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Showing posts from August 4, 2013

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

Johnny Irish and I are going to go shopping. We lost a bag in our last outing, a bag with some most necessary equipment. He's coming at 10:30. For all the talk about how I don't like to get up early, I sure know how to wake up paranoid that I'll be late at 6:30. I told him to bring the Jack Jones, because I like it. I'd bring stuff I like to listen to, but he's old school; I still want him to talk to me when it's over. Maybe I'll go get ready, and then read Canon Law. All together now: "Fun with Canon Law!" Yeah, it still sounds funny to me, too.

I'd Be Called Liberal By Some, And That's Just Fine

I don't think it's OK to kill people. That means abortion is wrong, but so is the death penalty, right down to the ritualistic way it's done. I know a Liturgy of Death when I see one. The United States lacks even a reasonably coherent foreign policy with respect to military intervention. Frankly, I can't remember the last time our military 'defended our freedom,' or whatever we're supposed to say now. That isn't to say that I don't respect a great many of them; quite the opposite. In fact, I'm saying they've been fighting and dying for no defensible reason for generations. And we sow the seeds of the next crisis while we invent a reason for our morally questionable involvement. Some well-meaning do-gooders like the humanitarian missions; well, I do too. But that's for UNICEF and church groups and Doctors Without Borders, not scary dudes with guns. That court system of ours, by the way? It's awful. A few things here: I hope you'r

Listen To Mr. Tate, Children!

Dude. That was awesome! I'm just saying. I can recall one interesting aspect of the journey, the struggling aspect, and I'm able to articulate now: The struggle was the awareness of paradigms in conflict, and an earnest desire for objective criteria to evaluate them. If I may speak personally, if you do not struggle, you do not love. I went to war on behalf of the Reformed tradition; I fought so hard, I thought Confirmation Sponsor Guy would kill me or something. But I fought honest. If you fight honest, you lose. I fought because I thought I was fighting for Travis, Thom, Captain Jack, "Grandpa" Billy, Dorothy, and so many others. Yet by losing, I won. More than I could've hoped. Why does Mother Church say she accepts unreservedly those Christians born (that is, reborn) in other traditions outside the Church? Because she knows there are armies of people like the ones I just named. If they knew, they would stampede in this general direction, with their arms and

I Say What I Think (And Maybe What You Are, Too)

5 Thoughts For Today 5. "Marriage equality" movement: A political movement to enlist the government to change the definition of "marriage" to facilitate greater social acceptance of homosexual practices via the consequent coercion. 4. I wouldn't call myself "liberal" or "conservative" politically, per se; I think the best way to describe me is "contrarian." 3. Question to annoy a "disability rights"/CRPD activist: If the treaty won't change our laws, and the opponents are paranoid, why do we need to ratify it? 2. Just keep in mind that I agree with Rick Santorum 91.7% of the time. Maybe you should ask, "How can we convince Rick Santorum to support this?" If that whole concept repulses you...see, you're a liberal, and not a nice one, at that. 1. If John Stossel is worthless, consider me dirt. Worthless dirt.

It's True

5 Thoughts For Today 5. I want to take singing lessons. 4. I probably know more song lyrics than you do. 3. I've written songs for the same reason Lionel Richie started the Commodores. 2. Still grossly underappreciated: Richard Marx. 1. Let it be known far and wide: I LOVE Gorge Michael.

Just So You Know

The next time you hear someone popping off about how Republicans who are Catholic or Christian more generally believe such and such that is contrary to Christian teaching, you can direct them to this post. This is just to clear the air. I'm opposed to the death penalty, aggressive wars, abortion, torture, and any other thing offensive to human dignity. My only regret is that things had to get really bad and really stark before I understood the principles that underlie Catholic social teaching.   But I'm still a conservative. Before someone else goes blathering on about how cutting a social program hurts the poor, and the teaching says we should care about the poor, and so we should uncritically support whatever inane thing the Democrats are proposing, might I suggest that the efficacy of a certain program along with its intent should be our primary concern in public policy. I want to be the kind of conservative that says, "I hate poverty too, and that's wh

A Brief Retort

Back on March 25, I wrote this . It came in the midst of discussions of ecclesial visibility and authority. I do have to say that there is always a risk that I will reply with more heat than light, as it were. All the more reason to let the ideas presented by my interlocutors stew, and perhaps to let the passionate, personal edge that can be a part of such discussions be blunted. A commentor said this: " There were no doubt times when God had appointed someone to do something. But, it was always specific. The priests and kings were at times rejected by prophets who had authority not derived from the priests and kings, but from God. And, it is clearly not the splitting off of the Northern Kingdom from the Southern, but what they do afterwards that gets them in trouble. Even then, when God appoints new lines of kings, he also ends those lines and even continuing lines are challenged by those rogue Reformers, err, prophets. More to the point, those most clearly appointed to le

These Are Not Easy Questions

Read this. On the one hand, community benefit and local awareness is part of the reason economic central planning doesn't work; there are factors and reactions that a disconnected planner doesn't see, and in some cases, no one actually sees. Smith's "invisible hand" isn't a love-poem to supply and demand; it's just a recognition that Johnny-Bob buying a hamburger has lots of effects that Johnny-Bob and the guy who sold it to him don't intend and wouldn't be aware of. Beneficial effects, that is. On the other, there could be something obviously negative if the only judgment we used to assess an economic arrangement was how efficiently scarce resources were conserved. Then again, that's what markets are supposed to do. That's what economics does: manage scarcity. I don't have all the answers, but there had better be more support for localism and small firms than sentiment and nostalgia. Is there actual proof that Wal-Mart (for instance