Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line Perform "Nashville," "Party Line," & "Carnival"

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The Pick-Up Artist's Cultural Conservatism

Roissy of Chateau Heartiste fisks "a skin-thin confessional-cum-rationalization wrapped in a transparent gauze of self-protective snark [in which] ur-femcunt Tracy Moore, sporting a testosterone-fueled gargantujaw that would be the envy of any excessively prognathic urban youth, unloads about the reality of women losing their looks, and thus their sexual market options, to the unrelenting tick tocking of father fuckyouupgood" — Another Chick And The Wall.

Roissy's insightful conclusion, in which he captures the hopelessness of it all:
    One of the reasons, maybe the primary reason, why you’re seeing an uptick in these lamentations from aging beauties nowadays is because the loss of religiosity and the concomitant bracing realization of the illimitable lightness of youth and the infinite darkness of post-life encourages a mournful nihilism about one’s happiness beyond serving as a visually appealing cum receptacle. When hope for something more transcendent, whether real or imagined, is gone, the pistons of sex are all that’s left to power the motor.

    Another reason for the wailing is the growing childlessness of the marginally-aware class of women. Fear of old age and regret for lost youth have always been with humankind, but never have they felt so acute as now, in our modern, pre-collapse society. Children, along with God, acted as decouplers that placed the sense of self at a safe, if still visible, distance from constant gnawing dread of one’s mortality. Being responsible for a child, and living through that child’s life, provides, I imagine, and especially provides for women, a distraction if not a redemption from sexual invisibility and the uglification of aging. But when you are a single and the city feminist tankgrrl with mimosas for blood, sexual invisibility is akin to an exorcism of your soul. You are shattered, empty, a nothing with nothing but regret to rapidly fill in your osteoporosing id.
Schadenfreude I cannot feel, probably because I have not had to deal with such women much on a personal basis, having spent a decade-and-a-half of my life in the Orient. They have never done me any harm. Pity is what I feel. They've been duped. Sold a bill of goods. Lied to. Offered "freedom" and "liberation." Sure, they should have known better, but the whole culture, or rather anti-culture is against them, plotting their destruction.

The Fifth Glorious Mystery of the Rosary often finds me praying lately for single women, in the particular and general. The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary has us offer an intercession every Tuesday morning "for your holy people, for the clergy, and for all women dedicated to your service." But what about those women not dedicated to your service, Lord?

[Roissy's piece reminds me of a bit of the scene in Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground, with Liza, the prostitute, and "the Underground Man's attempts to make it clear that, really, her life is awful and, in fact, is only going to get worse," one of the most gut-wrenching passages I have ever read in literature.]

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Edmund Burke and Henry David Thoreau vs. Barack Hussein Obama

The former cited against the latter in this eloquent, must-read epistle — Letter From Edward Snowden’s Father And His Lawyer, Bruce Fein, To President Obama.

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"The Country Is Not The Government!"

An example of a good passphrase, one that would take centuries to crack, given by John Keller here — NSA-Proofing Your Passwords. He links to a handy password test site. The one I currently use would take seven months to crack; the one I used to use 3 minutes.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Fat Old Sun" Performed by David Gilmour


Always partial to pre-The Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd, retogressive 3-year-old that I was.

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Antonín Dvořák's "New World Symphony" Performed by Danmarks Radio Symfoniorkestret, Directed by Joshua Weilerstein


A favorite of mine since that Symphonic Music gen. ed. req. at Buffalo State.

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Mountaineering and Modernities

The Times Literary Supplemnents's Adam Thorpe reviews a new book citing "a plethora of assumptions that [author] Peter Hansen gleefully dismantles in [his] learned and complex analysis of 'multiple modernities' as seen through the prism of mountaineering" — Mountains of the mind.

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Walking Quote

    Buy boots you can walk in. Walk in them. Even if you lessen the income of the General Omnibus Company, or your family doctor; you will discover the human foot. On discovering it, your joy will be as great as if you had invented it. But this joy is the greatest, because no human invention even of Mr Ford or Mr Marconi is within a mile of a foot.
Thus spake Fr. Vincent McNabb, quoted by John at The Inn at the End of the World, one of the first blogs upon which I ever stumbled a decade ago, here — Pedes habent, et non ambulant.

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Antonín Dvořák's Stabat Mater, Performed by Elvira Khokhlova, Agunda Kulaeva, Peter Zonn, Mikhail Kazakov, and The State Academic Russian Choir, Directed by Vladimir Fedoseyev


Performed also today, locally, at the Finger Lakes Choral Festival, which I was unable to attend.

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"The Little French Church That Has Served Downtown Since 1868"


So reads Our Lady of Victory-St. Joseph's Church's bulletin. Our trip to Auburn, New York, followed by a surprise return from camp of one of our neighbor's kids, made us go to the Parishes and Mass Times page of the Diocese of Rochester in search of an evening Sacrifice of the Mass. That led to my not feeling so spiritually fed in years, even without partaking in Holy Communion!

Starting from the outside, Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church is an architectural gem, designed by Andrew Jackson Warner, and now on the National Register of Historic Places. It is just as lovely on the inside, light and airy, renovated but not wreckovated, cleaner and more intact than the much larger and far more ornate Saint Michaels of Rochester (renowned locally for its music, in a once German now Black neighborhood). The New Liturgical Movement's Shawn Tribe offers a peak within — All Souls at Our Lady of Victory, Rochester, New York

Important as these externals are, it was the reverence with which the Sacrifice of the Mass was offered that really moved me. Yes, it was the Novus Ordo Missae, a.k.a. the Mass of Paul VI, but it was celebrated as Pope Benedict XVI, not to mention the Church Fathers, I dare say, intended: plenty of chanting, the settings in Latin, a homily that referenced St. Thomas Aquinas, no unnecessary eucharistic ministers, no "holy howdy" during the sharing of the peace, traditional hymns, etc. Being downtown, the parishioners were a good mix of folks like me, hipsters and artsy types, as well as people down on their luck.

While I appreciated the Traditional Latin Mass at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, I confess that I am not a theologian, and that not only could not follow along, I was not convinced that I even wanted to. Sorry. The Church of Saint Jerome in East Rochester, NY is our current parish home, but I confess to not feeling totally at home there, as it is a true neighborhood church, in a neighborhood within walking distance, but one to which I do not belong. Our Lady of Victory-St. Joseph's Church is looking pretty homey.

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"Libertarian Populism"

Defined by Ross Douthat as "a strain of thought that moves from the standard grassroots conservative view of Washington as an inherently corrupt realm of special interests and self-dealing elites to a broader skepticism of “bigness” in all its forms (corporate as well as governmental), that regards the Bush era as an object lesson in everything that can go wrong (at home and abroad) when conservatives set aside this skepticism, and that sees the cause of limited government as a means not only to safeguarding liberty, but to unwinding webs of privilege and rent-seeking and enabling true equality of opportunity as well," and quoted here — Unpopular and impolitic. Basically where I have been for the past decade.

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Crooked Still Perform Gillian Welch's "Orphan Girl"

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The Sterilization Programs (Pograms) of the Near-Future

Chateau Heartiste quotes a commenter on Steve Sailer's blog wisely observing that "despite what they say, progressives are not really worried about what crotchety conservatives and religious zealots out in flyover country will do if frank discussions of race become commonplace- they’re worried about what they themselves will have to consider doing" — Leftoids Fear Themselves More Than They Fear Redneck Bogeymen.

The commenter asks us to "keep in mind that most American lefties tend to embrace (at least implicitly) two key ideas: Utilitarianism and Utopianism." The commenter concludes:
    Already, most urban progressives aren’t bothered much by the NYPD’s institutionalized racial profiling, the disproportionate abortion rate of blacks, or sex-ed programs clearly targeted at black teens. How big of a leap is it to, say, forced sterilization? I don’t presume to speak for progressives, but it doesn’t seem like much of a leap to me.
Ah, this is so Progressive Era! Remember Buck v. Bell, that "decision of the United States Supreme Court, written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., in which the Court ruled [in favor of] a state statute permitting compulsory sterilization of the unfit," which "has never expressly overruled," and whose "sole dissenter in the court [was] Justice Pierce Butler, a devout Catholic"?

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Compulsory Homosexuality

John Derbyshire sees it being rammed down our throats in 10 to 20 years in his latest Radio Derb podcast — Dysfunctional Communities. The Derb's suggested reading — “The Crooked Man” by Charles Beaumont. An introductory blurb:
    In 1955 Playboy published a short story about a straight man in a society where heterosexuality is stigmatized. It was a really bold move at the time and High Hefner responded to reader criticism of the story with “If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society then the reverse was wrong, too.”
However, that is not how at all how the story reads. Described is not "a society where heterosexuality is stigmatized," but one in which it is illegal. Tolle, lege.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Muleskinner Perform "New Camptown Races," "Dark Hollow," "Land Of The Navajo," "Blackberry Blossom," "Knockin' On Your Door," "Opus 57 In G Minor," "Red Rocking Chair," "The Dead March," & "Orange Blossom Special"


Commenters call this "a staggering piece of video and one of the most incredible videos online for fans of progressive bluegrass music" and "a masterpiece of music[; t]he birth of progressive [b]luegrass." I've been addicted to their version of "Dark Hollow" from a Time–Life compilation on my commute.

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America's Noam Chomsky vs. Europe's Slavoj Žižek

In my surfings this evening, I stumbled upon Opus Publicum 's summary of "the ongoing quarrel between [the above] two intellectual darlings of the Left" — Summer Love. How could I not side with my compatriot in this dispute?

I've read several of Chomsky's books, but have never been able to get past a few paragraphs of anything Žižek has written before reaching the conclusion that the guy's a charlatan. As a right-winger more or less, I of course do not agree with many of Chomsky's simplistic conclusions, but his foreign-policy books, such as Hegemony or Survival and Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy, while essentially the same book repackaged by Chomsky, Inc., can and should be read by right-thinking dissenters clamoring for reestablishment of the Old Republic. And the analyses offered in his Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, which I read as an undergrad, I have used over the years when examining the MSM as a tool for Brave New World style social engineering.

I have nothing to say about Žižek because nothing I have read or heard him say has made the least bit of sense. As blogger "modestinus" points out in his post, the Slovenian "has written popular pieces (including narration for an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog), but so much of his academic work lives in the borderland between the academy and popular culture that it’s difficult to accuse Zizek of simply trading on his scholarly credentials for popular appeal." That parenthetical note alone is enough to convince me to agree with the "critics [who] label Zizek an academic fraud."

Chalk another one up for America! Our leftists are better than Europe's. Say what you will about Chomsky, at least he's clear. What Pierre Bourdieu said of his home country, "that to be taken seriously in France, at least twenty percent of what one writes needs to be incomprehensible" (quoted by Diana Johnstone in Why the French Hate Chomsky), rings true for the rest of that continent, lending support to Chomsky's "critique of Zizek and other Continental philosophers who eschew empiricism in favor of what many see as empty jargon." Go Noam!

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All-American Local Tourism

Off to Auburn, New York this weekend to see the Seward House, home to the wise man who Steve Sailer reminds us "came up with a brilliant plan to avert civil war at the last moment, only to have it shunned by a jealous Lincoln" (cf. Lincoln’s Folly), the Harriet Tubman Home, abode of a great woman who needs no introduction in modern America (rightly perhaps, but at the expense of others bumped out of the curriculum), the Willard Chapel, home to some stained glass by Charles Lewis Tiffany, and to watch the Class A Short Season New York–Penn League's Auburn Doubledays, named after another of the town's famous residents.

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Richard Feynman's "The Pleasure Of Finding Things Out"


I picked up the above, literally, for free, at Pittsford Community Library, as a six-cassette audio book among paperbacks that were being given away. (Not above is the dissenting physicist Freeman Dyson's forward.) Richard Feynman was introduced to me by the nerds I taught at the Pohang University of Science and Technology, who loved the man "this side idolatry." He taught down the road at another good school, Cornell University.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Donna The Buffalo Perform "I Love My Tribe" and "I See How You Are"

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A Screenwriter Defends His Script

Bill Kauffman writes, "Sidney Blumenthal misunderstands a film about peace, community, and the limits of dissent—not the Union or Confederate causes" — How Not to Watch ‘Copperhead’. An excerpt:
    “Copperhead” is a subversive film. Its subverts narrative convention: Jee Hagadorn, the abolitionist who is absolutely right about the central question of the age, slavery, is a God-is-on-our-side zealot who has transformed a political/moral cause into an abstraction, thereby losing sight of those things nighest unto him—that never happens in real life, huh? The film’s concerns—peace, community, rural Christianity, dissent—could hardly be more relevant in our age of placelessness, perpetual war, and the surveillance state.

    In “Copperhead,” the abolitionist Esther (who with her pacifist brother is the moral center of the movie) suggests to the Irish farmhand and Copperhead Hurley that maybe poetry is more important than politics. I believe that; Jee and Abner, the abolitionist and the antiwar Democrat antagonists, do not.

    Jee is of course right about slavery. If that were the only issue it’d be a pretty clear case of right and wrong. But that’s not the only issue. From Abner’s point of view, there’s also the U.S. Constitution, which is being stretched and violated by things like the suspension of habeas corpus, the closing down of antiwar newspapers, and, ultimately, the draft, which many Democrats saw, ironically, as a form of slavery. And there’s also the not-so-small matter—which is, bizarrely, often an afterthought—of 700,000 dead Americans. Millions of mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, wives and girlfriends, have their lives shattered. The communities of which these young men are members are broken apart. From our distance of 150 years we accept this with equanimity; you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and they’d have died of something eventually anyway. But I find the enormous death toll a real obstacle to viewing this war as something glorious and wonderful. (Many of the slain were uneducated rural men and thus beneath the notice of moderns, but still, seven hundred thousand?)

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Franz Kafka's Amerika


"The arm with the sword now reached aloft, and about her figure blew the free winds," we read in the first paragraph of the delightful novel referenced by Antiwar.com's John W. Whitehead — Kafka’s America: Secret Courts, Secret Laws, and Total Surveillance. Interestingly this delightful error, if that is what it was, about what the Statue of Liberty carries in her hand is not mentioned in Mr. Whitehead's article.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Civil Wars Perform "My Father's Father," "Forget Me Not," "From This Valley," "Oh Henry," & "Poison and Wine"

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"Anglosphere Hero"

The New Beginning posts a link to a Brit's thoughts an a Yank, or rather a fellow Brit — Daniel Hannan on Thomas Jefferson. An excperpt:
    Jefferson, like other Virginia radicals, saw himself as a British Whig, heir to the tradition of Edward Coke (1552–1634), John Hampden (1595–1643) and Algernon Sidney (1623–1683). He did not believe he was laying claim to any new rights; rather, he was defending the liberties that he assumed he had been born with as an Englishman. Right up to the end, he had hoped that such liberties might flourish under the Crown, but George III dashed his ambition. We sense Jefferson’s bitterness in the Declaration’s telling complaint about the king ‘transporting hither foreign mercenaries’. Foreign! How historians have glossed over the significance of that word. In sending his Hessian hirelings against Britons, the Hanoverian monarch was in effect annulling their nationality.

    The American Revolution is now described with anachronistic terminology. History books and tour guides talk about how, in 1775, minutemen and militias swarmed to resist ‘the British’ – language that no one would or could have used at the time. Everyone involved was British, and public opinion in the British Isles was divided in exactly the same way as in the colonies. The American conflict was, in truth, a settlement by force of the ancient Tory–Whig dispute which, at least in New England, had passed the point of peaceful resolution. What we now call the American War of Independence would more accurately be termed the Second Anglosphere Civil War – the First having been fought across England, Scotland, Ireland and America in the 1640s.

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Linkoln

"From Harry Jaffa to Jack Hunter, attitudes toward Lincoln have shown what conservatives think about centralized power today," writes The American Conservative's Daniel McCarthy — The Right’s Civil War.

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A John Wayne Double Feature




This past weekend, I found the time to watch both The Searchers (1956) and True Grit (1969), both of which I bough at a video store's going-out-of-business sale. The former topped my Top Five Westerns list, but I had not seen it for years. The latter's remake placed on my list, but I had never seen the original.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Carolina Chocolate Drops Perform "Trouble in Your Mind"

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What If the Races Were Reversed?

They were, here locally, when "Roderick Scott, a black man, shot and killed an unarmed white teen, Christopher Cervini, whom he believed was burglarizing a neighbor's car, with a licensed .40 cal. handgun" — What if Trayvon Had Been White, and the Shooter Black?

"Despite the fact that he left his own property, confronted, and shot dead an unarmed white person thought to be committing a petty property crime, Scott was acquitted by a majority-white jury after claiming that the Cervini charged at him, putting him in imminent fear of his life."

A just verdict, with no histrionics, no riots, and no presidential posturing.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Kina Grannis Performs "The One You Say Goodnight To"

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The "Hook-Up" Moral Panic

The American Conservative's Samuel Goldman points out that Generation Y, a.k.a. the Millennials, is not as morally degenerate as some think — Sex and Sensationalism.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Stephen Foster's "Slumber My Darling" Performed by Mark O'Connor, Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer, with James Taylor and Alison Krauss


A song that accompanied the credits to Copperhead (2013), written in the year the film was set.

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A Copperhead Reviews Copperhead


It's not everyday that coming to a theater near you is a movie not only set in your home region but also sympathetically portraying your entire view of history and political philosophy. And I almost was unable to see Copperhead (2013), the story of a “York State” town divided by the conflict between a warmongering abolitionist and a peace Democrat in 1862. I had planned to see it at the Pittsford Cinema 9, but my niece was late arriving by plane on the day I had planned for. So, seeing the film involved a trip to Buffalo, appropriately passing through screenwriter Bill Kauffman’s hometown of Batavia, New York, to Eastern Hills Cinema, one of the four theaters at which it was still playing in the country. The missus and I had the whole theater to ourselves.

I had almost decided to wait for the film’s DVD release, based on The American Conservative's Daniel McCarthy's somewhat lukewarm review — Love Thy Neighbor, Even in War. I am glad I ignored that review and decided to see the film on the silver screen. It was worth every mile of the drive.

"Neither of these characters is very satisfying," says Mr. McCarthy’s of the films antagonists" "Jee Hagadorn, a Bible-bashing abolitionist, and Abner Beech, the titular Copperhead whose Bible is the Constitution." The former Mr. McCarthy calls "a caricature of a mad zealot" (but really, aren't all militant ideologues are ultimately “caricatures” in real life?). About the latter, the reviewer says "audiences not already sympathetic to his antiwar localist worldview won’t find its presentation conscience-pricking." Perhaps, but this viewer is not unbiased. This character was a 19th Century Ron Paul, and even bore a physical resemblance to a younger incarnation of the Pennsylvania-born peace-loving congressman. His principles – constitutionalism and hatred of war – were clearly defedend in the film.

The character I found most appealing was Ni, the son of the abolitionist. He among his group of friends seemed most like the young men I grew up with in Western New York, and his accent was the most authentic. Sure, his final speech was a bit preachy and movie-like, but it was spot on.

The screenplay is based on Harold Frederic’s novel, and the only weakness of the film might be that it had all of the melodrama one might expect of a novel of that period. Love blossoming between the children of two bitter rivals might not be the most original plot twist, but who cares? This is a movie about ideas. That abolitionism can be portrayed in anything less than a hagiographic light is revolutionary. As Esther, the lovely daughter of the movie’s abolitionist tells her father peace-loving rival, “I disagree with what you think, but I can understand why you think.” That might be the ultimate message of this movie.





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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Old Crow Medicine Show Perform "Wagon Wheel"


Thinking about "heading down south to the land of the pines, making my way back to North Caroline" ever since I returned less than two weeks ago.

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Great Migration Reversed

Steve Sailer poses an important question — Why are blacks moving to conservative southern states? "You might almost think that blacks find they do better in Republican-run states that are pro-jobs and pro-affordable family formation than in liberal Democratic states like Vermont, where prices are high and the economy shackled." Heavens, no! How could it be?

Blacks did, however, come up north to "Republican-run states that [were] pro-jobs and pro-affordable family formation" during the Great Migration in the first place.

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The P.B.R. of W.N.Y.



Wonderful news that our local "Genesee has been named one of the best cheap beers in the country" according to this local story — Genesee on list of best cheap beers. The article says that "being called cheap may not be the best compliment," bristling at the "description of Genesee Cream Ale as the Pabst of upstate New York," but isn't that what all the hipsters drink?

"Sometimes you just want a cold, cheap beer, and it just feels right to grab the one that all the local old folks are drinking," said the raters. Amen. I often find myself after a few craft beers that cost four times as much saying to myself, "I'd really like a Genesee Cream Ale." It was, after all, what my transplanted Mississippian grandmother preferred.

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L.D.S. on L.S.D.

Thinking about dropping acid (just kidding, maybe) and drving down the road to see these "Mormons from across the country and around the world gather to a green hill in the town of Manchester, Ontario County, to help retell, in grand style, stories from the Book of Mormon" — Hill Cumorah relies on volunteer spirit.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

J.S. Bach's Komm, Jesu, Komm Performed by Vocalconsort Berlin, Directed by Daniel Reuss

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Racism in Post-Racial America

"I am so old that I can remember when most of the people promoting race hate were white," writes Thomas Sowell, reporting that "31 percent of blacks think that most blacks are racists, while 24 percent of blacks think that most whites are racist" — Who Is Racist?

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Forcefeeding

Here's what it looks like — Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) force fed under standard Guantánamo Bay procedure. "As Ramadan begins, more than 100 hunger-strikers in Guantánamo Bay continue their protest. More than 40 of them are being force-fed. A leaked document sets out the military instructions, or standard operating procedure, for force-feeding detainees."

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"Journalism is Printing What Someone Else Does Not Want Printed"

Spake George Orwell; "everything else is public relations," a quote that comes to mind reading Mercator.net's Nicole Hemmer's article — Why do so many American ‘journalists’ appear to hate actual journalism.

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Monday, July 8, 2013

J.S. Bach's 'Singet dem Herrn Performed by Vocalconsort Berlin, Directed by Daniel Reuss

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What's Going On At TownHall.com?

Katie Kieffer is no longer the sole right-minded person at the once-solidly neocon news outlet.

Yesterday, Steve Chapman called for "the American public and its elected representatives to wake up to the needless, open-ended suffering that is being inflicted on innocent people" — A Guantanamo Policy That Is Hard to Stomach.

Today, Mike Shedlock points out "that US foreign aid is really nothing but bribery so the imperialists, war-mongers, and hypocrites can continue their ways with impunity, totally clueless they are the ones directly responsible for the undermined trust" — Hypocrites and Bullies Speak on "The Importance of Trust"; Bullies, Bribes, and Foreign Aid.

Ron Paul is winning.

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The Left Conservatism of Mad Men

I don't watch the show (or any TV), but might, if I had the time, especially after reading this surprising article at the "hard left" CounterPunch by one Stewart J. Lawrence — How “Mad Men” Brought Back the Paterfamilias.

The article, subtitles "Father Knows Something," explains that the show "has managed to have it both ways with two different kinds of audiences: on the one hand, those who long nostalgically for the American glory days of the 1960s, when gender roles were clearer, simpler, and more circumscribed, especially for women, and on the other hand, viewers who interpret the show as testimony to the collapse of corporate patriarchy and the dawning of the modern feminist era." That's no small accomplishment.

Te author explains that the shows director "seems intent on shifting the show’s gender drama away from the workplace towards the family and allowing his charming but beleaguered patriarchs to shine proudly once again — but this time as parental role models." Mr. Stewart continues, "It turns out that these ego-driven men have real emotional needs, and rather than heartlessly abandon their families when they need them most, are willing to step up to the challenge — and lead." His conclusion:
    If that sounds like a striking departure from so many contemporary television dramas, that’s because it is. In the family world of the 1960s, a mere 5% of children were born outside of a setting that included a father and mother living at home. By 1980 it was 18 percent, and by 2000 it had risen to 33 percent. Today, the number is 41 percent. The rise of the single Mom is part of the social landscape of our times, and men, it seems, are so far out of the family picture that writers like Maureen Dowd can write a book entitled, “Are Men Even Necessary?” and no one even bats an eyelash. Father’s Day, once a proud counterpart to Mother’s Day, is not even considered a serious marketing opportunity any more. And yet the culture, amid all the celebration of the “Super Mom,” is still starved for a stronger male presence, just as the nation’s children are.
Christopher Lasch, the Pittsford, New York, resident quoted in this blog's header, might have a lot to say about this show.

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Saturday, July 6, 2013

J.S. Bach's Christ lag in Todesbanden and Ein Feste Burg ist Under Gott, Performed by Dorothee Mields, Terry Wey, Charles Daniels, Harry van der Kamp, Directed by Pieter-Jan Belder; Leo van Doeselaar and Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam, Directed by Harry van der Kamp; and Musica Amphion, Directed by Rémy Baudet


Something for Sunday and to accompany neighbor David Yearsley's CounterPunch article, in which he notes, "The notion of certain inviolable individual liberties being protected from state power was foreign to Johann Sebastian Bach*, yet paradoxically his music has something to teach us about security" — Bach and Security.

* This blogger, who sees the origin of the nation-state and statism in the French Revolution, is dubious of this claim.

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God Bless You, Charlie Poole


Went to Record Archive the other day, looking for some vinyl for my new Crosley CR66 Rochester 5 in 1 Entertainment Center with auxiliary input, AM/FM Radio, tape, CD Player. Got a fine album called "Smoky Mountain Ballads" for three bucks, but more importantly stumbled upon the 4 CD, 96 cut "Charlie Poole - With The North Carolina Ramblers and The Highlanders," with songs recorded between 1925 and 1930, packaged in Old Blighty by some good folks with interest in Albion's Seedlings.

The great Charlie Poole, as you may know, "in great part created the musical templates for two giants: the bluegrass of Bill Monroe and, by extension, the lyrical aspects of the modern country music of Hank Williams." As great as both Bill and Hank were, give me Charlie any day. The one song of his I have learned to play (not on my Gretsch G9460 Dixie 6-String Banjo but on my Yamaha Mini 6-String Nylon Guitalele), "If The River Was Whiskey," gives a hint as to how he died in 1931 at the same age I am now.

The collection is perfectly suited for play on my Crosley Rochester Entertainment Center.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Civil Wars Perform "The Star Spangled Banner"


Weather permitting, we, too, will be at a ball game tomorrow. This previous post gives the history of this rendition, a waltz no less — The Civil Wars Perform "The Star-Spangled Banner".

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750,000 American Deaths

The XVIth president could have avoided them, Steve Sailer argues, had he listened to wiser voices surrounding him, like William H. Seward's (of New York, of course) — Lincoln’s Folly.

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“Copperhead”

The American Conservative's Jordon Bloom reviews the new film, set and written locally, that "dramatizes the ’60s antiwar movement—1860s, that is," and reminds us "that to love thy neighbor is still a subversive act" — Civil War Comes Home.

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We Are All Anarchists

    What looks like consent is actually resistance; what looks like capitalism’s domination over everything actually conceals systems of mutual aid. Anarchist theory doesn’t just advocate anarchism; it rather reveals that, beneath everything, we’re more anarchist than we thought.
From a Dissent Magazine article by Nikil Saval — Cheerleaders for Anarchism.

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Against Smart Phones

    Other than a few people with unusual jobs, no human being on planet Earth needs a networked computer with a camcorder in their pocket. Certainly no civilized person needs to be mainlining the Internet machine all day.
So writes Takis's Magazines's Scott Locklin — Curse of the Nerd Dildo.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys Perform "Room at the Top of the Stairs," "Pretty Polly," "Orange Blossom Special," "Man of Constant Sorrow," "Little Maggie," "Searching for a Soldier's Grave," "Clawhammer-Rocky Island" & "Shout Little Lulie"

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A Disturbing Statewide Trend

This, despite my best efforts in the two years since moving home — In drinking beer, NY ranks near bottom of the barrel. Time for a public service announcement:

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Steve Earle Performs "The Mountain"

    I was born on this mountain a long time ago
    Before they knocked down the timber and strip-mined the coal
    When you rose in the mornin' before it was light
    To go down in that dark hole and come back up at night

    I was born on this mountain, this mountain's my home
    She holds me and keeps me from worry and woe
    Well, they took everything that she gave, now they're gone
    But I'll die on this mountain, this mountain's my home

    I was young on this mountain but now I am old
    And I knew every holler, every cool swimmin' hole
    Til one night I lay down and woke up to find
    That my childhood was over and I went down in the mine

    I was born on this mountain, this mountain's my home
    She holds me and keeps me from worry and woe
    Well, they took everything that she gave, now they're gone
    But I'll die on this mountain, this mountain's my home

    There's a hole in this mountain and it's dark and it's deep
    And God only knows all the secrets it keeps
    There's a chill in the air only miners can feel
    There're ghosts in the tunnels that the company sealed

    I was born on this mountain, this mountain's my home
    She holds me and keeps me from worry and woe
    Well, they took everything that she gave, now they're gone
    But I'll die on this mountain, this mountain's my home

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We're Supposed to Be Having an Open Conversation About Race, Right?

  • A conservative blog for peace posts a few links on the "[t]wo big groups of white people who can’t stand the sight of each other" — Our culture war: Tutsis vs. Hutus. "I don't think there is any other population group that hate their underclass kin more than Anglo-American elites," says one of the quoted.

  • "Most African-Americans’ ancestors came in the colonial period," writes Clyde N. Wilson; "Their Americanism stretches back farther than most whites except for the South and a few other pockets of Old Americans" — The Revolution Is. My ancestry is three-quarters Southern and Old American, and one quarter marginally white Ellis Island New American (one-eighth Hungarian gypsy and one-eighth Romanian Jew).

  • "It is time to reaffirm affirmative action, especially for whites who would not do it for themselves," says CounterPunch's Mateo Pimentel, arguiing that "those who oppose it today might just be the next victims of such social, legal and gender-based exclusion that our forbearers have suffered" — Affirmative Action for the White Minority. Pretty puerile argument, really, but the author's right about two things, namely that "whites who would not do it for themselves" and that they will be "the next victims of such social, legal and gender-based exclusion" and already are in many circles.
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    The Cesspool of Sin in the Great Blue Hills of God

    "Asheville is a cesspool of sin," said a state senator, much to the residents' delight, if judging from the bumper-stickers and t-shirts sold by the town's hippies. The Great Blue Hills of God is what the Cherokee call the surrounding area, and if the Scotch-Irish Americans who later populated those hills believe in anything, it is in God.

    We spent a few days in the hills before descending into the cesspool. We came for the the Shindig on the Green, a Scotch-Irish American affair if there ever was one, but were able to see parts of the city beforehand in the hours we had to kill. I rather like hippies, but it can't be denied that they are as much a homogenizing force as the fast-food dispensaries we were able to avoid on the 469 miles of Blue Ridge Parkway. A block of Asheville, North Carolina, is pretty much indistinguishable from one in Ithaca, New York.

    Later, at thje Shindig on the Green, I found that it is not the hippie but the Scotch-Irish American who offers true resistance, just like the Cherokee before him, and it's the same cultural resistance that fueled his resistance during the War of Northern Aggression. That said, at least the hippies are trying, although failing miserably, to create something authentic and real. Some of them even showed up at the Shindig on the Green, and were welcomed of course, just as my Korean wife was welcomed by the local granny sitting next to us.

    It was the yuppies whom I could not stand; the transplants in the local boutiquey shop we stumbled upon or at the visitors' center, who tried to steer us away from the Shindig on the Green ("too hot, too crowded, too dirty") towards the Biltmore Estate and its wine-tasting and whatnot. They were clearly embarrassed by the thriving he Scotch-Irish American culture that surrounded them. These yuppies are the true cesspool denizens.

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    Going Back to Vinyl


    On a whim I bought one of those Crosley CR66 Rochester 5 in 1 Entertainment Center with auxiliary input, AM/FM Radio, tape, CD Players I've been eyeing for years. The LP I bought along with it? My first favorite, of course, released in the year of my birth — The Beatles' Abbey Road.

    Now, if only I hadn't had my parents give to Goodwill all those Hardcore Punk albums I had stored in their garage for years while I was overseas. You'll be able to find me at Record Archive restocking my collection, now with Old-time and Bluegrass.

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