Sunday, May 25, 2014

Claudio Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine, 1610, Performed by Silvia Frigato, Emanuela Galli, Raffaele Pè, Krystian Adam, Nicholas Mulroy, Gareth Treseder, Alexander Ashworth, Robert Davies, The Monteverdi Choir, The English Baroque Soloists, and Les Pages du Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, Directed by Sir John Eliot Gardiner

    The historical interest of this work is almost as great as its inherent qualities. Vespers are part of the daily Offices, or Canonical Hours, of the church, music for the Offices including psalms (with antiphons), hymns, and canticles, as well as chanted lessons (with responsories). Although inspired by the Church Office, Monteverdi's Vespers in many ways transcends the original concept, perfectly exemplifying the transition between austere Renaissance polyphony and sheer Baroque splendor. Monteverdi makes his characteristic contribution to sacred music in a bold, almost operatic, style, complete with daring stereophonic and echo effects, and includes a suite of instrumental dances, concerti sections for both voices and orchestra, and a love song. To what extent this is liturgical music is debatable in view of the choice of texts, which some in Monteverdi's time considered blasphemous. Completed in 1610, the Vespers was written for the court of the Gonzaga family in Mantua, where Monteverdi was employed from 1590 to 1612, and dedicated to Pope Paul V. But the composition's true home is undoubtedly the cathedral of St. Mark in Venice, where Monteverdi was appointed maestro di cappella in 1613. Indeed, the Vespers could well have been conceived with its echoing spaces, galleries, balconies, organ, and choir lofts in mind.

    The sections contain striking contrasts, but the unity and continuity of Monteverdi's grand design is maintained theatrically as well as musically. The overture, for choir and orchestra, is manifestly operatic, and close to that of Monteverdi's first opera, Orfeo - an upsurge of joyous energy, interposed by an orchestral toccata and ending with a jubilant Alleluia. The instrumentation (cornets, sackbuts, a variety of single and double reeds, recorders, strings, organ, and harpsichord) is, with the exception of the instrumental ritornelli, mainly intended to contribute to the formal structure of the choral sections, coloring the choir in the manner of organ stops, as in the "Dixit Dominus," "Laetatus sum," "Audi, coelum," and the beginning and end of the closing Magnificat, the climax of the whole work. The ways in which Monteverdi treats the cantus firmus by incorporating it into the counterpoint of the choral writing, as in "Dixit Dominus" (Psalm 109), is not found in earlier choral literature, nor is the flowing, unfettered parlando (recitation) style used in "Nigra sum," a metrically free poem with allusions to the biblical Song of Solomon. The concerto "Due Seraphim" is probably the most interesting section in the Vespers. It is set for two "answering" voices - a sort of singing competition for angels - and almost exceeds the limits of human vocal technique. The choral writing is also demanding in its splendor and complexity, much of it in six, seven, and, as in the psalm "Laudate pueri," eight parts; yet the simplicity of the two-part hymn Ave Maris stella is also among the many treasures of this magnificent work.

    Back in 2010, John Eliot Gardiner had already conducted the Vespro at Versailles' Chapelle Royale, winning broad acclaim; this is the reason why it was decided to film the 2014 concert. The title page of the first edition is inscribed "ad Sacella sive Principum Cubicula accomodata Opera" (for use in princely rooms and chapels). According to the conductor, Versailles Chapelle Royale is the perfect place to perform this masterpiece, because the spatial disposition makes the audience experience the feeling of Renaissance concerts: the architecture and the various levels enhance the echo and the dialogs between the singers, performing from different heights.

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The Santa Barbara Sorority Shooting Beta Male Perp

"You'll find this interesting," says Steve Sailer, noting "that after the tawdry media circus of the 1935 trial of the Lindbergh kidnapper, American press barons reached a gentleman’s agreement to improve the tone of their newspapers by mutually forswearing tabloid crime coverage," which is why we'll go across the Pond for some coverage:Time for some debunking: the kid was rich and good-looking so obviously had some other issues; Mr Moore, he was a hapa and you obviously cannot interpret statistics, or maybe you can, but the disproportionately high number of blacks among both perps and victims means nothing to you because you are a racist; yes, this is the NRA's fault and Obama can stop it.

Steve Sailer, noting the perp's intent to, in his own words, "slaughter every single spoilt, stuck-up, blonde slut," rightly says that "targeting for slaughter this sorority is an extremely intentional racial hate crime" — Anti-Blondism.

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A Californian Vietnamese Catholic Home Altar




From this story — Incredibly kindness of San Jose police officer who has raised almost $100,000 for the family of a man killed in road rage shooting. I like it, and need to upgrade mine. Quite similar to the Vietnamese Buddhist home altars I remember from my refugee resettlement days. Inculturation, anyone?

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Claudio Monteverdi's Ave Maris Stella, Perfomed by The Green Mountain Project, Directed by Scott Metcalfe

    Ave maris stella,
    Dei mater alma,
    Atque semper virgo,
    Felix coeli porta.

    Sumens illud ave
    Gabrielis ore,
    Funda nos in pace
    Mutans Evae nomen.

    Solva vincla reis,
    Profer lumen caecis,
    Mala nostra pelle,
    Bona cunctis posce.

    Monstra te esse matrem:
    Sumat per te preces,
    Qui pro nobis natus,
    Tulit esse tuus.

    Virgo singularis,
    Inter omnes mitis,
    Nos culpis solutos
    Mites fac et castos.

    Vitam praesta puram,
    Iter para tutum,
    Ut videntes Jesum
    Semper collaetemur.

    Sit laus Deo Patri,
    Summo Christo decus,
    Spiritui Sancto,
    Trinus honor unus. Amen.
    Hail, star of the sea,
    nurturing mother of God
    and perpetual virgin,
    happy gate of heaven.

    Receiving that "ave"
    from the mouth of Gabriel,
    give us peace in abundance,
    reversing the name "Eva."

    Loose the chains of the guilty,
    bring light to the blind,
    drive out our evils,
    seek blessings for all.

    Show yourself to be a mother:
    May he receive through you our prayers
    who, born for us,
    deigned to be yours.

    Peerless virgin,
    gentle above all others,
    when we are freed from sins,
    make us gentle and chaste.

    Grant us a pure life,
    prepare us a secure way,
    that, seeing Jesus,
    we may rejoice forever.

    Praise be to God the Father,
    honor to Christ the most high,
    and to the Holy Spirit,
    triple honor in one. Amen.

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"Sounds of a World-Gone-By"

CounterPunch's David Yearsley describes "a nearly Arcadian landscape," the one in which I am blessed to live, in his report that at "the beginning of summer’s labors and lazinesses is placed Cornell’s International Chamber Music Festival, fittingly called Mayfest" — The Mayfest Affair. Prof. Yearsley begins:
    Come mid-May in the Finger Lakes of central New York the landscape transforms itself as if overnight. Little more than a month ago there was ice on the Lake Cayuga and there was neither a leaf nor a blade of grass to be seen. Now all is green. Looking north from Cornell’s hilltop campus, the lake stretches through the expanse of forest, broken by an occasional farm. Directly below the university, only the spires of Ithaca’s many churches can be seen above the tree-lined streets and the thick deciduous canopy.
This Arcadian landscape I viewed on my way today to and fro Camp Stella Maris, where we'll send this kiddoes this summer, and which has been in operation by the Diocese of Rochester since 1926.

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Conservatism, Libertarianism, and Food Trucks

The American Conservative's Gracy Olmstead on one of my favorite developments, along with microbreweries, of the last few deacdes in these here united States — Are Food Trucks Good for Community?
    It may seem that a “conservative” approach to this situation would be to hold on to the norm—to ban the food trucks, in favor of more anchored, traditional restaurants. Another supposed conservative approach might be to favor a complete “free market” approach: allowing the food trucks to run riot through Old Town, setting up shop on any old cobblestone street they favor.

    But a truly conservative approach must be both balanced and thoughtful—protecting the old, while embracing new measures that will complement civic life. We must consider the impact, for good and ill, that food trucks might have...
If food trucks threaten "more anchored, traditional restaurants," let the latter lower their prices.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Angela Perley & the Howlin' Moons Perform "Come On Home," "Be Bad'," & "Howlin' at the Moon"






Playing tomorrow in town at the Abilene Bar and Lounge. Angela Perley and Howlin Moons previewed locally:
    Based on her quiet demeanor, it would be almost impossible to peg Angela Perley as the lead singer in a band. But she is, and she's got a serious set of pipes. Perley and her band, The Howlin' Moons, have drawn rave reviews for their latest album "Hey Kid," which genre hops between country, Americana, and rock 'n' roll. Perley's voice is special, but the band's instrumentals — especially guitarist Chris Connor's speedy pentatonic licks — also shine. As good as it is on the album, the band is on a different level when it comes to its live act. My personal favorite jam, "Blue Eyed Lola," perfectly showcases the group's all-around dynamics.

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Ralph Nader on the Old Right

In my review, I said that Old Right Nader's new "book is worth reading, if only for Chapter Seven, titled 'Who Owns America? A Light from the 1930s Illuminates Now,' on the 'decentralists' of that era, who 'espoused a political economy for grassroots America that neither Wall Street nor the socialists nor the New Dealers would find acceptable'" — Ralph Nader's New Book.

Lo and behold The American Conservative has published said chapter, with the subtitle, "What conservatives of the '30s teach left and right today about crony capitalism" — Who Owns America?.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Andrew Bird Performs "Give It Away"


"On 'Give It Away,' he evokes 'worthless currency' over a gently plucked violin, analogizing inflation and failure like the Ron Paul of love," says Rolling Stone, quoted by Pints in NYC, in his comments to a post he himself inspired — Andrew Bird Performs "Going Home".

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The Loving Story (2011)


The Loving Story (2011) tells the story of the marriage leading up to Loving v. Virginia, the "landmark civil rights decision of the United States Supreme Court which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage" and more importantly that the State should get out of marriage.

The Loving couple are absolutely lovely, all the more so since the husband is a real Southron White man and his wife a real Southron Black/Indian woman. The documentarists wanted to build hate against good Southron folks who said innocent stuff like
    Some of my best friends are niggers, if I got in to trouble, I think th... the niggers would come to me as quick as anybody else in the world. I'll give you a little instance, I was standing down on the street with a gentleman from another city last Saturday, and I recon that fifteen or twenty negroes passed, and I spoke to 'em "Good morning John, how you gettin' along?" "Very well thank you Mr. Wall, gettin' on fine." And that went on for fifteen or twenty uh negros in less than fifteen minutes... and uh I... I uh... we love our people.
but ironically perhaps the only hateful characters in the documentary were the Jewish lawyers who argued the case before S.C.O.T.U.S. motivated by a confessed hatred of "rednecks" like Richard Loving.

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The Royal Canadian Air Force Exercise Plan Is Retro, But Is it Paleo?

Notice the remarkable similarities between the 1950's Royal Canadian Air Force Exercise Plan, a.k.a 5BX, and the exercises Dr. Joseph Mercola promotes here — Are These the Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Belly Fat?

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Ramones Perform "Blitzkrieg Bop"


In honor of the Ramones t-shirt I bought today; Steve Sailer on this band "who remain ridiculously influential all these decades later" — "Blitzkrieg Bop" and the 10,000 Hour Rule. Mr. Sailer:
    Guitarist Johnny Ramone came up with a sort of ideological explanation for the Ramones' linear, utterly unfunky style: the blues had dominated electric guitar music for so long that it was getting boring, so it was time for white people to come up with their own form of rock stripped of black influence.

    Strikingly, Johnny's ideology of stylistic racial separatism proved hugely influential and remains relatively dominant even today. It fit in well with black grievances over whites "stealing" their stylistic innovations.

    It was a pretty good idea in the 1970s, but here we are in 2013 and people are still wearing Ramones t-shirts.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Andrew Bird Performs "Going Home"


"I think you might like Andrew Bird's 'Going Home,'" said Pints in NYC commenting on this blogger's last musical post. You were right.

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Ralph Nader's New Book

"Left Jab, Right Cross" was the title this blogger gave to a post linking to the article that introduced him to the book whose goal it is "to break through the corporate imposed gridlock that prevents those on the left and right from realizing they actually agree on and can activate new directions for our country" — Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State (signed by Ralph Nader).

I am proud to own this book, especially as it is signed by the man who earned my vote in '08. (Here's how I became a Nadercon — )A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Absentee Ballot.) However, the book left me unconvinced, agreeing rather with the Young Fogey's assessment linking to my original post — Left-right alliances? Probably not. I became disillusioned with the Left, as a leftie, at a protest against the Gulf War in 1991, when instead of focusing on the issue at hand, the protesters decided the issue was somehow intrinsically linked to abortion, gay rights, and a number of other per causes.

Still, this book is worth reading, if only for Chapter Seven, titled "Who Owns America? A Light from the 1930s Illuminates Now," on the "decentralists" of that era, who "espoused a political economy for grassroots America that neither Wall Street nor the socialists nor the New Dealers would find acceptable," and which forms the core of what this blogger adheres to.

Writing for TownHall.com today, Patrick J. Buchanan, who gets mush ink in Mr. Nader's book, reviews it here — A Left-Right Convergence? Three areas of convergence (Mr. Nader has 22 more in his book):
    -Break up "Too Big to Fail" banks. Further direct democracy through use of the initiative, referendum and recall.

    --End unconstitutional wars by enforcing Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which gives Congress alone the power to declare war.

    --Revise trade agreements to protect U.S. sovereignty. End "fast track," those congressional surrenders of constitutional authority to amend trade treaties negotiated by the executive.

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We Are All Penn Yannians

A local disaster area — Overnight storm causes major flooding in Penn Yan.

Penn Yan, New York, Wikipedia.org tells us, derives its name from the "the first syllables of 'Pennsylvania' and 'Yankee,' as most of the early settlers were Pennsylvanians and New Englanders (or Yankees)." This tells us that as late as 1833, when the village was incorporated, neither Pennsylvanians nor New Yorkers were Yankees.

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Viva Sriracha Libre!

TownHall.com's Leah Barkoukis on Huy Fong Foods' David Tran, maker of what just may be human history's greatest sauce, speaking truth to power — Sriracha CEO: The US Is Starting to Feel Like Communist Vietnam.

[This blogger's favorite recipe — Nissin Big Cup Noodles + Sriracha Sauce.]

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A Life Worth Living

The American Conservative reviews a new biography of that title of this blogger's first favorite writer, whose "fidelity to fleshly reality was remarkable and heroic" — Entranced by Reality.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Cloud Cult Performs "Light at the End of the Tunnel," "Step Forward," & "The Show Starts Now"

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"Imagine Traveling in a Great Airship"

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Wir Sind Amerikanisher

Steve Sailer talks to "an Englishman who has lived all over the world" about "how a lot of aspects of American life strike him as more German than English" — How German is America? Makes sense, since, after all, we Germans are "[b]y far the largest ancestral group" in this country — We're Number One

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Ich Bin Putinversteher

That German neologism meaning "a Putin understander" is the subject of this CounterPunch article — To Understand or Not to Understand Putin.

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"The Great Writ"

The American Conservative reviews "a sophisticated biography of that most essential legal right, the 'negative liberty' not to be arbitrarily imprisoned by the state" — The Dirty History of Habeas Corpus.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Magnolia Beacon Perform "Waiting," "Walking," "In Your Eyes," and "Margarita"


A repost of one of my all-time favorite sets, in honor of the magnolias blooming on my street.

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Our President's Old Rightist Foreign Policy

    Typically, criticism of our foreign policy has been directed at the failure to use military force. And the question … I would have is, why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force after we’ve just gone through a decade of war at enormous costs to our troops and to our budget?

    [M]ost of the foreign policy commentators that have questioned our policies would go headlong into a bunch of military adventures that the American people had no interest in participating in and would not advance our core security interests.

    [M]any who were proponents of … a disastrous decision to go into Iraq haven’t really learned the lesson of the last decade, and they keep on just playing the same note over and over again.
Thus spake His Excellency President Barack Hussein Obama, rightly, quoted approvingly by none other than über-paleoconservative Patrick J. Buchanan, reminding us that "[a]mong the winning arguments Obama had in 2012 was that he wanted America to do her nation-building right here at home" — Is Obama Wrong on Ukraine?

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Race Heterodoxy

"A scientific revolution is under way," writes Charles Murray, "upending one of our reigning orthodoxies" — Book Review: 'A Troublesome Inheritance' by Nicholas Wade.

"The reigning intellectual orthodoxy is that race is a 'social construct,' a cultural artifact without biological merit," writes Prof. Murray. "Since the sequencing of the human genome in 2003, what is known by geneticists has increasingly diverged from this orthodoxy, even as social scientists and the mainstream press have steadfastly ignored the new research."

"The Race FAQ" by Steve Sailer is a good place to start to unlearn race orthodoxy. Mr. Sailer's "bottom-up approach of thinking of racial groups as extended families that are partly inbred" seems more on target than that of the professors in question who follow "the traditional top down Linnaean structure in which races are conceived of more or less subspecies."

[Neat as it is, the whole "Linnaean structure," the whole damn thing, falls apart pretty quickly as pretty subjective, does it not, or is it just me?]

I have from kidhood found human biodiversity fascinating. Now, I find myself in a Sailerian extended family that includes the world's three major racial subdivisions, and I love them all.

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Bring Back Our Girls

"The Christian Post confirmed what other reports have not made clear," and what this blogger suspected from day one — Majority of Kidnapped Girls in Nigeria Christians: Is Boko Haram Engaged in a War on Christians? Of course, "the explicitly anti-Christian nature of the kidnapping is receiving little press," and the story is by no means new — Christian girls kidnapped and Islamized, schools targeted by Boko Haram.

Of course, these are only "our" girls in the sense that they are our coreligionists. I would not support military intervention, which is where I fear this is leading. I would, however, support private interventionism, à la Abraham Lincoln Brigade meets the Crusades. I would not go myself, having a wife and kids to support here, and I would not send anyone else's sons over there against their will. I would, however, put some money in the hat for those willing to form a private militia to send the Boko Haram scum to Jahannam.

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Sino-Korean War?

"Is war between North Korea and China possible?" asks Justin Raimondo, noting that "anonymous 'Chinese military authorities' leaked internal documents to the Japanese media detailing plans to deal with North Korea’s projected collapse" — North Korean Nightmare.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Joseph Haydn's Schöpfung Performed by Camilla Tilling, Mark Padmore, Hanno Müller-Brachmann, Chores und Symphonieorchesters des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Directed by Bernard Haitink


Something to accompany your reading of this article about an astrophysicist and "his revolutionary prequel to the Big Bang theory" — Alan Guth: What made the Big Bang bang. The first few paragraphs:
    There’s a moment near the start of Joseph Haydn’s classical masterpiece The Creation, after the bass soloist slowly sings, “In the beginning, God made Heaven and Earth,” and after the angelic choir softly joins in with “And God said: Let there be light.” There is silence, and then the choir returns to intone, almost mistily, “And there was light.”

    On that last word, “light,” the choir and orchestra explode in a fortissimo C-major chord to create an experience that is both gorgeous and transcendent.

    If you close your eyes, you can almost imagine the Big Bang erupting around you.

    Of that musical moment, the late physicist Victor Weisskopf once said, “There cannot be a more beautiful and impressive artistic rendition of the beginning of everything.” Weisskopf, a crucial figure in the development of both the atomic bomb and the nuclear disarmament movement that followed it, regularly played the oratorio for his students at MIT.

    He was a lover of classical music. But on the cosmic question of how it all began, this giant of science knew there was another reason to seek insight from a deeply religious 18th-century composer. Weisskopf and his fellow 20th-century scientists fundamentally had no answer for how the universe began.

    The theory that came to be known as the Big Bang started its long gestation nearly a century ago. Eventually, it won the backing of science and, after it got its catchy name on a BBC broadcast in 1949, the general public. Today, most of us walk around assuming that the Big Bang explains how the universe began. But look at it closely, and you realize it doesn’t.

    The Big Bang theory offers an explanation for how the early universe expanded and cooled and how matter congealed, from a primordial soup into stars, planets, and galaxies. What it describes, then, is the aftermath of the Bang. But it is effectively silent on why or how that first massive expansion happened or where all the original matter came from.

    As Alan Guth, the physicist who holds the MIT professorship named after Weisskopf, puts it, “The Big Bang theory says nothing about what banged, why it banged, or what happened before it banged.” Guth has been using that line for years, and it almost always draws an appreciative laugh from his audience, whether that audience is made up of scientists or laypeople. It has a piercing quality to it, reminding us that we’d overlooked something that should have been obvious, like leaving the house with a freshly pressed shirt and perfectly knotted tie but no pants.

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Catholicism Promotes Brain Use; Atheism Stunts It

"The Wickedest Links" posted by Chateau Heartiste today include one to peer-reviewed research finding that "that Catholics recruited different areas for deontological (precuneus; temporoparietal junction [TPJ]) and utilitarian moral judgments (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex [DLPFC]; temporal poles [TP]), whereas Atheists did not (superior parietal gyrus [SPG] for both types of judgment)" — Roman Catholic beliefs produce characteristic neural responses to moral dilemmas.

Furthermore, the study finds that "Catholics showed enhanced activity in DLPFC and posterior cingulate cortex [PCC] during utilitarian moral judgments to impersonal moral dilemmas, and enhanced responses in anterior cingulate cortex [ACC] and superior temporal sulcus [STS] during deontological moral judgments to personal moral dilemmas" [emphases mine].

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Electing a New Laity

Steve Sailer on a group with astonishingly "low level of participation in social organizations outside the extended family" and what that means for religious life in our country — Hispanics not working out for Catholic Church.

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"Conservatism is the Negation of Ideology"

Russell Kirk's maxim comes to mind with two articles from The American Conservative today.

First, W. James Antle III ponders whether a "North Carolina congressman’s antiwar and populist positions [are] ideological heresy or conscientious independence" — Walter Jones’s Conservative Scorecard.

Second, Philip Giraldi reminds us that "[i]deologues across the political spectrum stand between Americans and a constitutionally modest approach to foreign affairs" — Recovering the Founders’ Foreign Policy.

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Local Brews in the Local News

Two stories in the local rag today — Keuka Brewing wins award for best N.Y. craft beer and Former West Webster grocery to become a craft brewery. The former I had not yet heard of; the latter I look forward to.

Sponsoring the first story's award was Utica, New York's FX Matt Brewing Co, in its third century rightly called "one of the few remaining great American regional breweries," whose Saranac beers were about the only interesting American beers one could get back in the late '80s and early 90s.

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Local Sartorialism

Good news for a "famed Rochester clothing company" — Hickey Freeman signs $1M Ralph Lauren deal. "The move to Hickey is part of Polo Ralph Lauren's 'Made in America' initiative whereby some of its production will be brought back to the United States."

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Local Prayers Answered


Down the road across the way, "town officials laud Monday's U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing Greece's pre-meeting prayers to stand" — Greece board opens meeting with a prayer.

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The Bankesters Perform "When I'm Gone"

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Monday, May 5, 2014

The Infamous Stringdusters Perform "I'll Get Away," "Where the Rivers Run Cold," & "By My Side"

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

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


Searching for a baseball game today, I stumbled upon Davey and Goliath, produced by the Lutheran Church in America, whose closing credits was Martin Luther's great hymn. I grew up Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and watching this show, but did not realize the connection until much later.

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Sierra Hull Performs "Daybreak in Dixie," "Best Buy," & "Wings of the Dawn"

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Nickel Creek Perform "21st Of May," "Rest Of My Life," & "Destination"

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