Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Ad They Don't Want You To See

is here:

“This is the best pro-life ad I’ve ever seen”:

Kudos, once again, to my peeps at Fidelis.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Southern Appeal.)

Are the People Who Got Us Into This Recession

giving advice on how to get back out? If so, should we be really trusting them all that much?

You'd Think We'd Learn from Japan...:

...but it appears we haven't:

The Japanese tried every trick in the Keynesian playbook. Zero interest rates, public works projects tax rebates and tax decreases.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor.)

Friday, January 30, 2009


is a ballad by G.K. Chesterton. Dale Ahlquist edited a small book
with this, some notes and several related essays. This would be most profitably read on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, whose feast day is set on the anniversary of the battle in 1571.

This is a rousing, humorous and heroic poem and shows GKC's talent off well.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas:

Thomas Aquinas was born at the family castle near Aquino, Italy, in 1225. He was the son of Count Landulf of Aquino. When he was only five years old he was sent to Benedictine Monte Cassino Monastery to be educated. When he was 14 he went to Naples to complete his education and while there joined the Dominicans.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic Exchange.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


is what we sometimes encounter in others. This example is particularly well answered:

Spanning the Globe to Bring You the Constant Variety of Posts:

While reading blog comments this week, I've noticed that the same question comes up over and over from the other side: "Why does the right refuse to shut up about abortion?" Ooooooh, pick me! Pick me! For the same reason that the Jews refuse to shut up about the Holocaust. - Karen of "Some Have Hats"

Read the whole thing.

(Via Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Book Review

Well, nothing quite that exalted. Rather, an opportunity to celebrate completing my first new book of the year: Natural Rights and the Right to Choose
by Hadley Arkes. It's an extended meditation on the state of the politics and law in the US regarding access to abortion. Dr. Arkes makes the case the the Born-Alive Infant Protection laws are the necessary first step to force the public to engage the issue of abortion. The abortion proponents can't oppose it and it forces the public into an awareness of just how draconian the abortion laws really are.

It's not a heavy read, but you do have to keep your thinking cap on. Only time will tell if Dr. Arkes hopefulness is justified. I do recommend it for those interested in the intersection of law and politics.

So I'm Not Completely Crazy

The new fear-mongering craze is likely to be the Coming Ice Age:

Are We Entering Era of Global Cooling Alarmism?

this cooling trend is becoming so noticeable that we may soon face a new problem: global cooling alarmism. Yes, the alarm bells already are beginning to shift in the direction of global cooling as you can see in this article in The Australian:

Read the rest.

Via LIfeSiteNews.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Get Your Mukluks

While they're still cheap. The Global Warming Chicken Littles are about to be replaced by the Coming Ice Age Chicken LIttles:

It's time to pray for global warming, says Flint Journal columnist John Tomlinson - Flint, Michigan Columns, Letters & Opinion - The Flint Journal –

"For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming?"

Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic and Enjoying It!.)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Things I Didn't Need to Know

There are some things that appeal to the romantic instinct, and Scotsmen proudly wearing plaid kilts is one of them. But this definitely ruins that image for me:

Do Scots Need Kilts?:

Yet it is worth remembering that the kilt was a skirt invented by an Englishman in the 1720s.

Read the whole thing.

(Via OUPblog.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Timing is Everything

Looks like we may not be the only bargain-hunting pilgrims in Rome:

Rome Journal: All Roads May Lead Here, but They Aren’t Bringing Big Spenders:

The strong euro and worsening economic crisis have taken their toll on tourism in Rome, making la vita decidedly less dolce these days.

Read the whole thing.

(Via New Advent World Watch.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Never Say Never Again

That was Sean Connery's choice for the name of his last Bond flim, a remake of Thunderball. You might think that with that very public example, I might have avoided that mistake. Alas, no.

Wanderlust is a part of my make-up. But I have settled down a bit in the last few decades. It's not that I don't like travelling, it's just that I like sleeping in my own bed more. So, when I took the wife to Europe in 2005, I assured her we wouldn't do anything like this again (16-day cruise, Galveston to Rome, and two weeks in Italy).

Still feeling that the poor thing deserved to see some of the places she had dreamed about in her youth, I relented in 2007 and took her on an 18-day cruise (Tampa Bay to Venice, a follow-up cruise through and Adriatic and Aegean Seas and a two-day layover in London). This was designated as her Farewell Cruise to Europe. Are you seeing a pattern, yet?

So it was our thirtieth anniversary last year and her ability to walk for extended periods is disappearing. She's mooning for another last cruise. And the drop in fuel prices, the looming recession, and largely empty ships have led to some bargain prices for some cruises.

Behold, an 18-day cruise, Fort Lauderdale to Rome, and a six-day stay in Rome. I'd have my head examined, but I'm pretty sure there's nothing there.

There will, at least, be a pilgrimage aspect to this. We are scheduled for the Scavi Tour. We plan to visit Santa Croce. And maybe this time I'll climb the Santa Scala on my knees in penance for my sins. Ok, now I don't feel quite so bad.

Thought of the Day

Spanning the Globe to Bring You the Constant Variety of Posts:

It is strange that some theologians have difficulty accepting the precise and limited doctrine of papal infallibility, but see no problem in granting de facto infallibility to everyone who has a conscience. - Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, via Bill Luse who got it from Zippy

Read the whole thing.

(Via Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor.)

Sunday, January 11, 2009


There are a plethora of reactions to the death of Father Neuhaus, which you can link to in the article below. But the sub-quote below caught my attention particularly:


“To the living, we owe respect; to the dead, only truth,” Voltaire once opined. It’s a good line: high-minded, confident, sententious in the way only enlightened French philosophes could manage with any aplomb. But it also feels exactly backward, particularly about those we knew and loved.


Read the whole thing.

(Via First Things.)

Friday, January 09, 2009


I was saddened to hear of Father Neuhaus's passing yesterday morning. When such important people pass on, it seems as if we are orphaned. Yet, they themselves were saddened by the passing of the great men of the generation they looked up to. So it remains for us to stand tall for those who look up to us. Here's a poem for the occasion:


like forest canopies
cathedrals and Roman columns
makes us feel small
makes us recall
that God alone perdures.

(Via Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor.)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Just War

Assuming that the title is not an oxymoron, it is worth investigating what the rights and wrongs, legally and ethically, are in the current Gaza conflict. Here is one thoughtful contribution. (I regret to say I can't figure out which blog pointed me to this--sorry!):

Commentary » Blog Archive » Gaza and the Law of Armed Conflict:

While much of the world engages in hand-wringing, placard-waving, teeth-gnashing, and rocket-launching over Israel’s “disproportionate” response to Hamas attacks from Gaza, it’s worth looking at what the doctrines of “proportionality” actually say.

Read the whole thing.

(Via .)

Remembering Paul Keres

It was 1975, the Vancouver Open Chess Tournament. One of the biggest names to attend was Paul Keres. It was at Totem Park in UBC. Just writing that brings up emotional memories of the cafeteria we played in. The Fischer boom in chess was about to go bust. There were 209 players that year. The subsequent annual Paul Keres Memorial Tournaments would rarely break 100.

Anyway, he won the tournament and died within a couple of weeks, on his way home to Estonia. It's all in half-remembered pictures stored in a rarely visited part of my memory. A decent, gentle man so far as I could tell. And a marvel as a chess player. Requiescat in Pacem.

This Week's ChessBase Show: Remembering Paul Keres:

Estonian legend Paul Keres was born 93 years ago today, and although he passed away in 1975, his games are likely to be remembered as long as there are chess fans.

Read the whole thing.

(Via The Chess Mind.)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Homiletic & Pastoral Review | The U.S. religious landscape survey | By Joseph A. Sirba

Further grist for my mill:

Homiletic & Pastoral Review | The U.S. religious landscape survey | By Joseph A. Sirba:

From May 8 to August 13, 2007, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life surveyed over 35,000 adults in an effort to learn more about current religious beliefs and practices within the United States. The first report on survey findings, entitled U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, was released on February 25, 2008. This one hundred and forty page report (including appendices) contains numerous tables and comments on the current state of religious beliefs and practices in the United States. It also contains interesting figures on how the religious landscape in the United States has been changing in recent years and how various denominations are either growing or shrinking.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Insight Scoop.)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

Many Blessings to you and yours in this New Year. I'm not much for the staying up until midnight thing. I was working yesterday evening and returned to a dark and empty house. The family had scattered to various locations to ring in the New Year. I would have preferred to go straight to bed, but the obligatory midnight phone calls kept me up.

On the other hand, New Year's Resolutions are a big thing with me. I have quite a list, all aimed at personal improvement: spiritual, intellectual and physical. My Chess-related resolutions will have to be reviewed in light of Dennis Monokroussos' advice:

The Chess Mind New Year's Resolutions:

The rest of the world may be different, but here in the U.S. of A. it's very popular to make resolutions for the new year.

Read the whole thing.

(Via The Chess Mind.)

Mary, Mother of God

We end the Octave of Christmas with this feast today. so here is a meditation on the BVM:

The Blessed Virgin in the History of Christianity:

The Blessed Virgin in the History of Christianity | John A. Hardon, S.J.

Christianity would be meaningless without the Blessed
Virgin. Her quiet presence opened Christian history at the Incarnation and will
continue to pervade the Church's history until the end of time.

Our purpose in this meditation is to glance over the past
two thousand years to answer one question: What are the highlights of our
Marian faith as found in the Bible and the teaching of the Catholic Church?

Read the whole thing.

(Via Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog.)