Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Cause for Celebration for Some

Chik-Fil-A coming to SJ: NBC News. The San Jose Blog.

Eventually Father Time catches us all.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 15: Actress Michelle Pfeiffer arrives at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival premiere of 'People Like Us' at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 on June 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty/Daylife)

More photos. Photos at CinemaCon 2012 Awards. (Zimbio photostream)

She's finally hit the wall. The Daily Mail reporter's wrong. I remember her youthful beauty in Ladyhawke; I barely recognized her in the trailer for Dark Shadows. What a change since she was in that movie with Harrison Ford, What Lies Beneath. (Granted, that movie was done more than 12 years ago.)

More interviews for Dark Shadows.

As far as I know she hasn't become a celebrity advocate for some pet PC cause. She seems more reticent than most and unwilling to use artificial means of preserving physical beauty. Is she resigned to aging gracefully? She supports minor cosmetic procedures, but has she had any done on herself?

Something more recent for People Like Us:


Inside the Actors Studio, 2007

An Orthodox Christian who acts in a soap opera... morally problematic?
Actor Jonathan Jackson Talks About His Journey to Orthodox Christianity (+ Video + Audio)

Declining testosterone levels in men not part of normal aging, study finds (via Jack Donovan)

Yahoo Movies: People Like Us

Going too far in defense of the West?

Oz Conservative: Did Western colonialism create economic inequality?

The defense makes use of GDP as a measure, but isn't it an unreliable measure of prosperity? (Certainly it is a bad measure of happiness.) What about GDP as a function of access and use of energy? What did the whites bring? Some would argue that it is a better legal culture that ensures prosperity, or a better ordering of the political economy that makes prosperity possible. Then there are the technological advantages of the West that were brought to other countries. Are these changes to the political economy sustainable? How much of this relative difference in current prosperity is sustainable?

Also, what about the continued dominance of "developing" countries by corporations (albeit with the willing cooperation of the elites in those countries)?

If colonization on the whole was unjust, why should those who see them as a part of the West stoop to defending it by pointing out its benefits? Can we just not admit this and move on with the conversation? Or do some think that this admission of moral wrong-doing or guilt would be a sign of weakness?

Just noticed that

The Blackberry Bushes Stringband and Windy Hill will also be playing at The Freight and Salvage next week (July 5), in addition to Don Quioxte's.

BP on Obamacare and a National Health Care System

Commenting at JMG's latest:

Re: Obamacare and electoral politics; actually I think the 5% in the middle who now decide national elections are likely tired of all the health care yammering, and go blank whenever they hear the words "individual mandate" and "job creators." They are going to vote on their gut feelings about the two center-right candidates they are being offered, just as they did in 2008.

You can also forget about the specifics of Obamacare or any other national health care plan; being post-peak oil means we are also post-socialism, whatever your feelings are about the "S" word. Socialism was a response to a time when the sources of inequality were political, financial, cultural, hereditary, etc. It worked when there were fewer people and more resources to go around. Now that "wealth" is imaginary and fundamental resources are truly becoming limiting (and expectations in the western world are for a lifestyle that can not possibly be sustained), socialism no longer has the capability to level the playing field at an elevation that the masses would find acceptable. Socialism was a product of the growth phase of the industrial economy. It is in the process of being disassembled worldwide now, not expanded.

The time to institute a national health care system in the U.S. passed decades ago. We no longer have the surplus wealth (of the non-imaginary kind) for this sort of thing, no matter how you design or attempt to fund it. We'll be lucky to keep our existing (and highly popular) socialist programs afloat for another generation.

Meanwhile, the true believers still believe: Why national health care is necessary to a sustainable food system (EB) by Sharon Astyk

A healthy, sustainable food system might actually obviate the need for a national health care system as she imagines it, if many of our health problems (including those of "aging") are linked to our diet. How many of the peoples with traditional diets, as surveyed by Weston Price, needed extensive health care? And what if first aid going beyond putting on band-aids and CPR were taught to the masses? (A medic or two in every neighborhood?) Kevin Carson's elimination of monopolies would be a better approach as it is compatible with relocalization, but hasn't every example of a national health care system so far gone in the direction of greater monopoly and not less?

Distributism and the Health Care System by John Médaille

Not the Main Reason Why I Don't Bother With Twitter Any More

But Peter Hitchens is correct as to why we should disregard claims about its usefulness for intellectual inquiry and discussion: Twitter is an Electronic Left-Wing Mob - some of the comments are quite good and develop or add to Mr. Hitchens' criticisms.

It's mostly a tool for narcissists updating about their life or providing fan service with photos and the ideologues too lazy to think through their own positions. Some blogs/websites and companies may do me a favor of providing updates so I can check their websites, but this is usually not information I couldn't get elsewhere (such as Facebook, though Facebook is trying to improve its marketing by restricting the newsfeed). Another toy that won't be missed by the righteous. How can one not have a laugh at the follow of industrial mass civilization?

Beta Providers

Just finished episode 251 of Happy Together (해피투게더); Ivy was one of the guests. During one of the segments the question was posed why women get mad when you don't buy something for them after you've offered to do so and they've politely declined with "That's ok."

Being a provider may be a natural role for men, but when are social (or women's) expectations excessive? When it the demands require that one go beyond sustainability, moderation, and social justice, but what woman is willing to realize this? If it's the norm, why shouldn't you follow it as well? A man must be strong to resist such demands and be willing to go his own way if he cannot find a sensible woman who will yield to his judgment.

How entitled are Korean women (as opposed to celebrities)? Those who live in the cities are probably in love with being consumers and easy, comfortable affluence, but many of those living in the countryside have the same aspirations as well -- that's why they won't settle for a farmer, who has to look for a foreign bride. Would PUAs really be that successful there?

With the introduction of cash dating in Korea, should we expect a greater erosion of morals and married life?

Raising Boys

(IMP Awards)

The nephew is starting to be more aggressive in his play, though he is not yet engaging in play fighting as such. He can't articulate what he is doing when he is being aggressive. So how does one train this? I don't want to suppress his natural urges, just form them properly. Does this underscore the need for the development of the moral imagination so that aggression is sublimated into virtue, the conversion of thumos/spiritedness into courage? Boys need to put themselves into some sort of narrative in which they see themselves as defending themselves and others against evil - slaying dragons and such.

Even the games of "Cowboys and Indians" or "Cops and Robbers," however offensive they might be to our enlightened PC sensibility, are probably not really about racism or denigrating others, but play-acting aggression in a meaningful way - the conflict is not yet about the strife different ethnic groups or the superiority of one to the other. Although there certainly is a danger of irrational chauvinism being developed if it is not corrected by adults. Adults would also make the distinction between defensive war and unjust wars of aggression. Children after all learn about why stealing is wrong, so teaching them that fighting in order to steal should not be so difficult.

While the devil may be invisible, there is no "generic" evil as such and we, as animals, must first learn how to resist evil with our bodies before advancing in the path of spiritual warfare.* Also, such games do not mean that those who are playing the bad guys do so because they delight in evil. They are just roleplaying, being the opposition force because someone has to do it if there is to be such a game. Can the same be said of Dungeons and Dragons and MMORPGS and so on? Usually it is older males playing these games and having someone act out the part of the evil-doer is not necessary. One is not only labelled evil, but one acts accordingly, stealing, murdering, etc? In contrast, the games of boys do not involve the imitation of evil, merely that one has the role of being the bad guy who must be fought or caught and punished.

Perhaps Anthony Esolen has written something on this topic, or Russell Kirk.

Would the aggressive instinct have been present in boys if Adam had not sinned? Or would it have been hidden because they would be born in the state of justice?

*I'll have to reflect on this point more. Maybe both courage and spiritual warfare can be cultivated simultaneously, but it seems to me that for children who have not yet attained the use of reason developing the virtue of religion and regular worship are more feasible than an adult form of spirituality.

Best Of The West 2012: Frederic Remington


At the moment I'm feeling very adverse to electronics and electronic media; the possibility of hard drive failure prompted me in this direction. MP3s, CDs, DVDs... if their use is not sustainable and unlikely to continue past the next century (half-century?) then why not give them up now, if it is possible to do so? If electronic entertainment is a distraction from misery then wouldn't that be enough for one to give it up?

Grass Valley Fathers Day Bluegrass Festival

BTS video taken last year:

Is it possible for me to find work in Grass Valley or Nevada City?

Now for some stuff from this year's festival:

HAFKY has more.

Waves (Official Music Video)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Items of Interest, 29 June 2012

Thomas Storck, Corporate Personhood and 14th Amendment Rights
World made by hand by Lindsay Curren (EB)
Ruthless extrapolation by Tom Murphy

MATT VIDAL, Apple’s American Workforce And The Service Economy

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS, It Came From Washington

Peak Oil and Energy:
Peak Traffic
John Michael Greer, The Cussedness of Whole Systems
Peak Oil Exhorts Us to Reflect (EB)
Björn Lindahl , Svenska Dagbladet / Aleklett's Energy Mix

Natural Resources:
Waste Not by Jo Homan (EB)
Thirst for power: How coal, nuclear and gas waste our water (EB)
by Wendy Wilson, Travis Leipzig & Bevan Griffiths-Sattenspiel
Drip irrigation expanding worldwide by Sandra Postel
Schools in Transition: mapping watersheds by Isabel Carlisle

Jerry Salyer on the Fortnight of Freedom Campaign: Freedom is Not the Good
The Day After: A Declaration of War by Christopher Manion
Cardinal Dolan: Freedom is Rooted in Human Dignity

Six Takeaways from the Supreme Court’s Obamacare Ruling

Kevin Carson, The Manufactured Debate Over Obamacare

The Myth of the Free-Market American Health Care System

From the left:
DAVE LINDORFF, Why The ObamaCare Ruling Stinks
MARK DUDZIC, Supreme Court Ruling Means Health Care Remains A Commodity
CLARK NEWHALL, MD, ObamaCare As Corportists United
ANTHONY DIMAGGIO, Health Care And The Hollow Hope
FRANK SMECKER, Why The ObamaCare Ruling Was A Victory For The Corporate Right

Let’s Raise a Glass to the Bad Popes! by Donald Prudlo
Archbishop Fulton Sheen Becomes "Venerable"

Getting a Grip on Envy by Paul Kokoski

Is Nice a Vice?

The Voices of 20th-Century Chinese Martyrs (via Insight Scoop)

Wonder Girls _ Like this _ FLASHMOB & MINI EVENT

The news is out

And it's been out for a little more than a week: Trader Vic’s in Palo Alto will become The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse

AS has been doing well, at least in Cupertino. It is upscale dining, even if people don't necessarily dress accordingly. (It's California...)

Interview with a top California chef: Jeffrey Stout, Alexander’s Steakhouse
Chef Spotlight: Jeffrey Stout by Stett Holbrook

Online dating is probably no place for "nice" guys, too.

CH: Results From An Online Dating Experiment

Barefoot Running - The MOVIE


Remembering Wong Ka Kui

He passed away June 30, 1993. Via the Beyond FB page:
Beyond Wong Ka Kui - Myth


Thomas Fleming on the Chief Justice

Dr. Fleming, John Napoleon Roberts

This has been a glorious week for the Supreme Court, as the majority brushes aside the rights of the states, the Constitution, and the rule of law. In the welter of revolutionary decisions, it is easy to overlook the six to three decision striking down the Stolen Valor Act.

The Act was a typical piece of American political silliness that allows politicians to pretend they are real patriots who care about our fighting girls and boys. Essentially, this federal law made it a crime to make false claims about receiving military medals and decorations. A California politician who told self-serving lies about his military service challenged his conviction on the grounds that he was being deprived of his free speech rights. The leftists on the court--led by the Republican justices Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts--agreed.

The three conservatives--Scalia, Thomas, and Alito--had little trouble shredding the argument. The dissenters are wasting their time. In the kingdom of lies, deceit is highest virtue. The Court has made it official: lying to deceive others is protected by law, particularly if the lies are crafted to serve the ambitions of politicians. Even the politicians who drafted the law must be somewhat gratified by the result.

BookTV: Kevin Gutzman, "James Madison and the Making of America"


Full lecture

Dr. Kevin Gutzman Interview at LibertyFest West

Kevin R. C. Gutzman, Ph.D. on "James Madison and the Making of America"

Something older: Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution and American History

On political rhetoric and what changes in rhetoric reveal: Breaking the Chains of Ignorance and Despotism by Kevin Gutzman

More on rhetoric: The Rhetoric of Alexander Hamilton by Forrest McDonald

Even if Hamilton was a skilled rhetorician does that make his political thinking right?

WES JACKSON on the Biggest Threat to America's Food Supply

From 2010

'Gwanghae, The Man Who Became King'

via Soompi

Interview with Jack Donovan at the Good Men Project

The Way of Men: Interview with Jack Donovan

While the stated intent of the GMP may sound acceptable, some of its regular contributors render it suspect. Others who are MRM-friendly may be doing their best there to get the message out. In time we will see if those efforts are a total wash or not. (Jack Donovan's thoughts on the website.)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"The Constitution is dead" again.

How many times will we have to repeat this before we act accordingly, instead of appealing to it as a defense of our proscriptions (and prescriptions)?

SCOTUS: Digging the corpse of the Constitution to spit on it.

L. Auster:
Since the Congress can now command citizens to do anything the Congress wants, since America as a republic under a government of limited powers is now officially dead, therefore conservatism, which if it means anything means support for that republic of limited powers, is now also dead. For conservatives to continue to support the constitution means supporting a leftist government with unlimited powers. Therefore the only meaningful form that conservatism can now take is counterrevolution, which means: opposition to the lawless regime that America now is, and the declared intent to overthrow it. Any “conservatism” short of counterrevolution is simply subscription to, loyalty to, patriotism to, obedience to, a leftist unlimited state.

Robert M. Peters:
The U.S. Constitution has become and has been since 1865 a whore. The Constitution was ratified by the former colonial and freshly independent republics as an instrument to articulate a compact among them and to create for their mutual benefit an agent, namely the general government, framed and limited by the Constitution itself.

In 1865, two unions of constitutionally federated/confederated republics were destroyed: the Unite States of America and the Confederate States of America. In their place emerge an abstract corporation with a monopoly on coercion and with the ability to define the limits of its own power, animated by ideologues, bankers, stock jobbers and paper aristocracy. The union of which the Constitution was a handmaid was dead; she became the consort of the Hobbesian state. She has been pimped out to various factions and has been presented to the masses as a goddess to be worshiped in direct proportion to her ever waxing meaninglessness.

This fiat amending of the Constitution which Dr. Fleming cites is but the most recent assault on the hapless compact document, having been ripped from her principals and would-be protectors, the states.

It will continue, until like the Levites concubine in the Book of Judges, she lies utterly ravished and dead at the threshold, there perhaps to be dismembered and sent to the tribes, thereby inciting a war.

John Roberts: What a Disappointment

After playing taxi driver this morning, I went back to sleep and woke up to bad news.

Mish: Obamacare Upheld; What Should Romney, Republicans Do?
Huffington Post

Ron Paul (statement)
Earl Warren Rides Again by Scott P. Richert
Quick Thoughts on the Supreme Court by Tom Piatak
Our nationalistic Supreme Court
How’s That John Roberts Appointment Looking to You Now?
Vox: Supreme Court: Obamacare is constitutional
Obamacare Upheld — Should We Be Shocked?
John Roberts Is One Clever Dude
Mother Jones
David Walker
Wesley J. Smith

From the left: JOHN STAUBER, Obamacare Wins, We Lose

Seeds of Freedom

Seeds of Freedom from The ABN and The Gaia Foundation on Vimeo.

More info.

Promo for Gene Logsdon's Holy Sh*t

Chelsea Green

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blue Heron -- "Salve Regina" (excerpt) by Richard Pygott (c.1485-1549)

Blue Heron

Ave rosa sine spinis by Thomas Tallis (c.1505-1585)

Innate preferences?

Begun on June 27, at 6:47 PM.

CHT: People are Hardwired to be Racist

A while back the news media reported that babies are naturally "racist" as well. I don't have anything to say about this most recent study, but I do want to point out in the case of babies that it can be explained on the basis of sense knowledge and desire, rather than some innate preference for one's own group, which must be mechanistic or deterministic if our way of knowing is not taken into account. Babies will seek out what is familiar, and skin color is a feature that will make who resembles one's parents (or primary givers) and who does obvious to them. If the babies were raised with parents of a different race, would the findings be different? Why did they not have that sort of control group? Why is making a distinction equated to bias? Because they assume that associations with different regions in the brain actually mean something more than that. It's a rather materialistic understanding of human behavior.

"Brain-activity measurements showed the nine-month-olds processed emotional expressions among Caucasian faces differently than those of African-American faces, while the 5-month-olds did not."

Differently, i.e. using different regions of the brain, does not mean there is bias. What does the actual report say?

(Also, how soon does a normal infant gain clarity of vision? Past a month or so? I do think that diet makes a difference on a baby's development.)


Some interviews by Gary Null

progressive commentary hour 01aug11
Guest: Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

progressive commentary hour 11jul11 (mp3)

Richard Heinberg on the Gary Null Show. (mp3)

the gary null show - 06/26/12 26jun12
FBI corruption pre- and post-911 from former FBI classified translator Sibel Edmonds (mp3)

the gary null show - 06/05/12 05jun12 (mp3)
Vandana Shiva

the gary null show - 06/04/12 (mp3)
Gar Alperovitz

the gary null show - 05/31/12 (mp3)
Documentary Feature – Dirt! The Movie – with filmmaker Bill Benenson

the gary null show - 05/03/12 03may12 (mp3)
The rise of urban agriculture and the new food revolution

the gary null show - 03/19/12 19mar12 (mp3)
Professor Michael Klare is a professor and director of the Five College Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst Massachusetts. For over a decade Prof. Klare has been addressing the conflicts that will result in dwindling fossil fuels and future resource wars. His most recent book is "The Race for What's Left: The Global Scramble for the World's Last Resources" which details the setting of the stage that will lay ahead for nations beyond peak oil and unprecedented resource depletion.

Grinning Planet has collected links and podcasts pertaining to peak oil and resiliency.

PCR on The Stark Truth (May 2012) (mp3)

Wendell Berry: People Land Community

Parts 2, 3, 4

The audio file is also available on the Internet Archive (courtesy of the New Economics Institute, the former E.F. Schumacher Society).

The Work of Local Culture.

Recent E.F. Schumacher lectures.

Modern Old-Time Fiddling by Heather Haynes

Modern Old-Time Fiddling from Heather Haynes on Vimeo.

What's the Big Deal About the 1911? Larry Vickers, Ken Hackathorn and Bill Wilson Weigh In
Should We Be Suspect of the ‘Fortnight for Freedom’? by Andrew Haines
There are at least two definitions of religious liberty that come to mind. The first has to do with one’s ability, as a voluntary agent, to pursue unencumbered and freely the eternal truths that he or she deems most appropriate. Another concerns the license that one might be granted under law to pursue those truths even in the face of opposing religious convictions, held by other citizens or even by the state, itself.

License granted by the law? Or a right protected by law? Are there limits to the freedom of conscience? How is freedom of conscience to be balanced by the demands of law or right authority?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pete Takeshi is in town so we had dinner; as he wanted Mexican food because it went along with being in California we went over to Santana Row to see what was there. (He chose the location, as well.) I remember seeing Conseulo Mexican Bistro and so we decided to try it out. I ordered the fajitas special and found that it was overpriced. I didn't think the food overall was better than Guadalajara, though the filet mignon that Pete ordered was good. I probably wouldn't go there again.

As we were about to leave a "hottie" entered the restaurant. Asian? Latina? with long black hair. She's probably a regular or a friend of the owners as the people working there greeted her as such. She was wearing a low-cut dress, which revealed two tattoos on her chest, right below her clavicles. Why would someone that attractive (at least with make-up on) do that to herself? It's like vandalism.

Santana Row is probably one of my top five most hated places. Envy? Disgust? Too many consumers who think they're pretty people frequent the place.
TV Guide's intro to the new TV shows for Fall 2012. At this point what else can be said about commercial network television?

Small is Beautiful, Big is Subsidized by Steven Gorelick


Local Futures

Nike: "Voices"

My trip to Texas

I wanted to write down a little of what I've done so far... if I uploaded my photos I could provide longer commentary on some of the things I've seen, but I will be uploading them only to FB.

The Pittsford Perennialist recommended that I not visit the Rothko Chapel. I was ignorant of its existence before reading his comment, so I hadn't planned on going.

I arrived on Wednesday afternoon at IAH. It's named after G.H.W. Bush. I was not impressed by Houston -- too much sprawl and wasted space and it certainly caters to the automobile as the preferred mode of transportation. After the carb coma I woke up and watched some TV. We then took a walk around the outskirts of the park near Sarge's apartment, and I got bit by some mosquitoes. (Some more bites the next evening, while I was hanging out with Sarge on his balcony!)

Thursday: Checked out Holy Cross Chapel in downtown Houston and attended the 12:15 Mass after visiting the bookstore. The chapel is too simple, though the tabernacle and the reliquaries are from Granda. The stations of the cross and the wall sculpture of St. Joseph with the child Jesus were good. Not many young people at the 12:15 Mass.

Then we went to Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral. Alas, it was rather ugly, and it led to some thoughts about cathedrals and the role they play in the diocese. Doubts about the future of the Roman rite in Uhmerica.

Lunch at Pronto. (I ordered the chicken marsala - the chicken breast was a bit tough.) While driving to the Galleria, we passed by St. Anne's Church, which was eye-catching because of the Spanish Baroque architecture. We decided to stop by the church after Sarge completed his errand at the Galleria. The church had been renovated in the last 20 years, but not wreckovated. (Although the table altar was probably not original and too plain.) I liked the baldachin in the Church and while the newer pieces of art could have been better (not mosaics but the sculptures seemed like colored sand?) they were better than what we found at the co-cathedral.

After taking a short walk in the neighborhood of UST (and seeing Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Annunciation Orthodox School, and St. George Chapel), I sat in on one of Sarge's Class, taught by a certain Thomist. After the class we chatted for a bit with the professor. That was nice and made me miss academic philosophy/theology.

Friday: Met with a friend (LP) I know from online. Originally we were going to go to Ruggles Green Cafe (I was looking forward to that!), but we had to go to La Madeleine instead because she had hurt her foot and could not walk very far from her car. I was glad to be able to see LP again; who knows when I will visit Houston next.

Afterwards we picked up a U-Haul truck, met up with Sarge's younger brother, and loaded the truck and their cars. We then finally hit the road and drove to San Antonio, after stopping for a quick bite at a local Five Guys (Katy) - my opinion of that chain hasn't changed, but it beats the Wing Stop we visited the night before. I drove a car while Sarge drove the truck and we leapfrogged much of the way. I did it in order to stay awake and alert. We arrived in San Antonio after 1 A.M. On the way to San Antonio we stopped at a Buc-ee's. They're hiring! Minimum wage starting at $10 something and up to $11 something.

Saturday: Morning Mass at Atonement. Unloaded the truck. Spent much of the afternoon and evening napping -- my diet during my trip hadn't been good (too much sugar and carbs), and I haven't been getting enough sleep. The mosquito bites were very annoying and I would wake up because of the itch. We did go shooting in the afternoon over at Bullet Hole - steel targets. It was a very busy day for the range, so we couldn't get one of the other bays to shoot the rifle.

Dinner from  El Pollo Loco. Just hung around the house that evening.

Sunday: 11:00 AM Mass at Our Lady of Atonement. Anglican Use liturgy. (It borrows a little from the Ambrosian and Byzantine rites.) Sarge liked the birettas and the cope that Fr. Phillips wore. A lot of hymns, though they did use Latin tones for some of the English propers. If I lived in SA, I would be going there regularly, but after two or three liturgies, the Anglican Use still seems foreign to me. Will that feeling ever change? I'm more comfortable with the Byzantine rite.

Lunch from Taco Cabana, a local chain. The past few days, we've had a few meals at their stores, and I like the steak fajitas, but the food is also overpriced; it is even worse than El Pollo Loco. (Sarge's brother recommends Pollo Tropical in FL.) A quick photo shoot with Sarge in the afternoon, after he got ready to depart for Houston.

In the afternoon we met up with Sarge's older brother in Gruene, which is near New Braunfels, and it was settled by Germans as well, I believe. I thought about going to Gruene Hall while in San Antonio, but the music being played this weekend did not appeal to me. We did get a chance to walk by the venue this afternoon. (I thought about going to Olmos Bharmacy last night for Karen Abrahams as well, but we were beat from the moving.) Dinner at The Gristmill. There were a lot of cute young women in Gruene, including two brunettes (one with blue eyes). I was surprised that I haven't seen more obese people during my trip. There were some, but not as many as I had expected.

Gruene is a good spot for a short vacation for those living in Texas. Sarge's brother says Fredericksburg is similar.

Monday: Sarge was craving for Chinese food so I found The East Wall through yelp, and we proceed to have a late lunch there. The food was decent, though perhaps maybe Vietnamese-influenced? I think at least one of the waitstaff might be Vietnamese. We didn't spend much time in Houston's Chinatown as I had to go to the airport to try to catch an earlier flight. The Chinatown is more like Monterey Park than San Francisco - shopping centers and strip malls.

I may go to Puerto Rico to get hooked up with one of Sarge's relatives.

No chance to check out St. John Chrysostom for Sunday liturgy. I wish we could have gone to St. George!

The American Church needs to be more of a "cult" and less of an institution?

More on my plans for the blog

Did I note that the No Left Turn blog ended in May? Probably not. I used to read it regularly, back when I first started graduate school and was still disentangling myself from neoconservatism/the Nationalist Myth/and the Yankee mindset. I eventually stopped reading it. I've substituted "My Blog List" and "Favorite Websites" for the "Items of Interests" posts, though I may still produce some from time to time. How many of these websites and blogs will still be relevant to me in 5 or 10 years?

I will try to finish up some posts on political theory and communitarianism and the lay vocation, but soon I will be taking a break from blogging in order to focus on more important projects. We'll see if that time away will enhance my ability to write and research.

Apparently IE8 is no longer supported by Blogger, so I've switched to Chrome as the back-up, casual browser.

Coming home...

After a rather pleasant respite in Texas with Sarge (about which I should finish writing today), I flew home last night. I went to BJ's in San Bruno last night after being picked up at the airport, and a lot of the aspiring proles were there, wearing their Giants clothing. Do they have any cares about current events? Yesterday's SCOTUS "ruling"? It is good that they are able to enjoy the company of friends and conversation. Can't fault them for that, though they could be rather noisy and obnoxious.

Is that much attention to a professional sports team really valuable in itself? For the men it seems more a misplacement of group loyalty and affection that should be properly exercised towards an personal group. And the female sports fans... how many of them are so because they think this is how they need to behave in order to curry favor and attention from males? One sees a lot of female profiles on OkCupid proclaiming how important being a spectator and following some sports team is to them.

Thomas Fleming, Scotus v. The United States

Pat Buchanan reviews Paul Gottfried's book on Leo Strauss.

Jack Donovan, Masculinity & Master Morality

Dr. Helen, Do Boys ‘Swagger’? And What Does that Mean?
A new book wants to teach boys not to "swagger." If swaggering is a sign of rebellion, I say, "bring it on."
CH, Never Listen To A Feminist’s Opinion About Helping Boys

Peak Oil:
Commentary: America’s new energy reality - A bidding war for declining global net oil exports
by Jeffrey J. Brown
Take-home messages from ASPO 2012 conference in Europe by Christian Kerschner (EB)

Doug Hanvey, Letting go

Monday, June 25, 2012

SCOTUS rules on AZ immigration law

Supreme Court upholds key part of Arizona immigration law, strikes down rest

The Supreme Court upheld a key part of Arizona's tough anti-illegal immigration law in a 5-3 decision on Monday that allows police officers to ask about immigration status during stops. That part of the law, which never went into effect because of court challenges, will now immediately be enforced in Arizona. Other parts of the law, including a provision that made it a state crime for illegal immigrants to seek work, will remain blocked, as the justices affirmed the federal government's supremacy over immigration policy.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court's swing vote, wrote the opinion, and was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Conservative Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas partially dissented, saying the entire law should have been upheld.

Aaron Wolf, Paesano, Go Home
Tim Stanley, Supreme Court says reducing illegal immigration remains a federal duty. But what if Obama won't do it?
Immigration, Preemption, Arizona, and Scalia's dissenting opinion
I've added "My Favorite Websites" and "My Blog List" to the sidebar. Some more changes to come, probably.

The replacement for SGA

NLM: New Catholic High School to Offer Traditional, Cultural Education with the Liturgy at its Heart by David Clayton

The school's website.

How is Chavagnes doing?

Vegas - 2012 Fall Preview

Vegas - Exclusive Preview
Quaid and Chiklis on their new TV show, "Vegas"

More Girl Power:

A reaction to Jersey Shore?

Inside CBS' new series for fall 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sandro Magister, Religious Illiteracy. The First to Send Back to School Are the Adults

Many bishops and priests think the decline of faith is to be resolved by wagering on the very young. This is a serious mistake, objects Professor Pietro De Marco: it will be the adults who decide the success or failure of the upcoming Year of Faith. The case of Italy

Augustinian Localism?

Augustinian Reflections on Love and Localism by A.J. DeBonis

I still need to read through City of God all the way through...

Medal of Honor Developers Get a Lesson in Shooting on the Move

My Heart Belongs to You

God Defend New Zealand (National Anthem)



Alas: from February - Hayley Westenra - Hayley Westenra Confirms Engagement

McAllister on Robert Nisbet and Communitarianism

Ted McAllister, Toward a New Form of Laissez-Faire

At the heart of Dionne’s framing of American conservatism is a deep confusion about the meaning of community and communitarianism. Indeed, the distance between Nisbet’s and Dionne’s species of communitarianism is greater than that separating Dionne and his contemporary Republican targets—the label supplies a convenient cover to hide vast differences in meaning. Left communitarians envision communities organized by government and having as their moral justification the public crusade against private vices. At the heart of this vision of community is the protection of the individual from social forms of authority—family, church, or any number of local and face-to-face social networks—in order for individuals to stand as equal clients before the state. This liberated individual is educated by the state and toward the ideals of the state; is provided extensive protections through laws and bureaucratic regulations against any and all non-governmental institutions; and is supplied with economic and health protections by the state. The state as community becomes an expression of the will of the “people” and the individuals of this political community are supplied with the meaning of this public will through the therapeutic and coercive means of the state

If contemporary Progressives dismiss this characterization of their vision of community, it is worth noting how frequently they rhetorically conflate “society” and government and how much they think of government institutions as serving public purposes despite having no meaningful public (non-administrative) check on their function (public schools are the best example of this as government schools are responsible to state-level administrators rather than local citizens—the very people they presumably serve). Consider how often these Progressives speak of government (public) in terms of community values that private institutions threaten. For all Progressives, the attack on “individualism” is really an attack on economic systems that are insufficiently regulated or controlled on the belief that private individuals and institutions ought to be checked by public power in the service of the public good. For this species of communitarian, community really means public provision and public virtues should always be understood in contrast to private vices

Against this conception of community Robert Nisbet took his stand. Rather than the state being the remedy for individualism, Nisbet understood the state to be a major cause for that atomization of modern life. While many other forces have eroded the complex network of social institutions to which people had loyalty and in which they could develop their distinctiveness, since World War I the destruction of mediating institutions has been overwhelmingly a project of the state. The modern presumption of the ethical superiority of the state over society (as well as over more localized forms of government) has spurred a relentlessly more bureaucratic, more centralized, and a more legal-centric political community. Such a conception of community can only develop when the mediating institutions have been pulverized, leaving individuals separate and apart, equal and vulnerable. Political community is not the solution to individualism but the perverse expression of deracinated citizens

However much the rise of the political community in the West was the product of a monistic political vision that wished to transform all human relationships into equal, interchangeable, and legal or contractual relationships and sought to impose a socially just and equal distribution of goods and power on the public, the project of a political community must rest on public resources to satisfy the demands of the citizens. At some point in the development of a political community it must cease being essentially political and become administrative. An administrative state retains legitimacy only insofar as it has the economic resources to satisfy its citizens. Once the state has reached this stage it cannot easily tap into the patriotic sentiments of the people since they have largely separated from the institutions that supply them with the values, purposes, and higher goals that loyalty and patriotism produce. When disconnected from relationships that require small and regular duties and when people become undifferentiated individuals who stand equally before the administrative state, citizens turn into clients.