Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises


Some of our seniors may not wish to see the Christopher Nolan trilogy or any comic book movie in general (Lawrence Auster, Dr. Fleming, New Sherwood). They do not understand the appeal of the trilogy or of comic book movies. Without heroes either from stories in a traditional canon that is part of a people's heritage or from history, to what else can Uhmerican males refer except to the pop culture upon which they were nourished? We may be critical of the format and its associations with our political economy, but sometimes we have to engage with the "culture" as it is and lead people to the true and good from where they are situated.

Men are looking for stories featuring male heroism. Superhero movies such as Nolan's Batman trilogy, is entertainment that addresses male psychological and spiritual needs. Men want to make a difference to achieve and excel through physical and intellectual ability (as in the case of Batman) - a combination of brain and brawn. Protecting others, working for something greater than one's self, and to find honor and glory therein.

Granted, movies are rather ephemeral in the minds and imaginations of the audience once they are out of the theater and are probably ineffective in shaping the moral imagination and thus inducing long-lasting moral conversion or commitment.

What if the studios or the comic book companies decided to do some gender-bending,
switching the sex of the hero. There's already a Batgirl, but the change could be explained away as being part of an "alternative universe." How many male fans would accept this?

Some have claimed that Batman has been turned into the wrong kind of hero, seeking revenge because of anger, rather than acting out of a sense of justice. Hence this version of Batman is just too dark. I don't see how anger and a desire for justice are incompatible, and it's not clear to me that the trilogy attributes to Batman a single motivation or such a simplistic psychological state. After all, there is his desire to protect the good people of Gotham City as well as the desire to avoid being an executioner (and hence avoidance of guns) that defines his vigilantism. This sets him apart from the League of Shadows, which sees itself as an force for restoring balance when the corruption of a city or civilization is overwhelming. This goal justifies all sorts of vicious acts by the League of Shadows.

Maybe I'm missing something subtle about Batman's characterization in the Christopher Nolan movies. Or I have to watch the first movie, Batman Begins, over again. But I don't think Nolan's Batman is anything close to the TV character Dexter, for example.

The movie is not without its defenders, though this post asserting that the movie is a Christian allegory may be a bit too much. Then there is the Nietzschean/"traditionalist" intepretation given over at Counter Currents (and other alt right websites) which finds much to praise in the movie.

Batman: Anarcho-Fascist mp3

Rotten Tomatoes

Was the movie too long? I don't think so. Some of the disappointment is understandable - Bruce Wayen's quick recovery does not seem plausible. Given Chris Nolan's balancing act between comic book movie and "realistic" drama, I was mostly satisfied with his conclusion to the trilogy. But maybe that is because I related to the story in a different way than others. Would the scenes that were cut improve the storytelling if inserted back in?

I would watch the movie again.

*spoiler warning*

Richard Brookhiser on the Founders and Us

San Diego Padres

I haven't been keeping up with major league baseball since I was a child; I saw a game between the Giants and the Padres and noticed one of their new uniforms, a camouflage design intended to honor the US Marines, who have a recruit depot in SD and a base, Camp Pendleton, etc.

Padres' new camouflage jerseys could prove to be too realistic
ESPN says Padres uniforms the ugliest in baseball
San Diego Padres: 5 Best Uniforms of All Time
Fans, Padres react to camouflage criticism


Metropolitan Hilarion in town?

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk will visit USA to take part in celebrations on the occasion of 200th anniversary of Fort Ross

He will be celebrating the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas tomorrow, at Holy Virgin Cathedral on Tuesday.

Fort Ross 2012 Bicentennial
Diocese of the West

From February: An Interview with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev

IEC 2012: Br. Alois Löser, Dr. Maria Voce, Liturgy of Word and Water - June 11, 2012

Dr. Mercola Interviews Joel Salatin


Polyface Water and Manure
Polyface Turkeys and Beef
Pigs at Polyface Farm
Chickens at Polyface Farm

Friday, August 24, 2012

The sad reality of male-female attraction.

Athol Kay relays a message from a reader:
[M]y teenage daughter had a slumber party recently, and my wife (who is unaware of Game concepts) overheard the girls talking about the boys in their school. What struck me about the conversation that she relayed to me was that the girls were categorizing the boys into two groups: “Hot & Mean” and “Not-hot & Nice.” There couldn’t be a better example of the Alpha/Beta theory, as interpreted by 13 year old girls.
Vox comments on some blogger's confessional.

Any extended edition in the works?

Cut from 200 minutes to 128. Or will we have to look for the original Italian version on DVD?

NCReg: Bringing St. Augustine to the Big Screen
An Interview with Ignatius Press' Tony Ryan

(via Insight Scoop)

Edit. The extended trailer:

The 23rd Annual Meeting of The John Randolph Club

JRC Chicago: The Failure of Democracy - November 16-18, 2012

Speakers are Thomas Fleming, Chilton Williamson, Taki, E. Christian Kopff, Claude Polin, Peter Brimelow, and Aaron D. Wolf.

What would I do without guacamole?

Of course, it's better than the avocado salsa from El Pollo Loco.

Native to Mexico, it was introduced to California - one of the few positives about the state? The Haas avocado was somehow cultivated here. It's a common ingredient in "California" recipes or cuisine.

Here is a recipe from Whole Foods:

Oaxaca-Style Guacamole
serves 8

[Avocados have a cultural reputation as an indulgent, rather ostentatious California luxury and they deserve it. Rich, creamy and gorgeous, the avocado may well be the glamorous Hollywood starlet of the fruit world. They're also a great source of potassium and vitamins E, A and C.]

4 avocados, mashed
Juice of one lime
3 garlic cloves, freshly pressed
5 to 6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup cilantro, cleaned and chopped
1 to 2 seedless jalapeños, diced

Mix avocados with lime juice and then stir in garlic, onions, cilantro, and jalapeños. Try spooning it into a half of a papaya for breakfast. Or do the chips and quesadilla thing. It also makes a super bagel topper.

Haas Avocado
California Avocado Association
History of the Haas Avocado
Haas v. Haas
A Short History of the Haas Avocado
Avocado Central
The anti-aging superfood avocado
Mexican Hass Avocado Industry Sees Huge Growth In American Market

Videos after the jump:

Sigrid Undset

Stages on the Road was released in May by Ave Maria Press - info.

Sulle tracce di Sigrid Undset (1a parte)

Parts 2 and 3

No More No Reservations

What! Just find out about this - slideshow.

Anthony Bourdain's 'No Reservations': Final Season Gets a Premiere Date

Anthony Bourdain on No Reservations, Foie Gras Not Cruel
Foie Gras: A Happy Animal is a Tasty Animal

Space Battleship Yamato 2199

A remake of the 1974 classic Japanese animated series (known as Star Blazers here in the U.S.), Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (宇宙戦艦ヤマト2199) - apparently, even the Japanese have to mine their own classics. What's next? A new movie based on the original Macross? (Hrm, apparently a new TV series is under development for the 30th anniversary of the original show, Macross Two-Nine.)

Technically it is quite well-done, in particular the use of CGI. But I note they have added more women to the crew (including an ace pilot who is initially forced to take another role on the ship because of her brother, also a pilot). Fan service? An attempt to appeal to female viewers? Or the influence of feminism in Japan?

Yuki has more of an attitude, typical of more recent female characters and less "feminine" than the original. In some ways the characters behave more immaturely, especially in the bickering between Yuki and Susumu Kodai. This may be standard for Japanese animated fare for the last 20 or 30 years, but the original characters seemed more "mature" even if they could be young and impetuous (in the case of Susumu Kodai). Has some version of adultlescence carried over into anime?

This has probably been the way things have been for some time - the glorification of teenagers (and all their weaknesses). The new Gundam TV series are like that, and there's also Neon Genesis Evangelion. Of course, the characters in those shows were still in their teens; I think Kodai and company are a few years older. Still, I do think there is a difference in personality and maturity between those characters in the remake and their counterparts in the classic series.

The remake will undoubtedly feature great heroism as did the original; the addition of female characters (tne supporting cast includes the pilot, the nurse/medic to Dr. Sado, and the science officer) is nonetheless grating. The depiction of women in Japanese mass media has changed much in the last 30 years, even if some claim that feminism of the Uhmerican sort has a negligible presence in Japan. (Is that really the case, given the power that mothers have over children, especially sons? Even if the toxic ideology of feminism is absent in the consciousness of Japanese women, they can nevertheless be emasculating.) What prominence does anime (and manga) have in Japan today? What impact does it have on the formation of boys and teenagers?

Will they continue the series of movies that began with Space Battleship Yamato: Resurrection (宇宙戦艦ヤマト 復活篇)? The CGI for the movie was good in quality, but the style was not really to my liking. There is also a lot of death in the movie, maybe too much even though it's a staple of the franchise and to be expected when the story takes place on an interplanetary scale.

The opening for the remake:

PV for the first episode after the jump.

147th Scottish Highland Gathering & Games

September 1 and 2 in Pleasanton at the Alameda County Fairgrounds - official

The Caledonian Club of San Francisco

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Two from Sandro Magister

Sandro Magister, Vatican Diary / The two unknowns of the book on the Child Jesus
Who will be its main publisher? And will Ingrid Stampa, Ratzinger's former manager, again oversee the Italian edition? The strange imbroglio of those who accuse her of having betrayed the pope's trust

Russia and Poland, Orthodox and Catholics. The Breakthrough Message
It has been signed in Warsaw by the patriarch of Moscow and the president of the Polish bishops. To begin a common journey after centuries of hostilities. Here is the complete text. With the comment of Pope Benedict XVI

John Dickinson on Civil Society

The Spirit of American Constitutionalism: John Dickinson's Fabius Letters by Gregory S. Ahern

It is, therefore, the wisdom and virtue of the people rather than mere self-interest that is to be the ultimate check upon the government. Yet, Fabius also recognizes the fallibility of human nature. For, history shows that "the liberty of single republics has generally been destroyed by some of the citizens, and of confederated republics, by some of the associated states." The solution is to be found in ensuring that the government is sufficiently strong to protect "the worthy against the licentious."16 This leads to a discussion of the nature and purpose of political society as well as that of confederations of states:
As in forming a political society, each individual contributes some of his rights, in order that he may, from a common stock of rights, derive greater benefits, than he could from merely his own; so, in forming a confederation, each political society should contribute some share of their rights, as will, from a common stock, of these rights, produce the largest quantity of benefits for them.17The influence of Locke’s social compact theory of the foundations of society is evident here. Yet, Dickinson appeals beyond Locke to an idea of community far richer than Locke’s mere aggregate of atomized individuals. His thought, in fact, reflects both Aristotle’s idea of political society as based on friendship and the Christian doctrine of charity (love of neighbor). He writes:Humility and benevolence must take place of pride and overweening selfishness. Reason, rising above these mists, will then discover to us, that we cannot be true to ourselves, without being true to others—that to love our neighbors as ourselves, is to love ourselves in the best manner—that to give, is to gain—and, that we never consult our own happiness more effectually, than when we most endeavour to correspond with the divine designs, by communicating happiness, as much as we can, to our fellow-creatures.18
Did he overestimate the cultural unity of the original 13 states? Or, was he too optimistic that this cultural unity could be maintained?

He makes it clear that this confederation is not to be merely an aggregate of self-interested individuals, each contending for their own ends. For the people, he says, are "drawn together by religion, blood, language, manners and customs," and he likens the proposed confederation to a family, in which each son rules his own household, and in other matters the whole family is directed by the common ancestor. Fabius describes the nation that will result from such a confederation as a model of moderation, justice, and happiness. He writes:Delightful are the prospects that will open to the view of United America—her sons well prepared to defend their own happiness, and ready to relieve the misery of others—her fleets formidable, but only to the unjust—her revenue sufficient, yet unoppressive—her commerce affluent, but not debasing—peace and plenty within her borders—and the glory that arises from a proper use of power, encircling them.22Dickinson’s view of society is thus closer to that of Vattel and Blackstone than to that of Locke. Vattel declared that rights were "nothing more than the power of doing what is morally possible, that is to say, what is proper and consistent with duty."23 Russell Kirk has stated of Blackstone that,The natural law described by Blackstone was rooted in Christian ethics; and it declared "the absolute rights of man"—the natural liberty of mankind, consisting of three articles, "the right of personal security, the right of personal liberty, and the right of private property." Yet, these rights were not absolute in the sense of having no limits: as Blackstone put it, "but every man, when he enters into society, gives up a part of his natural liberty, as the price of so valuable a purchase; and, in consideration of receiving the advantages of mutual commerce, obliges himself to conform to these laws which the community has thought proper to establish." There, more clearly expressed than by Locke, is a fundamental doctrine of American politics.24Perhaps closest of all to Dickinson’s view of man and society, however, is that of Edmund Burke. For, both viewed civil society as a partnership which includes man’s relationship to God and which is directed toward the development of man’s higher nature. As Burke would write in his Reflections on the Revolution in France,[T]he state ought not to be considered as nothing better than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, callico or tobacco, or some other such low concern, to be taken up for a little temporary interest and to be dissolved by the fancy of the parties. It is to be looked on with other reverence; because it is not a partnership in things subservient only to the gross animal existence of a temporary and perishable nature. It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection. . . . [Without] civil society man could not by any possibility arrive at the perfection of which his nature is capable, nor even make a remote and faint approach to it. . . . He who gave our nature to be perfected by our virtue, willed also the necessary means of its perfection—He willed therefore the state—He willed its connexion with the source and original archetype of all perfection. . . . [For] His will . . . is the law of laws and the sovereign of sovereigns.25For Dickinson, as for Burke, civil society is the necessary means by which human beings are connected with the divine, by which human nature is held in its appointed place in conformity to the higher moral law.26

West Virginia...

Rod Dreher, Why Is Appalachia Like That?
another trailer
official website; FB

Also from AmCon: How to Freeze the Pentagon

Handel on the Thames: AAM on BBC Breakfast

Woody on Empire

Vermont Commons: Woody Harrelson Nails What's Wrong

He may be a "man of the left," but he can't be 100% wrong? Especially if he's reading someone else's script.


Edit. 8/25 Looks like that video has been taken down - here is another copy at the maker's YT channel.

Boogie to the oldies...

CDSS: Next of Kynaston by Persons of Quality

Dance Collection: Kynaston.
Andrew Shaw - zoominfo
Mr Kynaston's Famous Dance: Interpretations of Late 17th Century and Early 18th Century English Country Dances
A Brief Visit with Andrew Shaw 7/12/2011 - Country Dance * New York
Key to Sources for English Country Dance
Farnicle Hugy - Rebecca King
Emperor of the Moon

Lemmings Reprieve Folk Dance Club
BACDS - Hey Days - August 19-26, 2012 (THIS WEEK!)
English Dance Week at Pinewoods - August 25 - September 1, 2012

What of the Boomers?

From Fr. Rutler - Anger Management. It is a good discussion of the emotion of anger and the proper Christian view of the emotion. Is his assessment of our society correct? "We now inhabit a hedonistic culture too slothful to be angry about much of anything, which is why it is easily bought off by sensual gratifications of the crudest sorts."

Will there be a backlash against the Boomers if it becomes clear that decline is irreversible and that they have contributed more than their share to getting us to this point? The resentment and anger may be seething below the surface. There are plenty of happy consumers, but what about those who are struggling financially and wondering why the American Dream seems so impossible to attain now? How many men have retreated into their private pursuits and diversions not because of laziness or lack of initiative but because they have been prevented from exercising a masculine role in society? Might not their recreation be a form of "doping" to suppress "negative" emotions?

Also from Crisis:
Is Totalitarian Liberalism A Mutant Form of Christianity? by Tracey Rowland
Should the Bishop Have Bought the Crystal Cathedral? by Duncan G. Stroik


The End of the World as We Know It - The end of the Industrial Revolution by Paul Gilding (EB)
Hang on, you’re thinking. The industrial revolution? With its belching smokestacks, dirty industry and steam engines? You thought we left that behind long ago, right? You look at your smart phone, robots on Mars, the rise of Facebook and Google and think ‘we’re well past all that’. Isn’t this the age of knowledge, when we’re all hyper-connected in a 24/7 information rich economy? Think again.

Hiding behind those entertaining devices, information overload and exciting new companies, the real bulk of the economy is still being driven by those dirty belching smokestacks and is still being shaped by those who inherited the economic momentum of 19th century England – the coal, oil and gas industries. Look at any list of the world’s 20 largest companies by turnover and you’ll see around three quarters are either producing fossil fuels, trading them or converting them into transport or energy. So I’m afraid the proverbial belching smokestacks still underpin our economy. But they are now in terminal decline. Yes, after 250 years, their time is coming to an end – and faster than you, or they, think.
Too bad Danny Boyle didn't include this in his opening ceremony show - no 20th century socialism/welfare programs if there is nothing to support them.

Related: The latest from John Michael Greer, The monkeywrench wars (EB)

A Liturgical Curiosity

NLM: Oddities: The Byzantine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom - in Latin and Greek

Jackie Bristow's California Tour

Her website. From her FB:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Even without illegals, is Arizona sustainable?

American Obesity And The Doomed Desert Civilization Of The Southwest By Chilton Williamson

Ron Unz on Alexander Cockburn

Buckley’s Unlikely Heir
It was at Counterpunch that I first encountered the pungent military analysis of William Lind. When I once showed one of Lind’s articles to an acquaintance, he denounced Lind as an ignorant leftist, only to be shocked when I explained that Lind had had an illustrious career as a congressional staffer specializing in military reform and was also the longtime closest collaborator of Paul Weyrich, one of D.C.’s most prominent movement-conservative leaders.

I appreciated the thoughtful commentary on our Middle East policy by Kathleen and Bill Christison, former CIA analysts specializing in that region, and later discovered the same last name on articles of the same subject in back issues of National Review from the mid-1980s. NR’s loss was Counterpunch’s gain.

Similarly, Paul Craig Roberts had for decades been one of the leading conservative intellectual figures at the intersection of academics and policy, playing a major role in crafting the economic policies of the Reagan administration and holding a variety of top-ranking appointments in the conservative firmament, while being one of the most widely distributed national columnists. But after he refused to toe the line following 9/11, he was ruthlessly purged, and his important voice might have been lost if Counterpunch and a few other websites had not provided him a venue.

Add the names Ray McGovern, Winslow Wheeler, Franklin Spinney, Pierre Sprey, and a few others to this list, and it sometimes seemed like half the Counterpunch articles I read were by authors with unassailable national-intelligence, military-affairs, or even movement-conservative credentials. Purged, blacklisted, or simply ignored by Conservativism, Inc., they often relied upon Alex’s webzine as the primary distributor of their well-informed writings. Once or twice I joked with Alex that perhaps he was actually Bill Buckley’s truest heir.

"Civil Society"

Someone posted a link to this over at the ResPublica America FB group: Civil Society Reconsidered by Gertrude Himmelfarb

Civil society has been described as an “immune system against cultural disease.” But much of it has been infected by the same virus that produces the disease—a loss of moral integrity and purpose. What is required, then, is not only the revitalization of civil society but its reform and remoralization—the reform of those institutions that parody government agencies, and the remoralization of those that have lost their moral focus.

This is a formidable challenge, inspiring us to recall those to whom we are indebted for the idea of civil society and whom we now cite in support of it. It is to Locke, of course, that we owe the distinctively modern concept of a civil society that mediates between the individual and the state. But it is not quite the individual and the state that figure in Locke’s trinity. It is the “state of nature” and “political society” that are on either side of “civil society.” This is not a trivial semantic point. The “state of nature,” as Locke describes it, is more fearsome than the “individual,” and “political society” less formidable than the “state.” Moreover, in Locke’s account, civil society has a close relationship to political society, almost overlapping with it, as opposed to the state of nature, which is always in sharp contrast to civil society: “Those who are united into one body and have a common established law and judicature to appeal to, with authority to decide controversies between them and punish offenders, are in civil society one with another; but those who have no such common appeal, I mean on earth, are still in the state of nature.”
The distinction between civil society and the "state" seems to be a recent one, coupled to the development of the modern nation-state. Is it at all a useful tool in the analysis of polities? Or does the science of politics need to start at, well, with the principles, rather than with the assumption of the nation-state as an ideal form? The classical distinction would be between the community and the ruler(s), no? How are they united into one body? Why should we accept Lockaen liberal political theory as the basis for our analysis of what ails us? Reading Locke should be on my list of things to do, but I can't muster the enthusiasm for it.
Similarly, Tocqueville’s “voluntary associations,” which we sometimes equate with civil society, are not as exclusively within the domain of civil society as we might suppose. Tocqueville has the highest regard for these associations which are unique to America—but not unique to civil society. On the contrary, the genius of American democracy is the proliferation of “political associations” as well as “civil associations,” and, more important, the intimate relationship between them, the civil being dependent upon the vitality of the political. “In all countries where political associations are forbidden, civil associations are rare. .  .  . Thus civil associations pave the way for political ones, but on the other hand, the art of political association singularly develops and improves this technique for civil purposes.”
Tocqueville may be admired by some American "conservatives," but was he not also a liberal? (Just as they are, I suppose.) Can his observations of American society be said to be from the viewpoint of a liberal? In his native Europe was he already born into the loss of true, rooted communities formed through shared history and life? That is to say, does he recognize that a polity must be exist in accordance with the proper scale?
Today, in our anxiety about the excesses of individualism and statism, we may find ourselves looking upon civil society not merely as a corrective to those excesses but as a be-all and end-all, a sanctuary in itself, a sufficient habitat for the human spirit. What our forefathers impress upon us is a more elevated as well as a more dynamic view of civil society, one that exists in a continuum with “political society”—that is, government—just as “civil associations” do with “political associations,” “private affections” with “public affections,” and, most memorably, the “little platoon” with “a love to our country and to mankind.” This is civil society properly understood (as Tocqueville would say), a civil society rooted in all that is most natural and admirable—family, community, religion—and that is also intimately related to those other natural and admirable aspects of life, country and humanity.
Civil society refers to families, communities, churches, workplaces, formal and informal associations, in distinction from the state. But is there one sort of community which is superior to the rest? Himmelfarb wants to say that some problems cannot be solved by civil society but must be addressed by the state, and that "civil society itself has turned out to be a more complicated and ambiguous entity than might be supposed. Indeed, it is sometimes complicit in the problems it purports to solve." Are these problems not due to "civil society" but because of the loss of community and any power that it might have within the modern nation-state?

AmConMag: Tyranny of Merit

ecp gives a summary of the constitutional issues behind the WBTS. Meanwhile PR for Steven Spielberg's Abraham Lincoln movie continues to unfold --
Film School Rejects

From last year: Spielberg Talks ‘Lincoln’ Timeline & Planned Release Date

We should be getting a trailer soon?

Wendell Berry, Conservative?

Some discussion of Wendell Berry in regards to his stance on same-sex marriage at this thread over at Chronicles. A bit more level-headed than the discussion at WWWTW. Dr. Fleming is probably right about how much authority we should give to Mr. Berry, who is not a moral theologian or someone with authority in the Church. Still, he does have something to say about limits to consumption, sustainability, energy, technology, economics, and communal life - only those who are ignorant of our dependence upon cheap energy (and the possible inequity involved in how we have secured those sources) and the culture of wastefulness could say that his critique of consumerism rests on a vague definition of consumerism.

Vegas Premieres September 25


It will be on a Tuesday; I'm not surprised that CBS has it scheduled for Tuesday - it's capitalizing on the audience of NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles. Unless it's filled with too many anachronisms and the writing is too bad, it should be popular with the old folks. But will that be enough to keep the show around? It's too bad The Unit got cancelled.

Women seeking equality in their relationships are blind to the inequality which they accept.

For example, when it comes to the burden of financially providing for the family.

Vox cites this post at Feminist Critics: Choices Have Consequences.

"Save the Amish"

The Atlantic: For the Amish, Big Agribusiness Is Destroying a Way of Life

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Liturgical Institute Conference on Sacred Architecture

The Glory of Catholic Architecture - October 25 and 26

Duncan Stroik will be one of the presenters, as well as Fr. Uwe Michael Lang, C.O.

Patrick Buchanan on the Resurgent Ethnonationalism

New World Disorder:
The bipolar world of the Cold War is history. The new world order, however, is not the One World dreamed of by Wilsonian idealists. It is a Balkanizing world where race, tribe, culture and creed matter most, and democracy is seen not as an end in itself but as a means to an end–the accretion of power by one’s own kind to achieve one’s own dreams. As Abraham Lincoln said in another time, when an old world was dying and a new world was being born, “As our situation is new, let us think and act anew.”
I still haven't gotten his latest book, Suicide of a Superpower. Remainder books will probably be available with a huge discount next year, if not sooner, at various companies, like Edward R. Hamilton.

Book TV
World Over, January 12, 2012

David Cooney, What is the Global Economy?

The NWO:
Vox: Free Trade and Undermining of Nations

That Weapon, Feminism:
A decade after Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate, why is human nature still taboo?
The John Scalzi debacle continues.

Whither Solidarity?

Is solidarity a thing of the past? by Kurt Cobb (EB)

In Bottleneck Catton explains that the late 19th century French sociologist Emile Durkheim believed that the division of labor in society which resulted in heightened interdependence among humans also led inevitably to greater solidarity. Catton counters with the views of American sociologist E. A. Ross who believed that that same interdependence was leading to far more vulnerability among humans to predatory behavior from other humans. Catton leans toward Ross's view for a very important reason: Humans now labor in narrow occupational niches within our highly complex society in the same way that species occupy ecological niches in nature. This specialization leads to competition within each niche for the limited number of positions available.

Consequently, the harder the economic times, the more intense the competition for the reduced number of positions within each niche. This leads to anxiety among those already holding a job since they are often not skilled enough to find work in other niches. The employee often asks himself or herself, "What could I possibly do if I were no longer able to do this kind of work?" Naturally, this concern also creates anxiety among those who are unemployed and seeking jobs within a particular niche.

I wasn't expecting Mr. Cobb to adopt Catton's analysis, though he may be making use of it as one explanation of our present situation. I don't think interdependence is, in se, the problem. It and (over-)specialization accompany wage slavery and a highly developed "capitalistic" system. It's not just economic competition that affects solidarity, but the lack of rootedness and the size of the "communities" that are involved. So Catton's analysis may be useful in looking at one factor, but it is incomplete. While those in France, for example, may be better able to unite for a common interest because of a social safety net which alleviates the risk of reprisals, aren't they stuck in a capitalistic paradigm? While seeking their economic good they, at the same time, cling to their form of political economy, from which they derive their government benefits. How can they wholly reform the system? It seems to me that such a thorough reform would be necessary if it is to be sustainable and to induce humane communities. Otherwise, we are stuck with wealth pumps and centralization and all that entails, as Damien Perrotin notes.

Händel Concerto grosso Op 6 No 10 D minor

Big Society in Australia?

Traditionalist Catholic Conference in West Virginia

Rorate Caeli: Catholic Identity Conference
September 28-30, 2012

This week - Rebuilding Christendom Conference (on Catholic Social Teaching).

Monday, August 20, 2012

Chuck Spinney on UAVs

How Drones Destroy Their Own OODA Loops by FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
Without explicitly saying so, Porter has provided us a case study on how the entire strategic decision process has folded inward on itself, and in so doing, has disconnected the flow of decisions from the unfolding reality. But there is more. Porter describes how that disconnect has flowed out of the White House, the CIA, and Pentagon into the Orientation of the think tanks and the mass media, and by implication, into the collective mind of the population at large.

Carolina Chocolate Drops - "Was You Ever In Quebec/Cindy Gal (Concrete Country)"

The Latest from Gary Taubes

Metabolism, Diet, and Disease Conference update and a job posting

Sustainable Dish Paleo Farm Dinner – AHS 2012

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, 20 August

On the Love of God

Vox on John Scalzi and Creepiness

Gammas resist Game

A friend is a fan of Scalzi's Red Shirts, and has recommended that I read it. He was a fan of sci-fi but hasn't done much reading recently. He did exemplify what one might consider to be the extreme sci-fi afficianado.

Two on American Political Origins

Was There an American Revolution? By ROBERT NISBET

The Declaration as the Constitution by Kevin Gutzman

TEDxStanford: Esther Gokhale

Find your primal posture and sit without back pain

A Movie with Diane Kruger

But it's in French - no wonder we haven't heard much about it here in the U.S. Sarge might be interested, it is a movie about French special forces.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Steve Sailer on the Latest with Robert Putnam

Goody Proctor, I hereby sentence you to be burned as a witch!

Putnam v. the Thernstroms

Better Together
Social Capital and Civic Community
Robert Putnam: Class Now Trumps Race as the Great Divide in America
Arthur Brooks, Robert Putnam, and the Opportunity Society
Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital

Part 2

Robert Putnam - Manchester [1/5] - 2, 3, 4, 5

The Decline of the West

Meant to comment on these two trailers a couple of months ago--
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

British "Boomers" seeking to retire and live out their last years... in a foreign but exotic locale? No ties to family or friends at home? Although the hotel proves to be different than what was advertised, they learn some valuable "life lessons" there, all the while living a comfortable existence because of their relative wealth. Isn't that like Western stories nowadays -- eating one's cake and having it too, preserving a lifestyle of consumption and yet being able to strengthen their humanity nonetheless, even though it is our economics that has a detrimental impact on our well-being? Isn't that what SWPLs want, being able to enjoy their lives guilt-free?

The Intouchables: PC multiculturalism hits France? The French version of the "magical negro"?

In France, A Star Rises From An Oft-Neglected Place

Conveniently for the elite molders of culture and minds, the movie is based on a "true story." The movie did very well in France; people in the West love their sugar-coated fantasies when they are well-done.

Premieres Tonight on BBC America

BBC America trying to compete with the other cable networks?

Another trailer
Extended trailer
Meet the Strong Women (COPPER Making Of)

Of course, there's PC casting...

Alan Sepinwall

Obama's Swiftboating?

A Valuable Synthesis of Latin and Greek Traditions? The Italo-Cretan Religious Painting and The Byzantine-Palaeologan Legacy

Some More Great Stuff From Lake Effect This Weekend

A Musical Venture to Cape Breton (mp3)

Some Virtuosic Bluegrass In the Irish and American Tradition - mp3

The (Almost) Heartbreaking Harmonies of the Henry Girls - mp3

We Banjo 3 Bends the Irish Banjo Tradition - mp3

Web exclusive: Ian Adamson
Mitch Teich

Lake Effect's Mitch Teich is joined by Dr. Ian Adamson - he's the former Lord Mayor, former High Sheriff, and former City Councilman from Belfast, Northern Ireland.
But in addition to all those official roles, he's also an expert in Scots-Irish and Appalachian music and poetry traditions - and he speaks ten languages, including Lakota Sioux and Swahili. He talks about the blending of cultures and the notion that Americans often don't know just what they don't know about forms of music like bluegrass.

(Audio not available yet)

Dan Tyminski Band, "Freeborn Man"

(another performance)

More from Dan Tyminski:

Went to HIN San Mateo this afternoon; it'll probably be the last car show for a while - and I don't mean that solely because it's almost the end of summer. (There is a minor car meet in Dublin, which AK will be attending, but I don't think I'll go, unless I'm going to be in Dublin for other reasons.) I was not that impressed with HIN -- it seemed like there were less vendors and cars than at Spocom and that other auto show that took place at the San Mateo Event Center last year - Extreme Auto Fest.

There were several US Army recruiters; last year and the year before the USMC was present. If you hadn't already guessed, I affirm the Marine recruiters were in better shape. I didn't feel like chatting the Army recruiters up, even though I was wearing a SF hat, which they may have noticed. Even though the institution may have no choice but to go in the direction ordained by the civilian leadership, I am still rather disgusted by its embrace of the feminist and homosexual agendas.

The last time I saw ACUs (at the airport in Newark), they did look like pajamas. The women wearing them were Uhmerican (i.e. overweight) but the ACUs are very loose as well, and the change over to the new camo pattern hasn't fixed this problem. Contemporary US Army (lack of proper) sizing? Or is there a practical reason for this? I prefer the closer-fitting shirts of the 60s or the WW2 khakis, even I have doubts about their functionality.

Apparently there were some prints and posters being given away; missed out on those but with the crowd there, even if I had known about them I might not have been able to get one. C'est la vie.

Disney can't disappear quickly enough. Whiskey: Disney, Marvel, Ike Perlmutter, and the Return of Otto von Bismarck

Freight Fiddle Summit, August 23

Alasdair Fraser, of course! More info.
Brittany Haas will be there, too!

I don't think I'll be attending this year...

Let's go to New Zealand