Saturday, February 02, 2013

Sesame Street DA Parody

Yahoo: 'Sesame Street' takes on 'Downton Abbey' with 'Upside Downton Abbey' [Exclusive video]

Peter Hitchens - The God Debate

Just a short video

Should Have Seen This Coming

TV Review: HOUSE OF CARDS S1E01, CHAPTER 1 (Or, Kevin Spacey Will Eat You Alive)

From the review:
Spacey plays Francis, the Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives, a veteran politician from South Carolina who has been promised a nomination as Secretary of State after the Presidential election. Francis soon learns, however, that the President-Elect has other plans for him, and that prompts Francis to make plans of his own.

Of course he's from South Carolina. They couldn't make the character an amoral politician from Chicago or Boston or New York? That would be too close to reality? Any possibility of his being a Yankee transplant?

Lost in Dubbing

From Up on Poppy Hill Trailer (Goro Miyazaki - 2013)

I had to find something with the original Japanese voice actors...

NEF Report on the Price of Oil as a Limit to Economic "Recovery"

The economics of oil dependence: a glass ceiling to recovery
Why the oil industry today is like banking was in 2006

(the report - pdf file)

A Historical Survey of Liturgical Praxis in the Latin West

by a historian who has written about St. Thomas More, James Monti - A Sense of the Sacred: Roman Catholic Worship in the Middle Ages.

The KunstlerCast is Back

KunstlerCast #215: JHK is back – Nicole Foss Interview (mp3)
Economic contraction and the fate of the nation

Nicole Foss of The Automatic Earth.

Something recent by N. Foss: Scale Matters

Zachary Gappa on Distributism

Center for a Just Society

I hope he becomes an advocate.

Ordinariate Symposium at St. Mary's Seminary

Video streaming by Ustream

Duncan Stroik on Church Architecture

The Church Building as a Sacred Place: Beauty, Transcendence, and the Eternal by Duncan G. Stroik

Thursday, January 31, 2013

What's Wrong with Uhmerican Catholicism

"We just want to be nice."

Went to the DSPT tonight for the panel on Natural Law in American Rhetoric, Jurisprudence and Governance, with Russell Hittinger, Jean Porter and Lloyd Weinreb. I was disappointed, and it didn't change my opinion about JP but reinforced the suspicion of heterodoxy (at which a trusted Dominican on the East coast had hinted before). She seemed like the stereotypical feminist academic in appearance and demeanor, and her voice could make one's ears bleed - not only because of how it sounded but also because of her apparent dissent from Church teaching. She alluded to Humanae Vitae and had the temerity to suggest that not everything was de fide - which might be true of the reasoning or the theology but she seemed to take it further than that, referring to the prohibition on the use of artificial contraception and characterizing the Church's response as a refusal to concede that maybe the Holy Spirit did not speak through the Catholic Church but through Protestants (i.e. the Lambeth Conference). (I didn't know JP was that old. More evidencethat the Ph.D., nor a position in a theology department at a Catholic institution, hasn't meant anything for a while. Why struggle for a piece of paper useless in the real world and quite devalued when it comes to rank and intellectual achievement?)

The panel was too civil. While it is understandable that RT and JP did not express any criticism of one another openly (assuming they disagree on HV, and I think they do) because they are "colleagues" in academia and deal with the same subject matter, see each other at conferences, and so on, none of the Dominicans or people in the audience called JP out for what she said. Perhaps a real debate is not what the school wanted, especially since the moderator, the chair of theology, stated that the panel was a model of [polite] discussion about natural law, etc. (Some comments could be made about her as well.) And the school was using the event as publicity for itself, so attacking an academic might have negative consequences for the school and its image. Then why bother? It is, perhaps, related to the [liberal] assumption that disagreements about natural law (whether that names the precepts or the [normative] model of practical reason) is due solely to differences in reasoning, and that appetite has no part to play in influencing reason. The "charitable" assumption that all who engage in discussion of natural law are of "good will" may be unwarranted. At any rate, playing by the rules of liberals will probably not help the Church "win," persuade others of the correctness of Church teaching. There is more at work than just mere differences of opinion.

But wouldn't that sort of niceness backfire? If I were a rich orthodox Catholic,why would I donate money to an Catholic [educational] institution that tolerated that sort of open dissent (even if it is done in the name of academic freedom or Catholic "fidelity")?

Who among the Dominicans would be bold enough to defend patriarchy (or teach the natural law precepts pertaining to patriarchy) and attack feminism in all its forms? I can't imagine any of them really rocking the boat and saying anything controversial. But if marriages between Catholics have been failing for a while (and not just recently with the increase in divorce), might that not be a cause why there are not more eminent examples of married saints? I suppose I should look at the old moral theology manuals and confessors' manuals to see how much was devoted to the relationship dynamics between spouses. But there may be an argument for married men being ordained to the priesthood, if married men have a better understanding of how men and women relate and should relate. At the very least, those who are being ordained to the priesthood should have a real, in-depth knowledge of the differences between men and women and dealing with relating to women properly? But how true is this of all those "nice" Catholic guys in the seminary? That sort of experience would be beneficial with respect to "pastoral" advice; and it would serve to illuminate why St. Paul teaches what he does.

The invasion of academia by [unqualified] women, emasculated men, the loss of a proper patriarchal order in society; where is our courageous bishop who is willing to call a heretic a heretic? And to defend St. Paul from the innovators?

I'm a bit regretful for recommending the event to the YAs; while no one I know was there, I hope none of them decided to watch the live-streamed and was scandalized as a result.

Again, I see no reason to think a renewal is on its way. Perhaps there is too much emphasis in the popular narrative on religious liberty, attacks on the Church from without, persecution, and the like. Maybe we should consider the possibility that we did it to ourselves.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Become necessary political statements, with time.

One Legionary's answer to a question: Women as Masters of Ceremonies

(So can women be subdeacons?)

A Bit Political

Harold Thomas's latest endeavor:
A Bit Political is the first non-partisan “political portal.” It’s designed to give busy Americans the information, resources, and encouragement they need to get more involved politically. In other words, A Bit Political is here to help you find your voice and fight for the cause(s) you believe in. We’ll show you how to make the biggest difference in the smallest amount of time – with the least amount of effort.

In other words, A Bit Political is the go-to place for Americans who want to:

  1. Fight for the causes(s) that have a direct impact on themselves and those closest to them and/or
  2. Make their city, state, and/or country a better place for everyone

Plastic Beauty

Soompi: Plastic: Korea, America, and Cosmetic Surgery

Written by an American with a feminist viewpoint...

From the Last Psychiatrist: No Self-Respecting Woman Would Go Out Without Make Up

Northern California Bluegrass Awards

Bean Creek and Snap Jackson & The Knock On Wood Players Named Best Bands At Northern California Bluegrass Awards

A.J. Lee won Best Female Vocalist.

Stacy Mitchell: Why We Can't Shop Our Way to a Better Economy

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Interview with Archbishop Cordileone

‘All our detractors can do is call us names’
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone tells Mary O’Regan we can achieve ‘spiritual greatness’ in the fight for marriage

(post by Fr. Z)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

ABC News: 'Pride and Prejudice' 200th Anniversary

Annie Leonard: The Story of Stuff - Conversations

'80s Flashback

The Americans. Will it be renewed? I had not known that Keri Russell is one of LK's favorites, until he had told me.


Alan Sepinwall: Review: FX's 'The Americans' brings the Cold War back to life
Hollywood Reporter

The Grascals on Jay Leno

Bluegrass Today

Catherine Zeta-Jones on last night:

It's Done.

I wanted to finish the first part of this before too much time passed.

As of last Friday --

The Thinking Housewife: The Sun Sets on Masculinity
She has a photo which says it all.

US CentCom:
DoD Gender-Based Rules Changing:
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, announced yesterday that the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule for women will change, as the Department of Defense plans to remove gender-based barriers to service.
“In life, as we all know, there are no guarantees of success,” Panetta said. “Not everyone is going to be able to be a combat Soldier. But everyone is entitled to a chance. By committing ourselves to that principle, we are renewing our commitment to the American values our service members fight and die to defend.” (U.S. Air Force graphic)
Defense Department Rescinds Direct Combat Exclusion Rule

Just one post so far at On the Square and one at First Thoughts. There has been a comment at FPR, along with CHT and Chronicles. Dalrock. The Spearhead.

Paleos, tradcons, and writers in the androsphere have all written about this. Not all are so expansive in their critique of the decision - some responses may be more aligned with a "socon" or conservative feminist viewpoint - "let's protect our daughters and their privileged place in society." Others are more consonant with a fuller, traditional understanding of patriarchy.

Will we get any comments from the U.S. Catholic Bishops? From Catholic bloggers, other than the traddies and paleos? There hasn't been anything written about it at AmCon, either, which is rather disappointing. I can't think of anyone at AmCon who is explicitly anti-feminist; I know of at least one contributor who holds that stance, but maybe TPTB at the magazine have decided that they can't be too "regressive" as they believe they have a mission to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

As for Catholics - I believe the silence of the bishops, prominent and not-so-prominent Catholic intellectuals, writers, and bloggers is another indicator of how they have succumbed to feminism. All the optimism about the renewal of the American Church is unfounded - it has failed in the small things.

Lydia McGrew asks what should be done if selective service is expanded to include women, as would be logically entailed by this change in DoD policy. I think feminists and women who have cooperated with them, accepting the benefits of feminism and refusing to fight the injustices that have harmed men, should lie in the bed they have made. But I am doubtful that women will actually be required to register with Selective Service - resistance from the feminists in the National Government would be too great, and it seems that the socons in SCOTUS would also aid in preventing this from happening. Even if women were compelled to register, this might not be enough to force them to turn against feminism, no matter how much they may recoil to actually being required to live up to the responsibilities of a man in a way that puts their lives at risk.

Another Useless High-Ranking Officer

Women could be great Navy SEALs, says head of Special Ops (via The Thinking Housewife)

So Norway allows women into their infantry and special forces units? It's not like they actually have anyone to fight now.

One Man Against American "Patriarchy"

Florida man accused of fraud after name change in 'act of love'

He couldn't be bothered to check the actual laws on changing his name beforehand? Did he really think his last name was "just" a name, with no legal significance with respect to identification?

"Apparently the state of Florida clings to the out-dated notion that treats women as an extension of a man," said Lazaro's lawyer, Spencer Kuvin, with Cohen & Kuvin in West Palm Beach. While it was unusual for a man to seek to be considered an extension on his wife, Dinh's case raised important issues for gay marriage, he noted. 
"If Lazaro isn't allowed to change his name, what is going to happen when a gay couple seeks a name change?"
Only a few states have made their marriage name change policy gender neutral, Kuvin said. In Florida's case it has no law, although the DMV's website does not specify gender.
According to Kuvin, 9 states enable a man to change his name upon marriage: California, New York, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Oregon, Iowa, Georgia and North Dakota.

A Marxist(?) Critique of Localism

In the abstract, we can choose both. By going back to the land, we can create communities of resistance that provide the material and moral strength to resist neoliberalism. However, by not confronting capitalism, this localist form of citizenship fails on every level: ethical, practical and political.
Ethically, localism lets capitalists pass the costs of their failures to workers. Why be so quick to abandon the schools, hospitals and factories that have defined contemporary society? Workers fought for the good education, healthcare and jobs that capitalist governments are trying to eliminate. 
Practically, localities can’t recreate the amenities and infrastructure of an advanced society: the mass transit, renewable energy and dense urban development needed to transform to a low-carbon economy are impossible without the vast, international coordination of resources and technical know-how.
Politically, localism dodges important strategic questions: how do we oppose attacks on pensions, wages and services that workers have fought for? How do we deal with entrenched forms of state and corporate power, which have no problem with tiny cooperatives and the occasional black-masked riot, but whose profits and stability are genuinely threatened by a general strike?
The localist from-below vision empowers people as everything from consumers to producers but, crucially, not as citizens. This is because a citizen is a fundamentally political being who engages with the issues of people who don’t have the opportunity or luxury to drop out. 

Check out the comments.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Civitates and Megacities

Republicans Won’t Compete in Cities by Samuel Goldman

Uhmerican megacities are "strongholds" of liberalism - historically Democrats may have been popular because who compromises most of the dwellers in the city? Not the rich. Now, the Democrats promise benefits for the poor and they appeal to the non-poor for this reason and others as well. Goldman's response is correct in that respect:

Moreover, the social conservatism that defines the Republican Party is anathema to urban voters. A party that is loudly opposed to gay marriage and abortion will never be competitive in America’s cities. Glaeser dreams of a fiscally conservative, socially moderate Republicanism that might win in New York and its inner suburbs. But there aren’t enough votes to make this an appealing strategy on the national level: any gains in metropolitan areas would be wiped out by losses in the so-called base.

Why Conservatism Cares About Cities by Jonathan Coppage

Coppage's flaw is that he fails to make distinctions among cities according to scale and order. Conservatives Virtuous men do not hate the city in itself, though there are plenty of Biblical examples of cities gone bad, but they do recognize limits to how big cities can be. The city can be the locus of civilization and culture, or it can be the consequence of unchecked vice. What is needed is not a universal panegyric or a complete condemnation but a recognition that our megacities are problems in themselves and that appeal to national politics as currently practiced by the duopoly will not solve them.

I wonder if this book of translated texts by Annabel Brett is worth getting: Marsilius of Padua: The Defender of the Peace. (GB)
Liturgical traditions in the Middle East, could be threatened by conflicts

Patriarch of the Maronites, to prepare texts for Way of the Cross, at the Colosseum

Zenit: Pope's Homily At Conclusion of Week of Prayer

"Unity is in itself a Privileged Instrument" [2013-01-28]
Papal Address to Roman Rota
"The current crisis of faith ... brings with it a crisis of the conjugal relationship" [2013-01-28]
Rome Reports

On the Christian Sense of 'Carpe Diem'
"Every day can become the today of salvation" [2013-01-28]

Hungarian academy exhibits modern Byzantine icons in Rome
I found both the January and February issues of Chronicles at the remaining local B&N. How long as that store been carrying the magazine? I suspect that they may not carry it long - it doesn't seem like anyone is purchasing it.

Saw two SCPD motorcycle cops today; one was pulling over some minivan at that BN, the other was on Lawrence Expressway. That motorcycle had an "assault" rifle at its side - it looked like a M4 with a short barrel, but I'm not sure if it really was a M4 since I only saw the stock and the grip. The motorcycles didn't look like the ones in the photo on the homepage, but the design seemed rather recent.

Mozart's Birthday Was Yesterday

Imaginative Conservative: Wolfgang Mozart: Born January 27, 1756 by R.J. Stove

Energy and Economics

Energy, Economy and the Impending Rite of Passage by by Eric L. Garza Ph.D, (pdf) - Resilience.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Some Doctor Who Vids

A vid with Jenna Louise Coleman. And another.

Ripper Street

Now showing on BBC America and starring Matthew Macfadyen (who for some reason has female admirers).

No idea if it's good, or just looks good but actually has too modern a sensibility.


Sebastian Junger's Tribute to Tim Hetherington

Documentary honors war photographer Tim Hetherington (includes embedded video, a preview of the documentary)

HBO: "Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington"

Chains of Office in the Tudor Court