Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hesperion XXI on The Early Music Show

Alas, I learned of this episode rather late - it expires in less than 18 hours: Hesperion XXI at the 2012 Fontfroide Festival.

A Feature on Our Lady of Fatima Byzantine Catholic Church

In Catholic San Francisco.

The church's website.

Some New CDs by English Groups

Including Magnificat.

Harmonia Early Music: English Drive-By by Janelle Davis - mp3

Wade Davis Reviews Jared Diamond's Latest

Here - Rod Dreher comments: The Value Of Cultural Relativism.

Somewhere Between

A review of that documentary about teen-aged girls from China who were adopted and raised by Americans at Roger Ebert's website: Somewhere Between by Omer M. Mozaffar

More from Robb Wolf on Low-Carb Diets

My Thoughts On Low Carb And Paleo Episode 3: A New Hope

Related: Free the Animal post

So Bizarre

Yesterday morning I dreamt of a FB friend; was trying to find her when I discovered that she was missing. A crazy fan had stalked her, killed her, and cut her up, putting her remains in a bowl of noodles. A very disturbing dream and I wasn't sure if it was supposed to have some sort of meaning... Literal cannibalism? Or something metaphorical?

Friday, January 11, 2013


Looking through Rotten Tomatoes, I found this movie, which will be released in several months. Hadn't heard about it until now.

Tommy Lee Jones sounds too much like Tommy Lee Jones to be Gen. Douglas MacArthur...

BTS of Grandmaster

Get Behind The Scenes Of Wong Kar Wai's THE GRANDMASTER

2011 Video of Steven Pinker

More recent videos-

He also has some shorter videos at BigThink.

More videos:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Being a Paladin

I had guessed when Disney bought Lucasfilm that the stalled Star Wars TV project might be given new life. Today, my guess was shown to be a good one: ABC Eyes Star Wars TV Series.

The Star Wars series, if it is developed and put on the air, will not be enough to save Disney (and ABC) from being purveyors of garbage attacking the virtue of the nation(s) - just look at the programming on Disney Channel and ABC Family as well as ABC.

The hip people or women may ridicule the nerds who dress up and pretend to be Jedi; yet they don't tolerate them turning this desire to be a noble warrior into something more fruitful and grounded reality. The stereotypical geeks make for pathetic men, and yet it is desirable that they stay in some neutered and passive form or other rather than become some sort of potential "threat," a true knight, by getting in shape, being more masculine and assertive, learning how to defend themselves, and possessing real weapons (i.e. guns). Hawaiian Libertarian has given his perspective on how the repression of men fits into a larger plan; without subscribing to a conspiracy theory one can still admit that misandry is real, though it conveniently works to the benefit of those who have power, whether they be the statists ("liberals") or the plutocrats.

Is it the case that the perpetrator of a massacre in which women are the primary victims is that the man who shot them was sexually frustrated and socially inept? A man on the lowest level of the socio-sexual hierarchy. "If I won't have you respect, I will have your fear? It's better than your scorn." But it is a mistake to attribute this sort of motivation to men who seek to have adequate tools for defending themselves and their families.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Brian Douglass on the Right to Self-Defense

The Question of a Right to Self-Defense

The Bachands

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!


Something with Ashley McIsaac:

Two from NLM

This should be of interest for Sarge: Mozarabic Potentialities for Contemporary Church Architecture?

This as well: Bishop Athanasius Schneider at St. James Cathedral-Basilica, Brooklyn

Gloria TV

Nothing at the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny?

The Real SEALs

Zero Dark Thirty featurette.

A fan-made video:

No US Distributor Yet

As far as I know...

Twitch: Review: THE GRANDMASTER Brings Class to the Ip Man Legend

So 4 hours of footage was trimmed down to make an two-hour theatrical release version? I'd love to see an extended version, or the original 4 hours! I don't doubt that the story-telling suffers from the editing, given how WKW loves to linger on the emotional states of various characters.

I had forgotten that Song Hye Gyo is in the movie as Yip Man's wife.


Dr. Esolen wrote the following about the origin of the word "nice" yesterday:
Beside the word nescient in Dr. E’s Imaginary Dictionary stands an illustration of a bureaucrat, smug and smiling benignantly upon an ordinary citizen. The cross-reference reads: See Expert. The word means what you’d guess: the property of knowing absolutely nothing. In Latin, someone in that state, let’s say a simpleton or a senator, is nescius.

That word, through Old French, entered English as nice, meaning stupid, silly, ignorant, foolish. It was not a very nice word. But then it underwent a transformation. By the time of Spenser and Shakespeare, it had come to acquire the ambivalent sense of a usually foolish preciseness, as in our word niceties, generally suggesting an annoying emphasis on the trivial. In this regard it seems to have walked the same track as the word dainty, which Spenser usually employs to refer to something delicately beautiful, but sometimes to refer to people who are fussy or persnickety or unwholesomely preoccupied with cleanliness. But nice, in Spenser, is always an insult: nice hands will not get themselves bloody to help a dying man.

The association with unreasonable fussiness gradually changed, so that someone with keen insight can make a nice distinction; if at first that meant a distinction without a difference, made by a fool, it now means a fine distinction that makes a big difference, which only a wise person can make. Taking the word in another direction, though, the ladies began to use it to refer to something decorated in a pleasantly fussy way: a nice hat, a nice ribbon. From thence it has come to denote kindness generally, “He’s a nice man,” but with the possibility of hollowness and triviality lurking around the corner.

C. S. Lewis understood the word quite well, which is why, in That Hideous Strength, the N. I. C. E. (National Institute of Coordinated Experiments) is England’s metastatic locus of evil. For, as Lewis says, the angels do not bow before the Lord, singing, “Nice, nice, nice,” but “Holy, holy, holy!”

Some comments:
Being nice is still associated with being a harmless idiot in the mind of some recipients (especially women); indeed, being nice may go being mere kindness, and is instead quasi-compulsive people-pleasing that lacks real fortitude and strength. Small wonder that it goes unappreciated and unrespected. Hence: "I may be the one who will have to put the nice guy to death, but you killed chivalry."

E F Schumacher: On the Edge of the Forest

Some EF Schumacher Lectures 2012 - Bob Massie and Lawrence Lessig on "The Role of the Internet in the New Economy"

Why 20-Somethings are Moving Back Home

Katherine Newman, The Accordion Family

The Aaron Wildavksy Forum - Professor Katherine Newman
Katherine Newman - America's "missing class" presentation
Katherine S. Newman - America's Missing Class
The Urban Agenda: Katherine S. Newman on the low-wage labor force
Katherine Newman - Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America
@fordschool: Katherine Newman: Portraits of the Near Poor in America

Economic Insecurity and the Great Recession

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Dr. Robert Lustig on LLVLC

The LLVLC Show (Episode 640): Dr. Robert Lustig Takes On Big Food With FAT CHANCE - mp3

Mark Sisson Has Another Book

In addition to the cookbook that was released late last year, and he has some bonus offers for this one as well, but only for the next two days - The Primal Connections.

Jimmy Moore's review of the book. Both he and Sean Croxton will have podcast interviews of Mark Sisson this week.

MANHUNT: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad


Peter Bergen, MANHUNT: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad

Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda: Lessons from the Abbottabad Documents

Alternate Economics

The Wealth of the Commons: Review
The Local Food Shift: Peak Food (mp3)

A book which underscores the necessity of temperance or moderation, which requires the virtue of prudence in order to determine the mean -
Enough Is Enough - an excerpt.

(links via Resilience)

Season Premiere of Justified Tonight!

Bluegrass Today: Music from Justified by John Lawless (which has an embedded video for Cumberland River)

More videos:

Bloopers Reel for Orthodox in Dixie

Jack Reacher

I saw this movie two Sundays ago with a bunch of my male cousins. It's a decent guy movie - there's a man on a mission in the context of an investigative procedural, and he engages in personal combat with the bad guys. There is some chivalry but that does retain some appeal when the man does it from a position of strength. We were all entertained.

Jack Reacher is a drifter. When explaining why, he says in the movie that he wanted to experience the freedom that he was supposedly defending as a soldier but then he points out the various people working in the office building across from the office of Rosamund Pike's character, saying that they are not free, not free from anxiety, fear, insecurity, and so on. Though he does not say it, he could say that they are a bunch of serfs, wage slaves who have no real control over their own lives.

Would a Jack Reacher movie have been made without the backing of Tom Cruise. It does seem like a vanity project for him, who can't help but pretend to be someone manlier than he actually is. When he says his lines he comes off as being cocky, much like the younger Cruise of the '80s. I find his acting annoying in that respect; is it really acting? Would the movie have been better if they had found someone who fit Lee Child's description in the novels? Aaron Eckhart? The police investigator, played by David Oyelowo, asks a motel clerk which of the guests is capable of killing someone with one punch. She thinks short Tom Cruise?

When he's not being cocky, he is earnest in the delivery of his lines, but that does not make up for the fact that he may not embody the character that well because he is unable to show that he has a certain background with the right sort of gestures or mannerisms and so on - the physical acting. (Just as he was rather miscast for Claus von Stauffenberg in Valkyrie.) The photo of Tom Cruise in an ACU did not convince me that he was an ex-army officer. His physique was a bit different in this movie, not as muscular as he was for the Mission:Impossible movies? Sarge thought it looked a bit strange. I think Cruise wanted to look like he was a fit, middle-aged man and not have too much muscle.

I agree with one reviewer that dropping his gun in order to engage in personal combat with one of the villians, mano-a-mano, was a bit silly. I was reminded of the end of the first Lethal Weapon movie as well.

I would like to see more Jack Reacher movies, but it wouldn't bother me if they recast the part.


Reader reactions to 'Jack Reacher': The fans are furious

Jared Diamond, The World Until Yesterday


I read an interview with Diamond in the United Airlines in-flight magazine. He talks about the modern Western way of war, which recognizes a moral distinction between combatants and non-combatants, contrasting them with certain traditional societies which have no hesitation to kill children.

The doctrine of limited warfare arose gradually in the West and was precipiated by Christianity? Destroy an entire society was not unknown to the Jews, though it has been questioned by contemporary Christians and scholars whether this was actually ordered by God or not. It seems that one pattern was to kill all the males while females were taken captive. Does Diamond remark upon the impact of Christianity on our conduct of war? Or did this merely happen as a result of "progress" or "civilization"?

He also compares the members of "traditional" societies with our vets who suffer ptsd. The former suffer no ill effects, no hesitation to kill. How does this square with Dave Grossman's contention that we have a natural aversion to killing another human being? What sort of rituals and psychological mechanisms are present in traditional societies that facilitate the taking of human lives in war? And how is the inclination to kill developed and enhanced? Is the lack of a hesitation a sign of nature, or "second nature," habit acquired through training? Perhaps Diamond goes into greater depth in his comparison and analysis within the book.

NPR interview
UCLA Magazine
Live on Earth
On Point with Tom Ashbrook
'Collapse' in Congress: Lawmakers should learn from tribal elders

More philosophy masquerading as "anthropology"? Sure, there is data - observations being reported, but what of the interpretation that is in the judgments made in observing and the subsequent interpretations made when the observations are reviewed and taken as a whole? How well can an outsider understand a different culture, without becoming a part of it, learning its language, and so on? Anthropologists do learn the language, but is this sufficient?

More of Jared Diamond:
How Societies Fail - And Sometimes Succeed
The Evolution of Religions
another interview

Lt. Col. Grossman on Glenn Beck: How do we stop the next Sandy Hook? Glenn talks with Dave Grossman about gun violence in schools

Paul Howe, Second Amendment and the Kool-Aid Drinkers

Of course they have to include several women: Buzzfeed - 10 Modern Military Heroes You Should Know About

Monday, January 07, 2013

USCCB on "Assault Weapons"

Assault Weapons Backgrounder

"Conference staff has been meeting with other advocates for gun safety to discuss strategies on furthering our legislative agenda to re-institute the Assault Weapons Ban. As legislative opportunities arise we will keep you informed."

When Sarge sent me the link, I correctly guessed what the stance of the bureaucrats would be.

Some, including "the Beard," have recommended this movie: AGENDA: Grinding America Down

Christian Humanism

Humanism and Religion: Renewing Western Culture by Robert Woods

A review of Jens Zimmerman's Humanism and Religion: A Call for the Renewal of Western Culture

The author's faculty page.
The Humanist Lens

Fr. Louis Bouyer wrote a book on the Christian humanism of the Renaissance, and iirc, he contended that Christian humanism was the dominant feature of the Renaissance, as Christians sought to revivive "classical learning," not the rejection of Christianity in favor of some new rationalism (or paganism), as some secularists like to claim. I think Dr. Fleming fairly recently criticized certain figures of the Renaissance for developing an ideology of individualism, but I don't recall him condemning the Renaissance as a whole. Were the Christian humanists of the Renaissance period a bit naive in their approach to the past? Did they fail to sufficiently appreciate the "Middle Ages" and their intellectual predecessors?

Kevin Gutzman on the Mike Church Show

This week - part 1 and part 2.

He addresses "Let's Give Up the Constitution."

Responses to that op-ed piece from Tom Woods and Vox.

The 7 MovNat Principles

A summary.

Erik Townsend on Peak Oil

Commentary: Why Peak Oil Threatens the International Monetary System

On the Peak Prosperity podcast last year: Erik Townsend: Expect A US Price Shock As Black Swans Come Home to Roost

Peak Oil: How Soon? How Serious?

Will there be a season 4?

I did sit and watch most of the first episode of Downton Abbey last night, but started getting bored - drama for drama's sake, but what should you expect from a posh soap opera? Things have declined, in my opinion, since the first season, as the series has drifted more towards romantic excess, and making PC statements about this or that despite the rhetoric about duty and honor and the show's creator supposedly wistful portrayal of the old aristocratic order. (What should one expect from a UK network and company?) The viewer is left with the feeling that all that supplanted it is favored, dspite the newcomers' gaucheness and obvious lack of proper education - 'breeding.' (As in the case of Cora's mother, the American Mrs. Levinson, played by Shirley Maclaine.) No doubt there are also plenty of anachronisms for the historian fans and nitpicky.

Nonetheless, while the average view may side with progress and egalitarianism, she probably wishes to see her fashion elitism and spectacular consumption at the same time - Tom Branson protests the wearing of a morning coat for Matthew and Mary's wedding, but who is not secretly pleased that he is brownbeaten into wearing one? After all, he looks good in it!

Socons may like the show; how many fans at Art of Manliness forum? On FB it is apparent that plenty of Catholics do - they're looking for romance of some sort, something "better" and more acceptable in their circles than 50 Shades of Grey.

While the men have a role or occupation other than being a romantic foil, they seem to have less and less to do in accordance with it. Do they cater too much to women? I don't know if I want to stick around and see how the Matthew-Mary storyline plays out this season.

Brideshead Regurgitated By James Parker
The ludicrous charms of Downton Abbey, TV’s reigning aristo-soap
LA Times recap of the premiere
Seismic Change at Downton Abbey as Heard in the Waltz
Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes on the Rules of Downton
Julian Fellowes and Downton Abbey
Is this why Downton's creator is obsessed by class? Julian Fellowes' ancestors were not masters but SERVANTS on the estate that inspired the Abbey
Downton Abbey: Julian Fellowes on Interest in British Aristocracy

So Much Bluegrass Talent in the Bay Area

Yesterday I went to Don Quioxte's for a matinee performance by The Tuttles with AJ Lee. I couldn't see them at the F&S on Thursday, because I was over in Livermore for Rhonda Vincent.

Last year I had intended to catch one of their concerts, but I had missed their F&S appearance. Their next major performance will be for the Redwood Bluegrass Associates on May 19. I am planning to attend. (They had played for RBA in November 2011, but I found out about it too late.) "Support your local musicians!" and such. Despite being an object of revulsion, the San Francisco Bay Area (and beyond) has a lot of talented bluegrass and old-time musicians. The legacy of the yearning for folk music in the 40s, 50s, and 60s?

More videos:

Duncan Crary's New Podcast

Duncan Crary talks about his newly-launched podcast - A Small American City (Troy, NY)

The pilot episode was previewed at KunstlerCast - "A Small American City" - which features James Howard Kunstler. (mp3)

The 20 Best Small Towns in America
Top 25 Small Cities
Top 10 Small Cities Growing Faster Than Their Suburbs
Jack Casey on A Small American City Podcast

Fr. Rutler on Calendars

The Hand of God

Save for those who ski or take vacations in the south, January and February are not the most charming months and they did not exist at all on the oldest Roman calendar, which had only ten months. Winter was a temporal vacuum and the less said about it the better. Only in the eighth century before Christ were they named as months. Eventually, January 1 marked the new year. In the Middle Ages, although the new year began on either the Annunciation or nine months later on Christmas, the old twelve month calendar obtained and January 1 became the official new year’s day again in the 16th century. Even so, right down to the present, judicial and fiscal calendars often relate to March 25.

Get Your Pitchfork On

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