Friday, May 31, 2013

Gilliam Welch & David Rawlings Perform "Time (the Revelator)"

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Time Reborn

James Gleick reviews a thus-titled "book from the theoretical physicist Lee Smolin aiming to convince us that time is real after all," and which thereby "contravenes our intellectual inheritance from Newton and, for that matter, Plato" — Time Regained! An exceprt:
    For Smolin, the key to salvaging time turns out to be eliminating space. Whereas time is a fundamental property of nature, space, he believes, is an emergent property. It is like temperature: apparent, measurable, but actually a consequence of something deeper and invisible—in the case of temperature, the microscopic motion of ensembles of molecules. Temperature is an average of their energy. It is always an approximation, and therefore, in a way, an illusion. So it is with space for Smolin: “Space, at the quantum-mechanical level, is not fundamental at all but emergent from a deeper order”—an order, as we will see, of connections, relationships. He also believes that quantum mechanics itself, with all its puzzles and paradoxes (“cats that are both alive and dead, an infinitude of simultaneously existing universes”), will turn out to be an approximation of a deeper theory.

    For space, the deeper reality is a network of relationships. Things are related to other things; they are connected, and it is the relationships that define space rather than the other way around. This is a venerable notion: Smolin traces the idea of a relational world back to Newton’s great rival, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz: “Space is nothing else, but That Order or Relation; and is nothing at all without Bodies, but the Possibility of placing them.” Nothing useful came of that, while Newton’s contrary view—that space exists independently of the objects it contains—made a revolution in the ability of science to predict and control the world. But the relational theory has some enduring appeal; some scientists and philosophers such as Smolin have been trying to revive it.
More on the physicist:
    Smolin maintains a fairly puritanical view of what science should and should not do. He doesn’t like the current fashion in “multiverses”—other universes lurking in extra dimensions or branching off infinitely from our own. Science for him needs to be testable, and no one can falsify a hypothesis about a universe held to be inaccessible to ours. For that matter, any theory about the entire cosmos has a weakness. The success of science over the centuries has come in giving rules and language for describing finite, isolated systems. We can make copies of those; we can repeat experiments many times. But when we talk about the whole universe, we have just the one, and we can’t make it start over.
It is good to see Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz get some respect, a philosopher who "spent his life trying to effect a reconciliation between Protestantism and Catholicism," which I blogged about here — Leibniz, Theodicy, and Ecumenism. Speaking of philosophers, it seems that all the above perhaps contradicts also St. Augustine's theory of time.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Della Mae Perform "Letter From Down The Road," "Walk On Boy," "Turtle Dove," "Pine Tree," & "Empire"










The New Beginning introduces us to more great music — Della Mae, "Empire". These gals hail from Boston of all places, like Crooked Still, only less progressive and far more traditonal.

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Tocqueville Today


"American self-government survives in a form that Tocqueville would recognize," reads the blurb introducing The American Conservative's Daniel J. Mahoney cover article, a review of Chilton Williamson, Jr.'s book about a thinker, pictured above, who "remains an indispensable reference point for everyone who wants to think about the human soul under conditions of modernity" — Don’t Despair of Democracy.

Yet, in the review, the only place the author mentions where "American self-government survives in a form that Tocqueville would recognize" is "American resistance to the tyranny of international law." Hardly comforting when we have tyranny at home.

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The Man Who Would Have Been President


The unflattering photo comes from an unflattering (but fun) analysis — John McCain Is A Mentally Ill Terrorist Sympathizer — of this news — Sen. John McCain accused of posing with kidnappers in Syria.

Far more seriously, "So who is the real John McCain?" asks Philip Giraldi, bringing up the old (but largely unreported) news that "by McCain’s own account he may have begun cooperating with the North Vietnamese within three days of his capture and was fully on board within two weeks, providing specific intelligence on his aircraft carrier, its aircraft, and the support vessels attached to it, information that was later featured in North Vietnamese radio broadcasts" — John McCain: War Hero or Something Less?

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Dr. Margaret Chan for World Dictatress!


The WHO Director-General has warned us of our eminent doom, from which only she and her organization can save us — New virus called ‘threat to the entire world’. Already, "the worldwide total for the disease [is] 27 deaths and 49 infections." Can we afford to wait any longer? World government now!

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The Village Next Door

That's where we will be this weekend — Fairport Canal Days kicks off this weekend, June 1-2.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rockwood Ferry Trio Perform "Kingfisher Cross"


One of the local (Ithaca, New York) acts that will be playing for free at the Corn Hill Arts Festival, we learn today — Entertainment schedule for Corn Hill Arts Festival is announced. I assume singer Tenzin Chopak gets his name from the fact that "Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca is the North American seat of Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama."

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The Sixteen Sing Anonymous' Dum Sacrum Mysterium, Robert Carver's Gloria from Missa "Dum Sacrum Mysterium" (a 21), Robert Ramsey's In Monte Olivetti, O Vos Omnes, & "How Are the Mighty Fall'n," Thomas Tallis' "Tunes for Archbishop Parker's Psalter," Robert Carver's Credo from Missa "Dum Sacrum Mysterium" (a 21), Thomas Tallis' "Tunes for Archbishop Parker's Psalter," "Come Holy Ghost," & Spem in Alium (a 40), Directed by Harry Christophers

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A Senator Conducts His Own Interventionist Foreign Policy

Having "slipped into Syria the other day to meet with Islamist rebels," Justin Raimondo reports — Why John McCain Wants to Aid Syrian Terrorists. Even more troubling, these questions:
    So what did McCain do in Syria? The military backbone of the opposition is the al-Nusra Front, which has recently pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda. Did McCain meet with their commanders – in spite of the fact that they have recently been added to the State Department’s list of officially-designated terrorist organizations?
If the answer is yes, should he be tried for aiding and abetting the enemy and for treason, and if found guilty, executed? "It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged," said G. K. Chesterton.

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Neturei Karta

CounterPunch's Edwin Krales' 1987 interview with "the 'foreign minister' of Neturei Karta, a group of anti-Zionist orthodox Jews living in Jerusalem, which is associated with the two hundred and fifty thousand worldwide adherents of the Satmar Hasidim" — Why Orthodox Jews Oppose Israel. I found the "How Neturei Karta Functions in Israel" section most interesting:
    We’ve reached a point where the Zionist government recognizes us—but we do not recognize them. We have a sort of autonomous principality in which we have no ties. Our institutions do not receive any monies from the government; the families do not receive any national insurance. We do not pay taxes. We certainly won’t serve in the army. If we would serve in the army, we would fight against the Zionists.

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A Call to All Metaphysicians

The Guardian's Raymond Tallis says that "there could not be a worse time for philosophers to surrender the baton of metaphysical inquiry to physicists," arguing that "physics is in a metaphysical mess and needs help" — Philosophy isn't dead yet.

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Roissy on the Pill

While acknowledging what "[s]ome religious organizations have long argued" (I can think of but one), namely "that widespread contraception use leads to higher divorce rates because severing the connection between sex and procreation also severs the emotional connection between spouses," the man Chateau Heartiste persuasively presents "a more compelling reason why contraception use (predominately the Pill) and divorce track each other so closely" — The Pill And Divorce: The Real Connection.

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Copperhead (2013)


The New Beginning posts a handy list — Theaters Showing Copperhead. Here's will you'll find me, likely with my War of Northern Aggression buff father, Southron by birth, ancestry, and temperament, on June 28th: Pittsford Cinema 9.

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Baroque and Bluegrass

The New Beginning links to an article and a video on two of this blogger's favorite musical genres — Jordi Savall y el barroco del Nuevo Mundo and Can Bluegrass Save Your Mortal Soul?

El video "[s]e trata de una música única, fruto de la mezcla de ritmos y melodías de africa, la españa renacentista y barroca y temas originales del continente americano."

The article argues that "a bit of bluegrass gospel is just what the doctor ordered, an earthy and melodic salve to cure an eschatological blindness." I'm a bit ambivalent towards bluegrass gospel, given its heretical protestant theology. (That said, much of it can be confirmed.) I prefer the songs about drinking and adultery.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jordan Hull Performs "So Sweet, So Subtle" & "Hardened Heart"




I cannot remember being this impressed by an original artist since this post three months ago — The Magnolia Beacon Perform "Waiting," "Walking," "In Your Eyes," & "Margarita". Unmistakably Nashville with definite undertones of Memphis soul (and even a hint of Bob Dylan, but not in a annoying way), old musical streams blending into entirely new and hitherto unexplored musical waters.

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No Time for Old Timey 'Round Here

I wanted to like this video, which I stumbled upon searching for an appropriate Memorial Day musical selection, but could not — The Dustbowl Revival Performs "Soldier's Joy" on AXS Live. Neither could I like it, nor could I find a good musical post for the day. This ensemble does not earn being embedded on these pages.

Speaking of embedding, the leggy, blonde singer I did like; she showcases herself (but, alas, not her gams) well here — The Dustbowl Revival - "Riverboat Queen". She, could pilot my riverboat anytime, and they're good musicians, too, but, unlike the music lovingly posted on this blog, these SoCal kids seem less a part of a living tradition, carrying the past into the present and future, than a depressing parody of those same traditions, which they ultimately despise rather than venerate. They are, in a word, campy, a degenerate style for which we simply have no time around here.

That seems to be what Old Time (or Old-Timey) is all about (and retro is just as bad, if not worse in this regard). Why? See left-conservative Christopher Lasch's quote that graces this blog's header: "A society that has made 'nostalgia' a marketable commodity on the cultural exchange quickly repudiates the suggestion that life in the past was in any important way better than life today."

Is a bit of authenticity too much to ask for, even in this day and age? No.

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War Without End, Amen?

"Let's find an honest name for this conflict we're asked to fight forever" says The American Conservative's Andrew Bacevich, arguing that "it matters what we choose to call the military enterprise we’ve been waging not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in any number of other countries scattered hither and yon across the Islamic world" — What Do You Call an Endless War?

"The War for the Greater Middle East," Prof. Bacevich writes, "is the name I would choose for Washington’s unnamed war and is, in fact, the title of a course I teach." On similar lines, fellow antiwar conservative Pat Buchanan writes, "As the Sykes-Picot borders disappear and the nations created by the mapmakers of Paris in 1919-1920 disintegrate, a Muslim Thirty Years' War may be breaking out in the thrice-promised land" — The Unraveling of Sykes-Picot. "It is not, and it should not become, America's war." Amen.

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I Have Seen the Future...


... and it is coming to a sidewalk or parking lot near you, reported on here by our local paper, which we lovingly refer to as the D & CRochester braces for more food trucks. From the article:
    Inside a weathered brick factory building along an abandoned railroad line on Buffalo’s south side, Rochester’s food truck revolution is taking shape.

    Five of the roughly 25 trucks rolling Rochester-area streets came from here. A sixth, serving up gourmet macaroni-and-cheese, will debut Wednesday at the Public Market food truck rodeo. Another three trucks under construction — including a sushi truck — are Rochester bound.
The last one is close to something the missus and I have in mind, serving a Korean version of onigiri (Rochesterians are probably not ready for odaeng, much less a full-fledged pojangmacha), but different enough not to be direct competition, and definitely not competition with the rightful winner of Best of Rochester 2012, serving that "Canadian staple of hand-cut fries, savory gravy, and cheese curds, plus a scattering of thyme," Le Petit Poutine. Ours will not be ready for the "pilot program set to begin June 1, opening downtown to food trucks for the first time," if ever, but it's a fun dream.

From the article we learn, "The typical truck will cost $50,000 or more. M Design has built trucks for as little as $30,000, ranging up to $90,000 — much cheaper than starting a restaurant." Ours would involve very little cooking, so I'm hoping it would be on the cheap end.

We also learn, "While both Buffalo and Rochester are catching up with the food truck trend, Buffalo’s regulations are more relaxed and with half the number of trucks and double, if not triple the territory." Not surprising. The Libertarian from Buffalo, Grover Cleveland, lives on. I have the feeling he would not pass up a good food truck.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Taylor Brashears Performs "Louise" and "What It Feels Like To Lose"




Another millennial named Taylor keeping alive American traditions which boomers tried to eradicate and which we Gen-Xers were too few and far between to help preserve.

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Taylor Brashears Performs "Louise" and "Carolina Sunshine Girl"

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Local Memorial Day Reads

Two very moving articles from our local paper — Honor's aftermath: Families of war's casualties try to find a way through and Losing loved ones toughest on children.

Now, let us not forget the war pig responsible for the widows and orphans in the above stories, indicted by Batavia, New York's Bill Kauffman here — George Bush, the Anti-Family President. Read to remember that "the first casualty of the militarized U.S. state is the family" and "the only foreign policy compatible with healthy family life is one of peace and non-intervention."

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Taking My Boy Out to the Ball Game

Looking forward to Memorial Day tomorrow; plan to take the boy to see the Rochester Red Wings play what just may be the International League's best-named team: the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. The Toledo Mud Hens also have a great name... for a Softball team.

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Liberating Hardwood Floors

Memorial Day weekend's project has been liberating our home's Greatest Generation hardwood floors from the wall-to-wall carpeting imposed on them by foolish boomers. Fitted carpets are not only stupid, they're pretty disgusting I'm learning from pulling them up. Looking forward to a healthier, cleaner environment.

Now, the restoration begins; three articles that have been helpful — How to Get Water Stains Off Wood, How to Remove Black Nails Marks From Old Wood Floors, and How to Fix Scratches In Hardwood Floors.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Taylor Pfeiffer Performs "My Daddy Was a Yodeling Cowboy"


"The Banjo Girl" from Adelaide. Yes, that Adelaide: the capital of South Australia! Love this thirteen-year-old's Strine pronunciation, not to mention her lovely yodeling! Absolutely adorable! God bless the Anglosphere! God bless the Millennials!

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Age of Majority, Age of Consent, Age of Stupidity, Age of Moral Panic

I'm sure you instantly see all that's wrong with this local headline, as I did when reading it over breakfast — Man, 18, accused of sending naked pictures to teens. Maybe it should have been worded "Eighteen-year-old accused of sending naked pictures to teens" or "Teen accused of sending naked pictures to teens."

"The teens were not physically abused," but nevertheless the boy — I mean the teen — I mean the man — is "facing felony charges," specifically "two counts of first-degree disseminating indecent material to a minor, attempted first-degree coercion, third-degree criminal solicitation and use of a child in a sexual performance," as well as "two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and fourth-degree criminal solicitation," etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. "One of the teens complied" with his request "to send him some naked photos in return." Quelle horreur!

First of all, if this kid had done this a couple of months earlier, it would have all been fun and games, the digital era's version of "playing doctor," right? Second, any parent who surrenders his authority to the Nanny State as these girls'es have done should have thought a bit deeper about the vocation to parenthood. Third, I guess we "The People of the State of New York" will send this poor kid to prison where he'll be the victim of state-sanctioned gang rape, on a daily if not hourly basis, and all pat ourselves on the back for having "protected our children" from a "sexual predator." Free Anthony Vullo!

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Atheist "Raked Over the Coals"

For views not in line with "orthodox Darwinism" — Where Thomas Nagel Went Wrong. The Chronicle Review's Michael Chorost's chronicle of this ongoing brouhaha is by far the most succinct and clear I have read. He writes:
    The critics have focused much of their ire on what Nagel calls "natural teleology," the hypothesis that the universe has an internal logic that inevitably drives matter from nonliving to living, from simple to complex, from chemistry to consciousness, from instinctual to intellectual.

    This internal logic isn't God, Nagel is careful to say. It is not to be found in religion. Still, the critics haven't been mollified. According to orthodox Darwinism, nature has no goals, no direction, no inevitable outcomes. Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago, is among those who took umbrage. When I asked him to comment for this article, he wrote, "Nagel is a teleologist, and although not an explicit creationist, his views are pretty much anti-science and not worth highlighting. However, that's The Chronicle's decision: If they want an article on astrology (which is the equivalent of what Nagel is saying), well, fine and good."

    The odd thing is, however, that for all of this academic high dudgeon, there actually are scientists—respected ones, Nobel Prize-winning ones—who are saying exactly what Nagel said, and have been saying it for decades. Strangely enough, Nagel doesn't mention them. Neither have his critics. This whole imbroglio about the philosophy of science has left out the science.
The crux of the affair:
    Nagel really got their noses out of joint by sympathizing with theorists of intelligent design. "They do not deserve the scorn with which they are commonly met," he wrote. "It is manifestly unfair." To be sure, he was not agreeing with them. He notes several times that he is an atheist and has no truck with supernatural gods. He views the ID crowd the way a broad-minded capitalist would sum up Marx: right in his critique, wrong in his solutions. But ID, he says, does contain criticisms of evolutionary theory that should be taken seriously.

    Whatever the validity of this stance, its timing was certainly bad. The war between New Atheists and believers has become savage, with Richard Dawkins writing sentences like, "I have described atonement, the central doctrine of Christianity, as vicious, sadomasochistic, and repellent. We should also dismiss it as barking mad. ..." In that climate, saying anything nice at all about religion is a tactical error.

    And Nagel is diffident about his ideas. Take this sentence, which packs four negatives into 25 words: "I am not confident that this Aristotelian idea of teleology without intention makes sense, but I do not at the moment see why it doesn't." Mind and Cosmos is full of such negatively phrased assertions. If you're going to make a controversial claim, it helps to do so positively. It also helps to enlist distinguished allies. Nagel has done nothing of the sort. Which is strange, because he has plenty of allies to choose from.

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Radio Derb Asks Two Questions and Offers an "Impertinent Speculation"

The two questions the Derb asks after "Muslims thank Brits for taking them in" in London last week — Why Are We There? Why Are They Here? Indeed. Yet to ask these two questions puts one beyond the pale, earning one the enmity of both the neolibs and neocons, and the mark of an extremist.

The "impertinent speculation" John Derbyshire, himself a mysterian, makes was response to this video — Ha! Wolf Blitzer Asks Atheist Tornado Survivor If She 'Thanked The Lord'. He speculates that this "Beltway bandit" finding himself in "flyover country" "just naturally assumed that anyone he would meet would be a fundamentalist Christian and he tried to strike an appropriately patronizing tone." (This one of the rare instances in which this blogger found himself cheering on an atheist; the other was when a Turkish student declared his atheism in a class full of Saudis.)

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The Victorians Were Smarter

Idiocracy's vision of "a dystopian society full of extremely dumb people" is fast coming to pass — Researchers say Western IQs dropped 14 points over last century. The study corroborates "previous research studies [that] have found that women of higher intelligence tend to have fewer children on average, meaning that population growth may be driven by those with a lower IQ."

The article concludes, "The study had other positive observations about the Victorian era, noting that economic efficiency began to flourish during the period and that the 'height of the per capita numbers of significant innovations in science and technology, and also the per capita numbers of scientific geniuses,' occurred during that time, followed by a steady decline."

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Strange Bedfellows: Left-Liberals and Alpha Male Pick-Up Artists

"I find it curious that the same liberals who believe trace levels of relatively innocuous chemical compounds are an unconscionable threat to public health and safety, that need to be banned 'for the children,' are willing to subject pubescent girls to a powerful hormonal cocktail, the long-term effects of which on their physical development and health have yet to be assessed," writes Stuart Koehl, quoted by the Young Fogey— Calling out lefty hypocrisy: pushing contraception on girls. The Fogey carries the thought:
    Roissy explains that in the contraceptive culture only alpha player men get most of the sex, licit or not, not the beta, herb and omega majority of men. (1950s society equalized this, favoring nice-guy providers, whom the women needed financially, which was better for society.) Cleverly marketed as girl power. Political correctness about sexual harassment is both a ripoff of the church’s teaching against illicit sex (the church says to respect women and our liberal Protestant hosts in America mock it; the left says it and betas had better obey, or else; alphas can do whatever they want) and a cover for female hypergamy, a fancy way of saying girls can now screen out nice guys for the illusion of no-strings sex with alphas. It’s short-term empowerment: through taxes, unfair divorce laws, etc. the women have fun with the alphas on the betas’, et al.’s dime. But the women end up ill-used, alone. (In short, feminism’s a lie.) And it’s bad for society in the long run, with fewer kids and more of those kids being maladjusted literal bastards (fatherless homes are bad for kids both financially and for social development). And of course contraception fails; the abortion culture is part of this too. Why society turns a blind eye to Kermit Gosnell (Obama in scrubs).

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Guns, Not Cops

"Next time dial .357 Magnum," writes cryptogon.com in posting this horror story — 911 Dispatcher Tells Woman About To Be Raped That There Are No Cops To Help Her Due To Budget Cuts. We should not handover our rights to self-defense to the State.

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"Blue Moon Magic"


The name given to the above piece, made by the Genesee Valley Quilt Club, founded in 1936, and to be raffled off to benefit the club— Magical Threads – Inspired Stitches coming to RIT.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Sam Amidon Performs "As I Roved Out"

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More Millennialism

A conservative blog for peace links to this article by fellow GenXer (or 13er) Jim Quinn defending the younger generation — And the Band Played On. An excerpt:
    The Millennial generation was born between 1982 and 2004. Therefore, they range in age from 9 years old to 31 years old. There are approximately 87 million of them, or 27.5% of the U.S. population. In comparison, the much ballyhooed Boomer generation only has 65 million cohorts remaining on this earth. The Millennials will have a much greater influence on the direction of this country over the next fifteen years than the currently in control Boomers. There has been abundant scorn heaped upon this young generation by their elders. In a fit of irrationality befit the arrogant, hubristic, delusional elder generations, they somehow blame a cohort in which 54 million of them are still younger than 21 years old for many of the ills afflicting our society. This disgusting display of hubris is par for the course among these delusional elders.

    Are Millennials addicted to their iGadgets, cell phones and Facebook pages? Probably. Do they spend too much time on the internet and playing PS3 & Xbox? Certainly. Have they been indoctrinated in social engineering gibberish like diversity and planet worship by government run public school bureaucrats? Absolutely. Are they young, foolish, immature, irrational and not respectful towards their elders? You betcha. Teenagers have acted like this forever. You acted like that. The ongoing crisis in this country and our unsustainable economic system are in no way the result of anything perpetrated by the Millennial generation.

    Can the Millennial generation be blamed for the $17 trillion national debt, $222 trillion of unfunded un-payable social obligations promised by corrupt politicians, $1 trillion of annual deficits, undeclared wars being waged across the globe on behalf of the military industrial complex arms dealer mega-corporations, economic policies that have resulted in 48 million people dependent on food stamps, tax policies that enrich those who write the code, trade policies that benefit corporations who gutted the industrial base and shipped jobs overseas to slave labor factories, or monetary policies that have destroyed 96% of the dollar’s purchasing power? They had no say in the creation of our untenable welfare/warfare state.

    There are no Millennials among the 535 corrupt bought off politicians slithering down the halls of Congress. There are no Millennials running the Too Big To Control Wall Street banks. There are no Millennials in charge of the mega-corporations that buy and sell our politicians. There are no Millennials at the upper echelon of the Military Industrial Complex or in the upper ranks of the U.S. Military. But, and this is a big but, they have done most of the dying in the Middle East over the last ten years in our multiple undeclared preemptive wars of aggression. They have died under the false pretenses of a War on Terror, when they are truly dying on behalf of the crony capitalists who profit from never ending war. They have been fighting and dying to protect “our oil” that happens to be under “their sand”. If the energy independence storyline was true, why is our military perpetually at war in the Middle East?

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Defending the Château

The Young Fogey answers a critic who says, "I don't understand why you read the trash produced by Roissy" — Why Roissy, again. The Fogey rightly reminds us that "he [Roissy] tells the unvarnished truth about human sexuality, as part of fallen human nature, and human biodiversity (groups on average aren’t equal)" and that "beneath the amoral bluster, he’s profoundly conservative." More:
    His message is a splash of cold water in the face trying to wake up two kinds of well-meaning nice guys, who are related: conservative Christian white knights like you seem to be, and their politically correct, peer-pressure liberal cousins who now dominate the culture (they’re Christian heretics, a ripoff of Christianity). The guys who do everything mainstream society, including the conservative churches, tells them about trying to be nice, pedestalize women because of their God-given love for them, and wonder why they end up alone.
A conservative blog for peace, one of the first blog's I ever read ten years ago, was where I first read Cheateau Heartiste. I was retardedly somewhat put off at first, but quickly realized this genius was only speaking truths (and let's face it; the truth is scary) that I had learned the hard way during years of single and married life. Great that this site is out there for my younger brothers. I shall impart his teachings on to my son in a way my boomer dad never did.

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"Conservative" "Opposition" to "Gay" "Marriage"

Great news that Gavin McInnes now describes himself as "a reformed atheist who recently rediscovered his Catholic roots," and that this rediscovery hasn't caused him to forget the obvious fact that "marriage died long before homosexuals got involved" — Gays Didn’t Kill Marriage, Divorce Did. An excerpt from what might be this writer's most spot-on article yet:
    Glenn Beck was against gay marriage but recently came around and said he approved of it in “principle.” Bill O’Reilly says he thinks there is a “compelling argument” for gay marriage and calls the opponents “Bible thumpers.” Rush Limbaugh took umbrage with that quote but admits the debate is already over and the gays have won.

    They won me over, too, and it was because of wimps such as Glenn and Bill and Rush. My peers are the children of divorce and I’ve seen it permanently scar almost all of them. Both Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly have been divorced. Rush Limbaugh has done it three times. You can’t be sanctimonious about marriage when you’re on your fourth. You can’t keep quitting your job while lecturing us about how important jobs are.

    A few generations ago, there was no concept of “self.” You went to work and busted your ass so your kids (the baby boomers) could have the education you never had. Today, those kids are in their 60s, and the few that are grandparents don’t like being called that because it makes them feel old.

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Dorothy or Eleanor?

You can't have both; The LewRockwell.com Blog's Charles Burris "brief informative description of the confrontation between the great libertarian peace activist and anarchist... and the sanctimonious uber-liberal ex-First Lady" — Dorothy Day vs Eleanor Roosevelt. The "great libertarian peace activist and anarchist" is also a Servant of God.

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Life Upheld Locally

A man described by a caregiver as "alert, awake and communicative, [who] enjoys social interaction and activities," has been spared, against the wishes of his "parents and attending physician [who] did not want the use of the life-sustaining treatment" — Court orders feeding tube for disabled Yates County man.

What was "called a 'life-or-death' ruling" hinged on the "legal question [of] whether the use of the feeding tube equates to 'an extraordinary burden.'" Ordinary and extraordinary means are the terms from Catholic moral theology that have "gradually come to be used in medical ethics more generally both by non-Catholics and those of no religion." That was written in the Journal of Medical Ethics in 1981. In three decades there has been plenty of backlash against their use.

Anyway, I read enough Thomas Fleming not to see this "ruling from the Rochester-based state Supreme Court Appellate Division, Fourth Department," as a sign of hope. Death panels giveth and they taketh away. Their existence is what should disturb us. The fact that it takes a court to intervene to feed and give water to a man who "suffers from mental retardation, spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, and curvature of the spine," against parents and his doctor, that is a defeat.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Lumineers Perform "Flapper Girl"


A song that reminds me of one of a millennial behind a recent post of mine, who wishes she had been born in the Roaring Twenties, performed by some of the Millennials whom I described in said post as "carrying on the traditions of the past, with organic developments of their own" — Millennialism & Manospherism.

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Coachella & Hypergamy

Watching this video posted on my blog — The Lumineers Perform "Stubborn Love" — I noticed in the audience a whole bunch of (rather hot) gals sitting on their boyfriends' shoulders. God bless 'em! Natural state of affairs, correct?

You saw this at least as far back in ancient times as Woodstock, before this blogger was born, right? My guess is that the Vikings even did the same thing. (Wife carrying, anyone?) Equalism, in contrast to this natural sate of affairs, should hold that until 50% of those shoulder-riders are males on the backs of females, we have not attained freedom, right? But how many modern feminists really long for a little fellow they could carry on their own shoulders?

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Millennialism & Manospherism

A conservative blog for peace quotes one Stuart Koehl, "Compared to the Baby Boomers, the Millennials are models of sobriety, industriousness and chastity" — The generations.

I'm a fan of the generation that came right after mine; most of the music posted on this blog comes from them carrying on the traditions of the past, with organic developments of their own. I grew up thinking I was born decades (and sometimes centuries) after my time, but maybe I was just born ten years too early.

"I'm a Gen Xer who loves the Millennials with whom I work," commented I on the Young Fogey's post. "The gals are more comfortable with being feminine than were those of my generation. Their existence is a sign of hope." The Fogey later in the thread responded:
    I agree with Iosue (Joshua). I love the ones I work with. Two examples: a probably upper-class girl who sounds exactly like a movie or TV actress 50 years ago; elegant, with no Valley Girl accent or vocal fry. A lady. Another young lady but a lady nonetheless, whom I mentioned in the blog before: pretty, and stylish in an edgy modern way, who nonetheless says she wants her man to be a man who can take care of her, not an oversensitive crier (she's had that and found it wanting), plus '(I believe in fairness for women of course but) women who go around saying they're feminists are a little messed up'.

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Deschooling Rochester

Ivan Illich, author of Deschooling Society, would be proud to read City Newspaper's Rebecca Rafferty's account of Rochester Brainery and Rochester Makerspace, two "of the newest independent, collective, community-education offerings and learned where you can go to gain a skill, teach a skill, use the kinds of tools found in a professional workshop, or just to get inspired by local makers and thinkers" — Train your brain.

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Our Catholic Faith

  • A post of mine titled "The Vicar of Christ vs. The Prince of This World" comes to mind reading this news — Claims that Pope exorcised young boy from demons after Mass. Follow the links at the bottom of the article to video footage.

  • "I am close to the families of all who died in the Oklahoma tornado, especially those who lost young children" — Pope prays for victims of Oklahoma tornado. "Earlier in the day during his morning Mass in the Vatican, the Pope personally added a prayer intention for the tornado victims and those who are missing, especially the children."

  • Rumors have long abounded that the Bard was a Crypto-Catholic; here's more evidence, circumstantial at least— Author finds Catholic themes in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

  • The Western Confucian would have been all over this news — Sainthood cause of 16th century Jesuit moves to Vatican. "Father Ricci died in Beijing May 11, 1610, and his death was followed by centuries of church debate and even disputes over the extent to which a very limited number of Confucian practices -- including veneration of ancestors -- could be seen as a tolerable part of Chinese social and cultural tradition rather than as religious practices incompatible with Christianity."
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    Monday, May 20, 2013

    Damien Rice & Lisa Hannigan Perform "Rootless Tree"

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    "Burke Was Liberal Because He Was Conservative"

    Thus spake Russell Kirk, a quote that comes to mind reading this helpful summation excerpted from the New Statesman's John Gray — Reviewed: Edmund Burke: Philosopher, Politician, Prophet by Jesse Norman:
      Showing that Burke developed a coherent body of ideas is a harder task. Summarising what he sees as Burke’s chief themes, Norman writes: “He is effectively making a series of rather sophisticated and challenging philosophical points: that absolute consistency, however desirable in mathematics and logic, is neither available nor desirable in the conduct of human affairs; that universal principles are never sufficient in themselves to guide practical deliberation; and that it is a deep error to apply concepts from the exact sciences willy-nilly to the messy business of life.” There is nothing particularly original in any of this. Aristotle said much the same when he observed that it’s a mistake to look for a greater degree of precision in a subject than the nature of the subject allows. Where Burke is distinctive is in the political conclusions he draws from this insight.

      While theorists such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and, later, Jean-Jacques Rousseau thought social institutions could be rebuilt on the basis of a set of principles, for Burke, institutions are the basis of our knowledge of society. His key insight was not that applying principles with strict consistency is destructive in politics, though he believed this to be the case. For him, principles were abstractions constructed from practical life, which meant participation in institutions. Giving priority to abstractions is inherently destructive because it gets things the wrong way round: principles have no authority aside from practice, he believed.

      This wasn’t to say that reform is impossible or unnecessary. Burke was an active reformer, attacking British rule in India for damaging Indian traditions and impeaching the first governor general of Bengal, Warren Hastings, for corruption in a long but ultimately unsuccessful trial. However, for Burke, reform involved using standards that were already embedded in institutions. If he was a reformer who hated revolution, it was because he was first of all a traditionalist.

      Burke’s view of reform as a type of immanent criticism has clear affinities with the ideas of later conservative thinkers such as Michael Oakeshott (1901-1990). Both were sharp critics of political rationalism – the view of politics in which it consists of projects aiming to reconstruct society on some kind of ideal model. These parallels are acknowledged by Norman, who comments that Oake - shott may have taken more from Burke than he admitted.

      Oakeshott didn’t acknowledge such a debt – he mentions Burke only rarely in his writings, usually in negative terms, and in conversation was dismissive of Burke as a thinker. The two were at odds on some fundamental issues. Whereas Burke was a lifelong practising Anglican and a firm religious believer, Oakeshott was a religious sceptic – a difference with wide-ranging implications for how they understood politics. Burke viewed history in Whig terms as the steady advance of liberty and believed human progress was divine providence at work in human affairs. Oakeshott shared the view of Burke’s more perceptive contemporary David Hume, who saw the rise of liberty as a succession of accidents. For Oakeshott, as for Hume, history couldn’t be the story of liberty, for history had no author and no plot.

      Burke was horrified by the French Revolution because the victory of what he regarded as, in essence, malign and regressive forces challenged his faith in providence. Curiously, religion is almost absent from Norman’s account of Burke’s thinking. Towards the end of the book, there is a brief discussion of the utility of religion in countering the spread of anomie and promoting an ethic of community. Yet for Burke, religion wasn’t something to be evaluated in terms of its benefits to society – it supplied the categories through which he understood the world. Without providence, there might still be moral advance in particular societies; but history would have no overall significance. It’s a result that Oakeshott was happy to accept but few conservatives today share his sangfroid.

      The central role of religion in Burke’s thought tends to undercut some of the more extravagant claims Norman makes on his behalf. He writes that Burke is not only the “hinge or pivot of political modernity, the thinker on whose shoulders much of the Anglo-American tradition of representative government still rests”, but also “the earliest postmodern political thinker, the first and greatest critic of the modern age, and of what has been called liberal individualism, a set of basic assumptions about human nature and human well-being that arose in the 19th century, long after Burke’s death, in reflection on the Enlightenment, and that govern the lives of millions, nay billions, of people today”.

      It’s true that Burke anticipated some of the pathologies of individualism and (while being in many ways himself a product of the Enlightenment) identified important weaknesses in Enlightenment thinking – but the earliest postmodern political thinker? Come off it. The grand narrative of human progress that Burke inherited along with the idea of providence and, despite the French Revolution, never renounced clearly rules him out. If you are looking for the first postmodern philosopher, the sceptical Michel de Montaigne is a much better candidate.

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    "Black"

    CounterPunch's M.G. Piety takes apart one of the pieties of politically correctness — Why “African-American” is a Patronizing, Even Racist Term. I was told to use "African-American" by a white professor and not to use it by a black friend; "I'm black, you're white; what's the big deal?"

    (On a similar note, do not miss Taki Magazine's Jim Goad's latest, an example from which is the term "anti-racist" defined as "A person who makes everything about race" — The Progressive Glossary.)

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    "Evolution, Intelligent Design, or a Third Possibility"?

    LeRockwell.com's Charles Burris posts a short video — Birds of Paradise — and more importantly links to Catholic Answers Magazine's Michael W. Tkacz's article about that third possibility, which "may help to move the debate away from its polarized Creation vs. evolution state toward a discussion that is more philosophically productive" — Aquinas vs. Intelligent Design.

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    Saturday, May 18, 2013

    Trampled By Turtles Perform "Widower's Heart" & "Help You"




    A band upon whom I stumbled searching for a decent version of an American classic — Trampled By Turtles at MN Twins Game 06/17/2012 "Take Me Out To The Ball Game". Coincidence that the Rochester Red Wings happen to be the farm team for the Minnesota Twins? You decide. More — Trampled By Turtles at MN Twins Game 06/17/2012 Set 1 and Trampled By Turtles at MN Twins Game 06/17/2012 Set 2.

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    Out to the Ball Game

    That's where I took the missus and kiddies, to see the Rochester Red Wings, one of "only six franchises in the history of North American professional sports [that] have been playing in the same city and same league continuously and uninterrupted since the 19th century," and to what was probably the best game I ever saw live — Red Wings again knock off Bulls.

    What a hoot! What family fun! Minor League Baseball is where it's at! Baseball, since it is not tied to artificial constraints like clocks, is the only spectator team sport I know of that requires so much attention and concentration that a mob mentality among fans simply cannot develop.

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    The Hard Left vs. the Obama Régime

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    Today's Quake

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    Wednesday, May 15, 2013

    Great Big Sea Perform "Great Big World"


    Yesterday's Yellow Red Sparks Concert Mini-Review prompted reader Dauvit Balfour to introduce me to the above "traditional and pop rock Newfoundlanders, whom my brother and I saw in their home town of St. John's a few weeks ago." Many thanks! The Six-String Banjo sounds great, and inspires me to pick at it a bit more.

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    Rockers, Not Jocks

    Chateau Heartiste reports that "the mere act of lugging around a guitar case will significantly improve a man’s odds of getting a number close from a woman" — Have Guitar, Will Tingle. From the study he quotes:
      This experiment tested the assumption that music plays a role in sexual selection. Three hundred young women were solicited in the street for their phone number by a young male confederate who held either a guitar case or a sports bag in his hands or had no bag at all. Results showed that holding a guitar case was associated with greater compliance to the request, thus suggesting that musical practice is associated with sexual selection. [...]

      What happened was that when he wasn’t holding anything he got a number 14% of the time. The sports bag, though, put women off and dropped his average to just 9%.

      It was the guitar case that did the trick, bumping up his chances to 31%. Not bad at all considering he was approaching random strangers in the street.
    I am doing the right thing as a father in paying for my son's guitar lessons.

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    Dystopian Nonfiction

    A conservative blog for peace reports Chateau Heartiste's horrifying vision of "a million beta males under the heel of an alpha male state, toiling for the pleasure of fat women" — The feminist utopia. "Men paying through the nose for Obamacare, while women enjoy luxurious savings," writes Roissy, explaining:
      A simple resource theft and redistribution from men to women. A theft, because the women exchange no sex for the reward of the men’s resources, which is the natural system of male-female barter that feminist and equalists wish to subvert and reconstitute for the benefit of women alone.

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    When the Left Is Right

    The American Conservative's Neil Clark on a Brit whose "working-class childhood was an 'interesting mix of Catholic and Communist' influences" ans who is "not one to be deceived by labels, an important skill to possess in an age when wars are sold as 'humanitarian interventions' to gain support from liberals" — The Left vs. the Liberal Media.

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    Sexual Assault in the US military

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    Thinking About Getting Some Ink Done

    The New Beginning posts a link that has me thinking about just that — Christian Tattooing. "Whereas Judaism and Islam prohibit marking the body, for Orthodox Christian denominations like Armenians, Syrians, Ethiopians and Copts, tattoos are both decorative and a sign of faith," he quotes. "Roman Catholicism does not ban tattooing, but the practice is not as common." Follow the link to some nice pictures of ink.

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    Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    Yellow Red Sparks Perform "A Play To End All Plays" & "My Machine Gun"

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    Yellow Red Sparks Concert Mini-Review


    Last night, the missus and I saw Yellow Red Sparks at the Boulder Coffee Co.. We had been alerted to their appearance by City Newspaper, which compared them to The Lumineers, whom I have been listening a whole lot of on my commute. Through the magic of YouTube.com we were introduced to their great music, and decided to venture into Rochester's South Wedge.

    It was well worth the ten-minute drive and six bucks we spent on a Genesee Cream Ale and two coffees. The Wholesale Kids opened. Really just a guy named Jake, they, or rather he, was surprisingly good. Y.R.S. played all the songs I had posted in this blog, and more of course. Singer Josh Hanson's voice today reminded a bit of a male Thao Nguyen. His song-writing skills are top-notch, poppy enough even to attract teenage girls, at least smart ones.

    Gracious people, the embers of Y.R.S. They repeatedly thanked Jake for opening, and the dozen or so of us who showed up on a cold May Monday. They complemented our city. They hugged each other after the show, which seemed pretty cool. They also introduced themselves to us as we bought their CD, and we had a nive conversation as they signed our CD, finding out that I shared a given name with the front-man and my wife an Asian heritage with the upright bass-player, who said, "People always think I'm Korean." (She is about the most stereo-typically Korean-looking women I have ever seen, and my Korean wife agreed, but is apparently of Japanese descent, if her surname is any clue.)

    I think these guys have what it takes to make it big in the Indie Folk scene. I wish them the best, and will be happy to pay for tickets the next time they come here.

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    The Vicar of Christ vs. The Prince of This World

    Sandro Magister writes, "He refers to him continually," "combats him without respite" and "does not believe him to be a myth, but a real person, the most insidious enemy of the Church" — Francis and the Devil. That great quip of Charles Baudelaire come to mind: "La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu'il n'existe pas."

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    My Newest Toy


    The Yamaha Mini 6-String Nylon Guitalele, pictured above, is about the funnest thing I've ever bought for myself. It is "half guitar, half ukulele, and 100% fun," as the blurb rightly reads, and quite reasonably priced. I was in the market for a better guitar anyway, as the $23 knock-off I got at Tuesday Morning a year ago hasn't been the same since my dad knocked it over and I had to glue it back together. I had in the meantime been having too much fun with my son's Hohner 3/4 Classical Guitar, and my Gretsch G9460 Dixie 6-String Banjo requires a whole different style of playing.

    Guitaleles do, too. The chord-fingerings are the same as for guitar, but have different values. What looks like a G is really a C, etc. At first, I couldn't figure out why none of the songs I knew didn't sound quite right. It was a neat little lesson in music theory for a former punk rocker to learn.

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    Friday, May 10, 2013

    Yellow Red Sparks Perform "Happiness Comes in a Box" & "My Machine Gun"

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    Yellow Red Sparks Perform "I'm Fine and That's Fine" & "Monsters With Misdemeanors"

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    Yellow Red Sparks Perform "Buy Me Honey" & "I'm Fine and That's Fine"


    These nice, young people will be performing at Boulder Coffee Co., "Rochester's premiere coffee house + music venue," this upcoming Monday, for free. More of their music will be posted forthwith.

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    My Suburb

    Rod Dreher, for the first time I can remember since Birkenstocked Burkeans: Confessions of a granola conservative more than a decade ago, writes something I can almost read and halfway agree with — Reconsidering Suburbia. Mr. Dreher's article starts by quoting the Acton Institute's Anthony Bradley, who notes, "For too many Millennials their greatest fear in this life is being an ordinary person with a non-glamorous job, living in the suburbs, and having nothing spectacular to boast about."

    Good for them, I say. As a Generation Xer, I find the Generation Y cohort to be wonderful people, superior to my demographic in many ways, one being musical taste. I'm delighted by the millennial women I know from work, and find them far more feminine than the women from my era. And Mr. Dreher's article introduced me to the "movement among younger Evangelicals to reject suburban life," which seems a good thing.

    Mr. Dreher's article, however, is a defense of suburban life, which may be now counter-counter-counter-cultural, or something like that. It's at least contrarian. He writes, "For a certain kind of Christian — people like me, to be blunt — the idea of living an 'ordinary' life (= the life of a middle-class suburbanite) seems unattractive, at least on the surface," and wisely continues, "That could well be a sign that this is precisely the kind of life that we need for our own salvation."

    My non-nuclear family has six people, two each from three different generations. We had to consider all of our needs and tastes when settling on a house to choose, and mine was the sole vote for a cabin in the woods surrounded by barbed wire. So we live in a suburb, one that was even mildly dissed by name by my hero Bill Kauffman in Bill Kauffman in his delightful Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette: A Mostly Affectionate Account of a Small Town's Fight to Survive, calling it "tony," a word I would never use, but which I found out means "marked by an aristocratic or high-toned manner or style." I kinda like that.

    We live in one of the less tony areas, I should say, a stone's throw away from the decidedly working-class East Rochester, NY, which is our spiritual home, as it is where the largely eyetie (another word I learned from Mr. Kauffman) St. Jerome Parish, to which we belong and where our kids just firstly communed, is located. The house we live in was built fifty years ago, half as old as the oldest house I've ever lived in, but that's not too young. The trees are the right height, which the loser in the last presidential election was wrongly condemned for rightly noticing. Even more important, there are lots of kids in the neighborhood. My Weggies is within walking distance.

    People know each other in our neighborhood and even if we don't, we still wave to each other when we drive or walk by. People don't sit on the front porches mostly because they don't have one. We do, small though it is, and I can be found there with the missus, my banjo, and a beer. This is a good place to live.

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    The Physics of Game

    From "a brilliant physicist" and "inspiring communicator" whose "curiosity knew no bounds, and [whose] passion for explaining his scientific view of the world was highly contagious" — Richard Feynman: Life, the universe and everything:
      He became something of a womaniser, dating undergraduates and hanging out with show girls and prostitutes in Las Vegas. In a celebrated book of anecdotes about his life – Surely You’re Joking Mr Feynman – the scientist recounts how he applied an experimental approach to chatting up women. Having assumed, like most men, that you had to start by offering to buy them a drink, he explains how a conversation with a master of ceremonies at a nightclub in Albuquerque one summer prompted him to change tactics. And to his surprise, an aloof persona proved far more successful than behaving like a gentleman.
    [I first learned of Feynman from the nerds I taught at Korea's top university. He taught at the school, a mere two hours southeast of here, that the Tiger Mother of my kids has in mind for them to attend.]

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    Against Boycotts

    Justin Raimondo makes the case against them, even against one of the world's most reprehensible régimesBoycott Israel? "Collective punishment is always wrong."

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    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    The Lone Bellow Plays "You Never Need Nobody," "Two Sides Of Lonely," "Teach Me To Know," & "You Don't Love Me"


    Playing at the Rochester Lilac Festival, which starts tomorrow.

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    A Just Punishment

    A conservative blog for peace has said the death penalty should be "safe, legal, and rare," and this seems to be one of the rare cases in which the ultimate penalty should be applied — Death penalty for Ariel Castro? Official cites captives' miscarriages, 'torture.'

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    "Do you feel like a hero?" "No... bro, I'm a Christian and an American."




    Some of what he says is too much for the media too handle, as Townhall.com's Larry Elder notes — Hero Charles Ramsey -- Media Delete His 'Pretty White Girl' Comment.

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    Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    The Lumineers Perform "Stubborn Love"

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    Where Art Thou, Wilhelm Roepke?


    The American Conservative's Daniel "Tory Anarchist" McCarthy asks a simple question — Can There Be Capitalism Without the Bourgeois Family?

    The answer is, of course, "no." He cites Austrian Schoolman Joseph Schumpeter. Of course, fellow Austrian Schoolman Wilhelm Röpke, "The Humane Economist," had this as his central thesis. Sorry, libertarians and socons, we need each other.

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    "Why Do Good Men Choose Not to Fight?

    The New Beginning posts the director of the new film pondering the question that motivated his new film — Ron Maxwell Discusses Copperhead Premiere.

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    The Post-Johnson Black Family

    "Being born and finding out that your mother is 17 years old, that your grandmother is 35 and that you don't know who or where your father is is not a good start on life," says Walter E. Williams, suggesting that "Black people could benefit from an honest examination of the bill of goods they've been sold" — Honest Examination of Race.

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    Syrian Rebels Cross Red Line

    I guess this means we have to support the Assad régime now and bomb the rebels — UN Commission Investigator: It Was The Syrian Rebels Who Used Sarin. How about just staying out of other peoples' fights?

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    Believing Your Own Propaganda

      Before this event, if someone had come to you and said, you know, the Russians have told us that this American, a legal permanent resident, Chechen nationality, has radical Islamic connections, we want you to do something about it. You know, the first thing that would have popped into your head was: The Russians are up to something.
    Thus spake the "veteran CIA officer and former deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center" quoted here — FBI Criticized For Failing To 'Connect Dots' In Boston Case.

    Really? Disbelieving Russians and trusting Chechens? I'm neither a "veteran CIA officer" nor a "former deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center" but rather just a moderately informed guy who's read the news for the past twenty years or more and who remembers the Beslan school hostage crisis, and "the first thing that would have popped into [my] head was" not that "[t]he Russians [we]re up to something."

    In a related note, Steve Sailer reminds us of the inconvenient truth that "the elder Tsarnaevs' recent return to Russian Dagestan suggests that their asylum in the U.S. was fraudulent" — Did Tsarnaevs get asylum through Deep State nepotism and string-pulling? Does "asylum" even mean anthing, or is it just a way to make us feel good about ourselves?

    [Speaking of Steve Sailer, this exposure of his of neocon "divide-and-conquer shuck-and-jive" is really spot on — David Brooks goes beyond self-parody.]

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    Saturday, May 4, 2013

    The Lumineers Perform "Classy Girls," "Submarines," "Ain't Nobody's Problem," "Ho Hey (Acoustic)," "Flowers In Your Hair," "Dead Sea," "Gun Song," "Slow It Down," "Duet," "Stubborn Love," "Ho Hey," "Flapper Girl," "Charlie Boy," "Big Parade," & "The Weight"


    I bought their album on sale yesterday at a big box looking for stuff for the kids. Their relative popularity is a relatively good sign of cultural renewal, I think. I hope. Thanks to the magic of YouTube, they've appeared on these pages thrice before:They even once got an honorable mention in a post about returning empty beer bottles — Redemption Centers.

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    Rose Lane Wilder and Zora Neale Hurston


    I am currently reading Old Home Town, a collection of short stories set a century ago and written in the 1930s by Rose Wilder Lane, who is not only the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but, with Ayn Rand and Isabel Paterson, one of the "Founding Mothers of Libertarianism." Her stories are absolutely delightful.

    Midwestern small-town life is as you would expect it to be at the turn of the last century. It's narrow. There's lots of gossip. Social roles are strictly defined. A sixteen-year-old narrator and her mother are the central characters in each story. The daughter and her peers are not that unlike teenagers today—there are arguments about clothes and boys—but the mother is at the end always a source of wisdom, strength, and even justice. There is an old maid (in her twenties) who in a mischievous plot twist turns out victorious in her quest to land a husband. There's lots of talk of fabric and sewing. (The above linked Wikipedia page tells us that "Lane wrote an immensely popular book detailing the history of American needlework (with a strong libertarian undercurrent).") This is a book about women, a very difficult topic, which is why I at first found it confusing.

    Is this the work of a feminist? The word "feminist" is even mentioned—I had no idea it had been even coined by 1936—in the dénouement of one of the stories, in which the narrator later meets in Paris the protagonist, Mrs. Sims, a glamorous local woman who made it big in the fashion world after marrying at the age of sixteen a spendthrift glutton whom she left after he had racked up debt, losing his own money and hers that she had almost scandalously earned making hats working sixteen-hour days. Men only appear in the background of these stories, and never in a very positive light. But there is no rancor. There is no resentment. What kind of book is this?

    Then, last night, during a bought of insomnia, I finally understood this book, in the light of "America's favorite black conservative," the delightful Zora Neale Hurston. Her great novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is not a list of grievances but a celebration of Black culture. Likewise, Rose Wilder Lane's collection of stories is simply a celebration of womanhood. As a lover of women, it is delightful to read. Zora Neale Hurston's words pretty much sum up the philosophy of Rose Wilder Lane's strong women:
      If I say a whole system must be upset for me to win, I am saying that I cannot sit in the game, and that safer rules must be made to give me a chance. I repudiate that. If others are in there, deal me a hand and let me see what I can make of it, even though I know some in there are dealing from the bottom and cheating like hell in other ways.

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    Friday, May 3, 2013

    What the Frack?

    Gavin McInnes reviews the recent documentary FrackNation (2013), which "carefully exposes the holes not only in the Gasland films but also in the entire debate" — The Frack Strikes Back. Driving home from my recent trip down South, I heard an interview with directors Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, both from Ireland, and was convinced of their truth.

    Noting that "bleeding hearts don’t like statistical analysis" but "want color, and seeing Pennsylvanians light their tap water on fire is all the proof they need," Mr. McInnes says, "Hey, Debra Winger, Robert Redford, and Mario Batali—naturally occurring methane is what allows people to light their tap water on fire. That’s why the gas companies chose to drill there in the first place, you fools."

    "This is a national opportunity for energy independence, for chrissakes," says a local pro-fracker quoted by Mr. McInnes, who also mentions the "the Arab interests who funded" anti-fracking documentaries. He also quotes director Mr. McAleer as saying this debate "isn’t really about fracking. It’s ultimately about anti-Americanism." I agree.

    Still, this blogger sees stories like the following as a victory for localism — Appeals Court Says NY Towns Can Ban Fracking. It is also a victory for the towns next door, likely with fewer smart liberals and more dumb conservatives, who will benefit from their neighbors' hysteria.

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    The Enlightenment that Was the "Dark Ages"

    Jonathan "bionic mosquito" Goodwin offers a different version of history than the one we are taught to believe — Germanic Roots. An excerpt:
      The transition from Rome to the Early Middle Ages was not a sudden change, but occurred over time. It was not due solely or even primarily to attacking, warring hordes of barbarians, but driven by the decay of an extended empire, with citizens accustomed to living from the sweat of conquered slaves. The Romans attempted to prolong the Empire via inflation, price controls, work rules, and taxation. As the citizens could – and in order to survive – they left, withdrawing their consent. They found better prospects outside of the protection of the centralized state.

      At the same time, individuals from the Germanic tribes were migrating closer to Roman territory, and even within it. Rome negotiated treaties with these tribes in an effort to maintain some control over the territory. Eventually, the decay of Rome overcame the value of the treaties.

      Via a firm belief in private property and the role of the Church in a more voluntary form of organization, the roots of the Middle Ages were formed. The so-called apathy of the Merovingians was, in fact, the victory of a decentralized, voluntary society.
    Ironic indeed that the very descendants of these great Germanic peoples should be at the forefront of propagandizing the fabricated historical narrative lamenting the Fall of Rome and the ascent of the Middle Ages, even if only in a vain attempt to somehow justify Protestantism at the expense of the Catholic religion.

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    Whither the Oneidans?


    Speaking of Mormonism in the last post, why is it that that heresy, along with Millerism have survived to become global religions while the Oneida Community withered away? Burned-over district (Western New York) was full of all kinds of heretical weirdness a century-and-a-half ago, but the most interesting group, who "believed that Jesus had already returned in AD 70, making it possible for them to bring about Jesus's millennial kingdom themselves, and be free of sin and perfect in this world, not just Heaven," vanished. This belief led them to practice free love and coitus reservatus.

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    Canal Town News

    Sad news from the "Queen of the Canal Towns" (and birthplace of Mormonism) — Historic downtown Palmyra buildings heavily damaged in massive fire — and unwelcome news for lovers of classic cars from our neighbor — Cruise Nights moving out of the village of Fairport.

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    Thursday, May 2, 2013

    Stephen Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More" and "Slumber My Darling" Performed by Mark O'Connor, Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer, with James Taylor and Alison Krauss




    More from Pittsburgh's Stephen Foster, "The Father of American Music."

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    Wednesday, May 1, 2013

    Stephen Foster's "Old Folks at Home" Sung by Deanna Durbin


    The Pittsburgh composer's song to mark this passing, remembered here — Actress Deanna Durbin Left Fame, Success Behind In Hollywood.

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    The Progressive Mindset

    Driving home listening to National(ist) Public Radio, I was struck by this book review about "the famous and wealthy 18th century intellectual Thomas Day" — A British Intellectual's Mission 'To Create The Perfect Wife'. "Using his wealth and influential friends as cover, Day adopted two orphan girls with the express purpose of training them to be adequate wives via lessons inspired by Jean-Jacques Rousseau." Click on the link to learn what this sickening experiment in human perfectibility involved.

    The reviewer concludes, "Perhaps most astonishing is that Thomas Day would eventually become one of England's most vociferous anti-slavery activists, a cause for which he is still lovingly remembered today — this despite the fact that he once kidnapped two girls and proceeded to abuse them in a dangerous and self-serving romantic experiment." Not astonishing at all, really. The story of lovers of humanity and their disregard for their fellow human beings is all too common.

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    The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

    Lew Rockwell hails its founding as "a watershed moment in American history" — Another Nail in the Neocon Coffin. "Ideologically diverse, the Ron Paul Institute reaches out to all Americans, and indeed to people all over the world, who find the spectrum of foreign-policy opinion in the United States to be unreasonably narrow."

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    A True Hero

    "From young evangelical Republican to soldier, to Abu Ghraib interrogator to Catholic conscientious objector to crossbearing cancer victim," Daniel Nichols says, "his tale cannot fail to move any but the hardest heart" — Joshua Casteel, Pray for Us. Amen. Tolle, lege.

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    Intervene in the Syrian Civil War?

    Pat Buchanan offers some old right wisdom — Their War, Not Ours. "Do we really wish to expend American blood and treasure to bring about a victory of Islamists and jihadists in Syria?"

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    The Starving Time

    From one of the sites of our penultimate family vacation, a story I am perhaps glad I heard after our return — Excavated skull proves Jamestown colony settlers turned to cannibalism. "These are desperate people, and they're very short of food." God bless their souls.

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    From Pittsford to Pittsburgh

    We went to visit another town named after William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, leaving shortly after dawn, crossing the Genesee River soon after, and reaching the point where the Allegheny River and Monongahela River converge to form the mighty Ohio River before noon. (Reluctant thanks given to Dwight D. Eisenhower's National Defense Highway System.)

    I lived in Pittsburgh around ages four and five, so I had to take the missus and the kids to the Duquesne Incline, of which I have fond childhood memories, and also to the house I lived in, to show them the hill down which daddy got a bad brush burn on his big wheel (it was a time and place in which little kids could ride around on the streets by themselves) and the neighbor's bush which I burned down with a sparkler on the Fourth of July.

    We also visited some newer sites, such as the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Science Center, two of the best places for kids I've yet been anywhere in the world, as well as the excellent National Aviary. The missus and I enjoyed the various neighborhoods, most of all the Mount Washington Mexican War Streets neighborhoods. It was also a pleasure to hear the distinct accent of this ancient city.

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