Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Philip Glass' "Cello Concerto" Performed by Wendy Sutter, the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus, Directed by Steven Schick and Philip Glass


Today, Philip Glass celebrates his LXXVth birthday.

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Philip Glass Performs "Mad Rush" and "Planet News"

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The Only Anti-War Candidate

"Would Ron Paul go farther if he toned down this anti-war stuff?" asks Reason's Lucy Steigerwald — The Peacenik Republican. She notes that "the policy area in which Paul seems to have the most trouble influencing the conversation is on war and foreign policy, an area where Paul is a staunch anti-interventionist" (and the area with which this blogger agrees with him first and foremost).

Noting that "Paul clearly dislikes wealth-sapping programs like Medicare and Social Security, but he is just not as fiery in his rhetorical opposition to entitlements as he is in his pleading against a fiat currency and for a peaceful foreign policy," she writes that this "opposition to war is not just situational but ethical." Her conclusion:
    He'll keep on running, but the odds are he won't be the Republican candidate this fall, and his anti-war views will probably get most of the blame for that showing. But Paul has already won. And he did so by picking the absolute best thing—the most important, life and death issue—about which to be a purist.

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The Good War?

"World War II was not a straightforward death grapple between good and evil, says an eminent military historian," whose book is reviewed by MercatorNet's Francis Phillips — All Hell Let Loose.

Looks like a good read. Sir Max Hastings' The Korean War was the second finest standard war history this blogger has read, after Sir Hugh Thomas's monumental The Spanish Civil War. But the book that "builds the clearest case possible that war is to be avoided at (almost) all costs" was the decidedly non-standard Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization by Nicholson Baker.

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The Church Militant

"In forcing the Church to violate its own principles," writes Patrick J. Buchanan, "Obama has committed an act of federal aggression, crossing the line between church and state to appease his ACLU and feminist allies, while humiliating the Catholic bishops" — Obama Sandbags the Archbishop.

"Should the Church submit, its moral authority in America would disappear," Mr. Buchanan writes, also noting that "this a battle the Church must fight [and] it is a battle the Church can win if it has the moral stamina to say the course."

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Quote of the Day

"Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire" — Letter from freed slave to former master draws attention.

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Rightism ≠ Racialism

One of the points made by The New American's Selwyn Duke — Watching Our Language: The Left-Right Language Barrier. After noting that "it’s not uncommon for conservatives and liberals to debate whether groups such as the Nazis and Italian fascists were of the Left or Right," the author continues:
    Some will say that you can recognize the “Right” based on racial and nationalistic ideology, but the fact is that there simply is no unique correlation between groups which textbooks have labeled as rightist and such beliefs. For example, Italian fascism — and the ideology was born in Italy — never had a racial or ethnic component. And this changed only a few decades after its birth when, pandering to Hitler, Benito Mussolini enacted some anti-Jewish laws during the waning days of his regime. Even so, these measures were condemned at the time as un-fascist.

    Then there was Francisco Franco in Spain. While labeling him a fascist is more than a stretch, it is fair to say that he was on the Right, as he was a traditional monarchist. Yet he certainly had no racial agenda. And the same can be said about the man who patterned himself after Franco, Augusto Pinochet of Chile. On the other hand, socialist Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe is well-known for his oppressive racial policies.

    Of course, all the supposedly “rightist” men I just mentioned were nationalistic. But so were the communist Soviets and Chinese, and so are the present-day pseudo-communist Chinese and the old-line reds the North Koreans. The fact is that nationalism, a form of tribalism, is man’s default, his norm all throughout history. Why, in the Bible itself we see how peoples such as the Samaritans, Jews, and others exhibited group patriotism and looked down on one another, yet no one even today thinks of labeling them Right or Left or considers it unusual. What is unusual is the rather odd anomaly known as the internationalism of contemporary Western pseudo-elites (and do you want to wager on what will be the norm 100 years hence?).

    Of course, getting back to racial/ethnic agendas, it could be pointed out that as an example of elevating your group above others — and since nations typically have been defined by race and/or ethnicity — nationalism is at least a first cousin to ethnic and racial pride. But all this means is that most groups of every political stripe have kinship with such pride.
N.B.: This post is not a defense of rightism, just an effort at righting a particularly popular reductio ad absurdum.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

The Civil Wars Perform "Barton Hollow," "My Father's Father," and "Between the Bars"






Joy Williams, it seems, was once the darling of Contemporary Christian Music™. Thank goodness she left that behind.

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Ron Paul and the Church

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No Blood for Israel!

"The campaign to lure the US into attacking Iran has one big problem to overcome before the War Party can taste success," writes Justin Raimondo, "the rather obvious fact that such a war would benefit Israel, and not the United States" — Putting Israel First. The patriot concludes that "it won’t do to argue that Israel’s interests are not served by a US war with Iran: after all, if we aren’t allowed to argue in terms of what’s in America’s interests, and the interests of its people, then we are hogtied from the word go."

Perhaps it's time to revive the old "love it or leave it" canard and ask these neocons, "If you love Israel so much, why don't you move there?"

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A Woman's Right to Choose (to Kill Her Daughter)

"Indignation over sex-selection shows that abortion is not just a private matter," writes MercatorNet's Margaret Somerville — Gendercide: when choice becomes an issue.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

W.A. Mozart's "Great Mass in C Minor" Performed by the Alice Millar Chapel Choir and the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

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The American Revolution and the Six Nations of the Iroquois

    The American armies, waging total war, systematically destroyed all the Indian settlements that they reached. Houses were burned, apple and peach orchards chopped down, caches of corn, squash, cucumbers, beans, and tobacco and dry fields of ripe corn, hay, and other vegetables were put to the torch. Five hundred Indian dwellings in two dozen settlements were reduced to ashes, nearly a million bushels of corn were incinerated.

    [....]

    In 1784..., the federal representatives adopted a conscious policy of destroying Iroquois self-esteem, corrupting their leaders, and subverting their political system. James Duane, who had been lately a delegate to the Continental Congress and a member of its Committee on Indian Affairs, in advance of the treaty advised the Governor of New York to break down Iroquois morale at Fort Stanwix by every device of psychological warfare available to his commissioners. "They assume a perfect equality," he wrote; this attitude was to be broken by constantly treating them as inferiors, as a dependent minority group. It had been the custom of New York, Pennsylvania, and Crown commissioners for a hundred years to follow Indian usage in councils. Now these rituals were to be abandoned. "Instead of conforming to Indian political behavior We should force them to adopt ours—dispense with belts, etc." Their very existence as a political unit was to be denied. "I would never suffer the word 'Nation' or 'Six Nations,' or 'Confederates,' or 'Council Fire at Onondago' or any other form which would revive or seem to confirm their former ideas of independence, to escape ... they are used to be called Brethren, Sachems & Warriors of the Six Nations. I hope it will never be repeated."

    [...]

    This policy was out into effect at Fort Stanwix, where the initial Indian speakers were cut short in their delivery, informed that Great Britain had given their lands to the United States, and ordered peremptorily to sign articles of submission and cession. American spokesmen pointed their fingers at the Indians to emphasize each instruction: "... it made the Indians stare. The speech was delivered... in a language by no means accommodating or flattering; quite unlike what they used to receive." The credentials and authority of the chief Indian spokesman—a Mohawk warrior authorized to make peace on behalf of the Six Nations and all their allies and confederates, including the Ottawa, Chippewa, Huron, Potawatomi, Mississauga, Miami, Delaware, Shawnee, Cherokee, Choktaw, and Creek—were impugned, and the very existence of such a confederacy denied (although its reality was assured enough). And behind the whole proceeding lay a pose of withering contempt on the part of the white delegates, many of whom were slaveowners and only too ready to regard the Indians as lesser breeds. Washington, himself a slaveowner, about this time compared "the savage" to "the wolf" as "both being animals of prey though the differ in shape." And Washington, like many another American official, had before the Revolution become an investor in abortive schemes to acquire the same Indian lands whose final relinquishment was a prime object of the treaties at forts Stanwix, McIntosh, and Finney.
Anthony F. C. Wallace, in a chapter entitled "Slums in the Wilderness" from The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca.

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True Exceptionalism

"The American exceptionalism that has become an unchallengeable part of political discourse in the United States has taken on substantive trappings that are not at all intrinsic to the concept that America is indeed an exceptional place," begins The National Interest's Paul R. Pillar in his short piece about "a version of exceptionalism that has long standing in American political thought, that views American values and institutions as just as special as anyone else views them, and is not burdened with the unhelpful latter-day trappings" — Jeffersonian Exceptionalism.

Mr. Pillar quotes the definer of the term as saying that we Jeffersonians "believe that the specific cultural, social, and political heritage of the United States is a special treasure to be conserved, defended, and passed on to future generations." This is, of course, true of any true patriot of any true country.

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America's Postwar War Death-toll

Daniel Nichols quotes John Tirman reminding us, "The major wars the United States has fought since the surrender of Japan in 1945 — in Korea, Indochina, Iraq and Afghanistan — have produced colossal carnage," and noting that "we do not have an accurate sense of how many people died, but [offering] a conservative estimate" — America’s 6 Million.

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Hyperpolyglots

Michael Erard's review mentions Giuseppe Mezzofanti, "the nineteenth-century Bolognese cardinal who was reputed to speak between thirty and seventy languages, ranging from Chaldaean to Algonquin" — Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners. More:
    He spoke them so well, and with such a feather-light foreign accent, according to his Irish biographer, that English visitors mistook him for their countryman Cardinal Charles Acton. (They also said he spoke as if reading from The Spectator.) His ability to learn a language in a matter of days or hours was so devilishly impressive that one suspects Mezzofanti pursued the cardinalate in part to shelter himself from accusations that he had bought the talent from Satan himself.
Today, the author suggests, "no one succeeds in switching from Abkhaz to Quechua to Javanese in the way Mezzofanti was said to," but mentions someone I almost knew, a Catholic who used to live across town from me in Pohang teaching at the Protestant Handong Global University, and whose book, Historical, Literary, and Cultural Approach to the Korean Language, the best on the subject, graces my shelf:
    Among the more impressive workhorses is Alexander Arguelles, who, at the time of his first meeting with Erard, is an unemployed academic and jogging enthusiast living in California. Arguelles reads novels in Dutch, writes and reads classical Arabic, and translates Korean for cash on the side. But he also spends twelve hours every day learning languages and obsessively cataloguing his progress. In his case, the hyperpolyglottism appears to be simply compulsive behavior.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

W.A. Mozart's Requiem Performed by the Wiener Symphoniker and Wiener Staatsopernchor, Directed by Karl Böhm

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"It's not a Catholic thing. It's a natural thing. It's a human thing."

Cardinal-designate Archbishop Timothy Michael Dolan speaks — Dolan: Natural law, not religious preference, dictates all life sacred. Said His Soon-to-Be Eminence:
    Our society has caricatured natural law as some medieval tool the church is using to justify its own unique and antiquated system of teaching. Of course, the opposite is true. Natural law theory is not uniquely Catholic, it's human.

    Some of the greatest exponents of the natural law, like Aristotle and Cicero, never heard of the Catholic Church. These things we teach are not true because they happen to be taught by the church. We teach them because they happen to be true. Their truth antedates the church.

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Jonah Goldberg Half-Right

"President Obama's State of the Union address was disgusting," rightly says the Neocon, as it "celebrated martial virtues... to convince the American people that they should fall in line and march in lockstep" — Obama's Vision for a Spartan America. An excerpt:
    He said of the military: "At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They're not consumed with personal ambition. They don't obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together. Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example. Think about the America within our reach."

    That is disgusting.

    What Obama is saying, quite plainly, is that America would be better off if it wasn't America any longer. He's making the case not for American exceptionalism, but Spartan exceptionalism.

    It's far worse than anything George W. Bush, the supposed warmonger, ever said. Bush, the alleged fascist, didn't want to militarize our free country; he tried to use our military to make militarized countries free.
That, too, Mr. Goldberg, is disgusting. "Empire abroad, entails tyranny at home," observed Hannah Arendt.

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The Federalist Papers as Guide to the Constitution?

Reminding us that "opponents of the Constitution feared that the document would prove an instrument for the incremental establishment of a centralized dictatorship over the people," Prof. Clyde N. Wilson minces no words arguing that "in interpretation we ought to be guided by what the proponents of the Constitution plainly said it intended" — The Founding Fathers’ Guide to the Constitution. An excerpt:
    Third-string "political philosophers" and "Constitutional scholars," and even learned jurists, have made an icon out of The Federalist, but it is only one of many discussions of the Constitution. It was a partisan document designed to overcome the objections of New York, and was not very convincing to its audience since ratification passed in New York by the narrowest possible margin Furthermore, it discusses the Constitution as it was merely a proposal under consideration and not the Constitution as ratified by the people of the States, who made their intentions clear in the undisputable language of the 10th Amendment. The authors – Madison, Hamilton, and Jay – were all disappointed that the Constitution did not centralize power as much as they would have liked, yet realized what they had to say to win over the majority. On the part of Alexander Hamilton, contributions to The Federalist were outright dishonest, because once he got into power he worked to do all sorts of things that he claimed the Constitution did not authorize.

    The Federalist, which we see cited all the time as the key to the Constitution is speculation and was never ratified by anybody. But handicapped thinkers read Madison’s philosophical ruminations, nearly all of which have been proved superficial and wrong, and imagine themselves participating in deep thoughts about government and learning about the true Constitution. This is part of the long-established practice of treating the Constitution as something sacred handed down by divine wisdom rather than understanding it by its real history.

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President John Tyler's Grandsons

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper Performs "Sunday Shoes," "Aubergine" and "Crane Your Neck""

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An American Roepkean Moment?

Rightly noting that "the Republican and Democratic parties are two dead ends in the same blind alley, ... so odious are their respective defections from basic Christian morality and the authentic teaching of the Church," Vox Nova's Mark Gordon looks to Europe — An American Christian-Democratic Movement?

European Christian democracy gave us the great Wilhelm Röpke, or rather vice versa, who "concluded that free markets' vaunted efficiency and affluence can exact social and spiritual forfeits, ... envisioned a positive and more extensive role for the state, as rule-maker, enforcer of competition, and provider of basic social security," but "remained a political decentralist." His magnum opus, A Humane Economy: The Social Framework of the Free Market, should really be read by all.

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The Statism of the Union Address

Libertas et Memoria links to Megan McArdle's analysis that "the president's vision of the world is a lightly updated 1950s technocracy without the social conservatism, and with solar panels instead of rocket ships," and that this "military model of society--employed by both Obama, and a whole lot of 1950s good government types--was actually a kind of creepy way to live" — The President's Nostalgianomics.

The dystopian vision: "Government and labor and business working in tightly controlled concert, with nice people like Obama at the reins--all the inventions coming out of massive government or corporate labs, and all the resulting products built by a heavily unionized workforce that knows no worry about the future."

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U.S.S.A.

"Where the old Comintern of Lenin sought to instigate communist revolutions across the West and its empires," writes Patrick J. Buchanan, "post-Cold War America decided to promote democratic revolutions to remake the world in the image of late 20th century America" — Who Gave Us the Right to Remake the World? "Jefferson had it right, 'We wish not to meddle with the internal affairs of any country.'"

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper Performs "Regarding Ascending the Stairs" and "Almond Colored Sheets"

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Rochester's Best Beer in America's Best Can


"Our take on the 16th century German legend has turned out to be a legend in its own right," says the brewery of its Genesee Bock Beer. "For every spring since 1951, our brewery has carefully crafted and lagered Genesee Bock Beer. The result is an exceptionally hearty, full-flavored beer with a slight malty finish—and a perfect way to celebrate the snow melt."

Bock "is historically associated with special occasions, often religious festivals such as Christmas, Easter or Lent," and has "a long history of being brewed and consumed by Bavarian monks as a source of nutrition during times of fasting."

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The Battle of Los Angeles

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The Father of Reaganomics on "Washington’s Grotesque Hypocrisy"

"Washington has kept America at war for ten years while millions of Americans lost their jobs and their homes," writes Paul Craig Roberts; "War and a faltering economy have exploded the national debt, and a looming bankruptcy is being blamed on Social Security and Medicare" — War Abroad; Austerity at Home.

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Robert Burns Quoted by Ralph Nader

    And would some Power the small gift give us.
    To see ourselves as others see us!
    It would from many a blunder free us…
The Scottish poet whose birthday is today quoted by the American who got my vote in '08 — In the Age of Robotic Weapons. The man The American Conservative's Justin Raimondo hailed as "Old Right Nader" concludes with some questions:
    Can the most militarily powerful country in the world, many of whose people and soldiers are opposed or have serious doubts about why we are continuing to pursue these senseless undeclared wars of aggression that create more hatred and enemies, look with empathy at what those people, whom we are pummeling, are going through? Will the Pentagon, which doesn’t estimate civilian casualties, let its officials speak publically about the millions of such casualties—deceased, injured and sick—that have afflicted innocent Iraqis, Afghanis and Pakistanis?

    Will our current crop of political candidates for Congress and the Presidency ever reflect on the wise words of our past Generals—Dwight Eisenhower, George Marshall and earlier Smedley Butler—about the folly and gore, not the glory of war?

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Remember Fallujah

"Not one story in the mainstream corporate media mentioned the crucial point that what had been done to Fallujah was a massive war crime or really multiple war crimes," writes Dave Lindorff of "the collective punishment of a population for the actions of a few enemy fighters within their midst, the refusal to allow civilians to evacuate the scene of a battle, the wanton destruction of a city, etc." — See No Evil. More:
    The Nuremberg Charter, as well as the Geneva Conventions, drawn up in 1949 and approved by the US Senate, make it clear that collective punishment, as practiced widely, particularly on the Eastern Front in World War II by the Nazi Wehrmacht, is a war crime. As Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention puts it:

      No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.

    Other Geneva Conventions were also violated by the US assaults on Fallujah, which featured the deliberate targeting of hospitals and ambulances, as well as the active refusal to allow male non-combatants to flee the scene of impending battle, the execution of wounded or captured enemy fighters, and the denial of protected status to boys under the age of 18 who were seeking to flee the scene of battle.

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Tel Aviv's Candidate

Justin Raimondo offers a "look at the way Sheldon Adelson is buying the Republican nomination for his sock puppet, Newt Gingrich" — Adelson, Gingrich, and the Selling of America. "Furthermore, it is a national disgrace that Miriam Adelson – who has not renounced her Israeli citizenship – can write a $5 million check and hand it to a candidate who is beating the war drums day and night on Israel’s behalf."

'Twas Russell Kirk who reminded us, "Not seldom has it seemed as if some eminent Neoconservatives mistook Tel Aviv for the capital of the United States."

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Gary North on the Fall of Kodak

He calls it "a classic story of a fat and sassy firm with a near monopoly in its field that did not bother to adjust to changing customer demand" — Kodak Moments: Out of Focus. A particularly perceptive excerpt:
    Kodak's executives made a fundamental mistake in 1975. This mistake is almost universal. It did not understand what business it was in. If you had asked a Kodak executive what business the company was in, he would have said "the film business." Kodak was famous for its film. But it was not in the film business. It was in the photography business. Kodak film buyers bought the film in order to get pictures.
Far worse than such short-sighted foolishness is this:
    In 1995, Kodak charged Fuji with trade violations in Japan. Kodak complained to the U.S. government under section 301 of the U.S. Trade Representative's rules. The government in 1996 prudently turned the case over to the World Trade Organization, which had opened for anti-business in 1995. This was the first case where the WTO decided on an antitrust issue, took Fuji before the World Trade Organization. It lost the case in late 1997. From the beginning, Kodak had a hard time proving its case. Japan had eliminated all tariffs on imported film in 1994. It had been slowly reducing tariffs on film for years, yet Kodak could not increase its market share in Japan. Fuji blamed Kodak's lack of competition.

    Here is the irony of Kodak's case. In 1994, Kodak had brought a lawsuit against the U.S. government asking that the antitrust limits placed on the firm in 1921 and again in 1954 be removed. Kodak had a dominant share of the U.S. market, the government claimed. "Only because we offer better products," Kodak replied. Kodak won the case. The limits were removed. Then Kodak asked the government to go after Fuji in Japan.

    The hypocrisy of Kodak is obvious to anyone who understands economics. The company believed in domestic dominance apart from antitrust, but it also believed in antitrust intervention in Japan. It was focused on government, not customers.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Johnny Cash Performs "The Ballad Of Ira Hayes/As Long As The Grass Shall Grow"


The Man in Black playing Indian. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, and Cash is probably more Indian than the likes of Ward Churchill or Jamake Highwater.

I stumbled across the latter song doing some research on the book I'm currently reading, The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca, about the local prophet Handsome Lake. The song, written by Peter La Farge, refers to the flooding of the Allegheny Reservoir in violation of the Treaty of Canandaigua. The former song is about Ira Hayes, "one of the six men immortalized in the iconic photograph of the flag raising on Iwo Jima during World War II."

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The Late, Great Joseph Sobran on the Honorable Ron Paul

"The Reluctant Anarchist" in '08 called the Good Dcotor "the only Republican candidate for president who is truly what all the others pretend to be, namely, a conservative," whose "career shows that a patriotic, pacific conservatism isn’t a paradox" — The Honor of Ron Paul.

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Merchants of Death

"Why is the U.S. making warbirds instead of Thunderbirds?" asks The American Conservative's William J. Astore — Weapons ‘R’ Us.

"Yes, we’re the world’s foremost 'merchants of death,' the title of a best-selling exposé of the international arms trade published to acclaim in the U.S. in 1934," says Mr. Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF), of a time when "most Americans saw themselves as war-avoiders rather than as war-profiteers. The evil war-profiteers were mainly European arms makers like Germany’s Krupp, France’s Schneider, or Britain’s Vickers."

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Cloud Cult Perform "Chain Reaction," "Step Forward," and "The Ghost Inside Our House"

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Some Advice for Ron Paul

Paul Craig Roberts gives it — How Libertarian Dogmatists Are Sabotaging Ron Paul’s Campaign. Says the "co-founder of Reaganomics," "My complaint is that the only candidate who could bring back the Constitution cannot be elected because of the inflexibility and sectarianism of his base."

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Mass Burials in Obamaland

From the Antipodes, cryptogon.com asks, "Is this just par for the course in the U.S. now? The new normal? Nothing to see here?" — Is There a Single U.S. Mainstream News Story About the Mass Burial of 30 People Outside Chicago Last Wednesday? From across the Pond, the story he is referring to — Third world America: Bodies driven to a pauper's burial in a U-Haul as tough economic times lead to more mass graves.

On these shores, the editors of Taki's Magaizine report that "500 bodies—including the corpses of an estimated 100 babies—were crammed into a storage unit designed for 300" — Stacking up Debt (and Bodies) in Illinois.

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80%

That's the "abortion rate of those with disabilities" reported on in this story — Archbishop Chaput urges respect for life amid high disabled abortion rate.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Josquin Desprez' Præter Rerum Seriem Performed by the Gabrieli Consort and Players, Directed by Paul McCreesh

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Michel de Montaigne’s "Of A Monstrous Child"

Vox Nova's Pentimento has a powerful meditation including a reflection on the essay "in which the Renaissance humanist describes a grotesquely-deformed toddler whom he met on the streets of Paris, being exhibited by his caretakers as a begging lure" — “Those that we call monsters are not so to God”. "In the end, Montaigne surprises the reader by concluding that it is the shock and horror that men express when they encounter something so outside of the ordinary that is contrary to nature, and not the thing itself."

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Steve Sailer on the French, Freud, and Autism

"[T]he French continuing to blame autism on 'refrigerator mothers' is hard to reconcile with my late-in-life Francophilia" — Do the French still believe in Freud? He reports on "a small documentary film about autism" contrasting "Guillaume, who has been treated with the behavioral, or 'American, approach; [with] Julien, who has been kept in an asylum for six years and treated with psychoanalysis."

Mr. Sailer's devastating conclusion:
    I'm not hugely optimistic about the efficacy of the "American" approaches, but the good news is that they at least tend to be more motivated by attempts to find something to help the children than to keep elderly acolytes of a defunct dogma employed. Aged Freudians guilt-tripping the moms of autistic kids doesn't do anybody any good, except keeping the old shrinks from realizing they've wasted their lives.

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War Without End, Amen

The American Conservative's Jon Basil Utley "shows how evangelical leaders put support for wars ahead of their social values" — Evangelicals, Ron Paul and War. An excerpt:
    Isn’t Ron Paul a social conservative? He opposes abortion, gay marriage and promiscuous sex, he has never been divorced and certainly supports family values, but he believes in limited government. Two of his brothers are ministers. Why then are evangelical leaders now opting for Santorum, and before him Gingrich? The one big area of disagreement with Ron Paul is war; foreign wars and the domestic one against drugs. For this they oppose him. Santorum supports unending war in Afghanistan, backing Israel without limit and a new war against Iran.

    Earlier there was a major far leftist candidate who supported all the issues that evangelicals oppose, and was a vocal proponent for expanding Israeli settlements on the West Bank and promoting the war on Iraq. He was overjoyed when open homosexuality became allowed in the military, he supports abortion, gay marriage and the leftist agenda for big, intrusive government; power to labor unions as well as expanded, unconstitutional police powers within the U.S. Evangelicals adore him and went all out to support him 2006, when he lost his primary race and ran as an independent for the Senate. He is Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Horse Feathers Perform "Drain You" and "Starving Robins"

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Vaticanomics

"The decline in births, from the 70s to our days, is what has led us to the present situation of economic crisis" — Vatican Financial Expert Indicates Root of Economic Crisis.

"If they wish to give back to the economy its true role, if they wish to overcome the idea that society does not grow just by producing more, we must recover conjugal love, the first community where people learn not only to produce, but to build" — The Family Presented as Antidote to Economic Crisis.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Horse Feathers Perform "Belly of June" and "Thistled Spring"

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William Byrne on Edmund Burke

The American Conservative's Gerald J. Russello reviews a book that "wants to rescue Burke from those who would claim him for either the natural law or utilitarian movements" and argues that "Burke believed in universally applicable principles but did not, contra the natural-law crowd, believe they could be expressed in eternal cultural forms" — Postmodern Burke.

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Steve Sailer on Women's Boxing... and Men's

The sports writer rejects the "debut of Women's Boxing as an Olympic sport," calling it "a pseudo-feminist trashsport that briefly flourished in the 1990s when impresario Don King noticed that Mike Tyson fans got some kind of weird kick out of preliminary catfights between battling babes" — The Dumbest Idea of 2012. He calls men's boxing "a fading sport," and lists some reasons:
    Boxing (men's) used to be a big sport at the Olympics, and the short bouts were more exciting than long professional title fights. But it was always rife with ridiculous decisions, corruption, brawls between cornermen, and other bad craziness.

    Plus, guys pounding each other in the head is just too brutal. I went to some preliminary rounds at the 1984 L.A. Olympics. First, they had flyweight bouts (something like 107 pound max). Those were a lot of fun because these guys couldn't seem to do much serious damage to each other. Then they had heavyweight bouts. One heavyweight caught another one under the chin with an upper cut that lifted the poor bastard clear off the floor. He laid on the canvas for 20 minutes until they strapped him to a cart and wheeled him away. That was the last time I went to a boxing match.
My mother of all people used to be a fan of boxing, but turned away when Duk Koo Kim was killed in the ring.

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What Is the Greater War Crime, Urinating on Dead Enemies or Mass-Murdering Civilians?

"Is it really so hard to grasp that these young guys, who live in a world where intellectuals and politicians in expensive suits can be seen on TV declaring that it is morally licit to inflict pain and fear on accused terrorists, might not think peeing on the corpse of an actual Islamist militant, who only a few moments before was trying to kill them, is no big deal?" asks Daniel Nichols, condemning "the pious outrage of the elites [a]s a sham" — Desecration.

Where’s the outrage over the drone attacks controlled halfway around the world killing women and children?

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Hey, Obama Supporters!

Conor Friedersdorf has a question for you, Daniel Nichols quoting — What Obama Hath Wrought: "How would you have reacted in 2008 if any Republican ran promising to do the following?"
    (1) Codify indefinite detention into law; (2) draw up a secret kill list of people, including American citizens, to assassinate without due process; (3) proceed with warrantless spying on American citizens; (4) prosecute Bush-era whistleblowers for violating state secrets; (5) reinterpret the War Powers Resolution such that entering a war of choice without a Congressional declaration is permissible; (6) enter and prosecute such a war; (7) institutionalize naked scanners and intrusive full body pat-downs in major American airports; (8) oversee a planned expansion of TSA so that its agents are already beginning to patrol American highways, train stations, and bus depots; (9) wage an undeclared drone war on numerous Muslim countries that delegates to the CIA the final call about some strikes that put civilians in jeopardy; (10) invoke the state-secrets privilege to dismiss lawsuits brought by civil-liberties organizations on dubious technicalities rather than litigating them on the merits; (11) preside over federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries; (12) attempt to negotiate an extension of American troops in Iraq beyond 2011 (an effort that thankfully failed); (14) reauthorize the Patriot Act; (13) and select an economic team mostly made up of former and future financial executives from Wall Street firms that played major roles in the financial crisis.

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Local Company News


Sad news for an "iconic Rochester company, whose history dates to the late 19th century and the technical and marketing genius of founder George Eastman" — Kodak files Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Local or not, it's hard to shed too many tears over a company whose main strategy in recent years had been "to pursue patent infringement claims against major companies."

In other local news, we'll lose a "century-old vacant brewhouse... as part of Genesee Brewing Co.’s plan to.... restore a 110-year-old building to house a museum, alehouse and microbrewery" — Brewhouse can be razed, board rules.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Crooked Still Perform "Sometimes in This Country," "The Golden Vanity" and "Locust in the Willow"

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John Zmirak on the Separation of Church and State in America

The New Beginning links to a four-year-old piece — Ron Paul and Pius IX. An excerpt:
    In an American context, given our constitutional heritage and the large body of legal decisions solidifying its interpretation, on nearly any issue, Christians of any denomination should reject the assistance of the State. Our efforts to capture it, the courts have made it clear, will always fail. Any attempt to infuse the activity of the government with the moral content of a revealed religion will be rejected, in the end. Indeed, the more our own institutions cooperate with the government, the more they will be compromised; hospitals which take federal funds will be subject to secular ethics on issues like contraception, end-of-life, and even abortion. Religious colleges accepting federal grants will eventually be federalized, and so on.

    It seems clear that the public sphere in America is irretrievably secular. So the only logical response of Christians must be to try to shrink it. Instead of attempting to baptize a Leviathan which turned on us long ago, we’d do much better to cage and starve the beast. We should favor low taxes—period, regardless of the “good” use to which politicians promise to put it. We should oppose nearly every government program intended to achieve any aim whatsoever. We can make exceptions here and there: We can favor the protection of innocent lives, which would cover things like fixing traffic lights and throwing abortionists into prison. But that is pretty much that. Christian public policy should focus not on capturing the power of the State but shrinking it, to the bare minimum required to enforce individual rights, narrowly defined. Likewise, the share of our wealth seized by the state must be radically slashed, to allow for private initiatives and charities that will not be amoral, soulless, bureaucratic and counterproductive (like the secular welfare state). Instead of asking for handouts to our schools in the forms of vouchers, we should seek the privatization of public schools—which by their very nature, in today’s post-Christian America, are engines of secularism. And so on for nearly every institution of the centralized State, which has hijacked the rightful activities of civil society and the churches, and which every year steals so much of our wealth to squander on itself that we can barely afford to reproduce ourselves. (So the State helpfully offers to replace us with immigrants, but that’s another article.)

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Why "Intellectual Property" Is Inconsistent With the Right to Property

Noting that "IP has come in for a thrashing from libertarians, among others, in the last few years," The American Conservative's Sheldon Richman argues, "Contrary to [Ayn] Rand, ideas, while inherent in purposeful human action, have no role in establishing ownership" — Patent Nonsense. He exposes that "what is at stake in IP" is "monopoly power granted by the state."

Mr. Richman concludes that "cheaper technology and the increasing unenforceability of IP may be ushering in a full-fledged economic revolution marked by smaller, flatter, even nonhierarchical worker-owned firms in a newly decentralized competitive marketplace. In other words, the postcapitalist world could look like a genuinely free market."

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Crooked Still Perform "Look On And Cry"

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Femicide in Chindia

A documentary "trailer[ whose] most chilling scene is one with an Indian woman who, unable to contain her laughter, confesses to having killed eight infant daughters" — It’s a Girl: The Three Deadliest Words in the World. An excerpt:
    The statistics are sickening. The UN reports approximately 200 million girls in the world today are ‘missing’. India and China are said to eliminate more female infants than the number of girls born in the US each year. Lianyungang in China has the worst infant gender ratio on record with 163 boys born for every 100 girls. Taiwan, South Korea and Pakistan are also countries in which unwanted female babies are aborted, killed or abandoned.

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Jesus, the Prince of Peace, or Mars, the God of War?


Daniel Nichols rightly sums up the above video of "folks who call themselves Christians" in "the party that calls itself prolife" "respond[ing] to the Golden Rule, the one articulated by, you know, the guy most of these folks claim to follow" — Insane. In the comments Thomas Storck gives the distributist nihil obstat:
    Despite his grave faults, I think a vote for Ron Paul can certainly be justified. I can hardly think of any American president ever who suggested we should apply the golden rule in our foreign policy. But Leo XIII made it clear that nations are bound by the moral law as much as individuals.
(There was such a president, Mr. Storck, a man whose "admirers praise him for his honesty, independence and integrity," and for his having "opposed imperialism, taxes, corruption, patronage, subsidies and inflationary policies, while adhering to the principles of classical liberalism," "a committed isolationist who had campaigned in opposition to expansion and imperialism" and who "reversed policy and withdrew the treaty for the annexation of Hawaii" — Grover Cleveland.)

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King Jr. on "The Mike Douglas Show"






With the antiwar message that got him killed.

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"Beer Is Proof that God Loves Us and Wants Us to Be Happy"

Benjamin Franklin, or whoever put that quote in his mouth, was right, "the marvels of modern science" now tell us — In moderation, beer is good for you.

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Land of the Free?

"Dishonesty from politicians is nothing new for Americans," notes Jonathan Turley, continuing, "The real question is whether we are lying to ourselves when we call this country the land of the free" — 10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free.

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False Friends

Justin Raimondo asks, "Will Israel succeed in dragging us into war with Iran?" — Under a False Flag.

(Speaking of Israel and false flags, to my knowledge, the questions raised by Mr. Raimondo's exposé of "[t]he story of Israel’s underground army in America – and its foreknowledge of the 9/11 terrorist attacks" have never been adequately answered — The High-Fivers.)

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Nicolas Gombert's Missa Media Vita In Morte Sumus Sung by The Hilliard Ensemble

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Pat Buchanan Canned From MSNBC


Progressives can be proud that they've removed the anti-war right's most prominent voice from his most mainstream audience, as reported on by Timothy Stanley — The Color of Cowardice.

Questioning the influx of foreigners into this country, it seems, is beyond the pale for the left-liberal. The mass murder of foreigners in their own countries, however, is perfectly acceptable to him.

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Gardasil?

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The Skyscraper Index Strikes Again

"Building booms are a sign of excess credit," said Andrew Lawrence, director of property research at Barclays Capital in Hong Kong, which released a study noting that "the mania for skyscrapers over the last 140 years is a sure indicator of an imminent crash" and that "China could be the next country to go bust" — China’s Skyscraper Craze May Herald Economic Crash.

"Lawrence said that historically, skyscraper construction had been characterised by bursts of sporadic, but intense activity that coincided with easy credit, rising land prices and excessive optimism, but often by the time the buildings were finished, the economy had slipped into recession."

Austrian Business Cycle Theory, anyone? Mark Thornton of the Ludwig von Mises Institute explains — Skyscrapers and Business Cycles.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

"Here and Heaven" and "No One But You" Performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, and Aoife O'Donovan

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Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, and Aoife O'Donovan Perform and Discuss "The Goat Rodeo Sessions"

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"A Half Step Away From a Cellar-full of Canned Goods and 9 mm. Rounds"

American financial theorist William J. Bernstein, speaking of Congressman Ron Paul's investment portfolio, "ha[s] never seen such an extreme bet on economic catastrophe," quoted here by Patrick J. Buchanan, who says "Paul's investments mirror his belief that the empire of debt is coming down and Western governments will never repay – in dollars of the same value – what they have borrowed" — The True Believer. The details:
    Twenty-one percent of his $2.4 to $5.5 million was in real estate, 14 percent in cash. He owns no bonds. Only 0.1 percent is invested in stocks, and Paul bought these "short," betting the price will plunge. Every other nickel is sunk into gold and silver mining companies.

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Korczak Ziolkowski and Crazy Horse


The John Birch Society's Sam Antonio on the "great believer in private enterprise and individual initiative" behind what "will be the largest mountain carving in the world" — Crazy Horse Memorial: A Tale of Two Stories Told in Stone. An excerpt:
    Korczak’s vision was to have Crazy Horse built by the interested public and not the taxpayer. He so strongly believed in the free-market system that he twice turned down $10 million of federal funding. He knew that federal funds would mean federal control over the project. He felt the government would not complete the carving and not carry out its humanitarian goals.

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Boccaccio's Three Rings in America

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Emiko and Satomi Morimoto Sing Hotaru Koi

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Antonio Vivaldi's Nul­la in Mun­do Pax Sin­cera Performed by Emiko Morimoto, Yuki Negeshi, Haruko Motohashi, and String Ensemble Yamato

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War Without End, Amen

  • The American Conservative's Tom Engelhardt argues that "the sort of military-first policy the president has made his own couldn’t be more useless" — Obama’s Mission Accomplished Moment?

  • The American Conservative's reviews a book reminding us that "the Cold War ingrained certain patterns so deeply into thinking about U.S. security that they have persisted amid the much different international environment of the subsequent two decades" — Fighting the Last (Cold) War.

  • Antiwar.com's Gareth Porter on the "coordinated U.S.-British attack on Iran’s enrichment at Fordow" — Clinton Revives Dubious Charge of ‘Covert’ Iranian Nuclear Site.

  • "Despite President Barack Obama’s assertion that he would open up avenues to talk to the Iranians, he has failed to do so, he has rejected Iranian initiatives to start a dialogue, and he is showing every sign of unwillingness to negotiate on any level," writes Antiwar.com's Philip Giraldi in his article suggesting "that an incident involving U.S. troops on the border between Iraq and Iran could easily escalate into what would eventually become a global conflict" — What War With Iran Might Look Like.

  • CounterPunch's John Feffer writing that "it’s mostly doom and gloom with the Republican candidates, particularly when they start in on foreign policy," noting that the non-Ron Pauls "have to go practically ballistic to outdo the guy who killed Osama bin Laden, expanded the drone war in Pakistan, held the line in Afghanistan, squeezed Iran, and pumped up the military profile in Asia-Pacific" — The Apocalyptics.

  • The same neocons who persuaded George W. Bush and crew to, in Ron Paul’s inimitable words, 'lie their way into invading Iraq' in 2003, are beating the drums of war more loudly these days to attack Iran, writes CounterPunch's Ralph Nader — Iran: the Neocons Are At It Again.

  • "Only the blind do not see that the US government is preparing to attack Iran," says CounterPunch's Paul Craig Roberts — The Next War on Washington’s Agenda.
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    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    Heinrich Schütz' Ist Nicht Ephraim Mein Teurer Sohn and Der Herr Ist Mein Hirte, La Chapelle Rhénane, Directed by Benoît Haller

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    Good Germans

    Historian Paul Gottfried challenges the narrative "that not only did the Third Reich murder millions of Jews, but that Germans of all classes and regions happily cooperated" — The Eternal German Guilt Trip. "Even the regime’s enemies—ranging from anti-Nazi aristocrats associated with the Resistance, to persecuted Social Democrats (such as the partly Jewish family of former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt), and even former concentration-camp inmates—had no idea of the Final Solution."

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    Ancient Liberties Upheld

    "[T]he English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired," reads the first article of Magna Carta, echoed eight centuries later in a land then unknown — Supreme Court unanimously rejects government oversight of churches.

    Our latter-day King John is reported to be similarly unpleased — Supreme Court delivers a knockout punch to the White House. "Will the government continue to test the bounds of religious liberty?"

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    My Weggies


    Folks around here define themselves by the Wegmans at which they shop. Mine, "one of the oldest on the area," pictured above, is within walking distance in East Rochester, NY. I prefer its quieter, retro-ambiance to the truly incredible Super Wegmans near which I used to live, which I've heard attracts industry people from all over the country.

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    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Gabriel Urbain Fauré's Super Flumina Babylonis, Performed by Orchestre de Paris and Chœur de l'Orchestre de Paris, Directed by Paavo Järvi

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    T.P.R.

    Total Physical Response from the 1970s gets some support with this research suggesting "people learn a new tongue more easily when words are accompanied by movement" — Learning a language may come down to gestures. Waving my right arm like a conductor helped me learn Chinese tones, and I now use the same method to teach English stress and intonation.

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    Unintended Consequences?

    LewRockwell.com's Benedict D. LaRosa reports on "research concerning the origins of AIDS and the explosion of cancers since the introduction of the polio vaccine" — Cancer, Aids, and Vaccinations.

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    Hope Locally

    Good news for a city that "feels downright cozy in the treat-stocked aisles of a Wegmans supermarket, over a cheeseburger-and-mac-salad garbage plate at Nick Tahou's or with a Genny Cream Ale and a rack of ribs at Dinosaur Barbecue" — Rochester called "one of 10 cities poised for greatness" in 2012. "It's shockingly stable, and that's about the best any city can ask for in 2012."

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    "A profound disquiet..."

    "... is darkening the world at this moment in time" — The Pope's "State of the World" address.

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    Philippe de Monte's Super Flumina Babylonis Sung by The Sixteen, Directed by Harry Christopher

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    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Franz Liszt's Ave Maria Sung by the Kosova Pilharmonic Choir, Directed by R. Rudi


    Something to accompany Elena Maria Vidal's post about "a massively literate man whose philosophical identity defined itself as carefully and with as much conviction as Wagner’s" but whose "conviction differed from Wagner’s especially in their view of the Christian religion" — Franz Liszt, God and Civilization.

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    Fortunate Son

    An old photo surfaces of the son of a governor whose "status as 'Mormon missionary' exempted him from the draft" — Preppy protester: The moment a 19-year-old Mitt Romney demonstrated in favour of Vietnam War draft. Remember what this chicken-hawk said in the last election about his five offspring and their wars he supported:
      My sons are all adults and they've made decisions about their careers and they've chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president. I respect that and respect all those and the way they serve this great country.

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    "Utopia Is Only Ever One Ban Away"

    Reason Magazine's Jeff Stier reviews a book that "does the heavy lifting of catching modern-day Carrie Nations in the act" — Modern-Day Prohibition.

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    Saturday, January 7, 2012

    The Priests and Shane MacGowan Perform "Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth"

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    The Invisible Hands Strikes Locally

    While I made it a special point to buy Kodak Printer Paper the other day, The New American's Bob Adelmann is right — The Free Market is Brutal: Kodak Loses; Consumers Win.

    "Kodak will likely emerge from its impending bankruptcy with its name still intact," the author concludes, "but it will be a shadow of its former self: much smaller, much more focused on high-end commercial printing equipment, and severely chastened by the inevitable operation of the free market. The consumer is better off as well, enjoying the refinements developed by Kodak’s competitors since the digital camera was first developed by Kodak in 1975 but then ignored by the company until it was too late."

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    Rick Santorum vs. Constititional Conservatism

    The New American's Raven Clabough reminds us that "what Santorum defines as Libertarian is the traditional definition of constitutional conservatism, at least in its original form, before it was usurped by William Buckley and friends and redefined by the neoconservative movement" — Rick Santorum's Take on Libertarianism vs. Conservatism. Said this latter-day Girolamo Savonarola:
      One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a Libertarianish right. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.
    Real "traditional conservatives" understand, as did The Police, that "there is no political solution."

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    Of the Many Reasons to Oppose Rick Santorum...

    ... "his actions following the death of his premature son Gabriel" are not among them — Santorum defends mourning loss of newborn son. Conversely, the mere "recognition of a dead baby’s humanity" is not a sufficient reason for support.

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    Jorma Kaukonen Performs "Embryonic Journey"

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    Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Handsome Lake


    Finishing the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the "German Lutheran pastor, theologian and martyr," and "participant in the German resistance movement against Nazism... involved in plans by members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office) to assassinate Adolf Hitler" and whose "view of Christianity's role in the secular world has become very influential," I begin the story of Handsome Lake, the "Seneca religious leader of the Iroquois people" who "preached a message that combined traditional Haudenosaunee religious beliefs with a revised code meant to bring consciousness to the Haudenosaunee after a long period of cultural disintegration following colonization" that "is still practiced today."

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    Ron vs. Rick

  • "If you want another big-government politician who supports the status quo to run our country," writes The Daily Caller's John Garver, "you should vote for my uncle, Rick Santorum" — The trouble with my uncle, Rick Santorum. "My uncle’s interventionist policies, both domestic and foreign, stem from his irrational fear of freedom not working."

  • LewRockwell.com's Gary North, "an Old School Presbyterian Calvinist, a position so conservative within Presbyterian Calvinism that it was relegated to the fringes after 1870," reminds us that "the social conservative politician, when in office, attempts to pass laws that set legal precedents for the social liberals to use in the next election cycle: extensions of federal power" — A Constitutional Agenda for Social Conservatives.

  • "Make the connection between liberty and God explicit," advises Front Porch Republic's Jeff Taylor — Post-Iowa Advice for the Paul Campaign. "How do you connect with moralists, with traditional conservatives, who equate libertarianism with libertinism?" asks Mr. Taylor, answering himself, "God created us with free will. He limits government because He does not want government to usurp His role in our lives. Even when bad choices are made, if they don’t harm others they need to be legal. (This does not apply to abortion, which does harm others.)"
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    Ron Paul, Freemason?

    For the sake of balance and as someone living near the birthplace of the heroic Anti-Masonic Party, I link to this post by fellow Ron Paul-supporter cryptogon.com, and allow you to be the judge of whether or not it is a "descent into apophenia" — Ron Paul: Race, Ritual and the Scottish Rite.

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    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    "What Child Is This" Performed by Jeanette Köhn, Nils Landgren, Lars Danielsson, Johan Norberg, Ulf Wakenius, & Bugge Wesseltoft


    Vespers hymn for Thursday's Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, taken up tonight as I put down the more daunting Liturgy of the Hours, a few days ahead of Ordinary Time to be sure.

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    Whose Side Are You On?

    Daniel "Eunomia" Larison contrasts he "unrepentant Bush-era interventionist" with the "fierce critic of U.S. interference abroad" — The GOP's massive Santorum-Paul schism. An excerpt:
      Indeed, Santorum's politics are nearly the essence of Bushism. Paul represents the full-throated rejection of the same. If Paul is well-known for his strong anti-war views and sharp criticisms of U.S. interference abroad, Santorum has been no less outspoken in favor of ever more intrusive and interventionist policies. While Paul has been the lone voice warning against a rush to war against Iran, Santorum demands a more combative Iran policy. Santorum's campaign rhetoric reads as if it were a caricature of neoconservatism. He believes that the U.S. is at war with "Islamic fascism," which he sees a global threat on par with 20th century totalitarianism. He insists that we must promote democracy, but we must never allow democratic elections to empower Islamists. Oh, and terrorists hate us because we are free. U.S. policies have nothing to do with it.

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    Eight Words That Cannot Be Spoken on American Television

    "Israel is more than capable of defending itself," as Cpl. Jesse Thorsen learned — Ron Paul supporting soldier speaking out against the wars cut off on CNN.

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    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    Rev. Gary Davis' "Candyman" Performed by Hot Tuna

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    Ominous Local News


    I hope they at least leave on the sign on our city's mots iconic building — Kodak shares plunge further on report of possible bankruptcy filing. I made it a special point to buy Kodak Printer Paper the other day. Oh, the irony — How Kodak invented the digital camera in 1975.

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    Baroque Paraguay

    "The best of Baroque Europe wedded to the folk traditions of the Guaranì of South America" reported on by Sandro Magister, with "a lesson that can also teach something to the poor and worn-out liturgical music of our ancient churches of Europe" — Music New and Old, from the Jungles of Paraguay.

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    Nihil Sub Sole Novum

    "Five centuries before Facebook and the Arab spring, social media helped bring about the Reformation" — How Luther went viral. "Modern society tends to regard itself as somehow better than previous ones, and technological advance reinforces that sense of superiority, the author writes. "But history teaches us that there is nothing new under the sun."

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    "Luddite from Space"

    "It’s Ray Bradbury’s future—we’re just living in it," says The American Conservative's Daniel J. Flynn — Revenge of the Nerd. An excerpt:
      Before Fahrenheit 451’s firemen came to burn books, the public deserted books. “I remember the newspapers dying like huge moths,” the story’s Professor Faber remarks. “No one wanted them back. No one missed them.” In attempting to please the masses, publishers took care not to offend the market and produced books “leveled down to a sort of pastepudding norm.” Attention spans waned in the wake of competing technology. “Picture it. Nineteenth-century man with his horses, dogs, carts, slow motion. Then, in the twentieth-century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests. Tabloids. Everything boils down to the gag, the snap ending.”

      In the novel, people stopped reading before the state stopped them from reading. The predictable result was an ill-educated society fit for neither leisure nor the ballot. Women discuss voting for a candidate because of his handsome looks and abdicate the responsibilities of motherhood by dumping their children in front of television sets. The over-medicated, air-conditioned culture is awash in suicide, abortion, child neglect, and glassy-eyed passivity. Sound familiar?

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    "A Civil Rights Movement for Tuba Players"

    NPR Music's Michel Martin reports that "the so-called tuba revolution in traditional Mexican music has not only given birth to a young generation of talented musicians, it has also spurred a spate of tuba burglaries in Southern California high schools" — The Tuba Takes Its Spotlight In Mexican Bandas.

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    Catholic Anti-Libertarians

    Catholic Ryan McMaken writing for Catholic Lew Rockwell exposes these know-nothings — 6 Myths Catholics Tell About Libertarians. The nutshell defense: "Libertarianism after all, is a political theory only, and is based on the idea that it is immoral, except in cases of self-defense, to engage in violence against other persons."

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    Who Cares If He's Catholic? He's a Would-Be War Criminal for God's Sake!

    Alexander Cockburn on a man who "says that as president he would bomb Iran tomorrow" — Former “Dumbest Member of Congress” Scorches Romney. The "hard left" CounterPuncher continues:
      Romney and Gingrich don’t lag far behind in their ravings against the Islamic Republic. Obama ratchets up sanctions against Iran while supposedly telling Netanyahu that the US will not endorse any attack by Israel on Iran. Only Ron Paul stands out against this deranged chorus. Given a chance, I’ll vote for Paul, even though he hasn’t a prayer of taking over the Oval Office.
    Identity politics was rightly derided two decades ago by conservatives. Now it seems, aside from the phenomenally-growing number supporters of the third-place winner (the only yard signs I have seen thus far in my town have been Ron Paul signs), whom Mr. Cockburn reminds us "has won passionate adherents across the political spectrum," everyone else seems to support the guy or gal they'd feel most comfortable with at dinner with.

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    A Sad Sign of America's Engineered Decline a Manufacturing Power

    "After getting the local community to give them more than $12 million in tax breaks and other subsidies (as an inducement to locate their factory in this job-starved region of Virginia), it didn’t take long for the IKEA facility to show its true colors," reports CounterPuncher David Macaray — Nordic Whoring.

    Also reporting that "a similar Swedish move is occurring at the AAK (AahusKarishamn) oils and fats processing plant, in Louisville, Kentucky," Mr. Macaray perceptively says, "Say what you will about the Swedes, they’re shrewd and resourceful. Accordingly, they were perceptive enough to realize that the United States no longer qualifies, technically, as a 'country'—at least not in the way that Sweden qualifies as a 'country.'" It was our own "elites" who decided to redefine us as a non-country.

    I remember once meeting a Southerner in the airport of Ulsan, where I spent the first three of mu fourteen years in Korea. He seemed a bit embarrassed that he had been brought over by his employer, Hyundai, for training. I probably should have been embarrassed that I was there working at a university founded by the same company, even if I had been sent there by my alma mater.

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    Governor Cuomo Pledges to Further Bleed the Upstate

    Don't believe this headline — Cuomo Pledges $1 Billion for Buffalo. Read the words governor actually used, which chilled me when I heard them spoken live over the wireless in my horseless carriage:
      Another key to powering our economic growth is expanding our energy infrastructure. Just as President Eisenhower’s interstate highway project propelled the nation forward in the 1950s, today the energy grid provides critical infrastructure and an opportunity for economic growth.

      We have an excess of generation capacity and tremendous wind power potential in Upstate and Western New York and north of the border in Quebec. We have tremendous energy needs Downstate. Just as we built the New York State Thruway to unite distant parts of the state, we will develop an “Energy Highway” system that will bring excess fossil-fuel energy from Western New York downstate, and also tap into Upstate’s potential for renewable energy, like wind power.
    First our taxes now our energy! Not since Nathan L. Miller, who served from 1921 to 1922, has our state had a governor from Upstate! And anyone who's read his Bill Kauffman knows the disastrous effects Ike's Orwellian National Defense Highway System, based on the Hitlerian German autobahns the president saw for himself, had on small town America.

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    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    Henry Purcell's Te Deum Performed by The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, Directed by Timothy Brown




    The "Te Deum" in English to accompany this article on the "ancient Latin hymn in rhythmical prose" — The 'Te Deum' in English and the Hymn's History.

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    NGOs and the NWO

    Pat Buchanan on what "is not the first time U.S. 'pro-democracy' groups have been charged with subverting regimes that fail to toe the Washington line" — Our Innocents Abroad?

    "Does the United States interfere in the internal affairs of nations to subvert regimes by using NGOs to funnel cash to the opposition to foment uprisings or affect elections?" he asks. "Are we using Cold War methods on countries with which we are not at war—to advance our New World Order?"

    "As Leon Trotsky believed in advancing world communist revolution, neocons and democratists believe we have some inherent right to intervene in nations that fail to share our views and values," he notes, asking, "But where did we acquire this right?"

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    No Change, But There's Still Hope


    Infowars.com's Aaron Dykes on "the treacherous legislation" which the American Civil Liberties Union says "will damage both his [Obama's] legacy and American’s reputation for upholding the rule of law" and has Human Rights Watch saying that "Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law" — Obama’s Signing Statement on NDAA: I have the power to detain Americans… but I won’t.

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    Monday, January 2, 2012

    Wilco Perform "Impossible Germany"

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    The Heroic Glenn Greenwald on Ron Paul and Barack Obama

    The constitutional scholar argues that "it is indisputably true that Ron Paul is the only political figure with any sort of a national platform — certainly the only major presidential candidate in either party — who advocates policy views on issues that liberals and progressives have long flamboyantly claimed are both compelling and crucial" and that "the candidate supported by liberals and progressives and for whom most will vote — Barack Obama — advocates views on these issues (indeed, has taken action on these issues) that liberals and progressives have long claimed to find repellent, even evil" — Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies.

    Mr. Greenwald perceptively writes, "Ron Paul’s candidacy is a mirror held up in front of the face of America’s Democratic Party and its progressive wing, and the image that is reflected is an ugly one; more to the point, it’s one they do not want to see because it so violently conflicts with their desired self-perception," noting that "Progressives like to think of themselves as the faction that stands for peace, opposes wars, believes in due process and civil liberties, distrusts the military-industrial complex, supports candidates who are devoted to individual rights, transparency and economic equality."

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    Katie Kieffer Stands Up For Ron Paul


    "Misconstruing Paul’s foreign policy views and leveling him with ad-hominem attacks is intellectually intolerant and nonstrategic if we want to defeat Obama's socialist policies in 2012," writes Townhall.com's prettiest and perhaps smartest* columnist — The Real Ron Paul Stands Up.

    Of course, to "defeat Obama's socialist policies in 2012" only to replace them with Romney's socialist policies is no victory, but she clearly explains to her neocon readers that "Paul simply maintains that the unintended consequences of our current foreign policy are that we provoke violent retaliation while we accrue substantial debt and lose precious American lives."

    * I would have thought this position to be held by Thomas Sowell, but in a recent article mentioning "[t]he surprising support in the polls for Congressman Ron Paul," he foolishly asked, "But does anyone seriously want to put the fate of this nation in the hands of a man who can casually brush aside the danger of nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran, the world's leading sponsor of international terrorism?" — Republican Voters' Choices. Miss Kieffer has a wiser answer to the question, "Is he pro-Iran?" She writes, "Paul’s preference for leveraging amicable neutrality and aggressive diplomacy tactics toward Iran is often construed as supporting Iran. He simply questions how realistic a nuclear bomb threat is from Iran."

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    The Late Great Joseph Sobran on Politics in America

      If you want government to intervene domestically, you’re a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you’re a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you’re a moderate. If you don’t want government to intervene anywhere, you’re an extremist.
    The Reluctant Anarchist, as he called himself, quoted by Walter Block to introduce his insightful article on a man who "will go to the very gates of hell (left Communist or right Fascist, it matters not) and try to convert the Devil himself to the freedom philosophy" — Ron Paul: Far Right or Far Left?

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    Good Cop, Bad Cop, Miscarriage of Justice

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    Guns Don't Kill People

    They are used to save people's lives, as was the case when a former peace officer "pulled his handgun, pushed it up against the submerged windows and shot out the glass" in this story — Utah family rescued from icy river by bystanders.

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    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    Max Reger's Mariä Wiegenlied Sung by King's College Choir, Cambridge

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