Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Jeremy Beer, Dilemmas of conservatism: start with the labeling…

The Dilemmas of American Conservatism

Zenit: Solesmes Abbey Celebrates 1,000 Years

Solesmes Abbey Celebrates 1,000 Years

Gives Testimony to Perseverance, Stability, Says Abbot

SOLESMES, France, OCT. 13, 2010 ( The millennial anniversary celebrations of the foundation of the French Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter in Solesmes concluded on Tuesday with a solemn Eucharistic liturgy sung with Gregorian chant.

The ceremony was presided over by Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, as special papal envoy, and concelebrated by Cardinal Jean Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux, France, and numerous bishops and priests.

Many men and women religious, Catholic faithful and laypeople of other religions also attended the closing of the Jubilee Year, which opened on Oct. 12 of last year, of this emblematic abbey in the Diocese of Le Mans.

Cardinal Tauran addressed the contemplatives of this abbey, acknowledging their efforts to "help those who doubt; you seek God to give him to others."

Man, without faith "remains only before himself," he said.

In this connection, the cardinal told Vatican Radio that "this great abbey, dominated by the figure of Dom Gueranger, restorer of Gregorian chant, reminds today's society of the need for an interior life, understood in the widest sense; hence, not only a spiritual life, but also a cultural life."

The prelate noted that the monks of Solesmes invite us to "appreciate silence in order to understand what we are and where we are going."

He highlighted the 1,000 years of the abbey's fidelity to the Gospel and pointed out that in today's world monasteries are spiritual oases, the "green lungs in our cities."


Abbot Philippe Dupont of Solesmes explained that "this millennium gives us the opportunity to review the past, not to contemplate it with nostalgia, but to give thanks for God's gifts and to learn the lessons of this history to think about our future."

In an interview published on the Web site of the Bishops' Conference of France, the abbot said that "our tradition is alive and must be perpetuated in the course of the centuries and millennia profiting from the holiness of those who have preceded us, ourselves having the responsibility to transmit this heritage, this patrimony to our successors."

Speaking about his vow of stability, the religious noted that to remain in a monastery for 60 years "questions our contemporaries."

"We must witness duration, perseverance before the people of the world," he said. "While so many families break up and friendship is often questioned, we must manifest this eternal value that is stability."

"One thousand years of presence in the same place shows the reality of this permanence," the abbot added.

Abbot of Solesmes since 1992, he also talked about Gregorian chant, which has made the monks of this community famous.

"Gregorian liturgical chant also has a traditional value of stability in the prayer of the Church because it has gone across the centuries," he said.

Abbot Dupont explained that "after the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI asked us to continue this tradition so that Gregorian chant would be preserved not as a treasure relegated to a museum, but as a living prayer that helps souls ascend to God."

He said that it is about "a more interior prayer: Its gentleness but also the force and violence of some melodies, express adequately the many sentiments of praise and supplication of men addressing God in all kinds of situations."


The Abbey of Solesmes was founded at the beginning of the 11th century by Geoffrey, Lord of Sable, who donated the monastery with its lands to the monks of the Abbey of La Couture.

From La Couture came, hence, the first monks that would constitute a community in Solesmes under the Rule of St. Benedict.

Sacked and set on fire during the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453), the monastery went through a period of renovation until the time of the French Revolution, when the Constituent Assembly prohibited religious vows.

At the beginning of 1791, the monks began to leave the monastery, and those who wished to remain there were imprisoned or deported to the Island of Jersey.

During those difficult years, the abbey's neighbors were able to put in a safe place the relic of the Holy Thorn, which was not returned to the monastery until 1850.

In those years, Solesmes began to take up its activity again thanks to a young priest of Le Mans, Father Prosper Gueranger, who fostered Gregorian chant as a privileged way of seeking and praising God.

Today the congregation of Solesmes is present on three continents and has 23 monasteries for men and eight for women.
Peccantem DESIERTO DE LOS LEONES 13 Dic. 2009

Parce mihi Domine

Medal of Honor for Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller

Our math is not nature’s math
Gene Logsdon,

We built our house on the edge of a woodlot thirty some years ago. Now the trees have reached out and enveloped us. They shade us in summer, protect us from wind in winter, and try to kill us by falling in all seasons.
Gerald J. Russello reviews Toward a Truly Free Market.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Because I'm flying back on Sunday, I'm going to miss the Carolina Chocolate Drops at the NC State Fair... only $5 for the concert.

Anonymous 4 performing in Lodi and Livermore

Tomorrow and Saturday. Details for the Livermore concert. (And in case anyone from Lodi is reading this -- the info for the concert in Lodi.)

Medal of Honor recipient inducted Into Hall of Heroes

This undated handout photo provided by the US Army shows Army Staff Sgt. Robert Miller. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama honored Miller who died in Afghanistan, awarding him the nation's highest military honor _ the Medal of Honor _ in a solemn East Room ceremony on the eve of the war's ninth anniversary. (AP/Daylife)

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 06: Phil Miller (R) and Maureen Miller receive a Medal of Honor on behalf of their late son, Army Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller, during an East Room ceremony October 6, 2010 at the White House in Washington, DC. Staff Sergeant Miller, a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native who was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), based out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was presented with the medal posthumously for his heroic actions to save the lives of his fellow soldiers and 15 Afghan National Army soldiers in Afghanistan on January 25, 2008. (Getty/Daylife)

The Medal of Honor is held by Phil Miller, father of Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller, as he is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Afghanistan by President Barack Obama, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

ARLINGTON, VA - OCTOBER 07: Philip (L) and Maureen Miller, the parents of Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Miller, hold a framed certificate and photograph of their son during a ceremony to posthumously induct Sgt. Miller into the 'Hall of Heroes' at the Pentagon October 7, 2010 in Arlington, Virginia. Credited with killing more than 16 and wounding over 30 insurgents and saving the lives of his seven of his fellow U.S. Special Forces soldiers and 15 Afghan soldiers, Staff Sgt. Miller was killed in action during battle January 25, 2008 in Afghanistan. President Barack Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Miller's family at a ceremony at the White House a day earlier. (Getty/Daylife)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Political theater...

'Whore' Remark Takes Center Stage At Jerry Brown-Meg Whitman Debate (VIDEO)

Previous debates:
Billionaire Meg Whitman In First CA-Gov Debate: 'I Don't Think You Can Buy Elections'
CSPAN coverage of the first debate
Transcript: Jerry Brown / Meg Whitman debate October 2, 2010 | 24Ahead

German movie about St. Hildegard von Bingen

I saw the trailer for Vision From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen on Apple. What a shocker - the trailer is full of adulation of liberal values which she supposedly embodies: the pursuit of autonomy (and identity), defiance of authority and tradition, denigration of the "institutional" Church. Is this something an American should expect from Margarethe von Trotta? Or is the movie actually more nuanced and understanding in its portrayal of the relations between Hildegard von Bingen and her ecclesiastical superiors?


NYT: A Multitasking Nun in Medieval Germany

On St. Hildegard von Bingen: Catholic Encyclopedia

Benedict XVI:
On St. Hildegard: Cloistered Nun and Mystic
A Continuing Reflection on St. Hildegard

Medieval Sourcebook
Some links
Vita Nostra in Ecclesia

A discography
Rorate Caeli: Liturgical Reform: Coming Soon to the Eastern Churches?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mark Sisson on rice

How Bad is Rice, Really?

Vibram Five Fingers in the military

Army Times: On your toes
Who can wear ‘toe shoes’ during unit PT — and who would want to

The article lists some alternatives:
Right now, Vibram is the the only mainstream company making “toe shoes.” If the distinct toes look too weird for you to wear to PT, you may get away with other “minimalist” footwear.

• Merrell Barefoot Collection: Teaming up with Vibram, Merrell footwear is set to be among the first shoe companies to offer another line of toe shoes for near-barefoot running enthusiasts. Its Barefoot Collection hits the road in February.

• Terra Plana Evos: If you’re looking for a minimalist shoe with a more traditional profile, try Terra Plana’s Evos with 4mm soles and removable insoles.

• Nike Free: This Nike line offers scaled-down, lightweight runners that have gotten high marks from many.

Evo - Terra Plana
Sandro Magister: "It is the faith of the simple that knocks down false gods" The complete transcription of the pope's unscripted homily at the first session of the special synod on the Middle East. Financial capitals, terrorism, drugs, dominant ideologies. The rise and fall of the powers of this world, interpreted in the light of Revelation

In Israel, Jewish Christians Are Sprouting
They have been baptized into the Catholic Church, but speak and live like the Jews. They resemble the primitive community of Jerusalem. They are on the rise, but feel overlooked, as in a ghetto

Living my life of quiet desperation

Henry David Thoreau

Last Tuesday there was a teacher's meeting, which I attended out of duty, even though I do not get paid for the extra time I put in for a long-term assignment. As I sat through it I was thinking that I couldn't become a public school teacher in the United States. The presentations weren't that bad probably, but the aversion I felt was quite strong. As for the discussion about ways of solving math problems -- are there really different ways of doing math? There is a recognition that children may learn in different ways, but should these ways all be put on an equal level? Rather, is it the case that some children have not yet been able to fully abstract certain concepts on their own, and are more dependent upon visual aids to help their comprehension? (This definitely seems to be the case for counting and the memorization of calculation facts.)

Are teachers any different from other Uhmericans? Or do they have a greater propensity to becoming obese? What do teachers who are just starting their careers think when they notice the physical shape of their older colleagues?

I don't think I have a satisfactory answer yet for those who ask why I do not become a public school teacher. While I am on my "vacation," I haven't had to think about finding work too much, though I will do a search of a certain website when I get home. What to do, what to do...

I've seen the new Citibank commercial several times already, featuring the expatriate retired American couple living in Istanbul, whose only tie to America is their hometown [football?] team. Do the actors or the producers of the commercal even know about Constantinople and the city's Christian past? Judging the commercial to be an instance of the Muslim assault on the Christian West would be going too far, but I think it is an example of the modern Westeners' lack of roots and culture and their embrace of multiculturalism and exaggerated cosmopolitanism. It makes me despise Citibank even more as an agent of cultural destruction.

I received a campaign brochure from Jerry Brown -- he has the endorsements from many of the public unions -- the California Police Chiefs Association, California Professional Firefighters, California Nurses Association, California Teachers Association. He also has the endorsement of Planned Parenthood. (Some Catholic politician.) In his latest commercials he claims that he is independent -- independent of corporations and powerful moneyed interests, and he cites his past actions as proof of this. But is he independent of the California public unions? He says we need to live within our means, but how does he propose to do this? What is he going to cut from the budget?

In the brochure there are black faces and brown faces, but I see no yellow faces. Is he snubbing Asian-Americans? Given his liberal background, he should know better. Unless he doesn't care about Asian-American support, and if he endorses affirmative action in the universities and the workplace, maybe he has decided to write it off.

Started on October 5.

The Paleo Solution

Episodes 48 (mp3) and 49 (mp3)

Episode 48 has a discussion of Crohn’s Disease. This might be of interest to Bro. B.
I am inclined to be a poseur and dress like a contractor, including getting a cap like the one sold by Magpul.

Paladin Press

Monday, October 11, 2010

Energy Bulletin: The concept of “Living Well” - a Bolivian viewpoint
by Bolivia delegation at the UN

Living Well is contrary to capitalist development and goes beyond socialism. For capitalism, what matters the most is money, making a profit. For socialism, what matters the most is the man, because socialism tries to meet the increasingly growing needs of man, both material and spiritual.

Within the Living Well framework, what matters the most is neither man nor money; what matters the most is life. But capitalism does not care about life, and the two development models, the capitalist and the socialist, need rapid economic growth, causing a dissipation of energy and an insatiable use of fossil fuels to boost growth.

I can't see much that is objectionable, other than this part, and this is only a minor quibble: life is not the ultimate good, though physical life and its material necessities are important. (Fundamental components? Necessary conditions? for the common good.)

More: "Living Well" in Harmony with the Environment
By Franz Chávez
'Living well' as an alternative to limitless growth
BOLIVIA: "Living Well" in Harmony with the Environment
“Living Well” in Bolivia
Civilization in Crisis and Living Well: Vivir Bien

Indigenous Peoples' Declaration

Still, if those who advance Living Well define their ethical system in opposition to Christianity, then from what spirit does it derive? From earlier this year:

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MAY 17: President of Bolivia Evo Morales arrives at Vatican for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on May 17, 2010 in Vatican City, Vatican. President Morales claimed he wished to speak to the Pope about climate change. Bolivia has recently removed Catholicism as its official religion and has declared itself a secular state.

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MAY 17: Pope Benedict XVI meets President of Bolivia Evo Morales at the Vatican Library on May 17, 2010 in Vatican City, Vatican. President Morales claimed he wished to speak to the Pope about climate change. Bolivia has recently removed Catholicism as its official religion and has declared itself a secular state. (Getty/Daylife)

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MAY 17: Pope Benedict XVI poses with President of Bolivia Evo Morales at the Vatican Library on May 17, 2010 in Vatican City, Vatican. President Morales claimed he wished to speak to the Pope about climate change. Bolivia has recently removed Catholicism as its official religion and has declared itself a secular state.

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MAY 17: Pope Benedict XVI poses with President of Bolivia Evo Morales and his delegation at the Vatican Library on May 17, 2010 in Vatican City, Vatican. President Morales claimed he wished to speak to the Pope about climate change. Bolivia has recently removed Catholicism as its official religion and has declared itself a secular state. (Getty/Daylife)

Fr. Robert Cook coming to the Bay Area

The president of Wyoming Catholic College will be in Lafayette and San Francisco on October 19 and 20, respectively.

BBC4: Brideshead Revisited Reunion

Another long day -- we went over to V's house to shoot and Mr. C's buddy V went through some basic drills with me for the pistol and M4. Mr. C was teaching Sarge about the shotgun and then he did some of that with me. I feel more comfortable with the M4 than with the pistol, but I think with some more practice with the pistol, I won't be as anxious and nervous. I am 90% sure that if I get a pistol, it will be a Glock. Everyone there was a Glock owner. It's unfortunate that even practice ammo is so expensive. Sarge and I will probably go to the indoor range again next Saturday. Mr. C recommends Bill Rogers; he has checked out some of the other big-name schools and he found them lacking.
700 Club: Gabe Suarez: Saved by the Voice of God By Robert Hull

Sunday, October 10, 2010

2010 Infantry Warfighting Conference Highlights

Given the heavy spin put forth by the officers in this video about what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, how can I have any confidence that the US Army understands 3GW and 4GW? And then towards the end of the story great emphasis is placed upon developing new technology...

It seems to me that the US Army still doesn't get it, despite all of the fancy names and programs that it has adopted for its institutions.

Fabius Maximus: The Army and Marines are breaking, but we don’t care

Waiting For The End - by Linkin Park (Marie Digby cover )

The Chant Cafe: Gregorian Chant: A Guide, by Dom Daniel Saulnier (online text) and Wonderful Interview with Singing Benedictine Sisters

(See also Fr. Lang on the Crisis in Catholic Music.)