Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.

Now Blogging Afresh at Ad Orientem 西儒 - The Western Confucian

Friday, June 30, 2006

Bringing the Hagarenes to Her Son
Mary a Meeting Point of Cultures, Says Muslim

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Distinction Between Patriotism and Nationalism...
is something I've been interested in for sometime. The following definition is attributed to journalist Sydney J. Harris by a commenter from France to the Marmot's post entitled Someone needs a hug, reporting often über-nationalistic Korea's dismel performance on a University of Chicago survey of national pride:
    Patriotism is proud [sic] of a country’s virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country’s virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, “the greatest,” but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is.
For the interested, other useful definitions can be found on this recent post of mine: Patriotism vs. Nationalism.
A Natural Utterance I Made in TOEFL Class Today
    Look how locked, looked, and leaked look a lot like lacked.
World Cup Quarterfinals
My alliances shift, but how can I not pull for England?
For a Catholic interpretation of the above ad, here are the thoughts of Young Fogey, an Englishman in Philly, from his post on the Row over Nike World Cup advert:
    I think it’s a marvellous picture, art that’s too cool and steeped in religious symbolism to sell trainers. It doesn’t belong in church but it’s not offensive in itself. Quite the opposite. Like a hipper version of the end of Braveheart. The primal soul of England: Catholic.
[image from 루니 애인도 놀라게 한 '루니 포스터']
Department of Agriculture Fascism
A sting operation over raw milk: Amish Farmer Says Milk Law Opposes Beliefs.
    You can't just give milk away to someone other then yourself. It's a violation of the law.
So says Ohio Department of Agriculture spokeswoman LeeAnne Mizer.

This is outrageous. We all need to do what we can for Arlie Stutzman, the farmer at the center of the story. Let's keep him in our prayers.

Mr. Wendell Berry of Kentucky writes of how such unjust laws have effectively eliminated small-scale farming in The Unsettling of America -- Culture & Agriculture.

In the past, a farming family might raise a few chickens or have a milk-cow the suppliment their diet. Any extra eggs or milk could be sold locally. Then along came the Nanny State and decided everything had to be pasteurized (and stripped of its nutrients). The era of industrial agriculture began.
In Memoriam
I wish this headline were true: S. Korea Marks 4th Anniversary of Bloody Naval Clash.

I brough up today's anniversary in my morning class and was met with blank stares. It was not only that my students did not remember the date, they had no idea what I was talking about.

What? North Korea attack us? But we are brothers, the same race. Koreans don't kill Koreans.
The Reform of the Reform
Roma locuta est: Pope wants guitars silenced during mass.

This would be great news if more than a handful of Catholics listened to the Vicar of Christ. No, the guitars will sound this Sunday.

Next time I see one, however, I might be emboldened to pull a John Belushi and smash the thing over the guy's head. Of course, as in the best scene in Animal House (1978), I'll say "sorry" afterwards. It's still a Mass, after all.

Some "youth Masses" here in Korea use guitars and the music for the English Masses I've attended has been provided by Filipinos with guitars, which is why I exclusively attend Korean-language Masses.

Here's a disc I bought in my pre-Catholic days:
Of the three masses, there is only one I can listen to:
Why? The African choir is astonishingly beautiful and polyphonic, and the accompanying drums are muted and in keeping with the dignity and solemnity of the Mass. The setting is pre-conciliar, and thus in Latin. This is inculturation at its finest.

The other two settings are in Spanish and the music is raucous Cuban and Andalusian folk music, which I enjoy, but not at church.

[link to article via Shrine of the Holy Whapping]
Movie Hype
Hollywood is trying to tap into the Christian market by marketing its latest resurrected superhero as a Christ-like figure, and many Christians seem to be buying into that. Jordan Ballor, of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, shows just how misguided that is, in Anti-Christ Superman: The Superhero and the Suffering Servant.

I won't see the movie. I've never seen any of the superhero movies. My question is, why is Hollywood only capable of regurgitating old ideas, albeit with huge budgets?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Tan Lejos de Dios; Tan Cercas de los Estados Unidos
"So Far from God; So Close to the United States" is the traditional Mexican lament. Presidential Canditate Andrés Manuel López Obrador may be aiming to bridge that divide, but in a very unpredicatable way, as noted by this article by Enrique Krauze, translated by the Grey Lady, Bringing Mexico Closer to God*, which begins thusly:
    SHOULD Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the front-runner in Mexico's presidential race, emerge victorious on Sunday, it could usher in a form of Latin American leftism as yet unseen: messianic populism. Mexico's fragile democracy could become its first casualty.

    Outside of Mexico, people ask which Latin American leader Mr. López Obrador most resembles: Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, Evo Morales of Bolivia or Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil. The truth is that he's not like any of them. He does not have the military stamp of Comandante Chávez or the indigenist roots of Mr. Morales. Nor is he a born compromiser like Mr. Lula who, as some Brazilians say, seems to "know the value of 10 percent." Mr. López Obrador is different: he always strives for 100 percent. And he has higher models to emulate.
The image is by one Sungyoon Choi, a Korean name if I ever heard one.

*Use to bypass registration.
This is painful to watch: Worldwide Anglican church facing split over gay bishop.

I never formerly became an Anglican, but spent six years attending Mass with them, first regularly at St. Mary's Cathedral* in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and then for five years here with The Anglican Church of Korea. Once I heard of Anglo-Catholicism, I was a goner.

This blogger's very first post was in response to the issue that is now rending the Anglican Communion asunder, from August 08, 2003: Some Thoughts on Recent Events in the Anglican Communion.

My prayers remain with the Anglican Communion.

*Our Lady has been there every step of the way on my journey to the Catholic Faith her Son established, from at least the moment I visited the Insigne y Nacional Basílica de Guadalupe as a backacker.
Requiescat in PaceI am a bit ambivalent about giving the State the power to execute, but I'd hold the rope for the hanging of the man who raped and murdered eight-year-old Sofia Rodriguez-Urrutia-Shu.

UPDATE: Sofia's parents thank God for sharing "angel"
Korea's Cardinal Cheong on Ecology
His Eminence gets close to Distributivism, Agrarianism, and The Principle of Subsidiarity, it seems, with his latest pastoral letter.

From Gospel call to live ecological life: Korean cardinal:
    In the 16-page letter, Cardinal Cheong said that the concentrated use of fossil energy, threats to the diversity of species on the planet, the effects of petrochemical agriculture, the shortage and unbalanced distribution of food and the insufficient degree of food self-support are all reasons for the crisis.

    "The church should give priority to the practice of the gospel by transforming our life to sustainable and renewable way," he said.
I wonder if the good Cardinal has been reading Mr. Wendell Berry of Kentucky.
More Crunchiness
Mr. Jeff Culbreath, whose home and farm I had the pleasure of visiting in Northern California, posts his excellent THOUGHTS ON CRUNCHY CONSERVATISM.

A lively discussion has ensued, including a visit by the Crunchy Con himself, author Rod Dreher.

Leave it to Mr. Culbreath, however, who has a way with words beyond that of the subject of his post, to come up with the best quote:
    McDonald's IS totalitarianism; Irma Jean's Burger House is freedom.
Color Photos of Wartime Korea
Noting that "[i]t is as if history had always been recorded in black and white, and once some events are shown in color they appear much more relevant," Antti Leppänen of Hunjangûi karûch'im links to a stunning series photos taken by an American GI during thje Korean War: 포화 속에서도 삶은 계속됐다.

Here are three:

Click on the link to see the rest.
Dr. Fleming Takes on Philanthropists, and Links Greed to Sodomy
Hard-hitting stuff, from Yes, They Have More Money:
    [N]either Buffet nor Gates has the slightest idea of what to do with his money. Their "ideas" are the usual clichés of the Left: Kill babies, encourage women to hate their father and husbands, destroy religion and tradition and every other thing that might make life worth living.


    It has taken me several decades of observation to realize what Aristotle and Paul were talking about when they condemned pleonexia, the vice of always wanting more wealth. Paul often associates pleonexia (greed is an inadequate translation) with sodomy. Why? Because both are sterile and emasculating obsessions. Look at the bloated bovine bloodless faces of so many plutocrats. Below good and evil, they are truly to be pitied for what they have done to themselves.
Sovereignty, Zarqawi, and WMD
Three Iraq Myths That Won't Quit, from
Animal Welfare
As an animal lover, not animal rights activist, I find this story disturbing: Case of loving his pets to death.

Here's what happened:
    Cafe manager Hwang Woun-young also offered boarding facilities to Seoul residents who needed somewhere to leave their pets when they went on vacation. But despite even having some of his dogs appear in Korean feature films and becoming movie stars in their own right, things were going terribly wrong.

    Some of the people who left their pets with Hwang didn't come back, and the pet cafe became a dumping ground for unwanted and abandoned animals. Hwang fell nine months behind in his rent and the owner of the property moved in to evict him. This led to a grim scene last week with 82 dogs and eight cats sitting locked, sometimes three to a cage on the street and in the alleyway leading to the now closed and shuttered cafe. According to Hwang, they had been there for five days.
Pet culture is rather new to Korea. Visit any downtown fashion district, and you can see many young girls carrying around small dogs as if they were accessaries, like handbags. What these youngsters don't realize is that raising an animal takes years of commitment and responsibility.
Babu Ranganathan writes: Creationists Right on Entropy, Evolution.
Plenary Indulgence
Pope Benedict XVI is bestowing another one: Holy Father grants plenary indulgence for World Meeting of Families.

Here are the requirements:
    - Make a good sacramental confession
    - Receive Holy Communion
    - Pray for the intentions of the Holy Father
    - Either participate in the celebrations of the World Meeting in Valencia or, "remain united in spirit and thought" with those who are
    - Recite as a family the Our Father, the Creed, and other prayers invoking Divine Mercy
South Korea's Conservative ResurgenceI'd be happy with either the lovely Park Geun Hye or Pohang's own Lee Myung Bak as president. Miss Park is Catholic and Mr. Lee is Protestant.
The Return of Maestro Monsignor Domenico Bartolucci
And with him, we pray, Gregorian Chant and Sacred Polyphony, ancient and modern: A Change of Tune in the Vatican – And Not Only in the Secretariat of State.

Signore Magister on the maestro's removal in 1997:
    Maestro Bartolucci was named the "perpetual" director, the director for life, of the Sistine Chapel by Pius XII in 1959. Under this and later popes, he was an outstanding interpreter of the liturgical music founded upon Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony. But after a long period of opposition, in 1997 he was dismissed and replaced by a choirmaster thought to be more fitting for the "popular" music dear to John Paul II.

    Bartolucci’s replacement was the finishing stroke of the almost complete elimination of Gregorian chant and polyphony as desired by the authors of the postconciliar liturgical reform.
Signore Magister's description of the maestro's concert in the Sistine Chapel:
    In the concert, Bartolucci masterfully executed an offertory, two motets, and a "Credo" by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, the prince of sacred Roman polyphonic music and maestro of the Sistine Chapel until the end of the 1500’s.

    But he also executed some of his own compositions: three motets, an antiphon, a hymn, and an "Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto," composed in 2005 after Ratzinger’s election as pope.
Maestro Bartolucci addressed His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI with these words:
    Most blessed Father, we all know the great love of Your Holiness for the liturgy, and thus for sacred music. Music is the art that has benefited the liturgy of the Church most of all: the space for the choir represented its cradle, thanks to which the Church was able to form the language that we admire today. The most beautiful examples that the faith of past centuries has left to us and which we must keep alive are Gregorian chant and polyphony: these require a constant practice capable of enlivening and animating divine worship.
Here is what Pope Benedict XVI was quoted as saying after the concert:
    All of the selections we have listened to - and especially in their entirety, where the 16th and 20th centuries stand parallel - agree in confirming the conviction that sacred polyphony, in particular that of what is called the 'Roman school', constitutes a heritage that should be preserved with care, kept alive, and made better known, for the benefit not only of the scholars and specialists, but of the ecclesial community as a whole. [...] An authentic updating of sacred music can take place only in the lineage of the great tradition of the past, of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony.
Genesis Namakaokalani Lee Loy (1919-2006)
Requiescat in pace: Advocate for Hawaii sovereignty dies, 86.

To be honest, I've never heard of this gentleman before, but from the obituary we gather that he was a true patriot of Ka Lahui Hawaii, the Hawaiian Nation, and a true Catholic; he had fourteen children. What better way to serve one's country? Funeral Mass will be heald at the Malia Puka O Kalani Catholic Church.

Like that great fellow Buffalonian* Grover Cleveland, I think Hawaii should have remained sovereign**. It was under William McKinley, who was capped in Buffalo by anarchist Leon Frank Czołgosz, that Hawaii was annexed.

*Another The other great Buffalonian President, Millard Fillmore, was a "doughface" (a Northerner with Southern principles), and refused to drape his house in black after Lincoln was capped on Good Friday, 1865.

**See his message to Congress in 1893: Grover Cleveland Opposes the Annexation of Hawaii.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

On the Jukebox
This was lent to me by a colleague who's granola but not conservative:
This is a fantastic collection of three sessions of "deep Americana," to borrow Taj Mahal's phrase, recorded in 1972, 1989, and 2002 respectively. I'm still on the first. American Roots Music grabs me like no other genre except perhaps Polyphony.

I was born in Ohio and raised in Upstate New York, but three-fourths of my ancestry lies in the American South. My father was named after General Robert E. Lee. My home was multigenerational, and my grandmother from Mississippi was the greatest influence on my character and values. We attended family reunions in West Virginia. I grew up with Country Music on the radio.
Northeastern China
The Marmot informs us that a professor down the hall from me has produced a Chinese document from 1948 that states that the Soviets recognized Gando as Korean territory.
Servants of God
Killed by the Republicans, those darlings of the Left: Pope begins path to a Sainthood declaration for 149 Spanish Martyrs.

Generalissimo Francisco Franco Bahamonde's cause was, for all its excesses, a noble one. Perhaps Salvador Dalí was onto something when he described el Caudillo as a "saint."
Catholic Vietnam
Fighting the Culture of Death with Corporal Works of Mercy: 30,000 aborted babies buried in Huê cemetery.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Strike First!
That is at least what two "Democratic defense experts" are proposing in regards to the missile that North Korea "has every legal right" to test, as noted in this appropriately titled Ny Times piece: Really Bad Ideas on Korea*.

*Use to bypass registration.
My Government Lets Me Down Again
I don't think I'll burn my passport over this, but it is upsetting to see the U.S. on the wrong side of yet another issue: U.S. Joins Anti-Whaling Effort.

*Use to bypass registration.
"Wie is voor jou de 'Gristen Voetballer van het WK 2006'?"
A Dutch œcumenical site (Catholic and Protestant),, offers this list of eleven notable Christian footballers from the 2006 World Cup, including two Koreans:
    Kew Jaliens (Nederland)
    Kaká (Brazilië)
    Lee Young Pyo (Zuid-Korea)
    Lúcio Ferreira da Silva (Brazilië)
    Brian McBride (USA)
    Tim Howard (USA)
    Song Chong-Gug (Zuid-Korea)
    Dirk Kuyt (Nederland)
    Andranik Teymourian (Iran)
    Ze Roberto (Brazilië)
    Sammy Kuffour (Ghana)
[link via Players show faith at World Cup]
Mr. Truman's War
Yesterday was the 56th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, in which my grandfather served, I am proud to say. links to this article, which concludes that "in a country at war so often and for so long and with so many nations as is the United States, we risk seeing the phenomenon of the Forgotten War becoming a norm, rather than an anomaly:"Here are two excerpts:
    Liberals like to play up the virtues of internationalism in waging war. They decry unilateralism.

    It was Democrat Harry S. Truman, working with the UN, however, who launched the Cold War that would finally make so many leftists come to despise US military power. Much of the opposition to the Korean War came from isolationists and non-interventionists of the Old Right; most of the mainstream left supported its partisan in office and his multilateral intervention in Korea.


    Ask a liberal if he hates Bush more than Truman. Hiroshima and Nagasaki alone should qualify Truman as one of the worst presidents of all time. The fact that he, unlike any other president who presided over the conclusion of a major war, went and launched another one – thus inaugurating 40 years of horrifying Cold War – speaks volumes as to how damaging he was to American peace and liberty, and it indicates that Bush isn’t as singularly evil as some of his more partisan detractors would like to believe.
Of Mr. Truman, all I have to say is, "Worse than Bush."
Axis of Anti-Americanism?
Venezuelan Leader to Visit Kim Jong-il

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Politics and the Pulpit
I'm usually not in favor of priests inserting politics into the homily, unless, of course, I am in agreement.

Today marks the 56th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. I went to 5:00 pm Mass, which is presided over by an elderly retired priest. His homilies are usually of an historical nature, going into detail on Biblical and Church history. Since I am a bit familiar with the background, even with my imperfect knowledge of Korean, it is easier for me to follow his homilies.

Today, the priest began his homily by retelling his experiences at the opening of the war. He was in middle school, if I remember correctly, and heard the sounds of explosions. The next day he and thousands of others escaped by foot to Suwŏn. A few days later, that city fell and he was found himself under the "People's Army." It was not until December 27, after the UN Forces advance, that he was able to resume his schooling.

Then the politics came in. He used a colorful epithet to describe the "professors in their forties" who insist that the North Koreans launced a "War of Reunification" or that it was the South that started the war*. He had even stronger words for the DPRK's Kim Dynasty, current South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, seen by the Right as an appeaser of the North, and his predecessor Kim Dae-jung, whose Nobel Peace Prize the good father went so far as to call into question!

All this was very well received by the congregation. I'm often very thankful that I ended up in South Korea's Rightist stronghold in the Yŏngnam region. Had I ended up on the other coast, Honam, a hotbed of nationalistic Leftism, I might not have been able to stay this long in Korea.

*See Historian Debunks Claim that South Started Korean War

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Sorry Mr. Gonzalez...
but these hobgoblins* you have produced fail to fill me with fear:Attorney Andrew Cohen gives the reasons better than I could, in Major Terror Ring Or 'Al Qaeda Lite'?:
    The federal indictment Friday of seven Miami men is extraordinary for what it does not contain. It does not contain allegations that the men ever met with a genuine al Qaeda operative — just an informant playing the role for the government. It does not contain allegations that the men ever purchased any munitions or went anywhere near Chicago to case the building. It does not contain allegations that the men had any sort of a specific plan or detailed plot to take down the Sears Tower. The indictment is only 11 pages long. Read it yourself and decide whether the feds have broken up al Qaeda Lite or just the Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight.

    What does the indictment say? It says that the men said they wanted to do harm to America. It says that they asked the "al Qaeda representative" (which, quotation marks and all, is how the indictment refers to the guy who infiltrated the group and then ratted them out) for "materials and equipment" needed in order to wage jihad, including "radios, binoculars, bullet proof vests, firearms, vehicles, and $50,000 cash." It says the men asked for and obtained from the al Qaeda representative "military boots" and a "digital video camera" as part of their training, preparation and reconnaissance. You read that correctly. We have a highly touted federal terrorism indictment based in part on the transfer of boots from an informant to a group of suspects.
I can't help but think the Miami Seven are nothing more than a group of guys who got together to talk tough about jihad to keep their minds off of their lack of future prospects, and who were later, perhaps, entrapped by an FBI agent after their phones were tapped. Now, they're being offered up as a victory in the domestic War on Terror.

"Free the Miami Seven" is what I wanted to title this post, but felt a little restraint necessary. Perhaps they are guilty, but until so proved they are innocent.

*"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."-- H.L. Mencken, from Fearmongering quotes
"Listen up, America: If you're not in on the joke, the joke's on you."
That goes for folks on both sides of the political spectrum who take her seriously: Coulter's a satirist -- really?*

*Use to bypass registration.
Marxism, Imperialism, and Racism
From Historical tidbits:
    Is it a misfortune that magnificent California was seized from the lazy Mexicans who did not know what to do with it?
    --Karl Marx

    In America we have witnessed the conquest of Mexico and have rejoiced at it. It is to the interest of its own development that Mexico will be placed under the tutelage of the United States.
    --Friedrich Engels

    . . . it is now completely clear to me that he, as is proved by his cranial formation and his hair, descends from the Negroes from Egypt, assuming that his mother or grandmother had not interbred with a nigger. Now this union of Judaism and Germanism with a basic Negro substance must produce a peculiar product. The obtrusiveness of the fellow is also nigger-like.
    --Karl Marx, of Ferdinand Lassalle

    Being in his quality as a nigger, a degree nearer to the rest of the animal kingdom than the rest of us, he is undoubtedly the most appropriate representative of that district.
    --Friedrich Engels, of Paul Lafargue
Click on the link to read about "An Occasional Discourse on the Nigger Question" by Thomas Carlyle and the views of Charles Dickens.

[link via Dappled Things]

Friday, June 23, 2006

Patrick J. Buchanan on Islam
Like Mr. Buchanan, while I recognize that Islam is in error, I cannot help but appreciate the faith of its adherents: An idea whose time has come?
The Horror of War

    A young girl and boy cry as they cling to the body of their dead mother. The two were picked up by passing Australian and British troops and taken to safety.
[image and text from Rare Pictures Released on Anniversary of Korean War]

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Pony - Korea's Classic Car
From 추억의 승용차들 "아직 굴러다녀요":
The number is the number of models of the first Hyundai still on the road. I've only spotted two or three of them in my decade here. There's one owned by a professor at the university for which I work.

Korea is a country of modern cars. It's rare to see a car more than ten years old still on the road. One thing I like about visiting California, where my folks have resettled, is the number of classic cars on the road. It's almost like being in Cuba. Buffalo's rust eats up cars, so you don't see many classic cars in my hometown. You do see a lot of jalopies, though.
Freeing the Classical Roman Rite
An interview with "the sole bishop in the world in full canonical communion with the Holy See who offers the Classical Roman liturgy exclusively:" Bishop Fernando Rifan says traditionalists must show perfect communion with Pope, tradition.

Here is how His Excellency closes the interview:
    I would like to explain the incorrect and the correct reasons of conserving the Traditional Mass, as we have previously published, [as follows]:

    Why do we love, preserve and prefer the classic liturgical form of Roman rite, The Traditional Mass?

    Would it be only because we are nostalgic or sentimentally attached to past forms of liturgy? This reason alone would not be enough.

    Would it be because we deny the power of the Pope to modify and promulgate liturgical laws? This would be against the Pope's supreme power dogma!

    Would it be because we just consider the New Mass, or Paul VI's Mass, invalid, heterodox, sinful, sacrilegious, or not Catholic? These statements would be against Church's indefectibility dogma and unity of cult dogma, and they have already received the Teaching Church's anathema. Therefore, it [the Novus Ordo's promulgation] is a universal liturgical law, promulgated by Church's supreme authority 34 years ago and adopted unanimously by the whole Teaching Church.

    The real reasons we love, prefer, and preserve the Classical liturgical form of the Roman rite are:

    for a better and more precise expression of our faith in eucharistic dogmas,

    for safety, for protection against abuses,

    for the good of whole Church, in contribution for liturgical crisis' reform,

    for wealth and solemnity of rites,

    for better precision and clarity of rubrics (giving no space to "ambiguities, liberties, creativities, adaptations, reductions, and instrumentalizations," as complains Pope John Paul II in Ecclesia de Eucharistia, nn. 10, 52, 61),

    for the sense of sacredness,

    more wealth and precision of prayers' formulas, in reverence,

    for personal and ritual humility,

    for elevation and nobility of ceremonies,

    for respect, beauty, good taste, piety, sacred language, tradition, and legitimate right recognized by Church's Supreme Authority.

[link via Seattle Catholic]
Liberal Internationalism and Neoconervativism
On why "liberal internationalism... is fundamentally the same thing as neoconservatism as implemented by the Bush administration": Why Liberals Can't Win the War on Terror
The Beauty of Agriculture
The Boseong Tea Plantation is one of Korea's most spectatular sights:We still have some tea from our visit there.

As much as I love "unspoiled" Nature, I find agricultural and pastoral landscapes even more beautiful. It would be misanthropic to speak of the above scene as "spoiled." Rather, it depicts Man's stewardship over Nature.

Mr. Wendell Berry of Kentucky writes extensively on this theme in The Unsettling of America -- Culture & Agriculture. He mentions how Chinese landscapes almost always depict men and their structures amid spectacular scenic beauty. He takes on conservationists who only want to preserve wildness, but have no interest in Man's healthy living from Nature.

It is wrong to see Man as nothing more than a part of Nature, but it is equally wrong to think that Man can live apart from Nature.
Whither Confucian Korea?
Transsexuals Get Legal Protection

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Five-Year-Old Girl Blown Up with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
From comes this article on the nameless girl and all the other “collateral damage” in Mr. Bush's War: Killing Iraqi Children.
From Seoul 32nd in Hospitality:
The Reader's Digest survey looked at three issues:
    Reporters performed three experiments: "door tests" (would anyone hold the door open for them?), "document drops" (who would help them retrieve a pile of dropped papers?) and "service tests" (how many salesclerks would thank them for a purchase?).
I hate to sound like a relativist, but I have to take issue with these criteria. Sure, somebody in Seoul might let a door slam in your face, but that same person might volunteer to hold your bag on a bus or subway if you are standing and he is sitting. Politeness is universal, but how it manifests itself varies from culture to culture.

I spent a year in KL and don't remember anything particularly impolite about the people there. In fact, I found everyone quite friendly and helpful. The Brits called the Malays "Nature's gentlemen" after all. I visited São Paulo and found the people quite nice but the city itself pretty scary. I visited New York City twice and Toronto on scores of occasions and was never impressed by the politeness of either place.

The full list can be found here: London fails civility test in survey of world cities.

[first article via The Lost Nomad; second article via]
Was Ancient Egypt Black?
Author Babu Ranganathan makes the case that it was, and provides many other interesting insights into ancient and biblical history in Negro Slavery and The Myth of Ham's Curse.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Some Promises Should Be Broken
From 차범근 망언, "하나만 더 낳고 그만 두겠어요" comes this anti-population public disservice propaganda from 1980:
The ad shows soccer star Cha Beomgeun (차범근), aka Cha "Boom," with his wife and daughter. The captions reads, "I'll have just one more and stop."

The caption is a play on words. His daughter's name is "Hana" (하나), whch means "one." This is one of the most popular "pure Korean" given names, i.e. not Sino-Korean in origin.

Soccer fans know that Mr. Cha did have a second child; his son "Duri" (두리), a pure Korean name based on the pronunciation of the number "two," was a star player in the 2002 World Cup and is now a television commentator.

Mr. Cha broke his promise, though, with another son "Sejji" (세찌), again a play on the word for "three." A family with three children is a bit of a rare sight in South Korea these days.

The campaign in which Mr. Cha took part, as readers of this blog will know, has had disastrous consequences: South Korea's birth rate lowest on record.
The Sanctity of the Schoolgirl Uniform in South Korea
The picture of three South Korean entertainers below comes from an article that speaks of the "charm" of the school uniform, 이효리-윤은혜-박한별 '교복매력 짱!':
I'm reminded of the skin flick art house film Gojitmal (199), which corrupted revolutionized Korean cinema with the story of a sadomasochistic relationship between a highschool girl and a married man twice her age. Of the many scenes cut by censors for domestic commercial release, one stood out, not for its nudity, but for its lack thereof; a scene depicting the female protagonist in her school uniform was deemed to controversial as it violated the uniform's "sanctity" (although I'm not sure if the censor board used the equivalent of that term).
A North Korean Computer Game
From 북한에서 만든 플래시 게임 '도적잡기':
The game is called "Catch the Thief." Notice the sinister Samurai and Uncle Sam figures.
Keeping the Conservative in Neoconservative
Three articles today show why is still worth a read.

* * *

First, William Bennett takes on "the leyenda negra—the Black Legend—that Protestant countries applied to the Catholic Spaniards" and raises this question about Spanish colonization of the New World: Too Catholic? Not Catholic enough?

Mr. Bennett quotes these principles of Dominican friar Francisco de Vitoria:
    Every Indian is a man and thus capable of attaining salvation or damnation.
    The Indians may not be deprived of their goods or power on account of their social backwardness.
    Every man has the right to the truth, to education . . .
    By natural law, every man has the right to his own life and to physical and mental integrity.
    The Indians have the right not to be baptized and not to be forced to convert against their will.

* * *

Second, Dennis Prager gives us six reasons Why liberals fear global warming far more than conservatives do.

This article is the weakest of the three, but despite all the silly talk of "Islamic fascism," the article makes some good points. I would add that the Left tends to be anti-human, to view mankind as a parasite or even a cancer. This is due to its egalitarianism, its hatred of hierachies, and its doctrine of class warfare. That we human beings are the "Crown of Creation" is a self-evident Truth, even to the Left; that is why it is hell-bent on overthrowing us.

One thing Mr. Prager wrote, however, impressed me. In refuting the claim that "Conservatives don't care about global warming because they prefer corporate profits to saving the planet," he says:
    [S]uch an explanation could not explain the vast majority of conservatives who are not in any way tied into the corporate world (like this writer, who has no stocks and who, moreover, regards big business as amoral as leftists do).
I, too, own no stock, and have the same feelings about big business.

* * *

Finally, my former representative and hometown quaterback Jack Kemp reflects on the World Cup: What I really think about soccer.

I enjoyed this paragraph about Henry Kissinger:
    He’s fascinated with how national characteristics translate into playing styles: Brazil’s unbridled joy, England’s noble purpose, Germany’s grim determination.” Wow! You can interpret the psyche of a nation through soccer?
Perhaps that is the reason why, although an anti-globalist, I prefer international sporting events to national ones. American Football would be much more interesting if the Buffalo Bills' and the Miami Dolphins' playing styles were influenced by climate and local cuisine, not which club had more money.
Support Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines!
Whaling Foes say Support for Hunting Could Backfire: The Caribbean nations that helped Japan end a 20-year moratorium are told tourism may suffer.*

*Use to bypass registration.
"Yankee Go Home!"
This article offers some hope that more Americans are realizing that Empire is not in our self-interest: Fears are growing of the US returning to isolationism.

Here is how it might play out in my neck of the woods:
    The combination of US isolationism and virulent South Korean anti-Americanism could hasten the demise of the US alliance with Seoul and lead to a reduction of US forces in Korea and possibly their withdrawal.
Liberal Protestant Looniness
From Presbyterians 'receive' policy on worship:
    The divine Trinity — "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" — could also be known as "Mother, Child and Womb" or "Rock, Redeemer, Friend" at some Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) services under an action Monday by the church's national assembly.
I can't see that flying with Presbyterians over here in Korea, whose faithfulness would make John Calvin proud.

Likewise, I couldn't see this ECUSA Episcopal Church pronouncemnt coming from the Anglicans here, with whom I spent five years: New US church leader says homosexuality no sin.

The lady is to a certain extent right, of course, if we understand homosexuality as "same-sex attraction" and nothing beyond that. It is only a predisposition toward sinful acts, as are my excessive love of alcohol and my propensity toward anger. I don't think she would see it this way, though.
Patriotism vs. Nationalism
Nowhere have I read the distinction made clearer than in this post by Daniel Larison: The Intractable, Invincible Ignorance of Jonah Goldberg.

First, an absolutely incorrect assessment is made by the subject of the post's title:
    For the record, John Lukacs has many great observations about the differences between patriotism and nationalism. The difference, to me and I believe to him, is that nationalism is rooted in the mystic concept of a nation—most famously in blood and soil—while patriotism is rooted in adherence to a creed or doctrine. A patriot in the Weimar Republic was considered a traitor by most nationalists, for example.
Here is the correction, from Scott P. Richert's THE ROCKFORD FILES:
    In other words, patriotism is rooted in a particular place, and the people who live there, not in “adherence to a creed or doctrine.” By “a particular way of life,” Orwell (and Lukacs) mean just that: not abstract credal principles but the real life of real people in a real place—their language, their food, their religion, their manners, etc.

    Nationalism, on the other hand, is, for Lukacs (and Orwell), an ideological phenomenon. It subsumes man in the nation; it divorces the nation from “a particular place and a particular way of life”; it defines the nation at least in part in terms of its opposition to the other.
Finally, Mr. Larison paraphrases Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1909–1999):
    [T]he words themselves indicate the difference: the patriot loves his fatherland (Lat., patria, Gr., patris), something distinct and different from himself, while the nationalist identifies with and loves those like himself, which K-L maintained was more like self-love than real love.
Reader Adam Goldsmith once told me that Kuehnelt-Leddihn indentified Nationalism as Leftist and Patriotism as Rightist.
Partisanship and War
Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr., in a speech that was delivered in the House of Representatives on June 16, 2006, from Iraq War Contrary to Conservatism:
    I did not request time from the Democrats because many of my colleagues in the minority were using this debate in a bitterly partisan way. Surely, war should be the last thing that should become partisan.

    Yet 80 percent of the House Republicans, including me, voted against the bombings in Bosnia and Kosovo when President Clinton was in the White House. I believe 80 percent of Republicans would have opposed the war in Iraq if it had been started by President Clinton or Gore, and probably almost all the Democrats would have then been supporting it, as they did the bombings in Bosnia and Kosovo.
The speech is excellent, and demands to read in its entirity.
The Hermit Kingdom Opens to the World...
when it likes what it sees: North Korea Rebroadcasts World Cup, Victories By Enemy Countries Not Telecasted.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

Saint Joseph
Pray For Us
Black Fatherlessness
Blame LBJ, not slavery:
    Historically, black families were intact and strong. Even during an era when racism was worse, blacks still worked hard, kept their families together and sought to educate themselves and their children. In other words, we not only survived in the face of the obstacles in our way, we excelled.

    What happened?

    LBJ’s 1964 “War on Poverty” program happened.  Economic and social progress in the black community was utterly ruined with the expansion of the welfare state.  A bureaucracy was formed that basically subsidized irresponsibility and social dysfunction, paying unmarried black women to have children out-of-wedlock while giving weak-willed black men an excuse to be lazy, irresponsible losers siring as many illegitimate kids with as many women as they pleased. (Any why not?  The government would take care of their progeny.)  Having had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, the black family began a rapid moral disintegration under a program that went from an emergency rescue to a way of life.
[from Mixed feelings on Father's Day]
Forced Sterilizations of Romani
The ethics of The Progressive Era* live on in Eastern Europe: Gypsy women confront Czechs on ugly legacy.

*See also Margaret Sanger, Sterilization, and the Swastika.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Father's Day Factoid
From "Fathers linked to healthy families":
    The 30 percent of children who live apart from their fathers will account for 63 percent of teen suicides, 70 percent of juveniles in state-operated institutions, 71 percent of high-school dropouts, 75 percent of children in chemical-abuse centers, 80 percent of rapists, 85 percent of youths in prison, and 85 percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Holy Father
An assessment from a Traditionalist priest in Ireland, Benedict XVI — A Quiet Counter-Reform:
    Pope Benedict is misunderstood by both sides of the great debate.  The progressives see hope for themselves in his gentle manner and slowness to act.  The traditionalists see the same things, and despair. Neither reaction is sensible.  This man is a thinker and something of a contemplative. Nothing is stranger to him than the methods of his predecessor, and he will reveal neither himself nor his intentions by big gestures or flamboyant pronouncements.  He has had a year to watch and to pray. That year, just passed, was quiet: \decisions, although few, were all in one direction.  Let us revisit them briefly: \the cashiering of Archbishop Sorrentino and his replacement by a known friend of the liturgical tradition; the appointment of bishops sympathetic to the old rite in country after country; the hugely increased place of Latin, Gregorian chant, polyphony and even Mozart (as heard at the recent Mass in honour of the Swiss guards) at papal liturgies.  And outside the liturgical realm: the removal of Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald (a believer in “dialogue” with Islam) from the Curia, in place of the cardinal's hat widely predicted for him by his friends on the Left; the precise and deeply traditional tightening of the rules, become scandalously lax under John Paul, for beatifications and canonizations; the abolition of two dicasteries in what is widely understood to be but the first step in a root-and-branch reform of the bloated curial bureaucracy; finally, an insistence on every possible occasion that his role as pontiff is to pass on intact the deposit of the Faith and to draw the attention of the world not to himself, nor to a Christ one-sidedly human, but to Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

    But Benedict is not the restorationist we might wish him to be:  he is indeed a reformer, but to that perverse understanding of reform which has dominated in the Church for forty years he now counters with his own. He has made his understanding of an authentic reform clear on a number of occasions, but never more incisively than in his address to the assembled Curia on 22 December of last year (our photo was taken on that occasion: note the tiaras on Pope Benedict's throne).  In asking, “Why has the reception given to the Council so far been so difficult?” he blamed a “hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture” which he said had “caused confusion” and was “frequently able to find favour among mass media, and also certain sectors of modern theology”. Alas, those sectors are broad and deep, and continue to dominate in many a seminary and even episcopal conference. Nevertheless they have taken notice, and fear that their time is short. Reform though can be radical even when authentic.  We must all brace ourselves for immense changes in our relationship with the Orthodox for example. As undiplomatic a figure as Patriarch Alexis of Moscow has recently stated that Benedict will be the Pope whose “actions "will become famous and will be remembered” for their positive effect upon relations between the two Churches. Too many traditionalists, precisely because they are not authentically so, see nothing but scandal here. On the contrary, the reunion of East and West is the most radically traditional program imaginable. Successfully accomplished, it would revolutionize the position of Christianity in the world and give pause to the secularists. These last are in triumphant mood, but they have met their match in Benedict.
[link via A conservative blog for peace]

Thursday, June 15, 2006

We're off to Hawaii!
Bugok Hawaii, that is, a sulfuric hot spring resort located in rural Korea. Blogging will resume in a few days. God bless.
Bamboo Wives (Jukbuin - 竹婦人)
That is the name of the cylindrical bamboo product pictured below, which is designed to keep one cool while sleeping on hot summer nights:

    Customers shop for bamboo products made in Damyang, South Jeolla Province, at the Apgujeong branch of Hyundai Department Store on Tuesday.
[image and text from Culture - June. 14, 2006]
Here's a quarter...
Call somebody who cares: U.S., Seoul repeat warnings about North missile test.

The North Korean régime is sinister, but not suicidal. They would never launch a first-strike against the US. The missile is not a threat to the American people, only to the American Empire, as it upsets the balance of power in Eastasia.

It's time to leave, I say, as does the anti-Imperialist author of this article: The coming U.S. retreat from Asia by Pat Buchanan.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Whale of a Meal
The Minke Whale, pictured below, is the species we eat here on the East Coast of Korea:
[image from 척서 죽은 밍크고래 잡혀]
"Hollywood Action"
"I think before I fall," said Park Ji-sung, whose falls brought out Togo's four yellow and one red cards, quoted in Park Ji-sung's Falling Tactics Pay Off.

The link comes from The Party Pooper, who calls Park "The Anton Ohno of Korea." Ouch.
Evidence for the Sapir–Whorf Hypothesis
The SWH states that our native language profoundly effects the way we think and even envision reality, as suggested by the findings described in this article: Backs to the Future: Aymara Language and Gesture Point to Mirror-Image View of Time.

Here's a tidbit I found interesting:
    The language of the Aymara, who live in the Andes highlands of Bolivia, Peru and Chile, has been noticed by Westerners since the earliest days of the Spanish conquest. A Jesuit wrote in the early 1600s that Aymara was particularly useful for abstract ideas, and in the 19th century it was dubbed the “language of Adam.” More recently, Umberto Eco has praised its capacity for neologisms, and there have even been contemporary attempts to harness the so-called “Andean logic” – which adds a third option to the usual binary system of true/false or yes/no – to computer applications.
[link via CORPUS MEUM]
The Anti-Catholic Origin of Public Education and Prohibition
Here is how they are described in The Progressive Era, a fascinating article from
    According to Samuel Blumenfeld (“Why the Schools Went Public”; Reason Magazine, March 1979), the public-school movement that swept Boston during the 1840s was led by Unitarians such as Horace Mann. While Mann and his followers pushed government education at the expense of private schools, they were able to form coalitions with Calvinists and the Christian Protestant pietists, who saw public schools as a way to “train” the children of Catholic immigrants who were pouring into the country from Ireland and southern Europe. Moreover, Unitarians and the pietists promoted laws to prohibit the making and sale of alcoholic beverages, again a coalition that was promoted, in part, as a wedge against Catholic immigrants, who came from cultures where alcohol consumption was a normal part of life.
The rest of the article is well worth a read, as it exposes both the myths of that "enlightened" era and its darker side, including eugenics, segregation, and war.
P'yŏngyang's Potemkin Village Church

    A Cross was established in the beginning of 1990s when Christians from outside pointed out a cross was missing at the Bongsu church, established in 1988 ⓒDailyNK
[image and text from Only 'Kim Il Sung-ism' in North Korea...What Is North- South Religious Talks?]
Science and Religion
Below are some quotes from Francis Collins, from I’ve found God, says man who cracked the genome.

On cracking the genome:
    When you have for the first time in front of you this 3.1 billion-letter instruction book that conveys all kinds of information and all kinds of mystery about humankind, you can’t survey that going through page after page without a sense of awe. I can’t help but look at those pages and have a vague sense that this is giving me a glimpse of God’s mind.
On "theistic evolution" and his belief that man will not evolve further:
    I see God’s hand at work through the mechanism of evolution. If God chose to create human beings in his image and decided that the mechanism of evolution was an elegant way to accomplish that goal, who are we to say that is not the way.

    Scientifically, the forces of evolution by natural selection have been profoundly affected for humankind by the changes in culture and environment and the expansion of the human species to 6 billion members. So what you see is pretty much what you get.
[I wonder if "theistic evolution" can be reconciled with Special Creation.]

Also, he "is convinced that miracles are real."

[link via Seattle Catholic]
Soccer Pretension
From Soccer and the Intellectual:
    "What would being a soccer fan say about me?"

    Well, it would say a lot of things, many of them flattering. Taking an interest in soccer indicates a certain cosmopolitanism; the game is an international one. A rooting interest in a British club like Arsenal might indicate Anglophilia, which never hurts in polite society. Soccer-love also says—and this is perhaps most important—that you reject the overweening hype and made-for-TV packaging that surrounds American sports for something that, in theory, approaches a purer experience. "If you're an intellectual, the kitsch that shrouds, say, football is almost intolerable," says Franklin Foer. "If you look at a European soccer crowd, all the shouting is coming organically from the crowd itself—that's so much more appealing." Soccer, largely divorced from shrieking announcers and Jumbotrons, feels more like an artistic endeavor than a television show.
Guilty as charged.

[link via Crunchy Con]
Prophetic Voices
What do megachurch pastor Rick Warren, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, President of the National Association of Evangelicals Rev. Ted Haggard, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Archbishop Demetrios, and former President of Catholic University Rev. William J. Byron have in common?

They are all signatories to this: Religious Leaders Urge U.S. to Ban Torture*.

More than sad, it's appallling that this is even needed.

*Use to bypass registration.
A Classic Korean-Style Come-From-Behind Win
Koreans come back to beat 10-man Togo 2-1

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Today, We Remember the Evangelical Doctor...
I tend to misplace things, and have requested this great saint's intercessions on many occasions. Many times, my prayers have been answered.

A prayer for today: Litany of Saint Anthony of Padua
Peter Kassui Kibe and Companions
"[A]n extraordinary event for the Church in Japan": 188 Japanese Martyrs Closer to Beatification.

They will not be the first group of Japanese martyrs so honored:I visited their shrine two years before becoming a Catholic. In their beautiful and holy city, I also visited the rebuilt Urakami Cathedral, then the largest church in Asia, which was used as the target for the A-bomb on August 9, 1945. It is said that more Japanese Catholics died that day than in 400 years of savage persecution.

Κύριε, ελέησον, Χριστέ, ελέησον, Κύριε, ελέησον.
The Leftist Program
First Nationalization, then Secularization: Bolivian government to eliminate Catholicism from classrooms.
Cruel, Unusual, and Antiseptic
From Prisoners Gain in Suit Attacking Lethal Injection*:
    The focus of concern is two of the three chemicals that make up the lethal cocktail used by most states. One is sodium pentothal, an anesthetic, which Mr. Hill argues in his lawsuit is insufficient to make the procedure painless.

    The second is pancuronium bromide, which causes muscle paralysis but does not block pain or interfere with consciousness. Studies indicate that while inmates who receive this drug look calm and peaceful as the third chemical, potassium chloride, is administered to stop the heart, they can actually feel intense pain without being able to express themselves.
Such a clinical method of execution might appear humane, but in reality it is dehumanizing in the extreme, for the very fact that it is so clean, sterile, and antiseptic. The same can be said of earlier attempts at "humane" execution, like the guillotine and the electric chair.

We call our ancestors barbaric because they attended public executions, yet we are content to let them be carried out in our name, in private, just as long as they are held in sanitary rooms and we don't have to watch or even think about them.

If I had my choice, I'd like to think I'd choose the firing squad or even hanging, preferably with an audience and definitely with a priest present.

*Use to bypass registration.
Fútbol and the Catholic Faith
One thing that has always impressed me about international soccer, even before converting, was the open display of piety among athletes from Catholic lands:
    Germany's Miroslav Klose makes the sign of the cross after scoring the third goal during the Germany v Costa Rica Group A soccer match at the World Cup stadium, Munich, Germany, Friday, June 9, 2006. The other teams in Group A are Ecuador and Poland.

    [image and text from this Yahoo! News Photo]
I was not a big fan of Klose after the quaterfinal game against the US in 2002, but after seeing this act of devotion, I've warmed up to him, all the more so due to the continent from which he hails. After all, we expect such superstitious and offensive displays from backward South Americans, not from progressive Europeans. The player's Christian name suggests his ancestry lies in one of the less-enlightened parts of the Continent.
Language and Sport
"[R]eminiscent of a gang of ducks trying to chase bread crumbs" said Mr. Tracy Fennel of Corpus Meum of this miserable World Cup performance: Czechs steamroll U.S. 3-0 at World Cup.

Such as the case, I'll be placing my underdog hopes on another A n g l o s p h e r e team: Soccer-World-Weary but jubilant Aussie fans celebrate win.

The Mother Country won't need support until she advances: England wins without scoring on second day of World Cup.

It seems only natural to support countries with whom one shares a mother tongue, but other factors, like the nationality of my wife, will come into play tonight: 'Once again 2002' - Korea's World Cup war cry.
Investment Advice
From Hallowed Ground's Jeff Culbreath: Buy Rural Property as Soon as You Can.
"What big idea of 2006 will be extinct in 2036?"
"We will be happier and richer if we reduce our birth rate" is the answer given by ecomonist Jennifer Roback Morse in Dodos, dinosaurs and declining birth rates.

On a hopeful note, the author "contends that small families are on the way out":
    As the idea of over-population becomes obsolete, we will begin to re-examine many of the social attitudes and cultural changes that we have created around delayed child-bearing. We will begin to realise how odd and truly unnatural it is, that we expect young people to spend their years of peak fertility doing anything other than having babies. People create sexual relationships that are not based on the prospect of procreation, but are built on the understanding that pregnancy is something to avoid at all costs.
Following The Principle of Subsidiarity, which holds "that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization," I hope that it is my children, not the State, who provide for me when I'm older.

[link via Catholic and Enjoying It!]
"Where Have All the Intellectuals Gone?"
That is the question posed by Chilton Williamson Jr. in an article in the latest edition of The American Conservative. The article promises to explain how "[p]ragmatism and partisanship combine to stifle the spirit of independent thinking in America." The article is not on-line, nor will it be, so I'll have to wait for my print edition to arrive from across the Pacific.

As far as pragmatism goes, I wish I had a dime for every time an idea from outisde either wing of the Republicrat Party was dismissed merely for not being "pragmatic."

As an illustration of the "stifl[ing of] the spirit of independent thinking in America" noted above, an article on the "the smear campaign against scholars who question U.S. policy toward Israel" also appears in the magazine, and is on-line: Prophets in Their Own Land: How to go from respected academic to anti-Semite-in one simple step.
"What every global citizen needs to know about language": Linguistics, Anybody?

The article, which contains some politically correct errors but is nevertheless interesting, borrows extensively from the ideas of Noam Chomsky, whom it laments is "far better known for his political activism than his theory of syntax." A rightist friend of mine once suggested that Prof. Chomsky's ultra-leftist politics were an attepmt to make-up for his ultra-rightist linguistic theories.
Church and State Issues in South Korea
President Roh Moo-hyun's "Participatory Government" last year issued a law that dramatically extended State control over private education. Some are resisting: Church schools demand right to select their own students.

Here is the State's response:
    Factoring in religious preference for school placement is only possible when the number of students for each religion is equal to the number of schools that can accommodate their wishes. That is hardly possible under the current system of standardizing schools.
"Liberty or Equality?" asked Erik Kuehnelt-Leddihn with the title of his book. You can't have both.
Kim Young-nam's Mother
"[W]hat on the surface may appear as an act of generosity in line with the process of intra-Korean reconciliation is in reality a cynical ploy whose purpose is get Pyongyang out of an embarassing situation": Pyongyang using an old mother to duck abduction accusations.

Sadly, Seoul is all too eager to play along. The article quotes a local editorial that notes that this
    is depressing news, and it perforce raises the question once again who this government is working for. The government knew that its own people, who had disappeared 30 years ago, were working to train North Korean spies, yet for nearly 10 years it never once raised the issue with Pyongyang. What's worse, it didn't even tell the families, who had agonized about their children's fate for 30 years.
Third Century Basque Christians
The Catholic Report links today to this article about a revolutionary archeaological find that enlightens us about not only the origins of the Basque language but also the early Church: Third-century Basque inscriptions found in archeaological site.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Why Can't America Be a Normal Country?
From U.S. still strangers in the land of soccer:
    When the Americans leave their hotel in Essen to travel to their opener against the Czech Republic, an ever-present convoy of police, State Department officials and private guards will encircle them. The U.S. bus is the only among the 32 teams that doesn't display the country's name.
Let's chuck the Empire, go back to the Old Republic, and give it a try.
The Woman and Child
Remembering the innocents who died with the terrorist: A Note on the Death of Abu Museb Al-Zarqaawi.
My kind of advice: Real Estate? Pfui! Invest in Books.
Desecration of the Dead
This story is both physically and morally nauseating: Scandal rocks human tissue industry.
"The War on Terror"
Mr. Reese's title shows that Mr. Bush's War as titled is an oxymoron, and the content shows that it is moronic: Terrorism Is a Tactic.
The AK-47
The creator of the most wide-spread weapon in the world: Kalashnikov Inventor Laments Proliferation.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sanguis Martyrum - Semen Christianorum
I had the chance to pray before the tombs of thirty nameless martyrs today:
The shrine, deep in the mountains, marks the place of a Catholic village, founded in 1801 by refugees fleeing persecution in Seoul. The villagers were massacred in 1860.

Below are some photos from the site.

The path leading to the tombs:
An outdoor altar before the tombs:
Part of a retreat center:
It is estimated that in the 19th Century persecutions, some 10,000 Korean Catholics were matyred, among them Saint Andrew Kim Taegon, Korea's first priest and the patron of this blog, and the 103 canonized Martyrs of Korea.

I converted to Catholicism here in Korea. They are my fathers in the Faith, and in their honor, I remembered these words from the hymn:
    Faith of our fathers, living still,
    In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;
    O how our hearts beat high with joy
    Whenever we hear that glorious Word!

    Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
    We will be true to thee till death.
I remembered it as sung by tenor Frank Patterson on that excellent collection from the Korea of Europe: Faith of Our Fathers: Classic Religious Anthems of Ireland.
¿Adónde vas, España?
One of the world's most conservative countries has become one of the loopiest: Drive to give 'human' rights to apes leaves Spanish divided.

Here's what the new law entails:
    The law would eliminate the concept of "ownership" for great apes, instead placing them under the "moral guardianship" of the state, much as is the case for children in care, the severely handicapped and those in comas, said the MP behind the project, Francisco Garrido.

    Great apes held in Spanish zoos would be moved to state-built sanctuaries, unless there was a risk that moving them would harm their emotional welfare, he said.

    The law would also make it a criminal offence to mistreat or kill a great ape, except in cases of self-defence or medical euthanasia.
There is at least one certain venerable institution that sees through the absurdity and hypocrisy:
    The Roman Catholic Church has expressed concerns about [t]his resolution.

    The Archbishop of Pamplona and Tudela, Fernando Sebastian, has said that only a "ridiculous or distorted society" could propose such a law.

    "We don't give rights to some people - such as unborn children, human embryos, and we are going to give them to apes," the archbishop said.
What would El Caudillo think?
"Little America"
Author Bill Kauffman in Reactionary Radicals' last post:
    Chesterton told us that the patriot never, under any circumstances, boasts of the largeness of his country, but always, and of necessity, boasts of its smallness. Dorothy Day spoke of the Little Way. Or little way. As the anti-American Empire crumbles into unlamented dust, patriots of the little America, on their front porches and in their backyards, will reclaim our country. Read back through this discussion. Our side is fiddles and poetry and baseball and country churches and the local beer. Their side is bombs and tanks and television. How can we lose?
Hear, hear!

Now that the blog is gone, it's time to read the book: Look Homeward America : In Search of Reactionary Radicals.
His Eminence Christoph Cardinal Schönborn Speaks
Father Richard John Neuhaus offers some quotes from an interview with the Austrian prelate in the latest edition of On the Square.

First, His Excellency speaks on the primacy of petitionary prayer, an idea quite at odds with the Lutheran teachings Fr. Neuhaus and I grew up with:
    Saint Thomas explains this in his long quaestio on prayer. There are things that we can do because it is in our power to do them. There are things that, although not in our power to do, can still be done by us when we ask that they be done by someone who can do them. Petitionary prayer, therefore, is for Thomas the primary form of prayer. It shows that we are in need, that we depend upon God. It is also the recognition that God really can achieve what we can only request. That is why petitionary prayer always has an element of adoration, of praise and thanksgiving.
Here is the cardinal's explanation of the Church's lack of both nationalism and false internationalism:
    The Church can never identify herself with any one nation. She is not a national Church. And yet the unmistakable features of the Church can be discerned within the different nations. This is never more luminously expressed than in the saints. Who could be more French than Therese, more English than Thomas More, more Spanish than Ignatius, more Italian than Catherine and Francis? And yet none of them is just a national saint, and any attempt to misuse the saints in the cause of nationalism (as has happened, for example, in the case of Saint Joan of Arc) totally misses the point of their lives.
[link via The Catholic Report]

Friday, June 09, 2006

Zarqawi "Martyrdom" Arranged by Al-Qaeda?
Seoul Hero provides a link to this Strategy Page article, published before the airstrike, that suggests just that: Zarqawi Scheduled for Martyrdom.

Here's the crux of the claim:
    Given that Zarqawi has become a loose cannon and that his actions are handicapping Al Qaeda's efforts, it seems reasonable to expect that an accident may befall him at some point in the near future. If handled right it can be made to look like he went out in a blaze of glory fighting American troops or that he was foully murdered. Either way, al Qaeda gets rid of a problem and gains another "martyr."
A Second Amendment Punk Song
Dappled Things' Father Tucker links to NRO's Rockin' the Right: The 50 greatest conservative rock songs.

Here's the chorus of one omission that I find myself singing a lot:
    Guns of Brixton - The Clash
    When they kick at your front door
    How you gonna come?
    With your hands on your head
    Or on the trigger of your gun

    When the law break in
    How you gonna go?
    Shot down on the pavement
    Or waiting on death row
The Geopolitics of the World Cup today provides this excellent introduction to the good and bad aspects of the event that gets underway in about an hour and a half: How To Watch the World Cup.

From the article, here's a description of the styles of the two finalists from four years ago:
    The last World Cup final pitted Brazil against Germany, teams that represent global North-South polar opposites in the way the game is played. As Muhammad Ali was celebrated not just for his unique skills in the ring but for his iconic resistance to the racial order, so the universal popularity of Brazil is based not only on its exquisitely poetic style – the "Joga Bonito" (beautiful game) – but also on its role as a proxy representative of the Global South.

    The German game epitomizes the industrialized West: physical power, relentless drive, unshakable organization and a machine-like efficiency in punishing opponents' mistakes. It's a kind of Blitzkrieg – the modern German game, as Simon Kuper has noted, had its roots in Nazi sports culture and the militaristic virtues it lionized – that overwhelms opponents with physical power on the ground and in the air, often winning "ugly" by a single goal. The best-known German players of the past half-century have been goalkeepers, field commanders in defense and midfield, as well as clinical if artless goal-poaching forwards. There has never been a Pelé on the German team; in Brazil, by contrast, each year brings a new crop of awesomely talented teenagers from the favelas whose audacious skill and flair inevitably anoints them as "the next Pelé."

    Brazil's style is more akin to advanced guerrilla warfare in which the insurgents have the momentum and the confidence. They combine impossible skill with breathtaking audacity and guile, an ability to shoot from great distances and apply boot to ball in a manner that improbably "bends" its trajectory. The telepathy with which they are able to anticipate each other's movements allows them to dazzle both the opposition and the crowd with the fluidity of their passing movements and their propensity for doing the unexpected. The adversary literally never knows where the next attack will come from, or what it will be. And the smiles of the Brazilians, even in crucial games, tell you that they're enjoying themselves. On the field, you'll rarely see a German player smile.

    When Ronaldinho, currently rated the greatest player in the world, spotted the English goalkeeper David Seaman two yards off the goal line in their 2002 World Cup clash, he unleashed a 40-yard free kick that looped over Seaman's outstretched gloves, wickedly dipping and curling into the top corner of England's goal. So thunderstruck were the English TV commentators that they insisted the strike was a fluke, a pass that went fortuitously awry. It's for such moments that the soccer fans of the Global South live.
I witnessed firsthand the impenetrable Übermensch-like defense of the Germans in a quaterfinal game against the US in Ulsan in 2002. Scary.

That said, I am a fan of both Germany and Brazil, although the latter, especially with Ronaldinho, is such a pleasure to watch that I'll be rooting for them when, not if, they advance to the final.