Saturday, March 09, 2013

Long day in San Francisco - I attended the special liturgy celebrated at the National Shrine of St. Francis. Attendance wasn't too bad, but for now the Latins remain safe from "poaching" by the Russians. I took a walk around the area; American Eatery closed at 4 (early?) so I didn't get a burger there. In Union Square I bumped into ah Fai in front of Macy - so I spent the rest of the afternoon with him, dropping by the Merrell store - the Trail Glove wide fit ok, but it bothered my MN, so I didn't get them. I should have tried a normal pair of Merrell shoes, instead of the minimalist, but I didn't want to try some of those and end up not buying anything. We went to Uniqlo, where I bought some socks. For dinner we decided to try Bourbon Steak; overall the experience wasn't as good as AS, but perhaps I am biased.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Dan Baum on Guns

His book, Gun Guys: A Road Trip


Inside America’s Gun Culture
What Liberals Need to Understand About 'Gun Guys'

Mother Jones

The Price of Gun Control

Yes! Magazine Issue on Cooperatives

Here's one article: The Cooperative Way to a Stronger Economy by Sarah van Gelder
Co-ops—just like people—can get more done together than anyone can do alone. They come in many forms, and are more common than you might imagine.

More articles.

Another Asian-American Stooge

Cal Catholic Daily: Anti-life, anti-church California legislature
And you thought it couldn’t get worse?

Faith-based colleges are the target of AB 314 (Richard Pan, D-Sacramento), which is tied to the implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more widely known as Obama Care.

Pan’s bill mandates that all public and private colleges that offer self-funded health insurance must align with the Affordable Care Act, including providing birth control and abortifacients. The federal law, which offers no opt-out provisions for faith-based businesses or groups, has already prompted dozens of lawsuits across the country. Among those challenging the law are Biola University and Wheaton College. In addition to forcing private institutions to abandon their religious beliefs, the added coverage will increase costs for the colleges.
Was Pan's famly always members of the Democratic Party?

Did Asian-Americans get pulled into the Democratic Party early on, following the same pattern of immigrant groups being courted and recruited by that party? The Democrats appealing to the minority card and promising to protect their interests against those in power (i.e. white people), etc.

My AUS friend was trying to persuade me to find a job in Asia, possibly in teaching. She did think that it would be psychologically healthier for me to get out of here (and my current situation). She may know some of my reasons for not being not happy here in California. But she also thinks that I can return and get a job once the business cycle returns to good times. It was late so I didn't have much to say in response or to explain the case against her advice, though I did deny that the business cycle would go back to recovery.

April Verch Band's Newest MV

CMT - "Broken"

Eventually it will be available on YT?

April Verch Band Take a Bow


Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Who Is the Source of Beauty?

I had another post in the works regarding athletes (like Kim Yuna) making the sign of the cross before a competition. Here I write about Latinos/as who make the sign of the cross after winning some sort of award - are they really thanking God and glorifying Him, or is it more of a pious gesture? (After all, what if that for which they are being recognized is really not such a good thing - some song or movie, for instance.)

Anyway, Latina beauty pageant contestants often make the sign of the cross before the next stage of the competition, or after they've won. Why? Does not the nature of the competition actually show that they are taking credit for the beauty, rather than giving it to God? Are they really acknowledging/thanking/glorifying God for their win?

*Let us ignore, for the moment, the "talent" parts of the competition or the "interview," which depend more on the individual choosing to prepare or train herself; nonetheless, the ability to be trained and any talents also come from God, and any training must also be facilitated by God as First Mover and Cause. Let us also assume for the sake of discussion that such competitions could be made more modest through the elimination of the swimsuit portion. Such competitions, and competition in them, would still be problematic?

If participants in a "beauty" competition were to give the credit to God, would this also entail that they recognize the purpose of physical beauty? As a set of traits, which includes indicators of sexual fitness, it is meant to attract the male, for the sake of reproduction. It is not meant to be a reason for glorifying the one who is endowed with that gift; it should be understood with respect to its place within the order of creation.) Nor is it meant to be an advantage which confers themselves status within the male hierarchy itself, though it can enable them to mate with a higher-status male. How many women use their physical beauty in order to lord the attention they receive from males over males in general? Does participation in a beauty competition (even if it is a stepping-stone or entry point into the entertainment industry and some other position which ultimately provides celebrity) feed narcissism and pride, rather than being a way of humbling one's self and glorifying God?

Maybe there are some who enter such pageants in order to escape from poverty, etc., and attract a well-to-do male, making use of one of the few resources that they actually have, but even such an intention seems morally questionable, in the light of Divine Providence.

Any goods that the beauty competition itself involves or brings about seem to be good only within an order that is separated from God? (recognition, fame, exaltation, wealth, promotion, marriage) It is difficult to imagine a saint being involved in such competitions.

Do other traits of physical beauty which do not have an obvious connection with reproductive fitness nonetheless have such a connection? Or do they have a connection with some other desirable trait in a mate? Is female physical beauty related to some perfection separate from attractiveness to males comparable to "spiritual" beauty (that of virtue).

**It is probably true that such competitions have evolved in so far as they no longer recognize only or primarily beauty but those who would make good spokeswomen for some organization or cause or company - the standards of beauty may not have changed, but what is required of a spokeswoman has. Simply endorsing a beauty product is no longer sufficient.

The new season of Nuestra Belleza Latina starts on Sunday.

I had been intending to write something about Lawrence Auster and his declining health.  (CHT) I do disagree with him on many points, and intend to write at least one post in response to him regarding paleoconservatives. Today he writes:

Last night I was reading in the Catholic Catechism. I’m reading it because I am preparing to enter the Catholic Church. I know, that’s pretty surprising, given my long-time, extremely critical views of the Church, though mainly in its political capacity, not its spiritual capacity. But I have been unchurched for ten years now, ever since the Episcopal Church USA unambiguously ceased to be a Christian body, which was a very painful loss for me. Now that I am facing death, it’s high time for me to become a full Christian again.
Kyrie eleison. Please pray for him.

It has always been thus...

In the Constantinian Church?

Or, the Church of believers vs. the Church of numbers. (per Fr. Louis Bouyer)

Rod Dreher links to a comment by Leon Podles on a previous post.

I have been reading about popular Catholicism in the medieval and Counter-Reformation periods, and it has made me less alarmist about the current situation.

Peasant societies had their own ideas about sex and marriage, and largely ignored the teachings of the clergy on the sacrament of matrimony, on the sin of fornication – and on the seriousness of homicide.

The clergy tried to repress the animal spirits of young men (half the male population of Dijon at one time seems to have engaged in gang rape) by preaching self-control and condemning anything that might excite young men, including fireworks and dancing. I feel sympathy for both the Jansenists who wanted Catholics to be morally serious, and for the populace, who wanted some joy in their short lives of hard work.

Moralists can sometimes sound like kill-joys, but we need them, and the clergy often have that unenviable and unpopular role. But if they want to be a s rigorous as the Curé of Ars, they had better be as austere as him, or no one will take them seriously.

Adam DeVille writes in the current thread:

I would second Podles. A little history goes a long way. I’m just finishing John O’Malley’s superb new book on the Council of Trent, and the cases of corruption it had to try (not very successfully, at least initially) to deal with make today’s Vatican scandals look like a “glee-singing contest in a garden suburb” (to quote Waugh’s Brideshead). That’s not to justify any of them, of course, but simply to introduce a little sobriety to those inclined towards what I call apocalypticism on the cheap–Benedict’s resignation is the end of the papacy, Church, civilization, etc., etc.
Those who contrast the pious with the morally lax might distinguish between "true" Christians and "nominal" Christians. Others might talk about sinners who seek recourse in God's grace and the sacraments and sinners who don't. Rather than focusing on the blame that is due to those who knowingly commit sin, should we ask not ask whether there is something that we as members of the Church and instruments of Christ can be doing better in order to aid in the salvation of the world? Given that God wants us, in union with Christ, to participate in His saving plan, if we were less lukewarm and strove to grow in charity, could we remove some obstacles in the human heart to Christ?

Were things different in the early Church, before the legalization of Christianity? (What do we make of the severe penances given to sinners?)

John O'Malley, Trent: What Happened at the Council - his opinion on Vatican II.

Another Baseball Cap-Wearing Barbarian?

Catholic Church Conservation: First pictures after abdication show pope ....wearing a baseball cap.

Deneen Responds to Schlueter and Muñoz

Liberalism’s Logic and America’s Challenge: A Reply to Schlueter and Muñoz

(I posted a link to Muñoz's latest here.)

Liberalism and Natural Law: Deneen contra Schlueter by J. L. Liedl (his channel at Ethika Politika: The Purposeful Polis)


Will a woman lose respect for a boyfriend or husband if she sees him subordinate to, being ordered around (or berated) by female superior? She may be aware of it in the "abstract" and fine with it, but does her attitude and opinion of him change when she actually observes it?

A second thought:
A woman who has done extreme sports like ziplining or bungee jumping (or even rock climbing) - will she lose attraction or respect for a man who hasn't done it or refuses to do so? Will she think him a coward, even if he has good reasons for not participating in such sports? As a result of her history, does he have a greater need to show that he is not a coward, even if he has to demonstrate it through other, perhaps risky, physical activities?

More examples of women whose lives are ruined because of unrealistic expectations and by their own life experiences?

Dr. Fleming, Back to the Stone Age III: Natural Men C—Women and Men

TEDxTC - Winona LaDuke - Seeds of Our Ancestors, Seeds of Life

White Earth Land Recovery Project
wordpress blog
Native Harvest

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Vincent Phillip Muñoz Responds to Patrick Deneen

Sustaining American Liberalism in Principle and Practice

One does not need to accept Deneen's ascription of America's founding principles to liberalism in order to agree with some of his suggestions for political renewal. On that point I agree with Muñoz. But I do not agree with Muñoz's characterization of the traditional American political order, nor with his faith in liberalism.

Strength Training Instead of Cardio

How Strength Training Actually Does What You Think Cardio Does

Doug McGuff

A Place at the Table


China's Ghost Cities

60 Minutes via Business Insider

Allysia Finley on why the poor are leaving California.


Allan Savory: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change


40 years of The Tallis Scholars

BBC3 Radio Music Matters - Gallery

The asociated music program - it will be available online for a year.

BBC3 In Tune: Tallis Scholars, Steve Reich, Curtis Stigers (expires in 7 days)

Mark Sisson Discusses Sitting on the Floor or Ground

Floor Living: Do You Spend Enough Time on the Ground?

I posed a question about ground-based sitting to Gokhale method practitioners about what was better - sitting on one's knees versus sitting "Indian style," i.e. with one's legs crossed. The answer was something like this - sitting in accordance with Gokhale principles is easier kneeling; sitting with legs crossed can be problematic as it can promote bad positioning of the back, so one needs to be careful in that position.

I note that one sees "Crossed leg variation" a lot in Korean period pieces.

Monday, March 04, 2013

And You Thought the Jesuits Were Dying Out

But they're still pushing the neo-modernist agenda. In this case, Paul G. Crowley. Published in the diocesan (SF) newspaper, no less - Jesuit: Transition a chance to address church at ‘impasse’ by Rick DelVecchio

So are the Jesuits continuing to push out malformed, whether it be at the Jesuit School of Theology or elsewhere?

No Turning Back?

Record majority polled in Calif. approves same-sex marriage
Complete reversal in 36 years

While there is cheap energy available, the progressives and their indoctrinated children will be able to continue to push for the destruction of traditional society.

Special Liturgy for the Deceased at the National Shrine of St. Francis

From the FB page for Our Lady of Fatima Byzantine Catholic Church:

The date draws near...
Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom March 9th at the National Shrine of St. Francis
Share the news.

Press Release:
Our Lady of Fatima Russian-Byzantine Catholic Church will celebrate the Divine Liturgy (Eucharist) at the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi on Saturday March 9th. Choral selections include Russian composers Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Dmitry Bortniansky and Nikolai Kedrov with chant settings of Kiev and the Russian Imperial Court. This is a special liturgy served twice a year in memory of the faithful departed. Service is at 12:15 and will be sung in English. All are welcome. or follow us on Facebook!/byzantinecatholicsf?fref=ts

The National Shrine of St. Francis - info about parking.

Related: (Not really.)
From Jan 2012 - Roman Hurko's Divine Work
Latest musical setting of the Divine Liturgy, now in English, brings beauty of Eastern Christianity to a new generation: 'Epiphanies of the Awesome.'

To Be Released Next Month

Four Courts Press: Benedict XVI and the Roman Missal
Janet E. Rutherford & James O'Brien, editors
Someone said on FB that Fr. Constantine Belisarius had passed away (a while ago), but I couldn't find any official notice on the internet.

For the Miserere by Allegri Enthusiast

Digital download, The Sixteen - COREPSIN01 Allegri Miserere - Its Evolution

Saving Aramaic

How to Save a Dying Language by Ariel Sabar
Geoffrey Khan is racing to document Aramaic, the language of Jesus, before its native speakers vanish

Geoffrey Khan

A Grammar of Neo-Aramaic: The Dialect of the Jews of Arbel

Temple Design

I visited Bing Concert Hall yesterday for a performance by the Stanford Early Music Singers. The auditorium features state-of-the-art acoustics and science. I was impressed, even if the interior was more functional than aesthetic. What would the Divine Liturgy for your average Orthodox or Eastern Catholic parish sound like in such a setting? [Some] Traditional temples may be better acoustically if they lack carpeting and because of other factors (of which I am unaware) - should acoustics be a consideration for the design of temples? At the very least, designs that take into acoustics into account may obviate the pastoral/liturgical need for microphones, which should be generally desirable.

On the other hand, better acoustics may as a consequence require that a choir or schola receive better training. (There was a liturgical singing seminar at St. Seraphim Orthodox Church in Santa Rosa the beginning of February.)

Ivan Illich and Respecting the Culture of Others

Ivan Illich’s Politics of Carnival by Christopher Shannon
But while the American clergy tried to incorporate Puerto Ricans into the Church according to models of assimilation developed through the pastoral care of earlier European immigrant groups, Illich looked to the indigenous traditions of Puerto Rican Catholicism as the basis for an alternative not simply to Americanization, but to modernization in general.

His efforts in appealing to the culture of the Puerto Ricans in New York City may have been successful in preserving their ethnic and ecclesial identity and fostering evangelization efforts as a result, but does the success reveal the mentality of those who had been coming here? Were they willing to assimilate into American (i.e. Yankee culture)? Or were they just trying to hold on to their church traditions?

In New York during the 1950s, Puerto Ricans provided the most visible face of the Third World; in America, the danger was not communism, but modernism understood as a synthesis of secularism, materialism, and of course, cultural Protestantism.
A lot of -isms here. Would assimilating to a Yankee Church be better than no assimilating at all? The article admits:

The Puerto Ricans presented a special challenge to the Church. The earlier model of Catholic Americanization succeeded largely because immigration restrictions drastically reduced the contact ethnic Catholics had with their culture of origin. In contrast, Puerto Ricans were American citizens with access to cheap air travel, which enabled them to move freely back and forth between Puerto Rico and America. They were therefore able to maintain their ties to their native cultural traditions. Spellman’s initial efforts to Americanize Puerto Rican Catholics had been perfectly consistent with the integrationist ethos of the emerging civil rights movement; however, while African Americans conceived their struggle as an effort to reclaim a four-hundred-year-old birthright, Puerto Ricans saw America primarily as a place to work and had no particular interest in assimilating into American culture, or even into the American Catholic subculture.

If that is the case, what would be the appropriate strategy of the Church? To remind them of their duties as guests? Or to accept this lack of interest as something that cannot be changed (or even laudable, as resistance to American culture) and to foster it, evangelizing accordingly? Illich followed St. Paul's strategy (and the strategy of the great Christian missionaries) of being a Puerto Rican for Puerto Ricans:
For Illich, ministry to Puerto Ricans required a complete surrender of one’s own cultural values. He understood this surrender in explicitly Christian terms, equating it with the surrender of the will that precedes the reception of grace in traditional Christian theology. Although he was familiar with modern social theory, Illich nonetheless understood this surrender of cultural assumptions not in terms of objectivity or tolerance, but as “a beatitude of cultural poverty.” Illich spent vacations in Puerto Rico, walking and hitchhiking across the country, performing priestly duties and soaking up the peasant culture of the people; he became convinced that the future vitality of Puerto Rican Catholicism depended on the maintenance of Puerto Rican cultural traditions.
But he was not entering a foreign land, where Christianity had no presence. Is it possible, then, to maintain a separate ethnic ecclesial culture while adopting the civic culture of the surrounding community? We find out that Illich's successor was unable to protect the apostolate because he turned it into a social justice movement. As a result, the Puerto Ricans were repulsed, changing their focus from
the former Fiesta de San Juan (which had been transformed into the Fiesta de la Comunidad Hispaña) to the secular, nationalistic Puerto Rican Day Parade. While they may have wanted to keep a distinct ethnic identity, can it not also be said that they had very little desire to become a mainstream "American"? What if the duty to assimilate if they sought permanent residence here, much less citizenship?

Things may be much different now with the Puerto Ricans, though the article points out that it may be easier for them to maintain a distinct identity and culture so long as they are connected to the homeland and have access to it through air travel. But how many NY Puerto Ricans have adopted Yankee habits? How much of a distinct culture is left? Still, even if their culture is no longer as strong or different as it once was, so long as a distinct group identity is maintained, one with actual moral consequences with respect to the order of charity, this is a problem, and while Illich's efforts may have been right with respect to protecting their cultus, might they have been wrong with respect to the political common good?

Four Years of FPR

Mark Mitchell:
Our desire to promote the ideals of place, limits, and liberty through fostering political decentralism, economic localism, and cultural regionalism has touched a nerve. We have been praised in the pages of The New York Times and The New Republic, and we’ve have been dismissed as hopeless romantics (or worse!) by others.

Nevertheless, we remain convinced that human apprehension of the true, the good, and the beautiful through the cultivation of virtue is best realized within a dense web of meaningful family, neighborhood, and community relationships. For decades, if not centuries, a powerful and ever-growing centralized state, along with the cultural and economic institutions with which it exists in a mutually reinforcing network, has eroded these vitally important relationships—and diminished human liberty, community, and happiness as a result.

We believe that we are in the beginning stages of a “new traditionalist” moment that will help revitalize American discourse and community and civic life by reclaiming important aspects of the Western tradition long ignored—or detested—by most Western elites. Even though much in the news suggests that ours is a badly damaged republic, there are hopeful signs. It is our intent to highlight and nurture these good things as we seek to champion human scale, the “little platoons,” respect for the natural world, and reverence to God.

Carl Olson on Theosis

From December 2012: "Theosis and the Role of the Laity"

I've already linked to Orientale Lumen XVI. But I wanted to make a note of this - Mr. Olson writes:
" I'm pleased to say, on a directly related note, that I am currently co-editing, with Fr. David Meconi, SJ. (editor of Homilietic & Pastoral Review) a volume on theosis in the Catholic Tradition, which includes chapters by Dr. Daniel Keating, Fr. John Saward, Dr. Tracey Rowland, Dr. Joan Mueller, Dr. David Fagerberg, and several others (fifteen authors in all). That book will hopefully be available next year, if all goes all."

Letter from Patriarch Kirill to Pope Benedict XVI

Liturgia: Lettre du Patriarche de Moscou au Pape émérite

Benedict XVI Honored by Eastern Orthodox Hierarchs (via Insight Scoop)

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Nietzsche Wasn't 100% Wrong

Alpha Game: Nietzsche on women

The beginning of the solution: Anarcho-Fascism by Jack Donovan

The New Dress Code for Umerica

Last Friday some schools were celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday by allowing students to wear pajamas to school. Some of the teachers did this as well. Why encourage the children to develop bad habits they may embrace later in life? Plenty of teenaged and college girls have no problems wearing pjs in public.

Apparently in some schools the practice is tolerated on normal days.

Do I need to explain why wearing pajamas in public is worse than wearing scrubs in public?

Moms Who Wear Pajamas in Public Have Officially Let Themselves Go
The Pajama Manifesto
Wearing Pajamas in Public - Etiquette

Kunstler v. North

regarding Walmart - Reply To Gary North

Who's more "conservative" here, the Democrat or the [paleo-]libertarian? I wonder if North could tweak his argument to such an extent (i.e. Wlamart is good for American consumers and Chinese workers) that Michael Sandel would actually agree with him.

Old Woman, Old Woman! Old Man, Old Man!

40 is the new 30.

5 Guys today again - while I was there I saw at least two white older white couples with young children. Such families are a common sight here in the Bay Area - white parents who are in their 40s but have children less than 2 years old. Unfortunately for white people, their age is really noticeable. (I have also seen some Asian families that are like this, though.) Maybe some of them married rather recently, or they have been having difficulties conceiving for a long time. But how many of them decided that they were finally ready to have children late in life, after they passed the age of 35, while living it up as a "couple," either married or "single but in a relationship"?

Yeah, I'm quick to judge, but when this is a common sight it does mean something about the moral quality of the people, if the phenomena is due mostly to the last cause.

ABC: Garbage Central

'Red Widow' review: ABC's answer to 'Breaking Bad'? Not quite

More girl power.


Suppose the commercial networks decided that they had to start making shows for men again. How many of them would be willing to take a chance on a show that might be too "manly" and offend certain women, either because men were shown to be competent and dominant over women? What if these feminists started calling for a boycott? Would the networks be willing to put on such a show, for the sake of an uncertain return (I don't think there is much they can do to regain male viewers, at this point) and the strong possibility of losing their core audience, female consumers?

Not that the networks would be willing to consider such a show in the first place - why should they care about male viewers? Worse, some may actually believe their shows are appropriate for both men and women (CBS and its shows like NCIS, for example).