Friday, April 26, 2013

George Jones Performs "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes?"


Nobody's gonna fill his shoes — Country music legend George Jones dies at 81. The Okie from Muskogee himself, quoted in the article, said it best: "The world has lost the greatest country singer of all time. Amen." Mr. George Jones, rest in peace.

"Today perhaps the greatest country singer of all—though Willie, Hank Sr., and Johnny Cash are all part of the discussion—passed on," agrees The American Conservative's A.G. Gancarsk, writing that "George Jones and Tammy Wynette's collaborations are as complex as their relationship was" — Old Possum’s Book of Practical Duets. "There is a strong case to be made that their duets, primarily recorded from 1971-1980 (most of them while they were still married) were the signature country records of the 1970s," he writes, arguing that "the collaborations between Jones and Wynette spoke volumes about the pressures experienced by their audience." The author continues:
    Consider what the 1970s were like for white working-class families in rural and suburban America. The purchasing power of the dollar had peaked, and circumstances dictated that the halcyon days of the single-paycheck family with the mother staying home to raise the kids and run the house were long gone. The reality was that the so-called traditional family model was fraying, layer by layer, and yet there was a longing in the marketplace for deliberately traditional music (especially given the turbulence of the Vietnam War and bygone notions of social cohesion being undermined by the hippies and the “me generation”). Despite the violence of their marriage, George Jones and Tammy Wynette produced music that hearkened back to a bygone time even as the subtext—in their lives and, increasingly, those of their fans—said that time was long gone and never coming back.

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Worse Than the Boston Bombings

"It's not bad enough that the deranged wing of the Mahometan persuasion wants to blow you up," but we learn at The Inn at the End of the World that "the City of Boston would also like to make sure that you leave this earth without the sacraments" — No Priests Allowed. From the article quoted:
    When the priests at St. Clement's, three blocks away, heard the explosions, they gathered sacramental oils and hurried to the scene in hopes of anointing the injured and, if necessary, administering last rites, the final of seven Catholic sacraments. But the priests, who belong to the order Oblates of the Virgin Mary, weren't allowed at the scene.... [I]t is a poignant irony that Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy who died on Boylston Street, was a Catholic who had received his first Communion just last year. As Martin lay dying, priests were only yards away, beyond the police tape, unable to reach him to administer last rites.
Also worse than the bombings, and I am ashamed I am so late to join in saying it, is, as Lew Rockwell pointed out a week ago, the fact that "[t]he empire has invaded the homeland--the chickens have come home to roost, as Malcolm X put it--with more than a million people ordered to cower in their homes" — SWAT Army Occupies Boston. "Businesses, schools, universities, public transport are all ordered to close. All homes and other property can be searched without warrants."

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Not Your Father's Pot

Gavin McInnes, who "quit smoking weed because when you have kids, you need to be on call in case someone has a nightmare," illuminates with this article most of which "was written—and published unedited—after half a toke of today’s weed" — Has Pot Become a Hard Drug? Wow. And I remember in the 80s hearing how much stronger the pot was than that of the 60s.

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What Kind of Country Is This?

"A society that will send poor women to fight while rich men wallow in luxurious safety is not worth fighting for and has a poor prospect of long-term survival," writes Clyde N. Wilson, just one of many insights — More Random Home Truths.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Dave Rawlings Machine Performs "Monkey And The Engineer," "Ruby," "Bells Of Harlem," "To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)," & "Hot Corn, Cold Corn"

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My Closest Brewery

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Immaterial

"The evidence we have so far is that human consciousness does not become annihilated" [but] "continues for a few hours after death, albeit in a hibernated state we cannot see from the outside — After Death Experiences: ‘The Data Suggests That Consciousness Is Not Annihilated’.

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Unblocking the Unblockable

A foreign correspondent brings me the news of this welcome and intriguing story — Pope Francis 'Unblocks' Saint Push For Salvadoran Oscar Romero. "Why on earth have they blocked it?" my correspondent rightly asks. From the article:
    Romero's beatification cause languished under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI over the Vatican's opposition to liberation theology, the belief that Christ's teachings justify fights against social injustices.

    Both John Paul and Benedict however spoke of Romero as a martyr; such a designation by the Vatican would mean he can be beatified without the Vatican confirming a miracle attributed to his intercession.
The hagiopic, in its entirety — John Duigan's Romero (1989).

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Angelina Jolie Is Scary

Not because she's on this list — 10 celebs you didn’t know were atheists. There is no need to fear Jodie Foster, who's on the list as well; she strikes me as a very private person who has not interest in interfering in the affairs of others. Keira Knightley is also on the list, which mentions that she "has joked that she’d prefer to be a Catholic." An atheist with a sense of humor!

But Angelina Jolie is downright terrifying. Humanitarian work is where she conducts her evil. Whether its Darfur or Libya, she lobbies to send our boys and girls to die in foreign lands killing innocent people who she alone has determined less innocent that others. Intervention is her credo in her personal life as well, and David A. Yeagley, "the only voice of conservative American Indian thought," debunked her international child abduction ring here — The "White Woman Saviour" Fad. An excerpt:
    Angelina Jolie really dramatized the role of the American white woman savior grabbing up the darkest, blackest babies, from deepest, darkest, most miserable Africa (as well as Cambodian, Vietnamese, and possibly Syrian). She and Madonna. That’s the extreme, of course. That is the zenith of the white woman savior image. Shall we not ask, however, why she didn’t adopt an American Negro child, if race was the issue? Or why not simply adopt an American white child? Is there something wrong with that? Or, is it not dramatic enough to suit the heroic vision of self-importance? Do these white women have any knowledge, or even concern, about the foreign child’s present and future feelings, or the adopted child’s psychological development?
The prophetess Flannery O'Connor warned of her (and her ilk's) coming:
    One of the tendencies of our age is to use the suffering of children to discredit the goodness of God, and once you have discredited his goodness, you are done with him…. Ivan Karamazov cannot believe, as long as one child is in torment; Camus’ hero [Rieux] cannot accept the divinity of Christ, because of the massacre of the innocents. In this popular piety, we mark our gain in sensibility and our loss in vision. If other ages felt less, they saw more, even though they saw with the blind, prophetic, unsentimental eye of acceptance, which is to say, faith. In the absence of this faith now, we govern by tenderness. It is a tenderness which, long since cut off from the person of Christ, is wrapped in theory. When tenderness is detached from the source of tenderness, its logical outcome is terror. It ends in forced-labor camps and in the fumes of the gas chambers….
God help us.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings Perform "Hard Times," "The Way it Goes," "I Want to Sing that Rock and Roll," "Down Along the Dixie Line," "Elvis Presley Blues," "Six White Horses," "Look at Miss Ohio," "Don't Leave Nobody But the Baby" (with Emmylou Harris)


Love them duds. As one commenter says, "The way Gillian gets girl-silly at 26:22 is adorable."

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Rethinking the American Union for the Twenty-First Century

The American Conservative's Joseph Baldacchino reviews the book of that title, which argues that "those seeking a cure for America’s political dysfunction should consider a rarely mentioned topic, that of size and scale," and "that American government has grown too large and too centralized to be compatible with free, effective, or truly representative politics" — What Keeps the States United?

The book was one I read last year — New Used Books for Summer. Here's what I wrote:

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Kalmykia

That "barren patch of Russian territory along the Caspian Sea" is where Tamerlan Tsarnaev was born, according to his aunt, quoted in an article quoted by Steve Sailer in this post — Diversity is their strength in Dagestan. ["Dagestan should stand as an object lesson to the DC-NY-Cambridge conventional wisdom about the benefits of multiculturalism," writes Mr. Sailer. "Everybody in Dagestan knows that diversity is their weakness. The lack of solidarity keeps the place futile and backward."]

Back to neighboring Kalmykia, which "is the only Buddhist region in Europe." Made up of Kalmyks, whose name means "remnant," descended from Mongols, who haven't really caused much trouble since the 14th Century, and Russians, she is far less diverse than her neighbor Dagestan. This may contribute to why the former "has become well known as an international center for chess" and the latter infamous for "low-level Islamic insurgency, occasional outbreaks of separatism, ethnic tensions and terrorism since the 1990s."

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Crooked Still Perform "Calvary," "Cold Mountains," "Henry Lee," "Half Of What We Know," "When First Unto This Country," "The Peace Of Wild Things ~ Day Blind," "The Locust And The Willow," "We Can Work It Out," "Flora, The Lilly Of The West," "The Golden Vanity," & "Did You Sleep Well"

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Caucasian Terrorists

But not the type left-liberal hack David Sirota and his ilk had hoped for — Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American. The far wiser Thomas Fleming explains that "with the announcement that the primary suspects in the Boston Marathon Massacre were white, anti-American leftists were hoping for the big score, another Tim McVeigh to prove that Tea Partiers and Militiamen are violent terrorists" — Chechen Surprise.

"Alas, it was not to be," Mr. Fleming continues. "The revelation that the suspects are, in fact, Chechen must be a real blow to Barney Frank, Harry Reid, and all the other enemies of what is left of American liberty." So, the left-liberals' much hoped-for crackdown on rural America will have to wait. Mr. Sirota is at least partially right, however, in pointing out this "double standard" in his article's subtitle: "White terrorists are dealt with as lone wolves, Islamists are existential threats."

White terrorists have been lone wolves; Timothy McVeigh, who said "science is my religion," was not even a member of an organized religion. Sorry Hitlery, but there is no "vast right-wing conspiracy." These Caucasian brothers were probably lone wolves as well, but were at least members of a somewhat organized religion. [It is telling that when you hear on the radio relatives saying that the older brother had become "very religious" in recent years how ominous it sounds, which it would not, let's be honest, speaking of a Christian.]

Where Mr. Sirota is right is that even if this attack had been carried out by Al-Qaeda itself, it would not represent an "existential threat," if by that phrase we mean a threat to our existence and not something to do with Existentialism. Islam conquer America by the sword? Hah!

Islamic terrorism would be deprived of its motive if we only followed the advice given us by The Founder, in Washington's Farewell Address: "The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connexion as possible." Leave both the House of Saud and the "Zionist entity" to their own devices and disengage from the entire God-forsaken region. If they want to sell us their stuff or buy ours or come to our schools (and then go home), no problem. American pundits who feel strongly about Saddam Hussein, Libya, or Syria can please spare the rest of us and go intervene as private citizens. Leave the rest of us out of your personal crusades.

Update, 11:42 AM, Sunday, April 20, 2013: I read this morning that Mr. Sirota is now at a loss for words — Catastrophe and the Value of Silence. Well, he's not really at a loss for words; he blathers on for several paragraphs about what's "[p]olluting that sacred quiet of the mind is both the haunting boom of the bombs themselves and even worse, the noisy coda that we’ve become so accustomed to."

Apparently, a terrorist attack perpetrated by two men from an ethnicity and a religion disproportionately responsible for terrorism doesn't make sense as it would have had been the White Americans he so obviously hated. And while he now laments that "the whole episode becomes another excuse to limit civil liberties" that is precisely what would have happened had the terrorists been White Americans.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Boston Children's Chorus Sings "Up To The Mountain"

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His Eminence Seán Cardinal O'Malley's Homily to His Archdiocese

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His Excellency Barack Hussein Obama's Speech to Boston


The above is what presidents should be for. Of course, if this were only what they were for they likely would not need to be making such speeches.

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Echoes of September 11th, 2001

"The Saudi national briefly identified as a Boston Marathon person of interest will allegedly be deported on Tuesday," The Inquisitr reports; "Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi will allegedly be deported on 'security and related grounds'" — Saudi National No Longer Boston Marathon Suspect, May Face Deportation.

Investors.com asks, "Could it be happening again? Could a Saudi terror cell be behind another major U.S. attack? And could the Saudi government be trying to sink the investigation?" — Is Obama Covering Up Saudi Role In Boston Bombings?

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The Plight of Black Women in America Today

"There are 36 percent more black women than men in New York City" and "nearly 2 million more black adult women than men in America," Steve Sailer reports — New York City's missing black men. [Related, the same author's reminder that "the total death toll from all mass shootings in the entire country over the last three decades is only about as bad as 2012’s murder count in Chicago alone" — Guns and Whites.]

Supply and demand applies to the sexual marketplace as much as it does to any other market. Just look at Russia, where men are scare because of alcoholism, and East Asia, where women are scare because of sex-selective abortion. It's a man's market in Russia, and women have to conform to men's tastes to attract a mate. It's a woman's market in the Far East; there, men have compete to be what women desire. Black America is like Russia on steroids, the statistics reported above suggest. Compounding matters is that the women excel far more in education and in professions than the males.

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Right About Iraq

The American Conservative 's Jon Basil Utley asks us "in the year of the war’s 10th anniversary [to] remember that there were plenty of voices exposing the lies, incompetence, ignorance, and arrogance of those who favored starting unending wars in the Muslim world — The Untold Story of Antiwar Conservatives. It was about this time that I discovered, much to my delight, that I was a paleoconservative, and had really always been one.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Crooked Still Perform "Ain't No Grave"


Boston bluegrass band Crooked Still's number seems an appropriate tribute for the victims who lost their lives yesterday — City mourns bomb victims "Ain't no grave can hold my body down." Oremus.

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A Message From the Youngest Victim

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John Hinderaker on the Bombing in Boston

    News reports indicate that a number of runners crossed the finish line and kept on running to the nearest hospital, to give blood. There was remarkably little panic; instead, a well-organized rescue effort. So far only three people have been confirmed dead, one of them an eight-year-old child. Probably that number will rise. But the prompt and effective reaction by so many, amateurs as well as trained professionals, undoubtedly prevented the death toll from being much worse. We should be proud of our fellow citizens.
"Amen to that," says Spoake Orations quoting the above — What to say about Boston? Indeed. The Explosions at the Boston Marathon video shows people working to help save others seconds after the blasts.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Royal Wind Music Perform Cipriano de Rore's Da Pacem, Domine and Pierre Phalèse's Bransle Gay and Gaillarde






More great music from Vrije Geluiden.

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Unhappy with an Unhoppy I.P.A.

India Pale Ale is what I drink when I'm not drinking Genesee Cream Ale, my go to beer. So, when I was at our recently opened Trader Joe's with the missus yesterday, knowing that I was out of beer at home and had no time for a Wegmans run, I picked up two bottles of Boatswain Double IPA (Twin Screw Steamer), made by the Rhinelander Brewing Company in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, which looks like a nice place, seated in Oneida County, Wisconsin, named after the Oneida Indian Nation" of New York, not to be confused with the Oneida Community. [Why, I must ask, among our local Nineteenth Century heresies, did it have to be Millerism and Mormonism, not these happy practitioners of group marriage and coitus reservatus, to stand the test of time?] I digress. Back to beer. This brew was not undrinkable, like Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale, but like the Canadian product, "[c]alling this an IPA is an insult to the style."

So, today we were off to Tops Friendly Markets, at which we rarely shop, but which is headquarted in my hometown, Buffalo, New York, unlike Weggies, which is local. [My daughter has a Wegman as a classmate.] Speaking of local, I decided to go local stocking up on a month's worth of beer after delicate negotiations with the wife. My selections were Flower Power India Pale Ale from Ithaca Beer Company, the Southern Tier Brewing Company's IPA (India Pale Ale) (not to be confused with its 2XIPA), and Snapperhead IPA from Butternuts Beer & Ale.


I drank them in that order and rank them in that order, from best to third best, and BeerAdvocate's raters agree with me. Flower Power India Pale Ale was ranked "world-class" with a score of 95 from 2,084 ratings. I especially enjoyed its unique floweriness. The Lakewood, New York boys' IPA (India Pale Ale) ranked "good" but paled in comparison with their 2XIPA, which was rated "exceptional" and rightly so. Snapperhead IPA from Butternuts Beer & Ale comes in a great can, but it was the least hoppy of the bunch. I know noting about brewing, but wonder of the "all malt" on the can has anything to do with this. .

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불닭볶음면


I tried the new Buldalk Bokkeummyeon, above, from Samyang Foods, makers of Korea's first ramen noodles back in 1978 and of the recent Korean craze, Nagasaki Jjamppong, based on Champon, a wonderful Chinese dish I tried in its Japanese hometown. This new product is billed as the spiciest instant noodles on the market. It was probably the third spiciest dish I have had, after some fish soup I once had in Hat Yai and various Buldak orders in Korea.

If you like spicy food, I suggest a visit to your local Korean or Asian market and giving it a try. Unlike Korea's iconic Shin Ramyun, which here is "Made in the U.S.A," this new product is imported, so the directions will be only in Korean. Boil the noodle for six minutes, drain well, then add all the packaged stuff, mix, and enjoy.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Meschiya Lake and The Little Big Horns Perform "I'll Wait For You," "Lucky Devil" & "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down"






Vrije Geluiden, from this blogger's ancestral homeland, has been a great source of music over the years. This short set by the singer's other ensemble is one of the loveliest I have heard — The Magnolia Beacon Perform "Waiting," "Walking," "In Your Eyes," & "Margarita".

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Yellow Privilege

Thomas Sowell expounds upon the fact that "students who passed the examination to get into Stuyvesant High School," which he describes "as one of those all too rare public schools for intellectually outstanding students," "included 9 black students, 24 Latino students, 177 white students and 620 Asian Americans" — Tests and Tiger Moms.

Prof. Sowell, who is black, joins the "race hustlers... to cry 'unfair' at the tests." No wait, he writes, "Every study I know of that compares the amount of time that black students and Asian American students spend watching television, and how much time they spend on school work, shows disparities as great as the disparities in their academic outcomes," dismissing "the usual sort of comments from those who are in the business of being indignant and offended." He continues, "When teaching at UCLA, years ago, I once went into a library on a Saturday night, noticed how many Asian students were studying -- and looked around in vain for any black students. How surprised should I have been when Asian students did better in the courses I taught?" He also makes mention of the "recent book ('Gifted Hands') by black neurosurgeon Benjamin Carson shows that his mother was as much of a Tiger Mom as the Asians."

Noting that "similar disparities can be found among students from different ethnic backgrounds in other countries around the world," Prof. Sowell reports that "in the decade of the 1960s, students from the Chinese minority in Malaysia earned 20 times as many Bachelor of Science degrees as students from the Malay majority." [When I lived in that country, I remember a Tamil friend suggesting that "Malays" and "malaise" were homophones for a reason, in the presence of her Malay roommate, and member of one of the royal families; Dr. M, Mahathir Mohamad, wrote about this in The Malay Dilemma, which "dissects the multiple failings of his own race."] Prof. Sowell notes that "[i]n Sri Lanka, children from the Tamil minority consistently outperformed members of the Sinhalese majority on university admissions tests and, in at least one year, made an absolute majority of the A's on those tests." [I don't know why I found this surprising; I guess it must be the Western bias in favor of Buddhism over Hinduism or the bad press the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam got (one of my students in Malaysia was a supporter).] He also mentions that "in the days of the Ottoman Empire, Armenian students did better than Turkish students when it came to writing in the Turkish language." [The Turkish students I have known have impressed me with their intelligence, but aren't there a lot of Armenian chess grand-masters?]

If any or all of this proves too much for you, please keep in mind Prof. Sowell's reminder that this is "an age when race can be discussed only with pious hypocrisy and obligatory lies."

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The Constitutionality of Cross-Dressing in Court

An interesting story from the Democrat and Chronicle, our local newspaper — Male witness dressed as woman throws wrinkle into manslaughter case. An excerpt:
    When a man identified as a key witness in the 2009 criminal case against Sandra Arena showed up to court, he was not dressed as a man.

    Instead, he came as a woman, used a woman’s name, and insisted on being called “ma’am” during questioning.

    Now, an appeal for Arena, who killed a man when she drove her car into a crowd outside a city bar, contends that the witness’ choice of attire constituted a disguise. And, that disguise, the appeal maintains, violated a constitutional guarantee a defendant has to confront witnesses. That guarantee is encapsulated in what is known as the constitutional “confrontation clause.”

    “In this case, a key witness for the prosecution — a biological man — testified as a full-fledged woman,” appellate attorney Joseph Waldorf argued in court papers. When asked for his age during testimony, the witness answered that one should never “ask a lady her age.”

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The Lth Anniversary of the Good Pope's Last Encycle

"At the peak of the Cold War, when the world was still coming to terms with the threat of the existence and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Pope John XXIII wrote what would be his last 'open letter to the world,'" wrote Pope Ratzinger, calling the encyclical "a heartfelt appeal from a great Shepherd who was nearing the end of his life, calling for the peace and justice cause to be promoted vigorously across all sections of society, on a national and international level" — The legacy of John XXIII - Pacem in Terris.

Catholic theologian James W. Douglass in JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters argued convincingly that it was Pacem in Terris that led to the secret dialogue between the leaders of the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. that got former assassinated and the latter disposed, but probably saved humanity.

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Prophetess Patti?

Daniel Nichols on an American woman who "said that during the conclave she had prayed that the new pope would choose the name Francis" — Pope Meets Punk Queen.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Old Crow Medicine Show Perform "Wagon Wheel"


A song I'm learning just for the line about "thumbin' my way into North Caroline," destination of our recent family trip.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

The Avett Brothers Perform "The Once and Future Carpenter"

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Lady Thatcher, Rest in Peace


Just over a week ago, I viewed the above painting in the Wren Building at the College of William & Mary, where she had been the first female and first British chancellor, and where she is remembered in this obituary — W&M remembers former Chancellor Margaret Thatcher. An article on the woman whose "political principles were largely formed by her Christian faith and in particular her Methodist upbringing" — The Christianity of Margaret Thatcher.

Hers was the first Anglo-American war I opposed; at the age of 12 I sided with the Argies. We had our differences of opinion, but growing up in the '80s without her would have been unthinkable. May she rest in peace.

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Œcumenical Counsel

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The American Conservative on Gay Marriage

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"Man Crafts"

Cool local article with videos on "four Rochester-based creator dudes who have been spotted at Rochester's indie-art fairs, each the makers of fascinating work that transcends the niches from which they arose" — Man made.

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Paleos on the D.P.R.K.

  • Srđa Trifković remindsus that "North Korea is using bizarre rhetoric—as it has done many times before—but there is no 'real and present danger,' because the country’s nuclear and missile delivery capabilities are rudimentary now and will remain so for years to come" — A Storm in a Korean Teacup.

  • Pat Buchanan asks, "Why is South Korea’s defense our responsibility, 60 years after President Eisenhower ended the Korean War?" — Is War With North Korea Inevitable?

  • Reminding us of "the 28,500 military personnel stationed in South Korea, Doug Bandow advocates "bringing them home, leaving North Korea's neighbors to deal with Pyongyang" — North Korea Is Someone Else's Problem.
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    Sunday, April 7, 2013

    Carolina Chocolate Drops Perform "Peace Behind the Bridge," "Black Angie," "Old Cat Died," "Hit 'Em Up Style," "Sourwood Mountain," and "Trouble in Your Mind"

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    Back From Dixie

  • "Williamsburg is Jamestown continued, and Yorktown is Williamsburg vindicated," it was rightly said of the Historic Triangle, an essential secular pilgrimage site.

  • Easter at the Black American Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Norfolk was wonderful, but I had to wonder how authentic was it to Black American Catholic history? After all, they too spent centuries celebrating the Tridentine Mass. In fact, many of the older parishioners looked as detached from the choral offerings akin to the many African Methodist Episcopal Church buildings we would later drive by further south as any other Catholic sitting through the Mass of Paul VI. The homily, however, was unquestionably superb: solid Catholic doctrine delivered by the white pastor with black rhetorical style sans the affected black accent of Fr. Michael Pfleger.

  • Why did I wait so long to discover the Outer Banks? High tider ("hoi toider") English was a delight to hear. Speaking of Elizabethan English, the story of the Roanoke Colony was great to spook the kids before our stay in Croatan National Forest.

  • Southern Pale Ale and Flagship IPA are two fine Carolina brews, the later bought at Brew Thru. And Piggly Wiggly provided the meat and greens for one of the finest meals I have ever cooked over fire, and also shopping bags that the kids converted into soccer jerseys.

  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was a bit of a disappointment. Thank God that rain and a botched reservation shortened out stay to one night. We made the best of the weather and had wet, cold fun at Mount Atlanticus Minotaur Goff and Family Kingdom, at which we were the only visitors.

  • The rain allowed us to visit Charleston, South Carolina, which was not on the original plan. Our time there was short, but left me convinced that this is America's most beautiful city. I've heard it said that foreigners are advised to visit New York City, Boston, San Francisco, and New Orleans, but in none of those cities, great as they are, did I find anything approaching the charm and grace of this Southern Belle!

  • Heading back north, we stopped at a tourist trap I loved as a kid, South Of The Border, which has metastasized far beyond what I remember it being. Speaking of which, what's with all the Mexicans down there? I remember them being in the stories of John Steinbeck, not Flannery O'Connor.

  • Our last night in the South was spent in charming Wilson, North Carolina, with its Imagination Station Science Museum, before making our last stop the delightful Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park in Scotland Neck, North Carolina.

  • The Carolinas lived up to all my expectations. The people there are wonderfully friendly, so much so that I was shamefully hesitant to ask simple questions because these inevitably turned into long conversations.

  • The two races in the South live closer to each other and get along better than they do in the North, where this can only be said of the educated elites, who rarely travel outside of their circles, so think the North is wonderfully integrated, which it is not; in fact, it is far behind the South.
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