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.