"The confining form liberates the content."

The confining form actually liberates the content.  This is a universal principle in the human arts.  The confining form of a haiku liberates and expresses satori or kensho. Within the Apollonian confines of the sacred dance, Dionysian energies can safely be released.  Only because the children play inside the playground fence can they play wildly, safe from running into cars or over cliffs. (The Commandments are God's fence to protect our play.)
- Peter Kreeft, Summa Philosphica, pp. 6


Ben Carson for President 2016

At least that's the way it looks now


My first disagreement with Father Robert Barron

Here Father Robert Barron tells us not to worry about the loud public disagreement and confusion caused by the Church's recent Extraordinary Synod on the Family.  He says essentially that this happens all the time and that we ought to be patient with the Church to wait for the true definitive teaching of this council which will be issued a long time from now. 

I would agree with him, IF the Church were debating questions that had not been settled or previously expounded.  However, in this case, the Church is simply giving voice to a seemingly large percentage of the clergy that outright disagrees with the Church's (settled) teaching on any basically any issue involving sexual morality (pick your favorite!)

It's not like this council can end with anything but a simple restatement of moral truths, perhaps cast in a different tone.  The substance of the Church's moral teaching on sexuality will not change, because it cannot, and because it if does, She is not who She says She is.


things the media says

the UK's daily mail  says the Pope "... is about to overhaul a number of social dogmas that the Church has held for many years"

we'll see.



In America I saw the freest and most enlightened men placed in the happiest circumstances that the world affords, it seemed to me as if a cloud habitually hung upon their brow, and I thought them serious and almost sad, even in their pleasures.
The chief reason for this contrast is that the former do not think of the ills they endure, while the latter are forever brooding over advantages they do not possess. It is strange to see with what feverish ardor the Americans pursue their own welfare, and to watch the vague dread that constantly torments them lest they should not have chosen the shortest path which may lead to it.
- AT


common wisdom

that said, smoking is seriously bad for you, no joke.


Why Battlestar Galactica is an awesome show

The doctor on the show smokes cigarettes.


on aging

Throughout the course of "my twenties", I was psychologically (not rationally) convinced I was invincible, and  I more or less behaved like my body could not fail me in any serious way, regardless of the extremes to which I pushed it. I'm aware this disposition was unwise.

So I recently entered the fourth decade of my life and went to the doctors and found that I am not, in fact, invincible.  This is a hard truth that I don't like.  Reason let me know it when I was younger; time made it real, and reality has impinged upon my delusions and upset me.


good decision from the supreme court today

in the United States, religious freedom survives for another day, just barely


a ridiculous freak-out session at abc news is captured in a video at the above link


i could never be a part of a religion that derives its moral teachings from the spirit of the times

it just doesnt make sense

it's what people want, though



It's all going according to plan...

Survey: US sees sharpest health insurance premium increases in years
The investment bank’s April survey of 148 brokers found that this quarter, the average premium increase for customers renewing an insurance plan is 12 percent in the small group market and 11 percent in the individual market, according to Forbes’ Scott Gottlieb.
The hikes — the largest in the past three years, according to Morgan Stanley’s quarterly reports — are “largely due to changes under the [Affordable Care Act],” analysts concluded. Rates have been growing increasingly fast throughout all of 2013, after a period of drops in 2012
 Affordable indeed!


Prophetic Article from Robert George

On "What Mozilla Means":
Mozilla has now made its employment policy clear.
No Catholics need apply.
Or Evangelical Christians.
Or Eastern Orthodox.
Or Orthodox Jews.
Or Mormons.
Or Muslims.
Unless, that is, you are the “right kind” of Catholic, Evangelical, Eastern Orthodox Christian, observant Jew, Mormon, or Muslim, namely, the kind who believes your religious or philosophical tradition is wrong about the nature of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, and the view now dominant among secular elites is correct. In that case, Mozilla will consider you morally worthy to work for them. Or maybe you can work for them even if you do happen to believe (or should I say “believe”) your faith’s teaching—so long as you keep your mouth shut about it: “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Recommend reading the rest.



"Information is to wisdom as a ceiling is to the sky"

- Anthony Esolen


too true?


Twitter as Public Expression of Lonliness

One of his sources describes Twitter this way: “It’s the constant mirror in front of your face. The only problem is that it’s not just you and the mirror. You’re waiting for the mirror to tell you what it thinks. The more you check for a response, the more habituated you become to craving one. It’s pathetic, because at the end of the day, a Twitter user is asking, ‘Am I really here, and do you love me?’ ”


The Good News

Christianity and Christian discipleship is fundamentally about The Good News - God has given us Jesus Christ, who has come to save us from our sins.  What was once broken is now restored, ever more fully, in the life of Christ.  This is the evangel, the Good News of Salvation. Merry Christmas!

When our culture, postmodern Western Culture, hears the Good News, it immediately asks a pointed followup question: "How is this good news?"  After all, this Good News reads as an accusation.  Modern folks might be interested in salvation, but it's certainly not salvation from something so antiquated or unreal as SIN. And woe to the person (the Christian) who claims something someone freely chooses to do is sinful.  This is the most intolerable insult, the one absolute truth to which our culture clings.  This insult, the claim that some choices are sinful, assaults both American idols: FREEDOM and CHOICE.   Free choices are anointed or holy. And choices - everyone deserves to choose as they see fit, and no one has the right to say otherwise.  Now if Christianity claimed to save us from boredom, or from poverty, or from war, or from Republicans, its Good News claim might have a more interesting effect.  But this is obviously not the case.

Modern Christian Evangelization must take this modern rebuke of the traditional method of proclaiming the Christian Gospel into account.  As VATICAN II says, Christians must "read the signs of the times" and act accordingly.  The world will not be persuaded by a God whose principle claim on our attention is salvation from some unknown malady.


The Yankees are Funny

Joe Girardi, coach of the Yankees, had this to say about Jacoby Ellsbury joining his team:
"There are so many different ways he can beat you, whether it's with his power or with his speed or with his glove," Girardi said. "Jacoby, you are going to make my job so much easier. You are no longer a thorn in my side; you are a flower in our clubhouse."
 "You are a flower in our clubhouse"?  Is that supposed to be a compliment?  And what kind of flower is worth $153 million dollars?  ABSURD :)


Great Article About Malcom Gladwell


A taste:
No one can doubt Gladwell’s ability to reach large audiences. The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers were all tremendous best-sellers, leading some to conclude that Gladwell has invented a new genre of popular writing. In David and Goliath, Gladwell again applies the formula that has been so successful in the past. Deploying a mixture of affecting narratives of struggle against the odds with carefully chosen academic papers, he contends that the powerless are more powerful than those who appear to wield much of the power in the world. To many, this may appear counterintuitive, he suggests; but by marshaling a variety of historical examples ranging from the American struggle for civil rights to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, leavened with homely tales of the trials and triumphs of basketball teams and fortified with forays into sociology and psychology, Gladwell thinks that he can persuade the reader to accept the difficult truth that the weak are not as weak as the reader imagines. If they play their cards right, they can prevail against the strong.

Why this should be thought a difficult view to accept is unclear. There is nothing remotely challenging, for most of Gladwell’s readers, in this story; it is the sort of uplift in which they already believe. The dominant narrative for the last three centuries has been one in which the power of elites and rulers is progressively overcome by the moral force of the common man and woman who sticks up for what is right. Far from being a forbidden truth, this is what everyone thinks. Here we can glimpse one of the secrets of Gladwell’s success. Pretending to present daringly counterintuitive views to his readers, he actually strengthens the hold on them of a view of things that they have long taken for granted. This is, perhaps, the essence of the genre that Gladwell has pioneered: while reinforcing beliefs that everyone avows, he evokes in the reader a satisfying sensation of intellectual non-conformity.


Here's some painful truth about the NFL and our foreign policy, from an article at the American Conservative:

 The American public’s apparent compulsion to demonstrate “support for our troops” in ways that are emotionally satisfying but ultimately meaningless has been described by Andrew Bacevich as the central tenet of our nation’s “civic religion.” It has rightly been noted that the best way to support soldiers, sailors, and Marines would be to bring them home. Bumper sticker sentiments telling the guys and girls that we love them do the opposite, permitting us to avoid any possible guilty conscience or introspection over why young Americans are fighting and dying in a seemingly interminable series of wars. Nowhere is the tendency towards monetizing meaningless bromides about national security more evident than in professional sports, particularly the National Football League.
The whole thing is worth reading.  Articles like this leave me wondering how the status quo could ever change.