Monday, October 31, 2011

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's "Reformation Symphony" (Vth), Performed by the Dutch Radio Chamber Orchestra, Directed by Ton Koopman

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The Honorable Congressman Walter B. Jones


Catholic News Service profiles the "conservative Republican from Farmville, N.C., [who] has been pushing the Obama administration to end the military occupation of Iraq since the president took office in 2009," after having "pressed President George W. Bush to do the same for nearly five years" — War dead prompts letters of 'penance' from North Carolina rep.

"I am just sick and tired of people sending young men and women to die when it's not justified," said the heroic Congressman Walter B. Jones, in what reporter Dennis Sadowski rightly calls "a bold stance for someone whose congressional district is home to Camp Lejeune, the country's largest Marine Corps base, as well as tens of thousands of retired military veterans."

We learn that "he now maintains that the Iraq invasion was pursued under the guise of deceit, fed by misinformation and the manipulation of intelligence by key leaders of the Bush administration," and "also sees no need for U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan." "He has teamed with Jim McGovern, D-Mass., liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and conservative Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, in introducing legislation calling for the pull out of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan."

The congressman, "who was born a Baptist and became a Catholic in 1977", said he "opposes the Iraq War because of his Christian values." About his being "among the majority in Congress who voted in October 2002 to authorize the use of force in Iraq," he said, "I've always said I should have trusted God and voted my conscience." He is now "trying to make amends for his vote through a self-imposed penance: writing to the families of each and every soldier killed in those two far-off conflicts."

[As an aside, it is interesting for this Upstate New Yorker to remember that North Carolinians joined us in Anti-Federalism, and that some six decades earlier the Tuscarora people were invited to join the Iroquois as the sixth nation to join the "League of Peace and Power." Must be something in our waters.]

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Multiply and Be Fruitful

Denyse O'Leary reports on the implication of the fact that "it is mainly religious people who raise children, and more women in America are religious" — Why America might pull through the demographic collapse.

Noting that "in a modern welfare state where those who raise no children expect a comfortable retirement based on the labour of the children of others," the author suggests, "Raising children then becomes an act of faith with no earthly reward."

Of course, there are innumerable earthly rewards, but what would the matter to people who have made "he who dies with the most toys" their motto? So, when Fossti recently noted in his comments about the American resurgence that
    Fertility rates in aggregate in America are meaningless. What matters is who specifically is reproducing. Dysgenics reigns with respect to American reproduction rates.
he may have been off the mark.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

L.v. Beethoven's Missa Solemnis Performed by London Symphony Chorus, London Philharmonic Choir, London Symphony Orchestra, Simon Broughton

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Herman Cain Is Not Black; Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin Are Not Women

While acknowledging "substantive complaint" against the candidate "as a fan but as someone who sees Herman’s frailties," Paul Gottfried looks at the "maddening... assaults on Cain that have come from black celebrities" who "have questioned whether this Republican candidate is really black" — Is Herman Cain “Black” Enough?
    In contrast to the half-black Obama, who grew up in a white family in Hawaii, Cain, who looks like an African black and grew up in a poor family in segregated Georgia, is somehow making false racial claims. Despite the fact that he went to a black college, Morehouse, and preaches in a black Baptist church, Cain is dissembling when he describes himself as black.

    In a sense his critics are correct. Cain is not black, if one defines that classification ideologically and associates it, like Freeman, Belefonte, and the Congressional Black Caucus, with the politically correct Left. Similarly Michele Bachmann is not a woman; indeed like Sarah Palin, the media are free to insult her gender identity because she’s not for abortion and gay rights, attitudes that determine who is or is not a woman. From a recent TV special I learned that it’s only by insulting a woman with the appropriate leftist social positions, like Nancy Pelosi, that one is liable to the charge of “sexism.” One is apparently free to go after women, blacks, or any other group that we’re supposed to reach out to politically if they fail to think like Freeman or former House Speaker Pelosi. The double standard is that blatant.

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J.B.S. Peaceniks

The John Birch Society's media outlet reports that our man's "winning 82 percent of the Iowa vote, easily besting Herman Cain's 15 percent support," "could be seen as a victory of the message of peace" — Ron Paul Wins NFRA Iowa Straw Poll.

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From Salem to Somerville

"An elementary-school principal in Somerville, Massachusetts is out to abolish Halloween, among other innocuous celebrations, because it is 'insensitive' to witches or something," reports Tom Schlegel — New Witch Hunts for Halloween.

The author reminds us that "Somerville is a short drive from Salem," but fails to point out the direct line from Puritanism to puritanical political correctness. As any Catholic should be able to tell you, both are heretical deviations from the Faith.

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"Who the Hell Am I to Tell the Church to Change?"

The Young Fogey links to a post be a fellow who as far as I know is a far better Christian than I am — Huw: he’s gay. He’s Orthodox. But he’s not a Gay Christian. Said death bed convert Oscar Wilde, "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future."

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Drink Locally, Eat Locally


Thus far, the "not so fast food" at Tom Wahl's, home of the best burger in New York state, has been our choice when eating out, but for lunch today, the missus on I on a date opted for Garbage Plates at Nick Tahou's. I ordered a base of French fries and baked beans covered by Zweigle's Hots, chopped onions, and God only knows what else. I wanted to return there for dinner. For home, we picked up a Genesee Beer Heritage Collection 12-pack at $7.99, which includes the resurrected 12 Horse Ale, an "iconic beer" about which a local beer-blogger has waxed eloquent — Genesee 12 Horse Ale Trots Back to Consumers.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Glenn Gould Plays J.S. Bach's "Goldberg Variations"

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Four Tomes Against Progress



The above four books, the last of which, homeboy Christopher Lasch's The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics, I just finished last night, are essential reading for anyone wanting a different version of American history than the one offered by the two parties, the mainstream media, government schools, academia, the military-industrial complex, etc.

Each book profiles a panoply of thinkers who challenged Whig history, "the approach to historiography which presents the past as an inevitable progression towards ever greater liberty and enlightenment." Russell Kirk's book chronicles the most respectable challengers to the idea of Progress. Justin Raimondo's recalls mostly the old rightists of XXth Century America, who opposed militarism, imperialism, and the centralized state, while Bill Kauffman's goes back to the War of 1812 and forward to the present day; both books remind us that Progress has been synonymous with War.

Prof. Lasch's covers the most ground, bringing everyone from Ralph Waldo Emerson to French syndicalists to anti-busing protesters to offer support to the broad populist tradition he delineates. Most of the protagonists in the above pages ended up on the losing side of history, but as the great Orestes Brownson, a prominent voice in both Kirk's and Lasch's works, lamented, "Are there no calamities in history? Nothing tragic? May we never weep over the defeated?"

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God Save the King!


Pictured above is Francis II, who "is the senior co-heir-general of King Charles I and therefore regarded as the rightful heir to the House of Stuart, which ruled England from 1567 to 1707," who "would now be ruling Brittania" were it not or the "[t]he 1701 Act Of Settlement passed the crown to Electress Sophia of Hanover and her Protestant descendants - and banned all Roman Catholics from ever ascending the throne" — The first 57 people in line to the throne were Catholic.

Of course, things would have been radically different on these shores, perhaps, if Mother England had stayed the course, as Daniel Larison suggested years ago — Onwards, Jeffersonian Jacobites!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

R.E.M. Perform "Radio Free Europe" (and an Entire Concert)




"Before the hits and long decline, R.E.M. remade Southern rock," argues The American Conservative's A.G. Gancarski — Out of Time. Of the era from which the video selections come, when this blogger was a fan, the author writes:
    The early records—”Murmur” and “Reckoning” specifically—found the band using the vocals of Michael Stipe as just another instrument. He sang with a deliberate indistinctness, forcing repeated listens to figure out exactly what was being sung, much as Kurt Cobain of Nirvana would later do to similarly epic effect. Not that the lyrics were particularly deep: the opacity of the vocals made them seem so, however.

    By the time R.E.M. recorded 1985’s “Fables of the Reconstruction” the band was clearly staking its claim to a Southern identity. All true Southerners know what the euphemism “Reconstruction” meant in their region; it was much like today’s “Homeland Security,” Reconstruction in the post-Civil War era was a deliberate appropriation of a word to faciliate an unwanted reinvention of a culture. Songs like “Can’t Get There From Here” had multiple meanings, but for those from the South, one meaning stood out. Like his listeners, Michael Stipe and R.E.M. understood what it was like to be from nowhere, a spot on the map with one stoplight and two gas stations.
About the band's recent demise, he writes:
    Best band in the world, they said, in The Atlantic and in other, more downmarket outlets. And I would’ve agreed with them—if we had a time machine that took us back to the waning days of the Reagan administration.... There are those who say, “well, they quit at the right time.” But for others who were with the band as fans, before it became a business, the right time was in fact years if not decades before. For those who loved them first, the band was spent as a creative entity long ago.

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The Vicar of Christ Speaks to Agnostics

Reminiscent of St. Paul homily at Areopagus, Pope Ratzinger addressed "the growing world of agnosticism: people to whom the gift of faith has not been given, but who are nevertheless on the lookout for truth, searching for God," quoted here in Sandro Magister's latest — The Commandment of Assisi: "Purify your own faith". The Pontiff:
    Such people do not simply assert: "There is no God". They suffer from his absence and yet are inwardly making their way towards him, inasmuch as they seek truth and goodness.

    They are "pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace". They ask questions of both sides. They take away from militant atheists the false certainty by which these claim to know that there is no God and they invite them to leave polemics aside and to become seekers who do not give up hope in the existence of truth and in the possibility and necessity of living by it. But they also challenge the followers of religions not to consider God as their own property, as if he belonged to them, in such a way that they feel vindicated in using force against others.

    These people are seeking the truth, they are seeking the true God, whose image is frequently concealed in the religions because of the ways in which they are often practised. Their inability to find God is partly the responsibility of believers with a limited or even falsified image of God. So all their struggling and questioning is in part an appeal to believers to purify their faith, so that God, the true God, becomes accessible.

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Hillary Clinton's Reaction to the Sodomizing and Lynching of Muammar Gaddafi

"To openly gloat and cackle [as did the 'the revolting old harpy currently in charge of US foreign policy'] at the news of [Muammar Gaddafi] being abused at both ends, then dispatched by a ululating mob of savages, is coarse and ignoble beyond my understanding," says the Derb — The Rude Multitude. "Did John Foster Dulles dance a jig on prime-time TV when he heard the news of Stalin’s death? Of course not. People knew how to behave back then."

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The White Stuff!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Old Crow Medicine Show Perform "Next Go Round"

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Demographics Is Destiny...

... and the future belongs to "the only economic power with a fertility rate above 2.0 - and therefore the ability to outgrow debt - in sharp contrast to the demographic decay awaiting Japan, China, Korea, Germany, Italy, and Russia," or so argues Ambrose Evans-Pritchard from across the Pond — World power swings back to America. Not only that, our land "is well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy" and "'re-inshoring' is the new fashion."

(Also writing from across the Pond, Thomas Fleming announces the death of the parasite that's been sucking our country of her blood and treasure — The end of the American Empire: All that's left is timid little men pretending to be good.)

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Flannery O'Connor's Sacramental Art

Anne Barbeau Gardiner argues that author "Susan Srigley mounts an able defense of Flannery O'Connor's orthodoxy against critics who have argued that her use of the 'grotesque' was more Manichean than Catholic" — From the Grotesque to Love.

Against the claim "that she divided matter from spirit," the Professor Emerita of English at John Jay College of the City University of New York writes, "On the contrary, Srigley replies in Flannery O'connor's Sacramental Art, the author used the grotesque to hold a mirror up to modern times. Those characters in her stories who lay claim to 'absolute human autonomy' are the Manicheans. They are the ones who separate flesh from spirit and end up being grotesque, willfully blind, with no 'common vision of the good.'" Tolle, lege.

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A Reluctant Trip to Assisi

"I understand very well your concern about participating in the encounter of Assisi," Pope Ratzinger wrote to Rev. Dr. Peter Beyerhaus, long-time friend and Lutheran pastor — The Truth about Assisi. Never-Before-Seen Words from Benedict XVI.

"But this commemoration would have been celebrated in any case," the Pontiff continued, "and, in the end, it seemed to me the best thing to go there personally, in order to try to determine the overall direction. Nonetheless, I will do everything I can to make a syncretistic or relativistic interpretation of the event impossible, and to make it clear that I will always believe and confess what I had called the Church's attention to with 'Dominus Iesus.'"

America's own Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke further explained, "There are a number of dangers that such an encounter could bring in terms of the mass media communication of the event, of which – as it is clear – the pontiff is well aware. The means of mass media communication will say, even with the images alone, that all religions have come together to ask God for peace." His Eminence cautioned, "A poorly formed Christian could draw from this the gravely mistaken conclusion that one religion is as good as another, and that Jesus Christ is one of the many mediators of salvation."

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Let The Mystery Be" Performed by Iris DeMent, Russ Barenberg, Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, Donal Lunny


Agnostic Gospel music! What could be more American? Of course, "let[ting] the mystery be" and having it "all the same to me" is a cop out, and a supremely dangerous one at that, but it's a catchy number and you've got to love this lyric, which really speaks theological volumes:
    Some say they're goin' to a place called Glory and I ain't saying it ain't a fact
    But I've heard that I'm on the road to purgatory and I don't like the sound of that.
If only I could be assured I was on the road to purgatory and not some other place!

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"He Reached Down" Performed by Iris DeMent, Joan Osborne, Bruce Molsky, Sharon Shannon, Jerry Douglas, Aly Bain, and Todd Parks


Only in America could a songwriter "raised in a Pentecostal household, but [who] now identifies as agnostic" like Iris DeMent write such a great Gospel song. Jesus and the woman taken in adultery is one of the favorites of non-believers, and rightly so, but how much weight does it ultimately carry if Jesus Christ was not Who He says He was?

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Bringing Out Our Inner Sedevacantists?

The Editors at Taki's Magazine take apart this call "that a 'central world bank' and a 'global public authority' be established to right the world’s wrongs using the winged iron hammer of 'a supranational authority' mercilessly wielding 'universal jurisdiction'" — The Pope Goes Global.

Tom Woods, author of How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, clarifies, "It’s been idolatry not of the market but of central banks, institutionalized sources of moral hazard and financial instability around the world, that has yielded us the boom-bust cycle" — 'Idolatry of the Market'?

I have no doubt that Pope Ratzinger and his cohorts at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace mean well and are half right, but it is height of naïveté to expect secular governments, controlled from time immemorial by the rich and powerful, to police the rich and powerful.

The only viable "supranational authority" with "universal jurisdiction" is Holy Mother Church herself, and her tools are not those this world. In the meantime, corps intermédiaires, those intermediary bodies ranging from labor unions to manufacturers' associations, should be supported and promoted, so as to protect families and individuals from the State and supranational bankers.

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Black on Asian Violence

Thomas Sowell is the only national writer I've read who dares report on "local newspaper stories about black kids in schools in New York and Philadelphia beating up Asian classmates, some beaten so badly as to require medical treatment" — The Media and 'Bullying'. Mr. Sowell continues:
    But the national media hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil. Asian Americans are not in vogue today, just as blacks were not in vogue in the 1920s.

    Meanwhile, the media are focused on bullying directed against youngsters who are homosexual. Gays are in vogue.

    Most of the stories about the bullying of gays in schools are about words directed against them, not about their suffering the violence that has long been directed against Asian youngsters or about the failure of the authorities to do anything serious to stop black kids from beating up Asian kids.

    Where youngsters are victims of violence, whether for being gay or whatever, that is where the authorities need to step in. No decent person wants to see kids hounded, whether by words or deeds, and whether the kids are gay, Asian or whatever.

    But there is still a difference between words and deeds – and it is a difference we do not need to let ourselves be stampeded into ignoring.
This blogger's ESL mentor in the 1990s told me about the kids he taught in NYC schools who would write odes to the steel doors of their classrooms, which protected them from their tormentors.

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More NATO-Backed Ethnic Cleansing

Thomas C. Mountain on "the racist para-militaries who now rule Libya.... all under the approving eye of the first Black President of the USA" — Lynching Black Africans in Libya. An excerpt:
    The lynching of Africans in Libya has been so bad that African leaders across the continent have been forced to raise their voices in protest. When the President of Nigeria, the USA’s unofficial enforcer in West Africa leads an African wide outcry against the lynching of his citizens in Libya one would assume that it was heard in the Obama White House.

    With the murder or expulsion of most of Libya’s African migrant population well on its way came the massacre and ethnic cleansing of tens of thousands of Black Libyans.

    And all the while Barack Obama and his band of criminal cohorts in the western capitals and television news channels strung together words like “pro-democracy”, “freedom fighters” and “liberation” to describe the orgy of looting and lynching being carried out.
Mr. Mountain, a man of the left, can be forgiven for failing to understand that there is no irony here, that the "lynch mob is an example of pure democracy in action," with "only one dissenting vote, and that is cast by the person at the end of the rope" — Democracy Versus Republic.

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Hapa Hero


In a comment on my old blog, I proposed Count Richard Nikolaus Eijiro von Coudenhove-Kalergi, pictured above, as a new role model to the thought-provoking young man behind Stuff Eurasian Males Like. Why learn pseudoscientific sociobiology, when you can learn from the half-Japanese progenitor of both the Paneuropean Union (whose goal was "the unity of a Christian Europe, free of 'nihilism, atheism and immoral consumerism'") and the idea of a Race of the Future (which, "similar in its appearance to the Ancient Egyptians, will replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals")?

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The Good Doctor

Lew Rockwell posts "Dr. Jack Pruett, Ron's medical partner, remember[ing] the rules of free-market principle and Christian charity that Ron laid down for their OB-GYN practice" — The Rules of Ron Paul, MD:
    No. 1 is we will not perform any abortions.

    No. 2, the practice would not participate in any federal health programs, which meant that we will see all Medicare and Medicaid patients free of charge, and they will be treated just like all of our other patients, but we're not going to charge them and accept federal funds.
The chapter I wrote for Ron Paul: A Life of Ideas covered this period, and I learned the same thing in a delightful phone conversation — My Talk With Dr. Jack Pruitt, Dr. Ron Paul's Partner in Virtue.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

"Spanish Flang Dang" and "A Jig" Performed by Elizabeth Cotten

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The Conquest of the U.S. by Al-Qaeda

The Conquest of the United States by Spain (1898), in which William Graham Sumner "show[ed] that, by the line of action now proposed to us, which we call expansion and imperialism, we are throwing away some of the most important elements of the American symbol and are adopting some of the most important elements of the Spanish symbol," comes to mind with two articles from the indispensable Antiwar.com today — Welcome to the New America and The Return of Barbarism. Writes editor Justin Raimondo in the latter:
    Let us look at these “triumphs,” which, one and all, are marked by their lawlessness and bloodthirstiness: the assassination of Osama bin Laden, the drone killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, and now the lynching of Moammar Gadhafi by US-NATO proxies. The distinguishing characteristic of all three acts is barbarism – a studied disregard for the rules of war and the common decencies that define what it means to be civilized.

    That a US Secretary of State hailed the horrific death of someone – anyone – the way Hillary Clinton did in the case of Gadhafi would have been almost inconceivable in an earlier era: say, the 1950s or 1960s. That today no one so much as blinks tells us everything we need to know about the age in which we are living: to call it barbaric is to slander barbarians.

    Insulated by distance, and inured to “old-fashioned” concepts of right and wrong, Americans are largely indifferent to this evidence of advanced moral degeneration: after all, these things are happening in faraway places, not here in the good old US of A. It’s images on a television screen, or a computer screen: perhaps it is not real at all. They look at these images and turn away – not out of revulsion, but out of ennui. It’s just another day in the life of the American Empire.

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Could America Elect a Black President?

Jim Goad rightly reminds us that "when it comes to things such as skin color and having grown up in a segregated black environment, Herman Cain is a thousand Southern swamps blacker than Barack Obama" and that "unlike Obama, Herman Cain is descended from black American slaves" — The Big Black Elephant in the Room.

"In matters of acculturation, Cain was born in the Jim Crow South and once snuck a drink from a whites-only water fountain to see what it tasted like (the same).... His accent is naturally Southern Black Sharecropper, so he never needs to 'turn up the black' in his inflection as Obama is wont to do."

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

J.S. Bach's Missa Brevis in G Minor, Performed by Ensemble Vocal Lausanne et al., Directed by Michel Corboz

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Turtle Island Quartet Perform "Model Trane," "Monkey Business," and "Groove In"

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People of the Long House


We almost went to Toronto today, but not quite up for the dangers inherent in foreign travel, visited nearby Ganondagan, a reconstructed Haudenosaunee long house (with polyurethane bark, we learned) on a site that has suffered much "Since Predator Came" (in the words of Ward Churchill, who's been playing Indian since 1992), most recently by a visit from First Lady Hitlery Clinton in 1998.

In striking contrast to the harpy-like descent on the village by the then-future Goddess of War, in happier times, the area was home to Jikohnsaseh, Mother of Nations, a Neutral Nation woman living among the Seneca people, who helped convince the Great Peacemaker to unite the Iroquois Confederacy. This great woman, it seems, had more to her résumé than the marrying of a disgraced chief.

In sadder times, it was near here that the Sullivan Expedition would earn the Father of Our Country the nickname "Caunotaucarius" (Town Destroyer), given to him by Cornplanter, also born close by, whose half-brother Handsome Lake had a less harsh view of the President, and "declared that Washington was the only white man allowed to enter the Indians' heaven."

Since we've resettled on Turtle Island, we've been sticking pretty close to home. I'm glad we chose not to leave the country today, and not to hand over our tourist dollars to foreign powers.

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Catholic Social Teaching on the Free Market

    The free market is an institution of social importance because of its capacity to guarantee effective results in the production of goods and services. Historically, it has shown itself able to initiate and sustain economic development over long periods. There are good reasons to hold that, in many circumstances, the free market is the most efficient instrument for utilizing resources and effectively responding to needs. The Church's social doctrine appreciates the secure advantages that the mechanisms of the free market offer, making it possible as they do to utilize resources better and facilitating the exchange of products. These mechanisms above all give central place to the person's desires and preferences, which, in a contract, meet the desires and preferences of another person.
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 347, quoted here by Fr. James Farfaglia, with the obvious* caveat that while "the Church does not oppose a market economy, it insists on the primacy of the human person and the family" — The Happy Priest: The Case for a Free Market Economy.

* Obvious to Catholic free-marketers, perhaps, but not their Catholic detractors, who are more interested in building straw men.

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Not So Strange Bedfellows

Niranjan Ramakrishnan on the man for whom I ended up voting in '08 and the man whom I had supported and continue to support — The Children of Ralph and Ron. The former "has been behind practically every product safety and environmental safeguard implemented in the United States for over 40 years" (no one's perfect), and the latter "is an anachronism, a true conservative in an era of neoconservatives," who "has opposed every war."

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Steve Sailer on the Terrifying Extremism of Noninterventionism

"With John McCain issuing a vague death threat against Vladimir Putin following NATO's hit on Gadaffi, it's worth considering that McCain is an elder statesman of mainstream Republicanism, while Patrick J. Buchanan is a terrifying extremist" — McCain v. Buchanan.

"We similarly saw this back in August 2008, when little Georgia, then proposed for membership in NATO, invaded Russian-held territory," Mr. Sailer continues. "McCain responded with bellicose support for the aggressor, while Buchanan thought it was nuts for the U.S. to get militarily involved 600 miles south of Stalingrad."

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"Too Late To Cry," "Heaven's Bright Shore," and "Another Day, Another Doller" Performed by the Alison Krauss Band

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Friday, October 21, 2011

George Dyson's Magnificat in D and Nunc Dimittis in D Performed by the King's College Choir, Cambridge

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Information Theory vs. Darwinian Evolution

"George Dyson[, who] grew up around the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, built kayaks in Canada and began to think about the internet before personal computers were a household staple[, ...] talked with Martin Eiermann about the definition of life, human progress and the importance of cognitive autarchy" — "Information Is Cheap, Meaning Is Expensive". The second exchange:
    The European: The ultimate indeterminate process on Earth is evolution. Yet evolution doesn’t really require input and commands, it sustains and develops itself. That seems fundamentally different from the way we think about technological evolution…
    Dyson: Biological evolution is a bottom-up process. There are differences between the two realms, but there are also similarities: In both biology and technology, things develop into structures of increasing complexity. That’s what Nils AallBarricelli saw right away. He tried to understand the origins of the genetic code and apply that to the development of computers. The question was whether you could run computer experiments that allowed increases in systemic complexity to happen. And very quickly that stopped being an experiment and codes began evolving in the wild—not by random mutation, but by crossing and symbiosis, exactly as Barricelli prescribed.
To say that "evolution is a bottom-up process" is as much, or rather far more, a leap of faith than to say the opposite. DNA is information, and information suggests an informer, or, in this case, an Informer, as these articles indicate — Intelligent Design as a Theory of Information and Information Theory and DNA vs. Atheists.

George Dyson (science historian) is the son of Freeman Dyson (physicist and global warming skeptic) and the grandson of George Dyson (composer), who "composed some fifty works for the liturgy of the Church of England, including two complete morning and evening canticles in D major and F major, as well as a setting of the evening service in C minor for trebles."

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Yet Another Moral Panic

Thursday's Notes reminds us that "any incident on TV that is dramatic and bloody has been used to ever narrow the margins of the liberty our Founding Fathers fought to give us more than two and a quarter centuries ago" and leads to "the call to take away someone else's freedom in the name of 'safety'" — The Ohio Animal Incident: My Thoughts.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Iris DeMent Performs "Our Town"

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Devastating Local News

"Following all of George Eastman’s principles and policies would have prevented Kodak’s unfolding financial disaster," concludes Eric Englund — Buyback Blowback at Kodak.

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Upstate New York Remembers

Thirty-five Syracuse University were among the Pan Am Flight 103 victims in 1988 — Gadhafi's death resonates with Lockerbie relatives. "Ultimately, the one thing I hope is he had evidence on him," said the sister of one of them. "All the families really want to know the truth of how this happened. That has been our motto since 1988, and it remains our motto in 2011.

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"Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011"

Old Right Nader supports Congressman Ron Paul's latest act — Let It Grow. "Industrial hemp has a distinguished history in this country dating before the revolution and its founding," writes the man who earned my vote in '08. "The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper and George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew industrial hemp on their farms."

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Neither the Tea Party Nor Occupy Wall Street...

... are asking the question Tom Engelhardt dares to ask — Is the National Security Complex Too Big to Fail? "Isn’t it finally time to expand the too-big-to-fail category to include the Pentagon, the U.S. Intelligence Community, and more generally the National Security Complex?"

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God and Man

"The conviction that there is a Creator God is what gave rise to the idea of human rights, the idea of the equality of all people before the law, the recognition of the inviolability of human dignity in every single person and the awareness of people's responsibility for their actions," said the Vicar of Christ, quoted here by Austen Ivereigh — Catholic humanism is superior to today's exhausted secularism.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vivaldi's Juditha Triumphans, M. Custer, M. Nesi, K. Gauvin, M. Comparato, R. Basso, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Nationaal Jeugdkoor, A. Marcon

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Should Rick Perry Be Jailed?

News of "a press conference on the damaging outcomes of [his] vaccine push featuring families of young women injured" — Gardasil Victims — as "even the Big Pharma-owned FDA records 26 new deaths from the Merck injections" — Gardasil Kills Kids.

"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged," said G. K. Chesterton.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hot Tuna Performs "Hesitation Blues"


Then...


... and now.

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O Mencius, Where Art Thou?

The Western Confucian would have had something to say about this horrifying "[f]ootage of a two-year-old girl being run over by a van and lying bleeding on the road as more than a dozen people pass her by [that] has sparked outrage and soul searching in China" — Video of ignored dying toddler shocks China. "So far, 4.4 million comments have been posted on Weibo, organised under the heading 'Please end the cold-heartedness.'"

The Chinese are no worse than anyone else, just perhaps more modernized, and at a quicker pace. This is, after all, the land that gave us Mencius, that philosopher of the innate goodness of man, who said, "All men have a mind which cannot bear to see the sufferings of others."

The Sage continued, "My meaning may be illustrated this way: if men suddenly see a child about to fall into a well, they will without exception experience a feeling of alarm and distress—not so they may gain the favor of the child's parents, nor to seek the praise of their neighbors and friends, nor from fear of a reputation of having been unmoved by such a thing."

Has Modernity robbed us even of that most basic Mencian human dignity?

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What Is Water?

"It is a straightforward fact, corrections to it are endlessly ignored, but it is simply false to say that water is H2O unless we are speaking very, very loosely" — Water Is Not H2O. "The idea that water simply is H2O is one of those false reductions that people can't seem to get out of their heads."

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Crusade Revisionism

The New Beginning links to an article about an historian's argument that "the First Crusade was not a religious war, was not started by the Pope, was not really about regaining Jerusalem and was actually a direct result of a little local difficulty in modern day Turkey" — Historian Peter Frankopan is challenging a millennium of scholarship in his view of the First Crusade.

The director of the Centre for Byzantine Research at the University of Oxford argues that "the timing of the First Crusade owes everything to the domestic politics of Constantinople, formerly Byzantium and better known today as Istanbul, but then seen as the capital of the surviving Roman Empire" and "is based on a reading of Caucasian, Jewish, Arabic and Greek sources that have been overlooked by previous historians."

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Tolkienian Resistance

The Young Fogey links to a post reporting, perhaps apocryphally, that "when participating in a modern English-language Mass in the late 1960s/ early 70s, Tolkien spoke-out the Latin words, loud and clear - presumably continuing this protest to the end of his life" — Tolkien and the world historical disaster of Vatican II.

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"Both Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party Are Right"

Not an MSM headline I ever expected to see — Age-old ‘distributism’ gains new traction. David Gibson begins by asking, "Can an Anglican theologian from Britain revive an 80-year-old Catholic social justice theory and provide a solution to America’s economic woes and political polarization?" Some history most of you probably already know:
    The idea originated in England in the 1920s with the deeply Catholic writers G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc, who founded the Catholic Distributist League to advance theories inspired by Pope Leo XIII’s landmark 1891 social justice encyclical, Rerum Novarum, which challenged the emerging problems of the industrial age.

    The concern that both capitalism and communism were huge, dehumanizing forces gained some currency in the Great Depression. Its supporters, however, were often regarded as quirky or outright cranks, and were criticized as gentry who “drove down in their motorcars to discuss the abolition of machinery.”

    Chesterton and Belloc were certainly more convincing as authors than as economists, and while their calls for patronizing small shops rather than big chain stores sounded nice, they didn’t have much to offer in terms of real solutions.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

John Blow's Salvator Mundi Sung by the King's College Choir, Cambridge

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Striking a Blow for Culture and Civilization

Now that we're somewhat settled in, we've found time to venture out to partake in some of the cultural offerings of our new home, the first of which being this "modern concert staging of the first opera written in English" — Collegium Musicum - John Blow's Venus and Adonis. The world-renowned Eastman School of Music has events almost by the hour, it seems, many of them, like the one we attended, "free and open to the public."

It was a delight to see talented young people half my age performing three-century-old music. The choice of "modern concert staging" was appropriate, as it both cut down on unnecessary costs and added to the timelessness of the music by costuming the Greek god and his hunting companions as contemporary local hunters, in hiking boots, jeans, flannel shirts, orange camo vests, and baseball caps. The director staged some creative interaction between the instrumentalists and the singers, with Cupid, for example, smiting the two recorder players before their playful duet.

A bit of harmless homoerotic comic relief involving one of the "Graces" and the theorbo would only have been offensive to a certified ninny, and would probably not have been out place in John Blow's day. The amount of kissing on stage did make me blush a bit, but it was a young, good-looking cast, and it looked like they were enjoying themselves, just as I would have enjoyed making out with a hot young soprano on stage two decades ago, if I had been given a voice.

I plan on enjoying more such performances by future stars of early and classical music years before they make names for themselves.

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Big Government Anarchism

A phrase I came up with to describe the thinking of Noam Chomsky comes to mind reading this article from the Grey Lady — Intellectual Roots of Wall St. Protest Lie in Academe.

The headline enough should set any decent person against the Occupy Wall Street movement, but the article is well worth a read as it exposes the intellectual bankruptcy of our intellectuals. We are told that "Occupy Wall Street's most defining characteristics—its decentralized nature and its intensive process of participatory, consensus-based decision-making—are rooted in other precincts of academe and activism: in the scholarship of anarchism and, specifically, in an ethnography of central Madagascar."

We are told that it was on the "island nation off the coast of Africa that David Graeber, one of the movement's early organizers, who has been called one of its main intellectual sources, spent 20 months between 1989 and 1991," and where "he observed what he called 'consensus decision-making,' where residents made choices in a direct, decentralized way, not through the apparatus of the state." There, in "a place where the state picked up stakes and left," "instead of petitioning the government to build a well, members of a community might simply build it themselves." This is rightly called "an example of anarchism's philosophy, or what Mr. Graeber describes as 'democracy without a government.'"

But we are then asked to believe that this "ethnographer, anarchist, and reader in anthropology at the University of London's Goldsmiths campus.... transplanted the lessons he learned in Madagascar to the globalism protests in the late 1990s in which he participated, and which some scholars say are the clearest antecedent, in spirit, to Occupy Wall Street." C'mon!

Would the good people of Betafo, the "community of descendants of nobles and of slaves" that Prof. Graeber observed, who "instead of petitioning the government to build a well... might simply build it themselves," be so foolish as to petition a government they (rightly) saw as corrupted by corporate power be given yet more power to regulate the same corporations that corrupted it in the first place?

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"Undoubtedly, the Pill is a 'Gateway' Drug..."

"... introducing its users to promiscuity, premarital pregnancy, abortion, and divorce," notes George Delgado — Pope Paul VI's Prophetic Warning. "Shame on them and shame on all of us who have perpetuated the false dichotomy between contraception and abortion, he later continues. "They are truly fruit of the same evil tree. The sooner we and our Protestant brethren realize this, the sooner we will advance in the preservation and protection of life."

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Don't Panic, It's Organic

A report on an agricultural method whose "yields match conventional yields," that "outperforms conventional [methods] in years of drought," whose "systems build rather than deplete soil organic matter," and which "uses 45% less energy and is more efficient" — Organic Farming vs. Conventional Farming: Results of a 30 Year Study.

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Free Trade Ain't Free

While "[a]llowing exchange of goods and services across national boundaries appears innocuous enough, permitting all regions of the world to benefit from doing what they do best," David S. D'Amato reminds us that "the economic principle enshrined in free trade treaties is the preservation of corporate privilege, not the liberation of commerce" — The New “Mercantile System”.

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Democracy on the March!

Splattering a Goyaesque "tableau of horror" — Hospital is a casualty of Libyan war — and generating "a smoldering anger that could fuel an insurgency" — Gaddafi home town largely destroyed.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

J.S. Bach's "Mass in B Minor" Performed by L’Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Maîtrise Notre-Dame, et al., Directed by John Nelson

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Christian Gentleman, Constitutional Scholar

"[T]hat [Ron} Paul appealed to the majority of 'values voters' participating in their 'summit’s' straw poll just might be due the growing recognition that his ideas are not only constitutional; they are as well Christian," says Jack Kerwick, quoted by Lew Rockwell — Ron Paul's Christian Values. "The importance of this insight can’t be overstated," says Mr. Kerwick, continuing,
    The Santorums and Bennetts of our generation have long promoted the idea that the federal government must be enlisted in the service of “Judeo-Christian” morality. They may very well believe this. However, in appealing to “values voters”—the vast majority of whom are Christians—Paul invites his supporters to revisit a feature of their tradition, an idea rooted in the teaching of Christ to which the rise of the dominance of our federal government and the utopian politics with which this has been coupled has all but blinded them.

    This is the idea that the realms of politics and religion—“Caesar” and God, “the City of Man” and “the City of God,” as Augustine put it—though they may and often do overlap, are nevertheless mutually distinct. Those who would conflate the two aren’t just fools; they are blasphemers.

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The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization

David Kerr on why it was created — Pope believes secularized nations can become Christian again:
    “Modern man is often confused and cannot find answers to the many questions which trouble his mind in reference to the meaning of life,” said the Pope.

    And yet, he observed, man “cannot avoid these questions which touch on the very meaning of self and of reality.” Consequently, modern man often despairs and simply withdraws from “the search for the essential meaning of life,” settling instead for “things which give him fleeting happiness, a moment’s satisfaction, but which soon leave him unhappy and unsatisfied.”

    It was with such people in mind, that Pope Benedict said he created the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization last year. The council is charged with spearheading the re-evangelization of traditionally Christian countries that have been particularly affected by secularization in recent decades.

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Rethinking Rothbardianism

David Gordon informs us that "Murray Rothbard proposed a natural law foundation for libertarianism" and "argued from an Aristotelian–Thomist basis," and thereby "rejected as not fully adequate the distinctive brand of utilitarian ethics defended by his teacher Ludwig von Mises" — Was Rothbard Right To Criticize Mises on Ethics?

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"Reclaiming Small Town Conservatism"

Matthew Dill reports back from a gathering of folk "looking to transcend conventional political categories, perhaps seeking a better way to live anchored deeply in the soil of place threatened by the ruthless co-conspirators of big government, post-industrialism, and a culture committed to self-actualization" — There’s No Place Like Home.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

"Washington Blues" and "I'm Going Away" Performed by Elizabeth Cotten

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Hey Libertarians, Lay Off The Occupiers!

"It’s not their fault they’ve never heard a free market critique of corporate power, never heard someone pointing out that big business is the biggest beneficiary of big government, and never heard an argument for why genuine, freed market competition would operate as dynamite at the foundations of corporate power," writes Kevin Carson, in the best piece I've read thus far on the phenomena — Libertarians and Occupy Wall Street.

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The Persians Are Coming!

  • "Even by the forgiving standards of American credulity," says Alexander Cockburn, "the supposed Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the US is spectacularly ludicrous" — The Iranian “Plot”.

  • Justin Raimondo asks, "Would Iran recruit a used car salesman with a memory problem to conduct assassinations in the US?" — The ‘Terrorist’ Who Couldn’t Think Straight. "Iranian 'terrorist' plot unravels."

  • Ex-CIA Ray McGovern follows his nose — Petraeus’s CIA Fuels Iran Murder Plot.
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    Another War?

    Another humanitarian intervention, this one "come[ing] shortly after an aerial survey report confirmed that Uganda is endowed with copper, iron ore, cobalt, tin, gold as well as platinum" — Obama Regime Deploys U.S. Troops to Uganda.

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    "Do We Want a Candidate Who Is a Good, Moral Person, Or One Who is a Born-Again Follower of the Lord Jesus Christ?"

    I confess that I find it hard to believe that anyone seriously posed the above question, much less answered it in any other way than Jonah Goldberg's "curtain No. 1" — Morality, Not Theology. "It's difficult to parse what's the most annoying thing about all this. Is it the bigotry, the intellectual incoherence or just the incredible lameness?"

    That this Robert Jeffress fellow is even given a microphone is proof enough that America has degenerated precipitously since her Founding.

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    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    Alexander Agricola's In Myne Zyn Performed by Capilla Flamenca


    The perennial appeal of polyphony is on display in this contemporary music video for this XVth Century composition. Will the XXVIth Century, if there is one, remember any of the compositions of our times?

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    In Defense of Witch Trials

    Ugandan Christians find themselves combating "members of the country's new elite [who] are paying witch doctors vast sums of money... in a bid to increase their wealth" — Where child sacrifice is a business.


    "Child sacrifice has risen because people have become lovers of money," Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga Kyampisi Childcare Ministries church is quoted as saying. "They have a belief that when you sacrifice a child you get wealth, and there are people who are willing to buy these children for a price," says the clergyman. "So they have become a commodity of exchange, child sacrifice has become a commercial business."

    Leaving aside the fact that in our modern, advanced, enlightened Western world, child sacrifice also has risen because people have become lovers of money and has become a commercial business, one can't help but think back to the Witches' Sabbaths of early modern Europe and America, at which contemporaries reported that "human flesh was eaten... preferably children."

    Returning to contemporary Africa, the article says, "The ritual... was almost unheard of in the country until about three years ago, but it has re-emerged, seemingly alongside a boom in the country's economy." If it was almost unheard of but re-emerged, it must at some point have been heard of.

    Likewise, Witchcraft was almost unheard of during the Age of Faith, when our Europe was firmly in the care of Holy Mother Church. It had been known in the pre-Christian times that Wicca wants to reanimate, and only re-emerged with the upheavals resulting from the Protestant Reformation.

    Popular opinion, as shaped by fools like Dan Brown, is quite confused about this era in our history. Inaccuracies in The Da Vinci Code include the baseless assertion "that the Church burned at the stake five million women" as witches. History tells us that at most a twentieth of this number were executed in this manner for this same crime, that among them men were included, and that it was not The Church but several ecclesial communions and civil bodies that carried out these executions.

    But all this, however true, is utterly beside the point. Few would argue that child sacrifice is a crime undeserving of harsh punishment. If modern-day Ugandans would have good cause to try and execute witches, why not our own ancestors? We owe them at the very least the benefit of the doubt.

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    The Sage of Batavia Invites You to His Home

    "Next time you’re scudding along the New York State Thruway, Governor Dewey’s soulless reprise of the Erie Canal," Bill Kauffman writes, "stop off at our fair town, grab a beef on weck at the Pokadot, and sit yourself down on the Gardner bench, which marks the literary-culinary epicenter of New York" — The Last Picture Show.

    Batavian Beef on Weck? This Buffalonian is skeptical, Mr. Kauffman. Maybe I'll have to drive the 35 miles to find out. Then I'd only have to drive 27 more for the real deal.

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    That Iranian Terror Plot They're Trying to Sell to Us

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    The Pope, Train Travel, Peace

    Three of this blogger's things converge in this story — Train for Pope's Assisi Trip Making Trial Runs.

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    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    George Harrison Performs "My Sweet Lord"


    One of his "compositions [that] combine[s] compelling pop melodies and ancient religious teachings" from the National Catholic Reporter's look at the Beatle "who like Paul McCartney was raised in Liverpool's devout but grim Roman Catholic community" and went on to become "perhaps the most explicitly and consistently theological rock star of the last half-century" but also "exemplified consumerist religion" — How George Harrison changed the way we believe.

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    Why I Left the Left

    This "great example of the distorted collectivist mindset of Marxists and socialists who want to toss out individuality and liberty in exchange for centrally-commanded doublespeak" shows why — Occupy Atlanta hynotizes zombie collectivists with cult-like trance. Really, the mass-mind naturally produced at any mass gathering is dangerous enough without this Jonestown-like mind-control.

    The last protest that I attended was as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile on September 11, 1993, marking the twentieth anniversary of the coup that brought Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte to power. When it got violent, I felt my individuality melting away, and I liked it. It was time to step back. The water cannons chased us into a church, one of the few times up to that point that I found myself in a Catholic church.

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    "Can’t Our Spooks Do Better Than This?"

    Justin Raimondo exposes a "flimsy cock-eyed tale [that] is so transparently fake that it’s an embarrassment to the United States of America" — Iranian Terror Plot: Fake, Fake, Fake.

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    Western Buddhist Converts?

    "One thing that irritates me about Western Buddhism dabblers is that they don’t even seem interested in the question of whether Buddhist beliefs are true," writes Bonald — Buddhism and Westerners.

    Noting that "the attitude seems to be much different from that of conforming one’s mind to the truth about the world," he quotes a blogger as observing that "it sounds weird to say 'converted to Buddhism' though we have no problem saying 'converted to Islam' or 'converted to the Catholic church.''" Instead, the blogger suggests that "the way most people say it" is "I began practicing Buddhism."

    This, the blogger says, not only suggests nothing more than "a lifestyle choice" but also "makes a mockery of the most important thing a man can do with his time on earth." Amen.

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    Keeping the "Roman" in the Roman Catholic Church

    Sandro Magister reports that while a "cry of alarm has been launched by the progressive English weekly 'The Tablet'" that "the Roman curia again becoming 'too' Italian," there is, distressingly, "one Vatican congregation – and it is one of the most important and delicate – that today has been completely de-Italianized in its leadership" — Vatican Diary / The bishop factory no longer speaks the language of Dante.

    "The officials of this extremely important curia congregation were all Italian with John Paul II," notes Mr. Magister. "With the current pope, they are all foreigners."

    Rightly states Church historian Andrea Riccardi, "The curia cannot become a kind of UN, because it is part of the Roman Church and must maintain a particular ecclesial, human, and cultural connection with it."

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    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    Thomas Tallis' Spem in Alium Sung by The People's Choir, Directed by David Lawrence


    "On 10th June 2006 more than 700 people came to Manchester to sing Tallis' Spem in Alium, almost certainly the largest number of people to ever perform this 400 year old 40 part motet."

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    "Neuromania" and "Darwinitis"

    A physician-philosopher takes on the "rash of pseudo brain science that purports to explain behavior as varied as believing in God and falling in love" as well as "the idea that Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory can explain not just the origin of the human species—a claim Tallis enthusiastically accepts—but also the nature of human behavior and institutions" and at the same time aims to "rescue atheism from the currently fashionable atheists" — Raymond Tallis Takes Out the 'Neurotrash'.

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    A Dangerous President

    "Last week’s assassination of two American citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan," says the Honorable Congressman Ron Paul, "is an outrage and a criminal act carried out by the president and his administration" — A Dangerous Precedent.

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    Washington's Fearmongering Cracked

    A conservative for peace links to this very serious piece by the humor magazine reminding you that "politicians have agendas, and pundits want viewers" — 6 B.S. Myths You Probably Believe About America's 'Enemies'.

    Enlightening tidbits includes the facts that "Ahmadinejad doesn't even have the power to get women into soccer games (one of his campaign promises in 2007)" and that "South Korea spends more on its army than North Korea has in its entire budget."

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    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Hank Williams III Performs "My Sweet Love Ain't Around" and "Howlin' At The Moon""




    The son of an unrepentant thought-criminal — Hank Williams Jr. Doesn't Regret Obama, Hitler Analogy.

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    Free Somalia

    Ioan M. Lewis, emeritus professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics, on "a profoundly decentralised society with no effective national government" (as if those are bad things) — Understanding Somalia. We learn that "unlike the famous 'oriental civilisations' in the middle east based on control of water, [the fact that 'water is key'] does not give rise to a pattern of water-management associated with political hierarchy."

    Instead of "chiefs wielding centralised power in the familiar European pattern," "patrilineal descent functions as the basic principle of Somali socio-political organisation." Prof. Lewis explains,
      Government is bottom-up in the essentially democratic Somali world. Authority radiates upwards from decisions taken collectively by the "elders" of the smallest Somali social units and their delegations to larger meetings. With social solidarity (or political cohesion) built up by the coalition of smaller constituent units in this "segmentary" system, the larger groups - up to the clan level - are mobilised according to the closeness of their kinship ties and the mutual hostility which is assumed to divide those who are distantly related or unrelated.

      The result is a very flexible political system, well adapted to Somali nomadic life. But the flexibility comes at the price of stability and durability, and undermines the capacity to confront well-armed centralised power.
    A lot of the country's troubles seem to stem from the time that -archy broke out, that is, when a centralized state was imposed from without. Calling it "worse than colonial rule," the author takes aim at the "'transitional federal government' (TFG) [which] is recognised (with varying degrees of conviction) by the European Union, the United Nations, Britain and the United States," and wrongly "treated as an independent, self-governing entity." He explains that since "recognition was rashly granted, it has become increasingly obvious that the TFG is not a functional government (except insofar as it acts as a channel for aid to its own members), controls neither its country nor its people and, indeed, provides no functional services."

    Despite this "government," we learn that non-governmental "radio and telephonic communication have... greatly facilitated credit operations that enable the very large Somali refugee population dispersed around the world to sustain their kinsmen at home through a very efficient system of remittances." Prof. Lewis explains Somalis have even learned to live without banks: "In the absence of banking and government (except in Somaliland), the hawala (trust) credit system can be used to dispatch funds rapidly anywhere in the world without banks, making money available by telephone using all sorts of receivers, including mobile-phones."

    For further analysis, the Ludwig von Mises Institute has printed a number of articles on the country — Anarchy in Somalia, The Rule of Law without the State, and Stateless in Somalia, and Loving It.

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    Democracy on the March in Egypt!

    Obama's (or Clinton's) crusade is looking a lot like Bush's — Egyptian Regime Kills Dozens of Christian Protesters. "The government... sent armored personnel carriers and mowed down dozens of protesters," the report informs us. "At least 25 were killed, probably more — some crushed under tanks, others shot." May God rest their souls.

    Truth be told, Obama's crusade is worse than Bush's. While the latter's unleashed chaos and sectarian violence, the former's is unleashing state-sponsored terror. In both cases, the ancient Christian communities are targeted. Are the Christians of Syria, and the Iraqi Christians who sought refuge there, next?

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    Anglicanorum Cœtibus, U.S.A.

    Glorious news of "the first Episcopal church in the United States to convert under new Vatican rules meant to attract disaffected Protestants" — Episcopal parish in Bladensburg converts to Roman Catholic Church. "Members of St. Luke’s said they converted because of their longing for one clear religious authority."

    This blogger has been in contact with like-minded Romish conspirators here locally. I never joined, but the Anglican Communion served as a six-year way station on my via media between the High Church Lutheranism in which I was raised and the Catholicism to which I finally converted. In fact, about a decade ago, a week before being received into the Anglican Church of Korea, I got cold feet and would later that same year find myself unda da pope.

    While theologically the right thing to do, liturgically, it was a step down. If an Anglican Ordinariate Catholic parish emerges here, it may well be the right place.

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    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Johannes Ockeghem's Missa Prolacionum, Sung by The Clercks' Group, Directed by Edward Wickham

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    "Catholicism and American Classical Liberalism"

    A conservative blog for peace links to Ius Honorarium's debunking of the "the 'traditionalist critique' of the United States, particularly the American Founding, by Catholics of various stripes... as a deeply incoherent dialogue which fails to appreciate, on the one hand, the role of Catholicism in America from the colonial period through the first-half of the 20th C. and, on the other, the admixture of intentional and accidental 'pre-modern' elements in the American Constitution" — Catholicized America. Tolle, lege.

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    Value Voters Vote Values

    Lew Rockwell on the happy news that "Ron Paul, the peace candidate, wins the Values Votes Summit straw poll overwhelmingly" — Christian Right Turning Christian? These same voters even seem to " love his genuinely pro-life message: antiabortion and antiwar" — Conservative Christians Cheer Ron Paul.

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    New Blog, New Quiz

    Where are you on the political spectrum
    Your Result: Libertarian
     

    You believe in individual liberty and capitalism. You are fiscally conservative, socially liberal and likely to be a foreign policy isolationist. You just want to be left alone.

    Conservative
     
    Wingnut
     
    Moderate
     
    Lefty
     
    Liberal
     
    Where are you on the political spectrum
    Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

    Thanks to the fellow "Libertarian with Wingnut tendencies" at Thursday's Notes. I seem to have more lefty and liberal tendencies as well.

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    Friday, October 7, 2011

    Pharoah Sanders Performs "The Creator Has a Master Plan"

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    Führer and Pharoah

    "Before World War II, who was the rhetorical worst person in history?" asks and answers "The Explainer" Brian Palmer — Before Hitler, Who Was the Stand-In for Pure Evil? Interesting that both were statists who enslaved Jews.

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    "The Artificial African American"

    "Hard to believe that in this day and age, when nothing is suppressed on the grounds of indecency or irreligion, the writings of Flannery O'Connor should be 'under severe censure' for a single politically incorrect word," writes Anne Barbeau Gardiner, Professor Emerita of English at John Jay College of the City University of New York — The Liberal as Graceless Pharisee.

    What's more, the offending piece is not only "one of her greatest stories, the one that best expresses her 'redemptive convictions about race,'" but "the statue which gives that story its title is... 'the ultimate antiracist emblem.'"

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    LR on RP's Latest

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    The Evil of Eminent Domain

      Where the left sees big government as the lesser of two evils, the right tends to side with big business. If there’s one thing both sides can agree on, it’s that nothing is more evil than both put together. Eminent domain is a slippery legal concept that combines the insatiable greed of big business with big government’s unlimited power and then sprinkles the resulting mess with incompetence.
    So begins Gavin McInnes' latest — Bulldozing for Dollars.

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    Occupying Wall Street

    Daniel Nichols posts a "flyer addressed to the young protesters on Wall Street" — “Some Of You Are Already Distributists And Don’t Even Know It” — and later reports that its distributor "was warmly, even enthusiastically received, that there was much interest in the third way- neither capitalist nor communist- that he was proposing" — The Distributist Moment.

    "A vibrant, non-ideological movement, critical of capitalism and corporate rule, decentralist and democratic in its instincts?" Mr. Nichols ponders. "Could this be, at long last, the Distributist Moment?"

    However good to it is to see distributivists doing something other than bashing their potential libertarian allies, David Gordon is right to say to the protesters and "their hypocrite Marxist Millionaire supporters like Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon" that "if they really want to fight the cause of our economic problems, they should be fighting the 'Federal' Reserve" — Down With Left-Wing Hypocrites of OWS.

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    "The Community of Jesus"

    "They are Protestants," writes Sandro Magister, "but they follow the rule of Saint Benedict, and want sacred art to draw powerful inspiration from the liturgy" — From Cape Cod to Florence. The Artistic Road to Ecumenism. "They look kindly on the Catholic Church, as the monks of Taizé did before them."

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    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    L'Angelus Perform "Wait a Minute" and "Goin' Back To Ponchatoula"

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    Steve Jobs' Memento Mori

      Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
    From Burke to Kirk and Beyond... goes beyond the conservative canon — "Imagination rules the world.""Remembering that [we]’ll be dead soon" is the only wise way to live, but "follow[ing] your heart" is rather meaningless. That said, requiescat in pace.

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    Debunking Pinker

    The evolutionary psychologist's "argument that violence is on the way out does not, in the end, rest on scientific investigation," says John Gray — Delusions of peace. The reviewer concludes:
      Pinker’s attempt to ground the hope of peace in science is profoundly instructive, for it testifies to our enduring need for faith. We don’t need science to tell us that humans are violent animals. History and contemporary experience provide more than sufficient evidence. For liberal humanists, the role of science is, in effect, to explain away this evidence. They look to science to show that, over the long run, violence will decline—hence the panoply of statistics and graphs and the resolute avoidance of inconvenient facts. The result is no more credible than the efforts of Marxists to show the scientific necessity of socialism, or free-market economists to demonstrate the permanence of what was until quite recently hailed as the Long Boom. The Long Peace is another such delusion, and just as ephemeral.

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    Anti-Christian Pseudo-scientific Militaristic Gobbledygook

    Sponsored by the vampires at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — DARPA Symposium Speakers Consider Implications of Contact with Aliens on Religion. "Christians, in particular, might take the news hardest, because the Christian belief system does not easily allow for other intelligent beings in the universe," declared these military-industrial complexistas.

    What's going on? Alien invasion false flag? Project Blue Beam, anyone?

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    American Star Chamber

    At Conservative Heritage Times we read, "All those housebroken 'conservatives' who cheer President Obama when he ignores the Constitution to launch wars and smite Muslims might want to start paying attention to where this is leading" — Secret panel can put Americans on ‘kill list’.

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    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Jean-Phillippe Rameau's Les Indes Galantes Performed by Le Concert des Nations, Directed by Jordi Savall

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    Old Rightists on the Assassination of American Citizen Anwar al-Awlaki

  • "Many expected President Obama to re-establish the accountability of government to law," laments Paul Craig Roberts; "[i]nstead, he went further than Bush/Cheney and asserted the unconstitutional power not only to hold American citizens indefinitely in prison without bringing charges, but also to take their lives without convicting them in a court of law" — The Day America Died.

  • "When US special forces took aim at Anwar al-Awlaki, and pulled the trigger," says Justin Raimondo, "they ruptured the very foundations of our political system – and paved the way for its future collapse" — Anwar al-Awlaki and American Exceptionalism.

  • Pat Buchanan unrightly thinks that "Obama did the right thing," but — Was Awlaki an American? Commenter "Publius Cato" rightly says that Mr. Buchanan's "equating his death to Tokyo Rose, Lord HawHaw, Ezra Pound or the German Saboteurs is despicable, even though they were guilty of their crimes," because "they received their due process and the government was forced to disclose its evidence."
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    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Black Robe (1991)


    A post yesterday reminded me of Bruce Beresford's stunning (and stunningly under-appreciated) Black Robe (1991), a XVIIth Century tale of a Jesuit's spiritual journey to a Huron mission. It is a story of conversion, not so much of the Indians but of the priest, and not to some politically correct relativistic eco-religion as you might expect, but to the hard gospel of love as preached by Jesus Christ.

    The film's major goof was a casting issue. While there is nothing wrong with having the lovely Eurasian Sandrine Holt play an Indian maiden, hearing the Algonquin language butchered with a Chinese accent by some guy named Harrison Liu was grating on the ears. And Catholic nerd that I am, I also noticed the anachronism pointed out on International Movie Database page for the movie: "In one of the flashbacks to France, Father Laforgue's mother says she is praying to St. Joan. However, Joan of Arc was not canonized until 1920."

    Those quibbles aside, this movie stands the test of time after twenty years. It would be an insult to compare it with the laughable Dances with Wolves (1990), and it is better than either The Last of the Mohicans (1992) or even The Mission (1986), both excellent films in their own rights. Aside from the monumental Little Big Man (1970), the only such film to give Indians a more central role in a story about them (other than Cheyenne-Arapaho Chris Eyre's delightful Smoke Signals (1998), obviously) was right-wing Catholic Mel Gibson's Apocalypto (2006), and Berenson's film ends on an even more apocalyptic (for the Indian) and ambiguous note.

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    Big Pharma, Not the Pope, Guilty of Millions of African Deaths

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    Hope For Advent

    "If the Church doesn't work quickly to commission better sacred musical settings for the new revised missal translations, it will be an opportunity missed," writes New Oxford Review's Lucy E. Carroll — Revised Musical Settings for the Revised Missal? Her proposal:
      I propose that until such time as the musical settings of the Mass approach this ideal, congregations should boycott secular music and return to chants. With time, they will come to love them and prefer them. I also propose that classically trained composers prepare new settings for the revised texts and write in a style closer to chant and further from the secular world — free of pianos, guitars, percussion, and pop-style accompaniments. And most of all, I propose that publishers publish them and parishes use them.
    Amen, amen, amen.

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