Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.

Now Blogging Afresh at Ad Orientem 西儒 - The Western Confucian

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Prayer against Barbarism
Non-stop praying for Clementina Cantoni
A Papal Quiz[link via Catholic Ragemonkey]

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day - The Forgotten War
The above is from the Korean War Memorial of Western New York in my hometown, Buffalo, New York, from Art & Artwork of Ralph Sirianni.

Here's a piece by the same artist entitled "O. P. Frisco" with its description below:

    Commissioned by one of the two survivors of the 29 Marines overrun by over 300 Chinese Troops in Korea on October 6th, 1952. In the collection of the Marine Corps Historical Museum in Washington, D.C.
Lest we forget: Korean War Project.
Vive Le France! Vive la différence!
France rejects EU treaty, Europe faces crisis

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Book Challenge
Jeff Culbreath of Hallowed Ground has tagged me for the Book Challenge that has been going around. I have to confess, I was hoping someone would tag me for this, and figured Mr. Culbreath would be the one. Here it goes:

1. Total Number of Books I've Owned.
I have about 500 here in Korea and about twice that number in boxes in my parents' garage.

2. Last Book I Bought
The Russian Church and the Papacy by Vladimir Soloviev and Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin by John F. Collins
I bought these together from What the Book? [The New and Used Bookstore Seoul (Itaewon), South Korea]. (Prices are a bit higher, but shipping is free if you order more than one book.) I've been looking to read something by Mr. Soloviev for sometime. The latter was suggested by a commenter on this blog.

3. Last Book I Read.
The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot by Russell Kirk
I can't say enough about this book. Anyone who is interested in conserving the Permanent Things or who wants to understand traditional conservatism should read it. It's 500 pages long, but almost impossible to put down. I'd place this in the next category, but for the sake of variety, will leave its place open for another book.

4. Five Books That Mean a Lot to Me
The Spirit of Catholicism by Karl Adam
This is one of the books that convinced me of the truth of the Catholic Faith. It was written in the 1920s by a German Jesuit. SPOILER: You've got to love a book that ends, "I believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church."

The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
This book contains Dostoevsky's greatest "Holy Fool" as well as his most virulent attacks on Catholicism. Nevertheless, I consider it the greatest novel by the world's greatest novelist. I've never read a novel with so many plot twists.

The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor
I had little regard for the short story genre before reading this collection by the "Hillbilly Thomist." The best of these stories pack a punch that few novels do. Although a Yankee by birth and temperament, three-quarters of my ancestry is from the South, and fiction from that region has always resounded with me.

Think No Evil: Korean Values in the Age of Globalization by C. Fred Alford
This short philosophical study helped me to not only understand the people with whom I've cast my lot, but also the great peril of moral relativism.

Stuart Little by E. B. White
This book, given to me by my grandmother, instilled in me the love of reading at a very young age.

5. Tag 5 People.
Xavier Basora of Buscaraons

Aristotle A. Esguerra of Confessions of a Recovering Choir Director

Jason Choi of Musings of an orthodox Korean Catholic...

Tracy Fennell of Nosce Te Ipsvm

Anne Shirley of Ruminations

Lida of Veritas. Quid est veritas?

OK, I cheated; I included six people. I'd also love to hear from commenter Adam Goldsmith, who to the best of my knowledge has no blog.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Tomorrow, we commemorate the...

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

My parish will likely set aside some time after mass for Eucharistic Adoration.
Russel Kirk on the Nation-State
    All history, and modern history especially, in some sense is the account of the decline of community and the ruin consequent upon that loss. In the process, the triumph of the modern state has been the most powerful factor. "The single most decisive influence upon Western social organization has been the rise and development of the centralized territorial state." There is every reason to regard the state in history as, to use a phrase that Gierke applied to Rousseau's doctrine of the General Will, "a process of permanent revolution." Hostile toward every institution which acts as a check upon its power, the nation-state has been engaged, ever since the decline of the medieval order, in stripping away one by one the functions and prerogatives of true community - aristocracy, church, guild, family, and local association. What the state seeks is a tableland upon which a multitude of individuals, solitary though herded together, labor anonymously for the state's maintenance. Universal military conscription and the "mobile labor force" and the concentration-camp are only the most recent developments of this system. The "pulverizing and macadamizing tendency of modern history" that Maitland discerned has been brought to pass by "the monumentous conflicts of jurisdiction between the political state and the social associations lying intermediate to it and the individual." The same process may be traced in the history of Greece and Rome; and what came of this, in the long run, was social ennui and political death. All those gifts of variety, contrast, competition, communal pride, and sypathetic association that characterize man at his manliest are menaced by the ascendancy of the omnicompetent state of modern times, resolved for its own security to level the ramparts of traditional community.
[from pages 485-6 of The Conservative Mind ]

Finishing Mr. Kirk's monumental and un-pu-down-able work, I now turn my attention to a work mentioned in Mr. Kirk's book: The American Republic by Orestes Brownson. Brownson was "a pro-Union, anti-abolitionist, anti-slaveholding journalist" and Roman Catholic convert. Here is an article by the man who wrote the introduction to the edition linked to above, Peter Augustine Lawler: Orestes Brownson and the Truth About America. This page also offers an informative background to the author: Orestes Brownson (1803–1876).
Memorial Day

    Members of the United Nations
    Command Honor Guard bear
    remains believed to be those of
    U.S. troops killed during Korean
    War, recovered recently from
    North Korea, Thursday at Seoul.
[from Solemn ceremony at Yongsan Garrison honors Korean War remains]
Online Q & A with Professor Thomas Woods
The Catholic Church: Impacting History [via Seattle Catholic]
The Ubiquity of Iniquity in Korea
From Sex business lives on despite crackdown:
    Walk down just about any street in any town - from barber shop to room salon to business club to sauna to "sports massage" parlor to neighborhood hostess bar to an out-and-out red light district; it's difficult to find a street where sex or value-added sexual services are not offered in some form....

    The government's 2002 estimates say there are about 1 million women engaged in sex work at any one time, mind-boggling until one remembers it would take a high number to support an industry that comprised 4.4 percent of the GDP - more than forestry, fishing and agriculture combined (4.1 percent). The estimate was conservative since it dealt with semi-formal places of prostitution where numbers of workers and estimated income can be tracked.

    Considering that there are other forms of prostitution which are nearly impossible to track, it indicates between one-sixth to one-tenth of women in the country at some time have worked in some capacity or the other in the sex trade or on the periphery.
Koreans often ask me what was my first impression of Korea. I recall three things that stood out on my first day in this country, August 30th, 1997: (1) all the cars were Korean, (2) the trees were quite small, (3) there were a large number of provacatively-dressed girls on scooters. I would later learn that these were dabang (tea-room) girls, a type of prostitute who delivers coffee during the day. I'm still amazed by how many of them you see operating in plain daylight on just about every street in Korea. I am equally amazed that most Koreans are in absolute denial about prostitution in their country.
Korea's Elderly Suicide Rate
The Party Pooper covers the sad news that South Korea now ranks first in the world for elderly suicides: Korea's Greatest Generation? Here's the Pooper's take:
    They fought and suffered through the Korean War and worked their fingers to the bone to provide a better life for their children. Now I guess their children and grandkids just find them inconvenient.
South Korea is fast becoming a disposible society.
A Chestertonian Take on the Spanish-American War
A conservative blog for peace provides a link to this Blog entry, Chesterton on America and War, with this quote:
    America...appears with all the weakness and weariness of modern England or of any other Western power. In her politics she has broken up exactly as England has broken up, into a bewildering opportunism and insincerity. In the matter of war and the national attitude towards war, her resemblance to England is even more manifest and melancholy. It may be said with rough accuracy that there are three stages in the life of a strong people. First, it is a small power, and fights small powers. Then it is a great power, and fights great powers. Then it is a great power, and fights small powers, but pretends that they are great powers, in order to rekindle the ashes of its ancient emotion and vanity. After that, the next step is to become a small power itself. England exhibited this symptom of decadence very badly in the war with the Transvaal; but America exhibited it worse in the war with Spain. There was exhibited more sharply and absurdly than anywhere else the ironic contrast between the very careless choice of a strong line and the very careful choice of a weak enemy. America added to all her other late Roman or Byzantine elements the element of the Caracallan triumph, the triumph over nobody.
G.K. Chesterton, it will be remembered, opposed the great colonial war of his day, the Boer War.
AP Gets it Wrong, then Right
The complete text of Correction: Pope Story:
    ROME - In a May 26 story about Pope Benedict XVI's visit to a Rome basilica, The Associated Press erroneously reported that Catholics believe the Eucharist represents the body and blood of Christ. Instead, Catholics believe the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ.
Jesus said, "This is my body... This is my blood..." It's amazing how self-styled Protestant Fundamentalists conveniently ignore these words of the Blessed Savior.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Family Photos...
like the one above have been uploaded to The Snyders of Pohang.
Church and State, Religion and Politics, Monarchy and Democracy
I'm not sure what to make of this story: Tonga bishop leads people's power protest against King.

His Excellency Bishop Soane Lilo Foliaki, S. M. has lead such protests before (see the 2003 story: Bishop leads Tongans in rare protest against king). While Monarchy is, of course, the highest form of governance, it is not be suited to all nations. Yet Democracy, as popularly understood, suits no nation. Perhaps the King has usurped powers not belonging to him, as King George III did, and is thus an innovator, not a traditionalist.

    His Royal Majesty
    King Taufa'ahau Tupou
Let us pray for peace and stability in the Kingdom of Tonga.
The Miraculous
Seattle Catholic links today to an extensive article on Incorruptibles, those "deceased Catholic Saints and other blessed persons [who] have not undergone the normal processes of disintegration." Many examples and pictures are included.
The DPRK's Gulag Archipelago
Here are some excerpts from The Iron Hand of the Dear Leader:
    Eye witnesses who have escaped have reported that guards stamp on the necks of babies born to prisoners in order to kill them. There have even been claims that the camp has glass gas chambers where whole families die after being used as guinea pigs in chemical experiments....

    Kim Jong-Il demands that three generations of a dissident's family be arrested....

    Along with returned defectors, political dissidents and minor deviants - those guilty of the slightest disrespect towards the Dear Leader - are liable to be punished, along with their relatives. Many are Christians, a religion believed by Kim Jong-Il to be one of the greatest threats to his power.
[Click on the link for the whole story.]

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Filipino Episcopal Blogs
Here are the three blogs linked to in Filipino bishops blog the Gospel:
    The Meaning by Mgr Jose R. Manguiran, Bishop of Dipolong

    viewpoints by Mgr Oscar V. Cruz, Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan

    tidbits by Mgr Leonardo Medroso, Bishop of Borongan
Please pay Their Excellencies' blogs visit.
The Holy Father and Cheongsam-clad Pilgrims
[image from Pope greets Hong Kong pilgrims, via Open Book]
My Tax Dollars Won at Work for Evil
Gov't Increases Support for Cloning Master
Not Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Pakistan...
but Italy: Author accused of defaming Islam
Ethical Stem Cell Research...
uses umbilical cord blood and adult stem cells, not those from embryos created only to be destroyed (Utilitarianism to the extreme).

Here is an article about the Chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities:These two stories, linked to today by Pro-Life News, illustrate the benefits already being reaped from umbilical cord blood stem cells:Both of my children have had their umbilical cord blood frozen.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Making the World Unsafe by Democracy
Patrick J. Buchanan's latest: Bringing the Arab Street to Power.
Neoconservatism Watch
I found much to disagree with in this FT article, The New Fusionism, which celebrates the fusion of the pro-life social conservatives and the foreign-policy neoconservatives.
Boomer Buddhism...
or "Buddhism without Beliefs" as practiced in the West is nothing new; this FT article discusses the century-plus impact American Liberal Protestantism has had in reshaping Buddhism: When East is West.
Western Civilization
What We Owe the Monks
Christian Exodus from post-Baathist Iraq to Baathist Syria
A conservative blog for peace today links to this article on the de-Christianization of Iraq:Here's the introduction:
    When President Bush, a born-again Christian, launched the 2003 war against Iraq, he probably didn't expect one result - that Iraq, once a secular nation, would become especially dangerous for Christians.

    Islamic extremists have bombed churches. They have burned liquor stores and killed their Christian owners. They harass Christian women who don't shroud themselves in black.

    The president probably didn't expect another result - that Iraqi Christians would find refuge in Syria, a country that he often criticizes but that has a strong record of religious tolerance. In the past two years, Syria has taken in as many as 20,000 Christians fleeing violence and persecution in their native land.
[Click on the link for some very moving personal testimonies and interesting descriptions of Syrian Christianity.]
Buddhism and Human Cloning
Korean cloner Hwang Woo-suk, quoted in Stem Cell and Buddhism:
    Cloning is a different way of thinking about the cycle of life and re-birth. It is a Buddhist way of thinking.
The article also contains this idiotic statement from Dong-A University professor Kwak Man-youn:
    Whether Hwang recognizes it or not, his idea corresponds with that of Buddhism. The Buddha did not see an early-stage embryo as a life.
[via Open Book]
Reaction to Human Cloning
This article reports some South Korean oppostion to the cloning that occured here: Tailored cloning is immoral and dangerous to women’s health.

This is the statement of the Chair of the Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales on the human cloning that occured in Britain the day after the one in South Korea: Archbishop Peter Smith comments on human cloning.

Finally, this story reminds us that human cloning is a flagrant violation of the United Nations: First human embryo cloned despite legal challenge and UN ban.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Reformation or Deformation?
The comments below were made on the Pontifcator's post announcing his Tiberian plunge (A Rector Resigns) in response to another potential ex-Protestant, hesitating, as we all did, over the "Perpetual Virginity and the praying to saints, angels and Virgin Mary":
As to invocation to the saints, I think you can find plenty of biblical material to support the idea....

Nowhere in the Bible is *any* formal doctrine stated so the fact that the Bible doesn’t have an explicit and formal statement on invocation to the saints shouldn’t of itself rule the practice and idea out of theological court.

Historically, the Reformation (or Deformation) wasn’t about Mary or the Saints. It was about things like Voluntarism, Nominalism, Realism and ultimately about the Trinity and Incarnation. It takes a bit of study to figure this out though. Another way to put it is that at the forefront the issues were regarding the nature of the Church and its authority and the nature of salvation.
As commenter Jason Choi has pointed out in this blog's comment boxes, the Reformers had a healthy Marian devotion:The first two are from a Catholic source, Biblical Evidence for Catholicism, run by the renowned convert and apologist Dave Armstrong; the last one is from the Orthodox Lutheran Web Page.
The New Oakland Cathedral
Caelum et Terra today has a less than raving review of the new modernist Oakland Cathedral, and links to this article with photos:C. et T. is correct in saying that "it's true enough that it isn't in God's law that the medieval design must be our pattern for church architecture forever." The new can be effectively combined with the old, as in the neo-Romanesque World Peace Memorial Cathedral (Hiroshima).

From the pictures in the article, it appears that the New Oakland Catherdral has failed to do this. It looks more like a Protestant mega-church than a Catholic cathedral. And this very disturbing photo of the dedication of the cathedral, from the Catholic News Service, shows that something worse than a Protestant mega-church might just be what the diocese intends the cathedral to be:
I have no objections to the Korean farm band, although I'd rather see seminarians chanting litanies in Latin, but the woman with the incense bowl? In Catholicism, we have censors and we have bishops. Why substitute these timeless traditions for some neo-pagan-looking ritual?
Pride, remember, is one of The Seven Deadly Sins. I think it may be behind the uncritical praise Prof. Hwang's human cloning has received here in his homeland. My guess is that had this occured in Japan, it would be decried as the monstrous abomination that it is. Sadly, in such a case it would be denounced not for ethical reasons, but for another of the deadly sins, Envy.

[image from California's Stem Cell Bid Stuck in Neutral]
Why I Oppose the President's "Faith-Based" Initiatives
Not only will Pagans, Wiccans, and Satanists be eligible, but so will Planned Parenthood, Inc.

From Fort Wayne Community Foundation grants:
Planned Parenthood of Indiana Inc.: $5,000 for the Faith-Based Partnership program designed to create a partnership and alliance between the agency and local faith communities to help deliver information and education on sexuality issues in the context of the faith communities’ moral beliefs.
Like Jesus, I am for separation of Church and State: Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

Let religious belief influence governance, as politics is an exercise in morality, but do not let government influence religion. Separation of Church and State, a phrase not found in the Constitution, should protect Church from State, not vice versa. After all, a virtuous State has nothing to fear from members of the Church.

[article via Pro-Life News]
More on the Pontificator's Homecoming
Father Kimel's decision to leave the Episcopal Church and join the Roman Catholic Church is making waves in the media: Influential Episcopal priest leaves parish to convert to Catholicism. Here are his own words, quoted from the above article:
In the name of an ideology of radical inclusivity, the Episcopal Church has moved significantly away from the apostolic and catholic faith of Jesus Christ.

With the decision made by General Convention two summers ago to approve the ordination of noncelibate homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions, it has, in my judgment, become heretical.

I cannot in conscience represent the Episcopal Church to the world, nor can I in conscience summon sinners into its fellowship.

As my wife and close friends can well testify, my life has been an agony for me since the 2003 General Convention. I have struggled to discern God’s will for my life and for my ministry.

I have had to reassess my understanding of the Church from the ground up. I have finally concluded that I cannot in conscience remain an Episcopalian. I must be in the Church founded by Christ Jesus. It is thus my intention to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.
Deciding to join the Church Christ founded is of course an occcasion of great joy. However, it can also be a moment of intense sadness, as one leaves behind many friends and even family. The decision is all the more painful, and all the more courageous, when one has so much vested outside the Catholic Church, as Fr. Kimel does. He is giving up his entire livelihood to follow Christ. Would I do the same?

Fr. Kimel's blog, Pontifications, has long been a favorite of many Catholics, because in reality, he has always been about as Catholic as one can get. The blog's latest post, A Pontificator’s Daughter, is a real tear-jerker and an insight into difficulties the Kimels are now facing. They need our prayers.
Serge today has some good thoughts on the subject, as well as a reference to this blog, in this post: More on animals and food for thought (ha ha).

Monday, May 23, 2005

Being Anti-liberal Doth Not One a Conservative Make
The average subject of the book reviewed in this article, South Park Conservatives: The Revolt Against Media Bias, is described as "an anti-liberal conservative who does not shy away from R-rated movies, drinking, cussing, or having pre-marital sex."

Many R-rated movies are not morally objectionable, drinking in moderation is fine, cussing is at best a sign of inarticulation, pre- or extra-marital sex is a mortal sin and, unrepented of, a one-way ticket to an Eternity in Hell.

A South Park Conservative is an oxymoron (and a moron). Conservatives are interesting in conserving Civilization. These folks are only aiding the Enemy in taking us back to Barbarism.

My advice to the South Park Conservative is to turn off your TV and try reading something older than Ann Coulter.
North Korean "Freedom Youth League"
This LA Times (reg. req'd) article contains must-see inside footage of dissident activity in the DPRK: Secret N. Korean Footage Suggests Nascent Dissent.

For those unwilling to register, here's the video link:
Korean Cloning "Abominable"
Bishop Elio Sgreccia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life:
    The suppression of a human being can merit only one judgment: it is unacceptable... To destroy one life in order to save another remains an aberration.
[quoted from Vatican official denounces Korean cloning breakthrough]
"The Alpha Male of the Korbloggers"
That's me, according to some "scientific" analysis done of my writing by a fellow expat here in Korea: Gender Genie and K-bloggers.

Utilizing a writing-analysis program called The Gender Genie, of the K-bloggers sampled, yours truly turned out to be "the manliest of all manly men" with this score:
    Female Score: 491
        Male Score: 1782
These words of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky come to mind: "[I] believe that there is nothing more beautiful, more profound, more sympathetic, more reasonable, more manly and more perfect than Christ." [my emphasis]
Father Alvin Kimel, soon-to-be former Episcopalian priest, of Pontifications fame, is joining the Roman Catholic Church:
    Last night I tendered my resignation to the Vestry of St. Mark’s Church, effective July 1st. It is my intention to renounce my orders as an Episcopal priest and to enter, for the sake of my salvation, into full communion with the Catholic Church. I freely affirm the Catholic Church to be the one true fold of Jesus Christ.
Laudetur Jesus Christus!

Prayers are needed for him and his family.

Many converts, myself among them, have read their way into the Catholic Church. The Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman was said to have written his way into the Church, through his monumental work An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. Father Kimel may be the first person to have blogged his way into the Church; he says, "Pontifications has been very helpful as I have worked through this struggle."

[news via Against the Grain]
English in Korea
I agree with these students; there's far to much emphasis placed on English at Korean universities:At the end of the day, its counter-productive. There's no reason why everyone in Korea needs to learn English. The majority can get by being monolingual. Other languages, especially Chinese and Spanish, are also needed. It would be much better to have an elite that speaks English well than to have everyone waste so much time, energy, and money at learning something for which they have no aptitude. Such a de-emphasis on English would send the unqualified teachers back to Canada and the United States and create a better labor market for qualified native-speakers.

Here's an editorial on the same theme: Who's in Charge of English Education?
Politically Correct Language Planning and the Names of Colors in Korean
My wife told me about this a few days ago, but I couldn't find anything in the English language press. Here is the full story from [Editorial] Six Children Found a New Korean Term:
    The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy's Korean Agency for Technology and Standards has standardized 133 Korean names for colors, and that is significant. "Skin color," which was called racist, will be called "apricot," in acceptance of a recommendation by the National Commission for Human Rights that the name be changed. Names such as "chick color" for yellow and "watermelon" for green, names we use commonly, may now be used in official contexts. Names have been defined in a national standard ("KS") for use in areas such as industry, culture, education.

    The name "skin color," used frequently by students for describing a certain color found in paint or crayon, was the object of a lot of criticism. A group of foreign laborers and others said that it was problematic for being racist, and in 2002 the name was changed to "yeon ju hwang," meaning "light orange," but that was called a form of discrimination and civil rights abuse towards children for being a difficult word based on Chinese characters that was is hard for them to understand. The human rights commission suggested "apricot," a term without discriminatory connotations and that is easy to understand, because six elementary and middle school students filed a petition with the body and their bold and clever request was accepted.

    Our society still has unclear expressions out of step with social changes, terms that are difficult to understand, and terms based in Japanese. The name of a color can cause different images to pop up in different people. The confusion and financial loss that occurs when colors named the same end up being different in actuality is significant for industries involved in stationery products, clothing, and household products. Language is a social contract. There exists a need to see whether there are more terms misused or overused that are from bygone eras and no longer hold meaning. Remnants of old must be corrected. It was a fresh approach when the six youths considered the issue from the perspective of civil rights.
Perhaps it's just the anarcho-Anglophone in me, but I find such langauge planning laughable and, frankly, a bit scary. Also, I'm all for children, but allowing them a say in such a matter is ridicuous. And what does the editorialist mean by this Rousseauian piece of nonsense: "Language is a social contract"? Between whom?
Tocquevillean Analysis of the ROK
[Opinion] Equality and Mores
Thirteenth Century Europe
Henry Adams believed the age of the crusades and the cathedrals to be the pinnacle of human civilization. Don't expect any counter-arguments from this blogger.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Catholic, Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, Anti-war (but not Pacifist)
These are not contradictory terms, but rather form part of a consistent Weltanschaaung, a seamless garment. Be sure to pay a visit to Serge's new introductory page: Greetings and Felicitations!
A Question of Conscience
Examining my conscience this evening before praying The Divine Mercy Chaplet, I remembered these words of Patrick J. Buchanan from an article linked to by Serge of A conservative blog for peace:
    What Newsweek did was shameful and stupid. I don't care if the item was true or false. It doesn't make any difference. You don't do something like this which damages a cause for which your countrymen are dying. It puts at risk the boys and men we sent over there. This was an explosive item. It was an inflammatory item. Anyone could see that just looking at it. Why would you stick that in print? What I'm asking about--these fellows--not their journalistic judgment, their common sense!
    [quoted from Pat Can Say the Darndest Things]
With these words, says Serge, the anti-war Mr. Buchanan "lets the side down." As much as I hate to disagree with one of my favorite bloggers, I'm afraid I must. I have removed all references to the story in question from this blog, for the reasons mentioned by Mr. Buchanan.

For the record, my guess is that the story is true.

Russell Kirk reiterates that Conservatism means "loyalty to persons and places." I'm an American and those boys over there are my fellow citizens.

I must confess, my reason for posting such material was largely out of pride; I hoped to demonstrate that I was a "liberal conservative" along the lines of Burke, Newman, or Taft. I am, but will have to find a different way of expressing this.

I will continue to oppose the war and pray for an end that is just for the Iraqi and Afghani peoples (a pull-out would be disastrous at this point). I'll post links to articles that support this position, especially from anti-war conservatives, but I will try to avoid linking to any inflammatory material.

Especially, I remain outraged at the torture and prisoner abuse, which are beneath a civilized nation. I will try to find a way to bring these issues into the discussion without adding to hate.
Today is the...
Solemnity of the Trinity

Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.

Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper,

et in sæcula sæculórum. Amen.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Meandering Thoughts on the Country and Farming
Today we visited one of my mother-in-law's friends who lives in the country. My daughter loves animals, and had a great day seeing the dogs, chickens, roosters, and chicks at the woman's house. We took a walk to a nearby garden restaurant that kept quail, pheasants, and a very Flannery O'Connoresque peacock. We were invited into a farm house with two cows, my daughter's favorite animal.

The food my mother-in-law's friend cooked was probably the best Korean food I've ever had. It was traditional, much like the food prepared for the chesa ancestral ritual. It was only in this century that Korean food has become spicy, and many older folks prefer the original style food. I love hot and spicy food, but find that modern Korean cuisine often lacks subtlety. The hot pepper paste tends to overpower the other ingredients of a dish, and many of the side-dishes taste exactly the same. Today's food was different. The succulent kalbi was better than the expensive restaurants of Seoul. The other meats and fish were excellent, as was the beef stew. Even the rice was cooked to perfection.

After such a great day (and I was originally reluctant to go), my wife and I both felt the urge to get away from city life and resettle in the country, mostly for the sake of the kids. Every post on Jeff Culbreath's blog, Hallowed Ground, draws me closer to the beautiful town my wife and I were married in: Orland, California. To realize this dream that we are blessed to share, we'll defintely need to save for a few years, but could we someday devote ourselves to Catholic Rural Life?

Twenty years ago, I was a card-carrying member of the Future Farmers of America. Against the fervent advice of my guidance counselor, during my last two years of high school, I enrolled in a county-run vocational school. I spent every morning studying landscaping, horticulture, and greenhouse management, with classmates from the more rural parts of Erie County, in Western New York. We grew plants, spliced branches, we laid sod, drove back-hoes, learned about dicots and monocots, and applied rooting hormone.

The rural kids I spent every morning with were some of the most honest and generous people I've ever met. I struck up a friendship with a girl who was the chief outcast (in Korean, "왕따") of my own high school. For being from a farming family, she and her many brothers suffered unspeakable abuse at the hands of my fellow suburbanites (including myself on at least one occasion, if I remember correctly). She, and some of my other classmates, was labeled "slow" by the school establishment. Yet, during the freetime we found in the greenhouse, we discussed literature (Vonnegut, unfortunately). We talked about life. I introduced her to one of my more "intellectual" friends and we all hit it off. I even developed a bit of a crush on her.

She, and the others, were my true friends from high school. I'm sure they're all happy now, with families of their own, living good and virtuous lives. These are the people who make America great.

I managed to defy my guidance counselor's prediction and graduate with both a vocational and a Regent's diploma. The summer before entering college, I worked on a farm with greenhouses. I've never had a boss whom I admired more than the deaf, taciturn, 60-year-old owner of that farm, which he named after his only daughter (incidentally just down the road from the girl I mentioned before). I spent three hours every other day watering geraniums and the rest of the time picking tomatoes, broccoli, and peppers. That farmer and I, just the two of us, built a greenhouse together. I got to use a jack-hammer and other exhilarating power tools. We used his tractor for a hoist. In the Fall, I quit without warning (one of the things I feel guiltiest for), and left to live in Babylon.

Now, two decades later, my FFA membership long-expired, I can hardly keep my houseplants alive. I wonder of I could eke out an existence in the country.
Cloning and Killing
Say what you (and I) will about the War in Iraq, President George W. Bush is on the right side against a far greater evil than this war: Bush Vows to Veto Stem Cell Legislation.

Our President:
    I'm very concerned about cloning. I worry about a world in which cloning becomes acceptable.

    I made it very clear to the Congress that the use of federal money, taxpayers' money to promote science which destroys life in order to save life is — I'm against that. And therefore, if the bill does that, I will veto it.
Just today, I read these very appropriate words from Positivist turned Conservative George Gissing:
    I hate and fear "science" because of my conviction that, for long to come if not forever, it will be the remorseless enemy of mankind. I see it destroying all simplicity and gentleness of life, all the beauty of the world; I see it restoring barbarism under a mask of civilization; I see it hardening men's minds and hardening their hearts; I see it bringing a time of vast conflicts, which will pale into insignificance "the thousand wars of old," and, as likely as not, will whelm all the laborious advances of mankind in blood-drenched chaos.
[quoted from pages 381-2 of The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk)]
Thoughts on the Korean Cloning
This is from B.J., a dissenting commenter on a Korea expat blog's post lauding the stem cell breakthrough at SNU:
    A clean conscience is more important to me than the cutting egde science or cure. One has to be absolutely sure about the absence of God to do these things. Me? I won't have a thing to do with it. I believe in the presence of God.
Here's what I added:
    I agree with B.J. The burdon of proof that those embryos are not human life is on the cloners. A doctor wouldn't remove the heart from an adult or child for transplant before confirming that the donor was not alive.

    Just as with abortion, one needs to be an absolutist to be certain this is ethical.
Amy Welborn of Open Book suggests this book: It is described as a "dystopian story [of a] a parallel universe in which humans are cloned and raised expressly to 'donate' their healthy organs and thus eradicate disease from the normal population,... an epic ethical horror story, told in devastatingly poignant miniature."

Your Political Profile

Overall: 70% Conservative, 30% Liberal

Social Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Ethics: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

[via the ANGRY TWINS]
"Frankenstein Science"
A spokesperson for LIFE:
    This news from South Korea makes reproductive cloning a clear and present global danger. If, as they claim, these South Korean scientists can reliably produce cloned embryos healthy enough to survive to the blastocyst stage for cell harvesting, we can assume that they can reliably produce embryos healthy enough to try implanting them in women. This Frankenstein science should be banned in every civilized country.

    No-one should be misled by the South Korean team's claim that they have refined the cloning process so that it only involves taking a dozen or so eggs from each woman involved in the research project. These figures, if they are true, only make the exploitation of some women more likely. Cloning involves exposing women to dangerous fertility drugs in order to collect sufficient eggs to use in the cloning process. It is unsafe and inefficient.

    These scientists may be acting out of the noblest of motives, the treatment and cure of debilitating diseases, but every week news breaks of astonishing progress in the treatment of debilitating diseases using adult stem cells. Being taken from the patient's body, these cells are compatible with the patient's own tissue and avoid the ethical problems associated with cloning. Adult stem cell research, not cloning, represents the ethical and scientific way forward.
    [quoted from Korean cloning experiment raises ethical concerns]
I would add that even if the cloning is not done for reproductive purposes, it is gravely evil, as it involves the creation of an embryo (with a soul, we can presume) only to be destroyed.
First, South Korea, Now...
Brits Clone Embryos, Too

Friday, May 20, 2005

Interview with a Trot (트로트) Singer
Trot is the music of Korean grandmothers and grandfathers, and is infinitely more listenable than the K-Pop of Korean youngsters, who feel about Trot as American city-slickers do about Country Music. Like that genre, you can dance to it and you can cry to it.

Here's an interview with the very young and perky singer who's keeping the tradition alive: '어머나' 장윤정, 2집 '짠짜라' 냈네.
    Jang Yunjeong
Miss Jang may look and dress like a typical sylish Korean agassi when she's wearing something other than a hanbok, but for her efforts at conserving traditional culture, she's a "young fogey" (fogette?) in my book.

Miss Jang's hit song "어머나" is the first song my two-year-old daughter sings along to.

[image from 야후! 코리아 이미지 검색 * 장윤정]
Why Progressivists* Hate Israel**
Benjamin Disraeli's eloquent description of the Jews might shed some light on the cause (quoted from pages 267 of The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk):
    They are the trustees of religion, and the conservators of the religious element. They are a living and the most striking evidence of the falsity of that pernicious doctrine of modern times, the natural equality of man.... They have also another characteristic, the faculty of acquisition.... Thus it will be seen that all the tendencies of the Jewish race are conservative. Their bias is to religion, property, and natural aristocracy; and it should be the interest of the statesmen that this bias of a great race should encouraged and their energies and creative powers enlisted in the cause of existing society.
*I include among them Hitler, who was anything but conservative.

**I refer, of course, to the Chosen People of the Old Covenant, not the modern state.

I choose the term "Israel" over "the Jew," "Jewry," or "Jews." The first two sound unfortunately archaic, although they are fine terms (much like the word "Oriental"). The last one would be incorrect because Progressivists generally don't hate the Jews as a people, they hate the vocation of that people. In fact, individual Jews, invariably of the self-hating variety like Karl Marx or Noam Chomsky, have become prophets of the Left.

Perhaps the term "Israel" used here is doubly appropriate; a lot of the hatred reserved for the State of Israel goes deeper than the "peace and justice" issues the Left claims for its motivation. Israel, of course, as any state, is not above criticism and I have engaged in such on this blog. It is important, also, not to make the same error made by many neo-conservative Evangalicals of identifying the modern state with God's Chosen People.

The Left, and certain elements of the paleo-conservative Right, place a far greater emphasis on Israel's wrongs than on any other nation. The plights of the Kurds, the Tibetans, or the East Timorese never received as much attention as that that the Palestinians receive, and certainly no Westerner has ever jumped in front of an Iraqi (or Turkish), Chinese, or Indonesian bull-dozer, à la Rachel Corrie, may God have mercy on her soul. [Of course, it goes without saying that Buddhist Tibetans and Catholic East Timorese (or Christian Palestinians for that matter) never produced suicide bombers, like the one whose house Miss Corrie died defending (see A Tribute to Rachel Corrie: Thanks for showing us what "peace" really means.).]

It is sometimes argued that the State of Israel is illegitimate, that it was "stolen" or usurped from another people. If that is the case, the United States, Australia, Canada, and several other nations are illegitimate as well. Why stop there? Why not demand North Africa back from the Arabs or Britain back from the Angles and Saxons? This is not to justify invasion, colonization, or any other past or present crimes of any nation, rather, it is to acknowledge the present reality that is the State of Israel.

This said, I would be happy to see a Palestinian State exist side-by-side with Israel. I would hope such a state could give a voice and a place to the Palestinian Christians, so that a Christian presence might continue in the Holy Land. I'd also like to see East Jersulem as the capital of that state, or the whole city become a truly international city.
On Friends
Today's Old Testament reading, from the book of Ecclesiasticus:
    6:5. A sweet word multiplieth friends, and appeaseth enemies, and a gracious tongue in a good man aboundeth.

    6:6. Be in peace with many, but let one of a thousand be thy counsellor.

    6:7. If thou wouldst get a friend, try him before thou takest him, and do not credit him easily.

    6:8. For there is a friend for his own occasion, and he will not abide in the day of thy trouble.

    6:9. And there is a friend that turneth to enmity; and there is a friend that will disclose hatred and strife and reproaches.

    6:10. And there is a friend a companion at the table, and he will not abide in the day of distress.

    6:11. A friend if he continue steadfast, shall be to thee as thyself, and shall act with confidence among them of thy household.

    6:12. If he humble himself before thee, and hide himself from thy face, thou shalt have unanimous friendship for good.

    6:13. Separate thyself from thy enemies, and take heed of thy friends.

    6:14. A faithful friend is a strong defence: and he that hath found him, hath found a treasure.

    6:15. Nothing can be compared to a faithful friend, and no weight of gold and silver is able to countervail the goodness of his fidelity.

    6:16. A faithful friend is the medicine of life and immortality: and they that fear the Lord, shall find him.

    6:17. He that feareth God, shall likewise have good friendship: because according to him shall his friend be.
[Scripture quoted from The Douay-Rheims Bible]
"Honor" Killings
Somehow, my email address has found its way onto a German listserv. Every day, I get articles in German sent to me. Today, I received this one in English: THE DEATH OF A MUSLIM WOMAN: "The Whore Lived Like a German".
Back in the DPRK
Orankay today links to this audio story: NPR: Life in North Korea. Here's the description:
    Pyongyang resident Richard Ragan has a unique perspective on life in North Korea: His is the only American family with permission to live in the highly secretive country. Ragan heads the United Nations' World Food program there.
Mr. Ragan's experience of getting a driver's license in North Korea was remarkably similar to mine here in the South.
Sinogram Software
Here is a description from The Marmot's Hole of a new program offered by
    This is a substitute for the System’s Character Palette - at least for people focusing on the so-called CJKV languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese). So pieces of software are cross-platform. Tomabaem, like Unicode, is cross-language. Whatever you are looking for related to Chinese characters, there’s a high chance that Tomabaem has a way of looking it up. Be it the Cantonese pronunciation, the UTF-16 codepoint, the radical (搎瑳), the meaning, or the character itself, which you can copy/paste or drag’n'drop from another document - a browser window, a word-processor - if the data is available in the Unicode Standard, version 4, you should be able to dig it out. We use the UniHan.txt file from the Unicode Consortium, partially re-indexed for speed, as the basis of the data shown.
This looks quite amazing. I'm glad Vietnamese was included. When learning Korean, I was surprised by how many words were cognates with Vietnamese (a langauge I could once communicate in but now have almost completely forgotten). Of course, these cognates are based on the same Chinese characters. Sino-Korean pronunciations are often closer to Cantonese (or even Vietnamese) that they are to Mandarin.
Lady [sick]
Cathartidae today reports that Korean "[t]ransgender pop-group Lady has been banned from the Catholic Peace Broadcasting Network because they 'do not recognize the existance [sic] of transgendered people,'" a move I fully support. The last thing a Catholic broadcaster needs to do is to legitimize the confusion that exists in modern society.

Here is the original story, in Korean: '트랜스젠더 그룹' 레이디, 평화방송 방송출연 금지.
The Curse of Modernization
This story, from Hong Hong, tells an all-too-common tale that could be from anywhere:The author uses the term "Westernization" alongside "modernization." I tend to think of the West as the first victim of Modernization, not as its champion. Modernism, which is a deviation from the Western Tradition, has reigned for more than two centuries and has sadly become synonymous with the West.

It has even come to be seen as "conservative" to promote the "values" and economic platforms of Modernism. Russell Kirk:
    "Capitalism gave the world what it needed," Ludwig von Mises writes in his Human Action, "a higher standard of living for a steadily increasing number of people." But it turned the world inside out. Personal loyalties gave way to financial relationships. The wealthy man ceased to be magistrate and patron; he ceased to be neighbor to the poor; he became mass-man, very often, with no purpose in life but aggrandizement. He ceased to be conservative because he did not understand conservative norms, which cannot be instilled by mere logic - a man must be steeped in them. The poor man ceased to feel that he had a decent place in the community; he became a social atom, starved for most emotions except envy and ennui, severed from true family-life and reduced to mere household-life, his old landmarks buried, his old faiths dissipated. Industrialism was a harder knock to conservatism than the books of the French egalitarians. To complete the rout of traditionalists, in America, an impression began to arise that the new industrial and acquisitive interests are the conservative interest, that conservatism is simply a political argument in defense of large accumulations of private property, that expansion, centralization, and accumulation are the tenets of conservatives. From this confusion, from the popular belief that Hamilton was the founder of American conservatism, the forces of tradition in the United States never have fully escaped."
[quoted from pages 228-9 of The Conservative Mind ]
Cloning in Korea
Human cloner Hwang Woo Suk strikes again: Scientists clone human patients for stem cells.

Dr. Hwang claims this was not the creation embyronic stem cells (adult and cord blood stem cells have no ethical problems):
    Hwang said his method differs from that first used to derive human embryonic stem cells in 1998 and he proposes using a new term for the cloned embryos -- a "nuclear transfer construct."

    "I think this construct is not an embryo," he said. "There is no fertilization in our process. We use nuclear transfer technology. I can say this result is not an embryo but a nuclear transfer construct."

    The sheep Dolly, the first adult mammal cloned, was made using nuclear transfer, in which the nucleus is removed from an egg cell, replaced with the nucleus of the animal or person to be cloned, and then fused. The egg begins dividing as if it had been fertilized and sometimes becomes an embryo....

    "There is no reason ever to believe one of these things could ever become a human being," said Magnus, who with Cho wrote a commentary on the work.

    "Even for people that believe that potentiality is the key to personhood, these things, whatever they are, they are not people. Somatic cell nuclear transfer is an ethically better way of producing stem cells than using excess IVF (in vitro fertilization or test-tube baby) embryos."
I'm not sure what to make of ths claim. It smacks of back-pedaling. If the egg is dividing, it seems that a human life has been created only to be destroyed.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Tomorrow, we remember...The painting above is by one of my favorite artists, El Greco (Domínikos Theotokópoulos).
Our Four-footed Friends
Jeff Culbreath today presents some Orthodox thoughts on ANIMALS.
The Church Fathers on...
Perpetual virginity and the brothers of the Lord

As it has been noted many times, all one need to do is read the Church Fathers to know that the Early Church was Catholic, illustrating that Protestantism is a reduction, not a restoration, of true Christianity.
Korea's Native Religion
It's strange to see the Shamanistisc ritual described as "fun" ("scary" would be more appropriate), but this article offers a good introduction to the San Ssikkim Kut: Ritual for Afterlife Offers Family Fun in This Life.
Two from Seattle Catholic
Patrick J. Buchanan sets the record straight about "Hilter's Pope" in Catholic-bashers and Pius' Defenders.

Here's a sickening example of Leftist "tolerance" at work: Homosexual Activists Disturb Masses, Some Denied Communion, Some Steal It Anyway.
The Beeb Looks at Kwangju
Lingering legacy of Korean massacre
Malaysia and Israel
Re: Malaysia Blasts Israel for Banning Mahathir

When I applied for my Malaysian work permit, I had to submit a copy of every page from my passport to verify that I had never visited Israel. Also, Israeli citizens are not allowed to visit the country.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Na Zdrowie to Visitors from Poland!
I'm afraid that's the only phrase I know from growing up in heavily Polish Buffalo, NY with which to welcome those of you who visited from the Froda - Forum.

I'm not sure where this blog was linked to on your site, but your site looks good. You've got a great country, which produced a great pope. I wish you all the best!
An Excellent Idea
Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment (the one providing for the direct election of US Senators)
OhmyNews International Picks
Several worthwhile stories appeared on the English language page of Korea's "pioneer in citizen jounalism" today. Among them:I'm beginning to warm up to the idea of citizen journalism, in spite of its egalitarianism and anti-elitism, which I detest.

In fact, I'm taking part in a similar project: Spero News.
Greenpeace Go Home!
Re: Anti-Whaling Campaign Heating Up in Korea: Greenpeace activists occupy a proposed whale meat processing plant in the south of the country

I'm visiting my parents-in-law this weekend in Ulsan, where the above events are taking place. I will make the point of going to the main market and buying some delicious whale-meat and telling the merchants what I think of the cultural imperialists described in the article above.
I'm so Bored with the DPRK
Why North Korea May Start Nuclear Testing

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Latin Mass
This mesage was in my inbox today:
    Dear Catholic Blogger,

    We would like to ask you to take a few minutes to look over our mail campaign in support of the traditional Latin Mass and sacraments. We believe that unrestricted permission to say the traditional Latin Mass and to administer the traditional sacraments is essential to the good of the Church and to bringing much-needed unity to orthodox Catholics everywhere. Ut unum sint! Please take a minute or two to see if you would like to help us at:

    If you would like to help, we should deeply appreciate your mentioning us on your blog. We need your help sorely, and we ask for it humbly. We remain yours ever…


Here's the site again: QVO PRIMVM.
Asian Topics
The ANGRY TWINS post about the upcoming 10th Anniversary of the Miracle at the Shrine of Dong Lu.

Sadly, however, they don't seem to share my love of the King of Fruits, which they blasphemously call The dreaded durian.

Language geeks will enjoy the Religious Terms in Chinese posted at HaLf-BaKeD tAtErS. Most of the corresponding Korean terms come from the same Chinese characters.
The University...
A Gift From the Middle Ages
On Korean Presbyterianism
Why Calvinism took root here
A Philosophical Blog
Seattle Catholic today links to a new blog, The Scholasticum, which decribes itself as "[a]n Electronic Studium for the discussion of Scholastic Philosophy and Theology: with a special focus on the Book of Sentences of Master Peter Lombard, and his great commentators, e.g. St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure, Bl. John Duns Scotus, etc.."
My Latest
The latest edition of Spero News is online and contains this article by yours truly: The world's most wired country.
From Serge:
‘The Simpsons’ sends up the Catholic faith

UPDATE: Amy Welborn covers this story in Liveblogging the Simpsons....

I don't watch American TV shows, so didn't catch this one. Living in Korea, I miss diners, dilapidated old red barns, and Italian barbers (the only ones who know how to taper), but I definitely do not miss American television.

I do fondly remember The Simpsons, though, as just about the only TV show that managed to balance social criticism and humor with decency.

In my book, it ranks with The Twilight Zone, The Waltons, Dr. Who, and perhaps Hee-Haw as one of Television's rare contributions to Culture.
Socialist Hero, Anti-Semite
Book claims Allende was anti-Semitic
Ut Unum Sint
The story these articles tell is BIG news:I've read a lot of evidence suggesting that one of Pope Benedict XVI's goals might be to bring Anglicanism back to the fold. That would make this blogger quite happy, having learned much of the Catholic faith during my six years among Anglicans.

This bodes well for the future; the Blessed Virgin always leads her children home.
Here is an excellent read: Eastern Fronts: Our allies in Taiwan and South Korea are counting on our help, but they're not doing much to deserve it.

South Korea's policy toward the North is characterized as “see no evil, hear no evil,” Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian is accused of promoting "aggressive politics of seeking formal independence... coupled with a sharp decrease in defense spending," and President Bush's "policy vacuum" gets its fair share of the blame.

Patrick J. Buchanan, writing on January 7 2003, came up with the most sensible solution I've yet encountered in The Coming U.S. Retreat from Asia.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Against "South Park Conservatism"
Replacing duty and honor with 'South Park'
Cutesy Religious Imagery
The Marmot's Hole yesterday posted a photo with intolerably cute images of Buddha on lanterns (and a link to some decent Buddhist art) in this post: Happy Buddha's Birthday.

I'm not sure why this is, but it seems that many Koreans want their religious icons to look like cartoon characters.

Catholicism is not an exception, sadly. This is the image my parish, 이동성당, chose to represent Pentecost on its website:
If this were all I knew of Catholic "art" and if it were not for the Second Council of Nicaea in 787 A.D., seeing this, I might become an Iconoclast or, if I were not convinced of Christ's divinity, a Mohammedan. I cannot imagine how this kind of imagery can inspire anything close to devotion, veneration, or religious feeling in even a child, much less an adult.

To be fair, my parish does link to some solid devotional Catholic art, like this holy card:
Other examples can be found here: 카톨릭 사진자료.
These two disks arrived today (click on the images to find links to sound files):
Both are from Naxos, which has become my favorite label in recent years. It offers high-quality, low-price recordings of hard-to-find music.

I first discovered the world of Polyphony from an unlikely source. In The Log from the Sea of Cortez, John Steinbeck's non-fiction work, we learn that Edward F. Ricketts, the model for the character "Doc" in Cannery Row, although a bohemian and a scientist of the most scientistic sort, had a taste for the music of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.
Self Criticism
Orankay today posts about Hankyoreh's 'self criticism' session.

It seems that South Korea's leading pinko* newspaper is engaging in that time-honored (or -disgraced) Communist practice of Self Criticism, a grotesque parody of the Sacrament of Confession/Penance characteristic of the heresy that is Communism.

This is, after all, the newspaper that refers to the current régime in Seoul as "The Participatory Government" and the previous one as "The People's Government."

Here is the article in question: On the Occasion of The Hankyoreh's 2nd Founding.

*Many thanks to Mr. Jeff Culbreath of Hallowed Ground for reviving for me this useful term.
Philosphy Quiz: No Surprises
You scored as Divine Command. Your life is directed by Divine Command: Your god [sic] and religion give you meaning and direction.

More info at Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...

Divine Command




Justice (Fairness)








Strong Egoism






What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with

[link via Father of Catholic Ragemonkey]
Eugenics in the USA
Serge, of A conservative blog for peace, on linking to this disturbing article, State Secret: Thousands Secretly Sterilized, notes, "When liberals express alarm about population it’s often really about this: they don’t want certain kinds of people ‘breeding.’"
God Bless Archbishop Harry Flynn
He's reversed his previous stand: Gay Group Denied Holy Communion.

It goes without saying that a repentent person with homosexual tendencies would be welcome to partake in the Holy Eucharist, as would any repentent person with tendencies toward any other sinful behavior (selfishness, drunkenness, violence, bigotry, etc.). The "rainbow sashers" were using the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of the Catholic Faith, as an opportunity to protest against the Vatican. What sacrilege!
Poverty and Politics
Here are some excerpts from a very interesting article, Meet the Poor Republicans (NYTimes reg. req'd), by David Brooks:
    Last week the Pew Research Center came out with a study of the American electorate that crystallized something I've been sensing for a long time: rich people are boring, but poor people are interesting.

    The Pew data demonstrated that people at the top of the income scale are divided into stable, polar camps. There are the educated-class liberals - antiwar, pro-choice, anti-tax cuts - who make up about 19 percent of the electorate, according to Pew. And there are business-class conservatives - pro-war, pro-life, pro-tax cut - who make up 11 percent of voters.

    These affluent people are pretty well represented by their parties, are not internally conflicted and are pretty much stuck in their ways.

    But poorer voters are not like that. They're much more internally conflicted and not represented well by any party. You've got poor Republicans (over 10 percent of voters) who are hawkish on foreign policy and socially conservative, but like government programs and oppose tax cuts. You've got poor Democrats who oppose the war and tax cuts, but are socially conservative and hate immigration. These less-educated voters are more cross-pressured and more independent than educated voters. If you're looking for creative tension, for instability, for a new political movement, the lower middle class is probably where it's going to emerge....

    The G.O.P. succeeds because it is seen as the party of optimistic individualism.
As readers of this blog will know, I am not a Republican, although I seem to be siding more and more with their program than the other party (minus the war).

Here in Korea, I am able to maintain a comfortable upper middle-class existence. If I returned to the United States today, I'd likely be poor, until I could figure out something more lucratuve than teaching. [Samual Taylor Coleridge noted that teachers would be paupers in the Utilitarian society.]
South Korea's Jacobin President
    No trust can blossom in a society where principles are frustrated by violations and commonsense is damaged by privilege... [W]e must build a society where principles are upheld and people who compete fairly and aboveboard succeed.
- President Roh Moo-hyun, on the occasion of Buddha's Birthday, quoted in Violations and Privilege, Old and New.
Ethiopia and Korea
Yesterday, on a Korean TV program there was a brief but moving segment on the Ethiopian Korean War Veterans (page plays a haunting rendition of Arirang). These brave and noble men have built a "Korean VIllage" near Adds Ababa maintain a Korean War (see A Nice Cup of Ethiopian Coffee?) museum and office in this church:

    The Hoy Trinity Church, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
[image from Ethiopia - Addis Ababa]

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Today is Whitsunday, a.k.a....

Pentecost Sunday

Adsit nobis, quaesumus Domine, virtus Spiritus Sancti: quae et corda nostra clementer expurget, et ab omnibus tueatur adversis. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate eiusdem Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Let us pray:
We beseech Thee, O Lord, that the strength of the Holy Spirit who mercifully cleanses our hearts and protects us from all adversity be with us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of that selfsame Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

[prayer from Litaniae de Sancto Spiritu]

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Latin Pratice for Pentecost
Litaniae de Sancto Spiritu
Indonesian-Chinese in Philadelphia
Serge of A conservative blog for peace links today to this local article about "[t]he plight of ethnic Chinese and Catholics of Indonesia... [a]nd their bad treatment by the US government thanks to the new xenophobia": ICE Cold.

[ICE stands for "Immigration and Customs Enforcement."]

I was living in nearby Malaysia when these events, as described in the article, occured:
    [N]ative Indonesians turned on the ethnic Chinese in wide-scale riots that were encouraged by the Indonesian government. Human rights groups say that during the chaos more than 1,000 people were massacred — many burned alive — while countless ethnic Chinese women were gang-raped by roving mobs. Ethnic Chinese churches, homes, businesses and schools were looted and burned to the ground as police did nothing or even took part.
The Malaysian-Chinese were understandably outraged at what was happening to their ethnic kinsmen across the Straits of Malacca. They were also a bit fearful, as a minority living among the same ethnic group, whose language gave English the phrase "to run amok." Similar events had occured in Malaysia in 1969.
Personalism was the philosophical approach used by Pope John Paul the Great.

Against the Grain, the blog of The Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club, links today to this informative Acton Institute article: A History of Personalism.
From Vladan Velimirovic to Oh Kwang (悟光)
Here is an article about a Serbian Buddhist monk in Korea: Searching for Meaning of Self: E. European Monk Talks of His Relationship to Zen Buddhism.