Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vandaveer Perform "Pretty Polly," "Mary of the Wild Moor," "Spite," "Woolgathering," "Turpentine," & "Long Lost Cause"

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Syria and Red Lines and All That

Danke, merci, gracie, and grazia to my foreign correspondent in an undisclosed neutral country in Europe who sends long this press conference exchange with some functionary from the U.S. Department of Statism:


Ms. Harf makes me want to barf, as does her boss, her former boss, and all those in the régime and the media who are marching us towards war with yet another country that has neither attacked nor threatened us, nor could ever do either. Messrs. Obama and Kerry, your moral posturings are disgusting.

They might as well say: "How dare those recalcitrant Russians on the U.N.S.C. demand evidence — evidence? — that the Syrian régime was responsible for any chemical weapons attack? Evidence? We don't need no evidence. We're the U-S-A!"

Didn't we go through this a decade ago? Hats off to the Syrian Electronic Army for resisting these warmongers targetting your ancient, venerable land.

Even if evidence does emerge that the Syrian régime was responsible, the only reasonable response is Daniel McAdams's — Chemical Weapons in Syria? Who Cares!

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

J.S. Bach's Ein Feste Burg Ist Unser Gott, Performed by Lenneke Ruiten, Olivia Vermeulen, Robert Getchell, André Morsch, and Radio Kamer Filharmonie, Directed by Frans Brüggen

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A Post-Mass Experience

This week found us again at the 7:30 PM Sacrifice of the Mass at Our Lady of Victory-St. Joseph's Church, "The Little French Church That Has Served Downtown Since 1868". Tonight, as Mass ended, something weird happened. A new-ager once told me to welcome coincidences, because they meant that you were on the right path. Maybe there's something in that.


Father Antinarelli's homily, or "harangue" as he called it, was based on one of this week's many atrocities, a story that you read here on this blog — Murder of an Aussie Baseballer in America. Yes, society is going to hell in a hand-basket. Yes, it's all because of the libruls, I agree. Planned Parenthood is satanic. But I was left wanting something more than a Pat Buchanan article for a homily. What about some solutions? Prayer, penance, the giving of alms?

Better question, do I really want my kids to think that Holy Mother Church is just a place for angry right-wingers like their dad? This question came to me when my daughter turned to me during the homily and asked, "Why is he shouting?"

This got me thinking. The Church of Saint Jerome, which we joined not long ago, isn't that bad. No heterodoxy. She offers the Mass with more reverence than just about any other American parish I've assisted. She's close to home. I'll try to go back next week, if I can get up for 10:00 Mass, I thought.


Then, after Mass had ended, we sang a hymn to the tune of Martin Luther's Ein Feste Burg Ist Unser Gott, bringing me back to my upbringing in High-Church Lutheranism. I planned some way of wittily interjecting my Lutheran past in introducing myself to Father Antinarelli, but gave up on the idea, realizing that my conversion story isn't really all that interesting.

Then, as we sang, I noticed a figure standing on the wing of the sanctuary, dressed in black. "What's a cop doing here?" I thought. No, it was Father Leone! St. Jerome's parish priest. My daughter sees him, too, nudges me, points at him with her thumb, as Koreans do. "What's he doing here?" she asks, answering herself, "Maybe he's looking for us since we haven't been to his church in a while." I try not to make eye-contact, but suspect he's seen me. Then, after the hymn is over, we light a candle and he's gone.

Father Leone, I latter surmised, is probably a friend of Father Antinarelli. The former does share the latter's conservatism, both political and liturgical, but wears it less on his sleeve, not that I mind that in any way. Father Leone as a homilist does not shy away from the cultural rot that is evident to anyone, but he also mentions stories of profound love whose protagonists are people like fire-fighters, handicapped parishioners, old forgotten people, etc. I have been moved close to tears a few times with his simple stories.

So, next week, if I wake up early enough, I'll head back to St. Jerome's, and if not, back to Our Lady of Victory. Probably follow that plan for a while.

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Hipster Monks


"'If the prayer doesn't come first, the beer is going to suffer,' said Father Benedict Nivakoff, director of the Birra Nursia brewery and subprior of the monastery," whose story is told here — Beauty and beer in monks' outreach.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

J. S. Bach's Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben Performed by Lisa Larsson, Elisabeth von Magnus, Lothar Odinius, Klaus Mertens, and The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, Directed by Ton Koopman

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Work and the Paleo Life

"Why is a dedication to work, no matter how physically destructive and ultimately pointless, considered a virtue?" asks Jenny Diski, reminding us that our "Palaeolithic ancestors knew that there was more to being alive than working to live, than doing something rather than being something" — Learning how to live.

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Americans Against the Grid

"Going off the grid has always been an American aspiration," says William T. Vollmann, telling us he "might define an American as follows: longing for and half-expecting perfect freedom and happiness; disappointed by the authoritarian constraints of present necessity (which we'll call 'the grid'); unnerved by the conflict between aspiration and reality; uncertain whether to blame oneself or others for imperfection; ready to 'reinvent' oneself to achieve self-sufficiency, profit, or peace" — Let's Get Lost.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

The South Carolina Broadcasters Perform "When I'm Gone" & "S-A-V-E-D"

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Antoinette Tuff, One Tough, Saintly Woman


I was on the verge of tears on the drive home hearing this story of "the school shooting that did not end in tragedy" — 911 Call Captures School Employee Talking Down Gunman.

Impressive was the woman's calm handling of the situation. Heroic was her compassion. After the gunman, showing the light of his God-given conscience, tells her that "he should've just went to the mental hospital instead of doing this because he's not on his medication," and then mentions suicide, she says
    No. You don't want that. You gonna be okay. I thought the same thing. You know, I tried to commit suicide last year after my husband left me, but look at me now. I'm still working and everything is okay.
And then, when the gunman puts down his weapon, she says
    It's gonna be all right, sweetheart. I just want you to know that I love you, though, okay? And I'm proud of you. That's a good thing that you're just giving up and don't worry about it. We all go through something in life.
And she perhaps saved the disturbed young man's life, after she had disarmed him and the cops burst in: "Okay. He just got his phone. That's all he got is his phone. It's just him."

You don't expect to hear such things on National(ist) Public Radio on the commute home. I had no doubt hearing her voice that she was a good Christian, Southern, Black woman, and I was right — Antoinette Tuff, Hailed as a Hero Hostage, Credits 'Grace of God' After Talking Down Georgia School Gunman. From the story:
    "My pastor, he just started this teaching on anchoring, and how you anchor yourself in the Lord," she said. "I just sat there and started praying. I just remembered the teaching and how he taught us (church members) how to consult people when they're bereaving and all that."

    "I realized at that time that it was bigger than me," she added. "He was really a hurting young man so I just started praying for him. [I] just started talking to him and allowing him to know some of my life stories and what was going on with me, and that it was going to be OK and he could just give himself up."

    When asked for her thoughts on why Hill was so compliant, Tuff said, "I have no idea. That was nobody but God. I can't even put that on myself. I was praying hard."

    "I give it all to God," she repeated when a reporter suggested that she was a hero. Tuff insisted that she was no hero, and that it was "through (God's) grace and mercy" that she was able to maintain her composure.
A remarkable interview with the lovely woman:


As the Philosopher said, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

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God Made Him Do It

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Educated Beyond Our Intelligence

That's what we have become as a nation, Gavin McInnes rightly argues — A Nation of Working-Class Dropouts. The first paragraph:
    Every time a liberal sees someone behaving badly they sigh and say, “They just need education,” but the solution to America’s problems is less education, not more. If we got over this myth that everyone needs infinite academia, we would have less unemployment, more manufacturing, a stronger economy, less student debt, and less school tax. The economy would be stronger and we would all be happier. Ironically, in an effort not to hurt anyone’s feelings, we developed a system where everyone has to go to college, even the stupid people, until we all feel like shit.

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Another Black-on-White Atrocity

Spokane Orations brings us a horror story from his home-town — WWII vet, beaten by teens outside Eagles Lodge, dies.

This on the heels of this story from Middle America, reported here — Murder of an Aussie Baseballer in America. Here's a similar story from a few weeks ago from the city next door — "Polar Bear Hunting" Locally. The word "random" was used in each of these stories, yet is there not a pattern here? The same media that insists on calling these attacks "random" fostered them by its canonization of Saint Trayvon Martin Martyr.

Pat Buchanan rightly labels these thugs "Dead Souls of a Cultural Revolution."

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Punch Brothers Perform "Rye Whiskey"

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Murder of an Aussie Baseballer in America


R.I.P Christopher Lane. Amen. (This blooger had no idea before clicking on that link how long America's pastime has been played Down Under.) The sad, sick story, if you have not already heard it — Teens charged after allegedly killing Australian student in Oklahoma for the 'fun of it'.

I confess to having committed a thoughtcrime upon first hearing this story; the first thought I had, as horrifying — horrifying! — as it is to admit, was, "I bet the perps were black." Turns out I was only half right:


Two self-described "niggaz" (one full-blood and one mulatto) and a wigga. The latter, interestingly, is cooperating with police, and probably now thinking, "Gee, maybe hanging with these lowlifes was not the best idea." Agreeing to drive the other two around must have exempted him from the "90% of white ppl [who] are nasty," according to the first pictured above, quoted here — Black teen who allegedly murdered Australian jogger posted racist Tweets.

The same first boasted about having "knocced out 5 woods since Zimmerman court," a reference to Knockout, a.k.a. Polar Bear Hunting, in which self-described "niggaz" target us "woods" in incidents that the media never fails to label as "indiscriminate." The self-described "nigga" also references that horrifying — horrifying! — crime committed by that White Hispanic.

Well, at least our nation's foremost civil rights leader has forcefully spoken out — Jesse Jackson tweets that killing of Chris Lane ‘frowned upon’. In Black English Vernacular, to "frown upon" something is about as strong as it gets, which is why you hear the expression all the time in gangsta rap. No doubt, President Barack Hussein Obama will soon weigh in, echoing his eloquent "If I had a son he would look like Trayvon" speech, to say, "If I had been a thug, I'd have looked like Chancey Luna."

Perhaps this will quell feelings Down Under — 'Senseless' shooting of Australian Chris Lane sparks calls for boycott of U.S.. "It's shocked our world. The baseball community in Australia is a tight-knit group. Most baseballers know most baseballers and everyone's shattered."

Baseball, they had to mention baseball again, which is as close as it gets to holy outside of Holy Mother Church, so I need to drop the sarcasm. I join this boycott, but not of the U.S.

Boycott Black America! Not all of it, of course. Not my black uncle's business, for example. (He's the richest man of his race in the State of Ohio.) Not CJ'S Soul Food here in town or Doctor Bird's Rasta-Rant, whose owner intervened on my behalf against a group of likely self-described "niggaz" intent on getting me out of the neighborhood, two examples of noble entrepreneurship. No, do not boycott these.

Boycott the gangsta anti-culture. There is no reason why any self-respecting person of any race should give those promoters of thuggery, racism, sexism (did I really use that word and mean it?), and violence any money, air-time, attention, or notice of any kind.

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Free Bradley Manning!


So says Birgitta Jónsdóttir, pictured above, reminding us, rightly, that "a humane, reasonable sentence of time served was never going to happen" — 35 Years for Exposing Us to the Truth. The milf continues:
    This trial has, since day one, been held in a kangaroo court. That is not angry rhetoric; the reason I am forced to frame it in that way is because President Obama made the following statements on record, before the trial even started:

      President Obama: We’re a nation of laws. We don’t individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate … He broke the law.

      Logan Price: Well, you can make the law harder to break, but what he did was tell us the truth.

      President Obama: Well, what he did was he dumped …

      Logan Price: But Nixon tried to prosecute Daniel Ellsberg for the same thing and he is a … [hero]

      President Obama: No, it isn’t the same thing … What Ellsberg released wasn’t classified in the same way.

    When the president says that the Ellsberg’s material was classified in a different way, he seems to be unaware that there was a higher classification on the documents Ellsberg leaked.
"In no case shall information be classified… in order to: conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency… or prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security," reads Executive Order 13526, Sec. 1.7. Classification Prohibitions and Limitations, quoted by the Bradley Manning Support Network here — What Bradley Manning Revealed.

If I were at all into drag queens, Bradley would be my kind of girl:

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Punch Brothers Perform "Movement and Location" & "This Girl"


And talk in between. Here he goes again, that Chris Thile.

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Professor Richard Dawkins Ponders Mystery of Trinity

Über-atheist rightly "claim[ing] Muslims have contributed almost nothing to science since the Middle Ages" notes that "a single college at Cambridge University ha[s] won more Nobel Prizes than all the world’s Muslims" — Richard Dawkins on Islam v. Trinity College, Cambridge.

True enough, Prof. Dawkins, but why is that? Might it not have something to do with the Name of this particular college? Required reading: chapters four and five, "The Church and the University" and "The Church and Science," of How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., whose blurb rightly states:
    Western civilization has given us the miracles of modern science, the wealth of free-market economics, the security of the rule of law, a unique sense of human rights and freedom, charity as a virtue, splendid art and music, a philosophy grounded in reason, and innumerable other gifts that we take for granted as the wealthiest and most powerful civilization in history. But what is the ultimate source of these gifts? Bestselling author and professor Thomas E. Woods, Jr. provides the long neglected answer: the Catholic Church.
Amen.

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Metallurgy and Civilization

Steve Sailer writes, "One of the odder phenomena that I've never seen much of an explanation for is that in many Middle Eastern and North African cultures, blacksmiths tend to be a hereditary caste who are markedly blacker (i.e., more sub-Saharan) than the average" — Caste outside of India: black blacksmiths.

Makes me think of the Saudi student, himself on the darker end of the spectrum of a country almost as diverse melaninally as ours or Brazil, who, when I mentioned washing one's car, said, "We have people to that in Saudi Arabia — black people." From Saudi car-washers let's get back to Mr. Sailer's "Tuareg blacksmith/artisan caste of the Sahara" and "speculation that the Inedan are descended from an ancient black race who lived in the desert before the Berber tribes of the north came south and who were subsequently subdued and forced to work for their new ‘whiter’ overlords." Kind of dispels that whole "Asiatic Blackman" riff Public Enemy were rapping about back in the '80s, doesn't it? That said, Mr. Sailer continues:
    In contrast, in Europe, "Smith" is often the modal surname, suggesting that being a blacksmith was one of the more common occupations outside of farming and that smiths tended to have reasonable Darwinian success. And that sounds reasonable: being a blacksmith isn't a great job -- it's hot, it requires much strength.

    But, as a rudimentary technologist, it's not the worst job either. A few Western blacksmiths, such as John Deere, turned into inventors or tycoons.

    So it's not immediately evident why the dominant Caucasians of the Middle East often reserved blacksmithing for a black caste. Anybody know why? This is an obscure question, but trying to understand things that seem puzzling can often lead to a better overall understanding of the way of the world.

    Perhaps we can learn something about the differing fates of the West and the Muslim world from their differing attitudes toward blacksmiths.
Hey, let's not only compare "the West and the Muslim world," wehre blacksmiths are despised, but also the Chinese world, where innovative and entrepreneurial blacksmiths were oppressed, while were at it. An old post of mine from my days in the Far East noted that "the lack of protection for private property has been a disincentive for innovation and hard work" in that venerable civilization — The 10th Century Chinese Industrial Revolution That Almost Was. In a nutshell, Chinese blacksmiths were on the verge of producing steel 1000 years ago until the emperor shut these commoners down for getting rich.

Our American attitude might be summed up in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow' poem "The Village Blacksmith," quoted by Mr. Sailer and below:
    UNDER a spreading chestnut tree
    The village smithy stands;
    The smith, a mighty man is he,
    With large and sinewy hands;
    And the muscles of his brawny arms
    Are strong as iron bands.

    His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
    His face is like the tan;
    His brow is wet with honest sweat,
    He earns whate'er he can,
    And looks the whole world in the face,
    For he owes not any man.

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Chinese and Catholics and Numbers

"Why do the Chinese love to enumerate things?" asks Steve Sailer, noting the recent publicity surrounding the "seven subversive currents coursing through Chinese society" — The Chinese love counting.

The Three Noes and the Gang of Four are examples from recent history. The Five Confucian Relationships‎ go back a bit further, as do the Three Obediences and Four Virtues. The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path are pre-Chinese. In our tradition, we have the Three Theological Virtues, the Four Sins that Cry to Heaven, the Four Cardinal Virtues, and the Seven Deadly Sins.

Applying Occam's Razor, I would say that Chinese and Catholics "love to enumerate things" simply because it makes them easier for the masses to remember. As one of the masses, it does.

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The Great War's Forgotten Victims

An English book review notes that "that after the devastation of the first world war, steadiness [in love and marriage] was valued above all" — From here to eternity.

The reviewer mentions "the 'surplus women' panic after the 1921 census," informing us, "For a nation mourning its dead, the statistics were shocking: women outnumbered men by nearly 2m. This is something Virginia Nicholson explored in her moving 2007 book 'Singled Out', about the profound impact of the war on attitudes to marriage and spinsterhood during the interwar period and beyond."

How profoundly sad. Two million "surplus" women? It is easy to visualize the horrific suffering of the poor boys on the fields depicted in the great Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est", but what of the long loneliness of these two million girls whom these boys would have come home to, or rather, should have stayed home with?

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America's Dirty Bombs Redux

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos reports that we "are on the cusp of getting the hard evidence needed to prove Iraqis are suffering from a disproportionate rate of birth defects and cancers, likely due to massive pollution caused by the war" — WHO Is Delaying Release of Iraqi Birth Defect Data?


This has been this blogger's radar since '04 — The "Silent Genocide" of Depleted Uranium Weapons. Updated links from '11, referencing "Catholic traditionalist and fellow Buffalonian Paul Likoudis[, who] wrote the article back in '04 anathematizing D.U." — America's Dirty Bombs.

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Be Afraid

"Post-1960s progressives have been captured by a spirit of militarism," writes The American Conservative's Sean Scallon — The Nationalist Left Rises. He warns us that a "nationalistic foreign policy has created a nationalist Left domestically as well, one that, as it has grown accustomed to wielding power, has started looking for ever more places to crusade employ it."

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Local News Good

Local newsman James Battaglia on something in the works near my workplace — Seneca Nation of Indians moves forward with plans for potential casino in Henrietta. I'm against gambling and race-based preferences, but I like nickel slots and Indians, so I vote yes.

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Local News Bad

Local newsman Matthew Daneman reminds us that "for many of the people who became collateral damage in the bankruptcy, such as Kodak creditors, retirees and shareholders, Tuesday was undoubtedly not a day of celebration" — Kodak bankruptcy plan gets final OK.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Punch Brothers Perform The Cars' "Just What I Needed"


That Chris Thile is one versatile guy.

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Chris Thile Performs J.S. Bach's Sonata No. 1 in G minor

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"The Last, Best Hope?"

"In national politics these days, the most ardent opponents of the Bush-Obama surveillance state are libertarians in the GOP, [who] were also conspicuous among opponents of the Iraq War, and they were better than most Democrats on Obama’s revving up (before revving down) the war in Afghanistan," writes "hard left" CounterPunch's Andrew Levine — Libertarianism in the Age of Obama.

The article has its weaknesses, focusing on the Chicago school of economics rather than the Austrian School, for example. Here's an excerpt, with my minimal bracketed and italicized fisking, that approaches the truth but misses it:
    Libertarians oppose Obama’s wars because they oppose Big Government.

    Since the dawn of the Progressive era more than a century ago, Big Government has been identified with militarism and imperialism.

    [Good start — the American Anti-Imperialist League from this era and later the America First Committee were broad-based and populist organizations.]

    The politicians of a century ago who opposed government efforts to keep the grandees of the Gilded Age from calling all the shots were as aware as anyone of the connection. Today’s libertarians are their political and intellectual heirs.

    Then and now, principled opposition to imperialism and militarism was not the moving force. Those who opposed foreign wars in the days when “isolationism” flourished did so because, as capitalism’s ardent defenders, they felt, with good reason, that there is a slippery slope out there that class-conscious capitalists would do well to avoid. This is what libertarians today think as well.

    [Begging the question, anyone? Bill Kauffman, historian of the A.F.C., notes that its was "the largest popular antiwar organization in U.S. history," refuting the notion that "principled opposition to imperialism and militarism was not the moving force."]

    A massive juggernaut, the military-industrial complex President Eisenhower warned against, is indispensable for projecting American power abroad.

    Libertarians understand that a precondition for anything like such a worldwide force is a large and powerful state, and they fear that a state of such size and power cannot be kept out of the economic sphere. This, above all, is what they want to avoid.

    Because isolationism has had a bad press for at least the past seventy years, the political heirs of the old rear guard used to have no choice but to accept America’s imperial role. They were therefore reduced to hoping, in vain, that Big Government could be confined just to the military-diplomatic sphere.

    Now, however, with the Cold War long over and with post-9/11 America drowning in its own bellicosity, the decades old “bipartisan” consensus around giving the military-industrial-national security state complex whatever it wants is beginning to crumble. Libertarians are therefore freer than they used to be to resume an isolationist stance.

    [These last paragraphs, I concede, are likely true of the Chicago school of economics types; they are completely untrue of Austrian School devotees.]

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The Sesquicentennial of the Order of Retaliation

"Lincoln’s command to kill Confederate prisoners in retaliation for massacres of black Union soldiers," writes MercatorNet.com's Michael Stokes Paulsen, "helps frame our view of presidential military power" — With malice toward some.

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The Culture of Death in a Quote

"If we want to keep our reproductive rights, we must be willing to tell our stories, to be willing and able to say, 'I love my life, but I wish my mother had aborted me,'" said Lynn Beisner quoted by TownHall.com's John Hawkins — The 25 Stupidest Liberal Quotes Of The Last Decade. The quote is not stupid; it is evil.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Fretless Perform "A Bunch of Time," "Box, Man," & "As We Pray"

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Contemporaneous Charlies


I cannot be the first to notice that Charley Patton and Charlie Poole, the fathers of Blues and Bluegrass music respectively, despite being from different "races" and apart from being similarly named, look a lot alike, can I?

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My Noble But Failing Attempt at Cultural Renewal

The American Conservative's Daniel McCarthy's latest struck home, literally — The Flannel Generation Turns 40, and Millennials Go for a Walk. His conclusion:
    It wasn’t just the Boomers’ ’60s ethos that dismantled the social order but the consumer junk culture as well, and much of that consumerism only made sense within status hierarchies that both an unsustainable economy and Boomer sensibilities (or later generations’ revulsion against them) have destroyed. If a fortysomething Generation X’s success is hard to measure, it’s because the old measures—traditional, commercial, and countercultural alike—have been hollowed of meaning. Human driftwood is just what you’d expect to come of this.

    The Xers have suffered worse from this anomie than millennials only because they have some memory—if only second-hand memories from TV—of what life was like for the Boomers. They had jobs, intact homes, and what seemed like a purpose in changing the world. The Xers knew what they were missing. The millennials aren’t defined by that absence in the same way, and I think they have a sense that what they want they’re going to have to build anew, or rediscover.
This Xer invited his Boomer parents to live with him two years ago, expecting The Waltons. Having my granny at home with us when I grew up in the '70s and '80s was kind of Waltonesque, but having two Boomers in your house, with all due respect, is like having another set of children to raise. Sure, my Xer nihilism doesn't always help things out, but please, a little more wisdom and less TV from time to time would be nice. That said, my Xer stoicism will carry us through.

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Pole-Vaulting vs. Pole-Smoking


"We just live with boys with woman, woman with boys," spake the half-Tabasaran Yelena Isinbayeva, pictured above, who bested Rochester's Jenn Suhr in the reported competition — Pole vault great condemns homosexuality at worlds. She continued,
    If we allow to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we are very afraid about our nation because we consider ourselves like normal, standard people... Everything must be fine. It comes from history. We never had any problems, these problems in Russia, and we don't want to have any in the future.
Our Mrs. Suhr was not among those who "painted their fingernails in support of gays and lesbians" in violation of Russia's law "which bans gay 'propaganda.'" Of the Swedish athletes who did, Miss Isinbayeva says,
    It's unrespectful to our country. It's unrespectful to our citizens because we are Russians. Maybe we are different from European people and other people from different lands. We have our home and everyone has to respect (it). When we arrive to different countries, we try to follow their rules.
Cultural imperialism, anyone?

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Expanding Voting Rights?

I could hardly contain myself when I heard this National[ist] Public Radio story on my morning commute today — Civil Rights Leaders Call For States To Expand Voting Rights. Really? How much further can they be expanded now that the illiterate are not only allowed but encouraged to vote?

I do not think these self-appointed "civil rights leaders," whom none of us have ever heard of (much less elected), would have us moving in the direction G. K. Chesterton rightly pointed, towards "giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors," noting that "[t]radition... is the democracy of the dead."

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President Obama Takes a Baby Step in the Right Direction

By "suggest[ing] that aid cuts could be coming" and that for "a peaceful, democratic, prosperous Egypt, [...] Egyptians are going to have to do the work" — Obama cancels U.S.-Egypt military exercises.

Of course, Egypt should have never received one red cent of American foreign aid, nor should have the "Zionist entity" to her east. What interest do we Americans have in that God-forsaken region of the globe?

Rightly noted Senator Rand Paul: "While President Obama condemns the violence in Egypt, his administration continues to send billions of taxpayer dollars to help pay for it. Mr. President, stop skirting the issue, follow the law, and cancel all foreign aid to Egypt."

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Burned-Over District

"First came the spiritualists, then the Oneidists, suffragists, abolitionists, Mormons," notes the Arts & Letters Daily blurb, asking, "What was it about upstate New York in the mid-19th century?" — Give Up the Ghost. An excerpt from Stefany Anne Golberg's article:
    For some reason, the spirits started appearing in the middle of the 19th century and mostly around Seneca Lake in western New York. For thousands of years after Ice Age glaciers melted into finger-shaped lakes, this small part of the world was mostly filled with animals and people living out in the greenery. In the 18th century genocide arrived in the Finger Lakes, in the guise of an American General named Sullivan whose job it was to destroy all the villages of the Native Americans living there. American settlers showed up soon after to build humble cabins and live modestly upon the graves of the Iroquois. They lived there invisibly for 20-odd years, just hours from New York City, until one day in 1825, they looked into their fields and realized an enormous canal had been carved into the hills. Not long after its completion, the builders of the canal decided that it wasn’t enormous enough. So, in the 1840s the Erie Canal was carved deeper and wider and busier and louder. Steamships and industry roared over farms, turning villages into towns and cabins into mansions.

    The Erie Canal became an information superhighway that carried the ideas of progress all around New York State. As industrialists sipped whiskey on their brand-new verandas, runaway slaves traversed an underground city below them. Frederick Douglass sat in the back of the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls at the First Women’s Rights Convention, listening to Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott and diligently taking notes. A few miles down in Auburn, the home of Harriet Tubman became a haven for fugitive family and friends escaping slavery. Hicksite Quakers in Rochester called for a boycott of slave-made products and preached radical nonresistance. A bit further east, the Oneidists created a Communalist Utopia. They promoted free love and equality and believed they were living in heaven on earth. Utopianism and religious revivals and Pentecostals preaching the Second Great Awakening inflamed the whole region. William Miller predicted Jesus would surface in upstate New York around 1843, and when Jesus failed to show, his disappointed Millerite congregation became the Seventh Day Adventists instead. Up in Palmyra, a 14-year-old farm boy named Joseph Smith was utterly overwhelmed by all the Protestant sects blazing through his community — he couldn’t make up his mind which to choose. Then, he had a vision for an entirely new religion that was shown to him by an angel. Thus was Mormonism born. In 1876, Charles Grandison Finney called this region of Western New York “Burnt-over” because by then there was no one left to convert. The region drew reformers from Boston and Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia — it was the place to be. As fast as you can imagine, upstate New York was not just part of the story of American progress. It was the story of American progress.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Della Mae Performs "Blessed Hands," "Jamie Dear," & "Polk County"






Some gals from Boston, which we visited this past weekend.

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Back From Southern New England

We are back from our trip to the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, none of which I had ever visited, despite having grown up in the state to immediately to the west, save for a tiny slice of the first while hitchhiking to Vermont.

We began our trip in Walden Pond, and then to the homes of Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott, an appropriately transcendental stop before entering the congestion of Boston.

After getting a taste of what that city has to offer, which, as far as I could tell was for the outsider not much different than what any other big city has to offer, we made camp at Wompatuck State Park, giving us easy access to Plymouth Rock, which everyone said would disappoint but was for me the highlight of the trip, and Cape Cod, which everyone raved about but which was for me a big disappointment.

Next, after a stop in the nifty town of Newport, Rhode Island, in whose house there are many mansions, we made camp at Burlingame State Park, where my kids made friends with some kids from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, home of the Pawtucket Red Sox, who, along with the Rochester Red Wings, were the protagonists in Dan Barry's excellent Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball's Longest Game.

And, yes, the kids pronounced the name of their hometown "PuhTUCKit" (/pəˈtʌkɨt/) and not "PAWtuckit" (/ˈpɔːtʌkɨt/) just as Mr. Barry said they would. I was happy during the trip to hear some pronunciations that challenged my comprehension, even if I was unable myself to "park the car in Harvard Yard" due to congestion.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Crooked Still Perform "Sometimes in This Country," "The Golden Vanity" & "Locust in the Willow"

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Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line Perform "Bike Ride," "Travelin' On," & "Mountain Child"

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"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged."

The author of that quote may be raised to the altar — Possible sainthood cause for Chesterton.

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The Nanny State Giveth and the Nanny State Taketh Away

The newscaster reporting this story loses her composure, and rightly so; this is an abosulte outrage — Two-Year-Old Taken from Parents Because They Smoked Pot Is Murdered in Foster Care.

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Drudge's Triumph

Gary North reports "that investors trust the abilities of a man with zero experience in running a newspaper more than they trusted [a] liberal family that owned [a] paper for four generations" — Drudge Report Is Worth as Much as The Washington Post.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Aoife O'Donovan Performs "Red & White & Blue & Gold," "Oh, Mama," & "Lay My Burden Down"






A lass whose town I will be visiting for the first time ever this upcoming weekend.

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Time, Water, Sleep, Snow, Modesty

Jim Memmott on five things this town has in abundance — A modest guide to Rochester's virtues.

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"Why Catholics Should Be Libertarian"

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Yi Chunho's Kŭ Chŏnyŏk Muryŏpputŏ Saebyŏgi Ogikkachi ("From the End of the Evening Until Dawn") Performed by Cho Hyeryŏng


The Western Confucian, this blogger's previous incarnation, would have been all over the previous two posts, not to mention The New Beginning's latest — A Papal Heart Pose?

All this has yours truly waxing a bit nostalgic for his wife's homeland. The Korean haegŭm that the lovely Miss Cho plays with her lovely fake eyelashes (never experienced those before landing in Korea) is much like the Chinese erhu.

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Milk and Rice, Freedom and Despotism

"Europe's longtime cultural dominance is due in no small part to a genetic mutation that mitigated lactose intolerance," reads the Arts & Letters blurb linking to this Nature article by Andrew Curry — Archaeology: The milk revolution.

Commenting on the study and noting that "Northwestern Europe comprises difficult land for growing crops, but grows grass abundantly," Steve Sailer analyzes that "[w]ithout dairying, the population density would have stayed low outside the rich river valleys" — Lactose tolerance hotspots.

The only other part of the globe to develop comparable levels of culture, East Asia, lies outside these "lactose tolerance hotspots" (and some pretty backward regions lie within), so, how did these East Asians do it without milk (but how did lactose tolerant West Africans, Arabians, and whatever Pakistanis used to be fail so miserably with milk)?

Rice. The paddy, specifically. Franklin Hiram King's 1911 tome, Farmers of Forty Centuries: Organic Farming in China, Korea, and Japan (originally titled Farmers of Forty Centuries; Or, Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan), explains how rice cultivation allowed population density to grow outside rich river valleys and civilization to develop in these great countries long, long before Europe was anything to speak of.

However, as Karl August Wittfogel's 1957 tome, Oriental Despotism: A Comparative Study of Total Power, explains, rice cultivation, with its paddies requiring extensive levees and irrigation ditches, necessitates a high degree of collectivism and centralization, i.e. despotism, in comparison to the freewheeling individualism of dairymen and cattlemen.

Maybe milk and rice explain in part how the two advanced cultural regions of the globe developed differently.

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C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien on the Transfiguration of Hiroshima

Chronicles' Aaron D. Wolf reminds us that the "dawning of the nuclear age gave us new fears and changed our imaginations" — Staring at Hiroshima From Babel.

For the former, it was a "great advance in the triumph of ruthless, non-moral utilitarianism over the old world of ethical law." The latter said, "Such explosives in men's hands, while their moral and intellectual status is declining, is about as useful as giving out firearms to all inmates of a gaol and then saying that you hope 'this will ensure peace.'"

Of course, they were not alone among right-thinking people, and there was a time on these shores when "[t]he indefensibility of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima [was] becoming a part of the national conservative creed," as this blogger noted five years ago — Old Rightist Voices Against Atomic Mass Murder.

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

J.S. Bach's Schweigt Stille, Plaudert Nicht, Performed by Anne Grimm, Lothar Odinius, Klaus Mertens, The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, Directed by Ton Koopman


The Coffee Cantata! "Johann Sebastian Bach loved coffee, before coffee houses were cool," begins Frank Weathers' exegesis of the above, which "lampoons the coffee naysayers in Liepzig, circa 1732-34, who were sure coffee was a hellish brew, drinkers of which should be watched carefully for signs of wackiness ala the well meaning folks that brought us Reefer Madness" — J. S. Bach’s Coffee Cantata (Music for Mondays). Yes, definitely for Mondays.

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Back From the Capital Region

The missus and I have returned from Thompson's Lake State Park, where we spent two nights. Camping next to us were some noisy city-slickers: two guys who called each other "nigga" all night and beat each other up, or so it seemed, and two fat white girls, one of whom got in a verbal fight with one of the guys. Some folks just aren't made for camping.

We chose the campground for its proximity to Albany, New York, with its architecturally-fascist Empire State Plaza, including the worthy New York State Museum, which is surrounded by the oldest neighborhood in one of North America's oldest cities, highlight of which may have been the Schuyler Mansion, home of a fellow Dutch-American. Within walking distance of the statist complex is the stately Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Back home, we returned to Our Lady of Victory-St. Joseph's Church for the celebration of the Liturgy of the Mass from the Lumen Christi Missal. I was able to pay attention to the homily, focusing on St. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, "born three years before the godless Revolution." The homily made mention of Pope Benedict XVI twice, and took issue with the "confusion" the Second Vatican Council brought about, including "the pack of socialist lies" that is liberation theology. Not what I've been used to hearing in my decade in the Church.

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

J.S. Bach's "Mass in B Minor," Performed by Joélle Harvey, Carolyn Sampson, Iestyn Davies, Ed Lyon, Matthew Rose, Choir of the English Concert, and The English Concert, Directed by Harry Bicket


"Bach’s last major work, never performed in his lifetime, was a full setting of the Latin Mass, the Missa tota," reminds Killing the Buddha's Kaya Oakes, even though "Lutherans had thrown out the Latin Mass; only Catholics practiced the long, elaborate ceremony" — Searching for Bach. An excerpt:
    Bach was mostly blind by the time he composed the B Minor Mass. One report says his death just a few years later was brought on by the “unhappy consequences” of an “unfortunate eye operation,” but contemporary scholars mostly believe he had a stroke. His much younger wife Anna Magdalena, who had copied down many of his compositions and had sung professionally throughout their marriage, was left destitute with two of her daughters and a stepdaughter when Bach’s sons quarreled over the estate. She was buried in a pauper’s grave, and the graveyard was destroyed during World War II. Jesu Juva.

    I’ve listened to a lot of rock music, a lot of hip hop, country and folk and jazz, a lot of blues and roots and music from around the world. And as a person whose mind loves research and learning, I’ve read up on the lives of musicians and composers, read shelves of books and piles of scholarly and popular articles, and no story has ever made me sadder than the story of Bach and his dead children and destitute, gifted widow. Bach is a father figure to any classical musician, but he’s also a father figure to music itself; without him, we wouldn’t be able to do the things we do on instruments.
Enjoy the music. This blogger will be away camping a couple of days, returning in time Sunday for the Sacrifice of the Mass at Our Lady of Victory-St. Joseph's Church, and looking forward to it.

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"A Country Supporting True Ideals of Freedom"

So wants Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin his homeland to be, calling on her "to protect real freedom, from the global ideological dictatorship, from the electronic concentration camp" — Moscow patriarchate defends Snowden's request for asylum. Warning us that "the prospect of the global totalitarian electronic regime to appear becomes real," he instructs:
    First, people are hooked up on convenient communication means with authorities, business and each other, then people find themselves bound to certain services and as a result economic and political owners of these services get huge and awful power over people, they can not but be tempted to use this power to control an individual and such control could be much more strict than all totalitarian systems known in the 20th century.
The Third Rome has spoken; the Snowden case is closed.

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Frack 'Em

"It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch," says one Dakotan commenter on this news — Should Saudi Arabia Fear North Dakota? One Man Says Yes. That man is "Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, founder of Kingdom Holding and a multi-billionaire investor in News Corp, Time Warner and Citigroup, among other companies, [who] has told Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi that the desert kingdom is making a mistake not to worry about burgeoning U.S. oil and gas production."

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許されざる者


The LRC Blog's Ryan McMaken posts the above with this news — Eastwood’s ‘Unforgiven’ Remade as Samurai Movie. Mr. McMaken reminds us, "As any Western film enthusiast knows, The Magnificent Seven and A Fistful of Dollars were both based on samurai movies by Akira Kurosawa. (i.e., The Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, respectively.)" He also informs us that the film's dirctor is Sang-il Lee, a Zainichi Korean.

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