THE WOLF SONG – Nordic Lullaby – Vargsången | Jonna Jinton

More of the culture they say we Europeans don’t have.

Source: Jonna Jinton | YouTube

Why We Need Frog And Toad More Than Ever | Circe Institute

Why We Need Frog And Toad More Than Ever

Source: Why We Need Frog And Toad More Than Ever | Circe Institute

“Like many children’s books from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Frog and Toad stories involve the two titular characters overcoming common problems which arise from vice… In each story, the only way to beat vice is through some form of suffering. Good things do not happen in Frog and Toad stories apart from suffering, self-denial, or self-control…

“Conquering my own problems with stress and anxiety should begin with the acknowledgment that neither I nor my children are special. Special is a curse. Special is an illusion. Special is fake holy. There is nothing wrong with regular children such that mine need to be special. The pursuit of special is contempt for nature. We need to recover an understanding of the expression ‘most people,’ and we desperately need the humility to see ourselves referenced therein…

“Our problem with anxiety and stress will not end until we quit celebrating the faults of our children and teach them to fight those faults, instead. We must let our children fail when they deserve to do so—and sometimes even when they don’t deserve it. In the same way our Heavenly Father did not politick and argue His Son’s path to the top but subjected Him to the rules and allowed Him to suffer, we must also quit politicking and arguing for our children and not treat every kind of suffering as an injustice. If anyone was special, surely it was Jesus Christ, and yet He did not make Himself an exception.”

Another one to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.

President Signs Executive Order Abolishing Critical Race Theory | Christopher F. Rufo

How Much Is the White House Worth? | Barron's

The President has issued a full Executive Order abolishing critical race theory from the federal government, the military, and all federal contractors.

Source: President Signs Executive Order Abolishing Critical Race Theory – Christopher F. Rufo

Alas, malign ideologies are not so easily abolished – but ceasing Federal funding of them, and putting the Federal government on record as being opposed, is a valuable step in the right direction!

“The President has issued a full Executive Order abolishing critical race theory from the federal government, the military, and all federal contractors. The president has effectively declared war on critical race theory—and extended the battlefield to all of our major institutions.

To begin, the president explains that our nation was founded on the ideal that ‘all men are created equal’ and denounces critical race theory’s ‘pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country.’

The President writes that the ‘malign ideology’ of critical race theory ‘is now migrating from the fringes of American society and threatens to infect core institutions of country.’ […]

“The President’s executive order is nothing short of astonishing: he has used all of the mechanisms of power to destroy the anti-American ideology of critical race theory—and immediately takes the fight to the bureaucracy, woke corporations, and universities. He is playing to win.”

Thank you, Mr. President.

The Myth of Social Justice | Chalcedon Report

June Powwow: Private Law, Infinite Banking, Crapitalism & Profit Pioneers -  The Freecoast

“We must realize that the popular phrase ‘social justice’ is not merely a variant of justice—like civil justice or criminal justice. It is not the kind of justice one obtains when one’s property has been damaged. Or the kind of justice one sees when a robber is sent to jail.

“Social justice has nothing to do with justice as we know it. It represents a break with the Hebrew-Christian tradition of our ancestors and the rule of law.”

Source: The Myth of Social Justice | Chalcedon Report

And for that matter, with the tradition of Classical antiquity: with the Greco-Roman tradition of law and justice; and even with the tribal laws and codes of justice of our Celtic and Germanic ancestors, which were nothing if not pragmatic and rooted in tradition.

This superb essay dates to 1988, but it is as relevant now as it was then – indeed, even more so. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest!

Excerpts:

“Traditional justice assumes a fallen, and permanently imperfect world where law is needed in order to encourage virtue and limit vice. For this reason, traditional justice relies on moral structures: family, civil force, church, constitution—in order to maintain just order. Since man is fallen, it recognizes that mere abstractions and ideals cannot govern man; but personal relationships, social duties, and civil authority, informed by Scripture and the Holy Spirit, must restrain his evil.

“Traditional justice is an unending process and is profoundly anti-Utopian. There will never be a point on this side of eternity when law will not be needed. The best world that the traditional justice view can create is a world where human beings are safe and free to conduct themselves together in an orderly fashion, pursuing their God-given gifts, and restraining their sinful tendencies. It is not a perfect world—it is a world with warts. But it is a world where one can be happy, productive, free, and content… even if it is a world where one must inevitably suffer and die…

“The world of social justice [in marked contrast] is of necessity revolutionary; for it must restructure the old traditional justice order by means of suspending the old duties and right relationships. And it must be coercive, for it must do this with or without the consent of those whose incomes are to be redistributed; and whose children are to be instructed in the new order.

“The worldview is Utopian. Justice is the creation of social structures which achieve the ideal state. The best world imaginable, and therefore attainable, is one of socialism, egalitarianism, and salvation through social structures. The aim of social justice is the establishment of the millennium—without God.

“Traditional justice, on the other hand, will eschew visionary millennialism. It will support the establishment of a moral, non-coercive society which defends the family and the dignity of property rights. Social justice, according to the values of traditional justice, is merely institutionalized injustice.”

Indeed.

Conservative Cowards Are To Blame For Falling Statues | The Federalist

Conservative Cowards Are To Blame For Falling Statues

Source: Conservative Cowards Are To Blame For Falling Statues

“But here’s the thing: after you write your little op-ed about how of course the evil Confederate statues have to come down, they still think you’re a racist. They just think you are a spineless one.”

There are times when you really hate to be right, to have to be the one who says, “I hate to say I told you so… but I told you so.” I have been saying since 2015 – and more than once on this blog – that regardless of what you think about Confederate statues (and flags, and other iconography, like street and school names), you’d better not be indifferent about their destruction, or removal, or alteration, or replacement.

Because love them or hate them, they’re not the goal, they’re just the low-hanging fruit for the Leftist mob. The real goal was, and is, different and bigger: the destruction of America and the West, its political and social institutions, its government and economy, its customs and traditions, its history and heritage, and their replacement with a collectivist, totalitarian Marxist utopia.

Looked at objectively, the Left has played this all too brilliantly: go after the Confederate statues and iconography, because even the so-called “conservatives” will be afraid to defend them, for fear of seeming racist, or like they’re defending slavery. Or even “anti-American,” since the Confederates were rebels and traitors… right? Well, not by their lights:

“When the South raised its sword against the Union’s Flag, it was in defense of the Union’s Constitution.” — Confederate General John B. Gordon

“I love the Union and the Constitution, but I would rather leave the Union with the Constitution than remain in the Union without it.” — Confederate President Jefferson Davis

“I loved the old government in 1861. I loved the old Constitution yet. I think it is the best government in the world, if administered as it was before the war. I do not hate it; I am opposing now only the radical revolutionists who are trying to destroy it.” — Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest

“All that the South has ever desired was that the Union as established by our forefathers should be preserved and that the government as originally organized should be administered in purity and truth.” — Confederate General Robert E. Lee

None of that matters, of course, to the Left. Their playbook is consistent:

Ignore or deny the fact that slavery was only one reason – and not even necessarily the biggest reason – for secession, and had nothing directly to do with sparking the War Between the States. Ignore or deny the fact that more than 260,000 Confederate soldiers died to defend their homes, families, and land from an illegal and unconstitutional invasion.

Ignore or deny the fact that there were 50,000 civilian deaths during the war, that the overall mortality rate for the South exceeded that of any country in World War I and all but the region between the Rhine and the Volga in World War II. Would Southerners have been willing to incur such casualties to defend the right of a small minority of the population to own slaves? Not likely!

Ignore, for that matter, the fact that there were four slave-holding states (plus the District of Columbia, where slavery was also legal) in the Union itself, and that Lincoln repeatedly offered that any seceded state which returned to the Union could keep its slaves (or that there were more free blacks in the South than in the North, and some of them had slaves).

Just focus on the fact that the Confederacy was made up of “slave states,” and you’ve made it impossible for good, “moderate” conservatives to object to the removal and destruction of statues and other Confederate iconography, and keep banging the drum that anyone who does object is “far-right” (and therefore “fascist”) and a “racist.” It was a brilliant plan, and it has largely succeeded.

And in the process, the Left has successfully – or seemingly so – softened up the nation for attacks on others, including (inter alia) Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Francis Scott Key, and even Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, along with a host of lesser luminaries.

Because of the way American history has played out, all have the Achilles heel of “racism,” colonialism, or both; and by the Leftist narrative, that invalidates anything else positive they might have ever accomplished, including the creation of a nation which is so open-minded and tolerant as to allow even lunatics and seditionists like the current Left to function without being shot, beaten down, and/or imprisoned, as they would in a less free and open nation… such as the one they want to create.


“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day-by-day and minute-by-minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

— George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four


In an again brilliant example of sociopolitical aikido, they have found the soft spots: 1) that everyone in history has had something that was less-than-perfect about them, and that if compared to current mores (the historical fallacy of presentism), it often has to do with favoring one’s own people – defined today as “racism” – and 2) that no one wants to be seen as defending racism, so protests to the removals, destruction, and desecration are sporadic, muted, and easily dismissed as a “fringe.”

But if the tactics of the Left have been remarkably if dismayingly creative and effective, the response from most mainstream conservatives has been feeble and incompetent, if not missing-in-action entirely. As the quote with which I opened this put it,

“But here’s the thing: after you write your little op-ed about how of course the evil Confederate statues have to come down, they still think you’re a racist. They just think you are a spineless one.”

It is as I have said before: don’t let the camel’s nose in the tent; don’t give an inch, because if you do, they’ll sense weakness and fear, and come at you all the harder. Bullies always do. But they often run from a spirited defense – something of which there has been a notable lack, of late.

There have been some notable exceptions, but as Marcus points out further down in the linked post,

“The so-called conservatives who have been coddling mindless calls to destroy public art know who they are. So do the rest of us. These are the reasonable conservatives, the good ones, ever so careful not to be called racist. They had a compromise in mind because they always do. Throw the Confederate statues under the bus and we can save the rest…

“Do you know who is to blame [for the continued destruction]? It is not the hordes of progressives with ropes and chains; it is every conservative who thought those Jacobin lunatics could be appeased by just tearing down certain statues. It is a metaphor for the fecklessness of an American right too cowed to stand up for itself.”

They should be ashamed.

Leaving aside the complete philosophical and ethical surrender it represents, this roll-over-and-play-dead response is not even an effective tactic.

“Feed the hyenas and maybe they’ll eat us last” is not only ineffective, it’s actually counter-productive, because it leads them to expect a free meal, and thus emboldens them. The results can be seen in far too many locations throughout this once-great land.

In fact, the destruction we are seeing in American cities today is reminiscent of the Nazi Kristallnacht, the French Revolution, or a slew of Communist ones over the last century-plus. Irreplaceable elements – tangible representations – of our history and heritage (many of which are superb works of art in their own right), are being damaged and destroyed in the name of an unconscionable fallacy: the idea that the past must be judged by the standards of the present.

(Sadly, that is not the worst of it. History shows us repeatedly that where there is violence against icons, sooner or later there will be violence against institutions, and against persons. If the present chaos is left unchecked, the situation will only go from bad to worse.)

And where are those who claim their philosophy is to conserve – to protect, preserve, and transmit unimpaired to future generations – that history and heritage? Too often, silent, or entirely absent. As I say, they should be ashamed!

Here’s Marcus again:

“… what are the wages of these sad genuflections? What did you get out of the deal? Are they going to come support you now that the Founding Fathers are up against the wall? Nope. They will throw you right up against the wall with them as you insist how reasonable you are.

“To these fair-weather friends, I have a message: This is your fault. And you were well warned. For years, those of us with the courage to open our eyes knew exactly where this was going. It was never about the Confederacy, or slavery, or racism. It was always about destroying the very concept of America and replacing it with a Marxist utopia. That’s who you decided to compromise with.

“What’s done is done, but it is not too late. Now that you have seen the miles the left takes when offered an inch, you are welcome to get back in the fight for freedom. They burned you, made you look like fools. Be angry. Otherwise your silence is complicity with mobs that would destroy not just statues but the very foundations of our liberty.”

Amen.

Unpopular Opinion: “Fur-babies” are not children, and pet ownership is not motherhood!

Image may contain: 3 people, text that says "THIS IG:@worth_ h_ for westernaesthetics com CAN NEVER REPLACE THIS"

I confess myself disappointed and frustrated by the number of people (in many cases, including otherwise seemingly intelligent people) who don’t seem to be able to “get” this. That some people don’t like other people as much as they like animals, and that some women, for reasons of their own, don’t want kids, is a given. That’s part of human nature, and always has been.

But the meme is still literally true and accurate, as presented, on several grounds:

First, continuation of the species. Yes, I know that the planet as a whole has an overpopulation problem. There were 2.2 billion people on earth in 1965, when I was born; there are 7.8 billion, now (it took until 1800 to reach a population of 1 billion – and only another 200 years to reach 7 billion), and the changes have not, in general, been positive ones!

A good few of our problems, I suspect, can be traced to – or at least, are exacerbated by – the fact that there are too many people, for the limited planetary real estate, and the issue is only likely to get worse, at least in the immediate future.

But I also know that in both Europe and America, the birth-rate has dropped below the replacement level. Increasingly, both are relying or will soon have to rely on immigration from people and regions who have NOT adopted the “my furbaby is equal to your human child” model to remain economically sustainable at present levels.

To the furbaby crowd, I ask: even if you think that’s a viable solution – and that is not a discussion I’m going to revisit, here, though I have posted on it before – what makes you think that it’ll remain so forever? What if the people you’re relying on to do the jobs your descendants would otherwise have been doing also decide that animals are less trouble than kids? Better hope we have effective AI by then, so robot servants can keep the diminishing human population cozy… if that’s the kind of life you want.

From a theological perspective, “be fruitful and multiply” was the very first commandment God gave to humans (Genesis 1:28). You don’t have to be literalistic in your interpretation of the Genesis narrative to understand why that should be so! No procreation? Then sooner or later, no humankind. It’s not a hard concept to grasp, or shouldn’t be. Co-creating with God the next generations of humans is both a gift and a duty that was given to us by our Creator.

And then from an individual, human, personal perspective, you may like animals more than humans, and that’s your choice; but you are never going to be able to have a deep, meaningful personal or philosophical conversation with Fido or Fluffy, you will never be able to marvel at their insight or strive to amend their errors; you will not be able to pass down to them things that you have learned in your own life-experience, or hear from them things that they have learned in theirs; you will not be able to reminisce with them over experiences you shared on a vacation trip, or share the beauty of a sunset or autumn foliage. You won’t get to share with them the important milestones on their life’s journey: first love, first car, graduation, first job, engagement and wedding, buying a new home, having a child, and so many more.

And from a more “enlightened self-interest” perspective, you won’t be able to ask them, once they’ve gotten their driver’s license, to go pick up something at the store for you; and as you get older, you certainly will not have them able to help take care of you as you get less able to take care of yourself. Yes, of course, you can hire people to do that. But will they show the caring and love of someone you have cared for and loved throughout their lives? Rhetorical question… we’ve all seen the horror stories of nursing home and home-care employees abusing their clients.

So, sure, it’s fine to not be overly-fond of people (I certainly have my doubts about some of the human race, myself, especially every four years or so…); it’s fine to like, even love, animals; it’s fine to realize that maybe you do not have the qualities it would take to be a good mother (or father) to a human child – and in that case, maybe it really is better that you don’t have children! There are too many abused, unloved, and unwanted kids out there as it is.

But it is still objectively true that cuddling your feline companion can never replace raising a child. This is not a matter of opinion or perspective – we put too much stock in unsupported opinions and preferences as it is (“I feel it so it must be true”) – but of simple fact. Sure, do your own thing! That’s the contemporary mantra anyway. But please do not pretend that your “fur-baby” is equal in any way to a human child, or that your care of them is of like significance or consequence to the raising of that human child.

It is not.

 

Real-Food.com » Can we Survive the Green Revolution?

Organic dairy farmers vow to compete in changing industry

“In America we made a Faustian bargain regarding our food supply: We gave our food production to agribusiness in exchange for the promise of a better life.”

Source: Real-Food.com » Can we Survive the Green Revolution?

“In America we made a Faustian bargain regarding our food supply: We gave our food production to agribusiness in exchange for the promise of a better life. This arrangement has resulted in unintended consequences: the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, eroded soils, herbicide-resistant weeds, CO2 in the atmosphere, and the list goes on. It’s time to assess our bargain, determine the costs and decide whether the entities with which we contracted are going to hold up their end and go on feeding us. And if the bargain is off, what then? Then we need to support a New Green Revolution.”

[Note: Not a “Green New Deal”! The reference is to the so-called “Green Revolution” of the 1950s and following, which has caused a lot of the problems we face today, in the agricultural realm. Read the essay for more!]

A most excellent article from a very wise woman – and one I have had the pleasure of meeting, talking to, and spending time with, albeit some fifteen or more years ago, now. Joann S. Grohman, author of the splendid Keeping a Family Cow, and the thankfully now-back-in-print Real Food (not to be confused with an also-excellent book of the same name by Nina Planck), author and life-long small farmer / family-cow owner, is a woman with her head on straight.

One minor caveat: she writes that “Any system that requires plowing, which exposes soil to oxidation (the greatest source of agricultural CO2) and artificial fertilizer (second greatest source), as well as harvesting and processing using yet more fossil fuel – that system does no good to anyone but Big Food’s bottom line.”

That is certainly 100% true with regard to industrial agriculture. But “no-till” agriculture requires the kind of vast chemical inputs – herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers – which she rightly condemns, and many crops cannot be grown without one or the other. Joann is also correct that our commodity-grain-based system of commercial agriculture is vastly problematic and needs to be exchanged for more regenerative and restorative forms of agriculture, that are healthier for both consumers and the environment.

But in the context of small, diversified farms, with proper rotations of crops and animals, plowing is not necessarily the worst thing that can happen. Amish farmer, author, and philosopher David Kline discusses this question at some length in the Introduction to his excellent book, Great Possessions: An Amish Farmer’s Journal, which I also highly recommend. Otherwise, however, Joann is squarely on-target!

 

A time of great uncertainty, and a need to recharge

I can't believe it's riot season already. I still have my COVID ...

So, we segued right out of coronavirus and into race riots. Think I’m kidding? At least one television station broadcast guidelines – I’m not sure which state is represented – that stated no gatherings of more than 12 people, or protests with more than 100. Apparently there are different standards, depending on whether you are gathering for social or political purposes.

There is a lot that I could say about many of the things that have been and are going on right now, but I’m not going to say most of them. One cogent observation, however, is this: “We have reached a point where people are held responsible for things their ancestors did, or that people who look like them have done; but they are not held responsible for things they themselves are doing right now.”

For now, I’m going to leave it at that.

The reality is, I’m tired. I’m physically tired, because I’ve been stressed and I have not been sleeping well. But I am also mentally and emotionally tired by the non-stop battering of… pardon me, but crap, of various sorts, over the past few months. As I commented on Facebook, announcing that I was stepping back:

I think I need to step back from online engagement with the sociopolitical scene for a while. Getting myself all worked up over things over which I can’t change is not good for either my spiritual or my psycho-emotional health! *sigh*

That does not mean that I’ll not be speaking to specific issues if I feel called to do so. And it certainly does not mean I’m disengaging! But it does mean that I think I need to switch the primary field of my engagement from posting to praying.

This is a spiritual issue as much as (if not more than) a sociopolitical or metapolitical one, and as a man of the cloth, prayer is a fitting venue for my activity. And I pray for grace to trust in God, even as I offer Him my own fervent prayers. Lord, in thy mercy, hear my prayer!

All of the above applies here, as well. I haven’t stopped caring. Far from it. Maybe I care too much. I am running on empty, and I need to recharge.

Thank you for understanding.

 

“Angles at Play” – England in sport and spirituality | Crisis Magazine

 

“England is a strong land and a sturdy, and the plenteousest corner of the world… England is full of mirth and of game, and men oft-times able to mirth and game; free men of heart and with tongue.”

Source: Angles at Play – Crisis Magazine

An interesting take, from a Roman Catholic perspective, on the relationship between England’s “land of mirth and game,” and the English spirit, and spirituality – particularly as expressed in traditional faith and practice during the centuries of medieval catholicism, but continuing well into the modern era, especially in more rural (and thus, typically, traditional) areas:

“The English have a genius for play. Which other nation of Christendom has at the center of its villages not just a church but a field for sport? Along with the church and pub, the quintessential center of the English village is the cricket green…

“The origins of sport lie in the recreations and pastimes of pre-modern rural people. The agrarian and religious calendar shaped popular recreation as it did nearly every other aspect of English culture. From the land full of mirth and game, originated the primordial forms of many of the sports the world enjoys today.

“During the Middle Ages, the Church’s feast days were firmly embedded in England’s seasons of agricultural labor. Plough Monday, spring-time celebrations, harvest feasts, and autumn fairs were vital moments within the rhythm of organic English society. Robert Malcolmson notes how feast days were the occasion for festive leisure and for archaic forms of contemporary sports.

“Most of the saints’ days fostered in medieval England were tragically suppressed during the English Reformation, but many of the associated customs survived. Parish feasts (known as wakes) continued into the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries while the principal holidays—Christmas, Shrovetide, Easter, May Day, and Whitsuntide—continued to be observed despite the best efforts of the essentially urban puritan movement.”

Well worth a read!