Saturday, May 21, 2011

Items of Interest, 21 May 2011

The Catholic Thing: The Original Culture War by George J. Marlin

Living buildings, living economies, and a living future by David Korten

Might peak oil and climate change outlive their usefulness as framings for Transition? by Rob Hopkins

When The Gumboots Come Marching In
Gene Logsdon, The Contrary Farmer, Mulligan Books

Why we farm kids of the middle 20th century in Ohio also called them gumboots I do not know. We wore them regularly and so, human beings being what they are, gumboots became a symbol of our country culture and we were ridiculed for wearing them by town brats. Even as a young man who often went to town wearing gumboots, I was teased, usually in good humor, but the barb was always there. The city slickers didn’t realize that gumboots were very fashionable with the British aristocracy in the early nineteen hundreds.
Are Carbs More Addictive Than Cocaine?
Your body is virtually defenseless against a dependency on carbohydrates—the substances that really make you fat—and it's time for an intervention.
By Paul John Scott

(via Karen De Coster)

Cob houses!

Kevin McCabe, Cob Building Specialists
Archbishop presides over graduation at Thomas Aquinas College

California Catholic Daily
Adam Schwartz's review of Chesterton and the Romance of Orthodoxy: The Making of GKC, 1874–1908 by by William Oddie.

What Now 2011 - Hayley Westenra sings 'Gabriel's Oboe (Whispers In A Dream)'


Sociocracy – a permaculture way to organise? (ning)

It appears to aim at consensus or unanimity in decision-making?

So who is qualified to lead? How are justice (or "fairness") defined? It appears to endorse radical egalitarianism. What reasons for opposition are deemed acceptable? (And how is reason defined?)
The Four Main Principles
Legacy Farm Cohousing

Christendom College Class of 2011, What Will You Miss?

If you're Catholic and determined to spend the money and 4 years for that sort of education, you should do it at Christendom.

Jim Caviezel, action hero?

Following the footsteps of Liam Neeson -- he does look older in this movie; as for the gruffy voice... he could be channeling Batman. (Caviezel as the next Bruce Wayne? I guess that is out of the question.)


I generally despise JJ Abrams's products, but this one may win me over. And I don't see any hints of feminist/PC concessions yet. While it may get a lot of older male viewers, I don't know if the young ones will be enticed back to network television.
Peter Hitchens, Some rapes ARE worse than others... there, I've said it

(A related post at GL Piggy)
Once upon a time a peak oil aware candidate ran for president of the United States
by William Hicks (EB)

It'd be nice to get some insights about what happened during my childhood and the "Reagan era" from paleoconservatives and traditional conservatives, since I received little guidance then. Reading back issues of Chronicles would be one way to do this.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The gentle approach to animals saves time and money
Gene Logsdon, The Contrary Farmer, from Mulligan Books

With a very small number of animals on a homestead, the whole tenor of livestock management differs from that of the commercial farm. You get to know your few animals well as individuals, and you become almost friends with them. Chore time becomes pleasurable. If you have hostile animals, you can get rid of them and buy others. And, if after a while you cannot find gentle animals, nature is telling you something.
From The Tablet:

Ordinariate liturgy will have Anglican flavour
20 May 2011

The special Missal and prayer books to be used by the personal ordinariate of England and Wales have been completed and are now awaiting approval from Rome. Former Anglican worshippers in the ordinariate can expect "something quite different" from their new sacramentary, Mgr Keith Newton, the group's leader told The Tablet. He had hoped the new liturgy would be in place in time for Pentecost on 11 June, when 54 former Anglican priests who have joined the ordinariate will be ordained Catholic priests, but that now seems unlikely and they will use the Roman rite in the meantime.

(via Ordinariate Portal)
Another tiring day at work... On the question of whether schools have the authority to ban food/snacks/drinks, I tend to be on the side of the parents, unless it can be shown that certain things lead to problematic behavior. Watching the kids today I couldn't help but think that they had had too much sugar in the morning.

I found out their teacher is moving; I don't know if it's because she's starting married life or if she has found a job opportunity elsewhere. I know of one other teacher who is leaving. If class size increases I think that it might be possible that there will be less subs, not more, because who wants to put with such a large class when discipline breaks down? Maybe those who enjoy that aspect of the job, being the enforcer.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Scythian - Merlefest 2011

Mark's Daily Apple: A Metabolic Paradigm Shift, or Why Fat is the Preferred Fuel for Human Metabolism

Fr. McCloskey on Evangelization

I was going to go to a special concert featuring the St. Ann Choir and the Stanford Memorial Church Choir tonight at the Stanford Memorial Church (it starts at 7:30) and it is supposed to be a reunion of sorts for those associated with the St. Ann Choir, but it looks like I won't be able to go because of last-minute family plans. I don't think I'll be able to go to the L'Angelus concert in Sacramento on Sunday, either -- I will probably have to stay home and doing a lot of cleaning...

From the group's FB:
Update on the Sacramento CA show:
Easter's Bookstore at The Copenhagen Plaza--5290 Auburn Blvd in Sacramento Ca 95841 has a 10,000 Sf hall for music and dancing and eating.
So we are on for May 22, 2011. We're gonna cook a big gumbo. We're gonna have a cajun two step and waltz lesson and we're gonna play a couple hours of music.
It starts at 11:00 A.M. and we'll wind it down at about 3:00 PM.

Back to the reason for this post -- Conversion: What’s the Key?
Father C. John McCloskey, one of the most successful ‘fishers of men,’ explains his secret.
(via Insight Scoop)

Hallyu 韓流 needs to be dissipated

Watching the encore presentation of Worlds Within (그들이 사는 세상) [Hulu] on KBS America, I was astonished by how fornication was readily accepted by the female characters as something wonderful and romantic. The main female character Ju Junyeong talks about her first time having sex with her boyfriend, the main male character Jung Jio.) Japanese TV was probably the first to go down with respect to sexual mores; Hong Kong TV went into moral decline in the 90s. Before that time, the depictions of romantic relationships tended to be rather chaste and innocent. The moral decline of S. Korean dramas began recently, though I don't know which drama to point to as the one that started the trend. I am just a bit disappointed with Worlds Within since it has Song Hye Gyo. "Acting is a job" so the dramas they pick may not reflect their personal beliefs but it does make me think about the real-life relationship (now over) between the two main actors, Song Hye Gyo and Hyun Bin. There are plenty of other celebrities who are having children out of wedlock, and as I mentioned before, Korean entertainment news programs seem to be OK with openly reporting this. Korean dramas are still very regulated by government, so no rated R content is actually shown, but the drama does show the two characters waking up together in the morning, though they may be clothed.

I haven't kept up with Taiwanese dramas, so I don't know if moral standards have been relaxed there as well. I suspect mainland China is still rather conservative.

AV media has a powerful impact on the moral imagination. People may argue that it's too late to turn the clock, that art merely reflects reality, but I think it is proper for there to be government censors supervising content, and it is unfortunate that S. Korea has become rather lax with respect to television.

I think the melody of the refrain for the opening song sounds very much like what you'd hear in a Japanese drama...


Drama Addicts

They say that the opposite of love is indifference. "I want to forgot you so I don't have to hate you. I'd rather not care." Funny how emotions (worsened by physical intimacy and bonding) work.

There wasn't much to the friendship to begin with. Life would be more free of resentments if people adhered to certain rules governing behavior towards member of the opposite sex. It is more likely that women will use men for emotional support and attention than treat them as friends. Egalitarianism, for the most part, doesn't exist in the real world.

It reminds me of the silliness of high school and college, when teenagers and young adults think themselves so mature in how they handle friendships and relationships. All of those hook-up disasters in the dorms during college - could they have been prevented if people had some humility and restraint?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Competition crowns Special Forces Command top Soldier and NCO

Bruce Thornton's vision of what it means to be American

How Assimilation Works—and how multiculturalism has wrecked it in California

If America’s core principles—such as individual rights, freedom of speech, the rule of law, and religious tolerance—conflicted with those of the old country, then the latter had to be modified or abandoned.

The choice was hard, at times even brutal. Racism, ethnocentrism, and prejudice could make the work of becoming American notoriously difficult. But people understood that to have a nation composed of immigrants, there had to be a unifying common culture in the public sphere. Transmitting that common culture was the job of the schools. My mother’s mother came from Maschito, an Albanian village in southern Italy. Many Maschitans settled in Fresno, where every year they celebrated the feast of their ancestral village’s patron saint, Santa Elia. But I never heard a word about any of this in school. We were busy learning about George Washington and the Constitution, Valley Forge and the Gettysburg Address, the nation’s history and heroes, its virtues and ideals—and, crucially, those core American principles. It was at school that the immigrant learned American history and celebrated the leaders who had created the country, fought in its defense, and embodied its most cherished values. In short, he learned how to be what he or his parents had freely chosen to become: American.

American culture is reduced to core political principles (and ideals), no?

Promising more than can be delivered?

Harvey Mansfield, Principles That Don’t Change
Remarks on accepting the Bradley Prize

To scientists, the university is divided into science and non-science; the latter is not knowledge and is likely to be mush (in this last they are right). Scientists easily forget that science cannot prove science is good, that their whole project is founded upon what is at best unscientific common sense. They do not see that the unscientific foundation of science leaves science far short of wisdom, whether practical or theoretical. Science has no idea why human beings resist science at least as strongly as they embrace it. It cannot say why knowledge is better than prejudice.

It is the job of the humanities to make non-science into something positive that could be called human in the best sense. This crucial work, which is necessary to science and, may I add, more difficult and more important than science, is hardly even addressed in our universities. Leading this trend—“leading from behind” in a recent phrase—is the humanities faculty at Harvard, and to give credit where credit is due, at other comparable universities. They are the ones who have established change as the principle that, for lack of anything better, can be agreed upon. In its more thoughtful expression, that principle is known as postmodern. What is modern is faith in science and progress, and what is postmodern merely comes after that—the modern then “still present as left behind.” Postmoderns don’t have the courage to attack, much less abandon, science and its numerous benefits; so they merely accept them, and let their ill grace serve as a sign of bad conscience.

Even before American humanities departments succumbed to leftist ideology, how many offered an education integrated with a Christian worldview? Was theology undone by trendy philosophy? Can a Straussian defend that Western intellectual tradition which is the fruit of the encounter between faith and reason?

Gutzman article
LLVLC: Filmmaker CJ Hunt Releases First Trailer For ‘The Perfect Human Diet’

Cherryholmes, "Goodbye"

More from Music City Roots.
NPR: Sarah Jarosz: Redefining The Sound Of Bluegrass by Craig Havighurst

Her YT channel.
AmCon: Fugitive Agrarians: Meeting the men behind I’ll Take My Stand By Thomas H. Landess

Monday, May 16, 2011

David Mamet, conservative?

Clark Stooksbury is not impressed with the extent of his conversion. I hope he can be nudged towards some form of traditional conservatism. He seems to appreciate masculinity and being a man (even if he likes BJJ too much?) -- that should help him reject radical egalitarianism.

We love our boob tube.

DirecTV seems to be ramping up its ad campaign -- do they think they'll be able to persuade more Americans to subscribe? Are the lives of Americans so centered on TV that they'd pay for a service that would enable to watch a movie in one room and continue watching it in another?

It is true that for middle class families, having multiple television sets in the house is the norm -- one for the bedroom and one for the living room, maybe a small one in the kitchen as well. It is common for the nice big-screen TV to be kept in the living room, while older sets are moved to other rooms.

In 50 years, if we are still around, will we be able to shake our heads at the colossal wastefulness of our lifestyle? (Not just in terms of natural resources, but time and lost opportunities...)

Get a clue.

Just saw a commercial sponsored by the National Association of Realtors promoting home sales as a vital component of the U.S. economy. What housing bubble?

Learned today that the secretary at one of the schools is retiring this year -- it's probably a good time, since she should have retirement benefits. She's been working a lot of extra hours with no extra pay because of all of the cutbacks the district had to impose. I've known her for quite some time, almost 15 years (though I wasn't working in the district all that time). It leads me to think that I should make some sort of "big" change soon. If I can find someone to cooperate with my plans, that is...

I wish I had him for a commencement speaker.

Peak oil: a chance to change the world by Richard Heinberg (EB)

Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA invited Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, to give the commencement speech at its 2011 graduation ceremonies on May 14. When students heard this, many were surprised and upset. As Linnea Palmer Paton of Students for a Just and Stable Future put it in a letter to the college president, “[W]e, as conscientious members of the WPI community and proud members of the Class of 2011, will not give [the Exxon CEO] the honor of imparting ... his well-wishes ... for our futures ... when he is largely responsible for undermining them.”

The students then invited Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow of Post Carbon Institute, to give an alternative commencement speech. After a few days of negotiations, the college administration agreed to give Heinberg the podium immediately after the main ceremony.

If peak oil is happening now rather than later, then there needs to be more speeches like this at high schools, colleges, and universities.

Balsam Range

official, MS, FB

More from JohnMeyerBanjo.

Some more recent performances:

See also KeeneValleyGuy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Something to use in San Jose?

Rorate Caeli: Blueprint for recourse to the PCED under Universae Ecclesiae

What are Western men to do?

Mark T. Mitchell, Attributes of the Gentleman or Mr. Darcy’s Rules of Engagement

Comparative essays are only as good as a thorough understanding of each of the two systems being compared, but something could be said about the Confucian junzi (君子 [wiki]) and the [Christian] gentleman.

Disgruntled men do need to direct their energies towards some positive ideal, even if liberalism and feminism seek to put them down. It may be easy for men who are a bit lost to embrace nihilism or hedonism instead. To destroy or to create; which inclination will prevail?

Another salvo in the diet wars

City Journal: The Washington Diet by Steven Malanga
Following the government’s nutritional advice can make you fat and sick.

Somewhat of a libertarian slant, but who wouldn't be tempted to be one in the face of the National Government's powerful incompetence?

More institutional propaganda

Female Soldier proves dominant in hand-to-hand combat

After the bout, Jones recapped the day's events and assessed her performance during the championship match. By the size of the championship belt she sported around her waist it was hard not to doubt the cast-iron skills she demonstrated.

"It feels awesome. I'm setting a trend, and now other females are going to be doing it (winning championships)," Jones added. "I wanted a knockout, but I didn't get one. My opponent hit me a few good times and was a lot stronger than I thought he would be. When I started with my double hammer fist, I knew the match was going in my favor."

"There's no reason a female Soldier cannot be able to hold her own in the ring," she added.

Bill Kauffman and Matthew Spalding discuss limited government

at ISI (via FPR)

A fly on the wall

I overhead two teachers talking in the staff lounge. They were lambasting the cuts to education and the politicians responsible for those cuts. Then they got on the topic of subsidies -- for oil companies and farms. Both acknowledged the loss of family farms. One teacher talked about the food safety issue (industrial farming and the increased chance for contamination). The other one, surprisingly, said that companies should not be subsidized for failing to keep up (she mentioned organic farms, I don't know why). They should be allowed to go out of business.

Maybe subsidies as a form of protectionism are not way to go (especially if they are not helping small owners), but allowing those that cannot compete in the market to fail, when competition favors the big and the powerful, is wrong in principle.

What would public school teachers in the US make of Rob Hopkins's recommendations?

Is it the case that everyone wants to hang on to the polity as they know it and the American way of life? What percentage is incapable of self-rule? (My guess: at least 50%)

Does the CTA have too much power? What about the local unions/affiliates?
Viewpoints: CTA protest conflicts with students' interests

2 with Larry Vickers - SHOT Show 2011 Larry Vickers Interview

Thought I posted this one before...

When will SP have an impact on the diocese?

Attended the monthly memorial Mass at the cemetery yesterday. I was reminded that the diocese needs the EF to influence the ars celebrandi of the OF, as well as the restoration of sacred music. The Agnus Dei was in Latin, but there was piano accompaniment. It was also sped up a bit. The other week, I had been thinking that maybe Gregorian chant sung faster would be just as beautiful, but there was something sounded off about the tempo. Too rushed? I was thinking Byzantine chant sounds faster, but maybe there are just more notes within the same time interval.

So much sentimentalism in worship -- and someone didn't get the memo about holding hands during the our Father. Not that the diocese has ever discouraged it, as far as I know. (And yesteday's liturgy was an example of "NO clericalism" -- heavily dominated by the personality of the priest -- the giving of directions and commentary, ad libitum additions to the text, the mixing with the faithful during the Our Father and the sharing of the sign of peace.)

For now the celebration of the EF is limited to the oratory. When will priests take the initiative to celebrate it at their parishes? (How about at the shrine, once again?) Or would episcopal/chancery disapproval be too great to withstand?

How would things have been different if the Sarum rite had continued to be in use and was brought over by English missionaries? (Would the Irish have adopted an Anglo-American Catholic culture that was primarily English in origin?) The Roman rite may have unified Catholics, but it wasn't enough to create a new identity?
With so many ethnic parishes at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century... Is there  a link between Americanism and the loss of identity/culture? Catholics were quick to adopt some sort of American identity, and they ended up embracing Yankee myths and exceptionalism? And are these two part and parcel of Americanism? Could an English form of Catholicism have stood up to Americanism by creating an acceptable American and traditional identity that simultaneously rejected the Nationalist ideology?
 More on this if I finish that post on the diocese...

To be honest, I did think about the priesthood again while lamenting how bad things were in the diocese. Once we get a new bishop and everything stays the same...

In 5 days, it will be the one-year anniversary of the passing of RHK's father. One year already...

There were some snacks offered after Mass, but it was mostly sugar. It's so prevalent in society, the offering of sugar and carbs as treats. The other day, the teacher at school was going to reward somoe students with cookies and sugar drinks. What sort of paleo alternative would there be? I guess one solution would be to cut out snacking. Another would be nuts and such? Uhmerican teachers really should cut down on snacking. The consequences are obvious when they do too much. Public schools have been making an effort to cut the sugar out -- banning parties at school and the like. But the FDA guidelines (and local regulations) still rule in the cafeterias.