Political branding and the New Media Monday, Oct 19 2009 

I have lately rearranged my leisure time to include more reading, especially for my beloved but long neglected blogs. Over at his blog Fr Powell OP has posted on an 8 minute video exploring the continued use of the Obama campaign logo during his presidency. These two things gave me pause to consider just how “the internet” has turned the game around when it comes to the dissemination of information, the considerable production values achieved by virtual “nobodies” and the impact that new technologies have had on popular philosophy.

Let’s start with Fr Powell. (more…)


Happy Anniversary, Americanos Sunday, Jul 5 2009 

I probably have far too much exposure to English over here. My perusal of blogs has had a noticeable impact on my linguistic immersion (after three months I should be a lot more comfortable with Japanese), and I suspect it’s because I spend so much time here reading… in English. On the other hand, there are no basilicas, no processions, no Eucharistic adoration, and sometimes not even Mass. If I didn’t have superb blogs like those of the New Liturgical Movement, WDTPRS and such I would either go mad or develop the liberalist infection.

And so, thanks to the many valuable, well written blogs from America, I have been totally unable to escape the fact that today is your celebration – it is 4 July, Independence Day.

Congratulations! Truly a day to celebrate the remarkable achievements of America for the sake of the world. Even now, where old Europe fears to commit her sons, she will gladly pay to send yours in her stead. American blood still pays for European security.

But as every year, I have been reading that America is “the best country in the history of the world” etc, and frankly I really must chime in. (more…)

Obama to speak at Notre Dame US, receive doctorate? Saturday, Mar 21 2009 

This has nothing directly to do with Japan, but as the “president of the world” anything Obama does, particularly when it intersects with the Universal Church, is of international importance.

Via the American Papist and the Notre Dame front page

This is a shocker.
The nation’s premier Catholic institution of higher learning is bestowing an honorary degree, and allowing to give the commencement address, a president who is actively pursuing policies and legislation that threaten Catholic institutions and offend Catholic values:

“President Barack Obama will give the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame on May 17, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said this afternoon.
The address in South Bend was one of three Gibbs mentioned in a briefing to reporters this afternoon. Obama also plans to speak to graduates at Arizona State University on May 13 and at U.S. Naval Academy on May 22.
Obama would be the sixth U.S. president since Dwight Eisenhower to speak at a Notre Dame commencement, according to an article on past commencement speakers on the university’s Web site.” (Chicago Breaking News)

Below is the letter I sent in protest via the contact page on the Notre Dame website. I strongly encourage everyone, Catholics, Americans, and particularly Notre Dame alumni (not that absurd, not-Latin “alums” that Americans use) to contact the university and express your unreserved protest.

Dear Mr President,

I recently learned via the “American Papist” blog of Mr Thomas Peters that Notre Dame intends to welcome recently inaugurated US President Barrack Obama for the purpose of awarding him an honorary degree and giving him a speaking platform. I wish to express my absolute shock and outrage at the thought of the most prominent Catholic university in the anglophone world giving lauds to the most active and prominent proponent of objective evil in the same world. As an undergraduate student of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Western Australia in Perth, Australia I had the pleasure and privilege of living alongside several Notre Dame US students at the St Thomas More residential college. My experiences with them gave me the fondest of memories, especially in the way they each lived the Catholic Faith of their families and their school.

How could it be that these wonderful friends of mine were formed by a university who is willing to act in such contempt of their Catholic charism, the direct instruction of their bishops and the indisputable requirements of universal Canon Law? How indeed can Notre Dame persist in claiming the dignity of a Catholic charism and a true mandate to instill the pursuit of Truth in her students if she is willing to give honour and publicity to the most dangerous promotor of moral, scientific and political obfuscation in contemporary history? The example of your institution is appalling and thoroughly diabolical – please be assured that unless this news is either immediately reversed or shown to have been completely false, the scandal caused by your actions will offend not only a “small number of ultra-traditionalists” in the local region but reasonably thoughtful people the world over, both Catholic and not.

I beg you sincerely as a Catholic, a Dominican, a scholar and a friend of your institution; hold fast to the principles of the Catholic faith which have made Notre Dame the great bastion of academia it is today, and that have sustained it through so many bitter storms. Do not place this charlatan on a podium and give him a platform to spread even more the culture of death.

In Corde Regis,

Robert Anthony Bautista, OPL

Contact information provided by Thomas Peters:

To contact Notre Dame:
Phone: (574) 631-5000
email form: http://president.nd.edu/contact-us

To contact the USCCB:
Phone: (202) 541-3000
email: catholiceducation@usccb.org