Saturday, December 04, 2010

I'll post articles from Yes! Magazine from time to time, but let us be clear about where its sympathies lie when it comes to morality concerning sexuality, the family, and community:

What Happy Families Know

It was never easy for families to make it on their own. As the economy becomes more turbulent and America diversifies, many people are embracing new family values. We are learning to care for, love, and bring into our families people who come from different cultures or ethnicities, are gay or straight, are blood relatives or relatives by choice.

Love must be grounded upon truth about the human person and what the authentic human goods are.
With everything that I said in this post about the dress code of conservatives, I must say that when I was looking through various photo albums on Facebook, I did not like the casual dress code that so many Uhmerican males in their 20s, 30s, and 40s have adopted when going out to "have a good time" with friends -- jeans and loose-fitting shirts, usually untucked, with no tie. While certain shirts have been designed so that they can be worn untucked, many of these off-the-rack shirts do not look good, and may serve to remind why it was considered an undergarment in the past. It would be better to wear a guayabera or something similar than to wear one of these shirts, I think... Most forms of clothing do not look well when draped over fat bodies? Are there any exceptions to this? A toga?

Maybe I'll feel better about the modern Western suit after I lose some more weight. (And I should do a more thorough comparison of the different styles of suits/jackets.

Dr. Fleming recommends men obtaining a tweed or corduroy jacket.

Guayabera Videos:

Another interview with the Guayabera Lady

Parts 2, 3, 4

Dr. Fleming on the Jerk (not Steve Martin) and what conservatives should wear

Dr. Fleming has this post, Liberty and Justice–For Jerks, which has spawned a new series: Jerks I.
In the comments section to the first post, he talks about clothing:

A few small clarifications. While the Jerk does have affinities with the busybody and the Puritan, he can also exist without any Yankee influence. The phenomenon is not at all confined to New England. South Carolina specializes in producing an analogous figure, the would-be patrician who makes himself and his family the standard for all kinds of excellence. In my days as board member of the League of the South, I was forever running into men who had adopted rustic costumes–overalls, flannel shirts, etc–to show their Southern identity. When I pointed out to them that their grandfathers would have never gone to town without wearing a suit, they simply shrugged without taking the hayseed out of their mouths. What was important to them was feeling good about themselves and not living up to the code of dress and behavior adhered to by the very ancestors they claimed to revere. Were they Jerks? No, not most of them. Indeed, most were kind and polite, but using clothes as a kind of statement-making costume is a big first step. Today, according to the WSJ, middle class men who wear hats refuse to take them off in bars and restaurants because the hat is part of their identity. Perhaps, said the author of the article, we need a new hat etiquette. Perhaps, says I, the WSJ should give up publishing stupid articles designed to strip us of the last tattered garments that hide our moral and social nakedness.

It is not simply a question of manners: a goodhearted and well-meaning person may unintentionally offend others without knowing he is giving offense, while a cultivated gentleman may go through life without giving much offense but act like a total bastard when it suits him. Neither one can be precisely called a Jerk. All Jerks are rude, but not all rude people are Jerks; all Jerks are self-important, but not all self-important people are Jerks. Many crude and badly dressed people are amenable to instruction. The Jerk by contrast is a law unto himself. I distinguish between the man who wears blue jeans and sweatshirt to Church, because he does not know better, from the man who knows what is expected but argues back, “God does not really care how I dress.” I remind such people of the fate of the wedding guest who came without the right clothing. It starts early, even before the high school dances for which the girls spend days in preparation and their loutish dates are hard pressed to wear clean bluejeans. The louts know, at least dimly, but they don’t care. Now let us hear from the Mens Movement louts about how it is all the girl’s fault for being immoral, how men are really the victims, or how it is manly to grope women and address them with slimy language. Not to beat a dead horse, but most people who join identity movements–female, male, Gay, White, Black–are Jerks with a capital J, because they roam the world seeking the ruin, if not of souls, then at least of parties and conversations and domestic tranquility.
He adds:

PS Dressing like a slob is simply a way of making a statement. It is vulgar cultural Marxism and would have developed with or without Einstein. Men who wear jeans to work or to Church or to restaurants are making an anti-social statement, whether they know it or not. I don’t own a pair of jeans because I am neither a worker nor a Marxist. Middle class professional men who do wear them, except for gardening etc., are not Jerks but they are fools, and this goes for many of my friends who claim to be working to save civilization when they cannot take the five minute it requires to dress the part.
And he further elaborates:

My point against jeans is not that the wearer knows what he is doing but that he is making a statement, knowingly or not. Imagine the world before 1960, when, for example, my father rarely left the house without a jacket and tie and hat. As a merchant seaman and cowboy, he had learned the use of jeans, but he never wore them even for hunting and fishing. Now, you can say that times have changed and we have a right to change with them, and I shall cheerfully say, go your way and do as you like, my progressive friend. But do not, in the same instant as you are jettisoning all the forms of civilized life, tell my you are conserving anything. A supermarket is a place of business, a baseball park a place of entertainment. It is true that a market is not a bank and a baseball park not a ballroom or symphony hall, but neither is a proper place for work clothes. The terminology, by the way, is interesting. The historically normal word is trousers, though pants–derided by Ambrose Bierce–was common in America. I don’t know when slacks came in, but it did not used to be used, generally, for anything but rather informal trousers. These things tend to be regional in America. Pants tend to be East Coast, slacks more Middle American.

Jeans in themselves have obvious subversive qualities: they are not creased an need no ironing; they are better when aged and slightly frayed; dirty or clean–it hardly makes a difference. Thus the man putting on his jeans does not stop to ask himself if they are clean, pressed, in decent condition, appropriate to the occasion. So without being a Jerk, he is acting like one. At our Randolph Club meetings we tried to make the banquet and debate Black Tie obligatory and had to settle for Black Tie recommended or optional, because Boobus Americanus, even as a principled conservative, cannot be take the trouble to dress properly for a semi-formal occasion.

If you do not like the world the revolutionaries made, quit dressing like a revolutionary.
I think Dr. Fleming would be rather content with the efforts of Art of Manliness to promote the old dress code.

The following is just a quick defense of my own vesturing habits, and it will undoubtedly turn out to be a rather poor justification... but I'm not defending the use of blue jeans.

Regarding the requisite jacket and shirt and tie, I've talked about them before... I've also written on business casual and clothing in general, plus following fashion. Am I too much of a rationalist rather than a traditionalist when it comes to clothing? Do conservatives really need to conserve even that which has been imposed upon the lower classes by the elites of society? Imposed may not be the correct word. It appears to be the case that those who seek entry into higher classes must adopt the dress of those classes. Did members of the working class wear less expensive versions of the cravat, coat, and shirt on formal occasions? They may have made a distinction between everyday/work clothing and clothing for formal occasions, but they did not wear the same formal clothing as the upper classes? (Because they could not afford the material, tailoring, and so on?)

It seems proper to make a distinction between work and leisure/festivity and to dress accordingly -- is it enough that the clothes one is wearing for a festive occasion are clean? Or do they have to be of different design and material? Festive occasions are rare occasions, but periods of leisure might be more frequent. Even a festive garment cannot be completely useless/decorative -- one must be able to move around in it, eat, and dance.

(Then there is the aesthetic issue -- I think the modern Western suit is rather ugly in comparison to its 19th ce predecessors.)

My justification regarding my choice of pants boils down to what is durable and what can one afford? A set of nice clothes, and a set of clothes that is more sturdy and can be used for work. Or at least won't be worn out through a lot of walking. Maybe my dress slacks are made of the wrong material, or it is a problem with the size of my body, but I find that the thin material of my dress slacks (fine wool?) does not last very long, even if they are not being used very often.

I prefer the tougher material of khakis (cotton twill) and chinos. If there were dress slacks that tough, I'd be willing to wear them everyday. I need to go shopping (an activity I detest) and see what is available. I haven't really worn blue jeans recently, except during that period of time when I was wearing them for taking walks.
Should one sacrifice money to purchase nice(r) clothes for the sake of the occasion? Is one being too pragmatic or utilitarian in not doing this?

It is difficult to know what one should do and how one should dress when one does not have a role model. A meager knowledge of some of the standards does not suffice, but reading about etiquette from a book seems odd, when one's community does not observe those standards and live them out in daily life.

Even if one tries to fill a role despite not having a proper role model, for example that of father or mentor, upon self-reflection one might think that one is making things up as he goes, relying too much upon (or feeling) imagination  and not enough upon reason.

"Really? You're such a jerk."
In connection with the lament on the decline in manners -- I have to mention the the use of "Really?" as the latest catch-word/phrase -- it has been popping up in commercials and television shows and movies. What is its origin? Joss Whedon? The latest instance of it that led to this addendum was in an episode of Chase -- of course it is said by the tough female US marshal. What does it convey besides a sarcastic attitude? (Is sarcastic the correct word to describe it?) It sounds  adolescent.
I can respect those who talk about structures of sin and live in poverty (or noble simplicity) and are as detached from the system as possible. But I cannot but despise academics who make a comfortable living partially from writing and "preaching" about it, as they are involved in one of the more prominent structures of sin today -- American higher education.

Jackie Evancho

I heard Jackie Evancho's CD this morning -- it sounded quite good, thanks to studio manipulation? I think she still needs to mature a bit in her singing ability, as you can tell from her live performance.

Jackie Evancho

Katherine Jenkins

Friday, December 03, 2010

Subbed at a Santa Clara school located near the border with Cupertino -- the students were mostly white, with a few Indians. What a contrast with the two local schools I passed by on the way home -- all Indians walking or driving away.
Never did watch Comanche Moon all the way through...

NYT Review

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Random House

I was reminded of this book's existence at Whole Earth Provision Company in San Antonio. (Not surprisingly many of the people in the store looked like they could be from San Francisco or Berkeley.)

Apparently it does not discuss proper form too much though it is somewhat of an endorsement for barefoot running. (The book was on top of the display with all of the Five Finger shoes and socks.) Then there is the question of whether how much long-distance running is too much, or detrimental to one's health, and what place it has, if any, in one's regular exercise routine.There is this entry at PāNu, for example, Still not born to run, and Mark Sisson's take on long-distance running. Some other paleo reflections: Born to Run? and There's Running, and there's Running.

I don't know if long-distance running is healthy or not, and to what extent. It's not something that I would pursue, though maybe I would change my mind if I were able to do it without any unpleasantness. For now, I'd be content to be fit enough to run the required distances for various fitness tests.

Christopher McDougall (his blog)
fansite for the book
Google Books

The book section at Whole Earth Provision Company had a section for survival manuals, including The Survival Handbook, plus some of Army manuals, as revised by Matt Larsen (who also developed the 
combatitives program for the Army).

Wilderness Survival
Survival IQ

Paul Craig Roberts, What the Wiki-Saga Teaches Us
Zenit: Ordinariate to Be Established Down Under by Easter

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Jeff Rubin: Oil and the End of Civilization

Jeff Rubin: Oil and the End of Civilization

Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization

From last year: The Oil Drum | Jeff Rubin Talks about Oil and the Economy

Energy Bulletin:
Distance costs money
Lindsay Curren, Transition Voice
Economist Jeff Rubin, author of Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization says that high oil prices caused every US recession since the 1970s. Now we complain that credit scams are a bubble that will cause deflation. But is oil still lurking in there?

Peak coal is moving closer too
If what we are witnessing is the actual peaking of China's domestic coal production - which is half the world's production -- then this event could turn out to be as serious as the peaking of oil.

The Archdruid Report: In The Wake Of Victory

The Archdruid Report: In The Wake Of Victory: "This has not been an easy week for believers in a brighter future. As I write this week’s post, food prices in the global market are soarin..."
Jordi Savall has another CD dedicated to Celtic music: Celtic Viol II.
Stile Antico - British vocal ensemble - sings Byrd's Tollite Portas

The trailer for their new CD: Stile Antico - Puer natus est EPK

Harmonia Mundi

Not enough to save COIN

AFP: US deploys 'game-changer' weapon to Afghanistan

NY Daily News: Army issues XM25, a 'smart' grenade launcher capable of firing nearly one-half of a mile

Fox News
Giz Mag
Army Times
Military Times

Army modernization

Paul Craig Roberts

The Stench of US Economic Decay Grows Stronger
Fabricating Terror: the Portland "Bomb" Plot 

Plus: Winslow Wheeler / Sanford Gottlieb, Memo to Tea Party Senators: Cutting the Defense Budget
Winslow T. Wheeler, The Defense Budget and the Deficit: How the Plans Compare 
Mike Whitney, Hammering Ireland
More from Counterpunch on the latest Wikileak:

Paul Craig Roberts, Hillary's Blame Game
Jonathan Cook, Wikileaks and the New Global Order

Ignoring the obvious problem because of political correctness

Last night I learned from CBS Channel 5 news that an inmate being transferred escaped by overpowering the Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy escorting him and taking the deputy's taser away and using it on the deputy. Once the deputy was stunned, the inmate took the deputy's gun as well. Guess what the sex of the deputy was? Female.

You can see the spin being put in the various articles. For example:
Santa Cruz Inmate Escapee Terrorized Pre-School Class
Deputy Released From Hospital After Santa Cruz Escapee Attack
Escape case demonstrated improved relations between police, sheriff: Leaders worked to mend fences
Santa Cruz: Prisoner who wrested gun from deputy arrested five hours later

Santa Cruz fugitive under medical watch; sheriff's deputy praised for actions

The CBS Channel 5 news  mentioned that the criminal was 6' 2", while the deputy was only 5'3". It didn't mention their weights, though one of the articles claims that she weighs about 1/2 as much as he does. (He weighs 375 lbs. This may be a typo -- in another article he is said to be weighing 275 lbs. It seems more likely that she is 130 lbs.--and not because of muscle.) While she is your typical female Uhmerican LEO (i.e. overweight), I doubt she is 180 lbs. The representative for the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Department (the sheriff himself?, Phil Wowak), said at the press conference that there would be a review of transportation procedurs. Now, it may turn out that a 5'7" or 5'8" male LEO would not be able to transport this particular prisoner by himself in a safe manner, and so two LEOs are required. And the prisoner might still be brazen enough to take a smaller man on. But might it also be the case that a criminal would be even more willing to attack a single woman who is armed, especially if she does not project dominance? (It is questionable whether a woman can do this to a healthy male, even if she has a gun strapped to her side and is shouting.)

The results of the review will probably recommend a change in policy -- there must be at least two escorts for a prisoner transport, for the sake of giving adequate protection the deputies charged with this duty. This will cover up the fact that women, who are not as strong as men, are unable to "pull their weight" on the job. The sheriff's deputy was commended for her bravery? How about reprimanded for her stupidity, for taking this job in the first place? But Uhmericans won't learn from real-life...
Lost on a farm
Gene Logsdon,
The news reported recently that scientists had proved conclusively what farm children have known forever. You can’t walk in a straight line blindfolded, or by extension, if you are lost in the woods or a corn field, you will invariably walk in circles. Those of us who have matriculated from farms in our youths with PhDs in ornery knowledge know all about walking in circles.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Theodore Dalrymple, Solidarity Forever
It’s heartwarming to see youth of all races and genders banding together in common idiocy.

Items of interest from Christian Order

Weapon of Mass Destruction
~ Missa bugniniensis delenda est ~

Book Review by Dr. Geoffery Hull: WORK OF HUMAN HANDS: A THEOLOGICAL CRITIQUE OF THE MASS OF PAUL VI by Rev. Anthony Cekada, West Chester, Ohio: Philothea Press, 2010, pp. 465. Price: $24.95. Available from

Dr. Robert Hickson expands on a piece he wrote for Chronicles.
Tom Wolfe and Don Quixote at West Point

General Douglas MacArthur's Farewell Speech

slightly longer audio clip of the speech, but still incomplete


Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Look at There Be Dragons Movie with Director Roland Joffe

Does Joffe get the difference between charity and love right? Or the Spanish Civil War? Or does he refuse to take sides?

I still haven't read The Spanish Civil War by Hugh Thomas.

Some of the interesting books I saw while I was at the gift shop at Mission San Jose in San Antonio included Hugh Thomas's Conquest.

Henry Kamen, Philip of Spain
Lewis Hanke, The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America

And some items from the Alamo gift shop:
The American Frugal Housewife
Paul N. Spellman, Captain J. A. Brooks, Captain John H. Rogers,
H. Joaquin Jackson, One Ranger and One Ranger Returns

(I also note that the story of Texas independence we usually get in out textbooks is not nuanced -- there is no mention of the Mexican Constitution of 1824 and the struggle between the federalists and centralists, and how the Texans were willing to stay a part of Mexico, so long as it returned to this constitution and maintained a federal system. Causes that were discussed included differences in culture and religion and the ban on slavery, but at the Alamo I read that many did convert to Catholicism. I do not know if slavery was that much of an issue, in comparison the constitutional question.)

Lady Antebellum sings "The Star-Spangled Banner"

(via Fallible Blogma)
You might find this humorous sarge -- USMC instructors practicing [CQB] at Blackwater/Xe.

Triple Canopy...

Check this toy figure out...

Rome Reports: Ignatius Press founder talks about Light of the World

John Médaille, The Tea Party and a Pro-Life Polity

The Remnant

One feature of the pro-life/pro-family agenda that he proposes:
Pro-(Marian)Feminist. Secular feminism doesn't seem to differ much from anti-feminism, and leaves women in an ambiguous place in our society. But in such a masculine culture as ours, a real feminism, a Marian feminism based on the twin virtues of motherhood and chastity, would be a real gift; we affirm not merely the dignity of women, but even more we affirm that women do tend to have a different spiritual and psychological outlook. Thus women make a unique contribution, not only in birth but in every aspect of life, but they need freedom to make this contribution. And the first freedom that women need is the freedom to be mothers. Currently society makes this very difficult. The lack of a just wage has practically forced women into the labor marketplace. Usually, this means that they must be mothers in addition to all the burdens of being a wage-earner. Sarah Palin seems to be the modern model, where the needs of the family are subordinated to the needs of the career. Women in this model, we are told, must be like pit-bulls with lipstick; that is, they must be like men while making themselves attractive to men. Some women, I'm sure, find this model appealing. But others will not, and the current culture of death favors the pit-bull view.

Is it possible to co-opt the name of feminism for the good? Who would be willing to go along with this besides Catholics and traditionally-minded women?
Jack Donovan reviews Michael Kimmel's Guyland: Only Feminists can be REAL MEN

Harper Collins
News: Understanding 'Guyland' - Inside Higher Ed
A review from a different perspective. Another.
Interview: Michael Kimmel, Ph.D
Evolution of Dad Project: An interview with Dr. Michael Kimmel

Trust him to be an authority on fatherhood? No.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

David Clayton focuses on Aidan Hart in Where Can Catholics Go to Learn Icon Painting?

CA knife laws...

California State Knife Laws
California Knife Laws

Knife Rights
National Gun Rights Policy Conference
‘Arms’ are not just firearms; knives and the 2A wrap-up GRPC

...Featuring Norah Jones

Her official site. MySpace.

Young Blood

L'Accorche-Choeur, Ensemble vocal Fribourg
Orion: There Are Things Awry Here
Searching for story in a land of babble
by Lia Purpura
From Daniel McCarthy, I have learned that Nathan P. West, a traditional conservative and someone I knew only through FB, has passed. May he rest in peace.