Thursday, January 31, 2013

Panis Et Circenses Performed by Os Mutantes, by Marisa Monte, and by Tha Boogie

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Vive la Francophonie!

"Why the constant harping about the separation of church and state, but not, say, the separation of naturalistic metaphysics and the state, the separation of feminist theory and the state, or the separation of Rawlsian liberalism and the state?" asks Edward Feser, quoted by Joseph McKenzie — France Rediscovers Human Nature. The author explains:
    A people with 1,296 years of Christendom in their cultural makeup, the French have recently shown themselves capable of uniting around human nature’s laws. The million-person anti-gay “marriage” and adoption protests in Paris on January 13 included some of the most disparate elements. Leprous immoralists, socialist harpies, and liberal quadrupeds marched alongside Catholics, Jews, and Muslims.

    These surprising coalitions were united by a common understanding of a foundational principle of moral philosophy, namely that human nature exists and follows laws in its very constitution.
Closer to these lands, Thaddeus Baklinski reports that "Supreme Court of Canada decision that upheld Quebec's laws which provide rights to married couples that do not apply to couples merely living together" — Pro-family groups applaud Supreme Court of Canada ruling in favor of marriage.

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"Drone Reality"

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Panem et Circenses

Philip Giraldi on another chance "to show those Muslims what a wonderful country we have" with our "level of technology that beats everyone else’s hands down" — Have a Patriotic Super Bowl!

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International Banksterism

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rachel Sermanni Performs "Ae Fond Kiss" and "Marshmallow Unicorn"



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Professor Cornel West Speaking Truth to Power


"All of the blood, sweat and tears that went into producing a Martin Luther King, Jr. generated a brother of such high decency and dignity that you don’t use his prophetic fire for a moment of presidential pageantry without understanding the challenge he represents to all of those in power no matter what color they are," said he, linked to here — Questioning Obama’s Hand On The Bible.

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A Son of Lowell, Massachusetts

James Keane on "self-identified Catholic [who] spent more than half his life in his hometown, living with his mother" — Jack Kerouac's unexpected life.

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How About Women in the N.F.L.?

Jared Taylor notes, "No one is talking about putting women on professional sports teams—we might lose a game!—but the military is now asking for weak links that could get the whole squad killed" — Women in Combat: Another Nail in the Coffin.

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"As Tough on Truman and Obama as Nixon and Bush"

The American Conservative's John Buffalo Mailer interviews the cinéaste who "has the same gripe with Barack Obama as he did with George W. Bush—namely, they both stand for American Empire, and he does not" — Oliver Stone vs. the Empire.

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January 31, 1968

Antiwar.com's Justin Raimondo identifies the date that "marked the beginning of the end of public support for our post-WWII foreign policy of global interventionism" — The American Empire, RIP.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Lumineers Perform "Classy Girls," "Submarines," "Ain't Nobody's Problem," "Dead Sea," "Flowers In Your Hair," "Boots Of Spanish Leather," "Big Parade," "Stubborn Love," "Flapper Girl," & "Slow It Down"


In glorious black and white!

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Stock Up on Bock


I was delighted the other day to find back on the shelves a beer about which I blogged almost exactly a year a ago — Rochester's Best Beer in America's Best Can. I quoted the brewer of Genesee Bock Beer as saying, "Our take on the 16th century German legend has turned out to be a legend in its own right," and notes that Bock "is historically associated with special occasions, often religious festivals such as Christmas, Easter or Lent," and has "a long history of being brewed and consumed by Bavarian monks as a source of nutrition during times of fasting."

What I did not note, because I did not know it at the time (and cannot believe it now), is that this "exceptionally hearty, full-flavored beer with a slight malty finish—and a perfect way to celebrate the snow melt" would disappear from the shelves long before Ash Wednesday. Heck, in these parts we're lucky if the snow melts by Pentecost (Whitsunday). So, if you want to follow those Bavarian monks and drink this "source of nutrition during times of fasting" during Lent, you'd better fill your beer fridge now.

Oh yeah, the F.X. (Francis Xavier) Matt Brewing Company's Black Bear Bock from Utica, New York is also good, but it's only available in the 12 Beers of Winter box set.

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Roll Over Stravinsky

"America’s most important and innovative musical figure" gets top "place in the history of twentieth century art music" — Soundtrack to the Century.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Amanda Shires Performs "Angels & Acrobats," "Set Your House in Order," & "Unwanted Things"

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Steve Sailer Quotes George Will Quoting James Q. Wilson on East vs. West

    Political scientist James Q. Wilson grew up there; in 1967, the year after the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” he wrote a seminal essay on the political vibrations that produced California’s new governor: “A Guide to Reagan Country.” His conclusion was that Ronald Reagan represented the political culture of a region where social structure nurtured individualism.

    Southern Californians had, Wilson wrote, “no identities except their personal identities, no obvious group affiliations to make possible any reference to them by collective nouns. I never heard the phrase ‘ethnic group’ until I was in graduate school.”

    Eastern teenagers had turf. Their Southern California counterparts had cars, the subject of so many Beach Boys songs (“Little Deuce Coupe,” ‘‘409,” ‘‘Shut Down,” etc.). They hung out in places reached by car and with lots of parking, particularly drive-in restaurants. “The Eastern lifestyle,” Wilson wrote, “produced a feeling of territory, the Western lifestyle a feeling of property.”

    The East was defined less by cold weather than social congestion — apartments in ethnic neighborhoods. Southern Californians lived in single-dwelling homes and had almost no public transportation, so their movements within the city were unconfined to set corridors.

    Houses and cars — the “Sunday afternoon drive” was often just to look at others’ homes — strengthened, Wilson wrote, “a very conventional and bourgeois sense of property and responsibility.”
From a post on SoCal boy's observations that "Bostonians give off a proprietary vibe that says, 'We own these streets' — Is Boston always like this?

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Daniel Nichols on Woman in Combat

"Remember the promise of feminism, the idea that it would be a humanizing force on an over-testosteroned society?" — Congratulations, American Woman.

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Virginia may not be for lovers...

... but it soon might be — Bill would legalize cohabitation in Virginia.

The article informs us that "only three other states still have cohabitation laws on the books: Mississippi, Michigan and Florida. The law also prohibits anyone, married or not, from engaging in 'open and gross lewdness,' meaning sex acts in public. That aspect of the law would still stand." For now, maybe, but that provision should surely be struck down, too, if "consent" is the highest standard.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sierra Hull & Highway 111 Perform "Someone Like You"

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Bluegrass Legends Perform "Sunny Side Of The Mountain" & "Keep on the Sunny Side"




The latest numbers I'm learning on the Six String Banjo during these cold winter days.

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Archbishop Francis Cardinal George of Chicago on America

Thomas Storck reminds us of His Eminence's 1997 comments that we Americans "are culturally Calvinist, even those who profess the Catholic faith," and that our society "is the civil counterpart of a faith based on private interpretation of Scripture and private experience of God" — American Catholics as Cultural Protestants.

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The "Hard Left" Reads Tocqueville

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Consider Yourselves Warned

The next false flag operation to watch out for — Do Not Fly: the Feds May Be Planning a Massacre at Checkpoint Lines. The story reports that TSA goons "are being instructed to 'save themselves' instead of attempting to protect passengers." This is not surprising; in post-America, a "uniformed" life is considered somehow more valuable than one in civvies.

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"How Far the Nut Fell From the Free"

Click on the link to learn the name of the latest un-American to blather that "any attack on Israel will be treated as an attack on the United States" — The Senator from Jerusalem.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Black Prairie Performs "Rock of Ages," "Nowhere, Massachussets," "Dirty River Stomp," & "How Do You Ruin Me"

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For All Those "Conservatives" Who Melt at the Sight of a Government Worker in Uniform

"America’s two biggest groups of scammers have got to be police officers and firefighters, whose union reps routinely tell Americans that their members put their lives on the line every day simply by slipping into their uniforms," writes LewRockwell.com's Stephen Greenhut, citing "the latest data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics [that] once again show that these groups of government employees work in relatively safe professions, with firefighters having a lower death rate than the average American worker and barely edging out cashiers in terms of putting their lives on the line" — I Put My Life on the Line Writing This Article! An exceprt:
    Most cashiers are killed on the job because of homicides, whereas a quarter of firefighter deaths are from truck accidents – and the numbers have declined, apparently, after concerted efforts to convince these heroes to buckle their seatbelts.

    Fishermen, loggers, pilots and farmers/ranchers have the most dangerous jobs in America. Police officers and sheriffs fall below farmers, but above construction workers. About half of their deaths are because of car accidents, often the fault of their own driving habits.

    This list looks at the data over a longer period and reinforces the same point. None of the top 10 dangerous jobs are in the government "public safety" area and only one category (trash collectors) is dominated by government employees.

    I’ve known people who work in a number of the most-dangerous professions – taxi drivers, truck drivers, trash collectors, electrical line workers, loggers, fishermen, pilots, roofers, coal miners, farmers – and I cannot ever recall any of them insisting to me personally or publicly that they are "heroes" who "put their lives on the line." Once in a while, I’ll hear a farmer insist that it’s thanks to his kind that we have food on our table, but even that’s a rarity and it's usually part of a political campaign to keep the environmental crazies from restricting his water or property use.

    I can’t recall ever telling people that, by writing this article, I am a hero of the First Amendment. As annoying as my profession may be, I don’t know any journalists who would argue such an absurdity.

    By contrast, police officers and paid government firefighters – as opposed to the largely noble group of volunteers, who provide this service to the public for free, despite the harassment they receive from firefighter unions who try to put them out of business – always insist that they are heroes. They do so in their public pronouncements and especially during union negotiations. They love to have press conferences and hand out heroism awards to fellow union members. They often tell me that it's thanks to them that I am safe to enjoy my life.

    During negotiations, firefighters and police routinely invoke the memory of 9/11 for their own personal gain. I remember when Laguna Beach, Calif., firefighters – who have a cushy gig on the Southern California coast – plastered photos of 9/11 all over a fire truck as they lobbied for higher pay during their dispute with the city manager.

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Gun Control

The editors of Taki's Magazine call for it — Uncle Sam, Give Us Your Guns. An excerpt:
    With all the lip service that gets paid to “equality,” guns are about the best equalizers we currently have, whether you’re dealing with the micro level (a hundred-pound woman with a single concealed-carry pistol to fend off a rapist) or the macro level (over three hundred million guns, legal and illegal, floating amid private hands to counterbalance a super-powerful government’s obscene cache of high-tech weapons).

    With all the shrieking we hear about “saving the children,” you don’t hear much about saving them from a government that has already indentured them in the future to pay off its current debts.

    And finally, with the nonstop carping and clucking and scolding we hear about “bullying,” the fact is that the US government, enabled by its unparalleled weaponry, is currently the biggest bully on Earth
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chris Thile and Michael Daves Perform "Sleep with One Eye Open," "Cry Cry Darlin'," & "Rabbit in a Log"

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Anarcho-Conservatism

"Why decentralized problem-solving beats technocracy" explained by The American Conservative's Gene Callahan in his review of a book by "a former radical and current appreciator of anarchism reaching the essential conservative insight that reality may severely constrain our ability to realize our imaginings" — The Well-Tempered Anarchist.

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Was Our First President a Deathbed Convert to the True Faith?

Spokane Orations does not think so, quoting a "thoughtful and thorough debunking of the idea" from "a Catholic activist website" — No, George Washington did not convert to Catholicism, but he defended the liberty of Catholics in America. This blogger is willing to entertain the idea, which I had never before heard, because I find it entertaining.

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"Who has killed more children, Adam Lanza or Barack Obama?"

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano asks that question — Guns and the President. A partial answer is offered by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., with this "list by name, age, and gender, just by drone, just in Pakistan and Yemen" — Some of the Children Obama Has Killed.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Alison Krauss & Robert Plant Perform "When The Levee Breaks" & "Black Dog"

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High School Sucks

"New science on its corrosive, traumatizing effects," reported on by the appropriately surnamed Jennifer Senior — Why You Truly Never Leave High School.

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Unintended (?) Consequences of the Libyan Intervention

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Detroit Renaissance

Welcome news that "the technology invented in 1439 by Johannes Gutenberg — the letterpress and moveable type — is making an unexpected comeback" in an unexpected place — Old-style letterpress printing makes its mark again in Detroit. [More signs of hope from that fair city — Anarchy in Detroit.]

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Get the Led Out

Steve Sailer reports on a theory that "stands the dominant narrative about the 60s on its head, which sees the years as not "representing enlightened emancipation from the shackles of 50s conformist culture" but rather "with their rising rates of crime and illegitimate births, to be the result of brain damage" — Did Heavy Metal Brain Damage Cause the 1960s?

[Duh; I thought Heavy Metal didn't start until the 60s were almost over with Led Zeppelin.]

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Vespers Perform "Got No Friends" & "Lawdy"

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Kelley B. Vlahos' Heresy From the American Religion

She dares question the "twisted glorification of two institutions that have largely contributed to the brain damage of a nation" — Football, War, & Brain Damage. "The real perversity of it all – which turns out to be a real sickness – is that it’s becoming clear that both the military and the NFL are knowingly grinding up our young men and throwing them away for the benefit of the powerful, moneymaking machinery at the top."

[Cue this classic extolling (pre-Imperial) America's pastime — George Carlin: Football vs Baseball.]

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Thomas Nagel's Teleology

H. Allen Orr looks at the work of an "atheist [whose] view is that neo-Darwinism, and in fact the whole materialist view elaborated by science since the seventeenth century, is radically incomplete" — Awaiting a New Darwin.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Carolina Chocolate Drops Perform "Country Girl," "Riro's House," & "Boo Didly Bom Bom"

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Two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

Ajamu Baraka examines "two awards that, when linked, serve as yet another confirmation of the moral decline of liberalism among white and black people over the last four decades" — The Descent: From Dr. King to Barack Obama.

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Alvin Platinga Debunks Sam Harris

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"Unitati christifidelium integre studentes quid iubet Dominus?"

"Orare semper, iustitiam factitare, amare probitatem, humiles Secum ambulare"Pope tweets in Latin, leaving followers confused. The article notes that "the Pope's Latin Twitter account has the smallest following of all his profiles."

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Amore Sing Franz Schubert's Ave Maria

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Arbeit Macht Frei?

"Women in Europe and America have made one great big fat suicidal error as a result of modern feminism since the movement’s inception," writes Nicholas Farrell: "They have confused work with freedom" — Women, Work, and Freedom.

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Not So Strange Bedfellows

"One of the surprises in the French campaign for traditional marriage is that homosexuals have joined pro-family leaders and activists in the effort," reports Wendy Wright — French Homosexuals Join Demonstration Against Gay Marriage. From the story:
    The rights of children trump the right to children,” was the catchphrase of protesters like Jean Marc, a French mayor who is also homosexual.

    [....]

    Xavier Bongibault, an atheist homosexual, is a prominent spokesman against the bill. “In France, marriage is not designed to protect the love between two people. French marriage is specifically designed to provide children with families,” he said in an interview. “[T]he most serious study done so far . . . demonstrates quite clearly that a child has trouble being raised by gay parents.”

    Jean Marc, who has lived with a man for 20 years, insists, “The LGBT movement that speaks out in the media . . . They don’t speak for me. As a society we should not be encouraging this. It’s not biologically natural.”

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

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

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Walker Percy's Fr. Rinaldo Smith on Međugorje and the XXth Century

    The story of the apparitions is well known. Of course, no one knows for certain whether the Virgin appeared to them. The Church does not know. Many pious people believe that she did. That is not what interests me. It is one small detail which they related about one of the many apparitions which seemed so outlandish that no one could make sense of it and either laid it to childish fantasy or overlooked it altogether. You recall that though she identified herself as the Mother of God, one of the children related that she appeared not as the Queen of Heaven with a serpent under one foot and a cloud under the other, crowned with stars and so on — but as an ordinary-looking young red-cheeked Jewish girl, which of course she probably was. But what she told them on this one occasion and which they related without seeming to understand what they were saying was this: Do you know why this century has seen such terrible events happen? The Turks killing two million Armenians, the Holocaust, Hitler killing most of the Jews in Europe, Stalin killing fifteen million Ukrainians, nuclear destruction unleashed, the final war apparently inevitable? It is because God agreed to let the Great Prince Satan have his way with men for a hundred years — this one hundred years, the twentieth century. And he has. How did he do it? No great evil scenes, no demons — he’s too smart for that. All he had to do was leave us alone. We did it. Reason warred with faith. Science triumphed. The upshot? One hundred million dead. Could it be a test like Job’s? Then one must not lose hope even though the final war seems inevitable as this terrible century draws to a close. Because almost everyone has lost hope. Christians speak of the end time. Jews of the hopelessness of the mounting Arab terror. Even unbelievers, atheists, humanists, TV anchormen have lost hope — you’ve heard how these commentators speak in their grave style which conceals a certain Ed Murrow delectation of doom. Do you think that there is a secret desire for it? But you must not lose hope, she told the children. Because if you keep hope and have a loving heart and do not secretly wish for the death of others, the Great Prince Satan will not succeed in destroying the world. In a few years this dread century will be over. Perhaps the world will end in fire and the Lord will come — it is not for us to say. But it is for us to say, she said, whether hope and faith will come back into the world. What do you think?
From the end of The Thanatos Syndrome, that novel whose "reader is offered a sort of Catholic humanism that shades into romantic existentialism."

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The Bellamy Salute


Pictorial support above for this post by Michael S. Rozeff, of my alma materHow Did Americans Survive Until 1892 Without the Pledge of Allegiance? Quoted is Timothy Kubal, "Francis Bellamy was a leader in three related movement groups -- the public education movement, which sought to celebrate and expand public schools, the nationalist movement, which sough to nationalize public services and protect them from privatization, and the Christian socialist movement, which sought to promote an economy based on justice and equality." Much to our shame, the scoundrel is a local boy, from nearby Mount Morris, New York.

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O.K., I'll Read Her Already

"As Jane Austen’s best-loved novel turns 200, Paula Byrne looks at its roots in the great events of the author’s time" — Pride and Prejudice – and politics. This, and The New Beginning's Good News for Janeites. And then at Ollie's Bargain Outlet a week or so ago I saw on the shelves something titled Jane Austen: Christian Encounters Series.

I started reading her, and was charmed, after having finished whatever I was reading while in Texas for a conference, as she was the only thing readable I could find in a huge bookstore there, but desisted for whatever reason. A post of mine after that — I Should Pick Up Jane Austen.

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The New Face of the Anti-Abortion Movement


"Anti-abortion activist Lila Rose is a hot chick" [click on the link and see if you, too, "agree with Ed, she has awesome legs!] was the first thing that came to mind reading this article — Lila Rose highlights role of faith in fighting abortion. I think we'll get a lot further with her lovely face than with Randall Terry's grim mug.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Preservation Hall Jazz Band & Del McCoury Band Perform "I'll Fly Away"

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Walker Percy's Dr. Tom More on M*A*S*H Liberalism

    There's Hawkeye and Trapper John back in Korea. I never did like those guys. They fancied themselves super-decent and super-tolerant, but actually had no use for anyone who was not exactly like them. What they were was super-pleased with themselves. In truth, they were the real bigots, and phony at that. I always preferred Frank Burns, the stuffy, unpopular doc, a sincere bigot.
Statements that could apply to most left-liberals I've known, from The Thanatos Syndrome, a novel whose "reader is offered a sort of Catholic humanism that shades into romantic existentialism."

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Alan Alda Meets Benito Mussolini


That describes the demagoguery of my state's governor, pictured above. Whenever I hear him speak on the radio, I am disgusted by his whining delivery of trite left-liberal platitudes punctuated by the cheers of his adoring crowds. Take these lines below come from the Transcript of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's 2013 State of the State Address:
    Protect a woman's freedom of choice. Enact a Reproductive Health Act because it is her body, it is her choice. Because it's her body, it's her choice. Because it's her body, it's her choice.... Maybe it’s a man's world, but it is not a man's world in New York. Not anymore. We are going to pass this Women's Equality Act. We are going to change the lives for my daughters and your daughters and your sisters and your nieces and your wife and your significant other and every person in this room. Every person in this room. And we’re going to do it this year.
Episcopal translation: "This legislation this bill does not simply update New York law or codify Roe vs. Wade[; i]t would usher in extreme and sweeping changes to abortion policy in New York State" — Advocates lobby for Gov. Cuomo's Women's Equality Act as Catholic Conference objects. More:
    What is not provided in the bill are protections for institutional providers, such as religious hospitals and other agencies that do not wish to be involved with abortion... The bill declares that "the state shall not discriminate" against the exercise of the fundamental right to abortion in the "provision of benefits, facilities, services or information." In other words, it would permit state regulators, such as the State Health Department or State Insurance Department, to require support for abortion from any agency or institution licensed or funded by the state.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Black Prairie Perform "Dirty River Stomp," "Nowhere Massachusetts," and "Richard Manuel"

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Another War of Northern Aggression?


This latter-day Copperhead prays not, but this chilling blather about "the founders establish[ing] a perpetual union" and "an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States" bodes ill — White House says Texas, other states cannot secede. The excellent book Rethinking the American Union for the Twenty-First Century counters this nonsense.

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Philip Giraldi on the Anti-Hagel Cabal

The former spook exposes the "Neocons [who] denigrate Chuck Hagel's military service" — Rubin & Cohen: No Soldiers Need Apply — in their campaign against an American who, "while senator, refused to kowtow to the Israel Lobby, failing to sign on to letters and position statements, saying that he was first and foremost a United States Senator, not a representative of a foreign power" — It Is All About Israel.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sarah Jarosz with Alison Krauss Perform "Run Away'"

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The Highest Law Enforcement Officer in the Land

He's not at the federal-level — Obama Unveils Assault on Gun Rights — but at the county-level — Some Sheriffs Warning That They Will Protect Citizens from Feds Enforcing New Gun Laws.

"The duly elected sheriff of a county is the highest law enforcement official within a county [and] has law enforcement powers that exceed that of any other state or federal official" — County Sheriff Can Bust Big Bro. "If a sheriff doesn’t want the Feds in his county he has the constitutional right and power to keep them out, or ask them to leave, or retain them in custody."

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Federal Gun Grab

A reminder that "297 people, in their winter camp, were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms 'for their own safety and protection'" — 'Bury Your Guns at Wounded Knee.'

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Another Federal Government Attack on Indians

Nihil sub sole novumATF agents raid Seneca Falls smoke shop, seize cigarettes, records.

Everyone growing up around here knows the Seneca Nation of Indians and the Cayuga Nation of New York (part of the Iroquois Confederacy), but the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma? Here in New York? This has raised some legitimate concerns:
    Federal authorities aren’t the only one questioning whether the store can sell untaxed cigarettes. New York’s Cayuga Nation has its issues with the store, which has been open more than two years.

    “They are an Oklahoma-based tribe,” said Cayuga Nation representative Clinton Halftown. “For them to all of a sudden set up a shop in New York state just because Cayuga is part of their name has raised questions for us.”

    “I assume they would have to go through the Cayuga Nation, which is an established government here in New York. They have not.”

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They Don't Call It "The Empire State" For Nothing

"All he (Cuomo) did was piss a lot of people off by making a stupid law," said one local gun shop owner of Downstate's latest attempt to us Upstate how to live — Anger greets new law at Rochester-area gun shops.

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That Travesty of a Portrait of the Very Pretty Duchess of Cambridge


Joseph McKenzie of Taki's Magazine concludes that portraitist "Paul Emsley can give us only photographic flesh, a surface with nothing behind it but modernism’s contempt and scorn for life," in his spirited indictment of that "overblown mug shot" and all for which it stands — A Royal Disaster on Canvas. He begins:
    Like all English royals who ever lived, Kate Middleton is only as handsome as nature made her—no more, no less. The fact that she has wrinkles under her eyes, that her nose flattens crudely into her forehead, that her chin lacks refinement, that she can only produce a wry smile, and that she is decidedly less than “stunning” has nothing to do with the catastrophic failure of Paul Emsley’s official portrait of her.

    In the hands of a competent painter, such attributes would have been exploited as elements of charm, something the Duchess of Cambridge possesses in abundance.

    The portrait’s real problem stems from a false modernist concept of realism. Like most of today’s academic realists, Emsley has reduced portraiture to the dead mechanics of the photocopier, the artist’s brush to a toner cartridge. Today’s realist painters are soulless machines, capable of reproducing flesh and wrinkles and strands of hair, but utterly powerless to seize a subject’s essence.

    Dead realism and abstraction both turn their backs on reality’s fullness.

    [....]

    Instead of a portrait, Emsley has produced an overblown mug shot. All mug shots are unflattering because they have nothing to do with the human soul’s depths. Kate Middleton is more than the sum of her facial attributes glacially rendered by an uninspired technician’s cold hand.

    Art’s spirit must always have priority over vapid displays of forensic draftsmanship, however impressive these may be to our world of crass sensationalism.

    Official portraitists should look to the Grand Siècle for inspiration because French painters of the time still believed in the human soul’s existence and immortality. Today’s atheist-materialists reduce human beings to a genetic compound, brute molecular matter and nothing more. Emsley’s portrait is just that: a brutality. In this sense, it mirrors our dismal age far more than it reflects his royal subject.
Wow. We also read that "[t]he English ceased to cultivate the arts when Henry VIII delegitimized his throne by placing it above the one Jesus had given to Peter" and that "[w]hatever England had of culture after the Reformation has been either borrowed or purchased from the Continent."

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Forget Waimea

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Sarah Jarosz Performs "Tell Me True"

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"Is There a Conservative Tradition in America?"

The American Conservative's Stephen M. Klugewiz reminds us that "faux conservatives look back at American history to find their heroes and precursors, therefore, they tend to choose the Hamiltons, Jacksons, Lincolns, and TRs, wrongly equating nationalist ideology and rhetoric with patriotism, and patriotism with conservatism" — Better Jeffersonians Than Jefferson.

The author then notes that "those contemporary conservatives who understand the importance of limits on government power in the domestic sphere usually err when looking at the past for heroes, being seduced, for example, by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, whose flowery utterances in favor of states rights’ against federal power cloud the radicalism of his social thought."

Click on the link to find an answer to Mr. Klugewiz's question, posed in the title of this post.

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The French Resistance

I don't recall seeing anything like this in this country, let alone my home state, where "President Francois Hollande's 'marriage for all' proposal" was already in practice a few weeks before I returned to her* — Protestors report 1 million in Paris march to defend marriage.

Funny, that in America, both right and left see France as the avante-garde of cultural Jacobinism and the latter at least sees their own countrymen as perpetually backward vis–à–vis their European superiors. Looks like we're far ahead of those neanderthal French. But seriously, maybe we can all learn from the French that the issue is not at all about hating gays:
    Numerous gay individuals took part in the event, with slogans including “We're more gay without marriage.” Attendees also included French gay city mayor, Jean Marc, who is outspokenly opposed to the legalization of same-sex marriage, as well as members from the organization HOMOVOX, which stands for “one voice for homosexuals.”
Not so strange bedfellows, really, if you think about it. But who wants to think about it, when you can feel about it?

*No, that is not why I moved home.

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Baby-Talk or Evidence for Linguistic Monogenesis?

The New Beginning quotes Anthony Esolenin his "Word of the Day: Dad" as saying that "the word does come from baby-talk, as does Mama" — P over F or D. Dr. Esolen continues:
    These words seem to be universal in human language. That’s not because they all spring from one identical ancient word. It’s rather that it is natural for babies to make certain sounds as they learn to speak. The easiest of all is the m, made by putting the lips together, like a baby at the breast, and exercising the vocal cords. That’s a sound that all languages seem to have, even Hawaiian, with its paucity of consonants (h, k, l, m, n, p, w). If we keep our lips there but block the air passage, suddenly letting go, we make a p sound, or a b if we use the vocal cords. Also easy for the baby to sound is d: da-da-da-da.
"Pater or papa (or something with a b, like ba ba in Cantonese or Mandarin) rather than fater (vater) or 'dad' ('de' in Cantonese)." It's something like that in everything language I've ever studied, appa in Korean for example. I am not convinced, however, that this phenomenon is "not because they all spring from one identical ancient word." They just might have, if one accepts the claims of Linguistic Monogenesis, that there was a Proto-Human language, called Proto-Sapiens by some.

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina's Sicut Cervus Sung by the Coro e Orquestra Internacional dos Arautos do Evangelho na Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário


The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for which the above* is to be sung at Saint Michaels of Rochester, is commemorated today. Do read Spokane Orations' meditation on the holy day — Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

*Watch only if you can tolerate the unbearable whiteness of the country with the world's third largest white population, according to Wikipedia's "White Brazilian" article.

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An Ordinary (but Extraordinary) Beer for Ordinary Time


Now that Christmas is over, I'm happily back to drinking Genesee 12 Horse Ale after all that craftier stuff, like Southern Tier 2XMAS and Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale (not local, but my folks sojourned in the fine town of Chico, California for one turn of the Chinese zodiac). They just stopped tasting all that good to me. I've even lost my taste for the beers of the Saranac Brewery, which was about the only craft beer around in the early '90s. I think I'll still crave a Dundee India Pale Ale from time to time, but I'm more than content to stand by the iconic brand whose resurrection Cream Ale Drinker chronicles here — Genesee 12 Horse Ale Trots Back to Consumers.

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Chickoried Coffee


The characters in the Walker Percy novels I've been reading are always drinking the stuff, so I picked up a can of Café Du Monde when I saw it at the Asian Food Market today. Vietnamese friends introduced me to the brand years ago, and I subsequently had a chance to visit the Café du Monde coffee shop on a business trip to La Nouvelle-Orléans. Great stuff, and with much more history than anything coming from that town named after Chief Si'ahl.

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All Those American-Adopted Chinese Girls

The New Beginning posts the trailer and some reviews "of that documentary about teen-aged girls from China who were adopted and raised by Americans" — Somewhere Between.

These 80,000 girls among us form an interesting "transcontinental subculture" as one review calls them. Of course, adoption, especially international adoption, is an imperfect solution to a pretty tragic set of circumstances, but these girls, at least from the trailer, seem pretty well-adjusted, a testimony to the liberality and generosity of our American suburban civilization. They're smart, pretty, and spunky, like any another All-American teenage girl next door. China's loss is our gain.

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Band of Heathens Performs "Somebody Tell the Truth," "Medicine Man," "Shine a Light," "Hanging Tree," "Let Your Heart Not Be Troubled," "Golden Calf," "Talking Out Loud," & "Say"
















Saw these boys play last May in the Great State of Texas at, of all places, the annual conference of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, an organization so politically correct it kept the F but removed the word "foreign" from its name. I was thinking, "Damn, this is some good American music for all these foreigners in attendance to be experiencing."

I left before the much-hyped headliners, an outfit from a place called L.A. with the Nahuatl-sounding name Ozomatli, took the stage. I had never heard of them, but, as their Wikipedia page tells us, they are "a seven to ten piece band playing primarily Latin, hip hop, and rock music, formed in 1995 in Los Angeles... known both for their vocal activist viewpoints and their wide array of musical styles - including salsa, jazz, funk, reggae, rap, and others." Sounds like they don't even know how many members they have much less what kind of music to play. Very cosmopolitan, which Henry James reminded us, is "a little of everything and not much of any."

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"The Side-Effect That Dare Not Speak Its Name"

A post yesterday — Homosexuality Explained? — engendered comments from long-term friend of this blog Francis-Xavier that deserve airing:
    If you talk to MDs and PhDs with the background to understand things, most of them will tell you that homosexuality is the side-effect that dare not speak its name.

    At junior high school level biology, students are taught that the presence or absence of a y chromosome determines sex. This is a gross simplification. The y chromosome - with a few exceptions - causes a foetus to produce much more testosterone that foetuses without a y chromosome do, and it is this testosterone in the womb that makes a foetus develop its male gonads and let its female gonads shrivel or vice versa. (There's the odd accident where both develop, and something like one in 5000 women is an XY phenotype where the y chromosome can't produce testosterone.)

    The sexual differentiation of the brain - male and female brains are quite different - is also driven by the ratio of testosterone to the oestrogens in the womb. And this is where the side-effects arise. Many years ago, an oestrogen by the name of DES was prescribed as a treatment for morning sickness; it totally unbalanced the equilibrium between estrogens and androgens, and an astounding number of the children born after their mothers had taken DES with them in the womb grew up to be lesbians or had other markers of strong male development, such as enormous clitorises.

    Endocrinologists will tell you that the human endocrine system is very subtle, and that it takes more than a year if not two years for people who have taken cortisone or thyroid hormone to revert to completely "normal" rhythms and levels, once they strop. And also for those who have taken synthetic estrogens, aka birth control pills.

    In other words millions of women take pills that cause unnatural levels of the hormones that determine who male or female their children will be, and at least part of the huge increase in homosexuals must be due to this.

    Years ago, I discussed this with an MD PhD doing such research, who confirmed this connexion, and then with a very well known Roman Catholic authority on Humanae Vitae, and urged said expert to raise money to further investigate this, and it would undoubtedly greatly buttress the case against hormonal contraception.

    Much to my surprise, I was told that there was no interest at all in making the best possible scientific case against contraception to the faithful.

    The clear sense I got was that said expert considered Humanae Vitae to be their turf, with which to pontificate (pun intended), sell books, and appear on tv to the maximum intent possible, turf to be shared as little as possible, but that this expert in no way believed in or cared about the teachings on which their career had been built, a total fraud.

    Rarely have I been more disgusted by a human being.

    I am more and more coming to believe that the "Conservative Catholics" have even more phonies in their leadership than the liberal ones.

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France's War on the Tuaregs

Steve Sailer posts the news yesterday — France invades Uqbar / Kush — which he "more or less figured last April" — Tuareg revolt in Mali.

In true Sailerian fashion, he looks at the racial angle and figures out that what "is going on is that the dominant element in the Tuaregs is mostly Berber Caucasian (with some black admixture, plus socially subordinate black elements, such as ex(?)-slaves and a traditional caste system where some jobs, such as blacksmith, are always held by blacks) and these more or less white people are rebelling against black rule" [and thus must be crushed to assuage French racial guilt].

Azawad is the latest Vendée.

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Peacenik Pat Strikes Again

"Let’s do our nation-building here at home, Obama said in the debates," reminds Patrick J. Buchanan; "Any doubt this idea had been poll-tested as a winner?" — Is Hagel out of the Mainstream?

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Truth Be Told About the Second Amendment

    The historical reality of the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms is not that it protects the right to shoot deer. It protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively, thus, with the same instruments they would use upon us.
Quoted by — Judge Napolitano on Guns and Tyrants.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Morten Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium Sung by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chrous and Mandy Moore

    O magnum mysterium,
    et admirabile sacramentum,
    ut animalia viderent
    Dominum natum,
    jacentem in præsepio!
    Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
    meruerunt portare
    Dominum Christum.
    Alleluia.
    O great mystery,
    and wonderful sacrament,
    that animals should see
    the new-born Lord,
    lying in their manger!
    Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
    was worthy to bear
    Christ the Lord.
    Alleluia!

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Homosexuality Explained?

World Science reports on "the most plau­si­ble ev­o­lu­tion­ary mech­an­ism of the phe­nom­e­non of hu­man ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity" — “Epigenetics” proposed to underlie homosexuality.

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Il Poverello

"Apart from the Virgin Mary, he is the best known and the most honored of Catholic saints," says The New Yorker's Joan Acocella of her subject, whose "qualities that at the beginning had marked him as an eccentric eventually made him seem holy" — Rich Man, Poor Man.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Elephant Revival Perform "Ancient Sea," "Go On," "Nostalgia #28," and "Remembering a Beginning"

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Burn Your E-Readers!

"Reports of the death of the printed book may be exaggerated," reports Nicholas Carr, noting that "purchases of e-readers are actually shrinking" and suggesting "that e-books, rather than replacing printed books, will ultimately serve a role more like that of audio books—a complement to traditional reading, not a substitute" — Don't Burn Your Books—Print Is Here to Stay.

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From Old World to New

News from a monastery I visited many times during my parnets' 12-year sojourn in the Golden State — California monks build new chapel with medieval stones. The history:
    The new chapel for the Abbey of New Clairvaux – located in Vina, Calif. – is made from stones which had been a chapter house created in the late 12th century for Spain's Santa Maria de Ovila monastery.

    The monastery was seized by the Spanish government in 1835, and from then on the buildings were long used as barns for local farmers. The property was later purchased by William Randolph Hearst, who had the monastery's chapter house disassembled and transported to the United States.

    The stones ended up languishing San Francisco's Golden Gate Park for over 60 years, but when New Clairvaux was founded, they caught the eye of one of the new monks.

    In 1955, Father Thomas Davis was taken to see the stones, and according to Fr. Paul Mark, he “thought to himself that these stones need to return to Cistercian property...they're our heritage.”

    Fr. Davis became abbot of New Clairvaux and had “a vision in his own heart” about bringing the stones to the monastery. After the monastery's main building suffered a fire in 1970, he secured about 20 of the stones from Golden Gate Park for the monastery, but they were not enough to be of use.

    The abbot again tried to obtain all of the stones in the early 90s, and in 1994 they were finally awarded to the monastery. The medieval chapter house has now been rebuilt, and will serve as the monastery's chapel when it is completed.

    The medieval chapter house is a classic example of Cistercian architecture, showing the transition from Romanesque to Gothic styles, Fr. Paul Mark said.

    It has taken around $7 million to complete the building process, and the monastery needs another $2 million to complete the church.

    The monks are looking forward to a permanent chapel, as the monastery's current chapel was built in 1960 and was only expected to last some ten years. They also hope to raise an additional $5 million so as to build a much-needed infirmary, as well as an administration and formation center for their novices.

    Their fund raising has been assisted by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, located in nearby Chico, which in 2010 began brewing a series of Belgian-style ales called “Ovila Abbey” beers.
Had a bottle for my birthday. I have yet to visit their fellow Cistercians at The Abbey of the Genesee, but eat their bread.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Allison Moorer Performs "The Broken Girl"


Saw a CD of hers for sale at a local discount store for five bucks. I think I'll go back and buy it.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings Perform "Tear My Stillhouse Down," "Acony Bell," "Caleb Meyer," "Paper Wings" & "Orphan Girl"


Three-fifths of the above songs are on the 1996 album Revival, which I picked up so I could hear Gillian Welch not just on the Internets but also in my horseless carriage.

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New Spain

"How the conquistadors' empire undermined stability at home" explained by The American Conservative's James P. Pinkerton — Yesterday’s Spain, Today’s America. The author does not mention the phenomenal 1899 essay, "The Conquest of the United States by Spain," in which William Graham Sumner explains:
    Spain was the first, for a long time the greatest, of the modern imperialistic states. The United States, by its historical origin, its traditions, and its principles, is the chief representative of the revolt and reaction against that kind of a state. I intend to show that, by the line of action now proposed to us, which we call expansion and imperialism, we are throwing away some of the most important elements of the American symbol and are adopting some of the most important elements of the Spanish symbol.

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Saint Augustine, "Self-Help Guru"

"The mind gives an order to the body and is at once obeyed, but when it gives an order to itself, it is resisted," said the IVth Century saint, quoted by Kathryn Schulz, who says, in "In the 1,600 years since Augustine left behind selfhood for sainthood, we’ve made very little empirical progress toward understanding our own inner workings" — The Self in Self-Help.

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"It’s Like Cooking for Men"

Thus spake one of the guys behind the Fairport Brewing Company in the town next door, which this story tells us "all began as a home brewing operation in a 'man cave'" — New Fairport brewery hops to it.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

J.S. Bach's Mass in B Minor, Performed by Gundula Janowitz, Hertha Töpper, Horst R. Laubenthal, Hermann Prey, Münchener Bach Chor, Münchener Bach Orchester, Direcred by Karl Richter


To accompany The Nation's Michael O'Donnell's article rightly questioning an "unusual book" (by an author this blogger respects) "that champions recording technology as the means of survival for classical music generally, and the music of Bach in particular" — Off-Key: On Paul Elie. An excerpt:
    Making an argument for the centrality of Bach’s recordings is well and good, but its exponent should be someone who has also spent time experiencing the magic of Bach performed live. Elie is like a novice hermit who champions solitude before he has ever spent any real time alone. Thus the reader has little confidence in his final judgment that, for today’s classical music converts, music performed live “seems insubstantial and elusive.” This is a surprising conclusion, because Elie characterizes one Bach concert he did attend—a performance of the St. Matthew Passion—as “life extending.” (He fell asleep during the St. John Passion.) I love my recording of the Mass in B minor as well as anyone, but even though I can take it with me anywhere, when I listen to it I am not really there. It cannot compete with the live sound of the chorus and orchestra in full cry, or the spectacle of dozens of striving musicians attired in concert black. Nor can an iPod quite reproduce the light, running energy of a live Brandenburg concerto as the players perform standing, practically dancing, or the concentrated dedication it takes to bring off one of the partitas for solo violin—to say nothing of the fact that those who believe in the arts (especially arts that are struggling to find young new listeners) should patronize them and support hardworking musicians with their dollars, not merely with their words.

    Bach recording has certainly had its extraordinary moments in the twentieth century, but so has Bach performance. One of them occurred quite recently: Elie mentions (but might have explored more closely) the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage undertaken by John Eliot Gardiner from 1999 to 2000. Gardiner and company performed 198 cantatas in fifty-nine concerts in Europe and the United States, at the points in the liturgical calendar for which they were composed. In this way, Gardiner renewed public interest in an overlooked body of Bach’s work, using the medium of live performance to remind us that, during Bach’s lifetime, many masterpieces were heard only once. Those concerts took place before Elie’s Bach journey began, so he could not have attended them. And to be fair, his enthusiasm for Bach’s music is infectious; even the greatest of composers needs champions in every generation. But Elie should make some time for the concert hall.

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Happy Birthday, Old Right Zora Neale Hurston


In her honor, links to some old posts of mine. A reminder "that Zora Neale Hurston had written articles against voting rights for Negroes, integration of schools, and the efforts of the Fair Employment Practices Commission to secure jobs for blacks in white firms" — Zora Neale Hurston's Politics. The linguist on the "fervent Republican who would be at home today on Fox News and whose racial pride led her to some unorthodox conclusions" — John H. McWhorter on Zora Neale Hurston. A look at the author who "believed segregation was a good thing, ultimately, in allowing the development of a strong, well-defined black culture that was a good and wonderful thing, which she experienced during her formative years, and which she ceaselessly advocated" — Zora Neale Hurston, Segregationist.

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Those Tolkien Movies

"Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time" — Christopher Tolkien on the Evisceration of His Father’s Work.

"The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me," the son continues. "The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away."

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tomás Luis de Victoria's O Magnum Mysterium Sung by The Sixteen, Directed by Harry Christophers


Sung at Saint Michaels of Rochester for today's Feast of the Epiphany:
    O magnum mysterium,
    et admirabile sacramentum,
    ut animalia viderent
    Dominum natum,
    jacentem in præsepio!
    Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
    meruerunt portare
    Dominum Christum.
    Alleluia.
    O great mystery,
    and wonderful sacrament,
    that animals should see
    the new-born Lord,
    lying in their manger!
    Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
    was worthy to bear
    Christ the Lord.
    Alleluia!

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"We Three Kings Of Orient Are" Sung by the Kings College, Cambridge

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Who Were the Magi?

Pints in NYC sends along Robin Schumacher's article — The King Makers - A Look at the Magi. An exceprt:
    According to the ancient historian Herodotus, the Magi were a tribe of people within the larger people called the Medes. They were a hereditary priesthood tribe, somewhat like the Levites in Israel, who were the single tribe from the twelve that carried out the religious ceremonies of Israel. Similarly, of all of the tribes within the Medes, the Magi had been selected to function as priests in their pagan rituals.

    Whether they originated all the way back in Ur of the Chaldees as a part of a nomadic people that were wandering about in that part of the world, or whether they first appeared in the Babylonian time, no one knows. But we do know that from the Babylonian to the Roman empires, they maintained a place of tremendous prominence and significance in the Orient.

    The Magi were the key people in the eastern governments. They rose to a place of enormous political power by virtue of their very unique priestly function, occultic powers of divination, and knowledge of astrology and astronomy. During the four world empires, they served in a powerfully influential capacity as advisors to the royalty in the East, consequently earning the reputation of being ‘wise men’.

    In the 6th century B.C., the Medo- Persian Darius the Great selected Zoroastrianism, with its emphasis upon astrology, as the national religion. This may account for the Magi’s focus in that field. So, on top of their own culture's religion was superimposed Judaism and after that, Zoroastrianism.

    The law of the Medes and the Persians (Est. 1:19; Dan. 6:8) was the code of scientific and religious discipline of the Magi, and it was required instruction for anyone wishing to be a monarch in Persia. Besides controlling the kingly office, historians tell us that the Magi oversaw the judicial office as well. Esther 1:13 implies that the royal bench of judges was chosen from the Magi. By this kind of leverage, the Magi of the massive Medo-Persian Empire were able to control essentially the entire known world of the Orient.

    The Magi were so powerful that historians tell us that no Persian was ever able to become king except under two conditions: (1) he had to master the scientific and religious discipline of the Magi, and (2) he had to be approved of and crowned by the Magi.

    In short, the Magi were the king makers.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

My bubba & Mi Perform "Banana Samba," "Steemengeene," "BBQ Bob," & "Through & Through"

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An Incomplete Liberal Argument Against Incest and a Complete Natural Law Argument In Favor of the Natural Family

William Saletan is wise to find an argument against incest even when "both parties are consenting adults and the genetic rationale is bogus" — Incest Is Cancer. He cites a German court decision stating,
    Incestuous connections lead to an overlap of family relationships and social roles and thus to a disturbance of a family bereft of [clear] assignments. … Children of an incestuous relationship have great difficulty finding their place in the family structure and building relationships of trust with their next caregivers. The vital function of the family for the human community … is crucially disturbed if its ordered structure is shaken by incestuous relations.
He then says,
    Liberals tend to recoil from such arguments. They fear that a movement to preserve the "family unit" would roll back equal rights for homosexuals. But that doesn't follow. Morally, the family-structure argument captures our central intuition about incest: It confuses relationships. Constitutionally, this argument provides a rational basis for laws against incest. But it doesn't provide a rational basis for laws against homosexuality. In fact, it supports the case for same-sex marriage.
Not so fast. First, this has nothing to do with "roll[ing] back equal rights for homosexuals" or "laws against homosexuality." Just what "rights" are we talking about? There is no "right" to marry for anyone. Wiser were the remarks made by this churchman "Mark in Spokane" quotes — Cardinal George of Chicago on same-sex marriage. His Eminence writes,
    What is certainly at stake is the natural relationship between parents and children. Children, even if they are loved and raised by those who are not their biological parents, want to know who their parents are, who are their natural family. The fascination with genealogical tables and the opening of adoption records are evidence of this desire to find oneself in a biological succession of generations. No honest “study” has disproved what we all know. Stable marriage between a husband and wife has safeguarded their children, surrounding them with familial love and creating the secure foundation for human flourishing. This natural desire, already weakened in a seemingly more and more promiscuous society, will no longer be privileged in civil law. It will be no more “normal” than any other “family” arrangement. If the nature of marriage is destroyed in civil law, the natural family goes with it.
Mr. Saletan cannot seem to follow his argument to its conclusion, that reached by the cardinal. He is right that "incest... confuses relationships," but cannot seem to see how the same follows when "the natural relationship between parents and children" is "no more 'normal' than any other 'family' arrangement."

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Polticizing Rape

In Six Omens for the New Year, Guy Somerset links to this tragic story of a woman who, in his words, "would rather be raped than be racist" — Liberal Activist Goes to Haiti - Gets Raped - Blames White Men. In her words, she "was held on a rooftop in Haiti and raped repeatedly by one of the very men who I had spent the bulk of my life advocating for." What follows would be tragicomic, if there could ever be anything comic about rape, which of course there cannot:
    It hurt. The experience was almost more than I could bear. I begged him to stop. Afraid he would kill me, I pleaded with him to honor my commitment to Haiti, to him as a brother in the mutual struggle for an end to our common oppression, but to no avail. He didn’t care that I was a Malcolm X scholar. He told me to shut up, and then slapped me in the face. Overpowered, I gave up fighting halfway through the night.
I may not be "a Malcolm X scholar," but I read his so-called autobiography and read and listened to many of his speeches in my formative years, and my understanding of Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz is that he would be unimpressed by her decision go "to Haiti after the earthquake to empower Haitians to self-sufficiency." His Organization of Afro-American Unity, after all, "pushed for black control of every aspect of the black community." He did not mention the necessity of white liberals to "empower" blacks to "self-sufficiency." (This also reminds me of Walker Percy's narrator in Love in the Ruins who when confronted by a gun-wielding black separatist and accused of not "really think[ing] we got what it takes," says, "You've had Liberia for a long time.... You've had Haiti even longer." Ouch.)

Back to the liberal rape-victim, she continues, "Not once did I envision myself becoming a receptacle for a Black man’s rage at the white world, but that is what I became." Now, of course, this poor woman is trying to make sense of the horror she suffered within the framework of her impoverished and deficient worldview. It is this worldview, not her, that we must counter.

Was "a Black man’s rage at the white world" behind the crime, or mere lust? St. Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica tells us that "rape is a species of lust" — Question 154. The parts of Lust. in conrast, Eldridge Cleaver in Soul On Ice "acknowledges committing acts of rape, stating that he initially raped black women in the ghetto 'for practice' and then embarked on the serial rape of white women[,] ... describ[ing] these crimes as politically inspired, motivated by a genuine conviction that the rape of white women was 'an insurrectionary act.'" One wonders, however, whether he trying to make sense of the crimes he has committed, just as the victim subject of this post seems to be trying makes sense of the crime committed against her. We can't know, but Occam's Razor seems to lead us to agree with the Angelic Doctor the crime accounted in this post was "a species of lust" rather than "an insurrectionary act." In fact, any motive beyond lust, by adding anger or the thirst for revenge, would only serve to compound the sinfulness of an already grievous sin, not mitigate it.

There are of course greater questions here. The victim's understanding of herself as "a receptacle for a Black man’s rage at the white world" comes from the feminist idea, like Cleaver's, that rape is a political act, never "a species of lust." I guess they mean rape is an expression of "patriarchy," which they consider evil. And since "a Black man’s rage at the white world" is at least understandable to the liberal worldview, black-on-white rape would have a lesser degree of culpability. Our victim said in her account: "While I take issue with my brother’s behavior, I’m grateful for the experience." Can we imagine her calling her rapist "brother" had he been white?

Thus, the worst possible species of rape would be white-on-black rape. The Criminal Victimization in the United States, 2004, Statistical Tables (#42), however, informs us the 139,900 rapes and sexual assaults committed against white women, 8.3% of the offenders where black, whereas of 39,300 rapes and sexual assaults committed against black women, 0.0%, meaning less than 10 nationwide, of the offenders where white. Should we celebrate that the most heinous form of rape has all but disappeared from our country?

Occam's Razor again cuts through all this tortured logic to reveal rape as a heinous crime deserving the harshest penalty. Necklacing is a popular penalty in Haiti and back on the Mother Continent, but I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Lumineers Perform "Flowers in Your Hair," "Ho Hey," "Dead Sea," and "Stubborn Love"


Another band cited by our local music critic Jeff Spevak, who "was struck not only by its relaxed, ragged bar-room acoustics, but the wonderful images in the songwriting" — Top albums of the year

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Groupwork and Groupthink

The American Conservative's Alan Jacobs informs that "in 2005 a very thoroughly researched and well-argued scholarly article was published that demonstrates, quite clearly, that group productivity is an illusion" — Hey Extraverts: Enough is Enough.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Lost In The Trees Perform "All Alone In An Empty House," "Song For The Painter," & "Time Taunts Me"


A new band (to me) introduced by our local music critic Jeff Spevak, who "first discovered this startling North Carolina band two years ago" — Top albums of the year. Mr. Spevak cites the "vast folk orchestra of acoustic guitars, tubas, harps, bells, bassoons, strings trilling like hummingbird wings, found sounds and ghosts," as well as vocalist "Ari Picker’s words, delivered in a haunted tenor."

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Criminalizing Immorality

"It has never been the position of the Church, or of any reasonable person, I daresay, that just because something is immoral, it should therefore be illegal," says LewRockwell.com's Ryan McMaken, arguing his case by quoting "Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Augustine, both of whom concluded that the immorality of prostitution was not sufficient to justify a prohibition of the practice by civil governments" — Catholic Theologians: Prostitution Should Be Legal. (An important aside Mr. McMaken makes is that "there was no 'state' as we know it in the 13th century," putting the paleo- in paleolibertarianism.)

The Anti-Gnostic, quoted by Steve Sailer, makes a similar point arguing a different case, saying, "The War on Drugs needs to be ended in order to deprive criminals of their funding" — The War on Drugs. "If drugs were the root cause, college campuses would be filled with the same kinds of violent turf battles, gun fights, beheadings, etc." Mr. Sailer makes an important caveat, however: "My main concern would be that legalization might wind up unleashing the full power of American marketing and logistics on selling drugs." The same could be said of prostitution.

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