Monday, September 30, 2013

Sarah Jarosz Performs "Over The Edge," "Build Me Up From Bones," & "Mile On The Moon"

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"The Essence of Libertarianism"

Walter Block reminds Lew Rockwell that it is not the "liberty without wisdom, and without virtue" that Edmund Burke warned us as being "the greatest of all possible evils" and "folly, vice and madness, without tuition or restraint," but something entirely different, something at the heart of what figures ranging from Jesus Christ to Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy preached — The Non-Aggression Axiom.

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Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Fundamentalist American" Daughter


A conservative blog for peace links to this post on the self-described "fundamentalist American" who "will tell you why individualism, laissez faire and the slightly restrained anarchy of capitalism offer the best opportunities for the development of the human spirit" — Rose Wilder Lane, Libertarian Babe.

My recent post on her and another libertarian babe — Rose Lane Wilder and Zora Neale Hurston.

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"Asian Boys Should Fight Asian Wars"

Thus spake Lyndon B. Johnson almost five decades ago, a message that at least one Asian military and its dupes in Washington have managed to ignore, as this headline today suggests — Handover of U.S. command of South Korean troops still under debate.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

The Honey Trees Perform "Love and Loss" & "Wake The Earth"

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Remigration

We should not feel so bad about a second Operation Wetback, if we are to believe this New York Times story — For Migrants, New Land of Opportunity Is Mexico.

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John Zmirak on Pope Francis and Rad Trads

"From what I have read, in Argentina, a swath of the folks who fought for the Latin Mass also supported the right-wing dictators down there—which means they winked at torture and murder, but their consciences proved too tender to countenance altar girls" — What Is Pope Francis Saying to the Right? More:
    I have met this kind of smug zealot up here in the U.S.—the guy you meet at the coffee hour who starts off with pro-life talk, then finds a way to assert that most abortionists are Jewish … and pretty soon he’s pressing on you poorly printed pamphlets that “prove” the Holocaust never happened. I used to argue with people like this, but it led nowhere. (Although I learned how to have some fun with them by “proving” that World War II was also a myth, and that all its “casualties” had really been abducted to serve as slaves in the Zionist tin mines on the Moon.)

    I finally had to accept the cold fact that some people are not sincerely mistaken, or even deluded, but rather of evil intent, with wicked hearts and culpable motives. In fact, they’re the kind of “evil company” St. Paul tells us to flee. Likewise, I learned to scorn folks who reject religious liberty, who joke about burning heretics or who condemn the American founding because so many Founders were Freemasons. (They don’t, I notice, denounce the nation of Spain, which was founded by Arian Visigoths.) Some right-wing Catholics embrace a hardline agenda because they feel weak and irrelevant, and prefer magnificent fantasies of wielding power over their neighbors to the slow grunt work of evangelizing.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Carolina Story Perform The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"

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"When We Almost Nuked Savannah"

Goldsboro, North Carolina was not the only Southron town to almost have given the term "friendly fire" a whole new ring — The Case of the Missing H-Bomb. My dad's hometown might have ended up looking not unlike it did during the War of Northern Aggression:



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Putin the Perennialist

"Without the values at the core of Christianity and other world religions, without moral norms that have been shaped over millennia, people will inevitably lose their human dignity," spake the heroic leader, quoted here — Vlad the Trad.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Abigail Washburn Plays "City of Refuge," "Taiyang Chulai," & "Bring Me My Queen"


In the following link, the above banjoist who "planned to study law at Beijing University, but [whose] love of bluegrass landed her a record deal instead," and whose "latest album, City of Refuge, mixes American bluegrass with Chinese folk music," plays with her husband — Abigail Washburn & Bela Fleck.

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American Confucianism

The Western Confucian would have been all over this — Chinese Philosophy Lifts Off in America. An excerpt:
    According to Tu [Weiming], arguably the most famous exponent of Confucianism in the world and a champion of it as a "spiritual humanism" with unlimited geographical reach, "the most important reason" for the giant step taken by Chinese philosophy in the United States is "philosophical—because some of the most brilliant minds in America began to take Chinese philosophy seriously." Recent Confucian studies in English, says Tu, "are more important, more original, more sophisticated, and more forward-looking and cosmopolitan than Confucian studies in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean."

    Jiyuan Yu largely agrees. He says "philosophical quality is much higher here." Some elite scholars of Chinese philosophy, he observes, go so far as to say, "I only read English work—I never read Chinese."

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Westerners?

I'm sure I was not the only one to see the cognitive dissonance in this and similar headlines — Westerners said to be among Kenya attackers. "Islamist gunmen believed to include US, Canadian, UK citizens."

What does it mean to be a citizen of any one of these countries, or a host of other Western nations, anymore? Not much. Not what it used to. Not what it should. How much trouble could we have saved ourselves (and the world) by simply having adopted an immigration policy that made sense, or rather not adopting one that made no sense?

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A Case for Non-Interventionism

William S. Lind on a world war "America can win... by staying out" — Islam’s Civil War. (Frank Furedi on a similar theme — The real clash is within civilisations.)

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"To Establish Post Offices and Post Roads"

That's all the Constitution of the United States says about the subject of this intriguing article — What We Could Do with a Postal Savings Bank. Nothing there about "(1) funding the rebuilding of our crumbling national infrastructure; (2) servicing the massive market of the 'unbanked' and 'underbanked' who lack access to basic banking services; and (3) providing a safe place to save our money, in the face of Wall Street’s new 'bail in' policies for confiscating depositor funds."

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Goldsboro, North Carolina

We learn that "only one low-voltage switch" prevented the Southron town from being hit by a weapon "that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima" — The Near Detonation of a Mark 39 Hydrogen Bomb Over North Carolina in 1961.

That would have given the term "friendly fire" a whole new ring. Would Evil Emperor Lincoln have hesitated from using such a device?

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria Performed by Sara Mingardo and Concerto Italiano, Directed by Rinaldo Alessandrini

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Francis or Benedict?

Who said this?
    I was asked to give interviews and I always knew the questions in advance. They concerned the ordination of women, contraception, abortion and other such constantly recurring problems.

    If we let ourselves be drawn into these discussions, the Church is then identified with certain commandments or prohibitions; we give the impression that we are moralists with a few somewhat antiquated convictions, and not even a hint of the true greatness of the faith appears. I therefore consider it essential always to highlight the greatness of our faith - a commitment from which we must not allow such situations to divert us.
'Twas the latter, quoted here by — If Pope Francis had said this, what would you think?

Much like the comments a few days ago made by the current pontiff, minus the headline coverage by the world's media and the accompanying apoplexy by Catholic traditionalists.

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Shoppers and Worshippers

It is telling which of these stories got more media attention — Kenyan Shopping Mall Attack by Al-Shabaab Leaves 68 Dead and Suicide Bombers Kill 79 at Pakistan Church During Sermon.

The former was a front page story in my local paper; the latter ended up on page ten. The former was news on NPR; the latter left unmentioned. While there may be a conspiracy afoot, it may also more simply be that just we've grown used to religious violence perpetrated by Muslims.

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"Common Cause?"

So asks an old friend from my days on the left, sending me along this petition — Stop taxpayer loan for new nuclear reactors. "Common cause?" You betcha! After all, it was none other than Old Right Nader who made the free market case against nuclear power, quoted in an old post of mine — Atomic Corporate Socialism.

The only thing I disagree with in the petition is the word "loan." Taxpayers do not "loan" the government money; they have it extorted from them.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Antonio Vivaldi's L'autunno Performed by Nicola Benedetti and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Directed by Matthew Halls


Hoping you enjoyed today's Autumnal Equinox.

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Al Qaeda Affiliates Attack

"Islam has bloody borders," said Samuel P. Huntington, a quote that comes to mind with these two stroies from today's news — At least 78 killed in Pakistan church double suicide bombing and Islamist gunmen hold hostages in Kenya siege after 68 killed. How about our al Qaeda affiliate allies in Syria?

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"One Should Not Try to Do Good Without Knowing What One Is Doing"

Theodore Dalrymple exposes "the greatest mass poisoner of children in world history" — UNICEF’s Chemical Weapon.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Kathleen Battle and Wynton Marsalis and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s Perform G.F. Handel's "Eternal Source of Life Divine" and "Let the Bright Seraphim" and J.S. Bach's "Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen"

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My IAT Results

At the heroic John Derbyshire's behest, I have taken the Implicit Association Test, which "measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report," and which "may be especially interesting if it shows that you have an implicit attitude that you did not know about."

My results for the "Asian IAT" were as follows: "Your data suggest little or no association between Asian American and European American with American and Foreign." The test implies that I do not see the "Asian American" as "Foreign." This makes sense, since I spent a decade-and-a-half in the Far East and, like The Derb, almost as long waking up to a (rather pretty) Asian face every morning, not to mention two half-Asian kids. I was surprised, however, that I appear to have "little or no" bias against Asians, since living among them has not always been a positive experience. I guess it is that this test measures fundamentally whether I see them as "other," which I do not simply because cannot.

My results for the "Race IAT" were as follows: "Your data suggest a strong automatic preference for European American compared to African American." Again, no surprises. Sure, I have a black uncle by marriage, two mulatto cousins, and four quadroon second-cousins now, all wonderful people, but I see them all as (somewhat distant) family, not representatives of the "African American." Lately, I have been educating myself on suppressed atrocities like the Wichita Massacre and having to plan trips to local places like Seabreeze Amusement Park on dates that local "youths" might be less likely to engage in Polar Bear Hunting in honor of Saint Trayvon Martin Martyr. Such reflections do not make one feel warm and fuzzy.

I've been racially taunted in near-violent encounters with both Asians and Blacks. I sport a facial scar from a violent racial encounter with Asians. (In the end, after blows were exchanged, four of them ran away from two of us.) Proximity allows me to feel closer to the one group rather than the other. Rationally, though, if I had to make a policy decision between African Americans and Asian immigrants, I'd side with my fellow citizens first. It's only fair.

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Two Summer Reads


It was not that good of a summer for reading until the end when I stumbled upon Walden on Wheels: On The Open Road from Debt to Freedom and My Korean Deli: Risking It All for a Convenience Store, two memoirs by young guys taking roads less taken.

Ken Ilgunas's story takes us from the 'burbs of WNY to Alaska to living in a van while going to grad school, all motivated by the thrifty desire to eliminate his student debt. I'm tempted to say it's a bit better than its namesake. It was circumstances that lead to the author's philosophy, and not vice versa. Thus, it's more authentic.

Ben Ryder Howe's story is of a WASP, a real one who can trace his ancestry back to 1620, marrying a Korean-American and opening a corner store for his mother-in-law in Brooklyn, and being drawn into the immigrant experience in a gentrifying New York neighborhood with lots of pithy observations. I liked the bit about his liberal anthropology professor father understanding cannibalism but being utterly baffled by Korean filial piety and the desire for a multi-generational home.

Perhaps I should write a memoir about my newlywed Korean bride being horrified at my student debt (very modest by today's standards) and convincing me to implement an austerity program in our first 18 months of marriage which left us debt-free.

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Fukushima Now, Fukushima Forever

From cryptogon.com we learn of "the danger that the spent fuel rod pool at the top of the nuclear plant number four will collapse in a storm or an earthquake, or in a failed attempt to carefully remove each of the 1,535 rods and safely transport them to the common storage pool 50 meters away" — Fukushima Forever. What might happen?
    Conditions in the unit 4 pool, 100 feet from the ground, are perilous, and if any two of the rods touch it could cause a nuclear reaction that would be uncontrollable. The radiation emitted from all these rods, if they are not continually cool and kept separate, would require the evacuation of surrounding areas including Tokyo. Because of the radiation at the site the 6,375 rods in the common storage pool could not be continuously cooled; they would fission and all of humanity will be threatened, for thousands of years.
The article mentions this as "the latest evidence of the continuing incompetence of the Japanese utility, TEPCO," reminding me that such an accident would have been impossible in a free economy, a case made by none other than Old Right Nader, quoted in an old post of mine — Atomic Corporate Socialism — as observing that "the atomic power industry does not give up... as long as Uncle Sam can be dragooned to be its subsidizing, immunizing partner." He continued:
    For sheer brazenness, ... the atomic power lobbyists know few peers. They remember, as the previous Atomic Energy Commission told them decades ago, that one significant meltdown could contaminate “an area the size of Pennsylvania.”

    They know that no insurance companies will insure them at any price, which is why the Price-Anderson Act hugely limits nuclear plants’ liability in case of massive damages to people, property, land and water.
Does TEPCO have the resources to provide for all of humanity for thousands of years?

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She Loved Her Man

"Reading the local obituaries and in memoriams every morning over breakfast, I'm often moved," I wrote a year ago, "but coming across a thing of this beauty was entirely unexpected" — An In Memoriam This Morning. A year later, again — Clyde E. Sandord Memoriam.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Franz Liszt's Via Crucis Performed by Reinbert de Leeuw


Something penitential for Friday.

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Two on Racial Mythmaking

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Peace in Our Time?

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Red June Perform "Soul's Repair"

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Yet Another Human Perfectibility Scheme Dashed

A review of a new book that begins "like a celebration of a boy genius" but truns out to be "a devastating portrait of hubris and its consequences" — The Not-So-Great Professor: Jeffrey Sachs’ Incredible Failure to Eradicate Poverty in Africa. An excerpt:
    The weakness that dooms most plans like the Millennium Villages to failure is best summarized by the Yale political scientist James C. Scott, in his book Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. For Scott, the culprit is “high-modernist ideology,” which he defines as a “muscle-bound … self-confidence about scientific and technical progress, the expansion of human production, [and] the growing satisfaction of human needs.”

    In Scott’s account, high modernism inflicted its greatest damage in vast utopian campaigns like Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward, the collectivization of farms in the Soviet Union, and compulsory villagization in Tanzania and Ethiopia. In each of these cases, schemes promising massive progress were forced on people by an authoritarian state that was willing and able to use “the full weight of its coercive power” to bring its designs into being.

    Though much smaller in scale than these examples—and certainly less deadly—the Millennium Villages Project proceeded along similar lines. “No administrative system,” Scott writes, “is capable of representing any existing social community except through a heroic and greatly schematized process of abstraction and simplification.” In the case of the Millennium Villages, this simplification was embodied by the 147-page handbook, written by academics in New York with insufficient regard for hard-won local knowledge. What Sachs failed to recognize, more than any individual research finding, is that rural Africa is thick with the wreckage of failed development projects more or less imposed by outsiders, and that Western powers have adopted new, often contradictory aid policies every decade or so, never publicly acknowledging their mistakes or owning up to the collateral damage they’ve inflicted on African lives.

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John Stossel on the "Isolationist" Smear

"'Isolationist' suggests that anyone who objects to killing people in foreign countries (mostly people who have never attacked us) wants to 'isolate' America, withdraw from the world" — Make Trade, Not War.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tony Rice & Friends Perform "White House Blues"


The original and far superior version, which I just learned by ear, no small feat for me, from my musical hero — Charlie Poole & The North Carolina Ramblers-White Ho:use Blues (September 20, 1926). "Very different attitude than the often mawkish songs we heard when Kennedy was shot," said one commenter of the lyrics
    McKinley hollered, McKinley squalled
    Doc said to McKinley, "I can't find that ball",
    From Buffalo to Washington

    Roosevelt in the White House, he's doing his best
    McKinley in the graveyard, he's taking his rest
    He's gone a long, long time

    Hush up, little children, now don't you fret
    You'll draw a pension at your papa's death
    From Buffalo to Washington

    Roosevelt in the White House drinking out of a silver cup
    McKinley in the graveyard, he'll never wake up
    He's gone a long, long time

    Ain't but one thing that grieves my mind
    That is to die and leave my poor wife behind
    I'm gone a long, long time

    Look here, little children, (don't) waste your breath
    You'll draw a pension at your papa's death
    From Buffalo to Washington

    Standing at the station just looking at the time
    See if I could run it by half past nine
    From Buffalo to Washington

    Came the train, she's just on time
    She run a thousand miles from eight o'clock 'till nine,
    From Buffalo to Washington

    Yonder comes the train, she's coming down the line
    Blowing in every station Mr. McKinley's a-dying
    It's hard times, hard times

    Look-it here you rascal, you see what you've done
    You've shot my husband with that Iver-Johnson gun
    Carry me back to Washington

    Doc's on the horse, he tore down his rein
    Said to that horse, "You've got to outrun this train"
    From Buffalo to Washington

    Doc come a-running, takes off his specs
    Said "Mr McKinley, better pass in your checks
    You're bound to die, bound to die"

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rachel Sermanni Performs "Song For a Fox"

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The Wall & The Fall

Chateau Heartiste with another dramatic reminder of the tragedy of our fallen human nature — The Wall, In Fast Forward. Only a true misogynist could laugh "huehuehue" as does the first commenter. A lover of women would echo the later commenter who notes that "it is not with pleasure that we observe these things" and the one who laments, "Poor creatures were lied to and brainwashed by feminism."

The Wall, Roissy defines, "is the moment in time, measured in age, when a woman’s sexual attractiveness, following years of asymptotic approach, finally hits absolute zero." The Fall refers to that "deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man," by which "the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents." One cannot understand the former without the latter.

"The Wall means nothing less than the total annihilation of their ability to win the love and commitment of the men they truly desire," Roissy explains, which "is why it’s absolutely critical for a woman to leverage her beauty when it’s at its peak nubility and coax a man into a monogamous, legally binding relationship; for once a man is thus ensnared, inertia, guilt and duty conspire to keep him there past his lover’s sexual expiration date." That's just the way it is.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Rachel Sermanni Performs "Breathe Easy" & Bones




"I discover a lot of good music through your blog, but I want to especially thank you for introducing me to Rachel Sermanni," writes Jeremiah on a nine-month-old post of mine — Rachel Sermanni Performs "Ae Fond Kiss" and "Marshmallow Unicorn".

Thank you, Jeremiah, for reminding me of her. I stumbled across her music back in January, but did not dwell on it too long. My mistake. Jeremiah continues:
    I love her voice. I'll be heading up to Toronto (from Pittsburgh) to hear her perform at Hugh's Room this Friday. Toronto seems to be the closest she ever gets to my part of the world.
Yes, this Scottish lass has a lovely voice indeed. Toronto and Pittsburgh are two wonderful cities that happen to be the two closest genuine cities to my part of the world. Unfortunately, I do not think I will be able to make it up there this Friday, but I thank your for the news. I'll post more of her music tomorrow.

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Mutualism, Could It Work?

"Mutualism" was the topic of a recent post, in which Kevin Carson argued that if we "eliminate the barriers — mostly imposed by the state — between our skills and effort and what we consume.... we could probably produce our current standard of living on a 10-15 hour work week." The Fall precludes such a world ever coming into being, perhaps, but I think the idea makes two important contributions in correcting two very wrong assumptions.

First, Mr. Carson, unlike some proponents of Anarcho-capitalism, recognizes "that the state has also transferred wealth to the wealthy by subsidizing organizational centralization, in the form of transportation and communication subsidies." Lew Rockwell and his friends would be wiser to remember this the next time they are tempted to pen their next Ode to a Big Box. Those monstrous places could not exist without the myriad of state subsidies, seen and unseen, that sustain them.

Second, and more importantly, by even suggesting that "we could probably produce our current standard of living on a 10-15 hour work week," or even anywhere near our current standard of living, Mr. Carson does a great service to our world by countering the noxious notion that 50, 60, 70, even 80 hour work weeks are somehow normal and part of a natural and unstoppable trend. Somehow, too many of us, have come to think that just because with technological "labor-saving" advances we can work 24/7, we should work 24/7. This had really got to end before it ends us. Sadly, too many workers in an effort to distinguish themselves and make themselves "indispensable" are in reality doing nothing more that digging their own graves.

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Mr. Obama, Hand Over That Prize!

    Whereas Mr. Obama made a sincere commitment to starting a war with Syria, engaging our military in unwanted conflict, and doing so without the support of his people we resolve that Mr. Obama should deliver the Nobel Peace prize given to him in 2009 to a man of Peace, the President of Russia, Mr. Putin. Whereas Mr. Putin enabled the United States to avoid an unwanted and unwarranted military action he has brought us to the "brink" of peace.
A petition quoted by Vladimir Radyuhin — Call for Nobel prize for Putin. Here's the petition — Give to President Putin the Nobel Peace Prize Mr. Obama was given in 2009.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

J.S. Bach's Lobet Gott in Seinen Reichen Performed by Hannah Morrison, Meg Bragle, Nicholas Mulroy, Peter Harvey, the Monteverdi Choir, the English Baroque Soloists, Directed by Sir John Eliot Gardiner

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Left-Liberal Argument for Atomization of Social Capital

Steve Sailer's iSteve Blog links to this incredible bit of stupidity by Samantha Power's husband — Could Bowling Leagues and the PTA Breed Nazis? Hard to believe "the Robert Walmsley University professor at Harvard Law School" could write such drivel and show up at work the next day.

This is how the elites think of us hayseeds in flyover country, just itchin' for a pogrom even though we've never had one in this country and most of us don't even know what the word means. Better not let us have a chance to talk to each other.

So, contra proto-Fascists like Alexis de Tocqueville and Albert Jay Nock, we should follow all other totalitarian régimes and implore on our Government to save us and smash to smithereens the "civic institutions, such as parent-teacher associations, athletic leagues, churches and music clubs."

Corps intermédiaires must be abolished! Only the State and the Individual should be left standing, ensuring the eternal triumph of the former. Commenter Harold Barnett carries the argument to its logical conclusion, noting that the author "forgot the most evil, the most pervasive, voluntary associations around: the nuclear family, the extended family and the tribe:"
    Operating in secret, meeting and sharing in secret, even eating in secret, they pass on the most pernicious beliefs imaginable. The tribe keeps all others out during their special rituals and celebrations in which they pass on their pernicious extremist beliefs. Until we can ban meetings of the tribe and the family, democracy will never be safe.
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Friday, September 13, 2013

The Spinney Brothers Perform "Memories" & " I Want My Dog Back"

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Mutualism

Kevin Carson writes, "What we need is to eliminate the barriers — mostly imposed by the state — between our skills and effort and what we consume" — Why is the Party of Jefferson So Hamiltonian? He continues:
    If we eliminated waste production (like the military-industrial complex, sprawl, planned obsolescence) and rents to privileged monopolists, we could probably produce our current standard of living on a 10-15 hour work week. Instead of resorting to expedients like paying people for the moral equivalent of digging holes and filling them back in, why not change the institutional structure so that we get the full fruits of our labor? Why not fully internalize the benefits of our increased productivity ourselves through a shorter work week, instead of letting a bunch of monopolists enclose them for rent?

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Don't Be Evil?

A series of headlines — Google knows nearly every Wi-Fi password in the world, NSA disguised itself as Google to spy, say reports, and Google's Eric Schmidt downplays NSA spying.

Said Schmidt: "There's been spying for years -- there's been surveillance for years, and so forth. I'm not going to pass judgment on that. It's the nature of our society."

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Gregory Alan Isakov Performs "All Shades of Blue," " Living Proof," & "That Moon Song"

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Blessed Are the Peacemakers


On behalf of the American people, this blogger would like to extend our gratitude to His Excellency Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, President of Holy Mother Russia, for his wise diplomacy in averting yet another war instigated by our so-called government, waged not for any American interest, but for anti-Christian foreign powers and principalities, namely the Zionist Entity and the House of Saud.

We also thank His Excellency for his reminder that "[w]e are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal" — A Plea for Caution From Russia. Amen.

I cannot help but think the Russian president is playing a role similar to that of Ronald Wilson Reagan, who gave hope to Russian patriots living under the Evil Empire, just as Mr. Putin seems to be a friend of American patriots living under the U.S.S.A. Is RT our VOA? Is it better?

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된醬


"Start protecting yourself with this delicious, fermented broth" — Anti-Radiation Soup. The missus makes me Korean versions at least a couple times a week. I was unfamiliar with the term comfort food before I moved back to these shores two years ago, but this is at the top of my list.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Seasick Steve & John Paul Jones Perform "Over You"

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[The] Right Defeats Might

  • The American Conservative's W. James Antle III writes that "even more than in the days of Clinton and Wag the Dog, conservatives for foreign-policy restraint have something to build upon" — Antiwar Conservatism Isn’t Going Away.

  • Antiwar.com's Justin Raimondo analyzes that with "a massive antiwar upsurge getting more massive and more vocal by the minute, the Obama administration grabbed the Putin proposal like a drowning man being thrown a life jacket" — We Beat the War Party.

  • "The American people do not want war on Syria, and such a war makes no sense," says Pat Buchanan, asking, "Who is trying to stampede Congress into war on Syria, and then on Iran—and why?" — America Says ‘No!’ to a Beltway War.
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    Erasmus on War and Peace

    "The majority of the common people loathe war and pray for peace; only a handful of individuals, whose evil joys depend on general misery, desire war" — Nothing Has Changed in 500 Years.

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    Chemical Weapon Attacks

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    Safety Razors

    Lew Rockwell writes, "The other day, after not finding my favorite razors in CVS nor Publix, I started to drive to Kroger, and then thought, what am I, crazy?" — Amazon Is Razor Heaven.

    I had the same experience a few months back, shopping not for razors but for blades, as I've used the same safety razor since my early twenties.

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    The Westbound Rangers Perform "Theme Song," "Stonewall," "John Henry," "Time," & "Pushwater"

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    Gary North's Failed Calvinist Understanding of "3:10 to Yuma"


    I liked the film; LewRockwell.com's Gary North did not — The Most Spectacular Clunker in the History of the Western. This is not the first time I have disagreed with Mr. North on a Western; here is his panning of a 1943 film that made "honorable mention" on my Top Five Westerns list — How Liberals Killed the Western: A Case Study. It must be his wacky Christian Reconstructionism that puts us at odds.

    Mr. North calls 3:10 to Yuma (2007) an "incomparable monstrosity" and its ending "utterly incoherent if this movie is about a bad man going good." Perhaps it is his puny theology that disallows him from seeing the obvious fact that the film is not about a bad man going good; it is about a bad man moved in the direction of goodness, moved in that direction — haltingly, incompletely — by the uncompromising moral integrity of his antagonist, the film's hero, a Christ figure if there ever was one.

    The film has a profoundly Christian message, whether the director is a professing Christian or not. It is not by superior firepower or ingenuity that the villain is defeated, if only temporarily as the film's ending suggests, but by virtue itself. The villain recognizes, in himself and his henchmen, that evil is ultimately very boring and limiting, no matter how hard he tries to convince the hero and his companions otherwise. Virtue is simply more compelling, the villain comes to realize, and so cooperates, if only momentarily, in his own downfall. The film approaches the moral complexity of Catholic John Ford's The Searchers (1956), the greatest Western and greatest film ever made.

    (Interestingly, and parenthetically, only the late, great Roger Ebert notices the homoerotic subtext, involving "Charlie Prince, the second-in-command of Wade's gang, who seems half in love with Wade, or maybe Charlie's half-aware that's he's all in love" — 3:10 to Yuma Movie Review & Film Summary (2007). The moment the character appeared on the screen, my admittedly limited gaydar kicked in and I thought, "Who's this creepy gay guy?" I mean, it looked like the guy was wearing mascara. Why did not other reviewers see this? I guess if homosexuality is portrayed in anything other than the most positive, affirming light possible, it must be ignored.)

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    Monday, September 9, 2013

    The Westbound Rangers Perform "Hesitate"


    The version I like to sing — Charlie Poole & The North Carolina Ramblers - If the River Was Whiskey. The version I first heard, 25 years ago or so — Hot Tuna - Hesitation Blues.

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    More Brews From Which to Choose, in Ontario Country Next Door

    "Joining Naked Dove are Brew and Brats at Arbor Hill in South Bristol, Crafty Ales and Lagers in Phelps, and the Glass Factory Brewhouse in Geneva," we learn — Rise of the new brew in the Finger Lakes. "Additionally, The Victor Brewery is slated to open this year, as is the Twisted Rail Brewing Company in the old Canandaigua train station next to the Beehive Brew Pub. In 2014, the Nedloh Brewing Company — based in East Bloomfield and owned by the husband-and-wife duo of Nate and Josie Holden — will also join the county’s beer lineup."

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    Ralph Nader Condemns Barack Obama's Warmongering

    An open-letter, from the man for whom I proud to say I voted in '08, to "a president who chronically violates the Constitution, federal statutes, international treaties and the separation of power at depths equal to or beyond the George W. Bush regime" — Stopping Barry O’Bomber’s Rush to War.

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    Saturday, September 7, 2013

    The Honey Dewdrops Perform "Tell Me Darling," "Test of Time," "Hills of My Home," "Nobody in This World," "Going Across the Sea/Angelina Baker," "Stomping Ground," "It Won't Be Long," "Bright Morning Stars," "Bluest Blue Eyes," "Don't Leave Me here," "Across the Universe," "Amaranth," "Wandering Boy," & "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning"


    Playing locally last night was the "Virginia-based duo performing a blend of Americana and traditional folk music... focus[ing] on dynamically blending instrumentation and vocals, with a high lonesome quality to the way their voices blend" — Rush camp hosts festival of folk.

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    We're Number One

    Growing up neither mick, nor polack, nor dago, but kraut in Western New York, I often felt like I did not belong, but it turns out that not only was I a member of the plurality nationally, something I came to learn later, but also locally, which I just learned clicking on these fascinating maps — German-Americans Are the Biggest US Ethnic Group.

    I guess we're just too quiet and unassuming, i.e. German, to prance around about our ethnicity, for me to have even noticed. From the article:
      49,206,934 Germans

      By far the largest ancestral group, stretching from coast to coast across 21st century America is German, with 49,206,934 people. The peak immigration for Germans was in the mid-19th century as thousands were driven from their homes by unemployment and unrest.

      The majority of German-Americans can now be found in the the center of the nation, with the majority living in Maricopa County, Arizona and according to Business Insider, famous German-Americans include, Ben Affleck, Tom Cruise, Walt Disney, Henry J. Heinz and Oscar Mayer.

      Indeed, despite having no successful New World colonies, the first significant groups of German immigrants arrived in the United States in the 1670s and settled in New York and Pennsylvania.

      Germans were attracted to America for familiar reasons, open tracts of land and religious freedom and their contributions to the nation included establishing the first kindergartens, Christmas trees and hot dogs and hamburgers.

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    Do Or Die

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    My Son's Debut in Organized Baseball


    With two at-bats, he begins Pittsford Little League Fall Ball batting 1000 with one RBI.

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    Friday, September 6, 2013

    Old Crow Medicine Show Perform "Bootlegger's Boy"

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    Should the U.S. Attack Syria?

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    Steven Pinker's Scientism Debunked

    By Leon Wieseltier, along with other "crimes against humanities" — Now science wants to invade the liberal arts. Don't let it happen. An excerpt:
      A few weeks ago this magazine published a small masterpiece of scientizing apologetics by Steven Pinker, called “Science Is Not Your Enemy.” Pinker utters all kinds of sentimental declarations about the humanities, which “are indispensable to a civilized democracy.” Nobody wants to set himself against sensibility, which is anyway a feature of scientific work, too. Pinker ranges over a wide variety of thinkers and disciplines, scientific and humanistic, and he gives the impression of being a tolerant and cultivated man, which no doubt he is. But the diversity of his analysis stays at the surface. His interest in many things is finally an interest in one thing. He is a foxy hedgehog. His essay, a defense of “scientism,” is a long exercise in assimilating humanistic inquiries into scientific ones. By the time Pinker is finished, the humanities are the handmaiden of the sciences, and dependent upon the sciences for their advance and even their survival.

      Pinker tiresomely rehearses the familiar triumphalism of science over religion: “the findings of science entail that the belief systems of all the world’s traditional religions and cultures ... are factually mistaken.” So they are, there on the page; but most of the belief systems of all the world’s traditional religions and cultures have evolved in their factual understandings by means of intellectually responsible exegesis that takes the progress of science into account; and most of the belief systems of all the world’s traditional religions and cultures are not primarily traditions of fact but traditions of value; and the relationship of fact to value in those traditions is complicated enough to enable the values often to survive the facts, as they do also in Aeschylus and Plato and Ovid and Dante and Montaigne and Shakespeare. Is the beauty of ancient art nullified by the falsity of the cosmological ideas that inspired it? I would sooner bless the falsity for the beauty. Factual obsolescence is not philosophical or moral or cultural or spiritual obsolescence. Like many sophisticated people, Pinker is quite content with a collapse of sophistication in the discussion of religion.

      Yet the purpose of Pinker’s essay is not chiefly to denounce religion. It is to praise scientism. Rejecting the various definitions of scientism—“it is not an imperialistic drive to occupy the humanities,” it is not “reductionism,” it is not “naïve”—Pinker proposes his own characterization of scientism, which he defends as an attempt “to export to the rest of intellectual life” the two ideals that in his view are the hallmarks of science. The first of those ideals is that “the world is intelligible.” The second of those ideals is that “the acquisition of knowledge is hard.” Intelligibility and difficulty, the exclusive teachings of science? This is either ignorant or tendentious. Plato believed in the intelligibility of the world, and so did Dante, and so did Maimonides and Aquinas and Al-Farabi, and so did Poussin and Bach and Goethe and Austen and Tolstoy and Proust. They all share Pinker’s denial of the opacity of the world, of its impermeability to the mind. They all join in his desire to “explain a complex happening in terms of deeper principles.” They all concur with him that “in making sense of our world, there should be few occasions in which we are forced to concede ‘It just is’ or ‘It’s magic’ or ‘Because I said so.’ ” But of course Pinker is not referring to their ideals of intelligibility. The ideal that he has in mind is a very particular one. It is the ideal of scientific intelligibility, which he disguises, by means of an inoffensive general formulation, as the whole of intelligibility itself.

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    Game Three of the Governor's Cup Playoffs

    Sports 1280 WHTK has the first away game, one we hope ends with a better result than last night's — Rochester Red Wings fall to Pawtucket Red Sox.

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    Thursday, September 5, 2013

    Arvo Pärt 's Da Pacem Domine Performed by ACO Underground

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    Beta Warmonger, Alpha Peacemaker


    Chateau Heartiste's Roissy asks us to contemplate the above image, and reminds us that "a good rule of thumb for determining the alpha male among men is which man would you least want to pick a fight with in a bar" — Spot The Alpha. "The beta is weak and defensive, always glancing around for incipient threats, his body tightened into a ball of nerves," writes Roissy. "The alpha is strong and relaxed, expecting no threats but nevertheless welcoming any threats which may come his way." (Something to keep in mind reading cryptogon.com's latest — Russia Has Compiled 100-Page Report Blaming Syrian Rebels for a Chemical Weapons Attack.)

    Quite frankly, we should all be embarrassed, not to mention disgusted, by the pussified passive-aggressive posturing of Obama and his butt buddy Kerry on Syria, egged on by the "three horsegirls of the apocalypse" as John Derbyshire called them.

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    Parasites Find a New Host

    "As hawks flock to Obama's side over Syria," The American Conservative's Kelley Beaucar Vlahos reports, "their hold on Republicans is slipping" — Neocons Are Back—But Not in the GOP.

    This is a homecoming, of course, because the neocons started out with the Dems. Read Justin Raimondo's Reclaiming the American Right and Jacob Heilbrunn's They Knew They Were Right for the history of these neocon parasites as they moved from host organism to host organism. America needs a powerful antibiotic.

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    I.L. on A.M.

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    Wednesday, September 4, 2013

    Sœur Marie Keyrouz and Rabi'a al Adawiya Perform Ya Sourouri


    Sister Marie Keyrouz, "chanter of Oriental Church music... and founder-president of the National Institute of Sacred Music in Paris," "was born in Deir el Ahmar in Lebanon... [and r]aised in the Maronite Church, but being a Melkite through her religious congregation, ... took her vows in the Melkite Greek Catholic Church."

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    Bush-Obama De-Christianization of the Middle East


    The above, sent by a kind reader and old friend of this blog domiciled in a neutral country in Europe, shows "the only place in the world where Aramaic -- the language believed to have been spoken by Christ -- is still used as a living language," and serves as background to Philip Jenkins grim prognostication that "[a] post-Assad Islamist regime threatens to re-enact the Armenian genocide" — Syria’s Christians Risk Eradication.

    "The latest coalition of the willing might be more accurately described as the conspiracy to kill Christians," Thomas Fleming writes — Six Paragraphs In Search of an Author.

    "Left-wing Jewish atheist pro-life civil libertarian journalist Nat Hentoff," referenced here at Spokane Orations, gets it — Why aren't there protests at the murder of Christians in the Middle East?

    Of course, the Middle East is home to adherents of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, not the Moralistic Therapeutic Deism that masquerades as Christianity in America, and are thus not seen as real Christians, or even real people.

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    Where Have All The Antiwar Leftists Gone?

    Townhallista L. Brent Bozell III wonders — The Vanishing Anti-War Left. An excerpt:
      "What anti-war movement?" former Congressman Dennis Kucinich asked when called for comment last week. Medea Benjamin of the radical group Code Pink agreed: "The antiwar movement is a shadow of its former self under the Bush years." Cindy Sheehan quipped, "The 'anti-war left' was used by the Democratic Party. I like to call it the 'anti-Republican War' movement."

      The "Wonkblog" of The Washington Post ran an article (online only, not in the newspaper) headlined, "How Obama demobilized the antiwar movement." As much as our "objective" media lamely tried to portray the peaceniks mobilizing in the streets against Team Bush as nonpartisan and non-ideological, the truth is the movement collapsed as soon as the Democrats tasted power.

      Sociologists Michael Heaney and Fabio Rojas surveyed the leftist protesters for a 2011 paper and found that after Obama won, "attendance at anti-war rallies declined precipitously and financial resources available to the movement dissipated ... the antiwar movement demobilized as Democrats, who had been motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments, withdrew from antiwar protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success, if not policy success."

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    America, a Country

    Steve Sailer, in one of his best articles, confesses to have rightly "found most talk about 'American exceptionalism' pernicious because it tends to imply that America needs to be exceptional to deserve what other countries rightfully take for granted" — The Joy of American Unexceptionalism. An excerpt:
      America is definitely exceptional in our recommended daily intake of flapdoodle. To Finns or Japanese or other sensible folk, their countries don’t have to be special proposition nations, nor cities upon a hill redeeming the world, nor the rightful destinations of other countries’ huddled masses, nor the scourges of wrongdoing in the Levant. Instead, they are the past, present, and future homes of their own people. So their responsibility is to be good stewards for their heirs.

      In contrast, the vague grandiosity of the ideology of American exceptionalism makes Americans easier to manipulate with contrived narratives. After all, the past is so vast that interested parties can pick and choose nearly any historical details they want in order to control the present and the future.

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    An Ignoble Local Bicentennial

    "In popular culture, Freemasonry has [rightly] been presented as everything from a secret society ruling the world to an evil cult" — Freemasonry celebrates 200 years in Pittsford. The story mentions the founding down the road of the noble Anti-Masonic Party, America's first "third" party: "When a Batavia Mason who wrote an exposé on the organization disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 1826, the story made national headlines and ignited the general sense of distrust distrust many outsiders feel toward the organization to this day."

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    International League Playoffs on the Wireless

    Click on Sports 1280 WHTK to follow this game, six to one in the fourth as this blog goes to post, the old-fashioned way — Red Wings ready to face off with PawSox. These two teams played the longest game in baseball history, described in the book reviewed on the pages here — Best Baseball Book.

    I'd be there tonight were it not for my daughter's violin lessons at the Rochester Contemporary School of Music. I'd be there tomorrow were it not for my son's debut with the Pittsford Little League.

    UPDATE 10:25 PM: We won, seven to one.

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    Monday, September 2, 2013

    Steve Earle Performs "Thinking About Burning Wal-Mart Down"


    Seems appropriate for Labor Day.

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    Labor Day Weekend

    Hope yours was as good as ours. We started with two of my favorite places as a kid.

    We spent two nights camping at Allegany State Park, the state's largest. Nothing like camping to bring a family together. Most of my memories of this place are of winter in a cabin, not summer in a tent, but I think we'll add some of the former once the snows start falling. Cattaraugus County, New York, the northernmost limit of Appalachia, was always for me the "Enchanted Mountains" her brochures claim her to be.

    This was followed by a day at Martin's Fantasy Island, mostly for my daughter, who loves amusement parks. I went there first at about age six, before it was Martin's. Wikipedia tells us that the place went bankrupt a couple of times until it was bougfht by a local guy named Martin. I also had no idea that their roller coaster was modeled after The Comet, the legendary roller coaster found across the lake at Crystal Beach, Ontario, until that amusement park closed in 1989.

    Finally, we spent Labor Day watching the Rochester Red Wings land playoff spot! I don't think I've ever seen a better game live. Of the six games we saw this season, all were wins. On to the International League Governors' Cup.

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