Saturday, March 19, 2011


Daniel Larison, Another Unconstitutional War Begins

Stereo Love

Got put on to the right track thanks to the interweb; I had been looking for the name of this song for quite some time, but the snippets of its lyrics that I had written down were not sufficient for Google. I tried looking it up on the website for 94.9, but nothing looked obvious. (But after I found the title, I remembered seeing it on the list of the last 10 songs played.)

Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina - Stereo Love


Music for the weekend...

Addressing People

One more thing I had wanted to discuss in conjunction with everything else I mentioned in this post: a problem that is quite obvious in California and in major urban areas (such as Boston or NYC) -- the loss of politesse regarding how we greet and address others. It is normal for people to greet each other without using their names, first or last.

I feel ashamed in admitting that I tend to go along with this trend at work, despite my ideals. Part of it is due to the fact that I am uncomfortable with addressing people with whom I have just a professional acquaintance by their first name. It has taken me a while to calling the secretary at one school by her first name because not calling her anything seems worse, and I don't do this consistently. I try to address people by their family names and the proper title. (While speaking I will use "Miss" for unmarried women, but when I write a note as a concession to social norms I will use "Ms.") The other part is habit... (not necessarily laziness), as well as the desire not to stand out too much. There is also the problem of failing to properly introduce one's self (which happened when I encountered the student teacher).

Last week I was at a school in Alviso. Right after the school day commenced, the students went to the cafeteria, where the faculty were having a sing-along for them. It seemed like there were a lot of children's songs, but hippie folk songs as well, such as Puff the Magic Dragon (which isn't really about drugs?). The two women who were leading, one singing and one playing the guitar, were old enough to be members of the hippie generation. Or were they simply influenced by the hippie "counterculture" and its music? Or just modern Uhmericans with no traditional music going back more than 50 years? Maybe these were the only songs they knew and could teach.

The teachers may have been singing songs in English, but a devil's advocate could ask what happened to the supposed liberal respect for local culture? Why weren't the students singing Spanish songs? After all, the area is predominantly Hispanic, But, Alviso does seem to be one of the more assimilated areas. And the district does not have a ESL program or use a bilingual curriculum. Still, if the parents complained about the lack of Spanish songs, what would happen? In San Jose, it is not unusual for students of all ethnicities to learn a Spanish (or even Vietnamese) song for a holiday performance.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Kenneth Woodwdard remembers the American Church of the '50s

First Things: Memories of a Catholic Boyhood
Growing up in the parallel culture of the Church in the 1950s

To be a Catholic child in the fifties was to imagine yourself at the center of concentric circles of belonging. They included not only the other Catholics that we knew, not only, even, all the Catholics we saw at other parish churches when traveling, but all Catholics who ever were or would be on the face of the earth—plus quite a few saints we knew by name who were now, we believed, with God in heaven but still close enough to talk to because they were always watching over us like grandparents looking down from high front porches.

In other words, the religious identity we acquired in childhood was a primal identity that absorbed and conditioned all the others. This communal formation began, almost imperceptibly, with the transformation of the seasons.

Was a sense of religious-cultural identity among Catholics in an "immigrant" Church an obstacle to effective evangelization of others?

A belated concession to the times?

Zenit: Pope's Letter on 150th Anniversary of Italian Unity
"Christianity Contributed in a Fundamental Way to the Construction of the Italian Identity"
Steven Greydanus gives an answer to the questions, "How Catholic is Of Gods and Men?"
Larry Vickers discusses Daniel Defense Lightweight Patrol Rifle

Alison Krauss & Union Station: Preview of "Dimming of the Day"

Thomas Naylor Calls for the Break Up of the Union

The Politics of Nihilism
A Call for Rebellion

Another reason not to go on cruises

The Dark Side of the Cruise Ship Industry

Is this true of Disney Cruise Line as well?

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I like Tom McClintock, but I read something in Bye Bye Miss American Empire that had me shaking my head. Ignorant Uhmerican, or just a misinformed liberal who doesn't perceive the negative consequences of the Enlightenment?
Assemblyman Tom McClintock (R-CA), who in 2008 was elected as a carpetbagging congressman from a Northern California district, cast city secession as the wave of the future: 'Large, centralized command-and-control structures were very much a 20th-century phenomenon, actually a throwback to medieval governing modalities. We have been relearning the lessons of the Enlightenment, that human institutions produce far more satisfactory results when powers are decentralized and dispersed.' (102)
The Enlightenment arguably provided  justification for the revolutionaries to hasten the centralization of political (and economic) power, while the medievals had a better grasp of decentralization, despite the pretenses of various claimants to imperial power.
The Mike Church Show: Dr. Kevin Gutzman On The Line Discussing Energy, States' Rights & The Constitution

Gary Taubes talks with Jimmy Moore about his appearance on Dr. Oz

Taubes vs. Oz Special And Ben Hewitt Interview (Episode 456) (mp3)

(via the blog and FB)

Also in this episode, Mr. Moore talks with Ben Hewitt, author of The Town That Food Saved.

Plus: It's Not About the Calories
Why existing efforts to combat childhood obesity are bound to fail.
By Gary Taubes
Sandro Magister: "Lectio Divina." The Pope Takes Everyone Back to School
Benedict XVI has taught the clergy of Rome how to read the Sacred Scriptures. And also the seminarians. But his lesson is for all. And he has put it into practice in his book on Jesus

American military air power

It doesn't take much to strafe and drop bombs on people who can't effectively fight back. When they're innocent civilians, shouldn't we be expecting some sort of blowback?

Tom Engelhardt, What US Air Power Actually Does

An update on the Raymond Davis affair:
Raymond Davis Walks

Lierre Keith interview

Peak Moment 191: The vegetarian myth
by Yuba Gals Independent Media

archive at EB

Her website and book.

Chanting for men

While I prefer a more "traditional" interpretation of Chant to that of Solesmes, I do note that the scholas of monasteries (Benedictine, Heiligenkreuz) and traditionalist/EF order seminaries (FSSP, ICRSS) seem to be dominated by tenors?

Why is there a perceived absence of men with voices in the lower ranges? For at least one seminary, the schola is constituted of men who have been screened, so that the final product has an "acoustically pure" -- I wouldn't be surprised if this happens at monasteries as well. You would want to put the best voices forward. But that doesn't completely explain the absence of basses (and baritones?). Do all of them sing so badly? Or have they been taught to blend their voices in with the higher ranges?

I remember JC writing he liked the chant of Ensemble Organum because of the deep, manly voices.

Some Mozarabic chant:

Listening to Ensemble Organum and other experiments with a more "Eastern" sound, I can't help but ask if the use of organum has been tainted for some because of its association with the SSJ. But this may not be a concern for those who were familiar with the SSJ.

Ensemble Organum - Kyrie (Orbis Factor)
with female voices

A contrast:
Missa " ORBIS FACTOR", Gregoriano, Giovanni Vianini, Schola Gregoriana Mediolanensis, Milano, Italia

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Items of Interest, 16 March 2010

Proposal for Fukushima-I post-accident scenario analysis
John Rawlins, Energy Bulletin

Jeffrey St. Clair, Pools of Nuclear Fire

Clancy Sigal, Nuclear Renaissance? No Thank You, Mr. President

Dave Lindorff, The Real Risks to America's Security

Earth's limits: Why growth won't return - metals and other minerals
Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute

Mike Whitney, The Corporate Stash

David Swanson, Is Obama Even Worse Than Bush?

Here, Sarge, an excuse for you to go to Rome

Op-StJoseph: Hope for the Entire Church
Third Annual Conference on the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum

Another Michael Ruppert interview

A world in trouble (Michael Ruppert interview)
by Karen Rybold-Chin (EB)

The interview was originally intended to be a part of The Nation series on peak oil/climate change, but The Nation declined to use it. Michael Ruppert was too much for it?
Trying to make sense out of the last supper
Gene Logsdon, The Contrary Farmer
First of all, I care because I think many small churches are closing for the same reason small farms are closing, that is, false notions about economics. The general thinking is that it is more profitable to cram more people into fewer, bigger churches just like it is more profitable to cram more hogs into fewer, bigger barns.
Dr. Helen: PJTV: Man to Man: What It Means to Man Up

The video.

Glenn Sacks, Fathers & Families

Marta Manzi speaks on There Be Dragons

Zenit: Communicating Opus Dei Through Film
Interview With Spokesperson on "There Be Dragons"

There Be Dragons

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ft. Benning Basic Training photos.

Unfortunately the website doesn't have photos of every class that passed through in the last 10 years.

Items of Interest, 15 March 2011

An Afghan War ‘Turning Point’ Revue by Kelley Vlahos

The Flipside of Feminism: Relief for the Discombobulated Woman

More on Nuclear Energy:
Safety of nuclear power and death of the nuclear renaissance by Euan Mearns
Ten reasons why new nuclear was a mistake – even before Fukushima: a guest post from Alexis Rowell
ClubOrlov: Earth Shakes, Sea Surges, Nukes Blow
Fabius Maximus: About the atomic crisis in Japan – background information and reliable news sources
Mish: Potential Nuclear Disaster as Radiation Levels Rise; "Way Past Three Mile Island"; Major World Indices an Ocean of Red;Nikkei -12.5%,US Futures -2.5%

Some "conservatives," including Chuck DeVore, have reacted against those proclaiming the dangers of nuclear power and asking that we rethink our energy strateagy. Apparently Mr. DeVore thinks that we should be focused on the human tragedy in Japan, rather than using it to make a political point or focusing on the environmental implications of the disaster. I must disagree with him. I think it is appropriate to talk about whether expanding the use of nuclear power here in the US is appropriate, in light of the disaster. (Especially since Obama is all too keen on nuclear energy.)

Whether you look at the $ or the energy consumption, it is clear we are "living beyond our means."

Mr. DeVore is right about many things, but if he believes nuclear energy is a solution, he is wrong.

DeVore’s Silence on Japan’s Nuclear Crisis Surprises

William Mahrt

Jeffrey Tucker offers this Faculty Profile.

Sacred, Beautiful & Universal: Colloquium XIX
James Kushiner notes it is reported in a review in The New Republic of Of Gods and Men: "The press reports that the picture has been a success in France, and the general reaction in editorials has been sobering. For instance, Le Monde said: “The monks of Tibhirine incarnate everything that the public, from the left to the right, no longer finds in society,” and then enumerated the monks’ virtues."

Slinking Toward Retirement: Movie Review: Of Gods and Men’s Higher Love
Bluegrass Blog: Bearfoot – new look and sound

Richard Heinberg's Totnes Interiew, Part 2

“I think 2011 is going to be an interesting year… in the Chinese sense…” Part Two (Heinberg interview)
Rob Hopkins, Transition Culture (EB)

Monday, March 14, 2011

WSJ: Mapping Japan's Disaster

Pertinacious Papist looks to Confucianism

to explain Why there is no looting in Japan.

I wonder though how much of an influence Confucianism had on the masses in Japan.

Homogeneity is mentioned as a reason for why there is no looting (if indeed this is the case) not as an explanation in itself. Rather, it is the absence of one cause of intersocial conflict -- multiculturalism. By itself, it is not enough to explain moral behavior -- one must look at the culture.

Japanese Neo-Confucianism
Alte, Why young men don’t marry: serial monogamy
Elusive Wapiti: Preparing to be a Husband and Father
The current unit for the 3rd grade is dealing with the clothing of other cultures. (Their next story: Suki's Kimono.) I think the textbook (Scott Foresman, Pearson) may have been written for California (or New York?); regardless, the textbook series promotes the multiculturalist agenda. Everyone is entitled to their own culture (and clothing) and to reject the artefacts of modern cosmopolitan Western culture (blue jeans vs. sari, etc. -- today's read-aloud story), except, of course, Westerners or white Americans. (No one, though, can reject liberalism if he is to be admitted to society.)

Peter Hitchens Elaborates on Prohibition

In Defence of Prohibition - and other matters

People who call themselves 'Libertarians' are of course welcome to take this position, and say that nobody has the right to interfere in such choices. But they can only do so, in my view, because the huge temperance campaigns of the late 19th and early 20th centuries actually greatly reduced drinking in this country, helped by Lloyd George's clever use of World War One as a pretext to bring in the wise and effective licensing laws which did so much to reduce the menace of drunkenness in Britain in the 20th century. I'm told this was only a problem with seaports. Well, I doubt it, but even if true, look at a map and see how many of our great cities fit that description. Interestingly temperance is still a major issue in works of fiction written in 1932 ('South Riding') and 1959 ('No Love for Johnnie'). In the former, a corrupt and presumably Labour councillor is a Methodist lay preacher and temperance advocate (who secretly drinks when away from his home area and unrecognised) . In the latter, an ambitious but frustrated Labour MP breaks a huge taboo and risks offending many of his voters by taking his first drink, a step which turns out to lead him on to general failure.

I don't think they really understand just how devastating unrestricted drinking is in the lives of poor people, though I think we are soon going to find out.

They have also swallowed whole John Stuart Mill's 'On Liberty' as if it offered a definitive answer on a question which must surely always be very carefully shaded.

Hence the silly false parallels that are sometimes made, suggesting that there is no difference in principle between telling someone what to think (the case of the Johns) and stopping someone doing himself physical or mental damage, damage which will also ruin the lives of others.

What principle is this, actually?

Yoko Kanno's song for the earthquake victims

Tokyo Hive: Kanno Yoko releases message song “Kimi de ite buji de ite” for earthquake victims

Gear Scout: Swiss Military to adopt Glock G17 and G19?

Richard Heinberg's Totnes Interview, Part 1

“I think 2011 is going to be an interesting year… in the Chinese sense…” (Heinberg interview)
by Rob Hopkins (EB)

Counterpunch on the earthquake in Japan

Gary Leupp, The Japanese Disasters

Robert Alvarez, Meltdown at Fukushima

Arjun Makhijani, Fukushma Nukes: What Happened, Why, What's Next

JHK muses on the global economic consequences.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tickets for Stile Antico

As mentioned here, Stile Antico will be performing in San Francisco on April 6 at Calvary Presbyterian Chruch. You can purchase tickets here.

Automatic Earth: How black is the Japanese nuclear swan? by Nicole Foss ("Stoneleigh")

EB: Nuclear crisis in Japan - March 13

Two comments by Dr. Fleming

From Tocqueville’s Ancien Régime Book III:

The role of the political intellectual in 18th century France is not easy to understand without a broad knowledge of French political and cultural life. I will put a few facts on the table to help. First, in the 17th and 18th century, the French not only dominated European literature but had no serious competitors. Some people outside England admired Shakespeare, it is true, but the French and nearly everyone else preferred Racine and Corneille, and, beside Shakespeare, most major English writers were enamored of French literature. Moliere, Boileau, La Fontaine, La Bruyére–along with Racine and Corneille–were adored throughout Europe. Read in translation, they (except for Moliere) fail to impress English-speakers, but they were masters of verse and of prose. Unfortunately, this meant that when far inferior minds and characters mastered the French language–Voltaire and Rousseau,, to name two–they too were adored. A second fact is that French political life, from Louis XIII on down, was dominated by the court. There were no parties, only court factions and favorites. (I am of course exaggerating a bit). There was no Locke because there was no Shaftsbury. The best that one aspire to was to be a tutor to one of the princes, as Fenelon had been. As for the English Enlightenment, it had the great advantage of being second-rate, provincial, and behind the times. In Britain, the really smart moralists and political intellectuals were the Scots–Hutcheson, Hume, Kames, Smith. Voltaire, who had an entirely second-rate mind that harnessed a first-rate literary talent, admired Locke, but second-raters often admire their equals.

Unfortunately, as Americans we tend to view the period from 1500-1800 from the English point of view and we overrate, as a result, the English contribution to European culture and fail to grasp the greater significance of France. For reasons I do not understand even today, I liked French literature in my youth and had enough hours in college for a major. While I am far from being a learned student of French literature, I count myself very lucky to have accidentally (it seems) fallen in with the French. This week I am reading Balzac’s wonderful first signed novel, Les Chouans, and the poetry of André Chénier, whom I have not read since a college survey course. In English, I am reading the Guizots’ popular history of France for children–some children is all I can say–and they spend about 100 pp. on the literature of Louis XIV’s reign. To think of a period that included all the writers I have already mentioned, but also Bossuet and Pascal–two of the most brilliant religious writers of the past 500 years and absolute literary masters–staggers a mind that is used to thinking of 17th century England as a high point.

From Organized Coercion:
There is an important sense in which we must live in the past if we are to experience the present sanely and fully. It is only knowledge of earlier generations and their accomplishments that makes it possible to judge our own generation and to strive for higher standards. Reading even Wodehouse reminds me of how far we have fallen from the excellence of his plots and the grace of his imaginary world. I read yesterday an account of someone who had been in company with the great French dramatist Racine. The subject of Sophocles came up, and Racine whipped out a Greek text of the Oedipus and translated it for his friends, who knew the French theater well. The writer who tells the story says it was the most moving dramatic experience he had ever had. My point is that Racine did not measure himself by the contemporaries he excelled but by the best. That is the trouble with generational jingoism–the Rush-Sean-Mark twaddle about America as the greatest little country in the history of the world. Even if it were true, this attitude breeds complacency, a satisfaction with the second, or in our case third and fourth rate, that prevents us from ever striving to do better.

National chauvinism, or self-esteem writ large...

Implications for Western acculturation and the creation of an American English rite?
Rorate Caeli: Immigration must "take into account
the principles of law, cultural, and religious tradition" of welcoming nation

Damisa Moyo

Commonwealth Club lectures are broadcast on at least 3 local radio stations, as I found out this morning while I was driving home from SFO. I heard part of this talk:
Dambisa Moyo, International Economist; Author, How The West Was Lost and Dead Aid (mp3)

She recommended this book: This Time Is Different:
Eight Centuries of Financial Folly
by Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff
Foreign Policy

Why does Ben Bernanke recommend the book?

Carmen Reinhart
Kenneth Rogoff

NYT interview with Dr. Moyo
Aid Ironies
New Statesman interview

Tavis Smiley

Dambisa Moyo: without change US will almost certainly become a socialist nation

A celebrity academic?

Dr. Helen on the Brian Wilson show

She talks about male-bashing and calls for men to "man up."

From her blog: the podcast (mp3)


The Western Confucian: Our Lady of Akita, Pray For Us
EWTN on Our Lady of Akita

Michael Shedlock: Earthquake Moves Japan Eight Feet, Shifting Earth's Axis; Entire Villages Vanish Under Wall of Water; Nuclear Crisis Expands to 2nd Reactor
Scramble to Avert Meltdowns; Death Toll Estimate Tops 10,000; Industries Shut Down; Japan Goes Deeper in Debt; Keynesian Stimulus Nonsense

Outsiders to the community

Elusive Wapiti: Empathizing With Cops

I've been somewhat critical of law enforcement here at EW, mostly because of what I see as a system that has gradually morphed over time from one that protected liberty to one that erodes it. Indeed, as individual LEOs became "professionalized", American law enforcement ceased being a system in which citizens secured justice for themselves, on a level playing field, facilitated by law enforcement and the courts, to a literal "us" versus "them" arrangement on a steeply tilted playing field where the massive resources of government are brought to bear against presumably innocent individual citizens. In other words, ownership of the laws and the law enforcement process shifted from individual citizens to an amorphous "the people", thus divesting individual citizens from the justice process except as a collective (when enforcing the law), or as an isolated defendant (when targeted by law enforcement). This divestiture is so complete that jury nullification, that foundational right whose pedigree extends back as far as the Magna Carta, is viewed with contempt and hostility by those in the justice system and those who publicly profess this right are persecuted, pilloried, and/or proscribed from jury service.

It is in this context which LEOs, people just like any of us,* find themselves at odds with the interests of their neighbors while simultaneously being exposed to the worst pathologies of their neighbors. Rare is the person who is truly happy to see a cop in an official capacity.

I believe it was at Chronicles that someone mentioned how many police officers differentiate themselves from "civilians," using that term rather pejoratively. Peter Hitchens has done so as well.

I will be writing a post elsewhere about outsiders being mere functionaries for communities of which they are not really a part. If it is just commutative justice regulating their interaction with people in that community and not love and affection, should we not expect abuses and other problems? Too many LEOs do not live in the communities in which they work.

At the end of his entry EW links to the other posts he has written on the topic of law enforcement in the U.S. See especially A Brief History of Early American Law Enforcement, Part I and Part II. One should also consult what Peter Hitchens has written about traditional British policing.

Homogeneity and solidarity

VFR has a post commenting on how the Japanese have handled themselves after the earthquake and the tsunami: The Japanese. Unfortunately, many of the discussants attribute the difference between Japan and Haiti to differences in IQ (or intelligence) rather than to culture and character.

Steve Sailer, CNN: Republicans cause post-disaster looting in America

Welmer's Take: A Tale of Two Earthquakes

Photos at Boston Globe: Massive earthquake hits Japan.

Liturgical touring

This morning I went to SAG in Palo Alto to attend the divine liturgy for the community of St. Basil. It was the Sunday of Orthodoxy, but no anathemas here. (I think that's when the anathemas are traditionally said?) There was a procession of icons after the liturgy, though -- the liturgy itself took 1 hr and 45 minutes. The procession and dismissal took another 30 minutes. I would have gotten out of STA about the same time if I had gone there today.

The nubility number for the community is probably 0. There are some young families and the rest are all... old people. I don't know why the community is celebrating their Sunday liturgy in Palo Alto.

It is Ruthenian rite, to which I have been exposed before, but nonetheless it still felt foreign at the beginning. By the end, I was used to it (more on this in a second), but I am still unsure of whether I'd switch over to this or another rite. I still feel more comfortable in a Latin rite.

But I was reminded of why I enjoy attending the Byzantine rite -- there is so much singing. Responses in the OF (or the EF) are rather limited in comparison. Would it be possible to change this in the Roman rite?

Because I am a liturgical tourist, I am uncomfortable with entering the life of the community, which makes me ask whether being a regular liturgical tourist is good or not. Should one not be in a deeper fellowship with the other worshippers? No one is saved alone, and being a liturgical tourist may be accompanied by the danger of becoming an individualist in the practice of religion.

I will probably be back at STA next week -- I think Fr. Augustine will be celebrating Mass then.

(A liturgical tourist -- a term used by Fr. S at Christendom in reference to AP's activities.)

Roger Scruton examines the use of social networking websites

Hiding Behind the Screen

Poetry 시

Roger Ebert's review of Poetry.
Boston Globe
Seattle Times

Interview: Lee Chang-dong Talks ‘Poetry,’ How ‘Avatar’ Affected Him, An ‘Oasis’ Remake & More
Michael Atkinson on Lee Chang-dong’s Poetry

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, "Osculetur me"