Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Claudio Monteverdi's Vespro della Beate Vergine Performed by L'Arpeggiata, Raquel Andueza, Hannah Morrison, Gunther Vandeven, Kevin Skelton, Fernando Guimarães, Emiliano Gonzalez-Toro, Jan van Elsacker, Fulvio Bettini, Hubert Claessens, João Fernandes, Directed by Christina Pluhar


The Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, is celebrated tomorrow. For those with no plans tonight, consider sitting back and enjoying Claudio Monteverdi's monumental Vespro della Beata Vergine 1610, one of mankind's highest musical achievements.

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Lisa Hannigan Performs "Passenger"


The Irish lass singing a song set in America:
    Walking 'round Chicago
    I have smuggled you as cargo
    Though you are far away unknowing
    By the time we get to Salt Lake
    I have packed you in my suitcase
    Iron the creases from my own remembering

    She said "Burn.. oh why"
    And I said "Burn.. oh why"

    We wound our way to Texas
    And I summoned rumbled hexes
    And I sent them across dust and oceans
    In Phoenix, Arizona I had a notion I might phone ya
    But there it lived and died a notion

    She said "Burn.. oh why"
    And I said "Burn.. oh why
    Oh my satellite
    Oh my passenger

    We came upon Ohio
    I have you chewed on like a biro
    You are a sum I am no closer to deciphering
    We came to Minneapolis
    All fizzy blood and twitchy fists
    I buried you in a day of snowing

    She said "Burn.. oh why"
    And I said "Burn.. oh why"

    Oh my satellite
    Oh my passenger

    Oh my satellite
    Oh my passenger

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“A Feathered River Across the Sky”


"Why the passenger pigeon became extinct" explained in a new book of that title reviewed here — The Birds. "How could the bird go from a population of billions to zero in less than fifty years?" An excerpt:
    The passenger pigeon—sometimes called “the blue pigeon,” for its color, though the blue was blended with gray, red, copper, and brown—should not be confused with its distant cousin, the message-bearing carrier pigeon, which is really just a domesticated rock pigeon in military dress. Unlike the rock pigeon—domesticated six thousand years ago, now feral, and brought to these shores by Europeans in the early seventeenth century—the passenger pigeon was native to North America, where it roved over a billion acres of the continent searching for bumper crops of tree nuts. It was here, like the American bison, when Europeans arrived, and it was here when the peoples we consider indigenous migrated across their land bridge thousands of years before that. It evolved on the unspoiled continent and was allied with the big trees that once covered much of the Northeast and the Midwest.

    The passenger pigeon was also the most numerous bird species in North America, and possibly the world, dominating the eastern half of the continent in numbers that stagger the imagination. In 1813, John James Audubon saw a flock—if that is what you call an agglomeration of birds moving at sixty miles an hour and obliterating the noonday sun—that was merely the advance guard of a multitude that took three days to pass. Alexander Wilson, the other great bird observer of the time, reckoned that a flock he saw contained 2,230,272,000 individuals. To get your head around just how many passenger pigeons that would mean, consider that there are only about two hundred and sixty million rock pigeons in the world today. You would have to imagine more than eight times the total world population of rock pigeons, all flying at the same time in a connected mass.

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The Truth Behind the Bombing in Volgograd?

Pravda.ru's Lyuba Lulko reminds us of the "Western intelligence agencies and money from Saudi Arabia and Qatar that stand behind terrorist groups and gangs operating in Russia" and suggests this latest atrocity may have been "an act of revenge to the Russian Federation for Syria" — Terrorists Declare War on Russia. Will Russia Respond?

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Sarah Jarosz Performs Bob Dylan's "Ring Them Bells"


Mandocello playing at its loveliest.
    Ring them bells, ye heathen
    From the city that dreams
    Ring them bells from the sanctuaries
    ’Cross the valleys and streams
    For they’re deep and they’re wide
    And the world’s on its side
    And time is running backwards
    And so is the bride

    Ring them bells St. Peter
    Where the four winds blow
    Ring them bells with an iron hand
    So the people will know
    For it’s rush hour now
    On the wheel and the plow
    And the sun is going down
    Upon the sacred cow

    Ring them bells Sweet Martha
    For the poor man’s son
    Ring them bells so the world will know
    That our God is one
    For the shepherd is asleep
    Where the willows weep
    And the mountains are filled
    With lost sheep

    Ring them bells for the blind and the deaf
    Ring them bells for all of us who are left
    Ring them bells for the chosen few
    Who will judge the many
    When the game is through
    Ring them bells, for the time that flies
    For the child that cries
    When innocence dies

    Ring them bells St. Catherine
    From the top of the room
    Ring them from the fortress
    For the lilies that bloom
    For the lines are long
    And the fighting is strong
    And they’re breaking down the distance
    Between right and wrong

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The Old Songs

    Those old songs are my lexicon and prayer book. All my beliefs come out of those old songs, literally, anything from "Let Me Rest On That Peaceful Mountain" to "Keep On The Sunny Side." You can find all my philosophy in those old songs. I believe in a God of time and space, but if you ask me about that, my impulse is to point them back towards those songs.
Thus spake Mr. Bob Dylan, in a 1997 interview quoted in the liner notes of The Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait (2013), the missus' Christmas present to me this year, on glorious vinyl.

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Feminist/Corporatist Coalition Defeats Wobbly/Traditionalists

"The war is now essentially over and the feminists have won," writes Rachel Alexander, "although not because they were more persuasive" — The “Mommy Wars” Are Over. She explains:
    Only 12 percent of moms believe that working full time is an ideal situation for children, and 74 percent of adults say that mothers working outside the home makes it harder to raise children. About half of adults surveyed believe that children are better off if the mother does not work.

    Yet today, only three in ten mothers do not work outside the home. The reason the feminists have won is because it is now difficult for men - as well as women - to make enough money from one job to support the entire family. As economic conditions continue to spiral down under Obama, employers have been forced to cut jobs, hours and benefits. Jobs that used to pay decently have been replaced by free student labor, or “internships.” Most parents are lucky to find full-time jobs that pay slightly better than minimum wage. There are fewer people working now than anytime within the past 35 years; only 63 percent of working-age Americans are in the workforce. At the same time, the cost of healthcare, gas, food and other necessities continues to increase.
As this blogger noted three years ago, Industrial Workers of the World foundresses "Mother Jones and Emma Goldman were wise enough to know that having wives institutionalize their children so that they might compete with their husbands in the labor force would never be 'liberation'" — Women's "Liberation" and the American Worker.

More recently, we quoted Nicholas Farrell on these pages with the observation that "[w]omen in Europe and America have made one great big fat suicidal error as a result of modern feminism since the movement’s inception, [i.e. t]hey have confused work with freedom" — Arbeit Macht Frei?

Ladies, you've been sold a bill of goods, and we're all paying for it while the 1% laugh their way to the banks, breaking homes left and right as they go.

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Town Hall Libertarian Sisters


I have always found it that the women commentators at Townhall.com are far more intelligent (not to mention easier on the eyes) than the male neocon hacks that one normally finds on those pages. Cases in point: Katie Kieffer and Cathy Reisenwitz, pictured above.

The former reminds us that what was once "was once a luxury exclusively for the wealthy and noble" is "a delight that we all enjoy" thanks to "two pioneering female entrepreneurs" — Cheers! To Champagne Entrepreneurs. The latter reminds us that "porn bans only work to allow governments to continue to ignore the real sources of violence against women while restricting citizens’ right to free speech" — How Outlawing "Rape Porn" Misses the Point.

Not surprising not to hear the normal neocon nonsense from these ladies. Libertarianism has, of course three "founding mothers" in its pantheon: Rose Wilder Lane, Isabel Paterson, and, alas, Ayn Rand.

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"Economists Are Freedom’s First Line of Defense"


So wrote David R. Henderson, in a 2005 article The Role of Economists in Ending the Draft, quoted in this local article noting the passing of Walter Oi, may he rest in peace — UR economist who helped end U.S. draft dies. Mr. Henderson:
    Oi granted the obvious, that a military of given size could be obtained with a lower budgetary cost if the government used the threat of force to get people to join — that is, used the draft. But, he noted, the hidden cost of this was loss of the well-being among draftees and draft-induced volunteers.
Prof. Oi experienced unfreedom as a youth:
    He experienced injustice at an early age when, following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Mr. Oi and his family were among the 120,000 persons living on the West Coast forced into internment camps simply because of their Japanese ancestry.

    Mr. Oi, who was 12 at the time, spent about three years behind barbed-wire fences at the Amache Japanese Internment Camp, in southeast Colorado.

    Not until 1988 did Congress pass legislation acknowledging a "grave injustice was done" in the forced internment of those of Japanese ancestry.

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Propaganda in the Age of Obama


Say what you will about Franklin D. Roosevelt, at least the Socialist Realism of his regime's propaganda machine produced some decent art, nothing like the image above, which manages to induce nausea, rage, and despair at the same time.

"This defanged, deballed, hi-snark/lo-testosterone, curly-haired bespectacled beta geek snuggled up in red PJs as he blithely sips a mug of cocoa is easily the most objectionable human being to enter my field of consciousness over the past twelve months," writes Jim Goad of his top choice in this list — The 13 Most Annoying People of 2013. He continues:
    A poster boy for the unspooling disaster known as Obamacare, Krupp is also emblematic of American culture’s systemic devaluation of all things manly. Doris Day had more male hormones than he does. I’ve seen baby guppies that could kick this kid’s ass. Ethan Krupp’s face is the most persuasive evidence I’ve ever seen that society would benefit if it were to open its mind once again to the virtues of bullying.
Chateau Heartiste "didn’t think it possible that the Barack Boyman Brigade’s 'Hosurance' ads could be beat in loathsomeness, but you’d never go broke underestimating the junk-tucking faggotry of Obama’s sop troops" — Obama’s America: Land Of The Twee, Home Of The Fey. He continues:
    No wonder feminists are so bitter. These are the newborn androgynes they’re stuck dating. The feminist has sold her womanly soul — what was left of it — for a battalion of bootlickers to escort her to ideologically reaffirmed spinsterhood.

    Can you look at that swaddled manlet for more than two seconds without laughing? I could carve a better man out of a banana. We laugh because that’s one of our natural human reactions to seeing something repugnant.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bruce Springsteen & The Sessions Band Perform "Buffalo Gals"


Blackface performer John Hodges popularized "Buffalo Gals" in 1844, and the song is heard in both It's a Wonderful Life and High Noon. The chorus:
    Buffalo gals, won't you come out tonight?
    Come out tonight, Come out tonight?
    Buffalo gals, won't you come out tonight,
    And dance by the light of the moon.

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A Family Day-Trip to Buffalo


For today's or today's Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we drove the sixty miles west to my hometown, and to the incredible Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica. Although I grew uponmly a few miiles away from it, I was raised prot, and never visited one of the most glorious church buildings I have ever seen until today! Venerable Nelson Baker, ora pro nobis! The haunting Coventry Carol was the offertory hymn.

After mass, we went down the street to Buffalo Botanical Gardens, voted "the best place for a family outing" in the Best of WNY Awards. I went on many family outings myself as a kid, although it seemed a lot bigger then than it did today.

We then drove south to Orchard Park, to show the kids again the house I grew up in and some neighborhood friends' houses, and then east, past the Quaker Meeting House, to the Village of East Aurora, NY and the Millard Fillmore House, home to a man Queen Victoria hailed as the handsomest man she'd ever seen, and then down the picturesque U.S. Route 20A most of the way home.

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The Old, Weird America of "Railroad Bill"


I just learned the song based on the above man's life, from my Yamaha Mini 6-String Nylon Guitalele, from Mr. Bob Dylan, whose The Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait (2013), on vinyl, was my wife's Christmas present to me this year. The lyrics:


Fitting material for The Old, Weird America: The World of Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes. Here's an old post of mine featuring the national treasure credited above — Etta Baker Interviewed.

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Amazing Stories


From that old magazine comes the above image accompanying Jesse Walker's article aboout "a man who defended the rights of blacks and Indians, opposed the Vietnam War, wrote sympathetically about the hippies, and suggested as early as 1967 that he doubted 'there is anything either wrong or harmful in homosexuality,' [who was also] an extreme individualist who despised the Great Society, fretted that environmental regulations were a plot to eliminate private property, and [who] voted for Barry Goldwater and George Wallace" — Pulp Paranoia.

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Becket (1964)


Today being the Memorial of St. Thomas Becket and nearing the end of the year of Peter O'Toole's passing, it seems a good day to watch Becket (1964), available above through the magic of YouTube.com through the magic of Netflix.com.

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Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010)


"They live off the land and are self reliant, truly free: no rules, no taxes, no government, no laws, no bureaucracy, no phones, no radio, equipped only with their individual values and standard of conduct" — the takeaway quote from Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010), an inspiring and wise documentary about trappers in Siberia, which I watched last night through the magic of Netflix.com.

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Unholy Uninnocents

RT reports on the latest "flash mob" of feral, urban "youths" — Hundreds of teens go on 'trashing' spree in NYC mall. "Some teens allegedly took part in a game of 'knockout.'"

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Black Prairie Perform "Rock of Ages," "Nowhere, Massachussets," "Dirty River Stomp," & "How Do You Ruin Me"

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The Choir of King's College, Cambridge Sing "The Coventry Carol"


For today's Feast of the Holy Innocents (Childermas), the 16th Century Coventry Carol, a "haunting carol representing a mother's lament for her doomed child" during "the Massacre of the Innocents, in which Herod ordered all male infants under the age of two in Bethlehem to be killed."
    Lully, lullay, thou little tiny Child,
    Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
    Lullay, thou little tiny Child,
    Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

    O sisters too, how may we do,
    For to preserve this day
    This poor youngling for whom we do sing
    Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
    Herod, the king, in his raging,
    Charged he hath this day
    His men of might, in his own sight,
    All young children to slay.

    That woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
    And ever mourn and sigh,
    For thy parting neither say nor sing,
    Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

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William Holman Hunt's The Triumph of the Innocents

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For the Feast of the Holy Innocents (Childermas), the painting by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood founding member in which "[t]he Innocents are seen with the Holy Family, in spirit, during the Family's Flight to Egypt."

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Christina Rossetti's "Holy Innocents"

    THEY scarcely waked before they slept,
    They scarcely wept before they laughed;
    They drank indeed death's bitter draught,
    But all its bitterest dregs were kept
    And drained by Mothers while they wept.

    From Heaven the speechless Infants speak:
    Weep not (they say), our Mothers dear,
    For swords nor sorrows come not here.
    Now we are strong who were so weak,
    And all is ours we could not seek.

    We bloom among the blooming flowers,
    We sing among the singing birds;
    Wisdom we have who wanted words:
    here morning knows not evening hours,
    All's rainbow here without the showers.

    And softer than our Mother's breast,
    And closer than our Mother's arm,
    Is here the Love that keeps us warm
    And broods above our happy next.
    Dear Mothers, come: for Heaven is best.

    Unspotted lambs to follow the one Lamb,
    Unspotted doves to wait on the one Dove;
    To whom Love saith, 'Be with Me where I am,'
    And lo their answer unto Love is love.

    For tho' I know not any note they know,
    Nor know one word of all their song above,
    I know Love speaks to them, and even so
    I know the answer unto Love is love.
The above poem by the poetess associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood is included in Spokane Orationss post "commemorating the boy-children slaughtered by King Herod in an effort to kill the newborn Christ Child" — Feast of the Holy Innocents.

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The Prison-Industrial Complex Explained

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Bob Mould Performs "The Act We Act," "A Good Idea," "Hoover Dam," "Star Machine," "The Descent," "Steam of Hercules," "Flip Your Wig," "Hate Paper Doll," & "Makes No Sense At All"


Wow! Is the former frontman of Hüsker Dü, from Saint Paul, Minnesota, the only figure from the 1980s Hardcore Punk scene to have maintained his dignity and not to have descended into self-parody or irrelevance? This show absolutely rocks.

One of the first albums I bought with my paper route money was SST Records' Zen Arcade, which "is frequently included on lists of the all-time best rock and roll albums and... continues to have a cult following."

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What Do Phil Robertson, Tila Tequila, and Miley Cyrus Have in Common?


Aside from an utter lack of any talent or any other contribution to civilization (and having been edged out by Pope Francis for Time Person of the Year), Guy Somerset rightly suggests that each has been part of a "sly ploy for publicity" in "a nation of rotating stage plays that are obvious to anyone who bothers to look behind the curtain" — Manufacturing Outrage.

About the Duck Dynast, Mr. Somerset writes, "The usual American three-penny opera is currently playing out with the right/traditionalist/fundamentalist coalition claiming that freedom of speech is under attack." Phooey! "This news-channel brouhaha is as much a show as anything appearing on entertainment television."

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

My bubba & Mi Perform "Fuck The Pain Away," "Banana Samba," "Steemengeene," "BBQ Bob," "How It's Done in Italy," "My bubba & Mi Ice Cream Face Cream" and "Through & Through"


Another, earlier performance by My bubba, a self-described "daringly sweet pair of ladies" from Iceland and Sweden, "whose songs are slow and easy, teasing and pleasing." They look so nice but sound so naughty if you listen to what they sing, as the title of their first number attests. (The f-bomb, by the way, is a Norse loanword, a legacy of the Viking invasions of Mother England.) Either one of them could sing me to sleep with one of their "lullabies from the countryside, with one part sweet talking, one part mumbo jumbo and one part pure wisdom." Stick around till the last number for the Swedish nyckelharpa.

Here's that earlier post of mine — My bubba Perform "Really Really," "Poem Found in the Pocket of an Amazon," "Dogs Laying Around Playing," "East Cave," "Going Home," "Island," "Our Water Hours," "Knitting," "Sexual Healing". The lovely music these lasses make reminds me of that made here on on of my favorite musical posts on this blog — The Magnolia Beacon Perform "Waiting," "Walking," "In Your Eyes," & "Margarita".

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The Perfect Game (2009)


"Based on a true story [about] a group of boys from Monterrey, Mexico who become the first non-U.S. team to win the Little League World Series," The Perfect Game (2009) was the perfect movie for my son and me to watch today, while the girls were busy with girly stuff. We did so through the magic of Netflix.com, watched on the telescreen through the magic of our new Wii, this year's family Christmas present.

This delightfully standard underdog sports movie about the 1957 Little League World Series was refreshingly religious, but not surprisingly so, given the quasi-religious nature of the sport. It starred none other than the great Cheech Marin as Padre Esteban, the village priest who serves as the boys spiritual coach. A scene early in the movie has the boys in the church passing around their first real baseball as if it is a religious relic. They ask the priest what is meant by "Property of St. Louis" on the ball, and the priest answers, "It belongs to a saint." The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is mentioned at a couple of key points, and Saint Juan Diego is said to have had been "in the bottom of the ninth with bases loaded" or something along those lines.

The kids refuse to play without being blessed by a priest, and when Padre Esteban is deported, a black pastor is deemed a worthy substitute. At this point, the film cannot avoid paying homage to liberal pieties; Southroners are of course depicted as racists (except for two sassy Texan waitresses played by Frances Fisher and Maddy Curley) and the boys take a brave stand against Jim Crow laws to sit with a black boy from a rival team, which stretches the willing suspension of disbelief for anyone having had any serious interaction with real people from south of the border.

There are even lessons for the aspiring alpha male in this film. The kids' coach stands up the woman he's after not once but twice and still gets the girl; serious aloof game there. And there's the advice to be prepared for and to make "the unexpected play at the unexpected time," advice that's put to good use not only in the ballgame but in game as well, advice straight off the pages of Chateau Heartiste.

Sandy Koufax, a Jewish hero of the Schneider boy across the street, and Duke Snider, who provided my father a nickname, are mentioned throughout the movie. The story ends, of course, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, not that far from here, with a true-to-history perfect game, the only one ever pitched in LLWS history.

"It's baseball. Why it's a world series. Only in America," says one of the American characters. Only in a America would they make a movie that celebrates a foreign team beating not only one but several of its own. Still, I really enjoyed this movie, which reminds us of a game that unites us to our sister republic to the south.

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Daniel Speer Brass Perform "Good King Wenceslas"

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Deacon Peter Van Lieshout

The seminarian from the Diocese of Rochester "assisted Pope Francis at the Christmas 'Midnight Mass' at St. Peter’s Basilica church in Vatican City" — Livonia deacon participates in papal Mass. "Van Lieshout, ... who was ordained a transitional deacon in October, chanted the Gospel and served as a deacon at the Midnight Mass." He "is completing his theological studies in Rome" and "is scheduled to be ordained a Diocese of Rochester priest in June."

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"Abraham, a Jew, at the instance of Jehannot de Chevigny, goes to the court of Rome, and having marked the evil life of the clergy, returns to Paris, and becomes a Christian."

First Day - Novel II of The Decameron, in which "young, beautiful, charming, elegant, cheerful" Neifile relates how "goodness, bearing patiently with the shortcomings of those who should be its faithful witness in deed and word, draws from them contrariwise evidence of His infallible truth; to the end that what we believe we may with more assured conviction follow:"
    In Paris, gracious ladies, as I have heard tell, there was once a great merchant, a large dealer in drapery, a good man, most loyal and righteous, his name Jehannot de Chevigny, between whom and a Jew, Abraham by name, also a merchant, and a man of great wealth, as also most loyal and righteous, there subsisted a very close friendship. Now Jehannot, observing Abraham's loyalty and rectitude, began to be sorely vexed in spirit that the soul of one so worthy and wise and good should perish for want of faith. Wherefore he began in a friendly manner to plead with him, that he should leave the errors of the Jewish faith and turn to the Christian verity, which, being sound and holy, he might see daily prospering and gaining ground, whereas, on the contrary, his own religion was dwindling and was almost come to nothing. The Jew replied that he believed that there was no faith sound and holy except the Jewish faith, in which he was born, and in which he meant to live and die; nor would anything ever turn him therefrom. Nothing daunted, however, Jehannot some days afterwards began again to ply Abraham with similar arguments, explaining to him in such crude fashion as merchants use the reasons why our faith is better than the Jewish. And though the Jew was a great master in the Jewish law, yet, whether it was by reason of his friendship for Jehannot, or that the Holy Spirit dictated the words that the simple merchant used, at any rate the Jew began to be much interested in Jehannot's arguments, though still too staunch in his faith to suffer himself to be converted. But Jehannot was no less assiduous in plying him with argument than he was obstinate in adhering to his law, insomuch that at length the Jew, overcome by such incessant appeals, said: “ Well, well, Jehannot, thou wouldst have me become a Christian, and I am disposed to do so, provided I first go to Rome and there see him whom thou callest God's vicar on earth, and observe what manner of life he leads and his brother cardinals with him; and if such it be that thereby, in conjunction with thy words, I may understand that thy faith is better than mine, as thou hast sought to shew me, I will do as I have said: otherwise, I will remain as I am a Jew. ” When Jehannot heard this, he was greatly distressed, saying to himself: “ I thought to have converted him; but now I see that the pains which I took for so excellent a purpose are all in vain; for, if he goes to the court of Rome and sees the iniquitous and foul life which the clergy lead there, so far from turning Christian, had he been converted already, he would without doubt relapse into Judaism. ” Then turning to Abraham he said: “ Nay, but, my friend, why wouldst thou be at all this labour and great expense of travelling from here to Rome? to say nothing of the risks both by sea and by land which a rich man like thee must needs run. Thinkest thou not to find here one that can give thee baptism? And as for any doubts that thou mayst have touching the faith to which I point thee, where wilt thou find greater masters and sages therein than here, to resolve thee of any question thou mayst put to them? Wherefore in my opinion this journey of thine is superfluous. Think that the prelates there are such as thou mayst have seen here, nay, as much better as they are nearer to the Chief Pastor. And so, by my advice thou wilt spare thy pains until some time of indulgence, when I, perhaps, may be able to bear thee company. ” The Jew replied: “ Jehannot, I doubt not that so it is as thou sayst; but once and for all I tell thee that I am minded to go there, and will never otherwise do that which thou wouldst have me and hast so earnestly besought me to do. ” “ Go then, ” said Jehannot, seeing that his mind was made up, “ and good luck go with thee; ” and so he gave up the contest because nothing would be lost, though he felt sure that he would never become a Christian after seeing the court of Rome. The Jew took horse, and posted with all possible speed to Rome; where on his arrival he was honourably received by his fellow Jews. He said nothing to any one of the purpose for which he had come; but began circumspectly to acquaint himself with the ways of the Pope and the cardinals and the other prelates and all the courtiers; and from what he saw for himself, being a man of great intelligence, or learned from others, he discovered that without distinction of rank they were all sunk in the most disgraceful lewdness, sinning not only in the way of nature but after the manner of the men of Sodom, without any restraint of remorse or shame, in such sort that, when any great favour was to be procured, the influence of the courtesans and boys was of no small moment. Moreover he found them one and all gluttonous, wine-bibbers, drunkards, and next after lewdness, most addicted to the shameless service of the belly, like brute beasts. And, as he probed the matter still further, he perceived that they were all so greedy and avaricious that human, nay Christian blood, and things sacred of what kind soever, spiritualities no less than temporalities, they bought and sold for money; which traffic was greater and employed more brokers than the drapery trade and all the other trades of Paris put together; open simony and gluttonous excess being glosed under such specious terms as “ arrangement ” and “ moderate use of creature comforts, ” as if God could not penetrate the thoughts of even the most corrupt hearts, to say nothing of the signification of words, and would suffer Himself to be misled after the manner of men by the names of things. Which matters, with many others which are not to be mentioned, our modest and sober-minded Jew found by no means to his liking, so that, his curiosity being fully satisfied, he was minded to return to Paris; which accordingly he did. There, on his arrival, he was met by Jehannot; and the two made great cheer together. Jehannot expected Abraham's conversion least of all things, and allowed him some days of rest before he asked what he thought of the Holy Father and the cardinals and the other courtiers. To which the Jew forthwith replied: “ I think God owes them all an evil recompense: I tell thee, so far as I was able to carry my investigations, holiness, devotion, good works or exemplary living in any kind was nowhere to be found in any clerk; but only lewdness, avarice, gluttony, and the like, and worse, if worse may be, appeared to be held in such honour of all, that (to my thinking) the place is a centre of diabolical rather than of divine activities. To the best of my judgment, your Pastor, and by consequence all that are about him devote all their zeal and ingenuity and subtlety to devise how best and most speedily they may bring the Christian religion to nought and banish it from the world. And because I see that what they so zealously endeavour does not come to pass, but that on the contrary your religion continually grows, and shines more and more clear, therein I seem to discern a very evident token that it, rather than any other, as being more true and holy than any other, has the Holy Spirit for its foundation and support. For which cause, whereas I met your exhortations in a harsh and obdurate temper, and would not become a Christian, now I frankly tell you that I would on no account omit to become such. Go we then to the church, and there according to the traditional rite of your holy faith let me receive baptism. ” Jehannot, who had anticipated a diametrically opposite conclusion, as soon as he heard him so speak, was the best pleased man that ever was in the world. So taking Abraham with him to Notre Dame he prayed the clergy there to baptise him. When they heard that it was his own wish, they forthwith did so, and Jehannot raised him from the sacred font, and named him Jean; and afterwards he caused teachers of great eminence thoroughly to instruct him in our faith, which he readily learned, and afterwards practised in a good, a virtuous, nay, a holy life.

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None Dare Call It Perversion

    [A] practical, even scientific definition of sexual perversion begins by defining the objects of normal, healthy reproductive desire. Wanting to have sex with anything that falls outside that definition is perversion.

    Obviously, reproductive desire should be for another person. This means that sexual desire for trees or goats or ladies’ shoes is perversion. Sexual desire should also be for a live human being, which rules out dead people. And the live human beings should be at least of reproductive age, so wanting sex with children is also perverted.

    But what do all these excluded objects of desire have in common? They are a complete dead end. For someone’s reproductive drives to be oriented toward children or rocks or goats or dead people is perverse because a reproductive urge in any of those directions is bound to fail. It’s an evolutionary absurdity.

    So we’re not far if we define perversion as acting on a sexual desire for something or someone with whom reproduction is obviously impossible.
The trouble is that "that definition would classify homosexuals among the perverts" and that disagreement means "having to agree that, yes, having a reproductive urge for every other reproductive dead end is abnormal and maybe even perverse, but it’s fine if men want to have sex with men," argues Elizabeth McCaw — The Straight Dope on Homosexuality.

To "define perversion as acting on a sexual desire for something or someone with whom reproduction is obviously impossible" seems a pretty good Natural Law working model. The weakest point in the argument comes when she says that "it is obviously not perverse for a man to continue to have sexual relations with a woman past menopause." Begging the question gets us only so far. I, for one, plan to keep banging the missus after menopause. That Sara and Elizabeth got preggers after menopause means that one's post-menopausal wife, or other milfs for that matter, are "someone with whom reproduction is obviously impossible," but arguing from scripture makes one sound like a prot.

It only gets muddier if we bring in John Paul II's Theology of the Body, which dwells upon "the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act." The latter may be miraculously present in post-menopausal boinking, but former is still obviously and normally present. The love that dare not speak its name, when expressed physically, can never have the latter significance, like "sexual desire for trees or goats or ladies’ shoes" or "dead people," but can it have the former, and if so, would that mean that homosexuality is only half-perverted, and would this be a suitable compromise for both sides in the argument? (Disturbingly, "sex with children" might considered to have "the unitive significance" by NAMBLA-types, which is why we need age of consent laws.)

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Kim and Kutuzov, Two Kinds of Drunks

The Gypsy Scholar delivers this news about the North Korean leader — Jong-un drunk when he ordered some purges.

I could not help but think of the great General Mikhail Kutuzov, depicted in Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace as drunk who sleeps all the time whose calculated inaction defeats Napoleon's invading armies and saves Holy Mother Russia.

There may not be two kinds of people in the world, but there could be two kimds of drunks.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

J.S. Bach's "Christmas Oratorio" Performed by the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists Directed by Sir John Eliot Gardiner

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Morten Johannes Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium, Sung by The Choir of King's College, Cambridge


A late XXth Century setting of the ancient Christmas Matins hymn:
    O magnum mysterium,
    et admirabile sacramentum,
    ut animalia viderent
    Dominum natum,
    jacentem in præsepio!
    Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
    meruerunt portare
    Dominum Christum.
    Alleluia.
    O great mystery,
    and wonderful sacrament,
    that animals should see
    the new-born Lord,
    lying in their manger!
    Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
    was worthy to bear
    Christ the Lord.
    Alleluia!

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Lisa Hannigan, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker Perform "Silent Night"


The Church of Saint Jerome's Christmas Eve Mass included this popular and lovely hymn.

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My bubba Perform "Really Really," "Poem Found in the Pocket of an Amazon," "Dogs Laying Around Playing," "East Cave," "Going Home," "Island," "Our Water Hours," "Knitting," "Sexual Healing"


Swedish/Icelandic My bubba, "a daringly sweet pair of ladies, whose songs are slow and easy, teasing and pleasing," sound and look so nice, but their lyrics are rather naughty. Enjoy.

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss Perform "The Wexford Carol"

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Sex and Unfreedom in Pre-Catholic Rome


"The jolly free-for-all, which we like to imagine as forming a timeless human bond between us and the ancients, was based upon the existence of a vast and cruel 'zone of free access' provided by the enslaved bodies of boys and girls," writes Peter Brown in a review of a new book on the topic — Rome: Sex & Freedom.

The expressions on the faces in the above fresco are quite chilling thought of in this light. The fact "that Roman women were married off at the age of thirteen" turns out to be the most civilized aspect of Roman sexuality. The reviewer continues:
    We must look up from our literary games and see what is almost too big to be seen—the fact of slavery, towering above us like the trees of an immense forest of unfreedom that covered the Roman world. What mattered, in Roman law and in Roman sexual morality, had little to do with sex. It had everything to do with whose bodies could be enjoyed with impunity and whose could not be touched without elaborate formulas of consent.
Quoting the author: "The laws deflected lust away from the freeborn body, and slaves provided a ready outlet." Then, along come the Christians, the usual bad guys in most histories, but not so much here:
    From Saint Paul onward, the great issues of sex and freedom were brought together in Christian circles like the enriched ore of an atomic device. For Paul, porneia—fornication—meant a lot more than premarital fooling around. It was a brooding metonym, “enriched” by an entire spectrum of associations. It stood for mankind’s rebellion against God. And this primal rebellion was shown most clearly in the topsy-turvy sexual freedom ascribed first by Jews and then by Christians to the non-Christian world.

    But then, what was true freedom? Freedom also was a mighty metonym, of which the freedom to decide one’s sexual fate was only one, highly “enriched” part. Above all, it meant “freedom” from “the world.” And by “the world” Christians meant, bluntly, the Roman society of their own times, where unfreedom was shown in its darkest light by the trading and sexual abuse of unfree bodies.

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Mikhail Kalashnikov, Rest in Peace


A man "famous for his frugal lifestyle" and "feted as a straightforward hero" who "achieved a remarkable and lasting feat of engineering while still in his twenties," has left this world — Inventor of AK-47 rifle Mikhail Kalashnikov dies at 94.

"I invented it for the protection of the Motherland," he said. "I have no regrets and bear no responsibility for how politicians have used it." On another occasion, he said, "I'm proud of my invention, but I'm sad that it is used by terrorists. I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work – for example a lawnmower."

May God rest his soul.

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The Universality of the Christmas Story


"I've heard good things about it," says old friend of this blogger Steven Cornett of Tokyo Godfathers (2003), mentioned on this blog yesterday. "Let me know what you think when you see it." Here's my go at that:

'Twas the story of "an alcoholic, a transvestite and a young runaway [who] happen upon an abandoned baby in a dumpster on Christmas Eve." The late, great Roger Ebert in his Tokyo Godfathers Movie Review (2004) calls it "an animated film both harrowing and heartwarming, about a story that will never, ever, be remade by Disney." That enough should recommend it.

This is a move Pope Francis would like. "Who am I to judge?" The main characters are the dregs of society: a fat teenage runaway, an alcoholic who abandoned his wife and daughter due to debts, a tranny derided continuously as "homo" and "faggot" who fell from the "grace" of a drag queen club. Even the foundling, given the name Kiyoko (清子), "pure child" because she was found on the "purest of nights," is a castaway. Good people hold their noses when they ride on subways. Youths attempt to beat them to death to "clean up" the city. A drunken salaryman hurls abuse when they attempt to warm themselves in a convenience store.

Instead of three kings, we have three bums. They know the child they find was put there to guide each of them... by God. Yes, God, Whom you will not hear about in any of our American animated "Christmas" specials on the telescreen this time of year, is ever-present in this movie, from a land where one percent of the population professes the name of Jesus Christ. Directors Satoshi Kon and Shôgo Furuya, in one of the world's most un-Christian lands, somehow, by the grace of God, even if incompletely, got it.

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We Had a White Thanksgiving

But the question we all are asking is, "Will Rochester see a white Christmas this year?"

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Nicolas Gombert's Missa Media Vita In Morte Sumus, Quam Pulchra Es, Ave Regina & Or Piangiamo Sung by The Hilliard Ensemble

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Tokyo Godfathers (2003)


Through the magic of Netflix.com, tonight's feature film will be the story of "an alcoholic, a transvestite and a young runaway [who] happen upon an abandoned baby in a dumpster on Christmas Eve" — Tokyo Godfathers (2003).

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

J. S. Bach's Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben Performed by the Arnold Schoenberg Chor and Concentus Musicus Wien, Directed by Nikolaus Harnoncourt

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Local Wine, Local Fish

This we read on the back of Dr. Frank Wines' Salmon Run bottles:
    The FINGER LAKES, of the free state of NEW YORK, impress all who rest their eyes upon them as one of the most heavenly sites in all of creation.

    The cold deep waters of picturesque KUEKA LAKE teem with inestimable quantities of game fish, in whose majority the prized landlocked salmon is indisputably king.
Dr. Konstantin Frank's "legacy is cherished in New York," and rightly so.


He
    was a viticulturist and winemaker in the Finger Lakes region of New York. He was born in Odessa, Ukraine (then part of the Russian Empire) and received his PhD in viticulture from the Odessa Polytechnic Institute, his thesis being on techniques for growing Vitis vinifera in a cold climate. After working for a time in what was then Soviet Georgia managing a large state-owned vineyard, he came to the United States in 1951. Speaking nine languages, English not being one of them, Konstantin was forced to take a job as a dishwasher in New York City. When he could save up enough, Konstantin moved with his family to the Cornell University Geneva Experiment Station in 1953. During the 1950s, he was a consultant to the Gold Seal Winery and established a Vitis vinifera grape nursery. He urged New York State winemakers to move away from native North American grapes, including Vitis labrusca and other species, and instead plant Vitis vinifera, the traditional grapes of European winemakers. For 300 years, failed attempts to plant "Vitis vinifera" varietals were blamed on the cold weather. With extensive experience growing the European grapes in below freezing temperatures back in Ukraine, Konstantin knew it would be possible with the techniques that he developed.

    His ideas were ridiculed. No one thought that Vitis vinifera would grow in the cold New York area. So in 1958 Konstantin bought a plot of land on the west side of Keuka Lake, about six miles from Hammondsport, NY. The first vintage released was in 1962 with a Trockenbeerenauslese Johannisberg Riesling made from botrytized grapes. In the twenty-three years that Konstantin owned his winery, he planted over sixty different varietals to prove to the world that the eastern United States could grow the noble European varietals. A scientist at heart, Konstantin wanted to prove to the world that the Eastern United States could grow vinifera varietals. In 1985, Konstantin died at the age of 86. His legacy is cherished in New York, paving the way for other Finger Lakes producers to grow the European grape varieties. In November 2001, Konstantin Frank was inducted into the Wine Spectator Hall of Fame for his outstanding achievements in the field of viticulture.

    Konstantin's son, Willy Frank, became President after his father's death and amazed the industry by introducing a line of sparkling wines made in the traditional methode champenoise technique. He purchased a historic field stone house, then restored it into a sparkling winery and named it Chateau Frank. In 1993, Fred Frank, Konstantin's grandson, succeeded his father as President of Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars. That same year, he introduced a value line called "Salmon Run" using grapes sourced from local farms around the Finger Lakes.

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Flower City Tattoos


Christine Carrie Fien on those whose "love of Rochester is so strong that it cannot be sated by the consumption of garbage plates or the sniffing of lilacs" — Rochester pride on your hide.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

"Let The Mystery Be" Performed by Iris DeMent, Russ Barenberg, Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, and Donal Lunny


The quirky singer-songwriter, highlighted in the Transatlantic Sessions session above, is mentioned in the post below this one, and with all this "War on Christmas" crap this time of year, it seems high time for some Agnosticism, or at least some New Mysterianism:
    Everybody's wonderin' what and where they all came from
    Everybody's worryin' 'bout where they're gonna go when the whole thing's done
    But no one knows for certain and so it's all the same to me
    I think I'll just let the mystery be

    Some say once gone you're gone forever and some say you're gonna come back
    Some say you rest in the arms of the Savior if in sinful ways you lack
    Some say that they're comin' back in a garden bunch of carrots and little sweet peas
    I think I'll just let the mystery be

    Some say they're goin' to a place called Glory and I ain't saying it ain't a fact
    But I've heard that I'm on the road to Purgatory and I don't like the sound of that
    I believe in love and I live my life accordingly
    But I choose to let the mystery be
Interesting, though, that there is even a pro-Protestant, anti-Catholic stance in these lines:
    Some say they're goin' to a place called Glory and I ain't saying it ain't a fact
    But I've heard that I'm on the road to Purgatory and I don't like the sound of that

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Lyle Lovett and Luke Bulla Perform "Cowboy Man," "If You Were To Wake Up," & "Good Intentions"

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Get the State out of the Bedroom!

The right response to both of these headlines — Judge Softens Utah's Anti-Polygamy Law To Mixed Reactions and Canadian Court Strikes Down Anti-Prostitution Laws. Let us just hope that neither polygamy nor prostitution, both abominations, are legalized, but rather just remain decriminalized, as it seems to be the case in both jurisdictions.

Same-sex marriage and Mormon fundamentalism are, of course not-so-strange-bedfellows. If you accept the former, why not the latter? But, in a non-nation like America, that is not the point.

I don't give a damn whether Barack Hussein Obama or Andrew Cuomo recognize my marriage; I have no say about their conjugal unions, other than to acknowledge that at least the federal functionary seems to be keeping up appearances, or anyone else's. Polyamory may have its allures for some, but I have enough trouble with just one wife. Don't expect the rest of us be taxed for your troubles.

Sex workers? Just keep your profits off the books and untaxed. Don't expect the rest of us to legitimatize your profession, however old it might be, and offer it as a legitimate career option for our daughters.

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The Clinton-Bush-Obama Era Coming to an End?


Beasts of No Nation, the title of one of Highlife superstar Fela Kuti's albums, comes to mind seeing the above horrifying image accompanying the heroic Pat Buchanan's rather hopeful article — Why ‘Neo-Isolationism’ Is Soaring. "For the first time since polling began in 1964, it is the dominant sentiment of the nation."

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"[J]ust an accident. And a coincidence. An accidental coincidence."

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"The Hardest Tongue Twister in History"

"Why 'pad kid poured curd pulled cold' is so difficult to say" — Stuck for Words?

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김정은

John Derbyshire on the right, John Feffer on the left — Caligula in Pyongyang and Kim the Third.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Long Black Veil" Performed by Roseanne Cash & Levon Helm


Lefty Frizzell great song about cheating, one I have learned to play on my Yamaha Mini 6-String Nylon Guitalele.
    Ten years ago on a cool dark night
    There was someone killed 'neath the town hall light
    There were few at the scene and they all did agree
    That the man who ran looked a lot like me

    The judge said "Son, what is your alibi?
    If you were somewhere else then you won't have to die"
    I spoke not a word although it meant my life
    I had been in the arms of my best friend's wife

    She walks these hills in a long black veil
    She visits my grave where the night winds wail
    Nobody knows, no, and nobody sees
    Nobody knows but me

    The scaffold was high and eternity neared
    She stood in the crowd and shed not a tear
    But sometimes at night when the cold wind moans
    In a long black veil she cries over my bones

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XIVth Century "Alpha Fux, Beta Bux"

    The Elegia di madonna Fiammetta (Elegy of Lady Fiammetta) tells of a seduction and abandonment, but seen, for the first time since Ovid's Heroides, from the woman's point of view. The plot is mechanical, but Boccaccio's intimate portrayal of a woman torn between a decent but dull husband and an unreliable but attractive lover is a masterpiece of psychopathic tension."
A synopsis of Giovanni Boccaccio's 1344 "first person prose narrative describing a married woman's torment at being jilted by her lover," from Jonathan's introduction to The Decameron. As they say, "Nihil sub sole novum."

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The Theory of Moral Sentiments

A work, and a thinker, mentioned often in Bill McKibben's Deep Economy*, which I just finished yesterday, and which is the subject of The American Conservtive's David J. Davis' article exclaiming that this "rescue[ing of] Smith’s moral philosophy from its economically obsessed captors will prove an extraordinary blessing for conservative and liberal alike" — Adam Smith, Communitarian.

* and placed on my shelf next to Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson, Franklin Hiram King's Farmers of Forty Centuries, Wilhelm Röpke's A Humane Economy, E. F. Schumacher's Small Is Beautiful, Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations.

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Why They Took "Neighbor" out of the 'Hood


The man on the left was "convicted... for robbing and fatally shooting his childhood neighbor last winter" [emphasis added] — Man convicted of murder in death of Edline Chun. I can't say I knew her, but she was a colleague and I met her two days before her murder. I had hoped to work with her.

She is described as "well-known community activist" and her murder is accused of "robbing this community of somebody very special" [emphases added]. I don't think the 'hood in which she chose to live was much of a "community" either.

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Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"

    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village, though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound's the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.
A seasonal poem to accompany this article about "a selfish, egomaniacal, dour, cruel, and angry man" who is deservedly "the most famous American poet—and not just the most famous, but the best-loved, the one who seemed to embody all that America liked most about itself" — Extracting the Woodchuck.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Devil Makes Three Perform "Bangor Mash," "40 Days, 40 Nights," & " Walk On Boy"

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Still Hated After All These Years

The late, great Joseph Sobran reminds us that "only one man in the ancient world is still hated after two millennia" — The Man They Still Hate. As early as the second century, this same man was already being libeled as a "bastard," a "son of a whore," and "a sorcerer" — Jesus in the Talmud.

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Maria Lactans


Devotees of the Nursing Madonna, a.k.a. Madonna lactans, like the one painted above in 1484 by Benozzo Gozzoli, will find nothing surprising about this headline — The Pope Has, Uh, Blessed Public Breastfeeding. Writes Sasha Emmons, "We’re pretty sure if his Holiness doesn’t have a problem with feeding your baby whenever, wherever ... no one else should either." In other words, "Roma locuta est, causa finita est."

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K. Shvedov's Otche Nash Sung by the Slavic Chorale Directed by Yuriy Mykhaylenko

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Arvo Pärt's Bogoróditse Djévo Sung by the University of Cape Town Choir Directed by John Woodland


The Old Church Slavonic version of the Ave Maria.
    Богородице дѣво, радѹйсѧ,
    Bogoroditse Djevo, raduisya,
    Theotokos Virgin, rejoice,

    Благодатнаѧ Марїе,
    Blagodatnaya Marie,
    Mary full of grace,

    Господь съ тобою:
    Gospod s' toboyu:
    The Lord is with thee.

    благословена Ты въ женахъ,
    Blagoslovyena tyh v' zhenakh,
    Blessed art thou amongst women,

    и благословенъ плодъ чрева Твоегω;
    Y blagoslovyen plod chreva Tvoyego,
    and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,

    якω Спаса родила еси дѹшъ нашихъ.
    yako Spasa rodila yesi dush nashikh.
    for thou hast borne the Saviour of our souls.

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"The degree of civilization in a society..."

"... can be judged by entering its prisons," said Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky; one wonders what he would conclude from this RT story linked to by cryptogon.com from Russell Kirk's home state — US guards 'did nothing' to stop adult prisoners from raping juveniles.

Not surprising from a country reporting "216,000 victims, not instances, [of] prison rape... likely making the United States the first country in the history of the world to count more rapes for men than for women," as reported by Christopher Glazek in Raise the Crime Rate.

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"Is Vladimir Putin a paleoconservative?"

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hot Tuna Perform "Hesitation Blues" & "There's a Bright Side Somewhere"




Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady were members of Jefferson Airplane, whose 1969 album Volunteers was initially to be titled Volunteers of Amerika until the charity objected.

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Today's Find

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Roissy's Conservatism

Two posts at Chateau Heartiste on which it is displayed. First, wise advise to "deal with the mating market you have, not the one you wish existed" — Gaming Bitchy Broads. Second, a commenter "propose[s] that we resurrect the memento mori for the hot young ladies in our society" — Comment Of The Week: Memento Mori My Little Pretty.

The runner-up on that second post writes, "We elevate the subhuman and inanimate to idol status, like sports, politics, pop-star vapidities, and here especially, masturbating into latex gripped by the dryboxes of disaffected wigger club whores on permanent vacation from daddy."

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

J.S. Bach's Magnificat in D Major Performed by Performed by the Arnold Schoenberg Chor and Concentus Musicus Wien, Directed by Nikolaus Harnoncourt


Bach's Magnificat is being performed tonight here in town, but, alas, beyond my budget.
    1. Chorus
    Magnificat anima mea Dominum

    2. Soprano Aria
    Et exsultavit spiritus meus
    in Deo salutari meo,


    3. Soprano Aria
    Quia respexit humilitatem
    ancillae suae.
    Ecce enim ex hoc
    beatam me dicent


    4. Chorus
    Omnes generationes,

    5. Bass Aria
    Quia fecit mihi magna
    qui potens est,
    et sanctum nomen eius,


    6. Alto, Tenor Aria
    Et misericordia
    a progenie in progenies
    timentibus eum.


    7. Chorus
    Fecit potentiam in bracchio suo,
    dispersit superbos
    mente cordis sui
    .

    8. Tenor Aria
    Deposuit potentes
    de sede
    et exaltavit humiles.


    9. Alto Aria
    Esurientes implevit bonis
    et divites dimisit inanes.


    10. Chorus
    Suscepit Israel puerum suum
    recordatus misericordiae suae,


    11. Chorus
    Sicut locutus est
    ad patres nostros,
    Abraham et semini eius in saecula.


    12. Chorus
    Gloria Patri, gloria Filio,
    gloria et Spiritui Sancto,
    Sicut erat in principio
    et nunc et semper
    et in saecula saeculorum.
    Amen.

    My soul extols the Lord,


    And my spirit has rejoiced
    in God my savior,


    Because he looked on his servant
    in her lowliness.
    For behold from now on
    will call me fortunate,


    All generations,


    Because he who is strong
    has done great things for me,
    and his name is holy,


    And his mercy extends
    from generation to generation
    to those who fear him.


    He has used the power of his arm:
    he has scattered the haughty
    in their prideful thoughts.


    He has cast down the mighty
    from their thrones
    and raised high the lowly.


    He has filled the hungry with good things
    and sent the rich away empty.


    Mindful of his mercy,
    he has helped Israel his servant,


    As he promised
    to our forefathers
    Abraham and his descendants forever.


    Glory be to the Father, glory to the Son
    and glory to the Holy Spirit,
    as it was in the beginning,
    is now and will be always,
    even for ages of ages.
    Amen.

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Hondo (1953)


Through the magic of Netflix.com, I just watched Hondo (1953), a film I am surprised does not make it on any of the lists linked to on these posts of mine — Westerns and Top Five Westerns. (This story of "a woman and her son living in the midst of warring Apaches" is thematically similar to White Material (2009), reviewed below.)

A commenter explains the neglect, "Hondo should be considered one of Wayne's classic westerns, but has languished because it was not available for years because of copyright issues, and (perhaps) because it was eclipsed three years later by The Searchers." Of course, that dark film is his best, but this one is almost as good, and should be required viewing for any fools too stupid to understand that Wayne was the bad guy in The Searchers (1956) and still buying the idiotic "John Wayne Was a Nazi" canard.

This six-decade-old film, which sympathetically portrays the real-life historcal Victorio, stars the Duke as "an antisocial half-breed who splits his time between the white man and the Apache," who, when learning that the cavalry is coming for the Apache, laments: "The end of a way of life. Too bad. It's a good way." Far more nuanced and thus ultimately progressive than the simplistic revisionist Dances with Wolves (1990).

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White Material (2009)


Through the magic of Netflix.com, last night I continued my Isabelle Huppert film fest, which began last week with In Another Country (2012), by watching White Material (2009), in which the charming actress plays a woman fighting for her ex-husband's coffee plantation in Africa, as the unnamed country falls apart.

This is a movie about Land, and says a lot to those of us whose philosophies place importance on things like "place" and "rootedeness." The Land is not even hers, either by deed or ancestry or even birth (although her son was born on it), but she is determined not to be moved from it.


The late Roger Ebert in his White Material Movie Review & Film Summary (2010) sums up better than I could what is so alluring about this actress:
    [S]mall and slender, [she] embodies the strength of a fighter. In so many films, she is an indomitable force, yet you can't see how she does it. She rarely acts broadly. The ferocity lives within. Sometimes she is mysteriously impassive; we see what she's determined to do, but she sends no signals with voice or eyes to explain it. There is a lack of concern about our opinion; she will do it, no matter what we think her reasons are.

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Ryan McMaken on "Conservative" Reaction to Papal "Economics"

    Indeed, most of the Pope’s comments about the poor are not about markets or states, but are about the proper Christian attitude toward the poor. Because of this, I fear that much of the negative reaction to the Pope remarks stems not from any devotion to free markets (because of course, few conservatives actually care about free markets) but actually from a disdain for poor people. At the heart of the Christian religion is a doctrinaire requirement that believers give alms and regard themselves as obligated to be charitable toward the poor. But anyone who has spent any time with right-wing activists and pundits (many of whom fancy themselves as great paragons of Christianity) know that there is a deep-seated contempt for poor people who are are often regarded uniformly as lazy or somehow deserving of their fates. Any genuine concern for poor people expressed in such circles is regarded as “socialist” talk even if one is in no way suggesting that alleviating poverty is a matter for state intervention (which it is not). Of course, the fact that so many conservatives are so utterly ignorant of how economies work, blinds them from the fact that so much poverty is caused by the federal government they’re always saluting, pledging allegiance to, and generally getting all weepy about every time someone mentions the American flag. Yep, everything would be fine if those single-mothers, who are more or less at the mercy of the boom-bust cycle caused by our wise overlords, would just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and become stock brokers.
The conclusion of this LewRockwell.com article — Are the Poor Worse Off in Rich Countries?

The question posed in that title is left unanswered, but it was answered at least partially by Ivan Illich, who noted that, "[t]he result of much economic development is very often not human flourishing but 'modernized poverty,' dependency, and an out-of-control system in which the humans become worn-down mechanical parts," which we see as countries get richer.

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