Saturday, August 18, 2012

Too Much Sex Talk?

While recuperating from my travels, I was listening to the Ave Maria Radio, as some of its programming is carried by Immaculate Heart Radio.

Sr. Helen Burns was commenting about 50 Shades, arguing that the book is bad because it is wrong; women don't want to be treated violently: "that's rape." I guess she has not read the book; according to an Amazon review, the S&M is of a very mild variety, light spanking. She also repeated the standard claim women want men to be gentle in bed.

Do we want those who are rather unfamiliar with sex to dictate what is a licit desire and what is not, beyond standard Catholic moral theology? Is there a pastoral problem with respect to scrupulosity? Given that in the marital embrace, the female principle is "acted upon" by the male principle, we should expect that the female body be adapted to this and that pleasure may be even linked to it! The emphasis on gentleness reminds me of the supposed anxiety of female virgins that intercourse will be painful - is there a link? Is there a tendency to identify female desire and certain aspects of the marital embrace as being "dirty" or beneath the "dignity" of women? If gentleness is claimed to be the ideal, what are women who find themselves desiring their husbands to be not so gentle supposed to think about themselves and their desires? Do we see the problem here? Some may argue that this is concupiscence or due to man's fallen nature, but how far do they want to take this line of argument? Do we risk tarring pleasure as something bad or "sinful," even if it accompanies acts that are morally licit? "If you are enjoying it, it must be wrong."

After all, what woman religious could refer to her own past experience in order to support or refute claims being made about female sexuality without having her reputation affected as a result? Perhaps it would be better for married Catholics to discuss this among themselves, if it is to be discussed at all, especially with regards to how women should (want to) show submission, so long as they have proper guidance on what is licit and what is not. Of course, from her words, Sister Helen seems to think like a social conservative as criticized by those in the androsphere - imputing to women a sort of moral purity given their very nature while simultaneously being ignorant of female sexuality and desire.

Conservative Catholic feminist Teresa Tomeo was also on the radio; in her program she was going to talk about women leaders in the Church. Was she referring to bureaucrats, lay women in "leadership" positions of Church organizations? Or was she talking about lay women in "civil society"? Is the self-esteem of Uhmerican Catholic women so low that we have to talk about how they are making progress in society, in accordance with masculine standards and notions of hierarchy? Did John Paul II fail to articulate a proper account of how women should participate in civil society? How do Catholic feminists not subscribing to the view that women need to prove themselves by succeeding in "a man's world"? The adoption of the "good parts" of the feminist mentality allows Catholics to be divided and conquered as women displace men and affect family formation and life.

She has a forthcoming book from Random House on happiness; I should complete my post on her book from Ignatius Press, Extreme Makeover. Given what she has written, I don't have high expectations that the book will be sufficiently rigorous - there is the potential for it to devolve into talk about passion (in the strict sense of being acted upon by God, if that, rather than identifying happiness with virtuous action.) She was also supposed to interview Meg Meeker, but I didn't listen to that show.

The Orthodox may be more aware of the problems accompanying feminism; do they have less of a pastoral problem? (How many Orthodox women fall away from Christianity because they have been turned by feminism?)

Hell on Wheels, season 2

1st episode of the second season just premiered last Sunday.

Invariably, Neither Side is Persuaded

In the combox they are re-fighting the incorrectly named "Civil War" - The Declaration And Secession, just as it was done recently over at Front Porch Republic. (Of course, one or two of the participants are the same.) CDK is still participating at the American Conservative, still defending the "wrong side" -- good for him. Will he eventually be repelled by the website as less and less paleos and traditional conservatives comment there? It's almost to the point where I may just ignore the comments and focus solely on the articles.

The historical question is largely irrelevant; we won't be returning to proper observance of the Constitution. Those who would support the Union at all costs - are they be willing to put their lives on the line now if a state chose to secede? (Not that this is likely to happen.) Or are they just a bunch of chickenhawks? If people no longer want to be with you, why not let them go? They make an idol out of unity and the nation (misunderstanding the nature of the federal union) or they mistakenly believe that the Federal Government is empowered to enforce morality as it pertains to individual states.

I had not paid attention to the comments to An Appropriate View of the Declaration of Independence - Mr. R. Peters appears there.

More from Legalise Freedom

John Michael Greer – The Long Descent (mp3)
The Energy Crisis and the End of The Industrial Age (with Joseph Tainter) (mp3)

The Cooperative Moment

The Four Horseman

Here I posted the video of the debate chaired by Phillip Blond about the film.

Legalise Freedom interview with director Ross Ashcroft. (mp3)

2nd trailer

More videos after the jump.

Kenneth Branagh!

The latest season of Wallander starts on Masterpiece Theater Mystery! on September 9.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Genticorum on Lake Effect

Genticorum: Traditional Quebecois Music Live in Studio C-1 - mp3

Restaurants Promoting Local Food

Lake Effect: Why Local Farms and Local Restaurants Are a Match Made in Food Heaven - mp3

Anna Blessing, Locally Grown

Meet Your Local Farmers

April Verch in Milwaukee

Bringing some sunshine to that dreary place... from a couple of days ago.

April Verch Band Combines Irish, American, and Canadian Traditions Into a Unique Sound - mp3

Also of interest: Musician and Folklorist Mick Moloney on the Connection Between Scottish, Irish, and Appalachian Music (mp3)

"Oh Honey Honey"

Your Honey Isn’t Honey by KristenM
This man knows when you're lying about honey

H & Ahem: Cheap clothing hurts the planet, the economy, and your style

Another Clear Creek Video

Fr. Z has it embedded.

As American as... Cricket?

I had to drop by the local library today to print out some materials; the Indians were playing cricket again on the field next to the library. So how open and inclusive are the cricket networks and teams in the Bay Area?

Anglophiles may think that it would have been nice if the United States had adopted cricket as a national sport. But if anyone plays cricket in the United States, it's Indians and Pakistanis. We have baseball instead, just as we have field hockey or lacrosse rather than curling.

The big difficulty I have with football (and to a lesser extent, baseball) is that the risk of physical harm seems too high, unlike soccer, rugby, and so on. Unnecessary roughness is part and parcel of modern football; it could be that touch/tag football is probably less dangerous and better for amateurs playing a casual game. Do the British alternatives (along with soccer) require less equipment and safety precautions?

Cricket at Calabazas Park Cupertino, California 01/08/2012

California Cricket Academy
Santa Clara Cricket Club
United States of America Cricket Association
Rotary of Cupertino establishes a cricket fellowship program

Four Horsemen - The Debate

The Big Society and the Good Society: rethinking the place of the state in British society

Big Society, small government, local community empowerment - a question to Phillip Blond

Yay, For Now

A notice from yesterday: Dangerous Gun Ban/Confiscation Bill Defeated TODAY, but the Anti-Gun Threat is Not Over Yet

More on the Republicanism vs. Liberalism Debate on American Political Origins

J.G.A. Pocock, America's Foundations, Foundationalisms, and Fundamentalisms
Republicanism and Liberalism in American Constitutional Thought by Morton J. Horowitz

Two Concepts of Liberty and Classical Republicanism
Models of Citizenship and Democracy
Visions of Liberty: Republicanism and Liberalism in the Current Theoretical Debate
Lee Ward (a review of his Politics of Liberty)

Ancients, Moderns and Americans: The Republicanism-Liberalism Debate Revisited
by: Alan Gibson
History of Political Thought, Vol. 21, No. 2. (2000), pp. 261-307

The Cambridge Companion to Machiavelli
9 Machiavelli and Rome: the republic as ideal and as history
J. G. A. Pocock

Dr. Charles A.S. Hall, “Peak Oil, Declining EROI and the New Energy-Economic Reality"


Commentary: Peak Oil, Declining EROI and the New Energy-Economic Reality by Ray Long - ASPO

Kevin Gutzman on JCD Clark

Millennial America: The Language of Liberty

A necessary corrective to the republican understanding of the American founding?

From 1990: "The Transformation of Republican Ideology"
J. G. A. Pocock’s Atlantic Republicanism Thesis Revisited: The Case of John Adams’s Tacitism ("Republicanism: The Career of a Concept" can be found online, for now.)
William K. Bolt, Republicanism

House Concerts

Andrea Beaton, Aria DiSalvio, and Bill Coulter were doing a short tour of the Northern California last weekend; I was able to get back to CA in time to attend their last concert on Monday, which was in Santa Rosa - 2 hours away, and even though I left at 4:30, the traffic at San Rafael and beyond was bad.

They played a mix of material from their respective albums; a lot of Cape Breton music from Andrea, of course. The setting is rather intimate and friendly, as you are going to other peoples' homes. This was the third house concert I've attended this year. Apparently, hosts usually subsidize the expenses of the event, offering guests refreshments, as well. As a result, I feel somewhat "weirded out" thinking of my experiences now, as I don't really know the hosts and don't talk to them much, besides exchanging some greetings and pleasantries. But house concerts provide a venue for lesser-known folk musicians who wish to tour other places, and I did have a good time while I was there.

Were the hosts of this tour part of some sort of association or network? Or just fans and supporters of the musicians?

After the concert, I decided to stop by Grubstake on the way home. Tried the French burger - the fries were decent, but I ordered the Burger medium, and it was well-done and rather dry. Almost as bad as the last burger I had at BJ's, but less char. Maybe the day cook is better?

Nova Scotia Fiddlers Troy MacGillivray and Andrea Beaton #1 (#2)

Peter Hitchens on World War I and World War II

Were the entries of Great Britain and the United States justified? A Quick Thought on Self-Defence, and one or two other matters

Life of Pi

MB was curious as to why some Westerners are enamored with "Indian" culture. I suppose the impulse to cater to Indians may be even greater in the U.K. than it is in the U.S., but when I saw this trailer I was baffled as to why it had been made, and couldn't help but feel that it was another onslaught by the anti-West forces in the "culture war."

So the book was originally published in the UK, and may have a rather syncretistic approach to religion. Why is the movie adaptation being made by a Hollywood studio? The movie is being directed by the "Taiwanese" director Ang Lee. Does the man have no home or culture of his own? He can be such a liberal poseur, despite having made movies that appeal to "conservatives" (The Ice Storm, Ride with the Devil).

Does the movie gives a Romantic view of (a sanitary) India, like what you might find in a typical Bollywood movie? How much of the movie really takes place in India? Is this a children's story for children? Or a children's story for postmodern adults looking for some sort of spirituality and divine acceptance? After all, they accept themselves for who they are, why can't God? (Is the book's religious view tied to the New Age movement in some way? Or is it wholly "Indian" in inspiration?)

It is said by the NBC anchors during the Olympics that Queen Elizabeth II is a fan of Slumdog Millionaire and that is a reason why she decided to cooperate with Danny Boyle and participate in the little skit with 007. I haven't seen the movie; was it a hit primarily with SWPLs in the U.S.? In its own way it is a "feel-good" movie for white liberals who live apart from the poor in their own country.

My interest in Bollywood movies doesn't go much beyond the song & dance numbers and the actresses. What is actually behind the growing presence of Indian actors in Hollywood?


In the theater (for a rated-R movie, The Bourne Legacy) today was a group of Indian boys/teenagers, who were rather noisy and several other patrons had to remind them to be silent. After the movie was over they left the theater and were laughing at the complaints. "Don't those parents know how to raise their kids?" All boys may act stupidly at times, but that's why they need guidance and discipline.

More from Only Men Aloud



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Glamorizing Sin?

I have not read Tolstoy's novel, but commentors in the androsphere have claimed that the main character is clearly regarded as an immoral woman in the novel, and is a prototypical attention wh*re. Is the scriptwriter and Joe Wright trying to turn her into a Romantic heroine? Or was Tolstoy a big Romantic after all, decrying the social restraints of Russian society that prevented true love from being fulfilled? Or, was he just a an observer of Russian high society and just crafting a tale around certain personalities?

Regardless, guess which version of the character Anna would be more attractive to Uhmerican audiences.


Some Blogs on Ancestral Health Symposium 2012

Nom Nom Paleo - Day 1 and Day 2
Robb Wolf, Ancestral Health Symposium 2012 Review - mp3
Epic (Sustainable, Farm-To-Table) Meal Time: The Highlight Of AHS 2012
Free the Animal: The Ancestral Health Symposium 2012, Harvard Law School, Wrap-Up
Ditch the Wheat
Ancestral Health Symposium 2012: Evolutionarily sound diets and lifestyles may revolutionize health care
Beth Mazur's round-up
Paleo at Penn
Where Do We Come From? Where Are We Going? The Ancestral Health Symposium 2012

No videos yet?

More on Original Pronunciation for Shakespeare

Teaser for Kathryn Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden Movie

EW article

Is this too much crowing about the killing of Osama Bin Laden? Will there be sufficient interest in the rest of the world to help the movie's box office receipts? I do wonder if the movie's production and release is a bit triumphalistic, even if it's Hollywood that's behind the movie, and not the U.S. Government. (Right?) What is Osama Bin Laden's long-term legacy and influence?

Too bad the movie can't be released before the election - Obama could try to score points and remind the public of what a great commaner-in-chief he is.

Some (including veterans) have complained about NBC's Stars Earn Stripes - is there an audience for this show among those who have a hankering for military service or play first-person shooters? How is this show any different from the movie Act of Valor? Informative programming or military propaganda? Are those complaining about the show equally as vocal in their criticisms of the past 3 presidential administrations? What's more likely to be "bellicose," this show or the rhetoric coming out of the White House?

Dean Cain Defends 'Stars Earn Stripes' (VIDEO)

Kevin Gutzman on Bad Quaker

Podcast interview - mp3.


Small Is Beautiful and It Works: a Guest Post by Ethan Bishop

Forward to the Human Scale: Dr. Ewald Hiebl at TEDxPannonia

Inspector Morse's Oxford - Introduction

The documentary must be pleasant to watch.

The Choirboys Japanese Bonus DVD Interview


Only Men Aloud!

Only Boys Aloud



Mount Athos • The Holy Mountain

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Probably Not Better than the Original


Jingoism? It (and the original) may have been examples of "comic-book patriotism" but what does the author and his ilk offer? Chestless men who won't fight or die for anything besides themselves?

Dr.Rao on Acton

John Rao, Lord Acton Tends to Corrupt
Nineteenth-century counterrevolutionary Catholics were part of a movement of rediscovery of the fullness of the Christian past leading them back to the insights of Church Fathers regarding the message of the Incarnation and the consequences for human perfection of the full cooperation of nature and grace. They eagerly applied what they learned to one of the burning questions of their own day, the relationship of authority and individual freedom. Article after article in journals such as the Jesuit review, La Civiltà Cattolica emphasized the conviction that strong natural and supernatural authority was a precondition for the perfection of personal liberty as well as all other human goods. For obedience to the fullness of authority was bound to ensure the fullest opportunity for self-correction and introduction to the Truth that really set men free. Rejection or limitation of the fullness of authority, on the other hand, entailed an opening to passion and a stubborn commitment to ignorance which was certain to work in favor of the strong, at the expense of the weak, but to the ultimate disadvantage and perdition of both.

A romantic view of the counter-revolutionaries? Were they conservative (i.e. seeking to preserve true communities) enough?

During my talk with MB we touched upon the counter-revolutionaries, the throne & altar traditionalists, and he had apparently read that some had been involved with the occult. (Just like some of the "traditionalists" of the 20th century?) True?

A review of Dr. Rao's Black Legends and the Light of the World
Catholic News Service interviews John Rao
Chris Ferrara, A Resolute Denial of Reality

Q&A: Big Ideas and Big Society

Video of the discussion; the panel includes Phillip Blond.

"Engagement" or "Withdrawal"?

Natural Law and Positive Law: A Response to Thomas Storck by Dylan Pahman (Mr. Storck's essay, "Natural Law, Politics, and the Transformation of America")

What has participation in "movement conservatism" yielded for traditional conservatives on the national level? How can one appeal to natural law, or "naturally known" moral truths on a wide scale (through the mass media, no less) to facilitate moral conversion? Has that ever happened in history? The freedom to participate in an extremely degraded version of democracy gives the illusion that Christians have the power to bring about positive change through the National Government; this is coupled with a misunderstanding of the obligations of citizenship, namely, that one has the "duty" to choose the "lesser of two evils" when voting for a candidate for office (which is a consequentialist understanding of voting and not one rooted in distributive justice) if no one meets the "ideal" based on his platform (as opposed to his character). When the national candidates are committed to perpetuating the status quo and not facilitating communal renewal by curbing the forces that threaten community (whether it be the oligarchs and their economic power or their servants in the National Government who seek greater power for themselves), then what exactly do Christians expect to accomplish? Imposing a moral agenda through the Federal Government not only violates the federal character of the U.S. Constitution but is impossible - the electoral power of Christians is too weak and diffuse.

Mr. Pahman writes:
While I am sensitive to Storck’s insistence that evangelism deserves renewed zeal for the sake of moral progress in society, I feel his opposition of evangelism rather than political action (or, more accurately, evangelism then political action) is ultimately harmful. In particular, there would seem to be no vocation for the Christian as citizen or civil servant today, no vital service that he/she has to offer to the kingdom of God now in his/her civic capacity before such a widespread evangelization has taken place. Whether or not one or the other is “a more hopeful project” is, furthermore, no reason to discourage the theological virtue of hope or the working of divine grace in either evangelization or political activism, especially in a country like the United States where the average citizen has a far greater civic role to play than citizens of an ancient or medieval monarchy. Both are possible duties and essential contributions to the kingdom of heaven and the common good.
And so we see that Mr. Pahman has been beguiled into thinking that the average American has a great "civic role" to play than his ancient or medieval counterparts. This may have been true after independence from Great Britain was obtained, but it has not been true for quite some time.

Civil servant or bureaucrat? If a bureaucrat is enforcing bad laws that destroy freedom (and subsidarity and community), can one continue in good conscience? The lay vocation of the Christian is to build community, starting with his family and church community, then expanding outwards to his non-Christian neighbors and those around him. This has been constant, but we have been blinded because we have been inculturated in radical atomization and an exaggerated notion of the nation-state (which has either knowingly or unknowingly done what it can to destroy any "intermediate" associations or communities) - hence we identify political participation solely with voting and holding political office. (Performing jury duty is an important component, but how many of us would prefer not to do it because it is deemed inconvenient?) Secondly, the theological virtue pertains to God and our salvation, not to the political community as such. The act of building community is a truly political act - it is not "withdrawal" (just as refraining from interventionism is not isolationism). Ruling may be a more noble political political act, but Christians do not exercise it at the national "level" and in many states they do not do so at the state level. If movement conservatism is to have an impact, it should direct its attention to those states which are still Christian in character and seek to educate their citizens about federalism, states' rights, communitarianism, and so on, rather than promoting "free-market capitalism" which hollows out communities. Do you think movement conservates is capable of turning away the money from donors in the oligarchy and putting themselves out of a job?

Mr. Storck has an excellent response to the article. I think he and Dr. Fleming would be in agreement on the proper strategy for American Catholics and other genuine Christians.

Premiering on Friday

Season 3 (or 2? depending on whether the first series with Richard Armitage is counted or not) of Strike Back. Rhona Mitra...
YT official

'These are the forgeries of jealousy' -- My Own Shakespeare -- Radio 4

Hattie Morahan!

C&I articles

Live From Hollywood: Tom Berenger by Joe Leydon
A chat with the actor who recently scored an Emmy nod for his work in 'Hatfields & McCoys.'

Lou Diamond Phillips by Wendy Wilkinson
The former young gun stands and delivers as Henry Standing Bear in A&E’s record-setting Western series, ‘Longmire.’



Macross movie on Blu-ray!

ANN: Macross Movie Blu-ray to Have Changes From 1984 Original

Less violent than the original version?

Responding to Proponents of Game

Cane Caldo, Cypher's Problem

Trouble In Twilight by Andy Nowicki
A Socratic Dialogue Regarding Kristen Stewart's Infidelity
Also by Andy Nowicki: Manly Flaccidity
Matt Forney, Who Cares What Women Think?

Two on Water

Our Oversized Groundwater Footprint by Sandra Postel (EB)
It’s Time to Start Thinking About Water, Here’s How by John Robb

Creating a World Worth Inheriting by Chris Martenson

Peak Prosperity - EB

The Dawn of the Great California Energy Crash

Chris Cheng: Stop SB 249

He is the champion of season 4 of Top Shot.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Paul Craig Roberts, Oligarchs at the Gate:

"The selection of the next president of the US will depend on one thing alone–which of the two candidates financed by the ruling private oligarchy has the most effective propaganda."

EF Liturgy for the Napa Institute Conference

From NLM: Napa Institute Conference: Pontifical Mass, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

Fr. B is subdeacon.

What will Bishop Cordileone, once he becomes bishop of San Francisco, do to observe Summorum Pontificum?

Napa Institute
The bishop's letter to his flock regarding his appointment.
Orthodox Chant of Psalm 102 (103) Mt Athos, Byzantine style.

Simonopetra Monastery Monks - Polyeleos, Psalm 135

John Michael Greer gives his take on the Constitution in A Crisis of Legitimacy.
The complex historical processes that brought thirteen diverse colonies under a single federal system, furtthermore, left a great deal of power in the hands of the states. Very little of that power is used these days; repeated expansions of the originally very limited powers given to the national government have left most substantive issues in the hands of federal bureaucrats, and left the states little more to do than carrying out costly federal mandates at their own expense. Still, the full framework of independent government—executive, legislative, and judicial—remains in place in each state; state governors retain the power to call up every adult citizen to serve in the state militia; and, finally and critically, the states have kept the constitutional power to bring the whole system to a screeching halt.

You’ll find that power spelled out in Article V of the US Constitution. If two thirds of state legislatures call for a constitutional convention to amend the Constitution, the convention will happen; if three quarters of state legislatures vote to ratify any amendment to the Constitution passed by the convention, that amendment goes into effect. It’s that simple. Congress has nothing to say about it; the President has nothing to say about it; the Supreme Court has nothing to say about it; the federal government is, at least in theory, stuck on the sidelines. That power has never been used; the one time it was seriously attempted, in 1913, Congress forestalled the state legislatures by passing a constitutional amendment identical to the one for which the states were agitating, and submitting it to the state legislatures for ratification. The power nonetheless remains in place, a bomb hardwired into the Constitution.

What makes that bomb so explosive is that there are very nearly no limits to what a constitutional convention can do. The only thing the Constitution specifies is that no amendment can take away a state’s equal representation in the Senate. Other than that, as long as two thirds of the states call for the convention and three quarters of the states ratify its actions, whatever comes out of it is the supreme law of the land. Everything is up for grabs; it would not be beyond the power of a constitutional convention, for example, to provide a legal means for states to withdraw peacefully from the Union, or even to repeal the Constitution and dissolve the Union altogether.

Had the leaders of the southern states in 1860 been less proud and more pragmatic, it’s entirely possible that they could have won their independence and spared themselves the catastrophe of the Civil War by some such measure as this. It’s eerily plausible to imagine Senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi rising in the Senate that year to propose an amendment to provide for the peaceful dissolution of the Union, denouncing the radicals on both sides of the slavery issue who were pushing the nation toward civil war, and offering a peaceful separation of the states as the only workable solution to the problem that had dogged the nation for so long—and it’s by no means hard, at a time when most Americans still wanted to avoid war, to imagine such a proposal getting the votes it would need from Congress and the states to take effect.


Rubbernecking Past the Death of Masculinity

Especially as Dalrock talks about the Alpha Male of the Group.

It's not enough to disavow feminism. Or, anti-feminism by itself is not sufficiently pro-patriachy, if one still acts like an egalitarian with respect to social roles.

Related: Picking our models carefully
On a controversy you may be wondering about

Monday, August 13, 2012

JS Bach - The Art of Fugue - arr. Mahan Esfahani

Back in CA...

I'll do a short write-up of my trip later... some videos of recent performances by Brittany Haas and Lauren Rioux:

From their concert at Freight and Salvage: