Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Catholic View for Women

An EWTN show. The FB page was advertising the latest episode as promoting a "new feminism." What is that? Here's the official website. (Some info.)

The hostesses: Teresa Tomeo, Janet Morana, Astrid Bennett Gutierrez

The Bamboo Ceiling

EJK sent me the link to this essay, "Paper Tigers," by Wesley Yang. She seemed rather upset by the essay. I had seen one or two people link to the article on Facebook. It's a rather long essay, but I think the author is pretty much saying that East Asians need to become more like Americans and less East Asian if they are to gain positions in upper management.

I do not think that the children of East Asians immigrants have a problem assimilating -- the problem is that the assimilate the wrong sort of culture, all that could be labeled with the pejorative "Uhmerican." But assimilation may not be enough -- what about the development of leadership qualities or an "American" character? While the Eastern peoples Aristotle was thinking of were relatively close (the Persians?), I think his characterization of them as being servile could be applied to those of the "Middle Kingdom" and beyond. East Asian males do have a reputation for being beta. I wouldn't ascribe this to "genetics" or diet or low testosterone. This perception of East Asian males may be holding them back from corporate advancement. But is it the case that East Asian males are more beta than whites?

I think a cross-generational comparison may be necessary. It may be that members of more recent generations of East Asians are more beta than those of previous generations. Also, E. Asians who immigrate may be even more focused on prosperity and material success, investing a lot of resources in their children and more often than not adopting a form of education that could be called "spoiling." It may be strict in some of its demands, but it is very narrow and often fails to prepare the children for real life and its responsibilities. (Should I go ahead and read Amy Chua's book?) What sort of leadership role are East Asian males exercising within the family after they are married? Are they sufficiently independent from their parents and autonomous? Do they place a great value on conflict-avoidance and preserving face? Is there a combination of cultural values and practices holding East Asian males back?

Those who become officers in the U.S. military may be deemed to be good candidates for business leadership positions. But who joins the military? Who signs up for the military? Very few East Asians (especially Chinese). Indians seem to be even more rare. And yet, the military appears to be a good stepping stone for those seeking management positions. Why? Because military service is not deemed to be choiceworthy. The priority may be on getting a good job (materialism) or on avoiding dangerous jobs (fear of death). Or the military may be judged to be low-status. And yet, in the abstract, military service is an important component of republican virtue. (Although, [voluntary] service in the military is not sufficient for the formation of a citizen in a republic. It must be complemented by the proper moral development.) I wouldn't hold respect for military service to be an aspect of contemporary Uhmerican culture. And it may still not be enough to break the bamboo ceiling, if those at the top are looking for people who are innovative eladers willing to take risks and think for themselves. (The U.S. military is full of bureaucrats and stuck in a 2GW mindset.)

As for the supposed meritocracy that exists in our political economy. How many of those who advance in management of the big corporations are able to do so not because of talent but because of social connections or some other form of favoritism (including affirmative action)? I do not think we have a political program for the grooming future leaders (and I still think a national public service academy would be a bad idea). Who tends to get ahead in high school and college? Those who are naturally ambitious and extroverted benefit. East Asians get involved in the rat race for college admissions, but they may not necessarily look for leadership roles in the clubs and organizations they join. Not everyone can be a chief, even at that level. I have my doubts as to the real sort of leadership teenagers and young adults can exercise. Have they learned how to obey or serve properly? What sort of model of leadership have they been exposed to and seek to emulate? Leadership isn't the same as willfulness.

Matching talent with the proper work would be easier in polities that are small, enabling people to know one another. As it is, the sort of "meritocracy" that we have, if it can be called that, is tied to a political economy that is unsustainable.

Regarding diet:
It seems that nutrition, both in utero and after birth, does have a great impact on development and health. Could it explain why so many East Asians have poor eyesight?

John T. Reed's reaction to the Fortune article on officers

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers

Peak coal this year? by Dave Cohen (EB)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Disloyal? Disrespectful? Judgmental?

Today, [traditionalist] Catholic blogs have been abuzz with the release of the instruction Universae Ecclesiae.

Yesterday I read these two pieces on the beatification of Pope John Paul II:

Christian Order: B-Day
The Remnant: The Beatification of John Paul II (by Christopher Ferrara)

Mr. Ferrara mentions that beatification is not infallible, relying upon the same Catholic Encyclopedia article that I consulted when the question came up in my mind in relation to this event.

Are critics being presumptuous in making judgments about what the pope failed to do? Or is their judgment about certain things (e.g. what happened at Assisi) being scandalous to the faithful (and non-faithful) warranted?

Regarding the first question, how much authority does the pope have according to Vatican I? Could the pope have done more to govern the Church? It may be that with regards to the daily running of the Church, a monarchical order is not desirable, but what about in extraordinary circumstances? And even if extraordinary circumstances do not justify interventions solely by the pope, could he not have acted in concert with bishops faithful to the see of Peter? Of course some bishops may only be weak, not heretical. Those who are heretical - should they have been excommunicated and stripped of their office? How could those who are weak have been strengthened? Would it be better to return to a system in which nominations are handled by those within a diocese, and let God's judgment fall upon it with whoever is nominated and ultimately selected?

Some may defend inaction by saying that formal schism of a significant part of the Church would have been worse than "preserving  the status quo." Is this akin to saying that those who are objectively sinning should not be told that they are sinning? That it is better to presume their ignorance and to keep them there, so they are not informed and become guilty of sin? Or is it a failure to confront evil within the Church, whatever the cost? (The spiritual works of mercy... How is brotherhood reconciled with the hierarchical order of the Church?)

(Incidentally, today is the 30th anniversary of the attempt on Pope John Paul II's life.)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Blogger unavailble today

I would have posted these on Thursday, but am instead doing so on Friday, with a retro-publishing date.

Ingredients of Transition: Education for Transition by Rob Hopkins (EB)
As health care fails, Part I: Power, knowledge and resistance by Dan Bednarz (EB)
The tenfold path to guts, solidarity and the defeat of the corporate elite by Bruce E. Levine (EB)

I don't think any traditional conservative would disagree with the criticisms of the political economy. But what distinguishes traditional "conservatives" from the liberal democrats? What is the basis of the right to citizenship or office for traditional conservatives? [Republican] virtue. For liberals, it is the "dignity" or the individual, the natural fact that the individual is free, etc.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Vapidity of Uhmericans

Belloc has a comment about tourists in Path to Rome (in contrast to the pilgrim?) -- he is critical of them and their chosen pastime.

Browsing through profiles at dating sites one notices how many women mention that they like to travel. Many are explicitly looking for someone else who shares that interest. They imagine themselves to be cultured and stimulating based on this interest, but the reality is probably very much the opposite. I've looked at only a few profiles of men, but they do not seem to emphasize it as much.

Being "well-travelled" and exposed to different cultures somehow makes them more interesting. Never mind that they usually stay to the tourist areas and resorts, and have very little interaction with the natives except as customers. How many of them learn the language, customs, beliefs, religion, or history of the host people. And yet being a tourist is somehow a great accomplishment of character. It is in part because Uhmericans lack a culture of their own that they are readily impressed by the novel and that which is different to the senses.

People enjoy traveling because they can "relax" and have no responsibilities; nor do they have to worry about the cultivation of social relationships, because they won't be staying long. (Perhaps a few cultivate the awareness that they are guests of a foreign country and act accordingly.) Can one really experience a culture without knowing the people who embody it, and living with them? Otherwise, all that knowledge is just in the abstract. Tourism is just another opportunity to consume and to pursue pleasures of the body, albeit in a foreign environment.

Enjoying travel is no true indicator of whether a woman will be a good mother and wife. But it does make foreign tourist offices happy.

With people describing themselves primarily of their interests, it's no wonder if interest is mostly based on physical appearance and the photos that are available. There isn't much else.

*Setting aside travelling for the sake of true learning, some tourists seek to appreciate the beauty of nature in other lands. Wouldn't it be better to create some beauty at home. Wendell Berry has written on the separation of man from nature in the conservationist movement, and spending time and with nature (or adventuring in the wilderness) This American pastime is now enjoyed overseas as well, along with extreme sports and so on. "For the thrill of it."

Items of Interest, 11 May 2011

Alte, The Artifice of Submissive Femininity

Transition and the collapse scenario
Dave Pollard, how to save the world

At the risk of exasperating my crisis-fatigued colleagues in the Transition Movement, here’s a collapse scenario, not inconsistent with those of many researchers, scientists, historians, economists and theorists who’ve looked at peak oil, runaway global warming, economic depressions and the history of civilizations.

Good news on the right to food by Timothy Wise (EB)

Are food prices too high or not high enough?
Gene Logsdon, From The Contrary Farmer, Mulligan Books

Not one mention was made of the best way to be farming this year: letting the animals graze for their food as they turn untilled pasture into meat, milk and eggs. It has been so wet that you did dare put cows on some pastures some days but, on the whole, pasture farmers are happy with all this rain: we could graze twice as many animals as normal.

Making a Living (Economy)
We're wasting our resources subsidizing a war economy, sprawl, and consumerism. What we could do differently in a living economy.
by David Korten

Secular wisdom

Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling

Smiling has many health and social benefits, but what is the source of our joy? That is the question. How will you get the homeless person or the abused child to smile?

The Instruction will finally be issued!

So they say, citing a statement issued by the Holy See Press Office...

Fr. Z, Rorate Caeli, NLM

I'm sure these fine blogs will provide some commentary once the document becomes available. Fr. Z alludes to the fact that it may not be the perfect document that traditionalists want. The minimum number of interested people required? Problems of enforcement?

Let's see how much thing have changed a year from now.

Plus: Don Nicola Bux at S. Maria Delle Grazie

A decent piece on the concept of energy slaves

You and your slaves by Andrew Nikiforuk (EB)

Bon Chon!

I didn't know one was opened in the Bay Area, in Sunnyvale... 99 Chicken has a better deal (and is open later), but Bon Chon has the branding. How much business has it taken away from 99 Chicken? (FB)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Items of Interest, 10 May 2011

Coutnerpunch: Army Interrogators on Torture

America the Immature and Superficial
by Kelley B. Vlahos

A call for front yard gardeners
Christine Patton, Peak Oil Hausfrau

If you don’t like your story, can you create a new one?
Dave Pollard, how to save the world

Max Keiser interviews Kurt Cobb Video
by On the Edge with Max Keiser

The Thorn Birds

Begun on May 4.

 *spoiler warning*

I want some cole slaw...

I've been having a craving for cole slaw lately. It goes well with fried chicken (don't get me started on the KFC craving, which finally subsided) or grilled chicken. What I need for paleo cole slaw is paleo or primal salad dressing/mayo.

For lunch today I cut up the chicken tenders (sliced breast meat) and stir-fried the meat and snap peas in butter; while the chicken was a bit overcooked (I neglected the cooking in favor of the internet), the dish was still tasty.

Some recipes for cole slaw:
Nutty Kitchen
Paleo Diet
CrossFit Portland Girls
Everyday Paleo
Paleo Plan (mayo)
Paleo Effect
Paleo Gurl's Kitchen
Stacey's Paleo Kitchen

Nom Nom Paleo
The Food Lover's Primal Palate

A piece on Eugene Genovese

“Southern Conservatism”: The View from Brooklyn

by John Shelton Reed

Mr. Reed's Minding the South.

From 1998 - John Shelton Reed discusses challenges facing South
On the South
The Fellowship of Southern Writers

The Beaton Sisters at ECMA 2010

the Beaton Sisters - live @ ECMA 2010 - Celtic Colours Festival Club Stage

Dawn & Margie Beaton (MS)


Monday, May 09, 2011

Responses to Joe Carter about federalism

Daniel Larison and Rick Garnett. Mr. Carter has criticized Ron Paul's stance on abortion -- Dr. Paul would like to see the regulation of abortion returned to the states. I think he serves as an example of a "conservative" who is a Nationalist (rather than a Federalist).

Jeff Culbreath asks about the relationship between conservatives and the Constitution - Post-Constitutional America.

Wendell Berry Interview in The Sun

From 2008: Digging In
Wendell Berry On Small Farms, Local Wisdom, And The Folly Of Greed
by Jeff Fearnside

I really should read more fiction

as Dr. Fleming suggests, in order to better understand the cultures of the past. Dr. Wilson writes in response to NGPM:
The War in the South was a Cavalier war against Whig policies, I believe—something like a proper definition of “liberty.” Not only in the South but in all the colonies south and west of the Hudson. Fenimore Cooper’s novels about the frontier and Revolution in New York portray something much closer to the South than to Yankeedom. I recently have been rereading them and I am startled at the extent to which this is obvious.

Wendell Berry at the Future of Food Conference

Washington Post
Transcript at EB.

The archive of videos.

"Created by a woman"

More on Hong Kong Airlines and Wing Chun:

Korea Herald: Kung fu helps cabin crew deal with troublesome passengers (via the Western Confucian)

Video: Hong Kong Airlines Practise Wing Chun

Cousin Matt had fun with this. He was the one who originally posted on FB that airlines commercial featuring Wing Chun.

30 sec
1 min.

I guess they need something to help them handle those obnoxious, drunk passengers.

Thought I'd post some William Cheung vids too..

The previews don't do the video justice, if the video is actually better than that. Bizarre that he would do something with Choy Lay Fut. It seems irrelevant; who's going into a street fight with a Choy Lay Fut practitioner, even in modern-day Hong Kong? It's not the 50s any more.

one-inch punch
Friendly sparring William Cheung vs Wong Shun Leung

The National Government and the DoE hard at work

The Public Discourse: Closing the Door on Education Innovation by Greg Forster

(via Mere Comments: Federal Creep Update: Public School Children)

鄧麗君 ~~ 香港之夜 (1978)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Obstacles to the pursuit of a vocation: student loans and personal debt

I was perusing my Catholic "solicitation mail" and found two items talking about student loans and personal debt hindering young adults from going to the seminary or joining a religious community, one from Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations and the other from Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, which established the St. John Vianney Fund for Future Priests and the St. Katharine Drexel Fund for Future Nuns for applicable students. Many religious orders and dioceses do not accept candidates who have a great amount of personal debt. If we think of them just as organizations trying to recruit people, are they shooting themselves in the foot by requiring something that may not be necessary for their candidates, i.e. a bachelor's degree?

I would think that only those religious communities that have apostolates in teaching or higher studies would require an undergraduate education of its applicants. But aren't dioceses also justified in having this requirement? Not if Catholic secondary education were more "demanding."

Those thinking about the priesthood can go into debt to obtain an undergraduate education. Or, if they are lucky, they can get one at a minor seminary, and pay for it afterwards, if they decide that the priesthood is not for them. Either way, there will be some delay in being a "functional adult." Instead of contributing to one aspect of adultlescence (the lack of financial preparation for family formation), wouldn't it be better for dioceses to reform secondary education? Pre-theology (philosophy) is usually a component of education at (major) seminaries -- all students would need is an adequate preparation in the "liberal arts," and this can be done at the secondary level. The mission of the Church may have to involve "career planning" (which requires a better grasp of the nature of our political economy) and incorporating more practical training at diocesan high schools (instead of promoting the goal that everyone should be aiming at a college education).

This is just one problem affecting the health and growth of the Church in the United States -- obstacles to vocations to the priesthood (and religious life). Are it and other problems in evangelization due to the Faith not being grown here "organically"? That is to say, it was not tied to the conversion of a population or society, but was primarily imported with immigrants who then had to assimilate to a way of life that might have been opposed to right and Catholic living? Were dioceses established too early here? Would it have been better if the United States had remained mission territory (territories)? (I am not sure what that entails, canonically; maybe an adjustment in attitude would have sufficed, a recognition that the Church could not simply be "transplanted.")

Whom should have been sent to try to convert the Anglo-Celtic-American population?
The Jesuits and similar orders? What could have been done differently?

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Another movie based on a chick lit novel written by someone of Asian (Chinese) ancestry, marketed for white women? Is anything comparable being written or produced in the Mainland or Taiwan? I think the novel may be influenced more by American ideas than Chinese ideas, even if it may be the case that universally, as Chesterton points out, females tend to form intense friendships with one other, while males tend to congregate in groups. Also, while one sees parallels to the depiction of romantic relationships between husband and wife in Taiwanese romance novels and dramas, might this not all of this be too modern, a projection of today's ideals upon the past?

Fox Searchlight

Gettysburg movie on History Channel

Saw the commercial for this before There Be Dragons last night. Who's involved with the production? Tony and Ridley Scott. It will be shown on the History Channel, premiering on May 30. Will it be better than Ron Maxwell's version, which was based on The Killer Angels?--There is now a director's cut available of Ron Maxwell's production--I need to get a copy of that. Anyway, as might be appropriate for the History Channel, the Scott brothers movie is a documentary about the Battle of Gettysburg rather than a recreation of the events. Will it support the Nationalist narrative?

Falling Skies looks promising, even if Steven Spielberg is involved. Should be better than Battle LA?

While I was using the bathroom at Gordon Biersch last week, I saw a sticker that had been placed on the advertisement decorating the wall. "Got peak oil? No leafblowers." How many people have actually paid attention to that sticker? Wouldn't it be more effective to include a website about peak oil, or to encourage people to do a search on peak oil?
Borders announced it was closing some of its stores earlier this year. This included the stores in Union City and Santana Row. While I was in Milpitas today, I saw several people holding up signs announcing a closing sale for the store there. I didn't know about the closing until today; Borders added 28 stores to the list in Marc. Is B&N next? Are the chains being affected by the economy and competition with internet merchants? Many local bookstores no longer exist; what's going to happen once the chains disappear and then Amazon gets hit because of high oil prices?

There wasn't really anything I wanted to get, even at 60% to 70% off the retail price, but I did see copies of Andrew Bacevich's Washington Rules, Tom Engelhardt's The American Way of War, World Made by Hand, and Shop Class as Soulcraft.
The Hawaiian Libertarian: Paleo Baby

I saw xiao Jimmy's baby today; was holding her a while. Can't tell yet if she looks like her dad or her mom.

How You Feel