Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Extraenvironmentalist Ep #46

Recovering Environmentalists (high - low)

A Modern-Day Prophet

A Jeremiah for Everyone
From the July 30, 2012, issue of NR
By John J. Miller

The piece to which Rod Dreher and Jerry Salyer responded.

Revolutionary Plots by Rebecca Solnit
Urban agriculture is producing a lot more than food


Is the Latin tradition of the afternoon siesta related to carb comas? Or is it due more to the heat?

Something written by Gary Taubes in 2007: The Scientist and the Stairmaster
Why most of us believe that exercise makes us thinner—and why we're wrong.

Men's Gymnastics is on NBC now.
Female gymnasts may be deliberately stunting their growth. Is the same true of male gymnasts? They tend to be shorter on average - one infers that taller men, now matter how athletic, would not be able to do as well on the various gymnastic activities as those who compete. Or is it because of the long training regimen that is required to prepare these athletes?

What's the Appeal of Beach Volleyball?

They just finished showing the first game for the US women - tall, thin women are not that attractive. (The same could be said about women's volleyball, I suppose.) Some players look rather butch, and the older players have spent too much time in the sun and have lost too much fat in the face. Do men really watch this event? If so, I doubt it's for the visual appeal of the players, even if some decry their "uniforms" as being immodest.

Another with Hayley Westenra

From the same Rugby World Cup game of last year - this is her song at the end of the game.

To Forget Last Night, A Disappointment to Anglophiles

More about the Olympics opening ceremony in a bit...

BBC Proms 2011:

Hayley Westenra:

This version by "Blake" is rather excessive...

The Massachusetts Education Miracle?

I've been looking at the Core Knowledge Sequence because it is the program used by Stratford School.
It is touted as being the cause of Massachusett's recent success in improving test scores and the like. Its creator is E. D. Hirsch.

From 2009: E. D. Hirsch’s Curriculum for Democracy
And, just recently: The Massachusetts Exception

More info:
E.D. Hirsch Jr.: Common Core Standards could revolutionize reading instruction
Educational Theory of E.D. Hirsch

I quickly examined the curriculum for elementary grades. History cannot help but be "indoctrination" as it is a narrative with a viewpoint, not a "neutral" science, so what is the official perspective of the school or of the program? Science is taught way too early, even if the pedagogy they think they are using is sound - teaching the "fundamentals" of nature at an early age and then building upon it. That's still memorization, not knowledge, since one cannot have direct sense experience of the "atomic level."

Still, it may be good with respect to reading, writing, and math skills. I haven't checked to see how much of the liberal arts the curriculum embodies - the description at the school claims that they teach students how to think, write, and speak.

Some videos:

Something from way back -

Bear Grylls on Scouting

Something on his website, with a video from 3 years ago. From last year:

I am doubtful about the European co-ed scouting. (Perhaps not all groups are co-ed; do the Catholic groups segregate according to sex?)

I saw his autobiography, Mud, Sweat, and Tears at a bookstore. (At the airport?)

On Jimmy Kimmel. (Part 2)

His show, Man vs. Wild, was recently cancelled in the U.S.

Born Survivor

There's always Survivorman.

So Where’s the Social? – Recovering Words and Culture in the Unsociety by Anthony Esolen

Friday, July 27, 2012

Chris Costa Test-Fires Ferfrans SOAR-P Tactical AR SBR/Sub-Carbine on Full-Auto 5

NPR Feature on Localism

Missed this story when it came out in December of last year - Home Sweet Home: The New American Localism by Linton Weeks


Fight, As a Last Resort

DHS-funded video gives tips to survive a shooter (h/t commentor at VP)

The video was released by the city of Houston but produced with funds from Homeland Security.

Bad News for Gregory the Great Academy

Fr. Bergman's Statement regarding Gregory the Great Academy (via The Anglo-Catholic)

The school's website.

The New Great Britain

From the FB page for the British Army:

Service personnel to raise flags at Olympics opening ceremony: Tonight, specially selected service personnel from the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force will raise the Union and Olympic flags at the spectacular London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. A select team of 16 tri-Service personnel will raise the flags before a global audience of billions. Platoon Sergeant Kyle Reains said: "I am proud to participate in the headline Olympic event, showcasing the British forces on behalf of all UK personnel deployed on operations around the world." Read the full story at

The women present in the photo are worse than pipsqueaks.

2012 Olympics

There is very poor reception of the local NBC affiliate's signal here, so I may watch the opening ceremonies online. Danny Boyle is in charge of the program. That should be a spectacle.

I don't care for what the Olympics now represent, but I may watch a few of the events, if I take the trouble to remember to check the schedule. Gymnastics, even though the females can hardly be called women? There is nothing wrong with admiring physical ability and talent - if we remember Chariots of Fire and glorify God, both as athletes and spectators. (Or even the example of the ancient Greeks, for whom the games had a religious significance.) We don't have to watch the games with the meaning given to them by the IOC with its endorsement of PC values and secular [atheistic] humanism, or the accompanying nationalism that seems to dominate spectators and fans, or the crass commercialism of the corporate sponsors. (I hope there will be no doping scandals this year - alas the ideal of the amateur, where has that gone?)

(What a white movie!)

2012 Olympic Gymnastics Team: Greatest Threats to Jordyn Wieber's Crown

Light of the East Radio

past episodes
(alt, up to 2009)

Fr. Thomas Loya
Tabor Life Institute

Deo Gratias!

Bishop Cordileone will be the new archbishop of San Francisco! Who will take over in Oakland? Let us pray that he will be able to reform the archdiocese. (And excommunicate some politicians... and bring some discipline to the Jesuits.)

Rorate Caeli: Lionheart: After several decades, a worthy bishop for the city of Saint Francis

The Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone Appointed Ninth Archbishop of San Francisco
Statement of Archbishop-Elect Salvatore Cordileone
San Francisco archbishop retires; Bishop Cordileone to succeed him
SF Gate
Catholic SF
NC Register

Part 2

Another Session From This Year's CNU

Something with Philip Bess:

More sessions.

Diane Sanfilippo, Author of Practical Paleo

Practical Paleo with Diane Sanfilippo by DrLoRadio
Practical Paleo with Diane Sanfilippo by Underground Wellness
Primal Diet Modern Health

James Howard Kunstler Interview

Haven't tired of him yet!

Urban Times: Interview with James Howard Kunstler – Author and Urbanist Critic

An interview from last year at

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Treasure Island

I didn't know there was an adaptation of Treasure Island featuring Charlton Heston and Christian Bale. It was produced for TNT.

I was looking for a trailer for the 2012 Disney adaptation (DTV?) with Elijah Wood.

The Devil's Dream


Thomas Fleming on Anglo-American Heritage

This is Not Your Grandfather’s Country

Obama doesn't understand Anglo-Saxon culture? He may understand Chicago political culture, but that isn't the same thing. He did goew up in the multicultural paradise of Hawaii but attended a school for the elites. He probably has some familiarity with some form of Yankee culture (especially in its "liberal" form); but that isn't the same as traditional American culture, now, is it? At least not the best part of it.

Who are the primary bearers of culture? Fathers or mothers? When it comes to passing on rules for men, fathers are crucial. There are many "unkind" words that could be used of Obama's mother and her choice in life, including her choice of spouses. What evidence did she give that she is anything but a deracinated white? What evidence has Obama given that he cares about his European heritage?

Yesterday I was looking through some Russell Kirk titles, including America's British Culture and Roots of American Order. Has Obama ever read these books? "Anglo-Saxon" does have a strict meaning, referring to certain Germanic tribes who mingled with the natives, initiating the "English" identity. "British" is more of a multiethnic (and multicultural) identity as it is comprised of 4 countries and their peoples, rejected by some (such as Joseph Pearce). I think the staffer's comments about "Anglo-Saxon," if they were actually made, should be understood as meaning "English."

Something by Daniel Hannan: Mitt Romney's staffer is right: whatever their family origins, Britons and Americans are joint heirs to Anglo-Saxon liberties

"One thing that Britain and the US have in common is that they define nationhood in civic rather than ethnic terms. A hundred years ago, 80 per cent of British subjects were neither white nor Christian. You become British, as you become American, by signing up to a set of values."

Hannan seems to be a believer in the proposition nation. How unfortunate.

Do We Have an Anglo-Saxon Heritage? by Samuel Goldman
Obama is not Anglo-Saxon
NYT: Churchill's Special Relationship "poisonous," "hateful"
Norman v. Saxon after 946 years
The Prestige of Ignorance

TEDxSonomaCounty - Dana Gioia - A Sense of Place

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mission Baroque

BBC3, The Early Music Show: York Early Music Festival 2012: Florilegium, Arkaendar Bolivia Choir, Ashley Solomon (3 days left to listen) - music from Bolivia

Plus: York Early Music Festival: Ensemble Villancico (2 days left to listen) - music from Equador

Tom Sunic Interviews Andrew Fraser

The Sunic Journal: Interview with Andrew Fraser, Part 1 - mp3
From the program description:
Tom Sunic interviews Professor Andrew W. Fraser. Topics include:
  • Fraser’s thesis that WASPs surrendered identity based on ties of blood and faith in favor of civic-nationalist pseudo-religion;
  • How loss of ethnic identity has made WASPs victims of the successful states and corporations that they created;
  • The internationalism of the papacy, and the excesses of American Puritans and revolutionaries;
  • How the Anglo-Saxon “spiritual disease” has been imposed on Europe and the rest of the world;
  • The orthodox Anglican Church’s potential to bring about spiritual revival for Anglo-Saxon “tribes” around the world.
Part 2 - mp3

Here is a discussion with Kevin MacDonald [VDare] of the American Third Position Party - mp3.
It's been a while since I've dropped by his blog, but Mr. JC is still blogging, though the blog has a new name: New Sherwood.

Classical Education in the Bay Area

Is Live Oak Academy the only school in the area that offers some version of classical education? Are there enough parents (Catholic or otherwise) in the South Bay to financially support a Catholic school offering a classical education? How does one go about organizing for the foundation for such a school? One would think that such an effort would be founded on the contributions of traditional(ist) Catholics, many of whom are already homeschooling. There was a school associated with St. Stephen the Martyr up in Sacramento, but it had to close. Did the parents there start homeschooling or did they send their children to other schools in the area? Trinity Prep would be a bit far...

Nothing has materialized around St. Margaret Mary in Oakland, as far as I know. The Catholics there homeschool or... ? The same is true of OLP.

Given the bad economic times maintaining an independent Catholic classical school may just be too much here. And if it were to attempt to have some sort of edible schoolyard program? One would have to first persuade the parents that that sort of focus on practical living skills is necessary for the times ahead.

Circe Institute
Veritas Press
Memoria Press
Classical Academic Press

An interview with E. Christian Kopff from May by Western Word Radio - mp3.

From 2010:
The Sunic Journal: Interview with Dr. E. Christian Kopff, #1 of 2 (mp3)
Part 2: mp3
Julius Evola & Radical Traditionalism

While going through ISI's YT channel, Educating for Liberty, I found the lecture series, Conservative Intellectual Tradition in America . What sort of "conservatism" is being defined if the series includes Newt Gingrich as one of its speakers?

Then there is the John Jay Institute:

Conservatism as a form of liberalism.

PSM 01: AAM, Mahan Esfahani
2012 Season, Proms Saturday Matinees

"Harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani joins the Academy of Ancient Music to perform Bach's Art of Fugue in a new instrumental arrangement by Esfahani himself. In doing so he revives the informal spirit of Bach's Leipzig coffee house concerts, in which the composer would direct his own band of musicians."

(Access to the audio will be available for 3 more days.)

Thaddeus Kozinski Continues His Critique of Liberalism

Thaddeus Kozinski, The Tradition of Nothing Worship II (Part 1)

 Initially, the liberal claim was to provide a political, legal, and economic framework in which assent to one and the same set of rationally justifiable principles would enable those who espouse widely different and incompatible conceptions of the good life for human beings to live together peaceably within the same society. Every individual is to be equally free to propose and to live by whatever theory or tradition he or she may adhere to… I have been wondering about this; using the language of the New Natural Law Theory (without accepting NNLT) can the good of social life be possible without taken into consideration higher "goods"? What if social life is founded upon a unity with respect to being oriented to the same higher goods? In which case, is social life not irremediably opposed to  pluralism? Pluralism can only "exist" where there is no real community, especially because the place exceeds the proper scale. It seems that liberal ideology would not have been influential if not for the rise of the modern nation-state, racked by internal divisions (and external threats?).

Dr. Kozinski writes:
To me, America’s worship of freedom at the empty shrine bears a striking resemblance to the Church’s worship of the Holy Trinity in the Eucharist. First of all, like the Catholic Church, the empty shrine defines itself as both universal and particular: as a universal idea, that of equal freedom for all, and as a particular country with a particular history, the United State of America. Like the Holy Trinity, absolute freedom is transcendent, unlimited, and infinite. Discourse about freedom, like talk about the Trinity, is necessarily abstract, since to speak in a concrete manner about that which transcends any particular object would be to profane it by limiting it, a kind of idolatry. Since America is not only an abstract idea but also a real place, its worship is both immanent and transcendent, like the Holy Eucharist. The immanent body, blood, and soul of the Eucharist are a thirty-three year old Jewish carpenter from Nazareth, but these are inseparable from His higher identity as the transcendent and eternal Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. The immanent land, citizens, and government of freedom-worship are a 230-year-old regime located in North America, but these are inseparable from its higher identity as the very locus of transcendent and eternal freedom.
Dr. Kozinski apparently accepts the Nationalist narrative; the First Amendment is for the protection of the states, it is not an absolute curtailment of religion's influence in the public life. It merely prohibits the Federal Government from appointing a state church that would be imposed on all of the states. It thus respects the states and their identity. Has there been a deliberate substitution of civic religion for true religion by certain politicians and ideologues? Yes, but it is questionable whether this was the intention of those who ratified the Constitution. (For now, I will not deal with the question of the attitudes of those who drafted the Constitution, like Madison and Jefferson, to official religion and religious liberty.) The dominance of liberal ideolgy may be an unintended consequence, not of the Constitution (or the federal union), which respected the rights of the states to determine the question of a state church for themselves, but of the instability of the states and the lack of true communities with stable identities. (The influx of new arrivals and immigrants, the lack of proper education, or rather, the assimilation of the Yankee mythos after the "Union" defeated the Confederacy.) This sort of ethnic pluralism allows liberalism to seem like a reasaonble way of handling differences in culture.

Granted, Anglo-American conservatism (or the Anglo-American political tradition) may be problematic with respect to some of the sources which are claimed for it. The supposed republicanism of people like Oliver Cromwell and those who opposed the Stuarts? The Glorious Revolution? The tension between republicanism and liberalism in the thought of the American founding fathers? Consequently, some are critical of the effort to recover and pass on Anglo-American republicanism; they favor looking to medieval European models for inspiration.

It may be that there is a mixture of republican and liberal elements in the thought of many of the premier American statesmen who were involved in giving form to the American states and the federal union. Might it be possible to separate a republican tradition be separated from the problematic elements, especially by returning to sources in classical antiquity and the medieval period? Can we not look to them as heroes even while admitting that they were wrong on certain points?

If the decay of the states and the loss of history and cultural memory continues, this may not really matter, but it seems impossible that we can "start from scratch," unless there is a great disaster which wipes out all bearers of tradition and artifacts of intellectual culture.

Rothbard's Rejection of the Old Order of Catholic Europe
Noam Chomsky, Destroying the Commons: How the Magna Carta Became a Minor Carta

Boomer Romance

Even though their children and grandchildren may come to have a grudge against them, don't Boomers deserve happiness? Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep in Hope Springs. How guilty are they, as a whole, of being selfish and short-sighted?

Apparently Meryl Streep's character wants some more romance (and sex) in her life; Tommy Lee Jones seems to be the reluctant husband. A realistic portrayal of the wishes of Boomer women? At least her character isn't seeking a divorce, unlike her real-life counterparts? A health married life may be necessary for emotional satisfaction but how is its depiction as a goal different from distorted notions of romance, especially with its excessive focus on pleasing the woman and her "needs," rather than situating married life within a "broader context" (God and community)? Does the movie respect actual sex differences, or does it lay blame solely at the foot of the husband for marital misunderstandings and problems in the "relationship"?

Hope springs eternal for Baby Boomer intimacy
FILM TRAILER: Meryl Streep In 'Hope Springs'

How much of the Strauss-Howe Generational Theory is based primarily on what is represented in mass culture (which derives its strength from the loss of community and social dynamics that exist only in the United States because of rootlessness and excessive mobility)? I am hesitant to accept their "observations" of 20th century American mass culture and, even more, their attempt to impose this model on preceding centuries of American (and before that, English) history. Is their model too focused on the urban population centers in the United States?

(Art of Manliness summary)

The Story of Change by Annie Leonard

She explains the new campaign in this piece in Yes!

Just Saw This Commercial on Hulu

Trojan Charged Pharmacy "After Her" TV Commercial

Uhmerica, where almost anything can be advertised now. The company must be doing ok despite the recession. Who's the big supplier for the Olympics? The oh, oh, Ohhh-lympics! As record 150,000 condoms are handed out to a host of super-attractive athletes, could London 2012 be the raunchiest games ever?

Trojan Charged Lab Twins TV
Trojan Charged Condoms Sensations Frau TV Commercial

Items of Interest, 25 July 2012

Ralph Nader, Prisons As Growth Industry
Kevin Carson, The Predictable “Scandal” At The FDA

Taki, The Magic Mystery of Monarchy

The Confederate Colonel:
The Cultural Destruction of England
Romney on The Confederate Flag

Top 10 All-American Food Myths: What You Don’t Know About Our Food Chain Will Shock You

Building a civil economy by Adrian Pabst (EB)

I thought it was interesting that Vox refers to Ugo Bardi - Complexity and the fall of empires I. I can't recall if he's discussed peak oil.

The mayor of Boston is making life difficult for Chick-Fil-A: Michelle Malkin, Hey, Boston: Leave Chick-fil-A Alone. Looks like he's not the only one: Chicago Alderman to Chick-fil-A: No deal

Chick-Fil-A is still a chain and not an ideal form of business organization for many reasons. The company probably relies on CAFOs for its chickens. Let those politicians seeking to impose their PC values on the company do so; give those who support a more traditional view of morality their own space and leave them alone, then. It's unfortunate that the LoS and other organizations are not that effective in building up regional identities and independence.

So the Muppets are now being used as a front for PC causes? It's time to do away with mass entertainment, now matter how much we may have enjoyed it as children. Hicks: Muppets break ties with Chick-fil-A over gay marriage

Opponents can't stomach Chick-fil-A's plans in Mountain View

The SJ store is set to open on August 16.

Student Design for a Proposed Benedictine Monastery
The Life and Thoughts of Cardinal Merry del Val - VII
Sarto and Merry del Val, communion of thoughts and ideals - and a long recess
Louis Bouyer and Church Architecture by Uwe Michael Lang

SOFREP: Breaking Down the Pattern of Success by Randy Kelley

Resurgence article

A Repeated Complaint

That I've stated on this blog and partly explains my trepidation (and mostly explains my repulsion) that keeps me from visiting one of these events. I posted this video for the Sacramento group rather recently.

Some more videos of local groups:
2012 San Francisco Folk Fest Contra Dance
Palo Alto Contra Dance with STEAM
Palo Alto Contra Dance with Community Band! (pt.2)

From the mid-west, featuring Perpetual e-Motion:

(more from ITMDG - looks like I missed the opportunity to hear them in person at Felton Hall earlier this year. I hope they'll be back next year.)

If you take a look at the videos available on youtube for various Contra/ECD events in the U.S., dressing very casually for the dancing is the norm. (Some samples below.) On various websites for CD/ECD visitors are told that there is no dress code but to wear something comfortable since physical activity is involved. Shorts? Blue jeans? T-shirts? How many of those dancing are really presentable to others, not looking like slobs? Although the Sacramento group is rather fit, but this is not always the case. Obesity may not be the fault of Uhmericans, but that doesn't mean one shouldn't feel shame. (As opposed to guilt.) They should try to conceal it through their clothing, instead of revealing it, or worse, drawing attention to it through poor choice in clothing.

In order for it to be fun and welcoming, casual dress is tolerated and becomes the norm. Organizers don't want to turn people away because they need people to attend in order to keep the dances going. You don't want to stand out or appear to be too snooty by going semi-formal. But an you can associate with people with looser standards in dance? Even if you can ignore for the moment the standard in question, the sight of people adhering to disparate dress standards seems rather ridiculous.

Dressing the part in a historical re-enacment (or role-playing) looks much better by comparison:

The JASNA Regency Ball from last year:

Of course this may only make sense for English Country Dances, and not so much with American Contra Dance. Am I saying that ECD/CD enthusiasts have to dress up in Regency costumes or other attire from the 19th century? No, but simple clothing that is decent in appearance, a dress shirt and slacks, would be much more dignified than the t-shirt, shorts, and obvious athletic shoes. Some places may require certain shoes so that they do not leave marks on the floor, but surely there are "dressy-looking" shoes that meet this requirement? Actually, I would have no problems with them going barefoot, though this would make dances that involve some sort of clogging impracticable. Some may claim that going barefoot to a dance, while wearing "traditionally" more formal clothing is rather incongruous. What about dressy minimalist shoes, then?

Dressing too casually represents a failure to respect one's self and others. The music, the dance patterns, what the occasion represents all refer to a standard of order that we no longer have and yet some of us yearn for it, though perhaps unconsciously. They are tied to beauty, which is part of their appeal. And yet we don't see that casual dress violates the decorum that such dances represent, not only historically but even intrinsically, since they should be special occasions of festivity for the community. I suspect that when folk dances (square dances or contra dances or the like) were events for the community, no one dressed down for them, or as if they had just left the field or work. We, on the other hand, who have the money and the gas for such hobbies take the liberty of attending in whatever clothing we like. That is rather self-indulgent and narcissistic.

If ECD or CD is to become a dance for the "vulgar masses," we should expect people to rise about the vulgarity that is Uhmericanism? We need to understand that dances are more than a private hobby or leisurely activity. They need to be reintegrated back into some semblance of an authentic communal life.

Some might argue that since such dances take place in a gym or some other minimalist community place that it would be out of place to dress nice. But the solution isn't to dress down, but to spruce the place up with tasteful decorations and the like. A basketball court may not be the ideal place to have a dance, but if it is the only open area where people can congregate, then one must make do.

As for those groups that advertise themselves as being gay-friendly -- if there is a sex imbalance and you are alternating partners throughout a dance, you may end up dancing with someone of the same sex, with the other person playing the incorrect part. Now this happens now even when there are too many heterosexual women and not enough men, and may have happened in the past. Where does one draw the line between practical necessity (as in the case when women outnumber men) and an affront to traditional morals? When one removes distinctions or any reference to gender roles one has gone too far.

Youth Flock To Contra Dancing

Related links: Country Dance and Song Society

Some more videos after the jump:


에프엑스_甛蜜蜜 (Comrades: Almost A Love Story)_KBS MUSIC BANK in Hong Kong_2012.07.06

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More on Patriarchy

Analysis of Claimed "Nonpatriarchal Societies" by Steven Goldberg (via DC)

His website: Steven Goldberg on Patriarchy

Can't help but post a link to this again: The Garbage Generation by Daniel Amneus, and this... The Authority of the Husband According to the Magisterium Rev. Paul N. Check

Democracy Now Special on Woodie Guthrie

On Woody Guthrie’s Centennial, Celebrating the Life, Politics & Music of the "Dust Bowl Troubadour" - mp3, mp4


Dr. Fleming's Tribute to Alexander Cockburn

Alex Cockburn, RIP
Another of his sins was his consistency. When the rest of the anti-war left got on the bandwagon for American imperialism, Cockburn continued to criticize American's crusades to remake the world in his image. On the other hand, he also consistently defended little people from the gigantic interests of monopoly business and monopoly government. He even opposed gun control, using the Chestertonian argument that it was simply an attempt to disarm and enslave the people. Worst of all, perhaps, in the eyes of the phony left, was the rational skepticism he applied to the religion of Global Warming.

You can see some more tributes, written by contributors to Mr. Cockburn's magazine and website, at Counterpunch. (Dave Lindorff, No RIP For Alexander Cockburn - apparently he was once a Catholic. Kyrie Eleison.)

More on Chivalry

Via P Ray: One-Sided Chivalry by Pete Jensen

Related: Towards a New Chivalry
Divorce Self-Defense 101 (alt)

Order of the Thistle Ceremony, 2012

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 05: The Royal Archers march towards St Giles Cathederal before the Thistle Ceremony on July 5, 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge will today be installed into the historic Order of the Thistle in a ceremony in Edinburgh attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.(Getty/Daylife)

As Much as I Like Denzel Washington...

Does he have to be the go-to guy when you're looking for an African-American to take over a role that was played by a white guy (in this case, Edward Woodward)?

AICN: Denzel Washington Is THE EQUALIZER!

What other choices are there? Samuel Jackson? At least it's not Will Smith. Jamie Foxx is probably too young for the role, too. Will the character have an ex-SF background? Or just ex-CIA? The character won't be so different from the one he played in Safe House - just not as bitter, seeking to make up for the sins of his past by helping others. I hope Denzel gets in shape for this role; in Safe House he was carrying a bit of a belly. And the technical direction needs to be more realistic - that nonchalant, cool execution of a bad guy while he crosses the corridor was too ridiculous for me.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 07: Denzel Washington and Pauletta Washington attend the 'Safe House' premiere at the SVA Theater on February 7, 2012 in New York City. (Getty/Daylife)

Is it so necessary for Hollywood to turn everything "black" in order to reflect multiethnic America? It would be less problematic if the producers created a new character with a similar background and purpose in life. (That's what the Jonathan Nolan and JJ Abrams did with Person of Interest.) Why talk a cult favorite and change it in such a way? Some fans may be ok with this decision, I just don't see any artistic reason for it,  and depending on the background of the character, as revealed in the movie, it may be even unrealistic. (How many African-Americans are in special forces? Not that many.)  The rewriting and casting-decision is motivated by "political" concerns.

The old TV show was one of my favorites.

Which younger African-American actors are out there who can play a range of roles (and backgrounds) and not just a certain stereotype, or worse, gangbanger or reformed gangbanger? Dulé Hill? Jaleel White?

Obama Last Night

It may have been hot in the Bay Area last night, but the POTUS does not travel in vehicles that lack air-conditioning, and the Fox Theater probably has A/C too. How can his dressing down be anything but a calculated ploy to appear to be a man of the people? But we know that is not the case -- he is a stooge of the corporations and the big banks. Don't his supporters, who pride themselves as defenders of progressive causes and the middle class, recognize this? They don't - they're too partisan or enamored with him because of his exotic background. Idjits.

Of course, his two predecessors in the Oval Office also dressed down, so Obama is not the sole cause of the decline of dress standards for the Chief Executive. But he is contributing to the problem.

Can she have it all?

Uhm Jung Hwa (엄정화) is still busy, her most recent movie Dancing Queen (댄싱퀸) appears to have been a hit in Korea.

A preview of her episode of Happy Together which was shown earlier this year:

One of the gag concert comedians poked fun at her, remarking that they didn't want to see her without her makeup on.

She is past 40 but still "looking for love" and marriage, lamenting how she isn't married yet and ready to settle down. Being rather wealthy (I would assume) if she does get married she will have the means to make use of the latest in reproductive technology. But what sort of man will she marry? Perhaps someone slightly (or greatly) older, well-off, an executive at some corporation. I doubt she will marry someone younger; has anyone gone the Demi Moore route in South Korea? We know her marriage with Ashton Kutcher turned out, and I have no reason to think that it wouldn't happen in Korea, where divorce culture is gaining strength. What will her own hypergamy allow? What has she been doing with herself for the last 20 years? Too busy being a star, while excluding the ranks of the unworthy from being matched with her?

Are there any CEOs or other corporate managers who want to marry her, despite her "sexy" image (and probable liasons in the past)? My guess is that those unmarried men in their 40s who have money would probably look for someone younger. So if she's to be realistic she should be looking for someone in his 50s. Her situation is comparable to her peers in Hollywood. Is she aware of this? Or does she too imagine that she can be like one of the "luckier" ones and still marry according to her own demands?

Given her continuing popularity in Korea, she should serve as a warning to the younger starlets and singers and her fans. Lee Hyori is dating, and she's past 30. There is still a social and familial pressure on women to marry before they turn 30, though more and more women are not doing so. At least there is some folk recognition that a woman past a certain age will have great difficulties finding a husband. Perhaps this is tied to recognition of her declining fertility and physical attractiveness. Or, that she becomes less suitable as a wife with time because she's been too used to independence. (Or, the reasoning that if she isn't married yet, then there is something wrong with her.)

Her brother Uhm Tae-woong (엄태웅), about 5 years her junior, has become a hot commodity in the past couple of years. He has expressed his wish that she marry (and his concern that she isn't). When he reaches his sister's age, he'll still be on the marriage market with a lot of advantages. Feminists may cry that this is not fair, but they are the ones who are wishing the sexes are the same when they are not.

Will she get married in the next couple of years? She remains a personal favorite because she hasn't lost her femininity. But her public and on-screen persona may be vastly different from what she is like in private. (A version of the entitled princess.) I wouldn't experience schadenfreude at her expense; but she should use her life as a lesson and tell other women about what went wrong, if she has the humility to do so.

She appears in this CF with her brother:

Their appearance together on Entertainment Relay last year, for the filming of the CF.

The Crusades

Crash Course on the Crusades by Steve Weidenkopf
We Are the Crusaders by John W. Carlson

Do we lack thumos today? Some of the victims in Aurora may have died shielding their women from the bullets of the shooter. Mike Adams asks the tough question (even if some may consider it inappropriate), Why did no one fight back? Questions linger over James Holmes Batman movie theater shooting

Mental preparedness (including knowing what to do) is only part of the equation? Is there the will to do it, or the fight part of the "fight-or-flight" instinct?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Vandana Shiva at Rio+20

Amazing Vandana Shiva Slams Monsanto and UN at Rio+20 Conference 2012
‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ Behind the Scenes: On the Sound Stage with Christopher Nolan
Watch More News Videos at ABC 2012 Presidential Election Entertainment & Celebrity News alt

Idjits in Oakland

Listening tonight to Obama, who decided for the casual look, no jacket, unbuttoned dress shirt with tie:

President Obama campaigning in Oakland amid protests

To Be a Pastor of Christ's Flock

As expected, the Holy Father referred to the Aurora shootings:

Rome Reports

How are their deaths more significant than those who die all around the world everyday without making it into the headlines here in the U.S. or in the First World? Even if the pope has primacy in the Church universal, should he refer to events all over the world, or address a world-wide audience? Some praise the papacy for being the worldwide voice of conscience or the natural law.

Is it sufficient for the pope to pray for souls? No man can feel compassion for every single person who suffers from evil at once, and to do so sequentially would prevent him from living out his vocation properly. The successors to the apostles should focus on preaching the Gospel and witnessing to charity in their locale? If the victims number among their flock, then it is proper they should console the bereaved. But to do so (or make a public announcement) when they have no connection might seem to be grandstanding or taking advantage of a bad situation for the benefit of their sect.

Pope declares Álvaro del Portillo, first successor of St. Josemaría Escrivá, 'venerable'

Lesser of Two Evils Thinking Even Among the Intellectuals

Obama’s Right Wing by Michael Brendan Dougherty

If one is a public intellectual or an academic talking about politics, can they do anything but preach participation in the system? A consistent localism that recognizes the futility of reforming the Federal Government through elections would also recognize the uselessness of most academic institutions, think tanks, and any political movement that is trying to effect change through voting.

Interpreting The Dark Knight Rises

Published for a "Alt Right"/WN website, this essay nonetheless provides an decent interpretation of the movie and relates it to themes presented in the first two, and taking it a step further by contrasting an Alt Right version of tradition/order and liberalism (h/t Jack Donovan): Order in Action by Gregory Hood

I may go see a movie tomorrow.

'Dark Knight Rises' sets box office record with $161 million in wake of Aurora theater shooting

Practical Paleo Release Party & Signing at Roam Artisan Burgers

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM (PT) - RSVP

The author's website: Balanced Bites. (She has a 21-day sugar detox program.)

Some Athletes Reject High-Tech Sports Fuel In Favor Of Real Food

Another Mass Campaign

(Photos via FB)

Maybe it is necessary for a large institution, but is it effective? Mass marketing with a platitude - might this be the wrong approach in dealing with the causes of suicide, even offensive to our soldiers and vets? Just like the Army "spiritual fitness" test, it sounds like something created a bureaucrat. I'd rather leave the Army (and by extension, the Federal Government) out of "Comprehensive Soldier Fitness." Both have done enough to mess our men (and now women) up.

Army Behavioral Health: Suicide Prevention - U.S. Army
Suicide Prevention - Army G-1 Human Resources
Shoulder to shoulder: no Soldier stands alone by Col. Deborah B. Grays

Some videos:

DA Civilian Training

Christopher Check on Jean de La Valette

Defending Christendom against Islamic Jihad: Jean de La Valette by Christopher Check

Ivan Illich on Electronic Communications

Silence is a Commons by Ivan Illich
Computers are doing to communication what fences did to pastures and cars did to streets.

Despite what has already been written about social networking websites, I think Illich would probably have some insight that has not been expressed by anyone else.

Making It All About Feelings?

It's appealing to female solipsism, if there we do not try to understand the objective grounding of the guilt (and the natural law). Someone writes on FB:

It is an interesting subject. I recently listened to young woman (about 20 or so) deliver some very sobering statistics, in a debate, regarding the physical and emotional health of women who elect to have an abortion. She was making a secular, ethical argument and made no religious argument at all.

In her argument, she cited a number of studies that showed various physical impairments that developed into problems for the mothers as a result of their abortions. But the one that really made a resounding impression on me was a long term study conducted by the University of Michigan, in which their results cited 80+ percent of women who had an abortion felt guilt, remorse, distress and exhibited some form of emotional trauma as a result of their decision to terminate their pregnancy. They reported that these feelings stayed with them throughout their lives, even into their later years.

I thought her argument was well presented, well considered and well cited; it was certainly persuasive. She blew away her opponent's argument with remarkable precision. It was the first time I've heard the argument made in a secular, moral context, and that choice by her neutralized any attempt by her opponent to cast her as a "religious fanatic."

I was impressed by this young woman's argument and by her appeal, as well as her descriptions of the clinical reports detailing the very real, very overwhelming experience of these women.

Why feel guilt if it's just about some cells or tissue? The women who feel guilt know that this is not the case, either through their education or through illuminated conscience. Let's not turn it into a consequentialist argument - "Don't do it because if you do, you'll likely feel bad about it later and this will hinder you from leading a productive life." I find it unlikely that this argument will persuade the hardline feminists and those who have convinced themselves that the conceptum is to be disposed of as it pleases them.

From Public Discourse

Expertise and Ethics
Anthony Esolen
The virtuous life is an art; and one learns art not from theorists but from the artists themselves.

Marriage, Religious Liberty, and the “Grand Bargain”
Robert P. George
In the name of “marriage equality” and “non-discrimination,” liberty—especially religious liberty and the liberty of conscience—and genuine equality are undermined.

Religious Freedom Under Fire
Melissa Moschella
The threats to religious freedom in our nation are real, and they’re serious. And things will get worse unless we defend our rights. The first in a two-part series.

Trapped in Betatiude

Was going to give a minor kiss-off to FB, but because someone responded I am having doubts. I should just do it, but I'll "think" about it a little more...

Funny how advertisements don't have photos of "ugly" people. Maybe Uhmericans with "health conditions due to diet" are more likely to use the free services than paid services like Maybe not.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Unexpected News.

Alexander Cockburn of Counterpunch passes. (Prompted by Rebellion.)

Edit. Justin Raimondo

Something light...

Charlie Brown Medley - ThePianoGuys