Saturday, January 28, 2012

More crap from Hollywood

"Just shut it down."

The movie opened this weekend. It appears that Glenn Close is heavily invested in the movie, financially and emotionally.

official and Apple


You'd have to accept the silly premise that the resources and money exist to build a prison in outer space, and that its construction is justified by its effectiveness. A better action movie than M:I 4, Haywire, or The Grey?

Aussie Guy Pearce doing a job Uhmerican actors can't do - play a manly man.

Christopher Ferrera on the Republican candidates: A Mormon? Seriously?. He puts his support behind Ron Paul.

The decline of customer service

Were women first recruited as customer service agents because they would be more soothing and disarming to customers? How about as flight attendants? Because of anti-ageist laws, Uhmerican airlines cannot discriminate and hire only young women to be flight attendants. That wouldn't be so bad, but many women working at the counter and on the airlines are generally lacking in feminine grace. On the morning I was leaving Phoenix there were a few female airlines representatives who were rather curt in giving directions to customers as to where they should line up or go. It just makes more feminine employees more noticeable. (Hence, that there was one female flight attendant who acted ladylike on the plane was somewhat remarkable.)

Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas

From last year:

Fr. Barron has a video, but I'm not going to embed it. I'll just link to it, since his fans may be reading this.

Useless fellows

Academic philosophers, that is.

A friend of KK posts the following by Gary Gutting of Notre Dame: Philosophy - What's the Use?. A better piece than one might expect, given his areas of interest. Perhaps only one of his AOI, philosophy of science, could be relevant to non-philoshopers and that is assuming that he does it well.

He makes a rather modest claim about the usefuleness of philosophy:
It is useful in "defending our basic beliefs against objections" and it aids us in clarifying "what our basic beliefs mean or logically entail." Is this enough to save academics their jobs when the Big Crunch comes?

Such distinctions are major philosophical topics, of course, and most non-philosophers won’t be in a position to enter into high-level philosophical discussions. But there are both non-philosophers who are quite capable of following such discussions and philosophers who enter public debates about relevant topics.
Might it be the case that most academic philosophers aren't able to enter into such high-level philosophical discussions, either?

He closes with an admission:
The perennial objection to any appeal to philosophy is that philosophers themselves disagree among themselves about everything, so that there is no body of philosophical knowledge on which non-philosophers can rely. It’s true that philosophers do not agree on answers to the “big questions” like God’s existence, free will, the nature of moral obligation and so on. But they do agree about many logical interconnections and conceptual distinctions that are essential for thinking clearly about the big questions. Some examples: thinking about God and evil requires the key distinction between evil that is gratuitous (not necessary for some greater good) and evil that is not gratuitous; thinking about free will requires the distinction between a choice’s being caused and its being compelled; and thinking about morality requires the distinction between an action that is intrinsically wrong (regardless of its consequences) and one that is wrong simply because of its consequences. Such distinctions arise from philosophical thinking, and philosophers know a great deal about how to understand and employ them. In this important sense, there is body of philosophical knowledge on which non-philosophers can and should rely.
Why should we trust an academic's opinon about morals if he has no substantial ties to the community and is more of a parasite than the guru he aspires to be? What we need aren't professional thinkers, but emplaced teachers of classical or traditional scientiae and sapientia so that we, too, may learn to reason to the truths which we no longer acknowledge as a community. But this is possible probably only for a few, and so what is more important is the renewal of evangelization, first through effective witness. As the professor points out, knowing how to reason well can help us in apologetics. But if philosophy just provides us tools for thinking but no direction, then what will happen to society as people continue to bicker about the big issues? Who will save people from themselves? Because of the consequences of original sin, the division into competing schools or individuals will never be resolved, but God is merciful and has revealed Himself to us.

Ethnic Nationalism

Rod Dreher: WaPo: Ron Paul approved racist newsletters

Someone else I know has said that if the allegations about Ron Paul are true, then it is worse than mere racism; it is racism as opportunism. I have not read the newsletters in question; I've only seen snippets here and there and they seem more politically incorrect than "racist," with content or a focus that might approach what you would find in a white nationalist publication (crime committed by members of minorities, etc.). Can valid generalizations be made at all? Will there be any honest discussion of these sort of issues? This sort of chiding by Mr. Dreher is evidence why some readers believe they have cause to worry about the direction of The American Conservative. Should AmCon become a white nationalist magazine? I don't think that is likely and I still believe that white nationalism as a political program cannot be reconciled with traditional conservatism, if we believe assimilation is the goal - it violates the precepts of charity and justice. I do not think that having a preference for a member of the same race is part of the ordo caritatis, and it is detrimental to the well-being of a community - that we are members of the same political community is of greater import. To prefer someone merely because he is of the same race would vitiate the shared understanding that we are one community, one people. I would say the same of any other ethnic nationalism. There is some sort of natural affection towards one's own, but race is a rather weak constituent of identity and only comes into play when one perceives division along racial lines. But common opposition alone doesn't create solidarity or trust.

Of course, one rejoinder would be that "one community, on people" is not really true at any level in California.

What should be the response to members of other ethnic/racial groups promoting ethnic nationalism in the U.S.?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Items of Interest, 27 January 2012

Dr. Wilson reviews The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution by Brion McClanahan (via Rebellion)

Facebook and the Degradation of Personhood

A Tale of Two Cities: Beijing and Detroit
Which symbolizes success, and which disintegration? It may not be what you think.
by Helena Norberg-Hodge

Vox Populi: Consequences of Post-Christianity

U.S. Probe of Border Attack Hardened Pakistani Suspicions by Gareth Porter

The New Pentagon Budget: Better, Not Great by Benjamin H. Friedman

McRaven plots global expansion for spec ops

Issa rips Holder, Justice Dept. over 5th Amendment ‘escalation of culpability’

Marriage and Procreation: The Intrinsic Connection
by Patrick Lee, Robert P. George and Gerard V. Bradley

Community and Localism:
Neighborliness: On a Shared Life by Brian Phillips

Exploring The Ingredients For Transition w/ Rob Hopkins (mp3) (EB)

Social Justice, Institutions, and Communities by Adam J. MacLeod

Diet and Health
16 Signs You're Primal

Where I Go: Yo-Yo Ma
The Goat Rodeo Rides Again (January 31): A Conversation With Stuart Duncan Plus Chatting With Chuck Prophet (Video Exclusives)


The civilian version of the HK417.

Some more bad news involving cancer

Fr. Z: PRAYER REQUEST: Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro

He has been involved with HLI and the promotion of the EF. Kyrie, eleison.

In commemoration of Mozart's 356th birthday

From the AAM's FB page:

Happy 256th birthday, Mr Mozart!

To celebrate, listen to the first-ever recording of Concerto No.25 on Mozart's own piano over on the AAMplayer, with AAM and Robert Levin. The instrument has lasted just as well as the music - and will still be going strong on his 356th birthday, we reckon...

A sample from:
Piano Concertos Nos.15 & 26
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus (1756–91)

Robert Levin fortepiano

Christopher Hogwood conductor

Nullification: The Rightful Remedy

official website; FB event

Jordi Savall coming to Berkeley

I don't recall seeing this listed before as part of Cal Performances Early Music Program; maybe I didn't pay careful attention because I usually can't afford the ticket prices, even though I'm a Jordi Savall fan. He will be performing June 9 and 10.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Items of Interest, 26 January 2012

Patrick Buchanan, Who Gave Us the Right to Remake the World?
Daniel Larison, Is It Possible to Reclaim American Exceptionalism From Its Distortions?
Vermont Commons: Obama's Failed State of the Union

Philip Gilradi, Avoiding a Dumb War with Iran

Hawaiian Libertarian: Finding Your Freedom
Is the book too Liberal, that is does it endorse autonomy as self-fulfillment? Still, even traditionalists need a wake-up call and realize that our understanding of social realities may be false, judging things to be more continuous with traditional societies than they really are. And men should aspire to some measure of excellence and mastery.

Fabius Maximus: The key to building an effective military that we can afford: bring back the militia!

Peak Oil and Energy:
Dmitry Orlov, Perfectly Comfortable

UN expert makes case for ecological farming practices to boost food production

Erika Block's Local Orbit

Shannon Hayes, Love Trumps Math

Dieet and Health:
Fried food heart risk a myth

Dawn Landes: Southern Accents

Dawn Landes - Southern Accents from Live & Breathing on Vimeo.

Only now do they complain about the constitutionality of Obamacare

Top U.S. Catholic Bishop: ‘Administration is on Wrong Side of the Constitution Again’

The American bishops didn't know that Obamacare was unconstitutional to begin with, not only because it requires Catholics "to purchase health insurance plans that cover sterilizations and artificial contraceptives, including abortifacients"?

Australia Day


Some want Waltzing Matilda to become the national anthem for Australia. I don't think the multicultists would be happy with this.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bluegrass music in Redwood City this weekend

An Evening Of Bluegrass Dining In Downtown Redwood City This Friday, January 27

A part of the 5th Annual NCBS Bluegrass on Broadway Festival

Items of Interest, 25 January 2012

The Archdruid Report: The Myth of the Machine

Kirkpatrick Sale, The Decline of the American Empire

Paul Craig Roberts: How Dogmatic Republicans Are Sabotaging Ron Paul's Campaign (plus, via CHT, More on Ron Paul)
War Abroad, Austerity at Home

Gareth Porter on crimes committed by mercenaries: See No Evil

2012 League of the South National Conference
Please Let Rebellion Survive

Homesick Nation by Susan Matt

On James Schall, SJ: My Favorite Liberal Arts Professor and I Never Had Him for Class

Theodore Dalrymple on the value of Charles Dickens: Hard Times, Again

John Robb, I started a new site: - Resilient Communities

Local Economies for a Global Future

The new geography of trade: Globalization’s decline may stimulate local recovery by Fred Curtis, David Ehrenfeld (EB)

Sharon Astyk, Eat the Food and Food Waste

Urban Gardens, the Future of Food

Fibershed: A case study in sourcing textiles locally by Rebecca Burgess (EB)

Organics and Sustainability: Reflections on my New York Times Misquote by Michael Bomford (PCI)

Gene Logsdon, Talking to Animals (EB)

The plow and the iPhone: Conservative fantasies about the miracles of the market by Robert Jensen
Challenging Republicans on the Five Myths of Inequality

Review of Growthbusters: Hooked on Growth

Peak Oil and Energy:
Fossil fuels vs. renewables: the key argument that environmentalists are missing by Kurt Cobb (EB)

Article in Nature: "Oil's tipping point has passed"

The peak oil crisis: On closing our refineries by Tom Whipple (EB)

Duncan Crary, From Suburban Sprawl to Peak Oil: Talking With James Howard Kunstler

Tom Murphy, The motion of the ocean - updated (EB)

Diet and Health:
Processed meat 'linked to pancreatic cancer'

Links Between Diet and Behaviour (pdf)

The LLVLC Show (Episode 537): Paleo Blogger David Csonka From ‘Naturally Engineered’

The LLVLC Show (Episode 538): Dr. Lowell Gerber Discovers Low-Carb Promotes Health & Weight Loss (mp3)

The Paleo Health & Longevity Spectrum
Vitamin K2, Menatetrenone, Weston A. Price Activator X…or Whatever…It’s Amazing

Barefoot Running and Minimalist Shoes:
Run Barefoot, Run Healthy Book Review

SeeYa Vibram FiveFingers Review

Rand Paul on TSA


WH response
TSA releases video footage of Sen. Rand Paul at Nashville Airport (with video)

Like I care...

President Obama's Lunar New Year Message

The State of the Union Address
Sen. Rand Paul delivers the response.

Patrick Deneen going to ND

He gives his reasons for leaving Georgetown: Front Porch Republic and What I Saw in America

Daniel Larison comments.

The Cranberries's comeback


The Cranberries' O'Riordan: 'We Went a Bit Mental'

Because the original wasn't good enough

Or, because it wasn't sufficiently woman-friendly for Peter Jackson. AICN: Evangeline Lilly On THE HOBBIT... links to this article in Entertainment Weekly, in which the actress talks about the new character created for the movies. Will this be enough to turn Tolkien fans away?

New Website for the Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle

Vultus Christi has the announcement and more details on the move. The website.

Dan Phillips offers his thoughts on TAC

Has The American Conservative gone liberal? (Cross posted at CHT.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

3 family members in the hospital in one week. A rather lousy week.

Catholic feminism

A young woman asks on the occasion of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade... Is There Such a Thing as a Pro-Life Feminist?

I’m going to try to make it simple. What does it mean to be a feminist? Can you be both pro-life and a feminist? First, looking up “feminism” in the dictionary, leads me to this definition:

the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men

Hmm…ok, pretty simple to understand. There’s no formula or step-by-step beliefs you must ascribe to in order to fit into this category. Basically, a feminist believes that women deserve equal rights—in all areas of life—to men. A feminist is pro-woman. This simple definition leads me to five conclusions.

1) Anyone, including a man, can be a feminist. Ok, this really is a serious article, but silly thoughts first. I find it very odd when women fighting for their equal rights shun men who also want to fight for women’s equal rights. We should welcome them! Men can be pro-women. Men can believe in equal rights for women. I know. I happen to have exactly two brothers, one father, and one husband like this. And they’re not rare in my circle of friends. Feminists should not be anti-men.

2) Though “rights” should be equal, talents or roles cannot always be. There is a big, big, BIG difference in saying that women should have the right to play sports and saying that women can play tackle football just as well as men. Personally, while women may arguably have the right to play any sport they want, I will not be allowing my daughter to get tackled and splatted to kingdom come by 250 pound men. Just a thought. Now if there was only an all-women’s football team…

Seriously, though, watch small children, and you will see that there is an inherent difference in little boys and little girls. We are created differently and we suit different roles better. It’s not a violation of “equal rights” to say that women and men are different.

But what if 1 and 2 are in opposition? What part of the definition of justice requires that what is unlike must be made like?

Some rights may pertain to all in so far as they are human. But what if some rights pertain specifically to men as male (and all that is attendant upon being of that sex) and some specifically to women as female (and all that is attendant upon being of that sex)? Equal pay may sound nice, but does a woman have the same responsibility to the family as a father? Even if women claim they are willing to shoulder 1/2 or all of the burden of financially supporting a family, how many of them would be satisfied with a man willing to give up that role?
Political Correctness on the Right by Thaddeus J. Kozinski

The political correctness ideology of which I speak, as I suggest, is not seen to be debatable whatsoever by its staunchest and most outspoken proponents, and not only this: it is assumed a priori to be in line with Christian orthodoxy; in fact, any view that contradicts its principles or application to political or economic reality is determined to be, a priori, heresy or proof of unbelief, and even immorality. For example, if one articulates a skeptical position with regard to the justice of the war in Iraq, one may be accused of approving of genocide and of hating one’s country. If one expresses skepticism about general truthfulness of government pronouncements and intentions with regard to war, one may be accused of a kind of modernist skepticism about truth in general.

One's version of American conservatism should not be identified with Christian orthodoxy. Dialogue with conservatives may be futile if they are unwilling to examine their own assumptions and received opinions, especially with respect to history and their understanding of the Constitution. Is there much point in trying to reach a mass audience over the Internet? Some paleos may have been more successful through personal contact and conversation.

CNN spot on the Carolina Chocolate Drops

Carolina Chocolate Drops transport listeners with old-time roots music

If you were the only Girl in the World - Stanley Holloway

Downton Abbey has made a lot of new fans for this song...

Hanneke Cassel

Her website. MS and FB.

This Red Rock has some more videos.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Visited my grandfather on my father's side today at the hospital. He looked rather fragile, just like the last time he was hospitalized. The bump on his head was rather big. I also learned that the surgeons were unable to remove my uncle's tumor. St. Joseph, pray for us.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On his FB page, a Catholic blogger, who might be considered a theocon, asks why some Catholics are so enthusiastic about Ron Paul, disagreeing with him primarily on foreign policy, I believe. Another Catholic, associated with Ignatius Press, argues that Ron Paul has an incorrect view of the state in his desire to reduce social programs. Those who attempted to defend Congressman Paul's position by appealing to subsidiarity were told they their understanding of subsidiarity is incorrect.

With respect to the latter -
1. The modern understanding of subsidiarity may be more of a prudential guide developed in reaction to the growth of the modern state but at variance with the proper organization of human society as laid out in political science. See my other posts on subsidiarity.

2. The Constitution does not give the Federal Government for such social programs; Ron Paul would not abolish them outright, but would have a sufficient period for transition, using money saved from the "defense budget" to fund those programs.

3. The only long-term solution, political and economic, to the current crises is decentralization and localism. Re-emphasizing the states is the first step on that path. Perpetuating the power of the National Government will only delay the implementation of a real solution and may exacerbate the effects of collapse.

Perhaps such Catholics are being realists with respect to the national constitutional order as it actually exists, and would concede that the old constitutional order, as we understand it, is dead, if it ever existed. Nonetheless, they must realize that their advocacy of the current order is wrong-headed because the current order is not sustainable.

Alas, the first Catholic is the one who criticizes Obama for temporarily refusing to authorize the Keystone Pipeline and thus not being sufficiently concerned with American jobs or American energy independence. Such Catholics, despite their erudition, are just ignorant of our energy predicament.

MICHAEL LEONARDI, The Great Pipeline Scam
BRIAN J. HOREJSI, The Politics of Tar Sands

One less reason to move to Oklahoma

Oklahoma was attractive as a possible site of relocation because of Clear Creek and the Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle. But the latter is now relocating in turn. From Rorate Caeli: Traditional Benedictine Monastery plans move to Ireland.

New Year Greetings from DAL SHABET

Paul Howe's latest vid


DVD for LEOs and military only