Bill Belicheck, Football Philosopher

Belicheck is a genius.  Why?  His simplicity.  No bombast, no mixed messages.  Simple truth about what is ultimately a simple game.  Witness a recent interview about this Sunday's game against the bottom of the barrel Dolphins:
“There’s nothing we can do to help our situation unless we win,” Belichick said during his Friday press conference at Gillette Stadium. “We have to win for anything to happen positive. That’s no guarantee that it will, but that’s the first prerequisite. We are operating under that premise. We’ve got to go out there and win. If we want things to be better, we have to help ourselves. We have to do that first. That’s certainly what it’s all about.”
Notice how there is a complete lack of BS.  This is the mark of simplicity which is only found on the far side of complexity.  There is a reason this man wins so many games.  The simplicity is also a mark of humility.  It's a realization that, at the end of the day, the coach cannot control everything, that the players have to do their jobs, and that it's related ultimately to their will.  Do they likewise share this simple will to win? Or are they complicated in their endeavors by the desire to gain the attention of others.  Belicheck preaches simplicity and this is why he is great.

Why is Men in Black 3 one of the best movies I've seen recently?

Not to slight it, it was awesome.

But still....


Merry Christmas!




Get More:


Calling a spade a spade

The smartest comment made about the horrific news out of Connecticut:
 “There is evil in the world. It’s beyond mental illness, beyond gun control. It is evil.”
John R. Coyne, Jr.
Other poignant remarks from Ben Stein
The killer got his weapons from his mother, who apparently had bought them legally and registered them. That tells us something about what anti-gun laws would do, although maybe the mother should not have had them either. In this world, a killer devil can kill his mother and steal her guns to kill six year olds. That’s what some humans are and I am not sure what laws will stop them.
 God help us. Man is made of such crooked stuff that it is impossible to set him straight, said a famous philosopher. God help us. 
 Sometimes the only thing we can do is to pray 


brady rules 4eva

go pats!

great show.


Soren Kierkegaard

"Purity of heart is to will one thing"


Happy thought for the day

Bob Costas is an ignorant, opportunistic moron.


Why do seemingly otherwise intelligent people think the Bible is supposed to be read "entirely literally"?

An author named Rachel Evans decided to take what the Bible says about female behavior literally for a year, and so found herself calling her husband "Master" and other crazy shenanigans you can read about in her book: "A Year of Biblical Womanhood"

It would be one thing if she read the Bible holistically, or with some understanding that there are different types of texts in the Bible.  But, no, she reads it like a scientific textbook, extracting exact prescriptions for her behavior for the course of a year.  And then she wrote her book.

We live in a crazy world where things worthy of no attention receive a superabundance of it.



November 23, 2012

It would be good for all Christians to protest the materialist/consumerist orgy that is "Black Friday".



the older i get the less i like democracy


look! it's science




I discovered today that I hate golf, and not just because I'm bad at it, but because any sport that requires you to tuck in your shirt is not for me.

I'm also continually appalled by the depths to which political campaigning will sink.  See this awful video from Lena Dunham, hipster of the week

Not only is this video classless, it's also condescending and unjustifiably snooty - just like the President's re-election campaign.  Fitting it's also in the news with this gem from the same campaign.  Real classy guys!  Insult the opposition into submission!  I suppose insults and generally calling "other people" stupid is and has been the modus operandi of the Democratic party for a while, but this is ridiculous.  And most offensive of all, the video is just not funny.  It's not witty, it's stupid.

Hope and change has become mock and malign. 


Debate #2 Takeaways

Romney's a pretty decent guy and came off as reasonable most of the time.

President Obama was much more alert than last time but this came at the price of being very visibly and embarrassingly angry.

I think this debate will make no difference, and I wish there were no more of them so I wouldn't have to listen to the total nonsense on contraception and other "women's issues".


Fasting Before Mass

Interestingly the requirement to fast before Mass is actually a requirement to fast before receiving the Blessed Sacrament.  So I was able to have my breakfast last until 10:30A this morning before 11:00A Mass.  From the good folks at EWTN:
2. Fasting for One Hour. By ancient tradition Christians abstain from profane food prior to receiving the sacred food of the Eucharist. Until the pontificate of Pope Pius XII the Eucharistic fast was from midnight. Pope Pius reduced it to three hours, and after Vatican II, Pope Paul VI reduced it to one hour. The current Code of Canon Law states,
Canon 919
1. One who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist is to abstain from any food or drink, with the exception only of water and medicine, for at least the period of one hour before Holy Communion.
2. A priest who celebrates the Most Holy Eucharist two or three times on the same day may take something before the second or third celebration even if the period of one hour does not intervene.
3. Those who are advanced in age or who suffer from any infirmity, as well as those who take care of them, can receive the Most Holy Eucharist even if they have taken something during the previous hour.
The Eucharistic fast is before Holy Communion, not the  Mass. It is a fast from food and drink, water is alright, as is medicine. The moral theology tradition teaches that to be food it must be a) edible, b) taken by mouth, and  c) swallowed. In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner, candies, breath mints, lozanges and anything that is put into the mouth to be dissolved or chewed meets these conditions once the dissolved contents are swallowed. Chewing gum does not break the fast, but it is disrespectful of the Sacred Liturgy and once the juice is swallowed the fast is broken. The tradition also teaches that the fast is strict - one hour, that is, 60 minutes. Given that until recently the fast was from midnight, this seems very little to ask of Catholics.


Meh - the VP Debate

Too many numbers thrown around in the debate - made it uninteresting and mostly useless.

One study shows this, another shows that, and who cares, because they are all wrong or incomplete anyways.  But six studies show this!  Oh ho ho.

 This person's lying, that person's lying - do we even believe in truth?  We seem to believe in something called "facts", but these don't seem to matter to most people - especially when they are inconvenient.

I thought the debate was evenly matched but both sides had a poor showing - Biden, because he is an awful Catholic and was a condescending jerk, and Paul Ryan, because he got lost in the weeds.



"Long ago I had already decided that if a ham sandwich ran against President Obama, I’d vote for him"


The national media does our country a great disservice by insisting on reporting polling data before elections.  Living in a democratic age (lowercase D), in a democratic country, people tend to believe polls and to take them to be morally or practically meaningful.  In this way, polls can encourage or discourage folks from voting.  A number of people may see a poll and think, "gee, well if the majority of people think this way, maybe I should think this way too!"  This can go so far as to sway elections and sway voter turnout.  In short, in reporting questionable polling data prematurely and frequently, the media can and actually does shape the turnout in elections. 

The only way to avoid this is to ignore the media.  It's possible for folks who think for themselves and whose sources of political knowledge are not limited to FOX NEWS and CNN, but the number of people who fall into this category is very small.  And hey, most people don't have time - I can certainly understand that.  It's also true that our educational institutes have given up on creating liberally minded people, who understand logic and truth and so have the faculty to judge political things. 

Education is the answer to this problem and in the circumstance we are in now, we work one person at a time, one classroom at a time, one town at a time, one city at a time.  When we get our smaller communities in order, our national conversation will make much more sense and be more fruitful for all of us.  We have to learn to be proactive - this is our country and we get what we deserve. 


Thoughts on Presidential Debate #1

I confess I'm a bit shocked!  I believe Mitt Romney did a great job tonight.  He challenged the President in a thoughtful and ranging conversation and, for the most part, stayed away from simply repeating talking points. 

Romney showed he had some spine and humanity and that he was not simply a talking suit or the guy that recently fired you.  I find myself left with a bit of empathy for the President; he looked tired and very worn down.


Emily Yoffe makes a good observation

When Facebook was first introduced I wondered what it would be like for young people to go through life tethered electronically to almost everyone they’ve known. Now it’s clear that for some being connected forever via social media can be like hauling around a box of childhood stuffed animals. There’s no room for them, but they have too much sentimental value to discard.


The Democratic Party

Officially supports taxpayer funded abortions.  The latest statement from the party's platform on the matter, courtesy of the weekly standard
"The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay."
That last part--"regardless of ability to pay"--is an endorsement of taxpayer-funded abortions, a policy that President Obama has personally endorsed. Obama wants Medicaid to pay directly for elective abortions, and Obamacare will allow beneficiaries to use federal subsidies to purchase health care plans that cover elective abortions. According to a 2009 Quinnipiac poll, 72 percent of voters oppose public funding of abortion and 23 percent support it. In other words, public funding of abortion--a policy President Obama actively supports--is as unpopular as banning abortion in the case of rape, a policy on which the media have focused much attention over the past two weeks despite the fact that neither presidential candidate supports it.
Nothing new for those paying attention, but the Democratic party is becoming more and more vocally hostile to human life and the human family.


on Paul Ryan

It's great to have someone on the Republican ticket who knows the words subsidiarity and solidarity and tries to think about politics with these principles in mind.

Like Romney, but authentic and Catholic.

Peter Lawler talks about something important here:
One thing Ryan had to prove to skeptical America—or at least skeptical ME—is that he's no (Ayn) Randian, no creature of the libertarian economists who are all about the selfish sovereign individual.  And he did!

Let me call attention to the his speech's three-paragraph theoretical moment, where Ryan explains what his country is all about:
Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed. We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope. Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.
We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.
Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government – to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society. They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding. They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.
There's a lot I want to say about each of these beautiful and deep paragraphs.  But for now:
Notice that Ryan begins with the faith that all American believers share, the foundation of their "moral creed."  Each person is unique and irreplaceable, a being endowed with irreducible personal significance as a creature of God.
So most basic is the responsibility we have to one another. 
The strong (contra Rand etc.) have a responsibility to the weak and vulnerable, and any society is judged most truly by the quality of its care.  To what extent that care comes from government and to what extent from charity or altruism or families and friends or voluntary caregiving is a question.  But the question has to be asked in a way that acknowledges our responsibility as relational beings who aren't intended "to face the world alone."
Responsibilities are prior to rights.  But rights we do have as free and responsible beings with unique personal destinies.  Those rights don't change and don't come from government but from "nature and God," the sources of our personal, purposeful being.  We are free from government because of who we are, and the nature of the human person and so the limits on what government should do don't "evolve" over time.
We can now argue over to what extent Ryan's signature policies correspond to our "moral creed."
But we can't deny that this guy is morally serious and really knows stuff.


ok an update to the post below

so the SSA says they are buying the ammunition for the cops they employ.

to investigate fraud

and stuff


but explosive bullets?

ok !


Why is the Social Security Administration buying ammunition?

Hollow point ammunition, nonetheless.  

At first, you ask yourself: what?  Why is the government arming itself in this way?  What possible use could the Social Security Administration have for ammunition?  Then you think, well, there's probably some other bureaucracy involved, and this is some sort of cover.  Seems that the Department of Homeland Security has staged random armed ID checkpoints, most notably in Florida.  Could this be related?  Who knows - maybe.  Why are they doing this?  Does it have something to do with fighting terrorism?  Is it related to preparation for civil unrest, ala Greece? If so, does it really help? Is it prudent?  Is it what we really want? What administration is responsible for this?  What democratic body approved of this?

Then the easier questions - is it really a big deal?  Probably not. Has the government probably been doing something like this for a long time, and it's just gone unnoticed?  Likely.  Do these realities "make it ok?" No, not really. This is at least a waste of time and money, and more seriously it's probably a threat to our liberty. It's clear that the terrorists have really succeeded in controlling us.  Policies and practices like this are proof.

This country is crazy.


color photos from the surface of mars

are super awesome


i wonder if God will show us stuff like this in heaven


my problem with Michael Phelps

Clearly the guy is great swimmer.  But come on!  All this talk of him being "the most decorated Olympian ever" is absurd.  There are roughly 16 unique swimming events, all of which have gold medals to be won. If he's a good swimmer, he better win a pile of them! He's the best swimmer ever, but I believe the title best Olympian ever is stretching things a bit far.

The point is this: The best basketball player in the universe only has one gold medal to win.  The best swimmer in the universe can win 16 - at each Olympics. 


welcome home, baby #2

it's warm outside!


justice and the world

Those who kill the aborted are generally not called to judgment in the courts of this world. But the world is created in ultimate justice. The aborted exist for eternal life, but also to identify who killed them. The aborted remain members of the human race with all the dead. Without being asked, they are killed. Their lives are not “nothing.”
I like this line: "the world is created in ultimate justice."  Despite the fact that we may never see the end of abortion in our present culture, ultimately God will not ignore the great and horrific injustice that is done to the class of persons we call the unborn.  Some day we, as a community and as individuals, will have to answer for what is done to new human life in the name of our great liberal passion, "CHOICE."


A Supreme Tragedy

Limited government, personal responsibility and freedom are dead in this country.

We worship and value equality above all else.

This philosophy put into practice cannot last very long

So long, America!


I'd like to see more of this from Romney

This was a great idea:

Mitt Romney Visits Solyndra Amid Attack on Obama Jobs Record
“Two years ago President Obama was here to tout this building and this business as a symbol of the success of his stimulus,” said Romney, stepping off a bus and onto the public sidewalk in front of the Solyndra buildings just outside Silicon Valley. “Well you can see that it’s a symbol of something very different today.”

“It’s a symbol not of success but of failure,” he said. “It’s also a symbol of a serious conflict of interest. An independent inspector general looked at this investment and concluded that the administration had steered money to friends and family – to campaign contributors. This building, this half a billion dollar taxpayer investment, represents a serious conflict of interest on the part of the president and his team.”
“It’s also a symbol of how the president thinks about free enterprise,” said Romney. “Free enterprise to the president means taking money from the taxpayers and giving it freely to his friends.”



Greatest News Story Ever

Cows Crash Drinking Party, Steal Beer
BOXFORD — Six cows crashed a house party on Main Street and wound up drinking the beer left behind on a picnic table when the partygoers fled.
Police Lt. James Riter said he got a call about 9 p.m. Sunday for cows in the road on Main Street near Foster Street close to the town line with North Andover.

Riter said when he arrived, he found "evidence" in the street that the cows had been there, but the animals were gone. He found them a short distance away on the side of the road, and they wandered into the front yard of a Main Street home.

Riter said the partygoers decamped to the deck, abandoning their beverages, and watched as the cows approached the picnic table.

The thirsty creatures knocked over the plastic cups of Bud Light and Miller Light beer that were left on the table and began slurping away at the beer. "They seemed to prefer the Bud Light," Riter observed.
Those are my kind of cows!


Oh Commonweal, Part 2423

Someone doesn't like the new translation of the Mass
Six months after the imposition of the new English edition of the Roman Missal, the volume of dissatisfaction has moderated. People seem resigned to the wooden and literal translations (“people of good will,” “enter under my roof”), archaic vocabulary (“dewfall,” “consubstantial,” “oblation”), and inflated language of prayer (“holy and unblemished,” “graciously grant,” “paying their homage”).:
But these are just some of the flaws.  The problem with the new Mass translation is the use of the word "chalice" .  How hierarchical!


Stand up for yourself

Contrary to popular opinion, not everyone's moral, political, or philosophical beliefs are "ideology".

Ideology, properly understood, is the imposition of a philosophy upon the world.   Philosophy in this sense is to be understood as a set of beliefs and principles which may or may not be true. Because ideological philosophy (or beliefs) is imposed upon the world, it can be used to explain everything in the world.  Ideologues know everything, and can explain anything that happens.

Ideology can be contrasted with true knowledge.  True knowledge is much more limited than ideology.  It is more humble. True knowledge, rather than being imposed upon the world, comes out of our experience in the world.  True knowledge comes from nature, reason, and revelation.  It comes "from without" rather than "from within".  True knowledge imposes itself upon us - we impose nothing upon true knowledge (think - what say do I have in whether 1+1 = 2).

The notion that political conversation and discussions about morality and mores are nothing but the competition of ideologies is a self-defeating skeptical point of view, but a very democratic point of view.  This position is normally coupled with a belief that the most-powerful always end up ruling.  I think this is the dominant theory of our republic today, evidenced by the growing number of people who are enthralled with the idea that society is controlled by a powerful, elite few.  Witness the "Occupy" movement, who blame "the 1%" for their woes.

Believe something long enough and it will become true.  Or we can stand up for ourselves.


"Scientists" love to argue about God



Don Draper's Drink Orders

Mad Men on AMC is a very entertaining television show, if a bit too needlessly pornographic.  The writing on the show is often excellent, and I think some particularly great examples come when Don Draper is asked what he likes to drink.

"Make it simple, and significant."

"Big and brown"

While there is much deplorable about Don's character, I really appreciate his unique ability to  order a cocktail. 


Avett Brothers in Durham

They were awesome.


Is this True?

Check out this article: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1...
The software, created by a company called Narus that’s now part of Boeing, is controlled remotely from NSA headquarters at Fort Meade in Maryland and searches US sources for target addresses, locations, countries, and phone numbers, as well as watch-listed names, keywords, and phrases in email. Any communication that arouses suspicion, especially those to or from the million or so people on agency watch lists, are automatically copied or recorded and then transmitted to the NSA.

The scope of surveillance expands from there, Binney says. Once a name is entered into the Narus database, all phone calls and other communications to and from that person are automatically routed to the NSA’s recorders. “Anybody you want, route to a recorder,” Binney says. “If your number’s in there? Routed and gets recorded.” He adds, “The Narus device allows you to take it all.” And when Bluffdale is completed, whatever is collected will be routed there for storage and analysis.

According to Binney, one of the deepest secrets of the Stellar Wind program—again, never confirmed until now—was that the NSA gained warrantless access to AT&T’s vast trove of domestic and international billing records, detailed information about who called whom in the US and around the world. As of 2007, AT&T had more than 2.8 trillion records housed in a database at its Florham Park, New Jersey, complex.
Verizon was also part of the program, Binney says, and that greatly expanded the volume of calls subject to the agency’s domestic eavesdropping. “That multiplies the call rate by at least a factor of five,” he says. “So you’re over a billion and a half calls a day.” (Spokespeople for Verizon and AT&T said their companies would not comment on matters of national security.)
 So the television show "Person of Interest" is a true story?


Obama's Doublespeak

UPDATE 6 p.m. ET: The White House is declining to comment on the 5th Circuit's order, but the president today did clarify his comments that it would be "unprecedented" for the Court to overturn laws passed by a democratically elected Congress. During a question-and-answer session after a luncheon speech in Washington, a journalist pointed out "that is exactly what the Court has done during its entire existence."

Mr. Obama suggested he meant that it would be "unprecedented" in the modern era for the Court to rule the law exceeded Congress' power to regulate an economic issue like health care.

"The point I was making is that the Supreme Court is the final say on our Constitution and our laws, and all of us have to respect it, but it's precisely because of that extraordinary power that the Court has traditionally exercised significant restraint and deference to our duly elected legislature, our Congress. And so the burden is on those who would overturn a law like this," Mr. Obama said. 
 What's amazing is how President Obama's statement is split - divided - about the Court's power.  Yes the court has a power and we have to respect it, but the court really should not exercise this power without "significant restraint and deference to our duly elected legislature". And it's obvious that in this case,  "significant restraint and deference" means not overturning the law. His statement means he gets it both ways. He is lying, because it's an either/or.  Either the law is constitutional, or it's not.  Either the court has a right to overturn a law passed by Congress, or it does not.  He cedes the latter but obfuscates the former.

Get this man out of office.


Slate recommends eliminating the supreme court


liberals have never liked federalism or limits on the power of the "democratic" branches of government

Mother Jones

Sounding less like a world-class lawyer and more like a teenager giving an oral presentation for the first time, Verrilli delivered a rambling, apprehensive legal defense of liberalism's biggest domestic accomplishment since the 1960s—and one that may well have doubled as its eulogy.
Ouch! By the way, " liberalism's biggest domestic accomplishment since the 1960s" is President Obama's national health insurance mandate.



 Sure lots of parents need to learn how to discipline their kids better and teach them how to sit still and keep quiet when they’re supposed to. But those families aren’t learning how to do that. Why? Because they are at home by themselves on Sunday morning, making excuses for not going to Mass and not watching how other families do it successfully. Because the few times they mustered the courage to try it, they got snide remarks from the priest or annoyed looks from parishioners. Because they ended up in a crowded cry room like second-class participants. Because they didn’t feel welcome. And they didn’t feel equipped. Because they are still learning how to raise kids. And because they haven’t yet learned how truly important Mass is for their growing family.

We need to teach them. We need to help them. We need to smile at them. We need to encourage them. We need to invite them. We need to celebrate the noise of children. What a beautiful noise to hear at Mass. It’s the sound of a living, breathing, growing Church.


What the Incarnation Means

I am reading Frank Sheed's little book, "A Map of Life," and I am enjoying its wonderful simplicity. Within this book, I have found what is perhaps the most lucid description of the Incarnation I have ever come across:
The distinction between person and nature is not some deep and hidden thing to which philosophy only comes after centuries of study. It is, on the contary, a distinction so obvious that the smallest child who can talk at all makes it automatically. If in the half-light, he sees a vague outline that might be anything, he asks, "What is that?" If, on the other hand, he can see that it is a human being, but cannot distinguish or does not recognize the features, he asks, "Who is that?" The distinction between what and who is the distinction between nature and person....A man may then be thought of as a person - who acts - and a nature - which decides the field in which he acts. In man, there is simply one nature to one person. In Christ, there are two natures to one person...


i recommend listening to india arie

also the avett brothers


Stanley Hauerwas' Question

Everything you need to know about someone you can learn from asking one question: what do you worship? What's of highest value to you; what's most important to you?

boiling the frog


40 Days for Life

Begins February 22 and ends April 1st!

Consider participating in a local campaign.

40 Days for Life is the future of the pro-life movement.


How liberals understand homeschooling

A very revealing article published at Slate:
This overheated hostility toward public schools runs throughout the new literature on liberal homeschooling, and reveals what is so fundamentally illiberal about the trend: It is rooted in distrust of the public sphere, in class privilege, and in the dated presumption that children hail from two-parent families, in which at least one parent can afford (and wants) to take significant time away from paid work in order to manage a process—education—that most parents entrust to the community at-large.
That's right, homeschoolers. You do it because you "distrust the public sphere," and practice "class privilege", because you want to "raise your own kids" and not immediately pass them off as "the community's problem." And you are the worst examples of that old-fashioned notion that the people responsible for generating the children should be responsible for raising them. Object to the culture you find yourselves in? WELL, tough. It's irresponsible to refuse to submit your children to the national education.

This is really some scary stuff coming out of Slate, but it helps you understand their priorities.

More Peter Lawler

Let me begin by saying that I’m far more unimpressed by the contribution of behavioral economists than even Wright and Ginsburg. The perception that people aren’t hardwired, so to speak, to always act — in their own interests has only been challenged by those who have made the error of imagining that all human behavior either is or should be all about rational choice on the level of interests. Similarly, Simon’s alleged breakthrough that people are content to “satisfice” rather than maximize when it comes to choice is little more than common sense. Most people, most of the time, don’t have either the time or the inclination to do the calculating required to achieve maximizing. Economists have given a lot of thought, for example, to calculating about how much to tip, but most people barely give it a thought.

A gentleman or a generous man appears not to care—and really doesn’t care—about being precise when it comes to such trivialities. Is his disinclination to calculate contrary to his self-interest? That question can be answered only by someone who knows what his true interests are. That answer, it seems to me, is obviously beyond the competence of the economist. The economist does have the inclination to believe that the person moved by honor or glory is a sucker, while the “entrepreneur” oriented around wealth and power is the model of human excellence. But we might say the economist as economist has no right to make that distinction. Economists do have to acknowledge that General George Washington and General Nathan Bedford Forrest were much greater risk takers than Bill Gates. And people who put their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor on the line (I don’t mean Newt Gingrich) have laughed at the thought that the point of life is autonomy, at least as understood by John Stuart Mill.

The economist has no way of knowing if the artist or statesman or philosopher (such as Thomas Jefferson) who was so lacking in prudence that he took in huge amounts of money but still died poor was happier than, say, the Steve Jobs who died really, really rich. Nobody knows whether Blaise Pascal or Friedrich Nietzsche or Charley Parker would have been happier had they calculated—in the manner of one of today’s “risk taking” bourgeois bohemian innovative entrepreneurs—more about their health and wealth. We wish they could have displayed their excellence while being more sensible, but it’s not for us to say that they could have successfully “satisficed” had they had better guidance. Pascal and Parker were nothing if not risk takers, but economists at are a loss when it comes to explaining their behavior. And the behavioral economist would have nudged the heck out of them against their true inclinations—allegedly for their own good.


Person of Interest...

is hands down.. the best show on television.


He's great.

Check it out, seriously.



One is not free when one sins, because sins necessarily enslave

Freedom understood as autonomy is an illusion


Go Patriots!

Today is a great day.

Tomorrow not so much.

Pray for the overturn of Roe v. Wade


How a Christian Confronts Evil

One of the most important elements of Jesus's kingdom ethic was, accordingly, the praxis of forgiveness: "If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; anf if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give him your cloak as well... Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt. 5:39-44). As Walter Wink has pointed out, these recommendations have nothing to do with passivity in the face of evil; rather, they embody a provocative but nonviolent manner of confronting evil and conquering it through a practice of coinherent love.
- The Priority of Christ, Robert Barron, pp. 112


Ron Paul is not "the most honest politician"

“I voted for Ron Paul because he is the most honest politician I have ever known,” Ann Buckman, 27, said outside Ward 11's Gossler Elementary School.
Not true, says I! Ron Paul has been caught on numerous occasions manipulating or distoring the record of other candidates. Furthermore, he is guilty of a type of manipulation that can only be called hypocrisy. Ron Paul has the nice benefit of saying he's voted against everything - because he has. However, Ron Paul the politician knows that his no votes often mean nothing, because no one else agrees with him. Ron Paul does not care about the common good, which requires the careful application of prudence in pursuit of the best course of action. Ron Paul effectively abstains from making these types of decisions, opting to point to revolution instead. This can rightly be called selfish. He is a hypocrite, because while voting "no," he nevertheless participates in earmarking bills with benefits for his district. He still cooperates with the beast and takes money when he can get it so he can stay in office. He has it both ways, and this is a sign not of man who acts with no concern but for his principles, but of a careful, calculating politician who wants to get re-elected, just like everyone.


A Good Essay on Discernment


A taste:
But such popular talk of one’s “calling” also betrays a crucial misunderstanding of discernment, a cardinal error that is entirely foreign to the great tradition of the Church...

The confusion is rooted in the oft-overlooked sin of presumption. For when a Christian goes to prayer with the expectation that God will reveal to him a personalized plan for his life, he presumes that God will make him the recipient of a miraculous private revelation. Now, our Christian history has seen numerous instances of his doing exactly that, particularly with some of the Church’s most venerable mystic saints. But God is under no constraints to act in this way, and far be it for me to deem myself worthy to receive so extraordinary a message from Our Lord.


Naive Young Catholic People Who Believe and Practice the Church's Teachings

In the latest issue of Commonweal, the editor Paul Baumann recounts his mother's story of the period of her life when she practiced adherence to the Church's teachings about sexuality. During this time, his mother was pregnant 7 times and had 2 miscarriages. She suffered severe endometriosis and "the deliveries were not always easy". It does sound like his mother had some serious trouble with her pregnancies, and it is clear from the story that an inability to control or regulate pregnancies was a source of great suffering for her mother. This is a serious story that deserves a serious response.

The primary ethical point of his storytelling is that the Church's teaching on the impermissability of contraception is inhumane and immoral. Mr. Baumann believes his mother had no choice but to suffer through the pain and suffering of perpetual pregnancy in the absence of birth control. It is clear he thinks there are no alternatives, and that her life could not have been lived in a different way, if she wanted to remain faithful to the Church. But surely some part of him knows he is ignoring some obvious things.

First, his mother and father could have avoided getting pregnant by practicing abstinence. Abstinence is indeed possible and is guaranteed to prevent pregnancy! His father, if he was cognizant of the health issues his wife was suffering, should have acted in her defense and they could have cooperated to avoid pregnancy when it would cause serious harm. This is likely perceived by many to be yet another "inhumane" suggestion, because our culture views self-denial as something of a vice, especially with regards to sex. And if one rejects abstinence, then the Church would recommend NFP. NFP is, when used properly, effective. It's just difficult, and people don't like that either. But the suffering that comes with NFP is surely better than risking one's life for a pregnancy (a baby).

If these options are not good enough, if we are incapable of joyfully living the teachings of the Church, then I believe that the Church must not teach the truth. If the Church is wrong about human sexuality, and specifically the claim that contraception is immoral, the Church can be wrong about anything morally. And if the Church can be wrong about anything morally, then She really doesn't teach with the authority of Divine, Omniscient, and Perfect God.

Baumann says he tells the story so that young people might hear it(although if that's the case he shouldn't be writing it in Commonweal). He says: "this is an all-too-familiar story for Catholic women of a certain age, and I think it should be better known, especially among younger, more fervent Catholics whose idealism [emphasis mine] - and naivete - is pandered to by the current emphasis on the Theology of the Body." OK, duly noted, Mr. Baumann. I'd rather be naive than believe in a God who isn't perfect.


On the Feast of The Holy Family (A Message from the NEW New Hampshire Bishop!)

NH has a new Bishop, and it seems he has a willingness to preach the Gospel! This is great news for our diocese. This Sunday is the Feast Day of The Holy Family, and the Bishop uses this as an occasion to call for a restoration of our understanding of marriage. The whole article is worth reading, but check this part out:
Plea to Strengthen Marriage and Family

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” I do now add to this prayer: help us to rediscover and strengthen the bonds of marriage and family. Human attempts to replace or redefine marriage do not respond adequately to the present situation of isolation, grief, and confusion. The wisdom of many millennia of human experience is not to cast aside truth, but to uphold it if society is to prosper and find peace.

In this regard, I am encouraged that the New Hampshire General Court will have the opportunity in this coming year to vote to restore the traditional understanding of marriage, and I sincerely hope that the General Court will accomplish this important task. And if such will be the case, then we must, as a people dedicated to the common good, “be there” as our young people say, for married couples and their family bond. May the year 2012 be a year in which we recapture the age-old knowledge of the place of marriage and the family as the foundations of society.