minister S.M.Krishna, left, and Bhutan Foreign Minister Lyonpo Khandu exchange agreements for the construction of hydro electric projects during a signing ceremony in Thimphu, Bhutan, Friday, April 30, 2010. South Asian leaders unveiled a US$300 million fund Thursday to reduce poverty in the region and signed agreements on trade and environmental protection as a two-day summit in this tiny Buddhist kingdom ended Thursday. (AP/Daylife)

In Buddhist Bhutan, Happiness Counts
Bhutan's happiness formula
Bhutan - The Last Place
Happiness, as in Bhutan
Twitch: Poster Art For Wong Kar Wai's THE GRAND MASTER

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Phillip Blond, Reclaiming a Liberal legacy

The party's great postwar leader Jo Grimond would have approved of David Cameron's 'big society'

But there is another tradition through which the coalition could find its governing principles and its transformative agenda – the "big society". A belief in a self-organising citizenry is not foreign to liberals; indeed, the modern liberal party is founded on it. Free association was the governing philosophy of Jo Grimond, the Liberals' most important postwar intellectual who lead the party from 1956-67, saving them from electoral irrelevance and restoring it as a decisive political force. Contemporary liberalism has largely forgotten Grimond's legacy. Grimond believed that liberalism was too defined by John Stuart Mill's dismissal of society: for Grimond, "Society is as essential to the individual as water to a fish." As such, the greatest danger to individuals was individualism, for when the world did not meet their aspirations utilitarian individuals always turned to the state, demanding that government do more and more.

By arguing that "liberals have far too often ignored the group", Grimond recognised that the key unit of social change was not the choices of isolated individuals or the bureaucratic monstrosity of the state, but civic groups, organising in society for their own self-expression. The alternatives to a politics of free association were either an extreme capitalism, or socialism, both of which subsumed individuals to either mass consumption or mass welfarism. But Grimond's prophetic insights did not stop there: he extended his thinking into the economic sphere building on the distributism of Belloc and Chesterton (the other great English liberals of the 20th century) and argued for a new order that would mutualise prosperity and power throughout Britain.

Is Grimond's liberalism just modern liberalism? Does Grimond share any of the presuppositions of classical liberals: social compact theory, the relationship between the individual and society, the end of society, and so on?

In production: movie based on The Rite

Some information here: Skip the current exorcism movie; new exorcism movie set for January release promises to be much better

I had read something about the movie in a flyer for a men's retreat featuring the priest about whom The Rite is written. Actually, it was a recent newsletter for the California Catholic Women's Forum. (I picked up the newsletter at this year's Manhattan Forum Conference, which was held last Saturday. More about that in a subsequent post, maybe...)

Matt Baglio
Renovo: The Catholic Higher Education Blog has some names familiar that would be familiar to the New Scot. Joshua Hochschild also blogs there.

Sarge, what do you make of this?

Defense Review: GEN 3 SRSS BullDog 762 BullPup M14/M1A 7.62mm NATO Rifle/Carbine Chassis/Stock System for Urban Tactical Operations, including Vehicle Ops (Review and Photos!)

How about prosecuting politicians for malfeasance?

CNN: 8 current, former Bell, California officials arrested

Let's get some convinctions, please.

WC WC vids...

With Dan Inosanto:

An interview from 1996:

The President should give his aunt a civics lesson

But you can only teach what you know: (AP) Obama's aunt says US obligated to make her citizen
What an entitlement complex, and it isn't limited to Obama's aunt (or Obama for that matter) -- the same could be said of all radical democrats (as defined by Plato and Aristotle). See John C. Médaille, On Democracy and Kings.

CNN: Bill Clinton on how he lost weight 
I can't stand the man, so I won't watch the video, but I'd be interested to read what low-carb proponents say about it.

Are dying languages worth saving? (via EB)

Mike Whitney, Housing: The Swelling Backlog

Also from Counterpunch:

John Ross, The Next Mexican Revolution 
Steve Breyman, The Myth That Kills

Monday, September 20, 2010

Two videos with Peter Hitchens

How to be Bourgeois, and other matters

More baffling is the admiration for Mr Fry's supposed comic skills. For anyone who actually appreciates P. G. Wodehouse, Mr Fry's version of Jeeves and Wooster was so creakily wooden and blatant as to be almost physically painful. It is not impossible to portray this pair on TV - as I have pointed out before, Dennis Price and Ian Carmichael did so brilliantly, with much subtlety, in the early 1960s, and were actually lauded by Wodehouse himself - who must be the ultimate judge.

But it is difficult, and it requires the actors involved to realise that Wodehouse's genius lies in his descriptions. You can't actually put lines such as 'Ice began to form on the butler's upper slopes' into dialogue. But you can, having read it, know immediately and exactly what it means, and if you have the sympathy and the talent, you can presumably convey it on screen.

Texts from the UK trip

Pope Benedict XVI (2nd L) conducts a Mass to beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman in Cofton Park, in Birmingham, central England, on September 19, 2010. Pope Benedict XVI began celebrating a huge outdoor mass Sunday to elevate a 19th century Catholic convert to the final stage before sainthood as the pontiff wraps up his historic state visit to Britain. (Getty/Daylife)

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Pope Benedict XVI attends Oscott College, the home of the Seminary of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, on September 19, 2010 in Birmingham, England. On the last day of Pope Benedict XVI state visit the Pontiff is beatifying Cardinal Newman in front of over 50,000 faithful. His Holiness has also met The Queen as well as political and religious representatives during the four day visit. (Getty/Daylife)

Pope Benedict XVI is surrounded by Bishops as they pose for a photograph at Oscott College seminary in Birmingham, central England September 19, 2010. The Pope is on the final day of a four day state visit to England and Scotland. (Reuters/Daylife)

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Pope Benedict XVI attends Oscott College, the home of the Seminary of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, on September 19, 2010 in Birmingham, England. On the last day of Pope Benedict XVI's state visit the Pontiff is beatifying Cardinal Newman in front of over 50,000 faithful. His Holiness has also met The Queen as well as political and religious representatives during the four day visit. (Getty/Daylife)

UK Prime Minister's Farewell Address to Pontiff"You Have Offered a Message Not Just to the Catholic Church but to Each and Every One of Us" [2010-09-19]

Benedict XVI's Farewell Address to UK
"Thank You for the Warmth of Your Welcome and for the Hospitality" [2010-09-19]

Papal Message to Bishops
"It Has Become Clear to Me How Deep a Thirst There Is" for the Good News [2010-09-19]

On Blessed John Henry Newman's Love of Mary
"He Lived His Priestly Ministry in a Spirit of Filial Devotion" [2010-09-19]

Papal Homily at Beatification of Cardinal Newman
"He Lived Out a Profoundly Human Vision of Priestly Ministry" [2010-09-19]

Pontiff's Words to Protectors of Youth [2010-09-18]
"Your Work ... Has Made a Vital Contribution"

Benedict XVI's Address at Hyde Park Vigil [2010-09-18]
"We Were Created to Know the Truth"

Papal Words to Residence for Retirees [2010-09-18]
"The Church Has Always Had Great Respect for the Elderly"

Pope's Address to Faithful of Wales [2010-09-18]
"The Welsh People Have Been Distinguished for Their Devotion to the Mother of God"

Benedict XVI's Greeting to UK Youth [2010-09-18]
"We Were Made to Know the God of Love"

Papal Homily in Westminster Cathedral [2010-09-18]
"The Eucharistic Sacrifice Has Always Been at the Heart of Catholic Faith"

Archbishop William's Address to Benedict XVI [2010-09-17]
"Holiness Is at Its Simplest Fellowship With Christ"

Holy Father's Address at Ecumenical Celebration [2010-09-17]
"Obedience ... Must Be Free of Intellectual Conformism"

Papal Address at Westminster Hall [2010-09-17]
"Acknowledge the Vital Contribution That Religious Belief Has Made"

Statement on Pope-Anglican Meeting [2010-09-17]
"Reaffirmed the Importance of Continuing Theological Dialogue"

Holy Father's Discourse at Lambeth Palace [2010-09-17]
"Culture Is Growing Ever More Distant From Its Christian Roots"

Holy Father's Words to Religious Leaders in UK [2010-09-17]
"Genuine Religious Belief Points Us Beyond Present Utility Toward the Transcendent"

Papal Address to the Students of UK's Catholic Schools [2010-09-17]
"What God Wants ... for Each One of You Is That You Should Become Holy"

Benedict XVI's Address to Catholic Educators [2010-09-17]
"True Wisdom Is Inseparable From Knowledge of the Creator"

Benedict XVI's Comments en Route to Scotland [2010-09-16]
"I Go Forward With Great Courage and Joy"
Well, I don't know if a Five Guys is being opened in Mt. View (like DL said, but she would know, since she works in the area), but there is one being opened on the corner of Sunnyvale and El Camino, just up the street from the 'local' In and Out. I don't think it is open yet, but I didn't drive inside the parking lot to take a closer look. (When it was being constructed, I thought that shopping cluster might have difficulty renting, but it looks like all the spaces have been rented out -- there are at least 3 different food stores.)

Using store locator, I see the Fremont and SJ locations, but no Sunnyvale location yet.
In response to the news (Economic panel says recession ended in June 2009), Michael Shedlock writes: Good News: The Great Recession is Over; Bad News: It Doesn't Feel Like It.

Robert Royal on Bl. John Henry Newman

Heart to Heart
Prayer Vigil/Pope Benedict XVI in Hyde Park,London

Pope/Ecumenical Celebration at Westminster Abbey.

Gloria TV News on the Feast of Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Papal Mass at Westminster Cathedral

which occurred yesterday... these posts do not reflect the chronological order of the various events of the Holy Father's visit to the UK. It's the order in which I find the videos or finish writing something about the events.


(via NLM)

I didn't like the piece of organ music which was played (as the processional?) and was repeated several times during the liturgy. Dramatic, yes, but I thought it called too much attention to itself, and was distracting from the liturgy. The Westminster Cathedral Choir was, as expected, excellent.

Today I was wondering what would happen if the Holy Father were to re-introduce the orans position, not as the standard prayer gesture for Roman-rite Catholics but just for the Pater Noster during the liturgy. Would that be too radical a change, even if it were not required as a rubric? And what if Roman-rite Catholics were to make the sign of the cross in the original way (the way the Orthodox still do it), from right to left rather than from left to right? Would Catholics be complaining that we are losing something distinctive about our liturgical heritage?
Today after the 11:00 AM Mass was the parish's celebration of its patron, St. Joseph of Cupertino (his feast day was yesterday). Watching the parishioners stroll into the parish hall for the potluck lunch, I was again made aware of the demographic changes that have taken place since I was a child. There were a few families attending, but not very many young adults, except for a couple of people associated with the Legionaries and a couple of other men who looked familiar. (Apparently the local LCs are associated with the youth ministry program.) There are less and less white people with each passing year, and it seems that most of those who still come to parish celebrations are seniors or getting to that age. Soon we will not have any Italian-Americans at the parish?

Just yesterday I was thinking about my classmates in 2nd grade, including N. Miller, who also went to CCD, though she wasn't in my class. Where are they now? What is the ethnic composition of the CCD classes today? If only I remembered all their names. I don't think these were printed in my yearbook. (And I do not know where that is.)

Meanwhile, Sarge attended Emo's church today, which celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival afterwards (along with the feast of St. Andrew Kim). Wish I could have been there.

I still don't have chickens.

Cluck Trek
Joanne Poyourow, Transition US
Chickens are the happening thing in the city -- as evidenced by the fact that the our chicken coop tour was highlighted by the Los Angeles Times (none of our Transition events have ever made it past the editors of this giant paper before). There aren't too many people who have chickens here, but there is LOTS of interest.

More on humanure

Recycling animal and human dung is the key to sustainable farming
Kris De Decker, Low-tech Magazine
Flushing the water closet is handy, but it wreaks ecological havoc, deprives agricultural soils of essential nutrients and makes food production dependent on fossil fuels.
Pope Benedict XVI in the UK - Mass of Beatification John Henry Newman - Cofton Park, Birmingham

Mao's legacy

'Mao's Great Leap Forward 'killed 45 million in four years'
By Arifa Akbar, Arts Correspondent

Guardian review

Are there any Mao apologists still left (in Berkeley or elsewhere) to make excuses for him? "At least he aided the cause of population control." Maybe he should have initiated several more Great Leap Forwards.

Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe
Frank Dikötter
HKU page


Tea at Trianon: The Debate of the Moment: Skirts vs. Slacks Revisited

Tea at Trianon: The Debate of the Moment: Skirts vs. Slacks Revisited

Mark O'Connor/James Taylor/Yo-Yo Ma/Edgar Meyer - Hard Times Come Again No More

(via Mark O'Connor)

I'll have to look for some more videos of Yo-Yo Ma.

Rome Reports: The Pope beatifies Cardinal John Henry Newman in Birmingham

Another Robert Hirsch interview

Exclusive interview: Robert Hirsch by Matthieu Auzanneau (original)