Saturday, December 25, 2010

Urbi et Orbi, Christmas 2010

Felix Dies Natívitas Dómini nostri Jesu Christi!

Stile Antico - British vocal ensemble - sings Taverner's Audivi Vocem de Caelo

Going down to SLO today.
Amazing Grace 7yr old Rhema Marvanne - Annointed

her website

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve - Antiphon: Judaea Et Jerusalem

Christmas Night - Reading: Genealogy According To Saint Matthew

The compilation album.

Men's rights advocacy: Yea or Nay?

Not exactly a dialogue --
The Spearhead: Dealing With The Reality On The Ground
In Mala Fide: Why Laura Wood and other conservatives and traditionalists just don’t get it
The Thinking Housewife:  Does Society Need Men’s Rights? (read Max's contribution) and The Liberation of Men and The Man-Hater and the Frigid White Housewife.

Dr. Fleming has dismissed men's rights advocacy, though he has not yet, as far as I know, written an article explaining in detail. First one needs to distinguish PUAs from those who supporters of Men's Rights. There may be some men who are in both groups, but this is not true of all MRAs. Dr. Fleming seems to believe that being a MRA is equivalent to playing the victim. Instead, men need to do what a man needs to do. What concrete actions does he suggest? iirc, exercising authority within the household and avoiding women who are not good for them. This is not dissimilar from what Laura Woods has written.

I believe Dr. Fleming's conclusion is based on his contempt of movements in general as a means to achieving political ends. He prefers a  more "natural" way of proceeding, which is grounded upon the individual reforming himself and being virtuous towards those around him. Building community from the ground, rather than imposing it from above using modern mass methods.

In view of the disadvantages to men offered by "Marriage 2.0" (the institution of marriage as it exists now--individual and social expectations, along with American divorce laws), some have suggested a marriage strike. Is this attitude absolute? For some, it is--they avoid marriage and maybe even women altogether, while others, those who are more inclined to the PUA lifestyle, are content with relationships with casual sex while avoiding any sort of commitment.

Do we want to claim that the men's rights movement is tainted by liberalism, and that those involved are only seeking radical autonomy? I think these are bad generalizations. Some participants at The Thinking Housewife, in their zeal to attack radical autonomy (or disordered self-love), have fallen into the error of mischaracterizing the motives of of MRAs (as can be evidenced by the responses of various people to the posts at THT). Some MRAs may follow or endorse a hedonistic lifestyle. But not all are--as far as I can tell, the movement as a whole does not seek specific ends other than to redress injustices. They seek seek reform of laws and courts--especially with respect to divorce, child custody, rape, sexual harassment, affirmative action and so on. Some may actually believe in radical equality, expecting men and women to share the same burdens. Others may be only using this as a rhetorical device against professed feminists to attack their consistency. We need to distinguish between means and ends -- what ends are MRAs seeking, and how do they wish to attain them? We should not be surprised if there is a wide range of ends. But MRAs appear to be united on addressing the injustices perpetuated against men by the system.

Still, it is not enough to "turn the laws back." I think the traditional conservatives and Christians are correct that long-lasting legal and social reform cannot be accomplished without a spiritual renewal. It may be that any men's rights movement is destined to be ineffective given the distribution of power in our society and the resulting resistance of the system to reform. (Power has never been in the hands of all men, but of the few.) But I can't fault these men for doing their best to educate other men about the bias of the system and seeking change, and despite the odds, they may be able to achieve some small victories, if they can find a few sympathetic judges and politicians.

(Idiocy and Hatred in the Men’s Rights Movement; Paul Elam, On Jury Nullification and Rape)
Male Authority and Domestic Violence

The Colonization of Male Space

Begun on December 15.

Staff Sgt. Giunta's Medal of Honor

Are we witnessing an emerging tribalism?

Some professional political commentators and average people, over the past several years and especially during the two most recent election cycles, have noted that they've observed more hostility between people of differing opinions. They lament the decline in civility and the lack of civil discourse on political affairs. Are we witnessing a coarsening of mores as discussion of political and social questions becomes more heated? Or is the divide being exaggerated by those who have a story to sell or are seeking self-exaltation? Are partisans losing patience, slowly coming to the realization that on certain issues there can be no common ground and no possibility of changing the opposition's mind? (Progressives may continue to believe that the problem is not with their reasoning but the intellect of their opponents, or their stubborn uncritical adherence to dogma and tradition.)

I think that the discussion that you see on the internet shows that the internet, for the most part, is a lousy tool for dialog. There may be some who have what it takes to be persuaded by an argument from the other side, but most are only interested in asserting their opinion, and most political blogs seem to have the effect of merely reinforcing opinion rather than challenging minds. Those who understand that the pirmary obstacle to moral conversion is related to desire, rather than intellect, will not be shocked by these facts.

When people become aware that they do not have the most important values in common, they may be forced to ask questions about their identity and their associations. Who are my people? With whom do I belong? Living together requires living in close proximity to one another, but that is not enough. I believe that social alienation resulting from the lack of strong ties to community and to other people makes this questioning even more likely.

I think it is possible that social alienation is mitigated in smaller communities or that private behavior which goes against community mores is ignored there so long as everyone does their share for the sake of the community. But one must remember that normal citizens have very little influence on legislation and the judicial system, and so there is very little they can do to address bad behavior if shaming and other social correctives no longer obtain and there is no common church. "Live and let live" might be the only path they can take. It seems as if the inertia of habit is the only thing that keeps such communities going. I believe it is likely that if a threat to traditional mores arose, the community would surrender rather than fragment or struggle in an internal conflict.

Still, unbridled sexuality heralds the destruction of society. Good mores and tradition exist to protect social life, even if we do not understand the rationale. But it is also in people's "self-interest" that all observe these morals, so as to not have to clean up after other people or deal with the consequences of their poor life decisions -- children who do not know how to behave and grow up to be criminals, and so on.

Perhaps the American people are realizing that it the differences are not just about preferred policies, but they result from contrasting world-views and values. Many are accustomed to thinking about a clash of civilizations as it exists between different nation-states or regions, but what about a clash of civilizations within a single nation-state (which is where we live, in effect, rather than a true federation)? It may be that American radicals/liberals/Democrats and conservatives/Republicans identify less and less with each other. A continued impasse in discussions and a failure to come to agreement can lead to frustration and anger or to acquiescence, and it looks as if so-called conservatives are the ones who will probably back down first. The instinct "to go along to get along" is strong in human beings, and in the face of a dominant liberal culture many may give into the temptation to surrender. (Besides, the devil is going to tempt those who are weak to give up the struggle, while he encourages liberals to continue to do what they are doing.) Liberals may not be more confident, but they may be satisfied that they have power and a growing number of America's youth on their side. This power may be actually illusory, but rashness does not need the truth.

With the decaying of family life, there may exist even big differences in beliefs within families. These differences also exist among neighbors -- how can it be otherwise in a land where physical mobility is exalted and many are not really tied to any one place? Where there is no common culture (which seems to be a necessary basis for dialog, pace MacIntyre) and identity, there is no single people. Many states have long ceased to resemble sovereign entities possessing an identity because of the size of population, the destruction of the smaller communities and their culture, and the loss of economic freedom.

It is unfortunate that many Americans currently identify themselves along party lines, rather than through a more "natural" identity. While many hold to an "imperfect" conservatism, one that is more aligned with being a member of the Republican party than tradition, they may be start to realize that their group trumps party allegiance, especially when the so-called conservative party is doing nothing to protect their values and families. There may be some hope for Sam Francis's MARs to be born, as people transition from an uncritical or resigned partisanship to a better understanding of tradition and identity and a new lay activism. Conservatives should  rediscover family ties and those fortunate enough to live in an authentic community should do what they can to strengthen that community. Some conservatives may seek to join intentional communities or to migrate to more "conservative" areas, but this is a less than ideal solution. Still, if they find that they live in an area which is determined to be liberal (certain parts of California), I can't blame them for leaving.

Are big cities in the United States generally more liberal while rural areas are more conservative? (And what about Yankee immigration into the South?) I believe liberalism is antithetical to community, despite what left communitarians might think (if they are liberals, they are inconsistent liberals?).  Liberals believe that we should be tolerant of those with different opinions about what constitutes the good life, and that all will be fine so long as they observe the no harm principle (harm defined broadly enough to cover "discrimination" but not other behaviors).* It may seem that the liberals are correct, in so far as issues of private morality will not be important in comparison to life-and-death issues, but we are not at that point of decline yet. A public orthodoxy that legitimates immoral sexual behavior cannot but have an impact on laws, social practices, and the education of children and others. More fornication has resulted in an increase in out-of-wedlock births, the weakening of marriage, and a greater inability of young people to form stable families. Liberals who cannot even exert some sort of discipline over their families and children will find that any efforts to "build community" will be for naught in the long run. While left communitarians advocate a return to community as a solution to an unsustainble political economy and the problem of peak energy, they fail to understand that a community is not perpetuated upon a shared concern for survival alone.

Difficult times will test bonds and relationships. Will the new year be a critical one? It is easy to be generous when you believe the Government will take care of you in turn. But what if there is no one coming to help you and your family? What do you do then? Liberals may find that they are not virtuous as they think they are.

*Quite consistent with their support of tolerance is a radical push for a change in mores, an acceptance of what had previously been prohibited or condemned when these acts do not violate their "no harm" principle, which in turn leads to that famous liberal "intolerance" of conservative laws and advocacy.

The desire for a "rational" moral system confronted with the fact that the right people are unable to agree upon one, or on the means for discovering one, leads to a dogmatic agnosticism or skepticism regarding human goods?

An interview with Jared Taylor of American Renaissance over at Taki's Mag. Need I say I disagree with him on many things?

Haley Westenra, "O Holy Night"

Weihnachtsgrüße - Merry Christmas - The Monastic Channel

Gear Scout.

TYR Tactical
From Christendom College: "Please pray for the repose of the soul of Mrs. Irene Fedoryka, wife of former Christendom President Damian Fedoryka, who died after a long battle with cancer. May she rest in peace. Amen."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The peak oil crisis: the time of the demagogues
Tom Whipple, Falls Church News-Press
At present America is abounding with demagogues professing an answer to the current economic difficulties and a restoration of the jobs and prosperity that is the American birth right. Restoring "prosperity" in the conventional sense of acquiring more and fancier things and ever increasing real incomes will, of course, be impossible as liquid fuels become more and more expensive.
AllKPop: “Invincible Youth” finishes in tears

The credible source for alternative medicine and health information?

The Lead Vaccine Developer Comes Clean So She Can "Sleep At Night": Gardasil and Cervarix Don't Work, Are Dangerous, and Weren't Tested

Someone posted this on their FB wall. How reliable is the website?

Stile Antico - British vocal ensemble - sings Palestrina's Assumpta est Maria

Shelby Lynne Performs O Holy Night

The Observer: Pope's Christmas mass goes online:
The streaming service will be available and "allows anyone, anywhere in the world to follow the celebrations and guarantees fast connections," the statement said.
Good, I should be able to watch it and then attend midnight Mass later...

I just remembered that I also had the option of watching this live through EWTN. The schedule:

Solemn Mass of Christmas Eve with Pope Benedict XVI
Fri. December 24 at 4 PM ET (Live), & Sat. December 25 at 8 AM & 6 PM ET
Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord: Mass with the Holy Father from St. Peter’s Basilica.

Urbi et Orbi
Sat. December 25 at 6 AM ET (Live), Encores - Sun. December 25 at 10 PM ET, Sun. December 26 at 10 AM ET, & Fri. December 31 at 9 PM ET
From St. Peter's Square. Join the Holy Father for his inspiring Christmas Day message to the world on the celebration of Christ’s birth.

Christmas Eve Mass is usually televised on one of the major networks. When I am in Phoenix for Christmas, I usually try to watch the Pope's Mass on television.

Isn't it time to stop importing food from elsewhere?

I-Team: Organic Food Contamination

Is there something more to be said than, "Whole Foods isn't perfect"?

HBO airing documentary on Heiligenkreuz

Christianity Today: Top Ten Monks
Engaging HBO documentary on Cistercian monastery is ultimately a film about God.

HBO Documentaries: Top 10 Monks

Stift Heiligenkreuz
Chant: Music for the Soul

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Another lecture by Russell Hittinger for ISI: Is Natural Law Still Relevant? Notes on a Paradox (mp3)

Going paleo

with regards to diet...

Paleozone Nutrition: Taine Randell, Maori eating like their ancestors, losing weight, improving health. 60 minutes (which has a link to this, Randall's Revolution)

Abundant Life

Outside Magazine: The Workout that Time Forgot, which has a feature on MovNat

It does my heart good
Gene Logsdon,
Brock McLeod and Heather Walker operate Makaria Farm in Duncan, British Columbia ( and what they have been doing the past two years is just eye-poppingly, unbelievably, overwhelmingly, audaciously amazing. They decided to take small scale grain raising to the very high level of accomplishment— beyond the wildest dreams I had when I wrote my book by that name.

Vietnam Primer

It seems that the revised edition of Vietnam Primer by Col. David Hackworth continues to be unavailable. I did find the text of the original on-line, but it is without illustrations...


Ron Paul, Walter Jones Write Letter Opposing Obama’s NAFTA-Style Korea Free Trade Deal (via CHT)


The Cardinall’s Musick

#3 on that top 20 list by Gramophone, and winner of Gramophone's Recording of the Year for 2010.

official site
Infelix Ego

Deceptive Cadence: Where Are The World's Best Choirs? Not In America

Gramophone's list

Georgia SCV videos

(via the Confederate Colonel)

SCV Videos Pulled from History Channel

See all the videos here.
Georgia Division - Sons of Confederate Veterans
The Confederate
Georgia Division SCV-Sesquicentennial For Southern Independence

South Carolina SCV Division

Something recent over at the blog: The importance of a Handshake. And the owner of the blog declares his intentions: For Dixieland I’ll Take A Stand.
The Guardian: Christ's endangered language gets new lease of life in Oxford
An Aramaic course offered by Oxford University is drawing scores of scholars from as far afield as Liverpool and London
NPR: From The Coens, A Grittier Sort Of Truth Out West

Roger Ebert

NYT review

One more reason to like RS McCain

Robert Stacy McCain on Secession Day.

2010 USASOC Sniper Competition

Military Times
First Things: The Ruins of Discontinuity
Looking for answers to the fragmentation of Catholic theology in America.
Reinhard Hütter
Someone posted a link to this over at Whiskey's: Victoria's Secret Model: Ordinary Guys Don't Have a Chance to Get a Date With Us

Over at Gucci Little Piggy: The Hypergamy of the Hollywood Starlet

A perverse generation...

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (C) signs legislation repealing military policy law during a ceremony December 22, 2010 in Washington, DC. President Obama signed into law a bill repealing the 'don't ask, don't tell' law against gays serving openly in the military. (Getty/Daylife)

Background on the President's Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal Bill Signing Today

The President Signs Repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell": "Out of Many, We Are One"

AP: Obama signing 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal
President Obama: For Our National Security and Our Ideals

Christian Rout in the Culture War
by Patrick J. Buchanan

Dr. Fleming:
I have met many fine young men in the services these days, but I have met far more who are seriously deranged mentally and morally, who say they really believe they are defending our freedom by killing strangers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here is a simple fact of modern life, that every institution on which civilization depends–the army, the Church, the university, the so-called arts and their traditions–is now turned against every purpose it is supposed to serve. The last place to seek wisdom is in philosophy professors, teachers of English cannot speak the language, the generals think the services exist to promote social revolution, and the bishops? The less said the better. If I nourished any hope for a younger generation, it would be extinguished by the incapacity of most people on the internet even to frame a rational set of alternatives, much less reach a rational conclusion.

I don't see the Pentagon negating this act by returning to its older declaration that combat effectiveness is gravely affected by homosexuals serving in the open.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Thunder Ranch video

Defensive Shotgun

What would Mr. C say about this?

Thunder Ranch

The Pontifical Solemn Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine, April 9, 2011 at 1PM

"Join us as Archbishop Augustine DiNoia celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass at the Basilica in celebration of the 6th anniversary of Pope Benedict's inauguration."

About this Mass

The Paulus Institute
The First Half of OIF/OND for the 1-27 IN WOLFHOUNDS

I came across the video at the FB page for US Cavalry.

AAM: JS Bach's Magnificat - in rehearsal Interview: Anonymous 4’s Marsha Genensky
A-Caroling They Go

Another audio file from Stile Antico

Stile Antico sings Campion (mp3).

The Higher Education scam

16 Shocking Facts About The Student Loan Debt Bubble And The Great College Education Scam

1. Don't supplant the joy of the season with gloom and doom.

Christmas plan for a peak oil pilgrim
by Elizabeth Scarpino


An alternative to globalization

And perhaps the solution when it it becomes apparent that globalization (and the current arrangement) is not tenable.

Yes, there is an alternative
by Robin Broad, John Cavanagh

(archived to EB)

Nora Jane Struthers


Norah Jane Struthers Wins Telluride

Sarah Siskind

official site

(Photos at Shorefire Media)

Tiny Desk Concert

Monday, December 20, 2010

An Interview with Dr. Michael Hill

At Alternative Right: Taking His Stand
Galliawatch: An Invasion of Mosques (via VFR)
Sarge, here is the news I mentioned to you on the phone: Border agent killed in gun battle in Arizona.
ABC: Agent Brian Terry Shot in Back with AK-47 During Gunfight, Family Says

Related: Jerome Corsi's Red Alert
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer: Operation Dark Heart - Alex Jones Tv 1/4

Parts 2, 3, 4


WHAT DOES JUSTICE LOOK LIKE?-FAIRLY LEGAL: "One thing's for sure: It's never looked this good..."
Harmonia: Holidays with Anonymous 4, Stile Antico, and Montserrat Figueras
(via the A4's FB page)

The Barra MacNeils - Oh Holy Night

Barra MacNeils

I am Strong

The Grascals and Dolly Parton:

You’re watching I Am Strong. See the Web's top videos on AOL Video

A provocative guest post at Club Orlov

Peak empire
by Gary


Monday's Counterpunch

The Tax-Payers' Tab: a Cool $9 Trillion and Then Some
Fed Finally Forks Up Documents Showing It Funded Wall Street's Off-Balance Sheet Vehicle

Patrick Cockburn, Reprising US Fantasies in Vietnam

Bill Quigley, Cover-Ups, Coups and Drones

Mike Whitney, Korea Steps Back From the Brink

Paul Craig Roberts, Reaganonmics: a Defense

From the weekend edition:
Franklin Spinney, Obama's March to Folly:the Myth of Liberal Interventionism

Gareth Porter, The Brutal Price of Progress

Eric Stoner, Afghanistan: You Call This Progress?

Ron Jacobs, The Drug War That Never Ends

Charlotte Dennett, Wikileaks: Where's the Oil?

One last piece from Sandro Magister

Sandro Magister, With Maciel Buried, His Centurions' Fires Are Burning Out
The leaders who covered up the misdeeds of the "false prophet" continue to occupy their positions of command. But their end is in sight. Among the Legionaries of Christ, revolt is stirring. The slow but inexorable pace of the papal delegate

Life After RC: Course correction or headed for the shoals?
Chiesa: Sexual Ethics. Six Professors Discuss the Ratzinger Case
Luke Gormally, of the Pontifical Academy for Life, replies to Martin Rhonheimer, of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. Then two Italian Catholic philosophers. And an Argentinian. And George Weigel... All started by something the pope said
VFR: What Congress passed in 1993 was not “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” but a law prohibiting homosexual conduct in the armed services and The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law never existed (citing a piece by Elaine Donnelly)
Chiesa: The Pope's Merry Christmas: "Only the Truth Saves"
In his pre-Christmas address to the curia, Benedict XVI is actually speaking to the whole world. Sexual abuse by the clergy, he says, is the effect of the inability to distinguish between good and evil. And he recalls the lesson of Newman: conscience is made to obey the truth

Benedict XVI's Christmas Greeting to Curia
"For All Its New Hopes and Possibilities, Our World Is ... Troubled"

Another oldie from Dalrymple

Why religion is good for us
Theodore Dalrymple

Over the years, my attitude to religion has changed, without my having recovered any kind of belief in God. The best and most devoted people I have ever met were Catholic nuns. Religious belief is seldom accompanied by the inflamed egotism that is so marked and deeply unattractive a phenomenon in our post-religious society. Although the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are said to have given man a more accurate appreciation of his true place in nature, in fact they have rendered him not so much anthropocentric as individually self-centred.

And why not? If this life is all that you have, why let anything stand in the way of its enjoyment? Most of us self-importantly imagine that the world and all its contrivances were made expressly for us and our convenience.

Far from being humiliating, the humility of the religious person is deeply consolatory. The secularist is often embittered by the inevitable dissatisfactions of human existence, which are so much at variance with his infinite expectations; by contrast, the religious person appears to have a mature understanding and acceptance of disappointment and limitation. He is not like a child who is continually having his toys snatched from his hand.

Moreover, the religious idea of compassion is greatly superior, both morally and practically, to the secular one. The secular person believes that compassion is due to the victim by virtue of what he has suffered; the religious person believes that compassion is due to everyone, by virtue of his humanity. For the secular person, man is born good and is made bad by his circumstances. The religious person believes man is born with original sin, and is therefore imperfectible on this earth; he can nevertheless strive for the good by obedience to God.

The secularist divides humanity into two: the victims and the victimisers. The religious person sees mankind as fundamentally one.

Sharon Astyk critiques Richard Heinberg's recent video on the history of fossil fuels

300 years of fossil fuels and not one bad gal: Peak oil, women's history and everyone's future
by Sharon Astyk

While it might seem that Ms. Astyk is correcting one error of certain feminists (that women are pure and good) by being correct in asserting that we have to consider the choices of women, as well as those of men, that have led to our current political economy being heavily dependent on cheap energy, this piece is still feminist in so far as her criticism of Heinberg's history is rather petty -- a feminist complaint that the history ignores women, even if it is ignoring the "bad" choices that women have made (even if they had "good" intentions as Astyk would like to claim). What was Heinberg's purpose in creating a video? From what I remember of the video, his purpose was not to give a narrative of the social changes leading to greater use of cheap energy. Rather, it was to talk about how cheap energy become available, and how it is related to our patterns of consumption, including our use of other natural resources. One can fault him for being incomplete, in so far as he looked only at consumption and not at other political and social behaviors (and developments), but she mixes what is correct with her feminist viewpoint:

I have a pretty good idea why Heinberg doesn't mention either the rise in the divorce rate that drove up the number of households, creating smaller and smaller units, each with their own stoves and cars and consumer goods, or the rise in women's consumer buying power, the requirements of workforce participation in clothes, outside meals, domestic labor replaced, etc.... There are two reasons. The first is that conventional histories of technology are progressive stories with heavy emphasis on heroic individualism - that is, they tend to be stories about men and single events in industrialization, rather than how technologies are used in daily life. These histories have been challenged but the dominant narrative, the one we all learned in school is about who invented the cotton gin, not about the black slaves that built and repaired them, or the hands that ran them, about who invented the spinning jenny, not the young women factory workers who made use of them. What Heinberg tells here, intentionally or unconsciously, is a conventional history of human technology, one in which our progress is (horribly) inevitable, and in which the only conscious actions are invention - everything else is a tidal wave that leads us in one direction. This is the critical version of the liberal myth of the inevitability of progress, but it takes the same underlying assumptions - that these are natural events in which there are no agents.

The second reason is more fraught - a narrative in which women's entry in the workforce is responsible for our dramatic rise in fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions can look superficially like a tool for those who would prefer that women go back home and come out of the workforce, and would like to blame feminists and feminism for our present ecological disaster. Indeed, if no one has come up with this ideological claim yet, I'm sure it is only a matter of time before someone explains earnestly to me how wimmen's rights are destroying the planet as well as all the other ills routinely attributed to feminism.

That is not, however, a justification for pretending that women's participation in the workforce has nothing to do with our energy consumption however - it is demonstrably true that our move away from the domestic sphere had an enormous impact on our energy usage. We may not like it, but the story of men as environmental bad guys simply doesn't match up to the reality - there are plenty of bad gals for the planet. False narratives are simply never better than true ones, and we all know that not acknowledging the truth won't prevent others from using the story how they choose.

The other problem with avoiding the subject is that it implies that the shallow, empty anti-feminist argument is right - that the only way to tell the truth is to blame women for killing the planet, and that's just nonsense. Feminism has never been one thing, and in the early days of American 2nd wave feminism, it was a lot less one thing than it is now - there were powerful debates about what kind of social changes women actually wanted. What happened, however, was that a particular version of feminism emerged from the debates, successful. As I've argued before in _Depletion and Abundance_ and other places, in fact, the version of feminism that emerged was one that succeeded precisely because it so well served the encompassing model of consumptive market capitalism.

Thus, when early feminists called for men to take up a full half of the domestic labor, and tried to organize collaborative, communal efforts in which domestic labor from cooking to childcare were taken up equitably in group organizations to reduce the total workload, while spreading it more fairly between men and women, what actually happened was an "every household for itself" ethic. With women now working full time while also doing the majority of childcare and housework, what emerged was the abandonment of much domestic labor that once reduced consumption and energy usage, a lot of conflict over what remained, and the replacement of household labor with lower income employees and public economy replacements - ie, instead of the wife one now had a lawn service, the dry cleaner, the daycare center and the stop at the fast food place, and all the corresponding car trips.

The argument is not "the women's movement caused our environmental degradation" - we know historically speaking that social equity can exist in low-input societies, and we know that there is more than one version of feminism. It is my contention that we should be suspicious of this version of feminism's success, rather than laudatory, and that modern industrial feminism has never fully considered the degree to which its assumptions of natural progress are premised on the availability of cheap energy. Instead, what we need to do is ask "If this feminism succeeded not because it was primarily good for women, but instead good for the economy and some women in power, what are the alternatives?"

If feminism (even in collaboration with industrial capitalism) was powerful enough to radically shift the landscape of our economy, doubling and redoubling our energy consumption, and changing definitions of women's roles, it may be that we very much need feminism to change the terms again.

We never seriously questioned the ideology (and it is an ideology) that argued that women and men are more free when they are employed by bosses in the workplace than when they are working for the greater good of their partners and family in the home. It is certainly true that money conveys a measure of freedom - but we have never seriously considered ways in which access to funds might be assured to women in partnership with others - or ways in which men might come to equitably bear the burden of the domestic economy. Some of these have emerged as critiques or as functional alternatives, but overwhelmingly modern feminism has focused heavily on an energy-intensive, environmentally destructive abandonment of the home for the formal economy, rather than a balancing of domestic labor or a reclamation of it. The emphasis on personal choice the primary form of freedom also drove this unconsidered consumption.

Modern industrial feminism (and its partner in crime, modern industrial capitalism) has also uncritically accepted the idea that the progressive narrative in which women can do whatever they want more or less whenever they want is an accomplishment of their will, rather than a result of a fossil-energy intensive infrastructure that includes electric breast pumps, refrigeration, cars, a huge body of people shunted from homes and farms into low paid service economy jobs, the offshoring of things that were once not needed due to available home labor or were made in the home to far away countries, etc.... As I say in _Depletion and Abundance_ you couldn't have come up with a better plan for a consumptive industrial capitalism if we'd spent decades studying the problem. No wonder it was successful.

The deepest failure of modern industrial feminism was that it accepted what a patriarchal society had said about women's work and household and family labor by both genders - that it was meaningless, valueless, drudgery and contemptable. This work, which substituted for fossil labor in a host of ways, and offered in many cases much better alternatives than can be produced by industrial society (Consider, for example, the food - manifestly we ate better when someone was cooking at home) was replaced by fossil energies in a narrative that regarded such a replacement as natural, progressive and inevitable. It built on degradation of women's traditional work and convinced women and men that traditional domestic labor was valueless. instead of men and women sharing domestic labor more equitably, everyone left the home except a few hold-outs, and those paid the price of being told their work was valueless. This abandonment of the home had enormous environmental costs, which we are paying now.

None of this is a new observation - remember, feminism isn't one thing and ecological feminists have been pointing this out for a long time. But what is new is the that the realization that the resources this version of feminism depends on are going to be limited by material realities means that the women's movement needs to grapple - and fast - with the version of feminism we've accepted as normative. This, however is not my primary subject this time.
Perhaps one could characterize industrial polities as "patriarchal" -- they would not represent the best version of patriarchy. It is not patriarchy per se that has devalued the household economy.

Feminists can continue to dream of a world in which equity is founded upon there being no sex differences, but it will never exist for long.

Divorce for Catholics

Begun on December 20, 2010 at 11:12 A.M.

While I was in Houston last November, I was able to meet up with a Soompi friend, LP. We talked a bit (much of the conversation was about her experience with teaching), and then we touched upon the question of civil divorce, and how it differs from separation. Is divorce permissible for Catholics? While I was growing up, I heard that civil divorce for Catholics is ok as long as the two parties do not remarry. Is this the general pastoral attitude in the United States? (I have heard it repeated once more rather recently, in fact.)

There are differences between divorce and legal separation. Spouses may separate for grave reasons, such as physical abuse. The threat to one's life or health is evident to most people in the case of physical abuse. But what is "emotional abuse"? If a husband and wife cannot get along, is that sufficient reason for a divorce or separation? What does the inability to live with each other really mean? How much of our understanding of marriage is dominated by unrealistic companionate ideals?

What if one spouse refuses to get counseling? The reluctance of husbands to go into marriage counseling, when much of the industry profession is misandrist, is understandable. How much bad behavior from wives is not criticized (except by a few, like Dr.  Laura)?

Is it better for them to separate, if they cannot live amicably together? How much should a wife put up? What about the example of St. Monica and her husband? And we should not forgot that women can be the "victim" of their own expectations. Who is more likely to stick a rocky marriage out these days, American men or women? Love conquers all -- but are there limits? What about differences in communication? If men should not expect women to be like men and adjust accordingly, should this not be required of women with respect to their men as well?

The vow to help one another includes behaving civilly, and fostering a good environment at home. If the home is not a welcoming place because of fighting, hostility, or ill feeling, it is understandable if one or both spouses want to get away.

But can divorce or legal separation release one from one's vows, one's duties to one another, mutual help, etc.? Especially when children are no longer involved?  If one spouse is failing to live up to one's duties is the other then released from his or hers? Barring separation for the sake of physical (or, perhaps, mental health), what legitimate reasons can there be for allowing Catholics to divorce? Should a divorce between Catholics remain scandalous to other Catholics?

If divorce laws and courts are generally biased against men, is it better for men to separate? But what do they then do about women who refuse to pull their own weight and expect spousal support, instead of doing the honorable thing and getting some sort of work?

Did I mention that someone sitting next to us at Starbucks overheard our conversation and offered us a Protestant apologetics tract? The title of the tract was something along the lines of "Can you believe everything in the Bible?" I suspect that it might deal sola scriptura. He thought we were refusing because it might seem anti-Christian, the implicit answer being "no," but he assured us that the content wasn't what we expected. I tried to politely refuse; he was rather insistent so it took several replies.

Edit. September 1, 2011 - I think LP is getting married next weekend, if I understand her FB status correctly.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My sister KK invited Br. B over for dinner and asked him to bless her family's house. He mentioned that he found my blog through a search for his name. I assumed he used Google--I should go back and edit his name, or disable the search engine for the blog. I don't think too many people read this blog, but when it comes to privacy and the internet, one can't be too careful.
Cristobal de Morales Ave Maris Stella by PLUS ULTRA
Westminster Cathedral Choir - Christus vincit by James MacMillan

Good for a laugh? Maybe not...

Vatican Conspiracy Film 444 Is Two Thirds Of The Way To Being The Ultimate Evil!

Antony Beevor

I'm thinking of reading some of Antony Beevor's books on World War II... need to find some reviews though.

Historian reflects on Eastern Front battles
The Globe and Mail
Antony Beevor says D-Day bombing 'close to a war crime'
Antony Beevor: 'History has not emphasised enough the suffering of French civilians during the War'
Profile: Antony Beevor: It’s a full-blooded assault on D-Day

Posted last Wednesday at First Principles Journal-- Focusing on the Anti-Federalists on "Bill of Rights Day"
Bill Kauffman Gary L. Gregg II - 12/15/10
As today is “Bill of Rights Day,” perhaps it is worthwhile to focus on the Anti-Federalists, who, through their objections and efforts, greatly influenced the events that led to the inclusion of the Bill of Rights.

With this in mind, why not draw attention to the following question: were the Anti-Federalists right to oppose the Constitution?

Gary Gregg and Bill Kauffman debated this question last year at the University of Colorado.

Regarding the signing of the Constitution, Gregg states: “There are particular times, there are particular moments in world history when great things, and good things are possible. This was one of those moments. I submit to you that the Anti-Federalists would have doomed our nation to lope along for decades if they would have rejected the Constitution. For this summer of 1787 may well have been the only real chance we had for the only kind of . . . conservative and reformed constitutionalism that we so needed.”

Kauffman responds by defending the Anti-Federalists and their contributions, noting that they “stood for decentralism, local solutions, anti-militarism, and a deep suspicion of far-off governments. And they stood on what they stood for, local attachments, local knowledge.”
Is Nullification Constitutional? A Debate (mp3)

Donald W. Livingston
Professor of Philosophy, Emory University

Allen C. Guelzo
Dean & Founder of the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University