Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sheila Kay Adams Sings "Little Margaret"

    Little Margaret is sitting in her high hall chair
    Combing back her long yellow hair
    Saw sweet William and his new made bride
    Riding up the road so near

    She threw down her ivory comb
    Threw back her long yellow hair
    Said "I'll go down and bid them farewell
    And I'll nevermore go there"

    It was late in the night
    They were fast asleep
    Little Margaret appeared all dressed in white
    Standing at their bed feet

    Saying "How do you like your snow white pillow?
    How do you like your sheet?
    Saying how do you like that pretty, fair maid
    Who lays in your arms asleep?"

    "Very well do I like my snow white pillow
    Well do I like my sheet
    Much better do I like that pretty, fair maid
    Who stands at my bed feet"
    He called a servant man to go
    Saddled the dappled roan
    And he rode for her father's house that night
    Knocked on the door alone

    Said "Is little Margaret in her room,
    Or is she in the hall?"
    "Little Margaret is in her cold black coffin
    With her face turned toward the wall"

    Unfold, unfold those snow white robes
    Be they ever so fine
    For I want to kiss those cold, cold lips
    For I know they'll never kiss mine

    Three times he kissed her cold, cold hand
    Twice he kissed her cheek
    And once he kissed her cold, cold lips
    And he fell in her arms asleep

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"Who is the Real Barack Obama?" Asks Steve Sailer

In his The Conservative Vote: A Symposium offering, Mr. Sailer references "the question of how such a moody, low-energy loner became president," which he answers pretty satisfactorily here — Making Sense of Obama: The Muslimist.

"I've finally figured out who Obama really is," he says on his blog, introducing the above-linked article, saying, "It's neither terribly scandalous nor laudatory (so nobody will pay attention to it); it just makes more sense out of some of the weird details in Obama's life story and puts his early career path in a historical perspective." Well done, Mr. Sailer.

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Who Are The American Conservative's Columnists Voting For?

All, or none, of the above — The Conservative Vote: A Symposium.

I will join Bill Kauffman casting my vote for a man who "is antiwar, anti-surveillance state, and anti-bailouts," and who "regards the Bill of Rights as a palladium of liberty, not an anachronistic nuisance." Like Mr. Kauffman, "I wish [this candidate] emphasized radical decentralism more than lifestyle freedoms, but hey, you can’t always get what you want."

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Pocket Atlas of Remote Islands—Fifty Islands I Have Not Visited and Never Will

"Now that it is possible to travel right round the globe, the real challenge lies in staying at home and discovering the world from there," says the author of the book reviewed here by Derek Turner — The End of Adventure. Fascinating places.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Heinrich Schütz's Alleluja! Lobe den Herren, Performed by the Choir and Orchestra of the Dutch Bach Society, Directed by Jos van Veldhoven

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Two Reports on His Eminence Kurt Cardinal Koch

One in which the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity says that "the Vatican would entertain a hypothetical proposal by Lutherans to establish ecclesial structures modeled on the ordinariates developed for Anglican communities that wish to enter into full communion with the Holy See" — Vatican cardinal opens door to Lutheran ordinariates — and another arguing that Pope Ratzinger "has questioned th[e] understanding of the conciliar hermeneutics of the break and proposed the hermeneutics of reform, which unites continuity and renewal" — 'Progressives and Traditionalists Suffer From the Same Ailment'.

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Broken Window Fallacy Smashed

"Why catastrophic weather doesn't put idle resources to work and make us richer" explained by The American Conservative's Robert P. Murphy — Hurricanes Are Nature’s Keynesianism.

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Defending the Electoral College

"Its abolition would just be the latest step away from the idea of a federal republic toward the notion that the narrowest plurality of Americans should get whatever it wants from government," argues The American Conservative's W. James Antle III — Will the Electoral College Survive 2012?

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Pat Buchanan Endorses G.O.P Candidate

Just as he's done time after time, this time reminding us, rightly, that "if America is to endure as a nation, her peoples are going to need the freedom to live differently and the space to live apart, according to their irreconcilable beliefs," and, perhaps rightly, that "should Barack Obama win, the centralization of power and control will continue beyond the point of no return" — Romney for President. "Romney alone offers a possibility of hope and change," he sadly concludes.

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Génération Identitaire's Déclaration de Guerre


The New American's James Heiser on the group behind the above video, who entered "into the global spotlight [with] the construction of a mosque in the French city of Poitiers [when] approximately 60 members of the youth organization occupied the mosque in order to protest the spreading influence of Islam within French society" — French Youth Movement Opposes Islamization. Mr. Heiser explains the significance:
    The youth group targeted the Poitiers mosque because of its proximity to the site of one of the most famous battles in European history. In A.D. 732, the Battle of Poitiers (which is also called the Battle of Tours) was the critical event which stopped the northward advance of Muslim armies which had already overtaken and brutalized Spain and were threatening to sweep through the rest of western Europe. Under the leadership of Charles Martel, the invading force was halted, but at a substantial cost in lives. Generation Idenitaire’s brief occupation of the mosque in Poitiers came on the anniversary of the famous battle, and was intended to remind their fellow citizens of the tremendous price paid in past generations to prevent the Islamization of the country.
This blogger has three words for these youths: "Vive la France!"

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

J.S. Bach's Christ Lag in Todesbanden & Ein Feste Burg Ist Unser Gott Perfromed by Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam & Musica Amphion


An offering for those commemorating Reformation Sunday tomorrow.

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Feminists for Rape?


Of course not, but the argument behind the Feminists for Life announcement posted above by LewRockwell.com Blog's David Kramer — The Innocent Third Party — won't make much sense those who blind themselves with fake outrage.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Jan Ladislav Dussek's La Mort de Marie Antoinette Performed by Eveliina Kytömäki


Music I will be hearing with the missus on an older keyboard tomorrow down the road at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church's "Harpsichord Haunting" evening. This will be my first visit to my parent's church, although I have long been envious of what they tell me of the locally renowned Music Department at St. Paul's.

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Anglican Use in Rochester


The Fellowship of Saint Alban, "Catholics of Anglican heritage, belonging to the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter," "in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church and part of the Latin rite," meets weekly at 3pm on Sundays at Good Shepherd Catholic church, Henrietta, "for Evensong - until John Cornelius's ordination, when we can then celebrate mass according to the Anglican Use," starting January 27th, 2013.

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"Oldfashioned I.W.W. Anarchism"

Felicitous phrasing to describe one of the mentioned influences of Japhy Ryder (Gary Snyder, no blood relation that I know of), celebrated in Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums. Far more life-affirming and all-American than Mr. Snyder's other influence, the venerable Eastern religion alluded to in the title of the novel.

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The Southern Avenger's Consistent Life Ethic

"If life is sacred, how can we justify the random killing of innocent children?" asks The American Conservative 's Jack "Southern Avenger" Hunter — Pro-Life Means Anti-Drone. He begins:
    My pro-life position is simple: Life is sacred. Life is so sacred that for it to be taken there must be an extremely good reason—and there are few good reasons. Convenience is certainly not a good reason. This innate sanctity of human life is something virtually all civilized people recognize despite one’s politics. Even those who identify as pro-choice are only comfortable with abortion to the degree that they can downplay or dismiss the humanity of the subject at hand.

    Barack Obama has never claimed to be pro-life. As the Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney writes: “President Obama has killed hundreds of civilians, including women and children, in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia through a drone war aimed at exterminating the suspected terrorists on his unprecedented and ever-expanding ‘kill list.’”

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Get the State Out of the Bedroom!

    It is time for the Christian Churches and other faith communities to disengage from civil society. The Churches should cease requiring civil marriage licenses for Church weddings. This would emphatically communicate that the State has no authority concerning marriage with the Churches. Marriage would be clearly seen as an ecclesial reality, not a civil one. There would clearly exist two kinds of “marriage”, civil and religious, and never the twain shall meet.
Such are the state of affairs that Daniel Nichols, quoted above, is sounding like a libertarian, and rightly so — Gay “Marriage”: A Modest Proposal.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gillian Welch Performs "Tennessee" & "I'll Fly Away"




Something for adamgn in Seoul, writing in response to an earlier post of mine — Gillian Welch & David Rawlings Perform "Look At Miss Ohio," "Hard Times" & "Six White Horses" — the following: "I love them. And these songs. They make me homesick. Thanks for posting."

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Saint Kateri Tekakwitha's Long Reach

Charles A. Coulombe informs us that "thanks to her example, 50 years after her death a convent of sisters of noble Indian birth was opened in Mexico City," and that "she has become, ... strangely enough, patroness of Taiwanese aborigines" — The Seven Saints of October.

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Is President Obama a Communist?

  • "Withal, Obama appears untouchable; his genius for manipulating the American public, or rather, his base, including the many in distress, is critical to his leadership role in advancing American financial and business interests," writes CounterPunch's Norman Pollack — The Moral Case for Silence.

  • "Communism is a hard dogma, completely at odds with the soft-handed girlish narcissism of a late-20th-century American leftist such as Obama, who has never risked, fought, struggled, or suffered," writes Takimag.com's John Derbyshire — Free to Be a Communist.
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    The Tallis Scholars Perform at the Festival de l'Epau 2010 Under the Direction of Peter Phillips


    Singing Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina's Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, Arvo Pärt's Magnificat, Gregorio Allegri's Miserere, John Tavener's "As One Who Has Slept," Thomas Tallis's "Lamentations II," William Byrd's Tribue Domine, and Antonio Lotti's Crucifixus.

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    Defending the Mother Country

    Sean Gabb of Taki's Magazine reminds us that "England is under attack, and from its own ruling class," and that "[t]his is not an attack on tradition in itself, but the unfolding of an alternative tradition" — In Defense of English Civilization.

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    Cardinal Truth

    A warning of the "anti-religious sentiment, much of it explicitly anti-Catholic, that has been growing in this country for several decades" — Cardinal George warns US secularization is more serious than elections. An excerpt:
      “I am (correctly) quoted as saying that I expected to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square,” the cardinal wrote.

      However, he said the reports left out his last phrase about the bishop who succeeds a possible martyr: “His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.”

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    Paul Tough on Education

    Steve Sailer on a man who argues "that education should be focused less on raising IQ and more on building moral fiber" — It’s Tough Being Tough. "For example," explains Mr. Sailer, "the psychological trait of 'conscientiousness' correlates with good outcomes in life. So society should try to inculcate conscientiousness in the poor."

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    Free Beer!

    A step in the right direction at Albany's "Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit" — State rolls back fees, regulations on beer and wine industry.

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    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    W.A. Mozart's "Violin Concerto No. 3" Performed by Hilary Hahn and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Directed by Gustavo Dudamel






    Pope Ratzinger, a.k.a. the Vicar of Christ, listens to his favorite composer.

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    George Washington Responds to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

    "Neither candidate wanted to talk about foreign policy — because the differences between them are negligible," rightly says Justin Raimondo of last night's "foreign policy" "debate," so instead they "competed for the role of Israel’s Best Friend" — Debate Summary: Israel, Israel, Israel, Israel.

    Washington's Farewell Address warns us that "a passionate attachment of one Nation for another produces a variety of evils," with the Founder continuing:
      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. It 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. 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.

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    Indicting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for "Genocide Incitation"?

    Justin Raimondo on one of those "weird little moments" from the debate — Debate Summary: Israel, Israel, Israel, Israel. He writes:
      Weirdest of all was when he was visibly struggling to come up with a scenario short of war with Iran, and latched on to the idea of “indicting” Ahmadinejad for “genocide incitation.” Leaving aside the mistranslation of Ahmadinejad’s words this charge is based on — the Iranian president was saying Israel would “vanish from the page of time” due to the Palestinian population explosion rather than a nuclear explosion — one wonders what court will issue the indictment, and under what legal standard. “Genocide incitation” is not against the law in the United States, although it is in Europe and in Russia: will the United Nations file the charges? Then again, Romney and Ryan criticize the present administration for relying too much on the UN, so it’s hard to make any real sense out of this little outburst.

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    Eat Locally

    Bill Kauffman reminds us that "the Finger Lakes region of New York is among the culturally, historically, and culinarily richest parts of the country," and informs us, "Now it has a cookbook worthy of its ghosts and grapes" — Finger Foods.

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    How Is the State Like a Prophylactic?

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    Robert Louis Stevenson's Poem for Saint Marianne Cope

      To the Reverend Sister Marianne,
      Matron of the Bishop Home, Kalaupapa.

      To see the infinite pity of this place,
      The mangled limb, the devastated face,
      The innocent sufferers smiling at the rod,
      A fool were tempted to deny his God.
      He sees, and shrinks; but if he look again,
      Lo, beauty springing from the breasts of pain!
      He marks the sisters on the painful shores,
      And even a fool is silent and adores.
    Quoted by Chronicles' Tom Piatak, who also links to the poet's "essay defending the recently deceased Flemish priest [St. Damien of Molokai] from aspersions cast on him by a Presbyterian minister, Rev. Dr. Hyde, whom Stevenson had met in Honolulu." which "Pat Buchanan has described... as 'among the most passionate, brilliant, brutal, and beautiful polemics I have ever read'" — An Island of Saints.

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    An Amish Eid Al-Adha

    An email anecdote from a colleague about this Friday's Islamic holiday:
      One of my students reported buying his sheep at an Amish farm which seems to be nicely networked with the Muslim community. He went there this weekend, paid for his sheep, left it there, and will go there on Friday to conduct the sacrifice himself and butcher it himself. Cash on the barrelhead, apparently. He loves the simplicity of that farm community and the modesty of dress… "like my village at home."

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    Monday, October 22, 2012

    "Cotton-Eyed Joe" Performed by the Kathy Kallick Band


    The New Beginning has a review of a concert and some videos — Kathy Kallick Band. What really attracted me was this comment of his: "Annie Staninec is one awesome fiddler. She also has some cute facial expressions..." Indeed. Check her out!

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    J.S. Bach's "Prelude in E Major, Partita No. 3" Performed by Chris Thile


    "Bluegrass sounds older than Bach, [and] when you hear Bach, it sounds modern and current and eye-opening and surprising," says this fellow traveler in the same series — Béla Fleck - BACH & friends - Michael Lawrence Films.

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    Sunday, October 21, 2012

    Heinrich Schütz's Heu Mihi Domine & Quid Commisisti Sung by the Vocalconsort Berlin, Directed by Daniel Reuss

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    George McGovern, Rest In Peace


    Bill Kauffman, writing six years ago for The American Conservative, reminded us that the real "George McGovern, dyed deeply in the American grain, is a hell of a lot more interesting than the burlesque that was framed by his neocon critics" — Come Home, America. An excerpt:
      Look: George McGovern was a liberal Democrat. He voted for social-welfare programs of every shape and size; his philosophy then and now was a product, he says, of the Social Gospel movement, which translates Christianity into an interventionist welfare state.

      But at its not-frequent-enough best, McGovernism combined New Left participatory democracy with the small-town populism of the Upper Midwest. In a couple of April 1972 speeches, he seemed to second Barry Goldwater’s 1968 remark to aide Karl Hess that “When the histories are written, I’ll bet that the Old Right and the New Left are put down as having a lot in common and that the people in the middle will be the enemy.”

      “[M]ost Americans see the establishment center as an empty, decaying void that commands neither their confidence nor their love,” McGovern asserted in one of the great unknown campaign speeches in American history. “It is the establishment center that has led us into the stupidest and cruelest war in all history. That war is a moral and political disaster—a terrible cancer eating away the soul of the nation. … It was not the American worker who designed the Vietnam war or our military machine. It was the establishment wise men, the academicians of the center. As Walter Lippmann once observed, ‘There is nothing worse than a belligerent professor.’”

      Try to imagine a Democratic backbencher, let alone a presidential candidate, saying as much today. No wonder the scriveners of the Suffocating Center have no more potent imprecation in their thesauri than “McGovernism.”

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    The Future Is Glass




    My luddite tendencies yield to the localism inspired by nearby Corning Inc. in this ad posted by LewRockwell.com Blog's Karen De Coster — Technology vs. the Gatekeepers. The Corning Museum of Glass is one of our great local attractions. And the ad's casting members of Count Richard Nikolaus Eijiro von Coudenhove-Kalergi's Race of the Future, like my kids, is fitting.

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    Two Upstate New Yorkers Raised to the Altar

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    Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Pray For Us




    Two remarkably fair* MSM reports — Boy's Miracle Cure Makes Native American Saint & Kateri Tekakwitha named first Native American saint in Vatican ceremony.

    *Perhaps belonging to a revered ethnic minority makes up for joining a despised religious minority.

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    Saturday, October 20, 2012

    J.S. Bach's "Mass in B Minor," Joélle Harvey, Carolyn Sampson, Iestyn Davies, Ed Lyon, Matthew Rose, Choir of the English Concert, The English Concert, Harry Bicket

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    St. Jean-Sébastien

    "When Gregory XIX came to Rome after the papal election, he brought with him from his Burgundian monastery the violin on which he was accustomed to play Bach’s partitas and sonatas, and when he sought to canonize the composer as St. Jean-Sébastien, he deemed it a matter of courtesy first to gain the approbation of Lutheran leaders," begins Nicholas Clifford's review of Paul Elie's new book — Heaven’s Playlist.

    You have to pay Commonweal to read beyond that tantalizing first sentence of its review of Reinventing Bach, but a little research shows it refers to a "book written just after the Second World War by the German author Johannes Ruber, called Bach and the Heavenly Choir, [which] tells the fictional story of a violin- playing Pope Gregory, who reigned after the Second World War and attempted to get Bach's name entered in the list of saints" — Johann Sebastian Bach and the heavenly choir.

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    Anarchy in Detroit

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    Real Lessons from the Cuban Missile Crisis

    LewRockwell.com's Eric Margolis reminds us that the "blustering but crafty Khrushchev... offered to take Soviet missiles out of Cuba if the US pledged never to invade the island [and] Kennedy agreed to quietly withdraw US nuclear-armed Thor and Jupiter missiles targeted on the USSR from Turkey and Italy" — Thirteen Days That Shook the World – and Nearly Ended It. More:
      The deal was done. Washington hailed it as a huge victory for President Kennedy who became a national hero and icon. This mythology persists in the US today. The American public is still largely unaware of the secret deal.

      In the end, the Soviet Union came out ahead in the crisis. Cuba was saved from a US invasion, which was Moscow’s principal strategic goal, along with preserving the Castro regime, which remains to this day.

      US missiles in Turkey and Italy (and likely Britain) threatening the USSR were removed but the story remained secret for decades.

      Unaware of it, the Soviet politburo ousted Khruschev a year later for "reckless, hare-brained schemes" and made the plodding Leonid Brezhnev chairman. He lead the USSR directly into economic collapse by wildly over-spending on arms to keep up with the Americans and their wealthy allies, and by failing to renew the USSR’s industrial and agricultural base.

      Fortunately, the US military was not allowed to invade Cuba: Unknown at the time, Soviet troops there were authorized to use 100 tactical nuclear weapons against any invading force and their bases in South Florida. As Wellington said after Waterloo, "it was a damned near-run thing."

      But this "victory" misled America into hubris and over-relying on military action to resolve its future political problems.

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    Friday, October 19, 2012

    Gillian Welch & David Rawlings Perform "Look At Miss Ohio," "Hard Times" & "Six White Horses"

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    Defending Nekkid Ladies


    "It is challenging to teach one’s children how to tell the difference between art and pornography when it comes to depictions of the nude human form," says Rod Dreher, "but it is necessary to try, especially in an increasingly pornographic culture like ours" — Nudity And Culture.

    Perhaps this "increasingly pornographic culture like ours" is a result of our forgetting that "the body itself was created by God, who said it was good," and that with "true art, we are taught to think of the body as beautiful."

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    Ghosts of War


    A conservative blog for peace links to this story of a "haunting collection of images [that] shows what it would look like if the ghosts of World War II returned to our streets" with "pictures [that] overlay modern scenes from France with atmospheric photographs taken in the same place during the war" — The Ghosts of World War II: The photographs found at flea markets superimposed on to modern street scenes.

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    "Brain Dead" Ain't Dead

    Another story debunking a popular pseudo-scientific myth — Film on teen who awoke from coma before having organs harvested stirs 'brain death' debate.

    A four-year-old post of mine noting that "Vatican City state does not use certification of brain death... because this would tend to equate the human person with brain function" and that — Hearts and Lungs, Not Brains. Also noted was the fact that "[f]orty years ago a committee of the Harvard Medical School published a report recommending the adoption of brain death as the criterion for declaring a person dead," which in effect "meant the cessation of heart and lung function were no longer the only criteria for declaring someone dead." Further, I commented:
      It is interesting that traditionally, both East and West, breath has been synonymous with spirit, as evidenced by the importance of breathing in Indic religions or the Greek word πνεύμα. And the heart has traditionally been seen as the seat of emotion and even consciousness, as evidenced by the ideogram 心 which can refer to both the organ and to the concept of mind.

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    Pope Ratzinger and Pussy Riot

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    Leave It to the Archdiocese of New York

    To host the only interesting political event of the election cycle, which rightly "shows the United States of America and the Catholic Church at their best" in "an atmosphere of civility and humor" — Al Smith dinner includes religious freedom references amid humor.

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    Pat Buchanan Advises the Candidates

    "Usually, not always, the peace party wins," says The American Conservative's pacific founder, noting that "[a]ware of [America's] war weariness, especially among women, President Obama and Vice President Biden seem intent on appearing before the nation on Election Day as the sole peace party" — Peace Is the Ticket to Victory. The peace-lover concludes:
      Even in 1940, FDR, though plotting war, ran as a peace candidate: “I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”

      Hopefully, Gov. Romney will say something like this, and mean it.

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    Snubbing Bill Clinton

    Two decades after refusing to shake the candidate's hand out of support for his rival Jerry Brown at a primary debate in Buffalo, I refused to even consider attending this event in Rochester — Thousands pack Armory for Bill Clinton visit. Appropriate venue for a warmonger, I must say.

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    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    Lisa Hannigan Performs "Safe Travels (Don't Die)" & "Little Bird"



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    Europe's Most Peace-Loving Nation Did Not Share the Nobel Peace Prize

    And is rightly preparing for the collapse of this year's laureate, reports The New American's Alex Newman — Swiss Military Preparing for EU Meltdown Scenario.

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    Defending the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Era

    Steve Sailer rightly takes issue with a claim that "there was a sustained lack of productivity growth from 1300 to 1700, which supports his argument that economic expansion is a relatively recent phenomenon and by no means inevitable" — NYT: There was a sustained lack of productivity growth from 1300 to 1700. Really, what's the NYT printed on? Mr. Sailer:
      This may sound persnickety, but it's actually crucially important to understand that there was huge productivity growth in Europe from 1300 to 1700. Most notably, the greatest invention of them all, the printing press from the 1450s onward, seeded Europe with ideas and information. (The single most obvious cause of Islam falling hopelessly behind Christendom was Muslim society and state's hostility to the printing press. Around 1700, as I vaguely recall, there were about as many printing presses in the entire Muslim world as on the Spanish colony of Guam way out in the Pacific.)

      But there were many other technological advances, such as the spread of clocks, which allowed life to be much more efficient, much less hurry-up-and-wait. Eyeglasses were another wonderful development, especially as they solved problems (e.g., myopia) worsened by the spread of literacy.

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    Death of an Unrepentant Communist

    Nicholas Farrell of Taki's Magazine on a man whose recent demise is "proof that if you defend communism, far from it being shameful, it remains laudable and even necessary—especially if you are a journalist or an academic keen to get ahead" — Hobsbawm’s Choice. An excerpt:
      It’s indicative of who really calls the shots in Britain and Europe that to brand someone “a fascist” or “a Nazi” is an insult, but to call someone a “communist” is not, and that to deny the communist holocaust is allowed, but to deny the Nazi holocaust is not.

      Can we imagine what the PC (post-communist/politically correct) people who command European culture would have had to say if at the funeral of an academic who was an unrepentant apologist of National Socialism they played the “Horst Wessel Song” as the flames devoured his corpse and the mourners felt uplifted? No politician would dare to attend. Arrests would be made.

      How can killing six million Jews be more evil than killing 94 million people (including 65 million in China and 20 million in Soviet Russia)? If it is unacceptable to kill your racial enemy then surely it is also unacceptable to kill your class enemy, right?

      Wrong, say the hordes of communist fellow travelers in the non-communist world, for this reason: Unlike the Nazi cause, the communist cause was justified because a property owner deserves to be eliminated, whereas a Jew does not.

      But no decent human being can justify what was done during the 20th century in communism’s name.

      Yet despite it all—despite the belated admissions about Soviet genocide after Stalin’s death in 1953, despite the Soviet invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia in 1956 and 1968, despite the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, et tout ça—despite all that and so much more, Britain’s greatest historian could see no evil.
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    "An Inside Look at America's Longest War"


    A conservative blog for peace and cryptogon.com both link. I recall during a downtown antiwar protest in 1991 running into a hometown stoner/skateboarder to whom a mic was passed. He said, "I just want to remind everybody that there's another war going on right now and that's the War on Drugs." He then lost his composure and passed the mic. As embarrassing as the scene was, I know realize he was right.

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    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Amanda Shires and Rod Picott Perform "Swimmer," "Shake the Walls" & "When You Need a Train It Never Comes"

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    African Churchman Issues Wake-Up Call to Europe


    European pressmen throw conniption fit — Cardinal causes uproar with "Muslim scare" video at Vatican. Here's the "scare" video (yes, numbers are scary) — Muslim Demographics. Some fun speculation about His Eminence Peter Kodwo Appiah Cardinal Turkson of mine two years ago— Next Pope, Black Pope, Last Pope?

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    Clyde N. Wilson's Argument in Favor of Real Free Trade

    "Tariffs were the cause of American economic might and would restore our industrial strength and workers’ welfare if we would re-adopt them and get rid of 'free trade'" is but one of the ideas debunked by the great professor — Doubtful Notions. His argument:
      The nostalgia for taxes on foreign goods is understandable among those worried about American decline. However, it is mistaken for all sorts of reasons. Tariffs, like every other government action, cannot create wealth—they can only redistribute it. To credit tariffs with American economic might is rather to neglect the intelligence, hard work, enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity, and incomparably immense treasure of natural resources that Americans displayed and enjoyed during the growth of our wealth and strength in the 19th and 20th centuries. There is no real evidence that tariffs enhanced American prosperity—quite the contrary. Tariff advocates like to condemn the present government-managed trade as somehow the product of a mistaken belief in free-trade theory. The present system is not free trade, which is the exchange of goods without the added costs of government interference. The present system is slave trade, resting on the trading of people, which was never a part of free trade. In the tariff era the law was arranged to profit the dominant interests of industrial capital—at the expense of everyone else. In the “free trade” era legislation is arranged to profit the dominant interests of financial capital—at the expense of everyone else. “Free trade” advocates of the present regime are not devoted to a beautiful theory—they are serving their masters. Blaming “free trade” merely detracts from the real issue, which is one of power, not of economic theory. Were a tariff policy adopted, who can doubt that the interests that own Congress would work it to their advantage? How can tariffs help American workers—unless you consider as “American” all the imported cheap labour that is coming and will come. In fact, the high tariff era was also the era of high immigration—the industrialists imported contract gangs of impoverished workers from Europe to keep down the wages of native Americans. Tariff advocates imagine that their policy will bring an America independent of foreigners. In fact, a high tariff policy is historically associated with militarism and imperialism. Countries that hamper foreign imports discourage reciprocal trade. They need to go abroad to find coerced markets. This was a major factor in American leaders adopting imperialism in the late 19th century—controlling colonial markets. Matthew Carey, who was the foremost American spokesman for “tariff protection” in the 19th century was also the spokesman for a large navy to compete with Britain for control of markets around the world. (He was not even a native American but an Irish immigrant who wanted to use U.S. power to damage Britain.) Carey, thirty years before the War Between the States, wanted the North to invade the South and force it to accept the tariff. If it is necessary to build or strengthen certain industries, a direct subsidy would me more honest and effective than a tariff or any of the indirect subsidies (tax breaks, etc.) now used. Of course, you would still have the corruption, incompetence, and colossal wastefulness of federal bureaucrats.

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    U.S.S.A.

    "How the United States became a superpower of the left," explained by The American Conservative's Martin Sieff — From Kennan to Trotsky. The author begins:
      Russia and China today both enjoy the same grand-strategic advantage against the United States that the United States enjoyed through the 44 years of the Cold War.

      The Soviet Union was then the superpower of the left, as the left had been globally understood since the French Revolution. It was the state committed to the promotion of revolutionary change across the world.

      The United States, by contrast, was the superpower of the right. It was committed to the maintenance of stability and continuity in government systems around the world.

      The United States won the Cold War. The craving for stability, peace, and continuity among governments and populations alike proved infinitely stronger than the fleeting flashes of revolutionary fervor. The Soviet Union eventually became physically exhausted and globally isolated by its ideological commitment to revolutionary change.

      Today, however, the roles of the two great powers have been reversed. Since the advent of Madeleine Albright as secretary of state in 1997, the United States has become increasingly ideologically committed to the spreading of “instant powdered democracy” in every nation of the world, as defined and approved by the United States. Russia and China have become the main “conservative” or “right-wing” powers committed to preserving the status quo.

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    Teaching Aristotle Today

      A former colleague of mine who teaches political theory observed that it’s now impossible to teach students about Aristotle’s conception of the family as a household. The kids get annoyed that an ancient Greek thinker held such a skewed view of family relations. It makes no sense, for example, that an aging dude was put in charge of other family members. After all, women should be wage-earners as well as make their own decision about reproductive rights. One young Brazilian exchange student went ballistic when the instructor failed to scold Aristotle for not discussing gay marriage. Isn’t this about family togetherness, the student asked, an attitude we should be praising instead of ignoring?
    An excerpt from Paul Gottfried's latest — Charles Murray’s Fatal Conceit.

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    States' Rights

    The New American's Alex Newman on "a potential showdown between the Obama administration and state governments that could increase interest in the U.S. Constitution’s Tenth Amendment" — Voters in 3 States May Nullify Fed. Drug Laws by Legalizing Marijuana.

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    Global Warming Debunked

    By those "playing a key role in advancing climate change hysteria," reports The New American's Alex Newman — Global Climate Warming Stopped 15 Years Ago, UK Met Office Admits.

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    Hometown Hottie

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    Sunday, October 14, 2012

    J.S. Bach's Jesus Bleibet Meine Freude, Performed by Concentus Musicus Vienna & the Arnold Schönberg Choir, Directed by Nikolaus Harnoncourt

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    The Manosphere and Me

    [Ladies, kindly stop reading here.]

    The New Beginning was kind enough to answer my request for "any manospheric sites you might recommend" in the discussion to this post — A Married Man (Me) Reads Roissy. In addition to Chateau Heartiste, sites recommended were Alpha Game, Dalrock, Hawaiian libertarian, and The Spearhead. When I first heard of it, I was a bit skeptical, but after touring around The Manosphere a bit, I'm convinced of its value.

    Long-term readers may remember back in '05, some six years before my repatriation, an independent linguistic analysis using The Gender Genie found yours truly to be "the manliest of all manly men" earning the title "The Alpha Male of the Korbloggers".

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    Hildegard von Bingen's De Sancta Maria Sung by Schola Lux Vivens, Directed by Hans-Dieter Karras

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    Saturday, October 13, 2012

    Hildegard von Bingen's De Undecim Milibus Virginibus and O Viridissima Virga Sung by Ensemble Canta Filia, Directed by Barbara Grohmann-Kraaz

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    Misunderstanding the Founding

    The New Beginning on those who "have accepted the Yankee nationalist myth," and those then "criticizing the American founding accordingly" but wrongly — A Rejoinder to Straussians and Traditionalist Catholics.

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    Friday, October 12, 2012

    Le Vent Du Nord Perform "Les Amants du Saint Laurent," "Au Bord de la Fontaine," "Dans la Prison de l'Ombre," & "Tour à Bois"








    The New Beginning has some more good music for us — Le Vent Du Nord.

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    The Lily of the Mohawks to Be Canonized This Month

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    The Erie Canal Aqueduct in Rochester, NY






    More pictures of "Clinton's Ditch" here — Historical Erie Canal photos.

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    Goldman Sachs for President!

    The American Conservative's Daniel McCarthy jokes that he is "tempted to cut out the middleman this November and write in a vote for Goldman Sachs" at the beginning of his "intelligent conservative’s guide to the presidential election" — How Does a Traditionalist Vote? An excerpt:
      For partisans, this is a no-brainer. For conservatives in the vein of, say, Russell Kirk, it’s anything but. Faced with the non-choice between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Thomas Dewey in 1944, Kirk said no to empire and voted for Norman Thomas, the Socialist Party candidate. There was no Fox News to tell him a conservative couldn’t do that.

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    Justice for Diablo!

    The dog "was shot five times with police service weapons, after [Deputies Shaun] LeClair and [Mathhew] Clancy responded to a complaint of a vehicle illegally parked in front of [owner Gary] Brockler’s home" and "entered the property without cause" — Pit bull owner files lawsuit against deputies for the shooting death of 'Diablo'.

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    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Vytautas Miškinis' Levavi Oculos Meos Sung by the Paragita Choir Directed by Aning Katamsi


    Contemporary Lithuanian sacred music in Latin sung by an Indonesian choir in national dress? Catholic.

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    Old World Find in the Town Next Door

    "Catholic historians thousands of miles away will be the beneficiaries of a sharp-eyed Penfield couple who found rare 100-year-old.... hymnals, prayer books and copies of the New Testament that survived Nazi and Russian occupations" — Rare Lithuanian prayer books found at auction.

    The couple "spent one dollar on a grab bag of religious books" and said, Jack Kelley, 80, said, "We’re kind of religious that way. We don’t want them abused. I was raised in the old school with a lot of respect."

    After "determined the writing was Lithuanian," Mr. Kelly contacted Raymond Liutkus, business administrator of Saint George Roman Catholic Lithuanian Church, who said that "the books are proof of Lithuanian national spirit present throughout a difficult century."

    "It shows the strong relationship with faith that they really fought for over there and brought here," he explained. "They could have just as easily become Eastern Orthodox when the czar tried to make them, but they resisted."

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    His Holiness and His All Holiness at the Lth Anniversary of Vatican II

    The New Beginning has the scoop — Pope Benedict's Homily at Opening Mass of the Year of Faith.

    Said Pope Ratzinger, a.k.a. the Vicar of Christ: "Through Christ, God is the principal subject of evangelization in the world; but Christ himself wished to pass on his own mission to the Church; he did so, and continues to do so, until the end of time pouring out his Spirit upon the disciples, the same Spirit who came upon him and remained in him during all his earthly life, giving him the strength 'to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed' and 'to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord'" (Lk 4:18-19).

    Said Bartholomew I (Archontonis) of Constantinople: "We join in the '...hope that the barrier dividing the Eastern Church and the Western Church will be removed, and that - at last - there may be but the one dwelling, firmly established on Christ Jesus, the cornerstone, who will make both one' (Unitatis Redintegratio § 18)."

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    When Conservatives Were Interesting


    The American Conservative's Timothy Stanley hails the "aristocratic, sexually ambiguous, occasionally irreligious, anti-party... sworn enemy of military adventurism" who "still stands out as one of the most important conservative thinkers of the generation after the Founding Fathers" as "a timely reminder that conservatives come in all shapes and sizes—and often disagree" — Who Was John Randolph?

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    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    Amanda Shires' "When You Need a Train it Never Comes," "Detroit or Buffalo," and "Sloe Gin" Music Videos

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    Western New York and Third Parties

    "Choose not between two evils: the candidate of crony capitalism and war with Iran or the candidate of crony socialism and smug anti-Catholicism," says Batavia, New York's Bill Kauffman, offering some local history — Party Animus:
      I was born and bred in the cradle of minor partyism, so I suppose the blood—the ichor? the fever?—of electoral rebellion washes through my veins. Besides McGovern in 1972 and Goldwater in 1964, the last major-party candidate I might have voted for would have been Al Smith in 1928.

      The nation’s first third party, the Anti-Masons, arose in my backyard in 1826 after a footloose drunken apostate Mason, Captain William Morgan, spilled the secrets of the craft in his book Illustrations of Freemasonry and wound up missing in the Jimmy Hoffa sense. (Some local Masons long contended that the sot Morgan hightailed it to Canada and lived out a bibulous life. His ghost can be seen staggering about the stripjoints which stipple the Canadian side of the Niagara border.)

      The first third party I’d have supported without reservation, the anarchist-tinged Liberty Party, was born 20 miles down the road in Warsaw, New York. (Reading a biography of John Greenleaf Whittier, who was forever whinging about his ailments as most poets do, I was amused to see him tell Gerrit Smith in 1840 that he planned to vote for Liberty Party candidate James Birney “if my life is spared” through November of that year. Like most hypochondriacs, Whittier lived forever, finally taking his leave 52 years later and entering the valetudinarian Hall of Fame.)

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    Atheist Challenges Darwinism

    And "aims to 'develop the rival alternative conceptions' to what he calls the 'materialism and Darwinism' of our age" — Do You Only Have a Brain? On Thomas Nagel.

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    Monday, October 8, 2012

    J.S. Bach's Schweigt Stille, Plaudert Nicht, Anne Grimm, Lothar Odinius, Klaus Mertens, The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, Ton Koopman

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    Mitt Romney's Messianic Americanism

    Blathering about the presidents's "responsibility to use America’s great power to shape history" — In Virginia, Mitt Romney calls for change of course in Middle East.

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    Shinya Yamanaka's Nobel Prize in Medicine

    "Yamanaka will be remembered in history as the man who put human embryonic stem cell research largely out of business, motivated by reflection on the fact that his own daughters were once human embryos," says moral theologian Father Thomas Berg — Nobel-winning stem cell work helps curtail embryonic research.

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    Support Your Local Brewery

    "The number of local breweries is at a 125 year high," reports Daniel Nichols — Glorious Beer.

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    Sunday, October 7, 2012

    F. Schubert's "Mass N° 5 A Flat Major," Performed by J. Winkel, J. Lehmkuht & Concerto Köln, Directed by P. Neumann


    Not Franz Schubert's vernacular Deutsche Messe (for which this blogger could not find a decent video), which we heard today at Saint Michael's of Rochester, celebrating Oktoberfest and the good Germans who 133 years ago established the now Nuyorican parish. This is perhaps appropriate, because said Germans would have heard the Tridentine Mass, not the Novus Ordo Missae presaged by the Romantic composer.

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    A Married Man (Me) Reads Roissy

    If only to confirm what he's learned through experience in these past twelve years: "that relationships and marriages are more loving, and more sexually fulfilling, when men and women abide their ancient biological roles" — Don’t Split The Housework If You Want The Love To Last. The post references a "study sure to make feminists apoplectic, [which] discovered that couples who share household chores are more likely to divorce."

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    Saturday, October 6, 2012

    J.S. Bach's Magnificat, Performed by the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir, Directed by Ton Koopman


    "Bach thought he was exploring the mind of God," says The American Conservative's Jordon Bloom, contrasting his music with today's "corpus of interchangeable–with both secular pop and other church music–worship songs... so incredibly lazy it almost seems idolatrous" — Mumford & Sons and the Death of Church Music.

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    "Bombastic and Hysterical Platonism"

      The State is the Divine Idea as it exists on earth ... We must therefore worship the State as the manifestation of the Divine on earth ... The State is the march of God through the world ... The State must be comprehended as an organism ... To the complete State belongs, essentially, consciousness and thought. The State knows what it wills ... The State ... exists for its own sake ... The State is the actually existing, realized moral life.
    Thus rightly characterized Karl Popper the above rant Murray Rothbard debunks here — Hegel: The State as God's Will.

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    HR 6566

    LewRockwell.com's Simon Black unpacks the "Mass Fatality Planning and Religious Considerations Act" passed last week — Why Is the US Government Planning for 'Mass Fatalities'?

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    Rochester's River

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    Johanne Provencher Performs "Au Pied du Quai" and "J'aime J'aime"

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    "Mediocre Music for Mediocre People"

    "Playing a banjo onstage at the Grammys is different than playing it on a porch in Kentucky," writes The American Conservative's Jordon Bloom — Mumford & Sons and the Death of Church Music. An excerpt:
      I’m of the mind that it’s better to be an outright elitist than to patronizingly defend bad music on the grounds that some people just don’t know any better. Vice has advanced the thesis that Mumford & Sons is mediocre music for mediocre people, which is at least consistent. But there’s no reason why ordinary people should be attracted to “prosaic” music, to claim that this is somehow natural is extremely unfair. Nor has folk music always been banal–in fact it used to be a lot more fun. What Mumford has discovered, along with his masters at Universal, is that this goopy, self-serious emotionalism sells like crazy. And since he apparently has no interest in new musical ideas, you end up with a relentlessly monotonous body of work that amounts to more of a brand than an oeuvre.

      Many contemporary Christian musicians have discovered a similar formula. Consider how differently Christian rock functions from church music in the past. Megastars today supply a corpus of interchangeable–with both secular pop and other church music–worship songs. Bach thought he was exploring the mind of God. There was once a sense of aspiration or striving, through which God was glorified; this stuff is so incredibly lazy it almost seems idolatrous. My favorite example is the promiscuous key changes that arrangers sometimes insert for a cheap thrill that, in more expressive congregations, gets people to raise their hands. I think that’s a pretty good synecdoche for the music as a whole. There’s a risk that it rests entirely on a set of musical and lyrical techniques that are nothing but levers to elicit a certain feeling or response. It’s all heart and no head.

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    "Pennsylvania Culture Area"

    Front Porch Republic's Eric Miller on one of only three "major colonial culture hearths of the Atlantic Seaboard," whose residents, "unlike denizens of the other two hearths," "remain oddly oblivious to the particularity of their turf" — Take Me Home.

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    The Duopoly

    "The duolopy that maintains hegemony over American politics no longer has any connection to the issues of greatest importance to the American people," writes Front Porch Republic's David Masciotra — The Dangerous Alliance of Big Government and Big Business. He continues:
      They won’t engage in serious debate on eminent domain, jobs, monetary policy, and the financialization of the economy. They won’t have a substantive conversation about the worst problems of the health care industry, and they won’t even acknowledge the failure of the drug war. Foreign policy differences, as the aforementioned Mike Lofgren puts it, amount to the Democrats listening to the Republicans and saying, “Me too, but slightly less.” Defense contractors, private army firms, and massive Pentagon funding demonstrate the export of big government and big business collusion. The Republican and Democratic divide no longer has meaning, and the distinction they make between big business and big government to manipulate the public into believing in the actuality of their divide, no longer has relevance.

      The new project for American improvement must begin with citizens banding together to create an alternative conversation—an alternative conversation that spotlights the dangerous alliance between supposedly differing factions of centralized power. Without this conversation, elections will continue to devolve into contests to see who will emerge as the least reviled character, and invective infected shouting matches on television will continue to resemble the royal entertainment of court jesters and carnival barkers. Political debate will have no resonance with the American people, problems will intensify and multiply, while solutions will become invisible and untenable.

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    Electoral Quote of the Day

      I shall not go to the polls. I have not registered. I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that no 'two evils' exist. There is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I can do or say.
    Thus spake this luminary in 1956 — W.E.B. DuBois Would Not Vote in This Election.

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    Friday, October 5, 2012

    Mélanie Bessette Performs "Joue-moi un Air sur ton Violon" & "Je Suis Si Bien"

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    Single Women's Suffrage


    A conservative blog for peace links to Chateau Heartiste's argument that "[w]hen you don’t have an alpha male in your personal life to admire and rely on for support (partly because you make your own money and don’t feel a pressing need to have a middle class compliment&cuddle herb around for security), you turn to the next facsimile — the substitute alpha male who promises limitless resources for you and your future sprogling" — The Problem With Single Women Having The Vote.

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    Teaching Nobel Prize Winning Economist Paul Krugman

    "Economic growth depends on more than just increasing demand," informs The American Conservative's Robert P. Murphy — Spending Isn’t Production.

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    The Derb's "The Talk: Nonblack Version" Six Months Later

    "To this day I cannot identify any statement of fact in my Taki’s Mag column of April 5 that was not true" — Anniversary of a Defenestration. An exceprt:
      Airing of even the most unwelcome and unpleasant truths is justified, though, when untruth is being loudly, widely propagated. I opened my April column with links to several black writers whining about the need to tell their kids of the danger they face from evil white folk.

      As is easily demonstrated from Department of Justice statistics, this is a lie, a vile and offensive slander on white Americans. Of every six acts of violent interracial crime in the US, five involve a black offender and a nonblack victim. Only one in six has a nonblack perp (and that includes self-described Hispanics) victimizing a black. Lies need to be countered. With truth.

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    "A Rogue Regime"

    CIA veteran Philip Giraldi on a country that "has successfully manipulated my country, the United States, and has done terrible damage both to our political system and to the American people, a crime that I just cannot forgive, condone, or explain away" — Why I Dislike Israel.

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    Wednesday, October 3, 2012

    The Bankesters Perform "Don't Try To Be Anyone Else"

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    Small Is Beautiful

    "Austria, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland, four small European nations committed to political neutrality, stand in stark contrast to the United States with its multi-trillion dollar military budgets, 1.6 million troops stationed in 153 countries (including 80,000 in Europe), Special Operations strike forces deployed in 120 countries, and proliferation of pilotless drone aircraft worldwide for reconnaissance and stealth attacks, sometimes killing civilians, including Americans," Thomas Naylor writes — Radical Small Nation Self-Determination in a Chaotic Meganation World.

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    They Don't Call Her "Hitlery" For Nothing

    Lew Rockwell posts a disturbing video of the sinister woman laughing at "the thought of 'taking out' Iran, the shattered bodies and homes, the crushed factories and farms, the sobbing of the bereft" — Hillary Cackles Demonically. She is evil.

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    I Should Pick Up Jane Austen

    Prospect's Richard Beck makes me want to do so with his article on the authoress who "remains not only well-read but culturally present and alive to an extent that other classic novelists (excepting Dickens) do not" — Cult leader. An excerpt:
      In the Victorian era, Tories who felt queasy about the cultural effects of industrialisation praised Austen for documenting a time of quiet, domestic triumph, when England’s best families “vegetated quietly on a fixed income.” In 1900, the Church of England tried to memorialise this domestic and pious version of Austen by installing a stained glass window honouring her in Winchester Cathedral, where she had been buried years before. After its unveiling, the Winchester Diocesan Chronicle announced that the “object of the figures and text was to illustrate the high moral and religious teaching” of Austen’s writing. The “moral” part is plausible, but as for “religious,” apparently nobody told the editors of the Winchester Diocesan Chronicle that Mr Collins, the stupidest person in Pride and Prejudice and one of the great figures of ridicule in English fiction, is a clergyman. In any case, the Victorian era’s Austen did not last long. After 1914 the emphasis shifted, and suddenly it was Austen’s detachment and glinting irony that people admired, as Britain’s sensibility was reshaped by horrors nobody had previously imagined.

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    Limited Freedom Granted to Farm Distilleries

    News of a state law "intended to provide a level playing field among wineries and farm breweries" — Farm Distilleries Can Now Sell Booze At Fairs.

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    Dying Locally

    This looks like a good place to do it — Shepherd Home provides care and support for local families. "Even though they’re dying, there’s still a lot of living going on here," says Director Betsy Inglis.

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    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    Joe Henry and Lisa Hannigan Perform "Little Bird"

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    Jack Kerouac's "The Vanishing American Hobo"

    The introction to my recently-purchased copy of The Dharma Bums mentions this essay opf his — Jack Kerouac: "The Vanishing American Hobo". An exceprt:
      In America there has always been (you will notice the peculiarly Whitmanesque tone of this poem, probably written by old Goddard) a definite special idea of footwalking freedom going back to the days of Jim Bridger and Johnny Appleseed and carried on today by a vanishing group of hardy old timers still seen sometimes waiting in a desert highway for a short bus ride into town for panhandling (or work) and grub, or wandering the Eastern part of the country hitting Salvation Armies and moving on from town to town and state to state toward the eventual doom of big-city skid rows when their feet give out. -- Nevertheless not long ago in California I did see (deep in the gorge by a railroad track outside San Jose buried in eucalyptus leaves and the blessed oblivion of vines) a bunch of cardboard and jerrybuilt huts at evening in front of one of which sat an aged man puffing his 15¢ Granger tobacco in his corncob pipe (Japan's mountains are full of free huts and old men who cackle over root brews waiting for Supreme Enlightenment which is only obtainable through occasional complete solitude.)

      In America camping is considered a healthy sport for Boy Scouts but a crime for mature men who have made it their vocation. -- Poverty is considered a virtue among monks of civilized nations -- in America you spend a night in the calaboose if you're caught short without your vagrancy change (it was fifty cents last I heard of, Pard----what now?)

      In Brueghel's time children danced around the hobo, he wore huge and raggy clothes and always looked straight ahead indifferent to the children, and the families didnt mind the children playing with the hobo, it was a natural thing. But today mothers hold tight to their children when the hobo passes through town because of what newspapers made the hobo to be -- the rapist, the strangler, child-eater. -- Stay away from strangers, they'll give you poison candy. Though the Brueghel hobo and the hobo today are the same, the children are different. -- Where is even the Chaplinesque hobo? The old Divine Comedy hobo? The hobo is Virgil, he leadeth. -- The hobo enters the child's world (like in the famous painting by Brueghel of a huge hobo solemnly passing through the washtub village being barked at and laughed at by children, St. Pied Piper) but today it's an adult world, it's not a child's world. -- Today the hobo's made to slink -- everybody's watching the cop heroes on TV.

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    Hope? Change?

    "Under Obama," Jack Hunter reminds us, "Democrats have embraced the national security state" — Whatever Happened to Civil Liberties? Not so surprising for those who remember history, as written here by the late, great Gore Vidal back in 1997:
      Fifty years ago, Harry Truman replaced the old republic with a national-security state whose sole purpose is to wage perpetual wars, hot, cold, and tepid. Exact date of replacement? February 27, 1947. Place: The White House Cabinet Room. Cast: Truman, Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson, a handful of congressional leaders. Republican senator Arthur Vandenberg told Truman that he could have his militarized economy only IF he first "scared the hell out of the American people" that the Russians were coming. Truman obliged. The perpetual war began. Representative government of, by, and for the people is now a faded memory. Only corporate America enjoys representation by the Congress and presidents that it pays for in an arrangement where no one is entirely accountable because those who have bought the government also own the media. Now, with the revolt of the Praetorian Guard at the Pentagon, we are entering a new and dangerous phase. Although we regularly stigmatize other societies as rogue states, we ourselves have become the largest rogue state of all. We honor no treaties. We spurn international courts. We strike unilaterally wherever we choose. We give orders to the United Nations but do not pay our dues...we bomb, invade, subvert other states. Although We the People of the United States are the sole source of legitimate authority in this land, we are no longer represented in Congress Assembled. Our Congress has been hijacked by corporate America and its enforcer, the imperial military machine..."

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    Schumpeter's Gale Blows in the East

    Creative destruction is in the air, with Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers analyzing the news "that Samsung Electronics’ operating profit, at $3.14 billion, is more than two times larger than the combined operating profit of nine of Japan’s largest consumer electronic companies" — Why Korea Beats Japan.

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    Monday, October 1, 2012

    G.F. Handel's "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba" Performed by Fedora Strings

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    The Sage of Pittsford on Presidential Debates (And Why to Ignore Them)

      By current standards, Lincoln and Douglas broke every rule of political discourse. They subjected their audiences (which were as large as fifteen thousand on one occasion) to a painstaking analysis of complex issues. They spoke with considerably more candor, in a pungent, colloquial, sometimes racy style, than politicians think prudent today. They took clear positions from which it was difficult to retreat. They conducted themselves s if political leadership carried with it an obligation to clarify issues instead of merely getting elected.

      The contrast between the justly famous debates and present-day presidential debates, in which the media define the issues and draw up the ground rules, is unmistakable and highly unflattering to ourselves. Journalistic interrogation of political candidates—which is what debate has come to—tends to magnify the importance of journalists and to diminish that of the candidates. Journalists ask questions—prosaic, predictable questions for the most part—and press candidates for prompt, specific answers, reserving the right to interrupt and to cut the candidates short whenever they appear to stray from the prescribed topic. To prepare for this ordeal, candidates rely on their advisers to stuff them full of facts and figures, quotable slogans, and anything else that will convey the impression of wide-ranging, unflappable competence. Faced not only with a battery of journalists ready to pounce on the slightest misstep but with the cold, relentless scrutiny of the camera, politicians know that everything depends on the management of visual impressions. They must radiate confidence and decisiveness and never appear to be at a loss for words. The nature of the occasion requires them to exaggerate the reach and effectiveness of public policy, to give the impression that the right programs and the right leadership can meet every challenge.

      The format requires all candidates to look the same: confident, untroubled, and therefore unreal. But it also imposes on them the obligation to explain what makes them different from the others. Once the question has been asked, it answers itself. Indeed, the question is inherently belittling and degrading, a good example of TV’s effect of lowering the object of estimation, of looking through every disguise, deflating every pretension. Bluntly stated with the necessary undertone of all-pervasive skepticism that is inescapably part of the language of TV, the question turns out to be highly rhetorical. What makes you so special? Nothing.

      This is the quintessential question raised by TV, because it is in the medium’s nature to teach us, with relentless insistence, that no one is special, contrary claims notwithstanding. At this point in our history the best qualification for high office may well be a refusal to cooperate with the media’s program of self-aggrandizement. A candidate with the courage to abstain from the “debates” organized by the media would automatically distinguish himself from the others and command a good deal of public respect. Candidates should insist on directly debating each other instead of responding to questions put to them by commentators and pundits. Their passivity and subservience lower them in the eyes of the voters. They need to recover their self-respect by challenging the media’s status as arbiters of public discussion. A refusal to play by the media’s rules would make people aware of the vast, illegitimate influence the mass media have come to exercise in American politics. It would also provide the one index of character that voters could recognize and applaud.
    Quoted by Front Porch Republic's Mart T. Mitchell — Christopher Lasch on Presidental Debates.

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    What to Do on Election Day

  • While reminding us that "voting for any of the two major party candidates for president this year is clearly impossible for anti-interventionists, whether they be of the left or the right," Justin Raimondo argues that "rooting for a candidate is quite a different matter," mentioning his pick (and mine) — Race for the White House, 2012: Whom to Root For?

  • "I haven't voted Republican in a Presidential election since 1980, but I am strongly considering it now," says Thomas Fleming, whose "only motives are greed and fear," perhaps legitimately — Race for the White House, 2012: Whom to Root For?
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    The "Reluctant Anarchist" Remembered

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    The Bush-Obama War Comes Home Again

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