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Showing posts from January 29, 2017

I Agree With Everything, Except Your Whole Approach

"Imagine a lawyer returning his fee when he loses a case; imagine a television pundit suddenly admitting that he doesn't know what he is talking about; imagine a Hollywood starlet speaking English; imagine the Cubs winning the World Series; imagine anything most absurd, and you have not yet approached the absurdity of those who claim that Catholic Social Teaching implies the existence of a vast welfare state, bureaucratically organized, unanswerable to the people, undermining families, rewarding lust and sloth and envy, acknowledging no virtue, providing no personal care, punishing women who take care of their children at home, whisking the same children away from parental supervision and into schools designed to separate them from their parents' views of the world, and, for all that, keeping whole segments of the population mired in a cycle of dysfunction, moral squalor, and poverty, while purchasing their votes with money squeezed by force from their neighbors." --A

Re-Thinking Rachel Carson

Now, I haven't read "Silent Spring" yet, but that's the person we're talking about. I saw a PBS show about her. [PBS? Just fill out your Democratic Party membership card now.--ed.] It was fascinating. In broad strokes, the debate surrounding DDT pitted progress and economic development against long-term sustainability. The aspect of her viewpoint that struck me the most was her argument that we are part of our environment. We are its masters, perhaps, but if we damage the biosphere, we damage ourselves. How much of the inability to hear environmental advocates' concerns is because of abortion? Those hippies care more about birds than defenseless children.  Why choose? And Dr. Naomi Oreskes was on the special, discussing and defending Carson's major themes. Carson may have gotten more strident as powerful interests came after her,--and as her fatal illness progressed--but I was struck by her utter lack of theatrics or sensationalism. I need to read

My Friend, Luis

He said something today on social media, and I reproduce it here, for your consideration: "One may disagree on the seriousness of Trump's executive order, its necessity, its effectiveness or its moral character. But I've seen some pretty appalling stuff being said here on FB, not just about the EO but about immigrants in general. So let me say this, in case it's not evident: I'm an immigrant. Like many before me, I came to the U.S. seeking a better life. I happen to be from Portugal. It doesn't matter. I could have been Chinese, Mexican or Iranian - the basic motivation to come here would have been the same. I feel a deep kinship with all immigrants who left their language, their families, their identity, because their country simply did not offer conditions for them to thrive, because there are no jobs there that pay enough to pay rent or put food on the table, let alone raise a family. I don't mean unskilled jobs. I mean engineers, nurses and medical doc

Overturn Gay Marriage Ruling? Absolutely, Yes.

Nothing harmful to the common good or to the dignity of human beings created in the image of God can be condoned by the State. To punish evil or not, and to what extent is a prudential decision, and one we could discuss for ages. But the key point is this: The State has no authority to command what is evil. We may not think we are dealing with evil, but indeed we are. Perhaps we have become accustomed to thinking of "individual rights" and nothing else. But this is a mistake. We could even come to agree in principle that a government could do something immoral as such, but folks forget this when they have sexual sins themselves, or they have come from broken (divorced) homes, and it's cool and popular to be "open-minded." Even if you hear a Bishop of the Church say other than what I'm telling you,--I tremble even to say it--he's dead wrong.

Federer Wins Eighteenth Major Title, And Fifth Australian Open

I do not believe Roger Federer's record for the most Grand Slam men's singles titles will be under threat any time soon. But just in case, he added another. The pieces fell just right in the draw: Djokovic had a shocking early loss, as did Murray. Roger is still so great that no one else really scared the Fed fans. Then again, he had to beat none other than #4 Stan Wawrinka, and Rafael Nadal, of all people, to finish it off. As it happened, he ended up beating 4 top 10 players en route to the title, which no man has done since Mats Wilander did it at the French Open in 1982. Of course he did. It's as close to an encyclopedia entry for Roger Federer as you get, to say: "He's the greatest player in the history of our sport," as John McEnroe does on every occasion of a major. But if you think about it, does it lurk in the mind of a legend that the glory days are in the past, that while he still contends on the biggest stage, he's a museum piece of sorts? If