Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Carolina Chocolate Drops Perform "Pretty Girl With the Blue Dress On" and "Milwaukee Blues"




Something to accompany this news about "the most visible members of a revivalist movement that, by nature of its existence, is doing away with the cultural perception that old-time music is nothing more than the soundtrack of a racist South" — Carolina Chocolate Drops blend tradition and new pieces on latest album.

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English vs. Continental Conservatism

"What sets conservatives apart from authoritarians and fascists?" is the question answered by Samuel Goldman — Right Minds. Most interesting to this blogger is the "point of difference between the conservative tradition as it developed in the English-speaking world and on the Continent," as articulated below:
    Although it was fundamentally anti-egalitarian, the former took its bearing from the ideal of the gentleman, who did not necessarily bear a title of nobility and was most at home on his rural estate. For Burke, the possession and care of landed property had a central role in cultivating the virtues necessary to rule others well. As the reference to an “entailed inheritance” suggests, Burke saw the management of an estate and its tenants as the basic model of harmonious social relations. On the other hand, those who earn their living from rapid exchange can hardly resist habits of short-term thinking, deference to the whims of customers, and the less than frank speech necessary to succeed in business.

    Even a successful merchant, then, could not make himself into a gentleman. He might, however, hope to be successful enough that his grandsons would be. The assumption that social mobility is possible, although never frequent or easy, inclined English-style conservatism to the idea of a powerful but permeable aristocracy. Burke’s own rise from obscure man of letters to the ideologue of the establishment testifies to the plausibility of this assumption.

    But “the spirit of the gentleman,” as Burke called it, did not exist in the same way on the Continent, partly because European titles passed to all of a nobleman’s sons rather than only to the eldest. In its place, Bonald, Maistre, and German counterparts like Friedrich Gentz deferred to the nobility of the sword. The natural rulers, as they saw them, were not a class of squires periodically refreshed by talented outsiders. They were the titled commanders of armies.

    Continental conservatives generally acknowledged the necessity of a class of civil servants to administer the state. But they rejected the Aristotelian principle that participation in politics is an important component of virtue, in favor of a military monasticism that alienated the elite from the society that it was supposed to lead. Among the reasons that Burke’s conservatism supported his commitment to parliamentary government, by contrast, was that he saw politics as a fit occupation for a gentleman. Indeed, one of Burke’s central criticisms of the French Revolution is that its subversion of all civil authority made military dictatorship inevitable—an outcome for which he had no sympathy whatsoever.

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Resisting the Great War

"The First World War was not just a battle between rival armies, but also a powerful, if one-sided, battle between those who assumed the war was a noble crusade and those who thought it absolute madness," reminds The American Conservative's Adam Hochschild, author of a new book on the subject — The Untold War Story–Then and Now. An excerpt:
    By the war’s end, more than 20,000 British men had defied the draft and, as a matter of principle, many also refused the alternative service prescribed for conscientious objectors, like ambulance driving at the front or working in a war industry. More than 6,000 of them were put behind bars — up to that moment the largest number of people ever imprisoned for political reasons in a western democracy.

    There was nothing easy about any of this. Draft refusers were mocked and jeered (mobs threw rotten eggs at them when given the chance), jailed under harsh conditions, and lost the right to vote for five years. But with war’s end, in a devastated country mourning its losses and wondering what could possibly justify that four-year slaughter, many people came to feel differently about the resisters. More than half a dozen were eventually elected to the House of Commons and the journalist Morel became the Labour Party’s chief Parliamentary spokesperson on foreign affairs. Thirty years after the Armistice, a trade unionist named Arthur Creech Jones, who had spent two and a half years in prison as a war resister, was appointed to the British cabinet.

    The bravery of such men and women in speaking their minds on one of the great questions of the age cost them dearly: in public scorn, prison terms, divided families, lost friends and jobs. And yet they are largely forgotten today at a moment when resistance to pointless wars should be celebrated. Instead we almost always tend to celebrate those who fight wars — win or lose — rather than those who oppose them.

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Old Right Peaceniks

  • "With the United States now well into the second decade of what the Pentagon has styled an 'era of persistent conflict,'" writes Andrew Bacevich, "the war formerly known as the global war on terrorism (unofficial acronym WFKATGWOT) appears increasingly fragmented and diffuse" — Uncle Sam, Global Gangster.

  • Pat Buchanan "Since Ronald Reagan went home, the United States has attacked or invaded Panama, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq again, and Libya" — For What, All These Wars? "How have the Chinese suffered these 20 years by not having been in on the action?"
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    Katie Kieffer, Constitutionalist


    Townhall.com's prettiest columnist and only supporter of Congressman Ron Paul debunks a fake conservative — How Santorum Fails Constitution 101. "I think Sen. Rick Santorum would make a great community organizer. Unfortunately, we are trying to remove, not re-elect, a community organizer in the White House."

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    Libertarians Against Contraception

    "Pope Paul predicted the social and family breakdown that would follow if humanity embraced sexual liberation as true freedom," reminds the LewRockwell.com Blog's Christopher Manion — And Now for Something Completely Different... More:
      The Church's teaching on contraception isn't just for Catholics. It's for everyone to consider or ignore, to embrace or to reject. It's based not only on Revelation, but on natural law — what Thomas Jefferson called "The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" in the Declaration of Independence. That is to say, defy these laws and the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will no longer have any grounds for defense — no "higher law" — save the good will of a tyrant.

      For those inclined to the social sciences, the work of Dr. Patrick Fagan is indispensable for the study of the impact of contraception on society, beginning with the black family, the primary target of the American Birth Control League (later to change its name to Planned Parenthood) back in the 1930s. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's 1964 report "The Negro Family" and its breakdown analyzed the consequences, attributing the crisis to a number of other factors. But the impact of contraception on illegitimacy and abortion, and their combined impact on family breakdown, and, ultimately, on crime, education, poverty, and the workplace should be closely studied before it is dismissed out of hand on the grounds of liberty.

      This is, as Scripture says, a "hard teaching." But it is the Church's teaching, for good or ill, and that's what the brouhaha is all about. Tough to follow? No doubt about it — but so are the Ten Commandments.

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    "Euthanasia Coaster"

    The LewRockwell.com Blog informs us of "a theoretical machine engineered to ‘humanely, with elegance and euphoria, take the life of a human being’" — The macabre concept of a 'euthanasia roller coaster' that thrills you... then kills you.

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    "After-Birth Abortion"

    "By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled" — University of Melbourne ‘Ethicists’ Call for Legalized Murder of Newborns.

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    Son House Performing "Death Letter" and "Grinnin' In Your Face" and the White Stripes Covering the Same

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    Saturday, February 25, 2012

    William Byrd's "Mass for Four Voices" Sung by The Tallis Scholars, Directed by Peter Phillips

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    The Avett Brothers Perform "The Once and Future Carpenter"

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    Another Neocon

    Dr. Jack Kerwick of The John Birch Society's The New American exposes "another champion of Big Government who, when election time rolls around, talks the talk of 'limited government' and the rest" — Rick Santorum: No Conservative. The author concludes that "if it is a restoration of the Constitutional Republic for the sake of which our Founding Fathers labored indefatigably that Republicans really desire, they have but one candidate to whom they can turn this time around."

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    Resisting Technocracy

    Daniel Ben-Ami reviews "an inside view of how the current generation of politician-technocrats thinks" and finds "that those who pass for our leaders are largely anti-democratic, elitist and have little compunction about intruding into our private lives" — Delving into the mind of the technocrat.

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    The End of Materialism?

    "The more we look at the brain, the less it looks like a device for creating consciousness," argues The New Statesman's Colin McGinn — All machine and no ghost?

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    "Progressives" for War

    Antiwar.com's John V. Walsh offers "yet one more sign that the 'progressive' movement in the West has largely abandoned its antiwar, anti-intervention stance" — Progressives Embrace Humanitarian Imperialism – Again. (Linked to is a piece by Jean Bricmont, a principled voice on the Left — The Case for a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy.)

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    Friday, February 24, 2012

    William Byrd's Tristitia et Anxietas Sung by The Tallis Scholars, Directed by Peter Phillips

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    Weiße Rose

    Lew Rockwell posts a link to "the pamphlets the heroic German student resistance movement released in 1942" — The White Rose Society.

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    Before There Was an Upstate New York


    There walked in these lands "an example of fidelity ... a model of purity and love" — Those devoted to Blessed Kateri 'walking on air' about canonization.

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    Servant of God Jérôme Lejeune


    A man "[k]nown for having treated and supported numerous patients affected by intellectual disabilities and for his commitment to human life" and "a member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences and recognized with numerous international titles" may soon have a new title — Doctor Who Found Cause of Down Syndrome Moves Closer to Canonization. "Numerous testimonies of prayer for the beatification of Jérôme Lejeune come to us from all over the world, sent by families who knew him, as well as by a new generation of young people involved in the Service of Life and of wise men happy to manifest that there is no contradiction between faith and science."

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    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

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


    In Lenten Music, Eric M. Johnson informs us that while "Tallis was regarded as an obedient English musician who adapted his religious views according to the ruler of the time, ... recent scholarship has revealed that Tallis, though he was employed by the Chapel Royal, never swerved in his devotion to Catholicism." The text:
      Spem in alium nunquam habui
      praeter in te, Deus Israel,
      qui irasceris et propitius eris,
      et omnia peccata hominum
      in tribulatione dimittis.
      Domine Deus,
      creator coeli et terrae
      respice humilitatem nostram.


      I have never founded my hope
      on any other than thee. O God of Israel,
      who shalt be angry, and yet be gracious,
      and who absolvest all the sins of mankind
      in tribulation.
      Lord God,
      creator of heaven and earth,
      be mindful of our lowliness.

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    Blaise Pascal vs. The New Atheists

      “Religion," writes Alain de Botton, "is above all a symbol of what exceeds us and an education in the advantages of recognising our paltriness." It is a thought reminiscent of Blaise Pascal. One of the creators of modern probability theory, the 17th-century thinker invented an early calculating machine, the Pascaline, along with a version of the syringe and a hydraulic press. He made major contributions to geometry and helped shape the future development of mathematics. He also designed the first urban mass transit system.

      Pascal was one of the founders of the modern world. Yet the author of the Pensées - an apology for Christianity begun after his conversion to Catholicism - was also convinced of the paltriness of the human mind. By any standards a scientific genius and one of the most intelligent human beings that may ever have lived, Pascal never supposed that humankind's problems could be solved if only people were smarter.

      The paradox of an immensely powerful mind mistrusting the intellect is not new. Pascal needed intellectual humility because he had so many reasons to be proud of his intelligence. It is only the illiteracy of the current generation of atheists that leads them to think religious practitioners must be stupid or thoughtless. Were Augustine, Maimonides and al-Ghazali - to mention only religious thinkers in monotheist traditions - lacking in intellectual vitality? The question is absurd but the fact it can be asked at all might be thought to pose a difficulty for de Botton. His spirited and refreshingly humane book aims to show that religion serves needs that an entirely secular life cannot satisfy. He will not persuade those for whom atheism is a militant creed. Such people are best left with their certainties, however childish.
    So begins The New Stateman's John Gray in his review — Religion for Atheists: a Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion.

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    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Bob Dylan's "Ring Them Bells" Performed by Sarah Jarosz with Jerry Douglas and the Transatlantic Sessions House Band

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    George Washington, Isolationist

    Libertas et Memoria rightly rejects the "holiday celebrating the various holders of that office, noble and ignoble alike," and "leave[s] for another time the honoring of presidents like John Tyler, Franklin Pierce, Woodrow Wilson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton" — Washington's birthday. Instead, he suggests that "it might be a wise idea to read and ponder the summation of his public life, his majestic Farewell Address, issued by Washington as his final statement to the nation at the end of his presidency."

    Indeed. George Washington's Farewell Address is undoubtedly "one of the great documents of American political thought," about which Bill Kauffman once said, "One doubts if any secular sutra has ever been violated with such brutal regularity… especially in its foreign-policy injunctions."

    The Founder warns us against today's Israel-firsters, arguing rightly that "a passionate attachment of one Nation for another produces a variety of evils." About those who would shed American blood and treasure in the Middle East, he explains, "Sympathy for the favorite Nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest, in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification."

    This, he argues, "leads also to concessions to the favorite Nation of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the Nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained; and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld." Blowback, anyone?

    Furthermore, as if having today's neocons in mind, he writes, "And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, (who devote themselves to the favorite nation,) facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation."

    Again, the current Iran-Israel confluct comes to mind with these words: "Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other." And those who refuse to drink the Israeli kool-aid: "Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests."

    His final counsel in this matter: "The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connexion as possible."

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    Those Who Would "Immanentize the Eschaton"

    "Eric Voegelin diagnosed the neoconservatives’ disease," writes The American Conservative's Gene Callahan — Know Your Gnostics. An excerpt:
      But the liberal democracies are liable to fall victim to their own form of “immanentizing the eschaton” if they mistake the genuinely admirable, albeit limited, order they have been able to achieve for the universal goal of all history and all mankind. That error, I suggest, lies behind the utopian adventurism of America’s recent foreign policy, in both its neoconservative and liberal Wilsonian forms. Voegelin’s analysis of “Gnosticism” can help us to understand better the nature of that tendency in Western foreign policy. (We can still use his term “Gnostic” while acknowledging, as he did, its questionable historical connection to ancient Gnosticism.)

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    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    Franz Joseph Haydn's Missa in Angustiis Performed by Det Norske Blåseensemble & Solistkor Oslo, Directed by Grete Pedersen

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    AK47 - The King of Guns


    A documentary to accompany the news that "Kalashnikov have unveiled the latest incarnation of their iconic assault rifle, the AK-47" — Kalashnikov 5: Brand-New AK-12 Rifle Unveiled.

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    January Sunshine


    "People used to think me queer when I was a little girl because I saw deep purples and red and violets in a field of snow," said artist Fern Coppedge, quoted by Elena Maria Vidal here— The Colors of Snow.

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    Friday, February 17, 2012

    Sarah Jarosz, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, and the Transatlantic Sessions House Band Perform "Annabelle Lee"

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    The Grand Illusion That Was the Great War

      The war was astonishingly lethal for the ruling classes. Whereas 12 percent of all British soldiers in the war were killed, 19 percent of officers died. Of Oxford’s graduating class of 1913, 31 percent were killed.
    So writes The American Conservative's Jon Basil Utley of a book that "well explains the psychology of Europe’s self destruction, the war mania, the unbelievable misery" — Lessons in Empire. Coming to mind is Jean Renoir's great film Grand Illusion (1937), which I reviewed six years ago as a "story of the end of the old order of European Civilization brought about by the Great War" — This Afternoon's DVD Pick.

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    Defending a Great City

    The soon-to-be cardinal says his bishopric "seems to have an innate interest and respect for religion" — New York isn't like 'Sodom and Gomorrah', Archbishop Timothy Dolan says. "I'm here as archbishop after three years to let you know that, yup, there are instances of secularism and materialism and paganism in New York as there are everywhere and as there is in the human heart but I have found the New York community to be very religious and innately respectful of religion, interested in religion."

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    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    J.S. Bach's Komm, Jesu Komm, Performed by Mona Julsrud, Sarah Connolly, Mark Padmore, Peter Kooy, Collegium Vocale, Philippe Herreweghe

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    Our New Friends

    They're "still engaged in mass savagery — raping and torturing people to death in makeshift prison camps, ethnically cleansing parts of the country, and more" — Libyan Militias Face Accusations of Ongoing War Crimes.

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    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    The Steeldrivers Perform "If It Hadn't Been for Love"

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    So Far From God, So Close to the United States

    The traditional Mexican lament comes to mind reading The American Conservative's Ed Warner exposure of evidence that "Mexico’s drug violence is state-sponsored—by the U.S." — Border Battleground. "The U.S. federal government’s 'Operation Fast and Furious' involved the transfer of some 1,500 weapons from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to the cartels, including 34 powerful sniper rifles."

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    Washington Lectures Beijing

    "Nothing better illustrates the total unreality of life in the West than the fact that the entire Western world did not break out in riotous laughter over Obama’s expression of his human rights concern over China’s behavior," Paul Craig Roberts says — Obama, the Human Rights Hypocrite.

    "Washington is now in the second decade of murdering Muslim men, women, and children in six countries.... Instead of following Washington’s human rights lead, the evil Chinese invest in other countries, buy things from them, and sell them goods."

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    The Episcopacy Should Have Read Karl Hess

    His observation, made to conservatives about the Vietnam War, that "whenever you put your faith in big government for any reason, sooner or later you wind up as an apologist for mass murder," should have been heeded — The American Catholic hierarchy's embrace of big government comes back to haunt them. (Fore more, read James Boyd's 1970 piece — From Far Right to Far Left — and Farther — With Karl Hess.)

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    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Adele's "Someone Like You" Performed by Sierra Hull, and The Steeldrivers' "If It Hadn't Been For Love" Performed by Adele




    The New Beginning links to this article which not only brings to our attention the above covers but also informs us that the English singer's "ties to bluegrass run much deeper" than might be expected — What does Adele’s big night mean for bluegrass?

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    The Don't Call It the Pacific Northwest For Nothing

    Daniel Nichols brings us the happy news that in some corner of our country people are waking up to the Vital Center's "divide et impera" politics and rejecting it — OWS, Tea Party Unite Against Tyranny.

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    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Adele Performs "Someone Like You"


    Didn't know they still made voices like this, until I stumbled upon that awards show last night on the boob tube. Another sign that the apocalypse may not in fact be imminent was the sight of Taylor Swift playing the banjo. Could there actually be hope for Anglo-America to re-embrace reality?

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    Appoggiaturas

    Some musical theory about how "Adele won the song of the year category at this year's Grammy Awards for her tear-jerker 'Someone Like You'" — The Ballad Of The Tearful: Why Some Songs Make You Cry.

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    Helena Norberg-Hodge Speaks

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    Ron Paul Speaks

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    "Christians to Beirut and Alawites to the Wall!"

    Patrick J. Buchanan reminds us of "an early slogan of the resistance" now promoted by "those champions of world democratic revolution — John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham — [who] have begun beating the drums for U.S. aid to a 'Free Syrian Army'" — On to Tehran–or Is It Damascus?

    From the other end of the political spectrum, CounterPunch's asks Diana Johnstone, "Which is more important, ensuring disgruntled Islamists freedom to overthrow the secular regime in Syria, or avoiding World War Three?" — Road to Damascus… and on to Armageddon?

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    Whitney Houston Sings "The Star Spangled Banner"


    The American Conservative's A.G. Gancarski remembers that "21 years ago Whitney Houston recorded what was to be her last top-ten hit, 'The Star Spangled Banner,'" which "went to #1 in the weeks after the Super Bowl as radio programmers filled the airwaves with patriotic, 'support the troops' bombast; it re-charted at #6 just after 9/11/2001" — “I’m Your Baby, Tonight”. An excerpt:
      People liked to lampoon Whitney Houston’s addiction. But her drug problems were ironic in a sense her deriders didn’t intend, given that she was objectified and turned into a commodity to satisfy America’s own addictions. To verse/chorus/verse pop songs. To unthreatening, mass-marketed versions of female sexuality. And, in the case of her rendering of the national anthem, to war.

      In the run up to Gulf Wars I or II, not many people stopped to think about why we were defending the prerogatives of repressive Kuwaiti sheiks. Likewise, the typical consumer of Whitney Houston’s music didn’t want to think too deeply about what they were consuming or the conditions under which the product was produced. Her music “had a good beat and you could dance to it.” And that was enough.

      No one stopped to think, until the hits faded from the radio, about the tragic wreck Houston’s life was. Likewise, until it became all too clear that Asian land wars had consequences no one cared too much about those wars, except insofar as they wanted to silence dissent and solidify the Manichean narrative common to all US military expeditions.

      Thus, it is appropriate that Whitney Houston’s last hit would be the national anthem, which has been used as a call to arms and unity time and again, and as a reprieve from the kind of critical thinking that might have stopped the mess in Iraq—twice—before it was too late and we marshaled blood and treasure in the service of that war’s aims. Her music was intended not to be thought about too deeply. Heavy-rotation, but intellectually light. And when her purpose was exhausted she was to be forgotten.

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    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    J.S. Bach's Lobet den Herren, Alle Heiden, Performed by Bach Collegium Stuttgart, Directed by Helmuth Rilling


    Heard this evening performed by the local ensemble Voices.

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    Old Time Religion

    Today, this blogger finally made it to St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, where the Traditional Latin Mass is celebrated. In addition to the expected solemnity, an unexpected anti-government homily made it all the more worthwhile. The bulletin even contained this revolutionary statement: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

    In the evening, we were off to the demotivationally modern Incarnate Word Lutheran Church for a performance by the local ensemble Voices of some motets of Johann Sebastian Bach. The music was excellent; blessed as we are to share a home with the Eastman School of Music. What pleasantly surprised us was before the performance the loveliness of the vespers service, given that the ecclesial community in question belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; it was almost as dignified as that of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod in which I was raised.

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    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Franz Joseph Haydn's Missa Sanctæ Cæciliæ Performed by the Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Directed by Rafael Kubelik

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    Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" Performed by the Band Perry

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    Why Are the Mainstream Media Gunning for the Syrian Opposition?

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    "What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder."

    "Divorce has pervasive weakening effects on children and on all of the five major institutions of society -- the family, the church, the school, the marketplace, and government itself" — Divorce and Children: New Study Confirms Irreparable Harm.

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    Joke of the Day

    Fred Reed is "reminded of the old joke about the high school that issued a boy a condom, and expelled him when he was discovered praying for a chance to use it" — Chaotic Reflections On Heresy.

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    Friday, February 10, 2012

    The Avett Brothers Perform "Laundry Room," "Down With the Shine," and "Bella Donna"

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    Humanæ Vitæ Was Right

    Business Insider's Michael Brendan Dougherty and Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry argue that "the world's biggest and oldest organization," which "has buried all of the greatest empires known to man, from the Romans to the Soviets," might just be on to something when it "teaches that love, marriage, sex, and procreation are all things that belong together" — Time To Admit It: The Church Has Always Been Right On Birth Control. An excerpt:
      Today's injunctions against birth control were re-affirmed in a 1968 document by Pope Paul VI called Humanae Vitae. He warned of four results if the widespread use of contraceptives was accepted:

      1. General lowering of moral standards

      2. A rise in infidelity, and illegitimacy

      3. The reduction of women to objects used to satisfy men.

      4. Government coercion in reproductive matters.

      Does that sound familiar?

      Because it sure sounds like what's been happening for the past 40 years.
    The authors also quote Slate Magazine's George Akerloff with this remarkable perceptive statement: "By making the birth of the child the physical choice of the mother, the sexual revolution has made marriage and child support a social choice of the father."

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    Amerika

    "We are, unfortunately, living in a huge madhouse of millions who believe that the their country can bomb any country in the world whenever it wants to," reminds ComeHomeAmerica.US's Jay Janson — Three GOP Presidentials Commit Crime Against Peace Under Nuremberg Principles.

    "At Nuremberg, Nazi media personalities were indicted for promoting war [and] stood in the dock right alongside Nazi government officials who ordered the wars and generals who executed criminal orders," says the author, whose article comes to our attention thanks to Daniel Nichols. Mr. Janson continues, "If Mitt, Newt and Rick were reading this, they would be thinking, ‘Why me-worry,’ Obama threatened to bomb Iran a million times, even threatened to Iran with nuclear weapons attack speaking before the UN General Assembly."

    (And there was also this — U.S. Marines Posed with Banner of Nazi SS.)

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    Thao Nguyen Performs "Bag of Hammers," "Beat (Health, Life and Fire)," "Big Kid Table," and "Feet Asleep"

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    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    Pontifex Maximus Obamus



  • "The American experiment in religious liberty is officially over," writes Jennifer Roback Morse, noting that "we have a new state religion, a new Established Church of the United States of America, with Barack Obama as its head" — How hedonism became America’s official religion.

  • Judge Andrew Napolitano on "a law that interferes with the free exercise of religion," which "is not about the morality of contraception" (as its supporters would have it, knowing that battle is lost), but "about the constitutionality of government coercion, coercion of religious institutions, coercion directly and profoundly prohibited by the Constitution itself" — Do Catholics Have Too Many Babies? "We have a king today, and he wants a tax to pay for his church. The king is the president, and his church is called Obamacare."
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    Steve Sailer on Neoconservatives (and Me on Paraguay)

      As far as I can tell, there's no grand, carefully plotted, centrally controlled neocon conspiracy. There is just a small, somewhat loose network of energetic and overly excitable intellectuals who continue to have far more influence than their track record would suggest they deserve, and far more immunity from criticism of their network and their tendencies than is wise. They have a number of tendencies -- a love of international Rube Goldberg schemes; a love of conspiracy theorizing; dual loyalties; a strong willingness to play the anti-Semitism card to bully skeptics into silence; an aversion to leave well enough alone, to let sleeping dogs lie, and to try to fix things that aren't all that broken; an unhealthy love of violence in the abstract; and so forth. Not all of the neocons share all these tendencies, but there is plenty of overlap. And these problems generally get worse over time, because not only are they backed by powerful and wealthy interests so that they don't suffer much from their world-historical screw-ups like pushing the Iraq Attaq, but they aren't even exposed much to more than piecemeal criticism.
    From a post about the "remote region on the border of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil where intelligence reports said Iranian-backed Hizbullah had a presence" — Great moments in neocon strategizing: Bomb Paraguay!

    Of all the places this blogger has passed through, Ciudad del Este was probably the shadiest, and Asunción one of the most charming. All I remember of the former is countless motorcyclists crossing the border with TVs strapped on their backs; the latter conjures up memories of business-suited gentlemen drinking yerba mate as they walked down the street, beggars thinking I'd understand the Guaraní language, and older folks dancing cumbia on the streets outside my hotel late until the night. It was the only country I spent less than 24 hours in, and I really wish I had spent more time there.

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    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    J.S. Bach's Sheep May Safely Graze Played by Son Yeol Eum


    Further evidence against Michael Ahn Paarlberg's ridiculous assertion that Asians have "no emphasis on 'feeling' the music" and his slanderous mischaracterization of the "mechanical works of the Baroque period" put forth in an otherwise decent article posted on these pages yesterday — The Future of Western Music.

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    Pitchfork Pat and Governor Moonbeam

    The American Conservative's Timothy Stanley makes mention of this blogger's two favorite political figures of the '90s in an excerpt from his new book — Buchanan’s Revolution:
      Other candidates were turning on to Buchanan’s message. Democrat Jerry Brown, the former governor of California, stole it wholesale. Brown was an eccentric politician who, after two terms as governor, had gone to India to discover himself. He returned preaching a new gospel of popular democracy. He entered the 1992 Democratic primaries calling for limits on campaign donations, pollution clean-up, and a flat tax.

      At face value he was a hippie in a suit. But Brown was also a Catholic and an ex-seminarian who shared much of Buchanan’s conservative philosophy. He believed that America was living beyond its means, and that it required a spiritual reawakening to get it moving again. Brown’s religion might have been Vishnu and yoga, but he shared Buchanan’s abhorrence for materialism and despised the “go for growth” politics of Clinton. Buchanan and Brown often met at the end of the day in TV studios. Paul Erickson bemoaned the fact that when they got talking, he couldn’t stop them. “Pat and Jerry saw eye to eye on a lot of things,” he sighed.

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    Why Contraception Is Wrong Also Outside of Marriage

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    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Arcangelo Corelli's Folia and Georg Philipp Telemann's Sinfonia Spirituosa Performed by Richard Yongjae O'Neill and Alte Musik Köln

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    The Future of Western Music

    "If there’s any irony to the most quintessentially Western music tradition being kept alive by the East, by now it’s a moot point," says Michael Ahn Paarlberg — Can Asians Save Classical Music?

    Wrongly, however, he states, "The Suzuki method, Asia’s most successful classical music export, is a highly mechanical training regimen based on drills and rote memorization, with no emphasis on 'feeling' the music, [that] lends itself best to the equally mechanical works of the Baroque period, less to the Romantic era and not at all to contemporary classical." I know little about the method, but I do know that the Romantic era is by far the most popular in the Far East and that the Baroque is largely neglected. And to speak of "mechanical works of the Baroque period" is to show gross ignorance of that era.

    With my next post, I will offer a spirited dispelling of this suggestion that Asians have "no emphasis on 'feeling' the music" and slanderous mischaracterization of the "mechanical works of the Baroque period" put forth in this otherwise decent article.

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    Garbage Plates, NY

    That's where I live, "northwest of Wine, the area also known as the Finger Lakes," according to this local article — Mapping our food, one region at a time. Like author Jim Memmott, also "a former resident of Buffalo Wings, I would prefer to have that territory known as Beef on Kimmelweck, a sandwich for the gods."

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    Monday, February 6, 2012

    William Byrd's "O Lord, Make Thy Servant Elizabeth" Sung by the Tallis Scholars, Directed by Peter Phillips


    Though Jeffersonian Jacobitism might best describe my political philosophy, I cannot help but offer the above, though composed for an earlier and more tyrannical monarch, for Her Most Britannic Majesty's special day — Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee. Also, I confess to having had a bit of a crush on her young visage as a kid whenever a stumbled across a Canadian coin from the '50s or '60s:

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    Ut Unum Sint

    New Oxford Review "explain[s] why we believe reunion between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches is a worthy pursuit, and why it should be the foremost focus of Catholic relations with other ecclesial bodies" — On Reunion Between East & West.

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    War and Peace

  • The American Conservative's Doug Bandow exposes those "big spenders on the right [who] argue that Washington must continue doing everything that it has ever done abroad" — Attack of the Pork Hawks.

  • The American Conservative's Tom Engelhardt exposes the "new way of preserving the embattled idea of an American planet" — Offshore Everywhere.

  • "Mr. Speaker, today I rise with gratitude to Edmund Burke and paraphrase words he first spoke 224 years ago this week," said our man back in 1999 — The Path to Peace.
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    Katie Kieffer Stands Up Again For Ron Paul


    The Townhall.com hottie "predict[s] that President Obama runs for reelection on his foreign policy record" and wisely argues that "GOP presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul could throw the most effective darts at Obama’s puerile attempt to police the world" — Six Ways Paul Beats Obama On Foreign Policy.

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    Os Mutantes Perform "Panis Et Circenses"


    This would have been a more appropriate tune for half-time during last night's bread and circuses.

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    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's Missa Romana Performed by the Orchestre de l'Académie Baroque Européenne d'Ambronay & Rinaldo Alessandrini

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    S.S.P.X. Œconomics

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    Friday, February 3, 2012

    Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, Performed by Sabina Puertolas, Vivica Genaux and Talens Lyriques, Directed by Christophe Rousse

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    How Much is a Baby's Life Worth to GlaxoSmithKline?

    $6428.57, apparently, but it's trying to get a better deal — GSK fined measly $90,000 by Argentine court for killing 14 babies in illegal vaccine trials; drug giant actually appealing. (Thanks to long-term e-quaintance and reader.)

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    Rick Santorum Needs to Embrace Markets, Reject Intellectual Property

    The senator's talk about people being "conditioned to think health care is something you can get without having to pay for it" and being "alive today because people have a profit motive to make that drug" only goes so far — Rick Santorum Tells Sick Kid Market Should Should Set Drug Prices.

    Recently on these pages we read how The American Conservative's Sheldon Richman argued, "Contrary to [Ayn] Rand, ideas, while inherent in purposeful human action, have no role in establishing ownership," and "what is at stake in IP" is "monopoly power granted by the state" — Patent Nonsense. He quotes two libertarian authors about the history of medicine:
      Historically, intellectual monopoly in pharmaceuticals has varied enormously over time and space. The summary story: the modern pharmaceutical industry developed faster in those countries where patents were fewer and weaker… . [I]f patents were a necessary requirement for pharmaceutical innovation, as claimed by their supporters, the large historical and cross-country variations in the patent protection of medical products should have had a dramatic impact on national pharmaceutical industries. In particular, at least between 1850 and 1980, most drugs and medical products should have been invented and produced in the United States and the United Kingdom, and very little if anything produced in continental Europe. Further, countries such as Italy, Switzerland, and, to a lesser extent, Germany, should have been the poor, sick laggards of the pharmaceutical industry until recently. Instead, the opposite was true for longer than a century.
    Mr. Richman concluded 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." And perhaps a revolution in medicines.

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    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Girls' Generation (S.N.S.D.) Perform "The Boys"

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    Citizenship?

    John Derbyshire questions the idea "that the nation’s laws should strive to ensure that citizens enjoy no advantage whatsoever over non-citizens; or, to put it another way, that the nation’s citizenship should be worthless and the nation itself a fiction" — Over the Hill at 35. The Brit even dares to join with those "few retrograde souls... laboring under the juvenile illusion that US citizens’ interests should enjoy primacy in the calculations of US policy-makers."

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    Lessons for America

    Antiwar.com's Bill Walker a country that "has not been in a foreign war of any kind since 1815" — How the Swiss Opted Out of War. Ironically, the Swiss Federal Constitution was itself inspired by our United States Constitution.

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    The Peace Candidate

    "An effective antiwar candidate is what the neocons fear most," writes The American Conservative's Scott McConnell — Ron Paul and His Enemies.

    In the same rag, after noting that the candidate "had been advised by friends that he would do better if only he dumped his foreign policy views, which have been derided as isolationism," Patrick J. Buchanan says, "Paul’s views seem as far out in front of where America is heading as John McCain’s seem to belong to yesterday’s Bush-era bellicosity" — Ron Paul: Reactionary or Visionary?

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    The Just War Tradition

    Judge Andrew Napolitano explains "laws... articulated by Aquinas and embraced by More and accepted by Thomas Jefferson and taught by many Judeo-Christian scholars, and... eventually engrafted into treaties and into American law" — What Is a Just War?

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    The Exorcist?

    "A blessing by Pope Benedict exorcised the devil from two howling men during a general audience in St Peter's Square in 2009, an exorcist priest says in an upcoming book" — Priest claims Pope exorcised demons from two men. "The Vatican has denied that the Pope performed an exorcism on the men."

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    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    Eisley Perform "Mr. Moon" and "The Valley"

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    Old Testament Genocide

    Philip Jenkins "argues that Christians and Jews should struggle to make sense of these violent texts as a central element of their tradition, rather than hurry past them or ignore them altogether," reports The American Conservative's Patrick Allitt in his review of the scholar's latest book — Christian Jihad.

    This troubling "orgy of militarism, enslavement, and race war" has prompted believers either "to take them at face value and act accordingly" or "to overlook or exclude these genocidal texts." Early heretics "argued that the God of the Old Testament, capricious, brutal, and violent, was the antithesis of the God of Jesus in the New Testament;" however, "against the Marcionites and the Manicheans, some of the Church Fathers, including Origen and Augustine, denied that the genocidal passages should be taken literally." Moderns "use the genocidal passages to argue against religion itself." Prof. Jenkins himself, following the "historical criticism" approach, believes "much later writers attributed to Joshua actions that never happened."

    The reviewer makes it clear that the author is "right to show the unreasonableness of thinking that Islam is essentially a religion of violence and war and Christianity a religion of peace" and that "we should be a lot more self-aware and self-critical when we think about our religion and a lot slower to condemn the violent tendencies in the religions of others."

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    "The Emperor Has No Clothes"

    Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan régime, explains how "the government holds the measure of inflation down by measuring a declining standard of living," which "permits our rulers to divert cost-of-living-adjustments that should be paid to Social Security recipients to wars of aggression, police state, and banker bailouts" — Economics 101. He writes:
      Today, consumers are too indebted to borrow, and banks are too insolvent to lend. Therefore, there is no possibility of further debt expansion as a substitute for real income growth. An offshored economy is a dead and exhausted economy.

      The consequences of a dead economy when the government is wasting trillions of dollars in wars of naked aggression and in bailouts of fraudulent financial institutions is a government budget that can only be financed by printing money.

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