Sunday, March 31, 2013

J.S. Bach's "Easter Oratorio" Performed by Collegium 1704, Directed by Václav Luks

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

J.S. Bach's "St. John Passion" Performed by Midori Suzuki, Robin Blaze, Gerd Türk, Chiyuki Urano, Stephan MacLeod, and Bach Collegium Japan, Directed by Masaaki Suzuki

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Carolina Chocolate Drops Perform "Old Cat Died," "Brown's Dream," "Leaving Eden," " No Man's Mama," & "Milwaukee Blues"


The Carolinas are where we're heading day after tomorrow. Virginia Dare country here we come!

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The "Logic" of Same-Sex and Polyamorous Marriage

"Why polygamy will eventually be legalized" is explained by Steve Sailer. In a recent post of mine on those "Unitarians [who] would prefer that their polyamory activists keep quiet" — How Judgmental! — a wise commenter noted that "the same arguments in favor of ssm also favor polyamorous marriages," and that this "isn't even a slippery slope -- the arguments simply are identical." Well said, but Mr. Sailer reminds us that we're not dealing with logically thinking people here:
    Look, principles don't have anything to do with it. It's a popularity contest. Gays are popular and Mormons aren't. Polygamous fundamentalist Mormons are extremely unpopular, so nobody is going to do anything for them. Okay, but can Arabs be denied their rights? Not so easy, but it can still be done: They are Arabs. Ultimately, though, polgyamy has a secret weapon: polygamous immigrant Africans.

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Marriage Equality?

"America's institutions embody a philosophy of equality," writes The American Conservative's Daniel McCarthy, "and that has consequences" — Who Defines Marriage? An excerpt:
    Can it be any surprise, then, that a mass-democratic, individualistic, consumerist society in which men and women are interchangeable in all other public aspects finds them interchangeable in marriage as well?

    Opponents of same-sex marriage can, of course, come up with any number of reasons why men and women should not be interchangeable where this institution is concerned. (Note, however, how rarely such opponents argue against interchangeability in other traditional capacities, such as voting.) These arguments have little prospect of gaining traction in the long run since they are contrary to the most basic inclination of a liberal democratic society—the inclination to erase distinctions between persons.

    The case against gay marriage is as hard to make in a liberal-democratic society as the case for gay marriage is to make in a Christian society. In each instance, the playing field is not level: the architecture of the public order embodies certain assumptions about what a human being is and who may enforce what rules—including who may marry whom.

    The fundamental question of politics is “who ultimately governs?” In some phases of Western civilization, the answer has been “the clan.” In another, it was “the Church.” Church and clan battled for supremacy for a thousand years. They both lost: once the princes seemed at last to liberate themselves from the Church after the Reformation, they soon found the new armies and administrative structures they had fostered were more deeply rooted in “the people” than in the traditional aristocracy. The people demanded to play a role greater than that of soldier and subject; they demanded sovereignty. Marriage is now what they make of it.

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"From Women in Combat to the Invasion of the Sciences"

Justin Raimondo, America's greatest journalist, begins his latest, "As the American Empire transforms itself from a constitutional republic into a social democratic monstrosity – where everyone is 'equal,' and no one is free – egalitarianism is the fuel that runs the engine of imperialism" — The Militarization of American Life.

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Michelle Malkin on Mexico

Reminding us that "Mexico still puts Mexico first -- as any country that is serious about protecting its sovereignty should and would" — Reminder: How Mexico Treats "Undesirable" Foreigners. The hypocrisy lies in "the demagogic rhetoric of meddling Mexican consular officials and lobbyists who assail America for its (poorly enforced) detention and deportation policies."

Of course, the problem, which Ms. Malkin does not mention, is that Mexico's exportation of its poverty problem to the United States benefits the oligarchs of both countries. Her article reminds me of my time in Chile, when leftists would grill me for alleged American abuse of our latino populations, but when I asked them of their treatment of Peruvians and Bolivians would answer, "There are historical reasons for that." Yeah, you stole their land.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Band Performs "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"

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Sobranisms

    Government, as we know it, is the real enemy. It produces nothing except distortions of social life, through war, taxation, regulation, and the general redistribution of wealth and resources.

    If you want government to intervene domestically, you're a liberal.
    If you want government to intervene overseas, you're a conservative.
    If you want government to intervene everywhere, you're a moderate.
    If you don't want government to intervene anywhere, you're an extremist.

    "Need" now means wanting someone else's money.
    "Greed" now means wanting to keep your own.
    "Compassion" is when a politician arranges the transfer.
The LRC Blog posts the above — Joe Sobran on Government and Favorite Joe Sobran Quotes.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" Performed by The Black Crowes


As we prepare to drive down to Dixie, another rendition of the great song.

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"Imagine if the Races Were Reversed"




Jim Goad offers a thought experiment along those lines following the horrifying story of the "white woman [who] was strolling her blue-eyed infant son when a pair of young black males... confronted her at gunpoint and demanded her money," "at which point the older male fired two bullets at her, one grazing her ear and the other hitting her leg," "then pushed her out of the way and fired a shot point-blank into the infant’s face, killing him" — The Irrational (Yet Perfectly Understandable) Nature of Blood Vengeance.

"One is either blind or retarded to deny that if a pair of white youths had been accused of murdering a thirteen-month-old black baby, it’d be an international news story for months if not decades," writes Mr. Goad. "There would be righteous marches, keening outrage, a pious comment from Barack Obama, and possibly even riots."

The story warrants a re-link to this classic — The Talk: Nonblack Version.

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" Performed by Lisa Hannigan, Glen Hansard and John Smith


A great American song (above performed by an Irishwoman and two Irishmen) that comes to mind as my family prepares for a Spring Break trip next week down South, to the City of Richmond, Colonial Williamsburg, the Jamestown Settlement, Easter at the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Norfolk, which is ninety-nine percent African-American, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, camping at the Croatan National Forest, and finally to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and its Family Kingdom.

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An Essential Article in the Wardrobe of the Antiwar Conservative

Suspenders ("braces" to our Britannic friends; "suspenders" there refer to a far more exciting article of clothing) seem the natural choice for the sartorial traditionalist. I myself made the move about a week ago, and will never go back to belts. I made this decision before knowing the connection of belts to militarism: "Prior to the First World War, belts were largely decorative outside of military uniforms (and even then were often more decorative than practical among officers and aristocrats)" — Men's Suspenders - Why and How to wear Braces with Trousers.

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Pancho Villa's Massacre of the Chinese of Torreón

A detail of history I learned from Kim Young-ha's excellent novel Black Flower, the story of the one thousand Koreans duped into indentured servitude in the Yucatán in the frst years of the last century. More on "the worst act of violence committed against any Chinese diasporic community of the Americas during the twentieth century" — Book Details 1911 Massacre of Chinese Immigrants in Torreon, Mexico.

Isn't the Left grand? The beauty of Mr. Kim's book is that it is unwittingly an argument for Paleolibertarianism. The "conservatism" of the hacendado system is exposed in all its inhuman horror, but the revolutionaries offer nothing but the standard reign of terror.

[I've been to Torreón; it was one of the crappiest cities I've ever set foot in.]

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Move Over Big Brother, Here Comes Little Sister

"There has been much talk lately, as well there should, about what standards should govern the use of drones as the government's eyes and ears domestically," writes Susan Estrich, "[b]ut the threats and challenges of dealing with privacy extend well beyond the government, even if the Fourth Amendment itself is so limited" — Is Nothing Private?

Here's the story — A Joke About Dongles Led To Two People Losing Their Jobs And A Huge Mess For The Tech World. Here's the post that ignited it all — Forking and Dongle Jokes Don’t Belong At Tech Conferences. And here's the happy ending that restored my faith in truth, justice, and the American way — Techie Adria Richards fired after tweeting about men's comments.

This began as a private joke, shared by two individuals in public, directed at no one. Ms. Richards, rather than confronting the two men about using a sexual innuendo that could be overheard in public (they later apologized), chose, as modern Americans are wont to do, to take great personal offense and to make the matter public. She was rightly fired.

I hear North Korea is hiring, now that Massachusetts has moved on a bit from the 1640's.

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Some Good Local News

"Nearly nine months after her disappearance launched a search involving her owners and a host of volunteers, a missing Pittsford dog has been found alive and well" — Meggie the lost sheltie safe and found. Posters all over town and ads in local newspapers started last summer, and sightings were reported intermittently since then.

"Meggie, a Shetland sheepdog or sheltie, was trapped in Penfield this morning and is now back home with her owners, Jenny Lloyd and Connie Gates." [Ahem.] Congratulations, gals!

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How Judgmental!

Religious fanatics against "the right of polyamorous people to have their unions blessed by a minister" — Many Unitarians would prefer that their polyamory activists keep quiet. To these neanderthals "poly activists are seen as undermining the fight for same-sex marriage."

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Darius Rucker Performs "Alright," "Come Back Song" & "Let Her Cry"

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Yorker Peaceniks, 1862


The New Beginning posts the above trailer, with reviews and announcments, brought to us by local hero Bill Kauffman and Ronald F. Maxwell of Gettysburg (1993) fame — The Copperhead.

"A Copperhead was a member of a vocal group of Democrats located in the Northern United States of the Union who opposed the American Civil War, wanting an immediate peace settlement with the Confederates," Wikipedia tells us. "Republicans started calling antiwar Democrats 'Copperheads', likening them to the venomous snake. The Peace Democrats accepted the label, reinterpreting the copper 'head' as the likeness of Liberty, which they cut from copper pennies and proudly wore as badges."

Finally, a film that explains what this region is all about. A descendant of Southrons having grown up in Buffalo and now living in Rochester, forgive me if I expect this to be the cinematic event of a lifetime.

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The Anarcho-Catholic Servant of God

The LRC Blog's Charles Burris on that "dedicated spiritual activist and opponent of the welfare-warfare State... dedicated to defending the Culture of Life against the grievous sins of war, abortion, hubris, and the institutionalized thievery of government" — Dorothy Day.

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Ten Out of Ten Ain't Bad

A conservative blog for peace links to a post from Chateau Heartiste confirming that all is well in my marriage — Top Ten Signs Your Relationship Is Healthy. "Your mission in life as a man seeking to maximize his happiness is to appeal to these dueling instincts in women, embrace the entanglement for all its life-affirming exhilaration, and relish the blessings of womanly love."

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Local Talk Radio

The LRC Blog's Becky Akers co-hosted and recommends a local show "for commentary on and condemnation of Our Rulers" — Go-o-o-o-od Morning, Rochester!

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Decentralism, Conservatism, Libertarianism

"From abortion to the drug war and gay marriage, decentralization is the only answer," writes The American Conservative's Jack Hunter, explaining how "libertarianism offers social conservatives a better hope for success in our current political environment than the nationalist approach often favored by some social conservative leaders" — Libertarianism for Social Conservatives. An excerpt:
    Part of the beauty of libertarianism is that you can be socially liberal or socially conservative and subscribe to the label. For the millions of social conservatives who constitute a significant base of the Republicans Party, embracing libertarianism is not an all-or-nothing question of accepting or rejecting deep convictions about life, traditional marriage, or drug regulation. It simply means rethinking the approach to these issues.

    The distance between mere rhetoric and tangible success for social conservatives essentially comes down to this question: Does the federal government always have to become involved? Or should certain decisions be made at the state and local level, as the framers of the Constitution intended?

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Thomas Nagel

"Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him?" asks and answers The Weekly Standard's Andrew Ferguson — The Heretic. An excerpt:
    Thomas Nagel may be the most famous philosopher in the United States—a bit like being the best power forward in the Lullaby League, but still. His paper “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” was recognized as a classic when it was published in 1974. Today it is a staple of undergraduate philosophy classes. His books range with a light touch over ethics and politics and the philosophy of mind. His papers are admired not only for their philosophical provocations but also for their rare (among modern philosophers) simplicity and stylistic clarity, bordering sometimes on literary grace.

    Nagel occupies an endowed chair at NYU as a University Professor, a rare and exalted position that frees him to teach whatever course he wants. Before coming to NYU he taught at Princeton for 15 years. He dabbles in the higher journalism, contributing articles frequently to the New York Review of Books and now and then to the New Republic. A confirmed atheist, he lacks what he calls the sensus divinitatis that leads some people to embrace the numinous. But he does possess a finely tuned sensus socialistis; his most notable excursion into politics was a book-length plea for the confiscation of wealth and its radical redistribution—a view that places him safely in the narrow strip of respectable political opinion among successful American academics.

    For all this and more, Thomas Nagel is a prominent and heretofore respected member of the country’s intellectual elite. And such men are not supposed to write books with subtitles like the one he tacked onto Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Darius Rucker Performs "Wagon Wheel"

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A Decade Later

  • And "the war criminals are still at large," "mocking us from their podiums in the media, justifying and obscuring their crimes," Justin Raimondo reminds us — Ten Years Later: When is the Reckoning?

  • Seymour Hersh remembers "not only a war fought on false pretenses but also a system of torture and indefinite detention that, in far too many cases, ran against our laws and values (and was only partially checked by the Supreme Court)" — Iraq, Ten Years Later: What About the Constitution?

  • Nick Turse "recalls the numerous, less-well-known atrocities that marked the Vietnam War, and asks which atrocities from Iraq and Afghanistan we will be remembering in 45 years" — My Lai 45 Years Later—And the Unknown Atrocities of Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
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    Fasting Beyond Lent

    Dr. Joseph Mercola explains how "fasting benefits your body, as it extends lifespan and protects against disease, include increased insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial energy efficiency; reduced oxidative stress; and increased capacity to resist stress, disease and aging" — How Intermittent Fasting Stacks Up Among Obesity-Related Myths, Assumptions, and Evidence-Backed Facts.

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    Sunday, March 17, 2013

    Sir Charles Villiers Stanford's Beati Quorum Via Sung by the Georgia Boy Choir


    Something by the great Irish composer for St. Patrick's Day.
      Beati quorum via integra est,
      qui ambulant in lege Domini.
      Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
      who walk in the law of the Lord.

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    Today's Mass


    After a year-and-a-half here, we finally made it to the Diocese of Rochester's mother church, Sacred Heart Cathedral, for a celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass held for of the Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis.

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    Lisa Hannigan Performs "I Don't Know"

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    Glen Hansard and Lisa Hannigan Perform "Falling Slowly"


    The liner notes tell us:
      At the President's invitation, some of Ireland's and the world's renowned writers, musicians and singers, as well as emerging artists, gathered at Áras an Uachtaráin to make a special programme dedicated to Irish people worldwide.

      Glaoch -- The President's Call will be premiered to audiences worldwide at 9.30pm (UTC/GMT) on St. Patrick's Day, Sunday, 17th March, 2013 on www.rte.ie, RTÉ News Now (Digital TV channel and free internationally available mobile app) and www.youtube.com/rte
    Click on the video link to find out when you can tune in to the program in your time zone.

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    A Local Sporting Event


    Took the family, all three generations of us, to see the Rochester Knighthawks, one of the nine teams of the National Lacrosse League. The local team lost, but it was great fun. Far better a sport than basketball, football, or soccer.

    Lacrosse is, of course, a local sport, having been played at least nine centuries in these parts. About a quarter of our local team is Iroquois, mostly from across the border from the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation. Most of the league seems to be made up of Canucks, which is natural; the game is basically hockey on turf.

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    Pope Francis on Clericalism and the Kakure Kirishitan

      Their clericalization is a problem. The priests clericalize the laity and the laity beg us to be clericalized… It really is sinful abetment. And to think that baptism alone could suffice. I’m thinking of those Christian communities in Japan that remained without priests for more than two hundred years. When the missionaries returned they found them all baptized, all validly married for the Church and all their dead had had a Catholic funeral. The faith had remained intact through the gifts of grace that had gladdened the life of a laity who had received only baptism and had also lived their apostolic mission by virtue of baptism alone. One must not be afraid of depending only on His tenderness.
    Quoted in Sandro Magister's latest — The Name of Francis, the Rule of St. Ignatius, and the Example of Jonah.

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    Friday, March 15, 2013

    Lisa Hannigan Performs "Knots," "O Sleep," and "Little Bird"


    A lovely colleen to take us into St. Patrick's Day weekend.

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    The Xth Anniversary of Dispatches From the Muckdog Gazette

    Bill Kauffman writes, "March 2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the simultaneous launching of the Iraq War and my memoirish tale of going home again (and what I found there)" — Look Homeward, Devil. Home, for Mr. Kauffman, Batavia, New York, lies halfway between where I grew up and where I now live. This last book of his that I have read was the earliest, and I recommend them all; there is no better writer in America today:

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    A Franciscan Jesuit?


    Mathew Schmalz, in the WaPo of all places, reminds us that "Jesuit and Franciscan spiritualities converge on the person of Jesus Christ" — A Franciscan Jesuit for pope. Suggesting that "Pope Francis will bring a Jesuit intellectualism into the papacy [and] by choosing the name Francis, he is also affirming the power of humility and simplicity," the author contends, "Pope Francis, the Argentine Jesuit, is not simply attesting to the complementarity of the Ignatian and Franciscan paths. He is pointing to how the mind and heart meet in the love of Jesus Christ."

    Some humor along these lines — Jesuit Jokes. My favorite: "A man walked up to a Franciscan and a Jesuit and asked, 'How many novenas would I have to do in order to get a Maserati?' The Franciscan asked, 'What's a Maserati?' The Jesuit asked, 'What's a novena?'"

    Some local coverage — Many hopes pinned on papal selection. "I'm hopeful that because he is a Jesuit, it will be very helpful for him not to be caught up in the trappings of the big office," said one local priest. "It'll keep him close to the earth and close to people, and that's going to be a great asset.

    Insider Sandro Magister with some background — The First Pope Named Francis — and the first homily — "When we walk without the cross…"

    Finally, the The LRC Blog's Ryan W. McMaken notes that not all will be happy — New Pope Likely to Disappoint the War Party. "The new Pope, Francis, may shape up to be a Neocon nightmare."

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    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Ástor Piazzolla's Libertango Performed by Yo-Yo Ma & Néstor Marconi

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    Habemus Papam Franciscum


    The missus sent an image of the white smoke to me at work to signal what had happened. We (wife, me, parents, and kids) celebrated with a bottle from a lovely city I had the fortune of visiting three times — 2011 Terrazas de los Andes 'Altos Del Plata' Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina.

    Some local coverage — Today in the news: Pope Francis elected, 5 things to know about Pope Francis, and Pope Francis, first South American pontiff, cheered by crowd.

    Steve Sailer rightly calls His Holiness "a two-fer: satisfying the rising Hispanic tidal wave etc., while letting the Italians get back the Papacy, which they held for about a half-millennium up until the Polish Pope" — Pope Francis I: A Lionel Messi halo effect?

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    No

    The American Conservative's Leon Hadar on "an anti-Pinochet film Milton Friedman might have loved" — How Capitalism Saved Chile. This blogger was an exchange student in the country some five years after the events depicted in the film. I both beheld Augusto Pinochet with my own eyes, at a national day celebration, and was water-cannoned in a protest marking the XXth of his golpe de estado.

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    Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    Lisa Hannigan & Paul Noonan Perform "Some Surprise"

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    Rand Paul's Triumphant Filibuster

    "Has Rand Paul’s filibuster already changed the GOP?" asks The American Conservative's W. James Antle III, answered by Patrick J. Buchanan's argument that "[t]he hegemony of the neocons and the lockstep conformity of a vast a slice of the GOP that cost Reagan’s party its primacy during the Bush wars, seems to be coming to an end," respectively — Rumblings From the Conservative Street and It’s Not John McCain’s GOP Anymore.

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    The Universal Judgment and the Conclave

    Sandro Magister reports that "the cardinals will take an oath of silence with their hands on the Gospel, with Jonah and the judgment still before them" — "Extra Omnes." But Michelangelo Will Be Voting, Too.

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    Are We Alone?

    I think so, and some also scientists think "the universe might just be an 'awful waste of space' after all" — Alien Life May Be Rare Across the Universe. "It is dangerous to assume life is common across the universe," says Charles Cockell, Director of the U.K. Center for Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh. "It encourages people to think that not finding signs of life is a 'failure,' when in fact it would tell us a lot about the origins of life."

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    Local Resitance

    The New America's Christian Gomez reports that "roughly two-thirds of the counties of New York State reject Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 'landmark' gun control legislation" — New York Counties Work to Repeal State Gun Control Laws.

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    Maple Sugaring

    It's that time of the year around here — Maple sugar festivals offered over two weekends.

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    Monday, March 11, 2013

    Old Crow Medicine Show & Darius Rucker Perform "Wagon Wheel"

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    Finally, Mother Jones and the Wall Street Journal Agree

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    "Darwinist Imperialism"

    Leon Wieseltier on the campaign against an atheist who dared write a book arguing that "the materialist neo-Darwinian conception of nature is almost certainly false" — A Darwinist Mob Goes After a Serious Philosopher.

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    Saturday, March 9, 2013

    Henryk Mikołaj Górecki's "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs" Performed by Zofia Kilanowicz and Narodowa Orkiestra Symfoniczna Polskiego Radia w Katowicach, Directed by Antoni Wit

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    A Brit Longs to Visit Gettysburg

    The New Beginning links to the latest by Peter Hitchens, who, "quickly learned, when I lived in the USA, that only two wars really counted in the American historical imagination – the Vietnam War and the Civil War" — The Killer Angels. An excerpt:
      The French expulsion of our German mercenaries, quaintly known as the War of Independence, has become a myth. The great conflicts which fascinate us, and fill our literature, are far less important. To my shame, I never made the time to make a proper study of the Civil War.

      Years ago, hurrying for a train at Washington’s Union Station, and having nothing to read, I bought a book I’d vaguely heard of, because of its connection with a film I had meant to see but hadn’t. the book was Michael Shaara’s ‘Killer Angels’ , the film ‘Gettysburg’ , is so long I still haven’t found time to see it. But I usually pack the book on any journey to the USA, in case I feel like re-reading it. And, once again, thanks to the poor selection of in-flight films, I found myself doing so last week.

      At the book’s opening, the reader is given a marvellous view of the war, as it were from the sky above it. The opposing armies, and the great differences between them, are movingly and lyrically described, in a way that explains the nature of the quarrel better than anything I have ever seen. Shaara cleverly permits himself personal sympathy with the supporters of the Confederacy - a cause he does not share. He makes their motivation and undoubted bravery far easier to understand , as a result.

      He also notes, in a brief but surprisingly moving aside, that the countryside in which the decisive struggle of the Civil War developed and resolved itself was (and is) extraordinarily lovely. Why does this seem to matter so? In my experience wars are almost always fought over heartbreakingly beautiful landscapes, but there is something particularly idyllic about the America of the 1860s, modern yet still lost in a Sylvan peace that the Union victory would almost entirely end. Yiou can still find the ghost of it – particularly in Virginia, near Thomas Jefferson’s small but captivating house, Monticello. The eastward view in autumn, of wave after wave of wooded hills pouring towards the Atlantic, was called ‘My Sea View’ by Jefferson himself, and it is possible, while looking at it on a still afternoon, to think yourself in 18th century, when no man’s house was close enough for you to hear his dogs barking.

      One of the joys of living in the Washington suburbs was being on the fringe of a far wilder, older America than the mess of malls, cineplexes, mass-produced housing and Beltways which choked the immediate capital area. You could easily escape to the Blue Ridge, that extraordinarily wistful and serene place, where you can still find unself-conscious flag-shaded small towns, white wooden houses amid trees, utterly American in the summer heat yet (beneath all the New World appearances) rather English too. But beyond all this lies the Shenandoah valley, as beautiful as its name, a dreamland of forest and slowly sliding river, the last intimate, small-scale piece of landscape before the country opens up into the great flatness of the Midwest, with the Mississippi beyond. .

      The beauty of the Civil War battlefields is a very moving thing. Apart from a fleeting glimpse of Manassas/Bull Run (the South tends to call them by the names of the nearest town, the North by the name of the nearest watercourse, where there’s a choice), I have only properly been to one, at Fredericksburg in Virginia, and it is shocking to see how small the scene is, where so much dreadful death was inflicted, so much courage shown. You can still sometimes find spent bullets, and very ugly things they are too. Once one of those had ripped through you, the butcher-surgeons of 1860 would not be able to do much , except more harm. It’s one of the great tragedies of modern times that people didn’t see, in the industrialised carnage of the 1860s, a warning of the war to come in 1914.
    Having just visited that very battlefield, I can vouch that "the USA’s National Parks are tastefully and intelligently preserved by people who care very much about their country" and that "[t]here is always much to be learned in the places where history was made."

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    Friday, March 8, 2013

    Steve Earle Performs Townes Van Zandt's "Colorado Girl," "Rex's Blues," "Pancho and Lefty," "Mud and Gold," "Lungs," & "To Live Is To Fly"

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    Rand Paul's Filibuster

    "The libertarian moment has arrived," writes Justin Raimondo, "thanks to Rand Paul" — #StandwithRand. "This wasn’t just about the narrow question of the drone war. It’s about what Rand calls the 'perpetual war' that we’re now waging on a worldwide scale."

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    Save Westminster Presbyterian Church!


    "The former Westminster Presbyterian Church is at the center of a preservation battle," with "owner Marvin Maye want[ing] to tear down the 19th-century church and an adjoining house to build a Dollar General store and two additional commercial spaces" — West Main Street church is structurally sound, says new report.

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    Thursday, March 7, 2013

    Townes Van Zandt Performs "Waitin' Around To Die"


    And the man who once called him "the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that" talks about him:


    Today would have been Townes Van Zandt's LXIXth birthday.

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    The Next Pope Will Be a Fellow New Yorker

    Sandro Magister thinks so — An American in Rome, Bound for the Chair of Peter. He writies:
      The easiest bet is that the next pope will not be Italian. But not European, African, or Asian ether. For the first time in the bimillennial history of the Church, the successor of Peter could come from the Americas. Or to hazard a more targeted prediction: from the Big Apple.

      Timothy Michael Dolan, archbishop of New York, 63, is a larger-than-life man from the Midwest with a radiant smile and overflowing vigor, precisely that “vigor of both body and mind” which Joseph Ratzinger recognized he had lost and defined as necessary for his successor, for the sake of properly “governing the barque of Peter and proclaiming the Gospel.”

      [....]

      Dolan is, in doctrine, a dyed-in-the-wool Ratzingerian, and moreover with the gift of being a great communicator. But he is also this in his vision of man and of the world. And in the public role that the Church is called to carry out in society.

      In the United States, he is at the head of that team of “affirmative” bishops who have marked the rebirth of the Catholic Church after decades of subjection to the dominant culture and of yielding to the spread of scandal.

      In Europe and in North America, the regions of most ancient but declining Christianity, there does not exist today a Church more vital and resurgent than that of the United States. And also more free and critical with respect to worldly powers. The taboo has vanished of an American Catholic Church that identifies itself with the primary global superpower and therefore can never produce a pope.
    But what are the Irish bookies saying? Paddy Power's 's Next Pope bet gives him 33/1 odds, the same as the other American papabile, about whom Mr. Magister writes:
      On the contrary, what is astonishing about this conclave is that the United States offers not one, but even two true "papabili." Because in addition to Dolan there is the archbishop of Boston, Sean Patrick O'Malley, 69, with the robe and beard of the worthy Capuchin friar.

      His belonging to the humble order of St. Francis is not an obstacle to the papacy, nor is it without illustrious precedents, because the great Julius II, the pope of Michelangelo and Raphael, was also a Franciscan.

      But what matters most is that Dolan and O'Malley are not two candidates opposed to one another. The vote of the one could converge upon the other, if necessary, because both are bearers of a single plan.

      With respect to Dolan, O'Malley has a less resolute profile as far as management abilities are concerned. And this could make him more acceptable to some cardinals, allowing him to cross the decisive threshold of two thirds of the votes, 77 out of 115, that could instead be withheld from the more energetic, and therefore much more feared, archbishop of New York.
    With 8/1 odds and currently in fourth place according to these delightfully irreverent Irishmen, the third North American prelate gets the least mention in the pro-American Magister's article:
      The same reasoning could be applied to a third candidate, the Canadian cardinal Marc Ouellet, he as well of solid Ratzingerian background and rich with talents similar to those of Dolan and O'Malley, but even more uncertain and timid than this latter in executive decisions. In a conclave that is focusing many of its expectations on the reordering of the governance of the Church, the candidacy of Ouellet, although taken into consideration by the cardinal electors, appears to be the weakest among the three North Americans.
    My money's still on the guy the Irish bookies picked as front-runner, with 11/4 odds, His Eminence Peter Kodwo Appiah Cardinal Turkson, whose career I have been following for two-and-a-half years ago — Next Pope, Black Pope, Last Pope? I wrote then:
      When I was an exchange student in Chile, I remember first hearing that the world would end after the election of a black pope. A Lutheran at the time, I dismissed such talk as just another silly Catholic superstition. An American, I thought such talk was racist. Now, I know it to be neither.

      Could His Eminence be Petrus Romanus, mentioned in St Malachy's Prophecy of the Popes, "who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people"? This fellow seems to think so — The Coming Black Pope. See also Soloviev's Apocalypse, in which "resistance comes from Pope Peter II, John the Elder, leader of the Orthodox, and Professor Ernst Pauli, representing Protestantism" and under the "pressure of persecution the three churches in this eschatological situation at last unite."
    Nota bene: Paddy Power's Papal Name of Next Pope bet gives even odds to "Peter" being the choice of the next Roman pontiff. And, as Nicholas Farrell said, "Who better to tell white liberal lefties to f*ck off than a black pope?"

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    Right on Crime

    "Higher incarceration rates aren't making us safer," say The American Conservative's Vikrant P. Reddy and Marc A. Levin, "and there are better, smaller-government alternatives" — The Conservative Case Against More Prisons.

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    In Town Tonight

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    Senator Rand Paul's Heroic and Quixotic Filibuster




















    Watch it in its twelve-hour entirety above, or this "decent compilation" posted by The LRC Blog's Ryan W. McMaken — The Filibuster in Two Minutes. Or just watch these 32 second posts — New York: Government Emergency Alert Test Interrupts Rand Paul Filibuster.

    In any case, read about those members of the Senator's party whom Antiwar.com's John Glaser informs us chillingly argued that "Paul's question about Obama's authority to kill US citizens doesn't deserve an answer" — McCain, Graham Attack Rand Paul for Anti-Drone Filibuster. Also worth a read is this article by Front Porch Republic's Russel Arben Fox — Something About Which Leftists, Localists, and Libertarians (But Probably Not Philosophical Liberals) Ought to Agree.

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    Monday, March 4, 2013

    Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad "Kids In The Square"


    Something local.

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    Pababili


  • The unusual campaign for "Africa’s frontrunner for pope" — Posters backing Ghana's Cardinal Turkson for pope appear in Rome.

  • The "Great Asian Hope" — The men who could be pope: Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith.

  • Another ethnic German, this one "the head of the largest Catholic diocese in the largest Catholic country" — Italian cardinals' ticket deal would elect Third World Pope.

  • "[A] cardinal who pals around with Stephen Colbert" and "one with a style so simple that he serves tuna sandwiches and chips to even his most important guests" — An American pope is an unlikely prospect — but more likely than last time.
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    Saturday, March 2, 2013

    J.S. Bach's Matthäus Passion Performed by Christoph Prégardien, Tobias Berndt, Dorothee Mields, Hana Blažíková, Damien Guillon, Robin Blaze, Colin Balzer, Hans Jörg Mammel, Matthew Brook, Stephan MacLeod, and Collegium Vocale Gent, Directed by Philippe Herreweghe


    Tomorrow at 3:00, the above will be performed locally — St. Matthew Passion in Rochester, NY. The details:
      Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion will be performed at Asbury First United Methodist Church, 1040 East Avenue in Rochester, N.Y., on Sunday, March 3 at 3:00 p.m. The work will be sung complete and in English. Performers will include the Eastman Chorale, the Cordancia Chamber Ensemble and the Asbury First choirs under the direction of William Weinert. Soloists will include Michaela Anthony, soprano, Caroline O'Dwyer, mezzo-soprano, David Tayloe and Matthew Swensen, tenors, and Zachary Burgess and Anthony Baron, basses. Tickets are $10, $5 for students and seniors, and are available at the door or by calling the church office at (585) 271-1050.

      The St. Matthew Passion was written by Bach in 1727, and is often considered to be his greatest masterpiece. Its text is taken from chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of Matthew, which tell the story of the last days of Jesus Christ. The Gospel text is augmented with devotional poetry and twelve hymn settings. The work was last performed in Rochester in 2000 by the Eastman Chorale.

      The Eastman Chorale is a select ensemble of 60 pre-professional singers from Eastman School of Music. Cordancia is a Rochester-based chamber music ensemble founded in 2009 by violinist Pia Liptak and oboist Kathleen Suher and comprised of professional musicians and music teachers. Asbury First’s resident choirs include the Sanctuary Choir, Asbury Singers, Youth Choir, and Children’s Choir.

      William Weinert is Professor of Conducting and Director of Choral Activities at the Eastman School of Music, and also Asbury First’s Director of Music.

      With a congregation of 2,300 people, Asbury First United Methodist Church is the largest Methodist church in upstate New York. The church is noted for the quality of its music programming, presenting an annual concert series featuring notable regional musicians and national touring groups.
    Ten bucks! Wow! One of the many great things about this city is the quality of music one can hear from the students at that conservatory established by the founder of Eastman Kodak, often for free or close to free. I heard Maestro Weinert on the wireless say that Mr. Bach wrote it in the vernacular, so it makes sense to perform it in English. I buy that.

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    It Didn’t Have to Be This Way by Harry C. Veryser

    The Wanderer's Christopher Manion reviews what appears to be a must-read Intercollegiate Studies Institute book, explaining "how, for the last hundred years, several generations of self-appointed whiz kids routinely manipulated the political economy, causing the 'boom and bust cycle' and making the 1913 dollar worth one penny today" — A Catholic Looks at Austrian Economics.

    "Veryser presents a lucid look at the age of classical liberalism and the rise of the Austrian School of Economics, in a fashion that is both appealing and understandable to the generalist," Mr. Manion writes. "He continually emphasizes principles that are not derived from imaginative rumination, but from real life – the rule of law, limited taxation and economic freedom, free trade, and a metallic-based currency."

    The two subheadings in the review are "The Hundred Years War On Freedom" and "The Tenth Amendment And The Tenth Commandment."

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    Arrests Made in the Murder of Edline Chun


    I'm surprised it took this long to make an arrest, given that from day one an insider was suspected — Former neighbor charged with killing beloved RIT professor.

    I had never met her, but did participate in a conference with her two days before she was killed, and remember her asking an excellent question that made me think, "I need to work with this woman." May she rest in peace. More women should look like her at age 73, not trying to hide their age but not giving up on looking attractive either.

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    Two Local Discoveries

    Not quite sure how I missed the existence of "{different} radio" WRUR 88.5. It is quite different from most National(ist) Public Radio affiliates, where jazz or classical Muzak® is normally the mainstay. This station plays oldies, but not the standard oldies I heard on the radio in the airport shuttle when flew in from Korea to interviewed here back in '11, the same '70s oldies stations were playing back in the '80s and '90s. They were playing some Memphis soul when I first tuned in. Just click on their link and look at their playlists.

    I had heard of the Rohrbach's Brewing Company, but never had the wherewithal to visit its brewpub, which, I believe, is the only location where one can but their beers and ales. But now, it is now selling growlers at Wegmans, conveniently bringing unpasteurized beer and ale to the people. I don;t think I've had unpasteurized beer since the '90s with Buffalo Lager, which has morphed into the Flying Bison Brewing Company.

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    Friday, March 1, 2013

    The Barr Brothers Perform "Even The Darkness Has Arms"


    Any idea what that lute-like, vaguely banjo-sounding instrument is?

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    Laschian Wisdom

    "Adopt a surly demeanor towards one and all in the hope of offending everybody," said the "fearless iconoclast who defied left and right labels," whose biography is reviewed here — Scourge of the elites. An excerpt to whet your appetite:
      In his prime, there was no more incendiary intellectual in America than Christopher Lasch. A prolific historian and social critic, Lasch wrote with erudition and flair about a wide range of topics from the early 1960s until his death in 1994, striving ‘for nothing less than a full understanding of the modern condition’, as a fellow historian put it. Called a ‘Marxist’ and a ‘fascist’ and almost everything else in between, he busted out of the conventional ‘right’ and ‘left’ political boxes. His writings typically aroused angry and emotional responses from his opponents.
    Tolle, lege. Christopher Lasch lived in the town I resettled in after my repatriation a year-and-a-half ago, about 90 miles to the east of the town in which I grew up. His major works, below, which I purchased second-hand with the modest income from Newstex Content Syndication of my expatriate blog, The Western Confucian, were of invaluable help in my reentry and resettlement to a country from which I have been absent for a third of my life.

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    Two Book Covers


    I had once seen the one on the left on CounterPunch, had been since looking to find it again, only succeeding today. I was and am intrigued by the lovely painting that graces its cover. The Three Graces of the Ancients are clearly implied, but given a uniquely American context. Also coming to mind is the most fascinating chapter of Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, titled "The Present and Probable Future Condition of the Three Races that Inhabit the Territory of the United States."

    On the right is a book I had never heard of, which I found researching the other volume, with which it shares an author. It informs us that "Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln exchanged letters at the end of the Civil War" and mentions "the role of the international communists in opposing European recognition of the Confederacy," two very telling facts.

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    Richard Rodriguez on the True Faith


    Marvelous how the Catholic, gay, Mexican-American (why not Chicano?) Richard Rodriguez gently out-maneuvers Bill Moyers' smug, liberal, protestant anti-papism. "Here comes everybody," said James Joyce of the Catholic Church in Finnegans Wake.

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    Can We Get Rid of "Hispanic"?

    Not the people(s), but the term. I write as a life-time member of the Sigma Delta Pi (ΣΔΠ), or Sociedad Nacional Honoraria Hispánica, who has known, taught, worked with and even lived among people of just about every country of Iberia and Ibero-America, who knows first hand that the average Puerto Rican and the average Chilean do not really have that much in common beyond Sábado Gigante and their common humanity.

    The Steve Sailer: iSteve blog has done much to show how meaningless the category is, and links today to an article showing that the term is "jumping the shark" — Portuguese-Americans against being declared Hispanic. (Speaking of "jumping the shark," why not call Italian-Americans Hispanic, too?) How is it possible that "American March King" John Philip Sousa rise to fame a century ago without any special category to protect him, or at least the non-Bavarian half of him? One of the most amazing interviews I ever saw was with the Catholic, gay, Mexican-American Richard Rodriguez, describing how he became "Hispanic" the day Richard Nixon created the category.

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    Avoiding Rape With the Great Equalizer


    LewRockwell.com links to the above, noting that "colleges are telling women that they should pee or puke on a man to avoid getting raped," and offering in the end a far better method to "make your wannabe rapist pee his pants instead." All for that and more! Cap him! She also says that "rape is mostly about one thing: power."

    That's what feminists have been saying for years, and they may be right. I wouldn't know; I've never been inclined to rape. The idea that "women that they should pee or puke on a man to avoid getting raped," however, implies that rape is about what feminists say it is not about: sex and desire. (These I do know something about.) Whatever the case, killing an attempted rapist is warranted, and women should be empowered to do so. Also linked to is this, on a similar theme — Real World Self Defense Tips for Women.

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    Redemption Centers

    A report on one of them, located on the other side of town — Ownership of bottle and can recycling business in area changes. “Once people try taking their cans and bottles to a redemption center, they say they will never go back to the grocery store returns,” says owner Lou Truong. Amen!

    Down the road from me is Can Kings Fairport, which gives you "6¢ on the 6th." I heard The Lumineers last time I was there. I also like Recycling Makes ¢ent$, on the way to work, which gives away free books. I got The Cloud of Unknowing and Tom Wolfe's Hooking Up there.

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    Watching Girls

    I won't do it, since I've watched less than three hours of television in the year-and-a-half since my repatriation, but it is interesting that The American Conservative's Noah Millman and CounterPunch's Susan Jhirad find something of value in the show, although the former has never seen it — I May Need To Give Lena Dunham Another Try and “Girls”: the Last Frontier of Feminism?.

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