Saturday, March 26, 2011

Paper Airplane

Ecce Virgo concipiet


I've regained my appetite for bacon -- for a while it had been suppressed because of the judgment that fat was bad. Because of CW, I had acquired the habit of getting rid of fat in my food, and there was a felt repulsion to fat. I can't say that this has gone away, as I still have the compulsion to throw fat away, and I don't experience a craving for fat that I still experience with sugar and carbs. I usually don't have a desire to ingest sugar or carbs, and the judgment that they are bad for one's health suffices to prevent such a desire from arising. But memories of rice, pasta, soda, and bread can prevail upon me on occasion.

The Fall of Sam Axe

A prequel of sorts to Burn Notice, centering on Sam Axe (played by Bruce Campbell). I haven't watched the preview yet -- will they try to make him look younger?

Edit. Just watched the video clip. Nope!

Bryan Singer on Superman Returns

An addendum to this post. JoBlo links to the interview.

Ave Maria

Pius XII on Work and Commerce

The book is available online at UST.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Union Army is committed to diversity

Female aviators defy reported odds

Can anyone really believe that if openly homosexual people are allowed to serve in the US military that the institution will not be putting out propaganda like this about how everything is ok and getting better day by day as the military becomes more "diverse"?
Dom Mark Daniel Kirby, OSB: Saint Francis and the Liturgy (via NLM)
A System Designed to Crash by David Korten
David Korten on why a money system dependent on constant growth can’t last.

The favorite primate of leftists and sexual libertines

Isabel Behncke: Evolution's gift of play, from bonobo apes to humans


Steve Martin on Colbert

Exclusive - Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers Performance

This one's for you, Sarge.

Saw a tentative class enrollment for one school today--done from the district's or admin's perspective (30 for lower grades, 33 for upper) -- one foreseen layoff. Near it was a list of teachers in the district by seniority. How many will be getting pink slips?

Fr. Aidan Nichols on Anglicanorum coetibus

An interview by English Catholic.
(via Ordinariate Portal and NLM)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Please pray for my mother's friend who passed away suddenly today. While she was not in good health, this is a bit of a shock to me. I am waiting for mother to return home so she can find out more information...

A critique of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program

over at Counterpunch: Roy Eidelson, Marc Pilisuk, and Stephen Soldz: The Dark Side of "Comprehensive Soldier Fitness"

homepage and FB
Posture Statement

A standing army is opposed to the ideals of a republic? And I am still having difficulty understanding how the contemporary understanding of obedience and authority (no questioning of civilian leadership allowed) is compatible with the republican idea of a citizen-soldier. So it is up to everyone who is not in the military to speak up and protect those who are in the military? How are those in the military really different from mercenaries who have no citizenship, then?
First Things: How Much Ruin is in a Nation?: The Spain of Philip IV
by Christopher S. Johnson
Jimmy Moore, Whole Foods Offers Customers ‘Customized Nutrition Plan’ Pushing A Vegan Agenda
A blog post about the TAD store in SF. Another review of the Ranger LT. The company is putting out another jacket for women, the Valkyrie. I don't like the attempt at a unisex look for outdoor/adventure clothing (even if the clothing for women is adjusted for their curves). Is it possible for women to have clothing that is functional/practical for the outdoors, feminine, and modest?

Another declaration of a silver lining

How Catastrophe Heralds a New Japan

"It's not Japan's demise that the earthquake produced, but rather the possibility of its rebirth."
What a day... this class is just wearing me down. Last time I had the teacher's class, I stopped subbing for her because the back pain was preventing me from being able to handle the class. I thought I would be ablea to ride it out more easily this time, but it seems I may be wrong.

The principal at the school does morning announcements in the morning, and she reminds me of the propaganda one imagines is broadcast through the mass media in totalitarian countries -- the "Dear Leader" or "the Imperious One" commanding the people to obey, do their best for the state or Party, and so on... now her lectures are not so bad, but they do strike me as useless nagging. How many students are paying attention? And is lecturing over the loudspeaker an effective way to bring about virtue? It would probably be ineffective even if it were a male authority figure, but when a woman drones on and on...

It's just another aspect of industrial mass education that would seem rather silly, if it weren't taken so seriously by the adults.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The science duel continues

WSJ: As Little Girls and Boys Grow, They Think Alike

More with Dr. Giedd:
Inside the Teenage Brain
What Makes Teens Tick

Was Hilaire Belloc a liberal?

Ite ad Thomas has the links to the arguments presented at Tradition in Action, which I would not deem to be a reliable website for "traditional" Catholicism. A copy of Belloc's The French Revolution has been put online by Google. (LibriVox, Project Gutenberg) How does his history compare with Toqueville's? I remember starting Belloc's history, but I never got past the introduction -- I did flinch at what seemed to be a positive appraisal of modern French republicanism. I should re-examine Belloc's republicanism/political theory--I would be shocked if someone who should be so critical of the modern nation-state would nonetheless accept one form of it as being an ideal.

Thought and Action: Belloc and the French Revolution
Austen Blog: Henry Tilney rules and pretty much every other hero drools

Fr. John Lee Tae-soek

The 21st-century ‘saint’ you’ve never heard of

Fr John Lee Tae-soek was once so scared of lepers that he hid from them, but he became their champion

Fr. John Lee SDB: A Precious Gift
From November of last year: In two months, 120,000 S Koreans won over by documentary about Fr Lee Tae-suk; Korea Times review

Don't Cry for Me Sudan: Hancinema

In the area this weekend: the Tallis Scholars.

Cal Performances

$26 for UCB students, $47 for non-UCB students. Did they perform in Berkeley when I was there for undergrad? What a missed opportunity if so... I don't think I'll be able to go this year.

Tomás Luis de Victoria is the focus of the two performances.

Fr. Angelo Van der Putten, "The Possibility of Reconciling the Liturgical Calendars of the Extraordinary Form and the Ordinary Form." (via NLM)
A story of choosing to live simply and grow one's own food in rural Japan
Kay McDonald, big picture agriculture

Koichi Yamashita's four objectives for farming: (1) Be lazy. Save labor by cutting corners and not doing unnecessary work. (2) Be stingy. Don't spend any money. Forget about the economic system. (3) Be safe. Don't use poisons on your food. (4) Don't be greedy with the soil. Determine its actual fertility and don't try to get a bigger harvest than you ought to by using too much fertilizer. If you understand what your soil can really produce, you will have a stable harvest from year to year.

A Different Kind of Luxury: Japanese Lessons in Simple Living and Inner Abundance by Andy Couturier
The author's blog.
Oaken resilience
Gene Logsdon,

The one thing that I’ve learned living in the woods is that trees can take care of themselves. All we puny humans need to do to help them is to stop the bulldozers from removing them in favor of more asphalt and corn. But since my inclination is to worry too much about almost everything, learning that trees know what they are doing has not been easy.

More of Carlo Petrini

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A writer for Transition Voice has a similar thought to James Howard Kunstler's

Post-carbon (and post-uranium) Japan

(The link to JHK's blog post this week can be found here.)

The case against Pope John Paul II

That may be wording it too strongly. The Remnant: A Statement of Reservations Concerning the Impending Beatification of Pope John Paul II

A review of Of Gods and Men by a Dominican we know.
Zenit: Hilaire Belloc: Prophet for Our Times
Father C. John McCloskey on Rediscovering a Warrior for the Faith
By Annamarie Adkins

(via RA)
Tomás Luis de Victoria - Jod. Manum suam - Cappella Nicolai

Items of Interest, 22 March 2010

Shaukat Qadir, How the Pentagon Supervised Raymond Davis' Release and How the CIA Took Its Revenge

Gregory Button, Downplaying Disaster: Informational Uncertainty in the Wake of Japan's Nuclear Crisis

Hirose Takashi and Douglas Lummis, What They're Covering Up at Fukushima

Anatomy of a nuclear crisis: A chronology of Fukushima
David Biello, Yale Environment 360
Even now, 10 days after the crisis began, the situation at Fukushima is still not under control. The disaster is clearly worse than the 1979 partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, yet not as grave as the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, which spread radioactive material over large portions of Europe. A chronology of how the Fukushima crisis has unfolded demonstrates that even a country as advanced as Japan — and as practiced in dealing with natural disasters — was unprepared for an earthquake of this magnitude, the largest in Japan in 1,200 years.

Won’t Innovation, Substitution, and Efficiency Keep Us Growing?
Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute

An ecology of building: Making a house in a world without frontiers
Jim Bannon, An Ecology of Home

Permaculture: Deconstructing a Definition
Lisa Fernandes, Resilient Homes blog
Nobody knows how to define "permaculture." Everyone thinks they should be doing it. Lisa Fernandes starts the process of deconstructing one of the most common definitions for a system that thousands are touting as a response to peak oil and climate change.

Foundation Concepts: Thinking Resilience
William Rees, Post Carbon Institute
"Resilience thinking” is one response to the foregoing questions. “The bottom line for sustainability is that any proposal for sustainable development that does not explicitly acknowledge a system’s resilience is simply not going to keep delivering the goods (or services)." Resilience science is based on the simple premise that change is inevitable and that attempts to resist change or control it in any strict sense are doomed to failure. Resilience science is also systems science.

This Land is Your Land

I forgot to mention that one of the songs at the sing-along was "This Land is Your Land."

It was written in the 40s, but appropriated by the 60s generation and the hippies. While I was listening to the song I was struck by its nationalist (as opposed to truly federalist) understanding of the United States--there is just one land, instead of many, comprised of all the (continguous) states. Even if the 60s protestors were trying to distinguish between the people and the state and the proper origin of political authority, they were nonetheless subscribing to a mistaken view of the United States and their history.

The phrase "This land was made for you and me" is puzzling -- does the original title, "God Blessed America for Me" reveal anything about Mr. Guthrie's understanding of the religious origins of the United States? Does it partake of Manifest Destiny or Yankee/puritan American exceptionalism?

I think the song may be susceptible to a multiculturalist interpretation, in which culture does not matter, just some allegiance to the proposition nation.

A Discussion of Courtesy Titles and Names at FPR

A Tip of the Hat to Courtesy by Mary Vander Goot

There is this one school in SJ where teachers are called by their first names. I think at least one of the teachers was understanding enough to have the students call me Mr. ---. I don't know who decided that this was to be the custom at the school, the principal, the faculty, or both. But I wasn't really going to follow suit, since it is a question of justice.

It reminds me of one of my professors, whose children called him and their mother by their first names. I didn't really understand the reason for this, and I mentioned it to one of my fellow grad students, and she was puzzled by it as well.

It seems that family titles/names can be honorifics as well, since they remind us why respect is owed to our parents, grandparents, and so on--it is because they are our parents, grandparents... the rationale for other courtesy titles may be more obscure, and those who educate us should be explaining to us why it is polite to call someone by a certain form of address, so that the rationale is not lost to us.

In the comments section, Mr. Polet cites Toqueville, who makes an interesting argument:

This, of course, is a problem endemic to egalitarian societies. As Tocqueville wrote:
“In democratic countries, manners have ordinarily little grandeur because life there is very petty. They are often vulgar because thought has but few occasions to raise itself above preoccupation with domestic interests. Genuine dignity of manners consists in always showing oneself in one’s place, neither higher nor lower; that is within the reach of the peasant as of the prince. In democracies, all places appear doubtful; hence it happens that manners, which are often haughty, are rarely dignified. In addition, they are neither well regulated nor well informed. Men who live in democracies are too mobile for a certain number of them to succeed in establishing a code of social graces and to be able to keep it in hand so that it is followed. Each therefore acts nearly as he pleases, and a certain incoherence in manners always reigns because they conform to the sentiments and individuals ideas of each rather than to an ideal model given in advance for imitation by all.”
What was a greater contributor to the loss of honorifics here in the United States? Both social and physical mobility have had an impact in the last century. And I have no doubt patriotic Southrons would claim that things got worse in the North first...
Today I went to a school where I haven't worked for a year or so -- the secretary was unknown to me, and the other secretary, who replaced the secretary I knew, was absent due to illness. The secretary called me sir, but I didn't introduce myself; the secretary introduced one of the other teachers who was using a sub, but no one asked me to identify myself...

wiki: Courtesy Titles in the UK ·
The British system of aristocratic honorifics

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mark Mitchell, Wendell Berry and the New Urbanism: Agrarian Remedies, Urban Prospects

Carlo Petrini: A Night at The Opera

Parts 2, 3, 4

Some more recent appearances:

another clip from the same occasion

Preserving biodiversity, promoting local foods: An interview with Slow Food-USA’s Gordon Jenkins by Janeen Madan (EB)

I think Mr. Jenkins is engaging in a bit of wishful thinking when he says:

I think we’re approaching a historic opportunity with the next Food and Farm Bill. As far as I can remember, never before have so many people been aware of its impact on their daily lives and the food that is available to them. I hope to see the next Bill prioritize making healthy food more available and affordable. And I hope it levels the playing field for farmers who want to make a living growing food they can be proud of.

Slow Food USA

Jimmy Moore, March 2011 Update On CJ Hunt’s Documentary ‘In Search Of The Perfect Human Diet’

website for the film

A reversal of modernity?

James Howard Kunstler has an An Odd Rumination
about the future of Japan, and whether it can turn back the clock. Even if the country could turn its back on industrialization, would it be able to recover from the spiritual sickness that plagues the populace?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Went to RHK's house today so he could check the computer... it's not time for a full upgrade (that might happen once I get a normal job) but I may trade some parts.