Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Baltimore Consort Plays at King's College

The internationally renowned Early Music Group known as the Baltimore Consort played the first performance of their 30th season on a humid, rainy night in September in the Snyder room at the King's College Campus Center. Inside, the room was well lit and calm. Group members Mary Anne Ballard, Mark Cudek, and Larry Lipkis moved bows over stringed instruments while Ronn McFarlane strummed a lute, Mindy Rosenfeld liviley played flutes and whistles, and Danielle Svonavec sang.

They played early and traditional Scottish music from their CD "Adew Dundee." The most exotic of these pieces, I found, was called "A Scot's Tune." Among the many instruments played were crumhorns (see photo), which are strange instruments that sound like bagpipes but look like skinny saxophones. The instruments played--especially the lute--were far quieter than amplified instruments or brass instruments and thus were heard at a comfortable volume. The group's youthful-looking singer, Danielle Svonavec, sang without microphonal amplification and an accent--thus adding to authenticity.

The audience consisted mostly of older adults, but there were a few students there, perhaps to receive extra credit. The crowd was much pleased by the performance. Kudos to Robert Yenkowski for organizing the event. Attendance was free. In that sense perhaps the concert goers were rewarded for having a good taste in music.

Two of The Baltimore Consort's CDs, The Best of the Baltimore Consort and Adio España, are now available for borrowing at the King's College Moreau Library.

Op-Ed: Obama, the New Pope

Obama has made the cover of America, a largely Jesuit magazine. He looks like a pope in the picture to the right. When Catholics first came to America en masse during the 19th century, protestants feared that the papists would have greater allegiance to Rome than to the American president. Today, this should no longer worry anyone since many Catholics--at least those in academia--revere Obama far above the pope, so much so that I believe they should just declare him the pope. Think about it, many liberal Catholics probably watch Obama's daily speeches with seriousness and reverence--yet they probably talk and joke during Mass while yearning for it to end: that is, if they attend Mass. They associate Obama's beliefs about "social justice" with Novus Ordo "Catholic" Social Doctrine.

Picture taken from Zach's Cartoons

There is a vastly overlooked pro-life Catholic community which is largely anti-Obama. Yet it's hard to imagine any such people would be common in academia. For instance, the Jesuits at Georgetown covered up their IHS for Obama's speech, and Notre Dame President Fr. Jenkins, when standing next to Obama, had a look on his face resembling that of a schoolgirl when she looks at a highschool star quaterback. But even allowing for such Obamaphillic priests, I'd say the faithful are a bit too entwined with Obama.

PS for info about Obama's Jesuit connexions see:


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nancy's Naïvité on WILK

Nancy's Failquote
Nancy Kaman and her co-host Kevin Lynn have a local talk-show on WILK newsradio which broadcasts over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area. To quote a blogger called "BornConservative" from

"Together Nancy and Kevin are responsible for 3 hours of disinformation that they call “News”.Cherry picking headlines from and other disingenuous liberal news outlets (rags)."¹

I refuse listen to N&K, not only because they're left-wingers, but because I've never heard either say anything insightful. However, the other morning I awoke to their show on my alarm clock-radio. Before I could turn it off, Nancy made an excessively naïve statement that went something like this: "The New York Times is the most unbiased source of news in the country."
I feel sorry for Nancy as she has probably never heard of, the website which covers the daily bias in the Times.
For instance, Here is just one day's worth of NYT bias exposed by Timeswatch:

Today's Headlines: 09/15/09

Glossing Over Real Issues of Nazi-Era Enthusiast Working for Anti-Israel Group
Human Rights Watch staffer Marc Garlasco, author of many reports hostile to Israel, was suspended after revelations he is an avid collector of Nazi memorabilia. The Times portrays Garlasco as a victim of the Israeli government's "aggressive approach" to critics and ignores HRW's clear anti-Israel slant.

Oppose Obama? Racist
Maureen Dowd imagines Rep. Joe Wilson shouting a derogatory word at Obama and uses her feverish imagination to slime all South Carolina Republicans as racists: "But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!"

Amazing: Times Still Almost Totally Ignores ACORN Scandals
Scandals involving child prostitution results in ACORN losing its partnership agreement with the Census Bureau and the Senate cutting off access to federal housing funds. Yet Times reporters have failed to file a single ACORN scandal story for the paper's print edition.

An examination of the NYT's far-left ideologue columnists like Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman would, to any sensible person, guarantee a certain level of bias in the paper. Most conservatives will admit that Limbaugh, Savage, Beck, etc. are biased--at least in what topics they decide to cover. However, it is sad that libs like Nancy believe that sources like the NYT are completely objective.

More on Nancy's Naivite
Nancy and Kevin regularly gang up on and ridicule any caller who disagrees with them. Furthermore, they calumniate tea party protesters as racist, violent, crazy GOPers, etc. I can understand that the station would have liberal hosts to counteract the nationally syndicated conservatives; I'm just disappointed in the juvenile banter of N&K.
Nancy further displays her political immaturity in her latest blog³ in which she states protesters at the 9/12 event in Washington DC had little coherence since their signs had diverse messages. She then presents some of the more radical sign slogans that some CNN reporter probably selected in order to misrepresent the protesters. Having actually been at the DC event, I can tell you that the signs she quotes in her blog poorly represent the whole of the signs. Furthermore, the signs I saw at the event did not contradict each other. Many of the posters condemned big government, the Fed, govt. spending, government health care, abortion, socialism, individual politicians etc., yet all were drawn in the spirit of Liberty. Moreover, I found that nearly every single sign was unique and creative. I wish I took pictures of some of them.

In her article, Nancy characterizes the DC event as a Republican thing; yet, at the event I did not see any signs glorifying Bush or the GOP. (OK, I saw one McCain-Palin sign but it was only one out of hundreds of thousands of unrelated signs.) In fact, a libertarian man had a huge sign that specifically criticized republican politicians. Nancy should stop thinking in terms of asses and elephants, as it greatly impedes her level of discourse.

To answer Nancy's criticism of the event for having too many messages, I ask: Why should the protesters have had only one cause? The diverse messages on the signs reflect the many interests of individuals from every corner of America. Perhaps this diversity in causes seems foreign to Nancy, as she and other leftists are more familiar with left-wing movements which tend to be more top-down and more centrally controlled than the tea party events. All together, Nancy is mistaken; the protesters did have one implicit message which was that they were tired of the left-wing government gaining more control of their lives and property.

Finally, Nancy states that the protesters didn't really know what they were protesting, and seems to insinuate that the protesters must therefore be racist. After all, how could anybody criticize The One or our caring government? Perhaps a basic lesson in free-market Economics or in Christian pro-life values would clarify for Nancy why people were protesting, yet.... she'll get neither from The New York Times.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Opinion: Government Before God--A Summary of Democrat Catholic Thought

I've been wishing for liberal Catholics to disprove my notion that they hold their political beliefs more dearly than their Catholic beliefs. It seems I shall continue to wish on.

I'm about 20 minutes removed from a Catholicism class session in which the instructor asked how Ted Kennedy could still be considered Catholic despite his condonement and even support of abortion--which the Catholic Church explicitly states is wrong in all instances since it is the taking of an innocent human life. A communications major piped up in response saying that it was Kennedy's duty, as senator, to serve the wants of the entire U.S. population. She then assumed that most Americans wanted abortion legalized¹ and that legalization was best for the country. Therefore, she said, Kennedy was obliged to support abortion. She also gave the impression that political and Christian thought must never influence each other, as if a person must be so schizophrenic as to leave his religious/moral convictions on the steps of government buildings before entering. She might as well have said "Purge your Catholic convictions when you enter government, or, at least those that conflict with the "greater good" (ie. Democrat party agenda).

Some Catholics, because of the influence of their hierarchical church leadership structure, seem very given to hero worship. For instance, many revere the Pope, calling him "papa," while others look up to Bishops, Saints, Mother Theresa, etc. They carry this reverence into political life as well. Par example, there is something of a shrine to J.F.K. at my own Catholic college.

The question is: Why do many Catholics lionize their political overlords above church leadership?

In most of the Novus Ordo Masses I have attended, the priest's homily goes like this: "We are gathered here to celebrate our gathering here today. We must realize that we are here to support one another......" This speech is usually followed by some insignificant anecdote and a coy joke. Most Catholic priests fail to give a message beyond such meaningless talk.² They almost seem to intentionally emasculate the gospel message--aside from completely ignoring the verses involving judgment, justice, and condemnation. Moreover, the music of many Novus Ordo Masses similarly seems intentionally banal and cheezy. Conservative Catholic William F. Buckley goes as far to say that the new Mass seems like it was drawn up by atheists to intentionally drive parishioners away. He also said the most unmusical men on the planet must have been selected to compose its "vernacularized" music.³

With regard to the banal new mass and flaccid church leaders, is it any wonder that liberal Catholics gravitate to their boisterous secular leaders whom speak with conviction rather than timidity? And, for that matter, Is it any great mystery why liberal Catholics hold their political beliefs above their spiritual beliefs?

Tendential arguments that one should shed Catholicism when one enters government will not cut it with me; being Catholic is a full time calling. Wishful irrationalizations that Obama will somehow reduce the number of abortions⁴ further reveal liberal Catholics feeble attempts to justify their politics.

Perhaps it's time for Catholics to jump off the progressive bandwagon. Maybe new political parties centered on the poor could be founded that reflect don't undermine Church teaching so much.

Meantime, many older Catholics have become relatively conservative just by not adopting new "progressive" ideology. For instance, my father, once a labor union rep., is now a staunch conservative and Rush Limbaugh fan--without having changed significantly.

But until Catholic priests in America begin preaching meaningful messages, I believe the deviation away from Christianity among Catholics will only worsen. Moreover, if Catholics are never taught the gospel message, how can they be expected to act in accordance with it?

¹She is wrong on her own grounds since before Roe v. Wade there was no grassroots upheaval for abortion "rights" outside of feminists and eugenicists in academia and several abortion doctors. It is my impression that when Roe v. Wade went to trial the general populace was largely ignorant of abortion. (They had better things to think about.) Even if she were right in her statement, her argument still reeks of the bandwagon fallacy.

²I admit this is an overgeneralization.


⁴After just three days in office, Obama removed the ban on Federally funded abortion abroad. (Now our tax dollars can be used to fund overseas abortions.)