Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.

Now Blogging Afresh at Ad Orientem 西儒 - The Western Confucian

Monday, October 31, 2005

Will SCOTUS Be 55.5% Catholic?
If "Scalito" is confirmed it wil bel: Bush to Nominate Alito to Supreme Court.

It's late here in Korea and I'll wait till tomorrow to see how this all plays out. I'm going to bed happy, though.
This piece effectively debunks identity politics with DNA: Why Race Isn't as 'Black' and 'White' as We Think*.

*Use to bypass registration.
How do you say "snowstorm" in Icelandic*?
The answer is "snøstorm," something I learned when I noticed that a visitor from jo på verdsveven happened by my blog today.

*Or perhaps Norwegian; the blog is from Reykjavik by any chance.
I returned Saturday to Korea to scenes like this:
[photo from The Seoul Times]
Der Löwen von Münster
The Holy Father on Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen, the Lion of Muenster:
    In God’s name he denounced the neo-pagan ideology of National-Socialism, defending the freedom of the Church and human rights gravely violated, protecting Jews and the weakest citizens which the regime thought should be eliminated... This is the message ever timely of Blessed von Galen: faith is not merely a private sentiment, to be hidden when it is embarrassing, it implicates coherence witness also in public in favour of mankind, justice and truth.
[quote from VATICAN - Indicating the figure of Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen, Benedict XVI recalls that “the faith is not merely a private sentiment, to be hidden when it is embarrassing ” and asks for prayers for the Synod of Bishops. Appeal for earthquake victims in south east Asia and floods in central America]
On the Beheadings of Christian Girls by Muslims
David Hartline, editor of The Catholic Report:
    I will just ask the obvious: what would the headlines have been if three Muslim children had been beheaded in a predominately Christian country?  It would have been breaking news and you wouldn't have me be the first one to tell you.
Here, again, is the sickening story: Three Indonesian girls beheaded.
An Enchanting Mass Suicide
That's the title of a novel by Finn Arto Paasilinna recently translated into Korean and reviewed here, in English: How Should I Die? The article notes that "Finland is a prosperous country, but its suicide rates rank between first and second in the world."

Albert Camus said, "There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide." I'm no philosopher, but an importantissimo question is why is it that prosperous countries like Finland have such scandalously high suicide rates. Atheists never tire of using the mass suicide at the People's Temple in Guyana, mentioned in the review, as an indictment of religion, as if that diabolical cult were in any way representative of religion, yet they ignore the individual and race suicide occuring in post-Christian Europe.
Jeff Culbreath on Opinion and Conviction
From his latest SATURDAY EVENING post:
    In a democracy, everyone is supposed to have an opinion on everything. And everyone does, it seems - or if they don't, they're ready to form one instantly. When I was eighteen, I had an opinion on the minimum wage. Today, at age thirty-nine and with a bachelor's degree in economics under my belt, I have no opinion on the minimum wage. Like most Americans, I went about things backwards. I formed all kinds of opinions on things I knew nothing about very early in life - and now I face the uncomfortable task of having to renounce many of these. 

    The world, of course, confuses opinion with conviction. We Catholics must hold the revealed truths of the Faith (and their many corollaries) with unwavering ferocity. Yet the world isn't going to cooperate: we're expected to be indifferentists when it comes to religion but fierce partisans when it comes to sports or economics or SUVs. T.S. Eliot was right when he said "The world is soft where the Church is hard, and the world is hard where the Church is soft."
I, too, face the same uncomfortable task. Mr. Culbreath and I discussed this topic when we met for breakfast a week ago in Chico, CA. It seems that we Americans, as radical democrats, have this propensity more than others.
The Marian Dimension of the Late Rosa Parks
Michelle Arnold, writing on Jimmy Akin's blog in a post entitled RIP: Rosa Parks
    Parks was a motherly figure to the movement and offered a presence that gave the cause a mantle of quiet dignity and courage. Interesting, isn't it, how great paradigm shifts in history are often ushered in by women? Men may take the lead in fighting the battle, but the "incarnation" of the moment often enough enters history through a woman.

    May Rosa Parks rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon her through Christ our Lord, as mediated by Mary his most holy Mother.
Islam in the News
But you wouldn't know it from this politically correct and meaningless headline: Group Said to Be Behind India Blasts.

Alone among her peoples, Russia's Muslims obey God's command to be fruitful and multiply: Mark Steyn: Russia is dying and Islamists will grab parts of the carcass.

Our prayers are with those of the Holy Father: Pope decries beheadings.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Neat Blog Tool
I came somthing interestung at Holy Smokes!!! - "Is that what the Bible said?", a blog run by an atheist Filipino who must have randomly stumbled across this blog by hitting the "NEXT BLOG" button at the top right-hand corner of the page. It's the NeoCOUNTER by NeoWORX, "an innovative and unique web counter that displays on your website the number of online visitors by country." I've placed it at the bottom of my sidebar.
Background Color Change
In the unending effort to make this blog easier on the eyes, I have switched over to "antiquewhite1 #FFEFDB" as this blog's new background color. This change from the sterile, industrial, and ultimately modernistic "white #FFFFFF" is intended to reflect the organic and traditionalist leanings of this blog.

For all you wanted to know about HTML coloring, visit Hex Hub Color Codes.
Je me souviens
"Canada is a beautiful country, but it is not mine," says Elsie Lefebvre, 26, of the Parti Quebecois, quoted in Ten years later, Quebec again flirts with independence.

I was staying with a friend's family, the Nguyens, in Toronto on October 30, 1995, when Québec nearly won its independence. We were glued to the television as the electoral returns were announced. This time, Québec just might succeed.

I visited beautiful Québec a few months after that vote. Growing up on the border with Ontario, I've always had an affinity for Canada, but visiting Québec for the first time, I realized it was truly a distinct society, whereas English Canada was basically just like America, but cleaner. The Quebecois were extremely friendly to me when they found out I was an American, and were quite willing to suffer through my horrible attempts at French.

In my travels, I have met fewer people more rabidly nationalistic than the English Canadians working here in Korea, especially those on the Left, and I have encountered fewer displays of hatred as intense as that the English Canadians harbor for the Quebecois. Although I normally do not like to offer opinions about the internal politics of countries in which I do not live, and as the English Canadians I've had the pleasure of knowing tend to have no reservations about opining on every aspect of American culture, society, and politics, Katolik Shinja is going to go out on a limb here and endorse the full independence and sovereignty of Québec.

Vive le Québec libre!

"Flower Boys" (Kkotminam)
"Women are supposed to be the fairer sex, but Asian men are spending a lot of time and money on their looks. Why? Because the girls like them that way": Mirror, Mirror....

Consumerism is what is behind this grotesque trend, and no region suffers from consumerism like Eastasia East Asia.

"If I dressed like this in Toronto, my friends would laugh at me," says one of the confused men quoted in the article. He continues as if stating an immutable law, "The fashion trends just change faster in Asia."

When I arrived in Korea in 1997, the men were still men. To a man, young men had short, black hair. Now, it is rare to find a young man who does not have his hair dyed or permed. Some even wear fingernail polish and make-up.

Mel Gibson's androgynous Satan in The Passion of the Christ (2004) was a stroke of genius. Deceit and confusion are the main tools at the Evil One's disposal, and perhaps nothing is more deceitful and confusing in our times than the postmodern ideas about men and women.

[link via The Marmot's Hole]
A Grim Milestone
"Two Thousand Dead, And For What?" asks Patrick J. Buchanan, noting that Mr. Bush's war "has lasted longer than World War I for the United States."
Nork Paranoia and Acceptance of US Aid
A new book, North Korea: The Paranoid Peninsula - A Modern History, is reviewed here: A glimpse into North Korean thinking.

The book discusses the "aid economy" of the DPRK, noting that "[b]etween 1995 and 2002 the US government donated almost 2 million tonnes of food aid and US$1 billion in energy and other aid to North Korea, making the country the largest single Asian recipient of American state aid."
The impact of this would be huge: Microsoft threatens to withdraw Windows in S.Korea.

Koreans love uniformity, and it might be an underestimation to say that 99.9% of them use Microsoft Windows. Most Korean Internet sites won't work properly on my Mac.
War and Remembrance
Peter Brookes, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, takes on South Korea's anti-MacArthurists: The freedom to be ungrateful*.

Even Hitlery Hillary is angry, according to this article linked to by The Marmot's Hole: 'Historical Amnesia' Hurts Korea-US Alliance: Clinton.

This article, however, shows that not all Korean have anmesia: People of Inje dedicate bridge in memory of U.S. officer.

*Use to bypass registration.
"¡Viva Cristo Rey!"
From 8 Beatified As Martyrs at Vatican Mass:
    All eight were killed in 1936, in the opening days of Spain's civil war. The Catholic Church claims 4,184 clergy were killed during the war by the government, or Republican, side, which accused the church of backing fascist Gen. Francisco Franco.
Martyrs of Spain, pray for us.

On this topic, here is an informative article that tackles the Leftist mythologizing of the Spanish Republican cause: "But Today the Struggle": Spain and the Intellectuals.

Most writers and intellectuals, like George Orwell, W.H. Auden, and Ernest Hemingway, sided with the Republicans. Evelyn Waugh was one of the few who supported the Nationalists. Aldous Huxley and T.S. Eliot refused to take sides. Georges Bernanos and Simone Weil found themselves on opposite sides, the former with the Nationalists the latter with the Republicans, but the Catholic Barnanos and Catholic-influenced Weil had the rare intellectual honesty to admit to and denounce the atrocities of their chosen side,
More Terror
Add the Indian capital to the list of world cities struck by the barbarians: 3 New Delhi Explosions Kill at Least 58.
Muslims Behead Christian Schoolgirls
This is Satanic: Indonesia: 3 Christian girls beheaded.

Yusriani Sampoe, Theresia Morangke, and Alvita Polio, reqiescant in pace.

Κύριε, ελέησον
Heritage Jazz Yatra
There's a Jazz festival, of all things, in India's Catholic enclave: Heritage Jazz Sets Goa Ablaze & Cheers to Goa and Jazz.
Anti-Christian Protests in Constantinople
The Gray Wolves march against Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios: Rightist Turks defy patriarch.

This is one more reason why these folks are right: No Turkey in EU: World Armenian Congress.
El Salvador Revisited
This article from the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty should be read by all apologists for the FMLN, the Sandinistas, Communist Cuba, and Liberation Theology: El Salvador's Secret: Freedom and Opportunity Cure Poverty.

And here's one that should be read by apologists for the death squads, if there are any: Memorial Mass for martyred American women of El Salvador.
Back in the ROK
I arrived about eight hours ago, got some sleep, and am now wide awake. It was good to be united with my wife and children again. About fifty days from now I will return to the US and, God willing, we will never be separated like this again.

My visit to Northern California included an all-too-brief visit with Hallowed Ground's Jeff Culbreath and his beautiful family. We had breakfast and enjoyed some stimulating conversation. This was the second time meeting the Culbreaths. I finer family would be hard to find.

Be sure to visit Mr. Culbreath's blog this week (and every week) and find posts about topics like women's pants, Catholic land use, dynastic families like the Bushes, the myth of the teenager, Portuguese bullfighting in California, and much, much more.

I managed to stay away from the Internet and the news. I did hear about the passing of Rosa Parks, may she rest in peace. [See Rosa Parks dies marking end of an era .] It would be beyond me to add any profound statement about her Civil Rights legacy and her place in American history, but I will say that I've always admired her dignity, the way she carried herself. More elderly American men and women would do well to follow her example and not try to dress and act like teenagers.

On the flight to the US, I saw three movies:
After watching all three, a realized fatherhood was a common theme of War of the Worlds (2005), Marche de l'empereur, La (2005), and In America (2002), very apropos given the nature of my visit.

On the return flight, I devoted my attention to books, reading three:
The first I re-read, and have made up my mind to read this book at least once a decade. Reading it in high school, I missed much. Much more stuck me reading it almost two decades later, now that I am more familiar with the evils of industrialization, consumerism, and collectivism.

In the author's forward to the second edition of 1946, published 14 years after the first, he states, "For the last thirty years there have been no conservatives; there have been only nationalistic radicals of the right and nationalistic radicals of the left." Huxley calls for decentralization and cries out against the "standardization of the human product," which we are seeing taking place before our eyes with genetic engineering and cloning. About the gross sexual promiscuity in his book, which now seems almost commonplace, Huxley says this:
    As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends compensatingly to increase. And the dictator (unless he needs cannon fodder and families with which to colonize empty or conquered territory) will do well to encourage that freedom. In conjunction with the freedom to daydream under the influence of dope and movies and the radio, it will help to reconcile his subjects to the servitude which is their fate.
One thing that caught my attention in this second reading was the dystopia's obsession with sports, something that has always struck me as a bit unhealthy about American society.

Thomas Merton's book, written before he went head over heels for Oriental religions, gives some good pointers on praying the Divine Office.

Finally, the last book is one I found out about in this post by Tim Jones on Jimmy Akin's blog: Holy Envy? From that post, here is a brief description:
    It is the story of Karen Killilea, who was born with cerebral palsy. It was written by her mother, Marie Killlilea, in 1952. In the book we see how Karen fights both her physical disability and the sometimes callous response of the society around her. There is a bonus, in that the Killileas are a warmly devout Catholic family and the book touches on very relevent themes, such as the intrinsic value of all human life.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I'm Leavin' on a Jet Plane
I've snuck in a few last posts, but now I must get ready to leave to visit my beautiful family. The Blog Break I promised you has now begun.
"The Chopstick Theory of Scientific Supremacy"
This article explains how "Korea's government, religion, culture, reverence for science, nationalism, and skinny chopsticks" have made it the leader in embryonic stem cell research: The Seoul of Clones.

While the article erroneously lauds this unethical research, it does provide some insight into why Korea is where it is in this field.

[link via ~ oranckay ~]
Father Goose
That's what I am, sort of. Temporarily, at least.

A gireogi appa is a Korean father who works in his homeland while his family lives in the United States where the kids get educated. The Nomad has some thoughts on this phenomenon: Gireogi fathers, again.

My two-year old is not in the US for education, but physical therapy, and I'm leaving shortly for a visit.
Just War and A-bombs
Dropping the Bomb
Burial of the Dead
This was touched on here yesterday. Here are two more stories.

The first shocking story comes from Pro-Life News: Ex-Funeral Director Charged With Abusing Corpses of 19 Babies Found in Pa. Garage. He is not being charged for the more than 300 corspes of the unborn from abortuaries found.

Next, from Aljazeera.Net English, describes how Indian Chrsitians are being asked to use crematoria, as cemetary space is dwindling: Delhi Christians in a grave crisis.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Blog Break
I'm leaving for a week in the United States tomorrow. Who'd have ever thought I'd by leaving Korea to visit my Korean wife in the US? We've been blessed with some trials, trading countries not the least of them. I've been alone in Korea for six weeks, which explains the frequency of the posts here.

The Snyders of Pohang will be reunited again, if only for a week, in Chico, California, a short drive from Hallowed Ground country. This blog will remain un-updated for a week to ten days, although I might sneak a post or two in tomorrow morning before I leave.

In the meantime, God bless you all.
Un-Catholic Desecration of the Dead
This is revolting, as was the desecration of American dead in Somalia and Iraq: U.S. Looks Into Videotaped Desecration of Taliban Corpses by Army Unit.

From the article:
    According to the report, the bodies were set afire on hills above the village of Gonbaz north of Kandahar after the two Taliban fighters were killed by U.S. soldiers the night before. Five soldiers stood around the fire, and two of them read messages trying to provoke militants.

    The messages, which apparently were broadcast to the Taliban, highlighted the fact that the bodies were laid out facing Mecca.

    "Attention Taliban: You are cowardly dogs," read one soldier, identified as psychological operations specialist Sgt. Jim Baker. "You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to retrieve the bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be."

    Another soldier, who was unidentified, read: "You attack and run away like women. You call yourself Talibs but you are a disgrace to the Muslim religion, and you bring shame upon your family. Come and fight like men instead of the cowardly dogs you are."

    A third soldier is heard saying, "Wow, look at the blood coming out of the mouth on that one."
Of course, it must be said that such actions are not condoned by the U.S. military:
    In Florida, headquarters of U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in Afghanistan, officials released a statement pledging to investigate the "alleged misconduct." Officials also said they would take "legal and disciplinary action" if the corpse burning proved "contrary to the Geneva Convention and U.S. policy."

    "Under no circumstances does U.S. Central Command condone the desecration, abuse or inappropriate treatment of enemy combatants," the statement says.

    In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman promised that the matter would be "aggressively investigated."

    "These are very serious allegations and, if true, very troublesome," Whitman said. "If proven to be true, the individuals will be held appropriately accountable."
Proper burial of the dead, including enemy dead, is one of the Corporal Works of Mercy.

*Use to bypass registration.
Enculturation in Korea
I'm not sure how well this will work for those outside of Korea, but this is a Mass I saw on Korean Catholic television last Sunday: 2005년 10월 16일 연중 제29주일 - 서울대교구 돈암동 성당 (click on the little TV).

The Mass is remarkable for several reasons. First, it is a parish's 50th anniversary Mass. Second, it is presided over by Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan, Archbishop Emeritus of Seoul. Third, and what caught my attention, the Mass uses traditional Korean instrumention, and quite reverently I might add. At about the 8:00 mark listen to the Kyrie followed directly by the Gloria. Later, Panis Angelicus is even sung with support from Korean instruments. Much of the music is Western, but with Korean instrumentation.

Jason Choi of KoreanCatholic told me he once stumbled into such a Mass in Seoul. I find it to be a solid example of Catholic enculturation and very reverent. Such masses add a dimension to the idea of Traditionalism.
The New Moon
Her name is Dione.
A Blue State Attack on a Red State Family
"Arkansas mom gives birth to a whole freakin' baseball team. How deeply should you cringe?" asks the San Franciscan author of this vile piece of commentary: God Does Not Want 16 Kids.

Open Book's Amy Welborn, in linking to this article, notes that "[o]nly in the 21st century... [w]ould someone call a couple with a lot of kids 'selfish.'"
One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
    Could we ever see in our own churches the transnational, multicultural and multiclass expression of love and joy we witnessed in St. Peter's Square?
-- Protestant theologian D. Stephen Long, quoted by Jason Choi in this post: -=A protestant theologian says that having a pope might be a good idea=-.

I would only add that the term "multicultural" here does not mean "anticultural" as the progressivists would have it.
Democratism and Democracy in Iraq
Mark Shea juxtopses two articles on the above themes today at Catholic and Enjoying It!

The first, by Patrick J. Buchanan, questions our president's Wilsonian "political conversion to democratism, a faith-based ideology that holds democracy to be the cure for mankind's ills:" Bush's faith-based war.

The second reports on efforts to "beg the Pope to make one last plea for democracy" and fears that "the country is one step closer to becoming an Islamic state intolerant to non-Muslims:" Iraq bishops ready to seek help from Pope.

We can only pray that God might "write straight with crooked lines" on this one.
One genetically defective patient costs the state 5.5 Reichsmarks per day. For 5.5 Reichsmarks a genetically healthy family can live for one day!
That's from a Nazi euthanasia propaganda poster, quoted in beautiful people and the "useless eaters", a post linked to today by Seattle Catholic.
North and South
"Park Geun-Hye, head of the conservative Grand National Party (GNP), accused Roh's progressive government of undermining the foundations of South Korea's anti-communist national identity:" Ideological row heats up over North Korea.
South Korea at the Forefront of Unethical Science
"A bank that will create and supply new lines of embryonic stem cells for research opened Wednesday in Seoul as part of a global partnership that will help scientists in countries such as the United States get around government restrictions on cloning:" S. Korea Opens Bank for Stem Cell Research.

South Korea's progressivist President Roh Moo-hyun hailed the establishment of the new center:
    A tremendous thing is happening here... It's the politicians' role to deal properly with the controversy over life ethics so that it cannot block scientific research and progress.
Translate "deal properly" as "ignore."

Father Lee Dong-ik of the Catholic University of Korea counters with the following:
    I question why there cannot be profound discussions on the issue in our country like there have been in other countries... We don't have an environment where the ethical problems (of the research) can be freely discussed.
This bank is doubly evil, as the process involves both cloning and the destruction of embryonic life. Had the bank chosen to focus on adult stem cells, it would have our full support.
Holy Scripture
There's a new translation in Korean: Seonggyeong is the first Bible translated by Catholics only.
Politically Correct Orthography
From the Low Countries, of course: No more "Christ" with a capital C in the Netherlands
The Death Penalty
One of our best and brightest bishops speaks: Archbishop Chaput clarifies Church’s stance on death penalty, says in industrialized societies, it must end.

The Archbishop's own words:
    Catholic teaching on euthanasia, the death penalty, war, genocide and abortion... are rooted in the same concern for the sanctity of the human person. But these different issues do not all have the same gravity or moral content. They are not equivalent....

    In the wake of the bloodiest century in history... the Church invites us to recover our own humanity by choosing God’s higher road of restraint and mercy instead of state-sanctioned killing that implicates all of us as citizens.
The Archbishop is correct that the death penalty "implicates all of us as citizens." For that reason, all executions should be public.

I agree with The Christian Liberty Party's proposed stance on this issue:
    Whereas the nation has a duty to protect the families within its borders from internal assault, the right of every nation to impose just penalties upon criminals, including the death penalty, cannot be denied. However, justice likewise demands that the death penalty only be imposed when all other avenues for maintaining the security of the nation’s inhabitants are clearly inadequate and the identity of the criminal can be established with certainty. While progress has been made in assuring the certain identity of dangerous criminals, the necessary certainty is not in all cases achieved. Furthermore, given the resources of American society, life-long imprisonment in solitary confinement is, in almost all cases, sufficient to sequester the danger to the family that dangerous, unrepentant criminals represent. As a result, the death penalty in America is to be used with extreme infrequency, if at all.
The idea of "life-long imprisonment in solitary confinement" coupled with forced labor sounds good to me.
The President has God on his Side
    I am not one of those that have the least anxiety about the triumph of the principles I have stood for: I have seen fools resist Providence before, and I have seen their destruction, as will come upon these again, utter destruction and contempt. That we shall prevail is as sure as that God reigns.
That was said not by President George W. Bush, as you might have guessed from the syntax, but by a far worse president, perhaps the worst America has ever known, that hero of the Left, Thomas Woodrow Wilson.

[quoted on Cathartidae]
The Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman
Cure could speed Newman's path to sainthood

Please consider offering one of these Prayers to Venerable John Henry Newman. I choose this one:
    Venerable John Henry Newman, glory of the Anglican and the Catholic Churches, intercede for the ecumenical union of all Christian Churches.

    Glory be to the Father...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Talk with a Former KATUSA
This evening, I had the opportunity to talk for more than an hour with one of my students, a former KATUSA. KATUSA stands for "Korean Augmentation to the United States Army" and the program of Republic of Korean Army soldiers serving with their American counterparts dates back to the Korean War. Only those with superior English ability qualify.

It is always a pleasure to have former KATUSAs in one's English class, because after having spent two years serving alongside American GIs, they have a cross-cultural knowledge and worldliness that their peers can not hope to have. They even have knowledge of one American institution that I admit to having very little first-hand knowledge about, the US Military.

My student described watching the Super Bowl and the Presidential Election with the US soldiers, and the overwhelming opposition to both the New England Patriots and John Kerry. He also spoke of the sad memorial services on the US bases here in Korea for those killed in Iraq. My student's experience with female US soldiers convinced them that the military was no place for women. He noted that the Army changes everyone, and the way it changed women was not for the better.

He told me that KATUSAs always strive to be on their best behavior, because they know that the impression they leave on the Americans will be their impression of the country as a whole. They act as ambassadors. It would be good if more Americans in Korea, both in and out of the service, adopted this attitude. Perhaps it speaks of a healthy sense of patriotism that we have lost or maybe never even had.

I learned a lot from tonight's conversation. My former KATUSA student finished his service with a great deal of regard for the Americans with whom he served, and a desire to meet them again in America.
Hallowed Ground's Jeff Culbreath today links to a year-old proposal for the establishment of The Christian Liberty Party made by Steve Kellmeyer of Bridegroom Press.

The platform, still in development, is based on The Principle of Subsidiarity, the idea that "nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization."

Mr. Culbreath suggests e-mailing the author with support and ideas.
Our Cowardly New World
Open Book links to this Washington Post article describing a sickening trend:We pro-lifers most definitely do want this debate. Please leave comments if you think eradicating the disabled is a good idea.

The author, a mother of a child with Down's Syndrome, begins with this question:
    If it's unacceptable for William Bennett to link abortion even conversationally with a whole class of people (and, of course, it is), why then do we as a society view abortion as justified and unremarkable in the case of another class of people: children with disabilities?
Only the methods have changed:
    In ancient Greece, babies with disabilities were left out in the elements to die. We in America rely on prenatal genetic testing to make our selections in private, but the effect on society is the same.
Sadly, in this progressive era it is necessary for the author to remind the reader of the personhood of her daughter:
    Margaret is a person and a member of our family. She has my husband's eyes, my hair and my mother-in-law's sense of humor. We love and admire her because of who she is -- feisty and zesty and full of life -- not in spite of it. She enriches our lives. If we might not have chosen to welcome her into our family, given the choice, then that is a statement more about our ignorance than about her inherent worth.

    What I don't understand is how we as a society can tacitly write off a whole group of people as having no value. I'd like to think that it's time to put that particular piece of baggage on the table and talk about it, but I'm not optimistic. People want what they want: a perfect baby, a perfect life. To which I say: Good luck. Or maybe, dream on.
There it is in all its baseness: the progressivist pipe-dream of human perfectability.

On the same topic, A conservative blog for peace posts this from Mere Comments: Eradicating the Disabled:
    I myself recall having a conversation with a Down's syndrome adult man, who noted the disparity between Senator Edward M. Kennedy's well-publicized support for the Special Olympics, and his equally well-known insistence that no woman should have to bear the indignity of a "defective" or unwanted child. "I may be slow," this man observed, "but I am not stupid. Does he think that people like me can't understand what he really thinks of us? That we are not really wanted? That it would be a better world if we didn't exist?"
Lord, have mercy on us.

*Use to bypass registration.
Franz Liszt calles him the "The First Rock Star," linking today to this review of a new book on the composer's life: Napoleon of the piano.

The composer's Catholicsim is explored in this article: Franz Liszt and the Sacramental Bridge: Music as Theology of Presence.

I'm not a big fan of Romanticism, but I find Liszt's Les Préludes to be one of the most rousing compositions ever.
Europe's Race Suicide
"The EU and Jihad: Foes or Partners?," asks Srdja Trifkovic. Here's the first paragraph of his answer:
    The Europan Union (EU) presents a façade of technological, financial and cultural strength that conceals its underlying moral and demographic weaknesses. Its frailty is apparent in the loss of a sense of place and history and the collapsing birth rates. Europe’s shrinking populations are being indoctrinated into believing, or else forced into accepting, that a massive demographic shift in favor of Muslim aliens is a blessing that enriches their culturally arid and morally unsustainable societies. Under the EU’s tutelage they are losing the ability to define and defend themselves, to the benefit of unassimilable multitudes filled with contempt for the host-nations.
Kimilsungism in Africa, or the Lack Thereof
Here's an update on a story covered here earlier: S.Africa Denies Dark Continent Reveres Kim Il-sung.

Here's part of the statement from the South African Embassy in Seoul:
    Statements like "Africans feel more affinity with North Korea than South Korea" and "Since the 1960s, the biggest obstacle to the independence of African countries was the U.S." are totally incorrect. [It also says it is difficult to understand] how an academic, after visiting South Africa for only two months, can make statements on behalf of South Africans and Africans that are totally distorted.
UPDATE: The Marmot, Korea expat blogger par excellence and himself a former Africa hand, provides in-depth analysis of this story, including the DPRK's connection to thugs like Robert Mugabe, in this post: S. African embassy criticizes scholar’s comments.
Ethics Charter for Life Science Scientists
Stem cell ethics charter adopted in Seoul

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
It's not from eating tainted beef: 9 Cases of Brain-Wasting Disease in Idaho.
Royal News
"Police arrested a Malaysian royal family member after he and his friends allegedly crashed the wedding reception of a Brazilian couple and attacked guests with golf clubs and sharp objects:" Malaysian royal family member arrested for brawl at Brazilian wedding gala.

And I thought the British royal family had some problems! I wonder if the Johor royal family has any relation to America's royal family, the Kennedys.

While in Malaysia, I had an Indian Hindu colleague who was from the state of Johor Bahru, where the above crime took place. Although she would often joke about the Malays ("Where do you think the English word 'malaise' comes from?"), she had the utmost respect for her Sultan.
يسوع المسيح
"Yasū`a al-Masīħ" is how Christian Arabs refer to Our Lord. Muslim Arabs also call him "Īsā" (عيسى) or "Īsā ibn Miryam."

"[Both Muslims and Christians] believe in Jesus as the Messiah and accept that he was born of a virgin, that he never sinned. There is more in common than there are differences between us,” says Hisham Mahmoud, quoted in Mahmoud compares Islam and Christianity.

He's right in his first assertion, although sadly, many calling themselves Christians today reject the Virgin Birth and see Jesus as a teacher rather than the Messiah. Muslims are closer to the truth about Christ than they are.

Mr. Mahoud is wrong, however, in his second assertion. Christians recognize Jesus as "'Īsā ibn Allâh al-'Ali" (Jesus Son of God Most High). That makes all the difference in the world and defines the Christian qua Christian.

[See ISA facts and information for more on the Islamic view of Jesus.]
Secularism in Europe and Beyond
"If enlightened Europe scoffs at Vatican exorcisms, it is not because Europeans deny the existence of Satan; it is because they don't want to fight him:" The Exorcism of Europe.
The Americanist Heresy
"After all, I am just as American as I am saved," said the Baptist at Daniel Nichols' door. The revealing anecdote is described in this post: Just As American.
South Korean Rightists
Call me a fascist, but I would be a liar if I said pictures like this did not give me hope for the Republic of Korea:

    Members of a civic group stage a rally at Dongguk University in
    Seoul yesterday to call for the arrest of two professors at the
    university, Kang Jeong-koo and Jang Shi-ki, on charges of violation
    of the National Security Law.

    [image and text from ARREST PRO-NORTH PROFESSORS!]
I am especially impressed by the youth of these Rightists, and their suits. For a taste of how Korean Leftists look and act, see this post from the GI: 9/11 Hate Fest in South Korea.
A New Rite?
This, from Outreach to Latin Mass Catholics proposed for final message by John Allen, is exciting:
    During discussion Saturday morning, Castrillón Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy as well as president of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, created in 1988 to meet the pastoral needs of Catholics attached to the pre-Vatican II Mass, proposed inserting language that would essentially treat the old Mass as a legitimate rite of the church, comparable, for example, to the various Eastern rites that already exist.
[link via Seattle Catholic]

Monday, October 17, 2005

Ethical Science
"In a development that may shift the political debate over embryonic stem cells, researchers have devised two new techniques designed to alleviate ethical concerns:" Stem cells, with ethics.
Eastern Orthodoxy
Singaporean Orthodox Christian Constantine has a post with photos of the 5th Annual Orthodox Prayer Service for the United Nations Community in New York City.
The Best Defense May Not Be a Good Offense
"Stop the 'War on Terror'," says Michael S. Rozeff, a professor at my alma mater, arguing that self-defense is a better strategy:
    Terrorists are criminals, but they are not always our criminals. When they are, as in the case of bin Laden and others whom there is evidence against, then there is justification for moving against them, although we may debate the means of doing so.
It is not that difficult to make the case that he war in Afghanistan was, and perhaps still is, justifiable. The same can not be said of the war in Iraq.

This article, from the UK, suggests that, rather than warfare, intelliegence, something sorely lacking in both Washington and London, is a better strategy to combat terror: In the fight against al-Qaida we need people, not tanks.
"Oh Happy Times"
Authoress Gong Ji-young has written a new novel of that title about the death penalty. Below is a picture of her, and a synopsis of her book, from Gong's novel on death penalty opens up new possibility:

    Yu-jeong is a professor at a college in Seoul not because she's really into the art but because she was born into a wealthy family. Yu-jeong was forced to attend an obscure university in Paris, and her father, who is on the board of the Korean university, pulled some strings to appoint her as a professor.

    But her life seems to be a mess. She doesn't have any will to live. And three failed suicide attempts have made her life more miserable. Her aunt, a Catholic nun, leads Yu-jeong into a strange place: a prison cell block where death-row inmates wait for the last day of their life.

    Yu-jeong meets one of them willy-nilly. His name is Yun-su, a criminal who committed heinous crimes and is sentenced to death. Despite their starkly different backgrounds, the two begin to communicate with each other, and the momentum comes when they realize both deeply resent the "unfair" world at large.

    Yu-jeong has a troubling past. She was raped by her cousin when she was a young girl, but her mother, who urgently needed influence and power from the cousin's family, did not care about her daughter's pain and attempted to hide the incident.

    Yu-jeong cannot forgive her cruel mother and the equally heartless world. The social values such as love and trust sound utterly meaningless for her.

    Yun-su was born to a poor family. His father was an alcoholic and his mother ran away from the poverty-stricken life. Yun-su was often beaten by his father for no apparent reason, and his younger brother went blind due to the abuse.

    When his father committed suicide, Yun-su and his blind brother were moved to an orphanage. Eventually, Yun-su lost his brother on the street because they had no money and no power to stand on their feet. Yun-su couldn't forgive the unfair world that made his life hopeless and, more importantly, turned him into a death-row inmate.

    Yu-jeong and Yun-su find sadness in each other. And they change each other, a turning point that pushes the story forward with a powerful force. Author Gong places the death penalty system into their tragic love, raising the question about whether people can justify "legal murder" in order to preserve social justice.

    While Yu-jeong and Yun-su slowly reconcile with the unfair world and even forgive the cruel world, the day of the much-dreaded "legal murder" comes abruptly.
I'm of two minds on the death penalty. It is not intrinsically wrong, but in applicatiom it often is. Catholics cannot disagree about abortion or euthanasia, but can about this issue, as this article about the Virginia gubernatorial race linked to by The Catholic Report today illustrates: Differing on death penalty: Both are Catholic, but Kaine opposes capital punishment while McDonnell supports it.

For the record, here's what Paragraph # 2297 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say on the subject
    Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

    If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

    Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically non-existent."
Korean Religious Opposition to and Support for Human Cloning
South Korea is at the forefront of cloning. Ethical questions have been largely ignored by a public eager to be first in the world in something. But not all are happy; these excerpts from an article entitled Ethical ire voiced by Christians on cloning show where Korea's Catholics, Protestants, and Buddhists stand on the issue:
    Although celebrated by the government and the general public for his breakthrough achievements in the use of human stem cells, the Seoul National University veterinarian Hwang Woo-suk has become a high-profile target for religious groups who oppose his research, which involves the use of human embryos.

    He has become a popular academic celebrity in the past year, during which he announced the first cloning of designer human embryonic stem cells and the cloning of a dog ― both global firsts. But while the government has increased its funding support for his research, religious groups have been more insistently opposing his stem cell work.

    Among those groups, the Roman Catholic Church in Korea has been in the forefront of the attacks. Most recently, Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan, the archbishop-emeritus of Seoul, launched an attack on that work in an interview with a Christian publication. That was only a few days after the Catholic archdiocese here announced on Oct. 5 that it intended to raise 10 billion won ($9.6 million) to foster research on adult stem cells. The church, along with many conservative Protestant denominations, considers conception the beginning of human life and therefore opposes the use of embryos to obtain stem cells. Adult stem cells is a specialized term, referring not only to cells that can be extracted from bone marrow but those obtained from blood remaining in a newborn child's umbilical cord. The archbishop of Seoul, Cheong Jin-suk, met with Dr. Hwang in June to try to persuade him to end his research using embryos; although the meeting was called friendly, Dr. Hwang said his research would continue because it was an attempt to cure otherwise incurable afflictions....

    Protestant groups, which had been relatively quiet about the issue, have also begun to speak up. The Christian Council of Korea announced on Oct. 13 that it intended to give its full support to research on adult stem cells, urging that studies on embryonic stem cells be ended immediately.

    The council cited the same moral and ethical concerns as the Roman Catholic leadership. Choi Sung-gyu, the chairman of the Christian Council of Korea, praised Professor Hwang for his achievements but added, "Killing life to make treatments isn't holy." He said the group's support for adult stem cell study would include financial support, but that the amounts to be contributed to that research had not been decided....

    The National Council of Churches in Korea, a more liberal Christian group, has not opposed the study of embryonic stem cells, but has not said unambiguously that it supports it. On July 14, the group issued a statement saying it believed Mr. Hwang's claims that his research was for the purpose of treating incurable diseases, but it warned that if it saw any other "impure intentions," it will ask for the research to be stopped.

    Not everyone, however, frowns on Mr. Hwang. Among Buddhist groups, the Jogye order of Korean Buddhism expressed its support for Dr. Hwang under the guidance of the Venerable Bubjang, who died in September. This support led the Buddhist leader and many other monks to donate their body organs for medical purposes, despite the Buddhist custom of cremation. The support, however, was for Mr. Hwang's research in general and not directed at his work with embryonic stem cells; since the Venerable Bubjang's death, Buddhist groups have made no official comment on the question of stem cells.
South Korea's Birthrate
The government recognizes the problem: Government to Spend 7 Trillion Won on Birth Rate Aid.

That's $US 7 billion. A cultural awakening, not government spending, is needed to solve this problem. Korea's competetive, wasteful, and ultimately ineffective education environment needs to be changed.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Last Night's Film Pick
Last night I watched Tess (1979), Roman Polanki's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's tragedy Tess of the D'Urbervilles. The film is every bit as beautifully crafted as is its star, Nastassja Kinski, my favorite actress when I was a teenager.

[SPOILER WARNING] The twenty-year-old Miss Kinski plays Tess Durbeyfield, a poor, intelligent country girl whose father finds out that their family is in fact the last of a great Norman line, the D'Urbervilles. This discovery leads to Tess's doom. Her parents send her off to some newlt discovered rich "relations," who are in reality wealthy commoners who merely bought the name. Tess is raped by a "cousin" and leaves in disgrace. She later has a baby whom she baptizes* herself on the night of its death.

Tess goes off to work on a farm and meets the young, idealistic, progressive son of a parson, Angel, who asks her to marry him. Guilt about her past inclines her to decline, but she later writes a letter confessing her "sin." Angel does not mention the letter, and she assumes he has forgiven her, only to find out on her wedding day that Angel never received the letter. On their wedding night, Angel confesses a past relationship and Tess confesses hers. Angel dismisses her coldly with these chilling words:
    I cannot but help associating your lack of firmness with the decline of your family. Decrepit families imply deficient willpower and decadent conduct. I thought you a child of nature. But you are the last of a line of degenerate aristocrats.
Thomas Hardy, as far as I know, was a member of the school of Naturalism, whose stark ethos was informed by the determinism of Darwin and Marx. Hardy had sympathy for the plight of his protagonist, but insisted her fate was sealed by her ancestry.

The DVD and the original novel are found below:
*This scene had me on the edge of my seat. After the baby's death, the Anglican Vicar quizzes Tess to see if she validly followed the Trinitarian formula. I won't spoil the scene for those who have not seen the film.
The world's longest suspension bridge...
is to be built across the Messina Straits, connecting Sicily to the Italian Peninsula:[link via Dappled Things]
Mark Shea's Politics
He's another who doesn't pigeonhole himself into one of the two false options given the American electorate:
    People have been expressing bafflement over the "brand of politics" I'm pushing since I've been critical of a) the Left and its' sacrament of abortion, as well as its tendency to promote the Nanny state and assist the Gay Brownshirt Campaign and b) the Right and its apologies for Torture, its promotion of an unjust war, and its willingness to make excuses for Bush when he practices cronyism, bungles Katrina response, treats the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice with complete unseriousness, and endangers civil rights, all while making sure my grandchildren's future is mortgaged to pay for the vast spending spree that keeps the populace mollified in the short term and sets us up for fiscal catastrophe.
[from It's been a while since I talked about this so perhaps a refresher is in order.]
There's a new sound on the Emerald Isle: Ireland Finds New Soul in Gospel Music.

Some of the groups profiled are affiliated with Catholic parishes, but it seems this trend is part of the de-Catholicization of Ireland. Or, more hopefully, it is a movemnet to fill the void left by said de-Catholicization.

After all, the Irish are, it has been said, the Blacks of Europe. And if Koreans are the Irish of Asia, does this not explain the Korean love of R&B?
The Politics of Envy in American Academia
Korean novelist Hong Sang-hwa on the "the leftist tendencies of American humanities professors," quoted in [Opinion] The Revival of Kim Il Sung:
    Those who remain in college after graduation while most others enter society are the scholars. They want their excellence to be recognized in other places as well as among themselves, but when they discover that reality is not so, they become jealous over those who are better than they are. That jealousy is one reason they become leftists.
The article also quotes Cho Ki-sook, presidential secretary for public affairs, as saying, "Most American college professors are on the progressive side, but on the contrary, Korea has too many conservative college professors." I've heard many students express this same sentiment.
Bad Bad Science
Social science, not being a science, is by definition bad science, but some of it appears to be really, really bad, like the study entitled "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look" by Gregory Paul. The study claims that religious belief causes societal dysfunction. Worse than the study was the smugly glowing reaction it received from the Secular Leftist media.

The study is demolished in this ZENIT article: Religion: Harmful for Society?: New Study Says Yes, But Its Argument Shows Flaws.

A non-believer writing for the WSJ takes it on, too: So That's the Reason: A scientist blames America's problems on religion.
Elizabeth Marquardt, herself a child of divorce, has written a new study entitled "Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce." The study shows the damage that even a "good divorce" can do to children.

Maggie Gallagher discusses the findings in this piece: DIVORCE STUDY BREAKS NEW GROUND

The ZENIT News Agency does the same here: Children of Divorce: New Study Explores the Nasty Effects.
Sanatana Dharma
Dr. Frank Gaetano Morales discusses Emerson and Thoreau, Swami Vivekananda, the 1960s, Indian Hindus, and "Hidden Hindus" (non-Indian new-agers who practice Hinduism): Does Hinduism Have a Future in America?

Interestingly, he rejects "Radical Universalism" (the claim that all religions are equal). We Catholcis can agree with him on this point. Calling it "Intolerant Tolerance," Dr. Gaetano Morales takes on "Radical Universalism" in this piece: Does Hinduism Teach That All Religions Are The Same?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I speak of the meat product, not unsolicited email. The LA Times has discovered Korea's love of the stuff: When Only Slabs of Pink, Jellied Byproduct Will Do*.

Here's how the article begins:
    Stroll into an expensive department store and walk straight past the $180 watermelon with a ribbon twirled just so around its stem. Don't bother with the tea in a butterfly-shaped tin for $153, or with the gift boxes of Belgian chocolates or French cheeses.

    If you're looking for a gift that bespeaks elegance and taste, you might try Spam. The luncheon meat might be the subject of satire back home in the U.S., but in South Korea, it is positively classy. With $136 million in sales, South Korea is the largest market in the world for Spam outside the United States. But here, some consider the pink luncheon meat with its gelatinous shell too nice to buy for themselves, and 40% of the Spam is purchased as gifts.

    Especially during the holidays, you can see the blue-and-yellow cans neatly stacked in the aisles of the better stores. South Koreans are nearly as passionate about packaging as the Japanese are, and the Spam often comes wrapped in boxed sets. A set of 12 cans costs $44.

    "Spam really is a luxury item," said Han Geun Rae, 43, an impeccably dressed fashion buyer who was loading gift boxes of Spam into a cart at the Shinsegae department store before the recent Chusok holiday.

    Chusok is the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving, and the biggest gift-giving occasion of the year here. On this holiday alone, Korean distributor CJ Corp. estimates, 8 million cans of Spam change hands.
A few years ago, I bought a Spam giftset for my father, a Span-lover, but I'm sure it was less than $44. It didn't have the two bottles of olive oil pictured below:

*Use to bypass registration.
Politically Correct Journalism
Not until the ninth paragraph (by which time most people have stopped reading) of this LA Times article are the words "Islamic extremist" used: Dutch Raids Net 7 Suspected of Assassination Plots*.

*Use to bypass registration.
Rumors of War and Prayers for Peace
Mr. Bush may be about to get his war with Syria: G.I.'s and Syrians in Tense Clashes on Iraqi Border*.

Let us pray not. Let us also pray that this is successful and that it leads to peace and stability: Baghdad Quiet as Vote Begins on Constitution*.

It would be despicable for those of us opposed to Mr. Bush's War to hope, out of a sense of enmity toward the President or baser Schadenfreude, that this referundum fails and Iraq is plunged into even bloodier violence. Let us rather pray that this referendum passes, brings peace to the country, and that Mr. Bush is hailed by future generations as the liberator and builder of Iraq.

*Use to bypass registration.
Eminem and Outsourcing
For the record, I'm no fan of the performer I mention above, his genre of music, or what he represents. I did, however, watch the second half of his movie 8 Mile (2002) last night, as a result of flipping through channels not knowing what to do with myself while my wife and children are in the United States. I watched it as one might watch a documentary, and have to confess to having appreciated the film.

A few things struck me. First, Detroit looks a lot like Buffalo, NY, my hometown, only bigger and worse. The more important thing that struck me was the abyssmal situation of the disadvantaged, the underclass, the lumpenproletariat, or whatever term is en vogue these days. Let's call them the poor. Let me first say that the scenes of abject poverty were nothing new to me, although by the grace of God I've never myself been in such a situation. Without implicating anyone, let me say that such scenes are, in fact, uncomfortably close to home.

The film shows, perhaps unintentionally, and I will unapologetically sound like a Republican here, how the abandonment of fatherhood and other community standards has created endemic and generational poverty. I couldn't help but think, and I will unapologetically sound like a Democrat here, that talk of "family values" will have little resonance with folks who have no prospect of getting a job! I also couldn't help but think, and now I will unapologetically sound like a Buchananite, a Nadarite, or Lou Dobbs, that it is at best unpatriotic and at worst traitorous that American companies are opening plants in Shenzhou and Mumbai and not in Detriot and Buffalo, or worse moving them from the latter to the former!

So, where do the best and brightest of these kids from Detriot and Buffalo go to improve their lot? What is the only legal and moral avenue open to them? The military. These are the ones serving their country and fighting and dying in Mr. Bush's War. What will they come home to?

My laissez-faire friends will disagree with me, but I find this situation absurd and revolting beyond belief.

And here's a thought: if more of the young gangbangers and hoodlums had jobs, maybe they'd have less to rap about and American music could be cleaned up a bit.

UPDATE: Roger Ebert has something very enlightening to say in his review ( 8 Mile):
    As it happens, on the same day that "8 Mile" was screened in Chicago, I also saw "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," a documentary about the studio musicians who created the Motown Sound. The contrast was instructive. On the one hand, a Detroit white boy embracing the emblems of poverty and performing in a musical genre that involves complaint, anger and alienation. On the other hand, black Detroit musicians making good money, performing joyously, having a good time and remembering those times with tears in their eyes. What has happened to our hopes, that young audiences now embrace such cheerless material, avoiding melody like the plague? At least in their puritanism they still permit rhymes.
Another Casualty of Mr. Bush's War?
America, listen to Wall Street, not the White House: Anti-American Sentiment May Hurt US Firms.
The Religion of Peace in Indonesia
This is alarming: Islamic extremists attack Catholics reciting rosary.

Let us never forget the 1997 ethnic cleansing and mass rapes of Chinese-Indonesians, many of them Catholics, nor what happened in Christian Ambon, nor the decades of suffering of the Catholic Timorese. What are these Catholics to do? "Hail, Holy Queen and pass the ammunition?"

Remember, it was Malayo-Indonesian that gave English the expression "to run amok."
The Birds
When I was courting my then-future wife, we once visited Cheonsu Bay in Seosan, Chungnam Province, the major stop for migratory birds en route from Siberia to Southeast Asia.

This is what you'll see there now:The authorities are warning people not to go there.
Marxist Indoctrination in South Korean Schools
This is fascinating and scary; from Study Reveals Economics Textbooks Are Filled With Biased Viewpoints, Errors:
    In particular, many textbooks turned out to contain terms used only by Marxist economists and descriptions which give negative impressions of democracy.
The Korean peninsula seems to be just about the best place to make a comparison of command and free market economies: same race, same language, same culture, same history, different economic systems. The North is a famine-ridden basketcase; the South the world's 11th largest ecomomy. Yet, many young people here support Socialism. Now I know why.
Korean Isolationalism
"A new poll suggests that a few traces of Korea's history as a 'hermit kingdom' still linger in modern South Korea:" Koreans cast wary eye on world.

Here are some statistcs:
    Only 40 percent said Korea should increase its aid to poorer countries, for example, and two-thirds opposed the idea of easing the requirements for foreigners to obtain Korean citizenship. More than 57 percent rejected the idea that Korea should follow decisions of international organizations that differed from sentiment here.

    Two-thirds of Koreans in the poll said they believed this country did not get the respect it deserved from the outside world, and an even larger majority, 72 percent, said any country had to have strong military power to survive in the world.

    In a corollary to that view, support for the development of nuclear weapons has risen sharply in the past year, perhaps inspired by the assertions of North Korea that it has a nuclear deterrent. In the new poll, nearly 67 percent favored arming this nation with nuclear weapons, up from about 51 percent in a JoongAng Ilbo poll in September 2004.

    Korea's economy is very dependent on trade, but Koreans are largely resistant to opening up markets here. Nearly 69 percent said rice imports should not be allowed, and 58 percent said foreign business giants are hurting the domestic economy.

    Although the specific question appears a bit ambiguous, about 70 percent of Koreans said they did not trust other countries that have important relationships here, either because of geography or alliance. Only about 20 percent said they trusted the United States, another 44 percent said they did not, and the remaining 36 percent said they did not know or gave no answer.
I do not disagree with most of these positions. In fact, the Buchananite in me wishes that more Americans would adopt such positions about their own country.
Korean Teens More Sexually Liberal in Belief than Their American Peers?
That's what this article seems to suggest: [Junior Herald]Korean, American teens have different values.

Here are some unscientific findings:
    Nearly 60 percent of Korean teens said they are open to dating, while 37 percent said it is too early to date. Sixty-three percent of American teens agreed that it is too early to date.

    Sixty percent of American teens said people shouldn't have sex before marriage. As for Korean teens, 47 percent refused to answer. Over 30 percent said people should wait until they get married.
My interpretation is as follows. American teens are "in the belly of the beast" (to borrow a phrase from the monster Che Guevara). Thus, they see the damage pre-marital sex hath wrought, with many of their class-mates pregnant or emotionally scarred. Korean teens are in schools from about 7:00 AM to as late as 1:00 AM (yes, 18 hours a day). Thus, they would have no time to have pre-marital sex even if they wanted to, yet it remains for them a kind of fantasy to give them hope of some excitement or rebellion in their otherwise excruciatingly dull lives.

Add to this religion. Many American teens are raised in religious households; very few Koreans are. Even some Korean Christians will keep their kids away from church and Sunday School because that is time that could be spent studying for the university entrance exam. Values here are not taught so much at home or in the church or temple, but at school.
About ten years ago, I took an intensive course in English-Spanish simultaneous interpretation. I had just returned from a year in Chile, and thought I was a hot-shot. The course was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I was in no way, shape or form up to the task.

Our instructor informed us that studies had shown that interpreting and performing brain surgery require equal amounts of mental exertion. For this reason, interpreters at the UN only work for fifteen-minute shifts.

Call me a revolting sexist pig for this next remark, but women seem to have an innate advantage over men when it comes to interpreting, and in language in general. That is one reason why such a large number of women excel in this field, like the madamoiselles mentioned in this article: Interpreters Unravel the Spoken World.
The real conservatives...
are not sitting in the Oval Office, but at the editorial desks of The American Conservative.

Just look at these stories from the latest issue:This publication puts to shame the amen corner that is
So suggests Paul Craig Roberts in How to End the War.

Here is the frightening reality we face:
    Who’s going to pay for these decades of war to which the Bush administration is committing Americans? Already, the United States is spending $7 billion a month on war in Iraq alone. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service says that if the Iraq war goes on another five years, it will cost at least $570 billion by 2010.

    Bush’s war has already doubled the price of gasoline and home heating oil. Americans are being laid off right and left, as corporations outsource their jobs to China, India and Eastern Europe.

    With U.S. forces bogged down in Afghanistan (invaded Oct. 7, 2001) and Iraq (invaded March 20, 2003), Bush is plotting regime change in Syria and conspiring to set up Iran for attack.
Thoughts on a Website
The Paleolibertarian is one of the sites I check every day. It generally has articles on and links to very interesting topics that are not covered elsewhere, such as these today:Nevertheless, I have some misgivings about the site. As much as its founder rightly decries "Left Libertarianism," some of its writers steer dangerously close to it. There is a story of Mr. Rockwell correctly upbraiding a youth wearing a "Question Authority" t-shirt at a Libertarian Party convention, yet some of the youngsters that write for him offer little more than a questioning of authority. Futhermore, the site is oftentimes ideological, and ideology is incompatible with conservatism.
Another Quiz
    "Cultural Catholic"

    You are related to longshoremen or teamsters. When
    people make jokes about nuns and rulers, you
    don't laugh; you get that "thousand yard
    stare" instead.

    See you at the next Knights of Columbus social.

    Provided by

    Are You A Cultural Catholic?
    brought to you by Quizilla

The truth be known, I am not at all a Cultural Catholic, however much I might try to be one. My wife and I were raised outside the Church, so it's all new to us and we're learning or making it up as we go. I hope and pray the two little Cradle Catholics we've been blessed with will grow into Cultural Catholics.

[link via JIMMY AKIN.ORG]
Kimilsungism at Home and Abroad
This story is making the rounds over here in Korea: Kim Il-sung a Hero to Africa's Downtrodden: Academic.

[The same conservative daily bashes the above idea in this editorial: Calling the Great Leader Great Is Mere Stupidity.]

Said academic is English Literature Prof. Jang Shi-ki, on sabbatical in South Africa from Dongguk University, a Buddhist university and the same institution that produced Prof. Kang Jeong-koo, who recently praised North Korea and spearheaded the effort to tear down the statue of General Douglas MacArthur.

The GI calls a spade a spade in a post entitled Useful Idiot: Jang Shi-ki, - Kim Il Sung, African Hero?

Antti Leppäsen, in a post entitled Great Korean National Leadership, suggests that "it is true that many African nations still have a true friend in the North, even if the assistance is more in the form of congratulatory messages than in concrete things."

I have to strongly disagree with Mr. Leppäsen. The "congratulatory messages" he talks about are meaningless. They might serve to make leaders feel good about themselves, but nothing more, just as the Socialism espoused by Kim Il-sung made people feel good, but only produced hunger and poverty. North Korea was no "true friend" of Africa, but rather a sinister false friend, like the ones who put pressure on kids to try hard drugs.

Kim Il-sung, along with the other leaders mentioned by Prof. Jang as heroes to Africans, Fidel Castro, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Mao Zedong, were murderous thugs* who left their countries mired in poverty due to their foolish embrace of Socialism. Those African nations who followed their example are now the poorest in the world. The countries of Africa that followed free market principles are at least now beginning to pull themselves up by their boot-straps. Socialism was, and is, a deadly poison, but it looked sweet in the 1960s. I'm sure the majority of the Africans Prof. Jang talked to were '60s has-beens, like the Socialist tercermundistas who taught Spanish at my university.

*Mao alone was responsible for as many as 50,000,000 deaths.
The Last of the Yagán

The Mapuche are Chile's largest tribe. When I was studying in Chile in 1993, I was invited to the Mapuche version of a pow-wow. There, I met a Mapuche seminarian.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Katolik Shinja wishes to take this opportunity to extend a warm birthday greeting to the Baroness: Thatcher: The 'Iron Lady' turns 80.

Growing up in the '80s would not have been the same without you. Thank you for all the memories, and for your work with Lech Walesa, President Reagan, and Pope John Paul II to rid the world of Communism.
The Demise of Civility
"Americans' fast-paced, high-tech existence has taken a toll on the civil in society:" Modern Americans: A Rude, Boorish Lot?
"No More Shotgun Marriages"
    If a girl gets pregnant you married her. There wasn't no choice. So I married her.
No more. Out-of-wedlock births soar because of, not in spite of, increasing "reproductive technology," i.e. contraception and abortion: An Analysis of Out-Of-Wedlock Births in the United States.

From the fascinating decade-old study:
    What links liberalized contraception and abortion with the declining shotgun marriage rate? Before 1970, the stigma of unwed motherhood was so great that few women were willing to bear children outside of marriage. The only circumstance that would cause women to engage in sexual activity was a promise of marriage in the event of pregnancy. Men were willing to make (and keep) that promise for they knew that in leaving one woman they would be unlikely to find another who would not make the same demand. Even women who would be willing to bear children out-of-wedlock could demand a promise of marriage in the event of pregnancy.

    The increased availability of contraception and abortion made shotgun weddings a thing of the past. Women who were willing to get an abortion or who reliably used contraception no longer found it necessary to condition sexual relations on a promise of marriage in the event of pregnancy. But women who wanted children, who did not want an abortion for moral or religious reasons, or who were unreliable in their use of contraception found themselves pressured to participate in premarital sexual relations without being able to exact a promise of marriage in case of pregnancy. These women feared, correctly, that if they refused sexual relations, they would risk losing their partners. Sexual activity without commitment was increasingly expected in premarital relationships.
[link via Pro-Life News]
Slave, Fugitive, Miner, Gravekeeper, Pope, Martyr
Today, we remember:

Saint Callistus I

Here is his story:
    Born a slave, owned by Carpophorus, a Christian in the household of Caesar. His master entrusted a large sum to Callistus to open a bank, which took in several deposits, made several loans to people who refused to pay them back, and went broke. Knowing he would be personally blamed and punished, Callistus fled, but was caught and returned to his owner. Several depositors begged for his life, believing he had not lost the money, but had stolen and hid it. They were wrong; he wasn't a thief, just a victim, but he was sentenced to work the tin mines. By a quirk of Roman law, the ownership of Callistus was transferred from Carpophorus to the state, and when he was later ransomed out of his sentence with a number of other Christians, he became a free man. Pope Saint Zephyrinus put Callistus in charge of the Roman public burial grounds, today still called the Cemetery of Saint Callistus. Archdeacon. Sixteenth Pope.

    Most of what we know about him has come down to us from his critics, including an anti-Pope of the day. He was on more than one occassion accused of heresy for such actions as permitting a return to Communion for sinners who had repented and done penance, or for proclaiming that differences in economic class were no barrier to marriage. This last put him in conflict with Roman civil law, but he stated that in matters concerning the Church and the sacraments, Church law trumped civil law. In both cases he taught what the Church has taught for centuries, including today, and though a whole host of schismatics wrote against him, his crime seems to have been to practice orthodox Christianity. Martyr.
Ora Pro Nobis.
Traditionalism Does Not Mean Rejecting Ethical Medical Advances
Such is not the case, tragically, with some Amish families: Four Children in Minnesota Contract Polio.

Lord, have mercy.

This heart-breaking American masterpiece, one of my favorites, reminds us why we are ever grateful to Dr. Jonas Salk for his vaccine:

Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World

Here's an informative article about Christina Olson, the subject of the painting: Dr. Henry writes about "Christina's World".
Jeff Culbreath is "done with the Republicans" and says it's TIME FOR A NEW CONSERVATIVE PARTY. A lively discussion has begun.

I am not now nor have I ever been a member of the Republican Party. My Mississippi grandmother raised me to hate the Republicans, so much so that I challenged my elementary school teacher when we were taught that Lincoln* was a member of that party. I was an Independent at first. Then a friend convinced me that if I registered Democrat I could vote for Jerry Brown, yes, Jerry Brown, in the 1992 primary. I became an Independent again and supported the Constitition Party's candidate in the last election as a protest vote. I suggest reforming this last party, rather than forming a new one.

*I have since learned to reject the indoctrination we were subjected to about "Honest Abe." See the King Lincoln Archive.