Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My computer geek score is greater than 64% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Vatican Jerks Back on the Reins for Neocatechumenal Way

I haven't see this NCReporter note, by John Allen echoed anywhere else:
A new letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship demands that the Neocatechumenal Way, a program for catechetical formation launched in 1960s Spain by Kiko Arguello and Carmen Hernandez, adjust its liturgical practice to the general norms of the church.
That's a good sign.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I've dispatched some reindeer, but some of them we're a little to into the eggnog earlier and might have been slowed down a bit.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Catholic Company is selling a Divine Mercy Chaplet, which seems unneccesary, since most instructions for the Chaplet say explicitly "on ordinary rosary beads".
My Mass notes from yesterday are here.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Rev. Jenkins Makes A Move
Queer Film Festival is examined - News:
The February festival, which features films by gay and lesbian artists intended to stimulate dialogue, has in recent weeks been the subject of talks between members of the FTT Department and a committee on academic freedom created by University President Father John Jenkins, University spokesman Matt Storin said Monday.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I've installed Opera and it looks pretty good so far. Perhaps a bit faster than Firefox. The only problem so far seems to be with some of the Blogger menus!
A day or two later, I'm looking through the new Esquire and I see some letters to the editor referring to an illustration that accompanied an article in the previous issue on 'Good Night, and Good Luck,' the George Clooney movie about Edward R. Murrow and that Sen. McCarthy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Cornell Society for a Good Time: The New Secretary of the CDW::
Some more speculation fleshed out.

Who knows eh?

(and a caution on the Cornell website which is pretty radical leaning)
The World's Greatest Theologian

This is hillarious.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

chiesa: "Between Venus and Mars, the Church of Rome Chooses Both"

Sandro Magister takes on Vatican foreign policy. Chris Sullivan call your office :)
Gothamist: The Economics of Splitting a Cab:
5. The Talmudic method: 'To solve the problem, you need to consider all three possible pairs of two riders from the group of three, imagine them haggling over the savings, and come up with an overall solution -- modeled after the Talmud's teaching on the divided estate -- that works for all three negotiations. The math was formalized in a Nobel Prize-winning paper by Robert Aumann and Michael Maschler 20 years
Wow...the math must be amazing...

Monday, December 12, 2005

sam jpeg
You are Sam the Eagle.
You are patriotic and devoted. And extremely anal.

Patriotism, Being appalled at what everyone else is
The National Anthem of America

"An American In....America"

"Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,
Eagles are from America"

"Please stop that now! It's un-American!"

What Muppet are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Greetings to Our Australian Friends!

Who seem to be interested in my connection (lack there of actually) to Opus Dei.

They're probably interested because I wrote this and a version here.

I actually like the website.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

On mediabistro: TVNewser They Quote David Bianculli:
"BBC World News is the best model out there for serious coverage in a tight TV format. The focus, for ABC and its network competitors, should be squarely on the over-the-air evening newscast. That's the flagship, the fountain from which all reputations and fortunes spring. Blogs are fun diversions, but the news - and the newscast - is what matters. Now more than ever."
But it always seemed to me that the flagship of the BBC World Service was the radio not the TV.

Monday, December 05, 2005

A Freedom Bell

Jay Nordlinger writes:
Anyway, while reading the program notes, I marked something to share with you Impromptus-ites. (By the way, if you wish to read my New York Sun review of this particular concert, please go here.) This is what I read: The new bells of the Frauenkirche
peal forth with a message that must touch the hearts of all who hear them. Yet for the members of the New York Philharmonic, the largest bell, Jesaia (Isaiah), sings an especially poignant song. Dubbed the Peace Bell, it bears an image of the World Trade Center towers collapsing on September 11, 2001, accompanied by the words from the Book of Isaiah (II, 4): "Sie werden ihre Schwerter zu Pflugscharen machen" ("They will beat their swords into plowshares").
Fine, fine, great, great. But there is some sword-wielding still to do, I'm afraid, on account of September 11 and all that motivated it and all that would trigger additional such atrocities.

Count me as one New Yorker (adoptive) who would be slightly more interested in a Self-Defense or Freedom Bell.
The obvious inscription for the Freedom bell would be:
Macht aus euren Pflugscharen Schwerter und aus euren Sicheln Spieße! der Schwache spreche: Ich bin stark! (Joel 3:10, Luther Bibel 1545)
That is:
Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, "I am strong!" (Joel 3:10, NIV)

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Industrial Output and National Security

One argument for protectionist trade policies that I have found somewhat sympathetic in the past is the neccesity of maintaining sufficient domestic industrial capacity for national emergencies.

Thomas Bray, writing in the New York Sun today comments:
But the death of manufacturing in the United States is vastly overstated. While manufacturing jobs have indeed contracted 20% or so just since 1996, and by 50% subce 1970, manufacturing output itself has remained fairly steady when adjusted for prices, according to the Economist magazine.
Which puts an interesting spin on things. If domestic manufacturing capacity is constant, then labor force reductions in the US are due to productivity gains, not capacity moving overseas. Increased capacity overseas reflects increased consumption not decreased domestic capacity, which still might reflect a danger to national security in some sense, but in a different way.

It's easy when a company closes a plant in Dubuque and opens one overseas to think of it as "jobs moving overseas". It might be more accurate to say that the jobs have evaporated in productivity gains in South Bend and the company is just changing to a different business.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Did you know?

Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart are cousins.
Bob Lonsberry is back on WHAM! (This may have happened a long time ago, but I just became aware of it.)

Yet another reason to be nostalgic about Rochester.

(And they have Glenn Beck now, who I also like.)

This is bad radio.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Harry Potter pop-over advertisement currently on my AIM is really ticking me off.
JIMMY AKIN.ORG: March Of The Burn-Victim Towel Animals!:
In his autobiography Treasure in Clay Abp. Fulton Sheen recounts a funny travel story. In those days priests wore far fancier vestments than they do today. When Abp. Sheen got back to his room after a long day, he found that the hotel maid had thoughtfully laid out his pajamas on one side of his double bed. On the other side was laid out the frilly, white, lawn vestment (can't remember the name) that the maid took to be a lady's nightgown.
---Comments Mia Storm.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bruce Reed, Domestic Policy Advisor in the Clinton Administration, writes in Slate:
As David Greenberg wrote on Monday, Hofstra University held a conference last week on "William Jefferson Clinton: The 'New Democrat' from Hope." It was like a Star Trek convention for Has-Beens.

Another activist came to the retrospective to complain that we spend too much time talking about the past. Lady, if you had to spend a whole decade listening to Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow," you'd think about the past, too.
For those priviliged to not remember, that was the Clinton theme song.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Young, Assured and Playing Pharmacist to Friends - New York Times:
A spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration says it is illegal to give prescription medication to another person, although it is questionable whether the offense would be prosecuted.
While it may be true that the feds won't prosecute you (unless you're dealing in narcotic prescriptions), the state authorities will quite happily toss you in the clink for practicing medicine without a license.

Update: link fixed

Friday, November 11, 2005

Navy And Notre Dame Agree To 10-Year Contract Extension :: The longest intersectional college football rivalry in the country will continue:
Notre Dame and Navy, who meet Saturday in Notre Dame Stadium for the record 79th consecutive year, have agreed to play each year from 2007 through 2016 (the 2006 game is already under contract).

The Irish and Mids will meet at Notre Dame Stadium in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. The two teams will play in Baltimore in 2006 - and the teams will play in Dublin, Ireland, on Sept. 1, 2012 - with the 2008, 2010, 2014 and 2016 home games for Navy at sites yet to be determined.
Hmm...a nice twenty-seven percent tax rate on my latest pay check....

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Where is Jazz at Lincoln Center? Lincoln Center? Nope.

It's at the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. Got that?
Saw someone on the street today wearing a Gannon sweatshirt.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Slate Soldier Goes to War

Slate has a series on one of their regular contributers, an Army reservist and lawyer who is going to Iraq--as a soldier, not as a reporter. It looks very promising. But this part was interesting not for that reason, but for the subtext.
Telling my family and friends about the deployment was the first and hardest thing to do. My first call went to my best friend in New York. Like me, she had been expecting this for nearly the entire time we had known each other, and we had actually been through false mobilization alerts with the National Guard. However, this time was different, and she understood that as soon as I said I had orders (instead of a mere verbal warning). My subsequent calls went to my father, then my mother, then my grandparents, and then my aunt, then my best friends, eventually closing the circle of my immediate family. The next day, I told the partner I worked for at my firm and shared the news with the other junior attorneys over lunch. That afternoon, I shotgunned an e-mail to a few dozen of my friends, former colleagues, and people I hadn't spoken to in years but I thought might want to hear.
This is very interesting...the first call goes to his "best [female] friend in New York [the author lives in San Francisco]". But he tells us later, that after he calls his family he calls his "best friends". Now maybe he is just distinguishing between "bestest friend" and "best friends", but to my ear that sounds like something more, for instance the "you'd be my girlfriend if we didn't live on opposite sides of the country". Or the "I don't write about my personal life", frustrated by the fact that he is in fact here writing about his personal life.
"Hiding in Plain Sight" by Audrey Ference in The L Magazine (III.12)
Lately everyone's been all a-chatter about secret bars. ... Bars that are only known to people that are in the know are pretty much the definition of exculsive cool. The problem is that when one is sitting in the secret bar that only the elite know about, everyone there knows about the bar.
Which is of course the appeal of the private club, which actually does hide in plain sight. Everyone knows about it and yet still can't get there. Or even more so the quasi-secret society, the one everyone knows exists, but has secrets (even if those are not interesting in and of themselves) like the Masons or Skull and Bones.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

National Catholic Reporter now keeps most of their content behind a pay-wall, also preventing them from facing criticism from the blogosphere. (Same for the NYT, by the way.)

Friday, October 28, 2005

My own version of Jeanetta's Seven Things

7 Things I Plan to Do within the Next Year:
1. Pray More
2. Excercise More
3. If books are mediocre and unimportant stop reading even if I've already read part way through
4. Write some
5. Sell my car
There's two more that I'm not putting here.

7 Places I'd Like to Visit (in no particular order and only counting places I haven't been previously):
1. Jerusalem
2. Germany
3. The Black Hills of South Dakota
4. Kyoto, Japan
5. Ireland
6. Poland
7. Crown Heights

7 Places I've Already Been:
1. Rome
2. Los Angeles, CA
3. England (inc. Stonehenge, London, Bath, Oxford, Salisbury)
4. San Diego, CA
5. Maine
6. Chicago
7. Pittsburgh

7 Books I Love (not counting the Bible and happening to be all books I already own):
1. The Summa Theologica
2. The Book of Lights
3. The Rule of Benedict
4. Fire Within: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and the Gospel-On Prayer
5. The Liturgy of the Hours
6. Seven Storey Mountain
7. Problems of Knowledge: a Critical Introduction to Epistemology
8. The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge
(oh come thought I could limit myself to 7?)
[and Augustine's On Free Choice of the Will, the Collected Poems of Phillip Larkin, and something else I'm forgetting...]

7 Movies I Like:
1. Michael Collins
2. Das Boot
3. Stalag 17
4. Slavador
5. Casablanca
6. The Gathering Storm
7. Boiler Room

7 Websites I Love:
1. New Advent
2. National Review Online
3. Catholic Answers
4. The Heritage Foundation
5. Notre Dame Nation
6. Fox
7. This American Life
Ira Glass and Philip Glass are cousins.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

1998 Aquinas Lecture: "Thomism and the Future of Catholic Philosophy"

So this is useful...
...I believe it's officially reached rigamarole status.

I like WFB's ..."Out For Myers"... sounds like a plan.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

For TTLB Here We Go

I oppose the Miers nomination.

Hopefully it'll be withdrawn.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

For No Particular Reason
Latin gang members and witness protection.
"She wasn't just a witness," Greg Hunter, her court-appointed lawyer, told NEWSWEEK. "She was like the Rain Man of witnesses."
from Newsweek via Howstuffworks.
Brian Stetler on Gail Shister on Chris Matthews on FNC
[Chris Matthews] tells Gail Shister that FNC's daytime news shows have a "nice zest." "You can almost hear the old news ticker. There's a sense of immediacy and significance when they present the news. I think they do it very well," he says.

The broadcast nets could learn a thing or two from them, he continues: "You have to sell it. You have to present it with more gusto, more zest. You have to let viewers know, 'This is important.' You don't just report every story like it's a weather forecast."

Friday, October 21, 2005

Back in New York and back to work.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The National Catholic Reporter Review of John Allen's New Book on Opus Dei:
Herewith one small example: the treatment of Josemaria Escrivá’s seminal work, The Way, which has sold 4.5 million copies worldwide. The Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, a favorite of today’s conservative Catholics, called the book a “little manual for Scouts at the upper level,” and its spirituality “insufficient to support a worldwide organization.” By contrast, Mr. Allen quotes Thomas Merton, who wrote of The Way: “It will certainly do a great deal of good by its simplicity, which is a true medium for the Gospel message.” Mr. Allen also cites excerpts from Fr. Escrivá’s later works that are genuinely edifying and not banal.
Perhaps The Way should be looked at as a book for beginners? Then Balthazar's idea can be reconciled with Merton's and the reviewers opinions of some of Escriva's later works. The Gospel message of course is not that complicated, though it is deep, it's amplified greatly in the Epistles.

(and no, I'm really not trying to present the Opera Omnia of Escriva as the same as the Bible)

It's always interesting about those liberal favorites though...Romero was also a big fan of The Work.

Monday, October 17, 2005 - COLUMNIST - Wojciechowski: The Greatest Game Ever Played:

"The Trojans were ... out T-shirted (my favorite: 'New Coach. New Pope. New Era. Same Jesus')..."

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Reading Synodal Tea Leaves

It has been announced that the Synodal Fathers will be participating in a previously unscheduled Holy Hour of Eucharist Adoration. One wonders if this was added to the schedule by someone in response to the deprecating comments that have been made by some about Adoration as a form of prayer.

via Open Book (interpretation mine though)
(N.B.:these are some very sketchy thoughts.)

I bought today the second volume (in the original hardcover edition) of Fr. Francis X. Murphy's original book(s) on the Second Vatican Council. Fr. Murphy's "Letters from the Vatican Council" published in the New Yorker and collected and expanded in his books framed the interpretation of the council for many or most American ecclesiastics. He popularized (or is at least blamed for popularizing) many of the ideas traditionally associated with the Council in modern American (non-traditionalist/conservative) Catholic thought particularly that of the paradigm of John XXIII's aggiornamento being as much a neccesary updating. He also framed the Council as a debate between liberals and conservatives, something I think clearly breaks down when you realize that both Ratzinger and Kueng were "liberals" at the council. That's why so many people today have to read Ratzinger as having moved to the right, because their view of him is focused on his having been a liberal peritus at the Council. If you find it hard to read Ratzinger as having moved to the right, which I do, then you can look back and say that the analysis of the council as having been a debate between liberal and conservative wings might have to be rexamined.

I'm still looking for volumes 1 and 4 of the work and have only sampled it, so I
don't have a lot more to say on it.

Another thought. John Paul II was one of the Council Fathers, and Benedict XVI was only a peritus. That makes him the first Pope since 1958 who was not a member of the council.
Pittsford Carmelites Get Reinforcements

Sadly the a Carmelite monastery (of women) in the Diocese of Albany has closed. The silver lining is that the Carmelite monastery in Pittsford (outside of Rochester) will no longer being closing/be unclosing.
Traveling through D.C. on the bus, as we went up the ramp onto the bridge over the Potomac and past the Jefferson Memorial, the Spanish-accented young man sitting next to me said: "This is a lot better than New York."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

After going to St. Agnes Sunday (and headed home to St. Joseph's this weekend), I finally broke down and bought a copy of Fortescue's The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described (revised and corrected by a monk of Farnborough Abbey (UK), Dom Alcuin Reid and originally revised by Fr. J. B. O'Connell, M.A.).

Friday, October 07, 2005

• Did Jon Stewart kill magazines? Would anyone notice? If he didn’t, would he consider killing Vogue, please?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Marcus via Harper's via The Observer on the Novel
In the October Harper's, Ben Marcus offers a lengthy state-of-the-novel essay, subtly titled Why Experimental Fiction Threatens to Destroy Publishing, Jonathan Franzen, and Life as We Know It: A Correction, in which he spends 13 pages beating up Jonathan Franzen--snubber of Oprah and William Gaddis alike--and the middlebrow fiction establishment he represents.
I paged through this essay at the newsstand (a Lost Illusions scene). My conclusion... Who has time for all this contemporary fiction wrangling? There's such a backlog, so many other things to do. The best I feel I can hope for is to grab some occasional choice bit by chance, like Gilead.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Catholic Howl

Check out Gen X Revert's rewrite of Howl:
I saw the best Catholics of my generation destroyed by
madness, starving
hysterical naked
dragging themselves through the streets at dawn looking
for beautiful Liturgy
who threw potato salad at Jesuit lecturers on Dogma and subsequently
presented themselves on the granite steps of Groeschel’s
Friary with
shaven heads demanding true religious life.
(the whole thing)

(there's probably a technical poetics term for this kind of thing, but I don't know it)

He's on the sidebar now too...
Richard John Nehaus on his new blog:

"Andrew Sullivan – who could be a much nicer and more sensible person if he really tried..."
Saw Capote Sunday afternoon. Was solid, a bit too disturbing to be called a straight up entertainment. But not displacing enough to fully embody its (internal somewhat) billing as a "problem [movie]". Eh...a solid movie, but not a classic. A character actor of a movie.
Upcoming Vacation

I'm off work at 12:30AM on October 13. I'm back at 1AM on Oct. 22, but may try to get it changed to coming back at 12:30AM on Oct. 21.

Travel plans to be worked on later today.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Borders - Feature - Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto

Borders has excerpted the most important part of Chuck Klosterman's book, Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, on their website.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

In Re: Ty Willingham:

The Rock 9/26:

"As Stephen A. Smith said (and I paraphrase:) 'I wish someone would disrespect me by paying me 12-million dollars for three years work.'"
From the Oct. 3 Observer column "The Eight Day Week":
September is the new August! Or so it would seem, as every frilly girl or fruity boy is insisting on continuing to wear flip-flops and tank tops and flaunting their tattoos, which often just look like some toddler puked on their ankle--look, folks, this isn't Miami, grow up and be a New Yorker, or move the hell out. We've had enough of your sunny, brainless disposition--New York is for dark, angry people, O.K.?! When was the last time you saw Patti Smith in flip-flops, for god's sake!
On Gore Vidal

Duncan Fallowell writing in Prospect (UK):
In fact, if you believe his autobiography, not much has happened to him since he fell in love with a schoolmate at the age of 16. The adored one was exceptionally beautiful but killed, alas, in the second world war. Vidal, on his own admission, never again knew love. Instead he had gone to parties in the evenings and during the days has sat at a typewriter getting his own back on reality or on Norman Mailer or Truman Capote or whoever the enemy of the moment might be. Since he has never known love as an adult, he cannot exist without an enemy.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Not wanting to get hopes up, but still...

Things are looking up for the '62 missal.

(And put that way, how strange is it that traditional Catholics have become huge boosters for something from the '60's.)

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Continuing the European film kick, I'm planning to go see Elevator to the Gallows this weekend or Monday, depending on how tired I am and when. It's french New Wave noir. Score by Miles Davis!

(I actually went to see The Conformist a second time, but I was so tired that it was a struggle to stay awake and I didn't enjoy it at all.)
Saintos wonders when The Conformist might come to where he lives.

It may already be available in it's dubbed version on VHS somewhere near him. It was also apparently released on LaserDisc (rememeber those?).

People are still begging for a DVD release.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

THE CONFORMIST at Film Forum in New York City:

This film has revived my faith in movies, I had almost decided to give up on them. Everyone in New York should go see it. It's playing through August 23.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Yesterday's Metro section of the Times had the great punning headline "A Burgermeister No More" about the changing diet of our burgomaster, Mayor Bloomberg (especially so when you consider the Dutch origins of the word and the city).

Friday, August 05, 2005

My roomate found a big turtle outside our apartment.

Monday, July 25, 2005 Music: Music from Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus [SOUNDTRACK]:

"And all the while, a strange southern Jesus looms in the background. "'s a statue of the Sacred Heart. There's nothing particularly southern and very little strange about it.

This movie is so obviously made by Europeans. Such strange "southern things" as coal-mining (ever been to Pennsylvania?), dive bars, and old cars. Lots of plainly American stuff is passed off as "southern". Lots of Baptist churches appear in the film, but only exteriors and drive-bys. All the interiors, discussion, and services are of Pentecostal/charismatic churches. Presumably because of their exoticism.

In the movie they say the south is the only place you can get off the interstate and drive a couple of miles and it's like going back a hundred years. They should check out some of the small towns in NH, ME, etc.

Man, there's so much wrong with this movie.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I tried to go see Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus today (also at the IFC Center). The movie was at 9:30PM, or so I thought. I got there at 9:30, but it turned out it had started at 9:15. So I'll have to try again on another day.
Ramesh Ponnuru on The Corner: own top two picks are Michael McConnell (although I'd want him for chief) and John Roberts. I know, they're white men, but they have some virtues. If there are too many white men on the Court, maybe we ask John Paul Stevens to retire?
There was more to say, but I'm tired and have forgotten it.
I went to see... Me and You and Everyone You Know at the IFC Center theater. It was interesting, amusing, and somewhat juvenile. I wouldn't bother if I were you. The theater itself, however, is awesome. (With the exception of the popcorn, they serve what is described as organic popcorn. The only difference seems to be that the kernels are not as big and fluffy.)
The other day I saw a man wearing a Roman legionnaire costume pedaling a pedicab down the street. I suppose it was a gimmick to get up business, but really...
Rode a bus today. I had previously done this when we visited New York. This was the first time I had done it since I moved to New York though. It wasn't a crosstown and it ran straight up Sixth Avenue just like the train there did, so it was probably pointless, it just happened to be there right as I was coming out of a store and heading uptown (though the train station was right there too.
So really, there're multiple posts because I feel like it.
OK, a bunch of things to say. Will be broken up into multiple posts to allow people to comment individually. OK, not like there's gonna be tons of commenting or anything.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

That end-of-mass hymn at Our Saviour is the Justinian Hymn. It is also in the Byzantine liturgy, but is not the same as the cherubic hymn.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Obviously a busy morning here at work.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I walked by the NYC Opus Dei building on Lexington today between buying some pants and going to church. There was a black man walking in and out of the building. Apparently the Work brooks no middle ground on the melanin issue... no albino assasin monks in evidence though.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Monday, July 04, 2005 News | Police, G8 protesters clash in Scotland:

"One man stripped off his clothes and walked naked down the street, pursued by reporters."

Saturday, July 02, 2005

A Battle-Tested Beginner:
Were it not for the silver-dollar-size scar on the inside of his elbow, the legacy of an AK-47 round, [Lance Corporal] Jeffery Walker would look like any other freshman trying to survive the wrenching induction into the U.S. Naval Academy.

The wiry 20-year-old from Conover, N.C., calmly complied, following the yellow line taped to the floor of Alumni Hall on Tuesday. It marked the path to his new uniforms, to doctors' needles, to instructions on a proper salute and, ultimately, to becoming an officer.

Walker knows that no matter how exacting the next four years may be, no one will be shooting at him. Nor will he watch his fellow Marines spill blood on the streets of Fallujah.

"It won't be Iraq," he said.

Walker is part of a small but growing demographic of incoming cadets and midshipmen at the nation's service academies: combat veterans. He has the scar and the Purple Heart to prove it.

The Naval Academy has long accepted midshipmen from the enlisted ranks [has it ever not?]; it took 76 this year. But combat veterans have rarely been seen at the Annapolis institution since the Vietnam era. Walker is one of two sworn in yesterday, both Marines, both of whom fought in Iraq. [Well, we haven't had that many combat vets since then.] Academy officials expect more.

The number of veterans has grown sharply at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where 30 combat veterans were inducted this week, including a Purple Heart recipient, said West Point spokesman Frank DeMaro. Last year, there were 22. The year before that, eight.
"Their respect within the brigade will be high, especially when the other midshipmen see their combat ribbons on their chest," [Vice Adm. Rodney P.] Rempt[, the academy superintendent,] said. "What we do is encourage them to share their stories and their experiences and to help their classmates. But they still have to achieve all the same goals."

And this is kinda lazy:
And like all first-year midshipmen, he was instructed on the five basic responses all plebes need to know:

"Yes, sir." "No, sir." "Aye, aye." "No excuse." "I'll find out."

There should be a sir (or ma'am) after each of those.

Friday, July 01, 2005

The formatting is fixed!

Publius gets almost all of the credit (he'd get it all, but he didn't log in and paste in the code). He's also got a great blog, that link you see above and now also on the blogroll.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Strangely, it's the "weekends" that are making this overnight schedule hard. Not wanting to give up the daytime of my time off, I'm only getting two nights of somewhat extended sleep rather than three nights in my two days off.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The blog formatting is screwed up. I don't know why. I didn't change anything.
Christopher Caldwell in the The Weekly Standard:

"People often use the word 'culture' as a synonym for 'cuisine.' When they clim to adore the 'diverse and vibrant culture' of the city they live in, what they're actually trying to say, nine times out of ten, is that they like kung pao chicken. Those of us who grew up in Massachusetts often here strangers extol our culture. But it is seldom our accents or our well-earned sanctimony that so beguile them. They generally mean that they like fried clams."

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Comcast Message Center:

"Good Day Sir, It is my pleasure reaching you through this means, I am in need of a trust worthy foreign person that can assist me have my fund(s) worth 8Million English Pounds Stirling transferred out of the non operational bank account that my late Uncle, Chief. Honesty RJ. Brown deposited "

His uncle's name is "Honesty"! Well then he must be "trust worthy [sic]".

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

open book: Are you a Papist?:

Rod Dreher: "Jay Nordlinger's a Christian Scientist"

Things you'd never have guessed...

Friday, June 17, 2005

I've tied a Windsor knot in my tie this morning, well actually I tied it at night, but it is now morning. It's oddly semetrical.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Insanely, with that I should go to bed at near 8AM, since I have to be to work at 12AM (ie 16 hours from now). This overnights thing is going to just be wierd! Though I do get paid a bit more.
Total Number of Books I Own/ Have Owned: I probably own 300 currently, which doesn't sound like a lot except that I move a lot and like to move them with me. Sadly, here in NY I only have a couple dozen. The total I've owned is probably around 1,000, I've been pretty good about selling them.

Last Book I Bought:

Three actually:
Happiness and Contemplation by Josef Peiper
Christian State in Life by Adrienne von Speyr
American Prometheus: the Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin
Books I'm Reading Now:
American Prometheus and Relativity by Einstein

Five Books That Have Meant A Lot to Me:

I can't limit myself to five.

Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating
The 1662 Book of Common Prayer (substantially by Cramner)
The Book of Lights by Chiam Potok
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas (and the Summa Contra Gentiles as well, but for a completely different reason)
On Free Choice of the Will by St. Augustine (though that was probably just a matter of timing)
The Roman Missal
The Rule of St. Benedict (guess who wrote that)

I find that there's a group of historical fiction/non-fiction that's important to me, informed by my ancestry and personal history:

The Killer Angels (the Civil War) by Michael Shaara
The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War, and War and Rememberance (World War Two and the Holocaust) all by Herman Wouk
The Headmaster by John McPhee
Trinity by Leon Uris (though another novel or a straight history of Ireland could probably stand in here just as easily)
Good-Bye To All That by Robert Graves

Tag Five Other Bloggers to Do This - If they Wish
I don't know five bloggers...

It's interesting, but while I love books, my religion, politics, etc. have been influenced very much by other things. Beyond my upbringing, intellectual epiphanies were largely shaped by a radio show Catholic Answers Live (which I always listened to over the internet and have never actually heard on the radio) and my politics were shaped by reading The Freeman and as I think about it, the Wall Street Journal. Though religious and political books solidified the things I learned there. In becoming a philosopher, being taught to philosophize was more important than reading philosophy.

This was interestingly hopeful in another way, thinking about books and other places that I've learned from makes me realize how much I've learned and grown in understanding even relatively recently. Makes me more hopeful about the future of the enterprise.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

If this means what I think it does, it's pretty funny.
One of the public television stations (not 13, but I think 21) here in NYC is showing Witness to Hope during pledge week. I find this kind of shameless. They're not exactly promoters of Catholic values the rest of the year. with things like Now. Perhaps they'll be improving though, with the new guy in charge at CPB. He's certainly been getting rough treatment in the liberal media.
Today is some sort of Puerto Rican festival here in Midtown. It seems like we have a festival/parade every week. Last week was "Salute to Israel".

Wednesday, June 08, 2005 News | Everything you always wanted to know about the stem cell debate:

"There are also philosophical reasons to question the embryo's status. Does the embryo have a 'soul'? Bioethicists note that if it does, it's not an individual soul, since an embryo at this stage has not yet reached the point where it might split in two to become twins. An embryo can't be thought of as an individual person, some ethicists say, since it may actually become two different people."

I've seen this argument repeated over and over again and it is simply not a very good argument. This is akin to arguing that an adult can't have a soul because a child comes from biological material from it's parents. And it's parents recombined into three people.

The obvious reply is that when the embryo splits the soul that was there before is linked with one part and the new part gets a new soul. Just think of it as human reproduction being a bit more complicated.

Monday, June 06, 2005

I was just looking at the blog and realized that posts I had just posted had times on them that looked like an hour ago. The blog was still on East Indiana time!

It's fixed now.
I'd also add that there's been a lot more posting here than there has been someplace else.
Jeanetta is complaining that there aren't enough funny things she said on the blog anymore. The reason for this is most likely that she's not saying funny things to me. I think I'm the one who should complain. Harumph.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The New York Times Style section reports today, "The tie-front bolero sweaters seen everywhere provide today's uniform of T-shirt and jeans with an elegant high-waisted Empire silhouette."

I swear that I had the exact same thought yesterday. The Times beat me into print. (Not that I usually publish fashion criticism anywhere.)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

People might want to know that I have next Monday and Tuesday off and the following Monday and Tuesday.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I just got my renewal notice for National Review. I subscribe/d to the online version. I'm not going to renew. Instead of decided to subscribe to the (British) Prospect (in the online option for 1/5 the price). Which seems to resemble nothing as much as Michael Kelly's Atlantic. While I continue to subscribe to the Atlantic, I'm just not as happy with it as I used to be. As for National Review, between NRO (sorry guys, but it does take away from the NR craving for me), which I don't even read as much as I used to, and the Weekly Standard, which I get free at work, it seems less essential, not to mention that they reprint Bill Buckley's syndicated columns that are run in the New York Sun.
Roger Clegg writes, also in NRO:

You can read the Fourteenth Amendment all day and not find anything in it about the legality of gay sex, which was the issue in Lawrence v. Texas.

There's also an offhand bit in Frum's blog there from Sally Satel and Christina Sommers: "A modernized stoicism turns out to be a very effective life philosophy." We can add that mention to Don't Sweat the Small Stuff in the catalogue of modern stoics.
Warren Bell in an NRO article "Condumb?":

In 1856, Gustave Flaubert wrote Madame Bovary in part as a indictment of the promulgation of lending libraries, which were causing Emma-types to read the mass-culture novels of the day, and thereafter dream of romance and lovers. So, too, Sex and the City 140 years later, with the additional pernicious effect of promoting the Cosmopolitan as a suitable cocktail for people who are not holding poodles or smoking through a long black cigarette holder.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Here's an interesting bit of perspective. Recounted in this week's Weekly Standard:

After a series of academic succeses at Harvard College, [Robert Oppenheimer] went to England's Cambridge University in 1925 to study physics, but suffered a breakdown. Its most serious manifestation was poisoning his tutor's apple, an act that almost got him charged with attempted murder. Oppenheimer recovered, transferred to the University of Göttingen in Germany, and quickly became a star in the new and burgeoning field of quantum mechanics. Just two years after getting his bachelor's degree, he had a Ph.D. and a reputation as one of the leading young theoretical physicists in the world.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Professor Steven Landsburg of the University of Rochester:

Writing in Slate:

All of which is pure speculation, and pure speculation can lead one badly astray. My colleagues and I have a little game we sometimes play at lunch. We pick a local business and estimate its profit. (How many customers do we see going in per hour? How much does the average customer spend? How many employees are there, and how much do they probably earn? And so forth.) Our conclusion has invariably been that the business in question is losing money fast enough to bankrupt anyone this side of Bill Gates. Yet after 20 years, most of those businesses are still there. The conclusion is that either most retail establishments are owned by eccentric billionaires, or there's something about retailing we haven't figured out.

He's got a book too, Armchair Economist: the Economics of Everyday Life (and other books).

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Word is that private planes are going to be allowed back at Regan National in D.C. for the first time since 9/11. One of the requirements will be that they have an armed law enforcement officer on board. That seemed rather expensive to me. But then I realized that we're talking about private jets here, so it's not that much of a burden. Those suckers (the planes that is) are already pretty expensive.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tardy Pope stresses connection between institution and Spirit during noontime remarks

"Vatican City, May. 16, 2005 (CNA) - Yesterday, a 20-minute late Pope Benedict greeted some 40,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the noontime Regina Coeli prayer, beaming about his ordination of 21 new priests immediately before, and discussed the profound relationship between the Spirit and institution of the Church.

"The Holy Father asked the crowd 'to please excuse me for the great delay. I had the grace to ordain 21 priests and such a harvest for God lasts quite a bit of time, therefore, thank you for your understanding.'"

See, Thomas, he does need that watch.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World:

"Pope Benedict XVI has told the Israeli ambassador to the Vatican he intends to visit the main synagogue in Cologne, Germany, in August, becoming the second pontiff in history to visit a Jewish place of worship."

Well, Peter was a visitor of synagogues as well. So that would make at least three. I see this repeated in all sorts of news. What they should write is "the first modern Pope".

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Wow. Aaron Brown of CNN is wierd tonight. Is he always that wierd? I've never watched his show before.
I have next Sun, Monday, Tuesday off. Thinking of going back to VA for the three days. Gotta check the bus and train schedules.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Having just come off my "weekend" and the first two day weekend I've had in about a month it feels very Mondayish to me tonight, even though it's Friday for the rest of the world.

I guess my silent roomate has departed, since my landlord/roomate has now moved into the other bedroom. Next time I see him I'll have to make sure he can still make the rent on the reduced circumstances, while at the same time not offering to pay more myself.

I went to Mass yesterday, Ascension, Holy Day of Obligation, at St. Rita in the Bronx. Which appears to have be an ethnically Italian parish when it built it's building around 1905 (St. Rita being Umbrian). It seems they never got beyond building the basement. The Church is only one level and you go down below grade to enter it. There are quite a few other parishes within 5-blocks or so. St. Pius V (not SSPV), is only about a block and a half. It'd be interesting to know what ethnic groups/migrations were at work here that the Church was never finished. It's not clear from the interior either if it was ever more "built" then it is today, e.g. pre-Vatican II.

There were no MC's in evidence at the 12 noon Mass. There's adoration there at their convent every M-Thurs. at 2:30, but I had to go to work (ok, so I didn't have all of the two days off, but it was just an hour long meeting with the brass) by 3:15 in Midtown. They also have adoration Sunday evenings, so we'll see how Sunday night is. I still hate making phone calls.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Corner on National Review Online:

Passed along:

Fr. George Rutler invites you to a concert of music performed by Johannes Somary, on the occasion of the dedication of the Eileen Grady Manning Memorial Organ, at the Church of Our Saviour, 59 Park Avenue (at 38th Street), on Thursday, May 5, at 6 p.m.

Posted at 08:19 AM"

Saturday, April 30, 2005

The article from National "Catholic" Reporter is for subscribers only (I don't subscribe), but the preview is enough. Jeanetta'll love it:

Pink smoke declares 'priestly people come in both sexes'
By Catholic News Service

"Before the cardinals locked into the Sistine Chapel had a chance to cast their first ballot, a group protesting the lack of women’s voices in the conclave gathered outside Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago April 18 to send up billows of bright pink smoke along with prayers for women to be heard."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Is there some reason "top-quality pre-engineered steel buildings" are considered especially attractive to conservative radio show listeners?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

New link in the sidebar to the blog England Expects.

Friday, April 22, 2005 - Daily Dish:

"EMAIL OF THE DAY: 'I am a 67 year old gay man (born in the reign of Pius XI and have suffered under 5 popes - John XXIII being a breath of clean air - and Benedict XVI promises to continue the tradition of the others). I read and sympathize with your agony; may I offer some advice?
"1) If you want to be a Catholic, be one. Let no one define your Catholicity for you. Conservative Catholics, alternating between crowing and fulminating, do not speak for the whole church as it has marched down through the ages. (Think Dorothy Day, Bernadette Soubirous, Francis of Assisi, the fathers Berrigan, GK Chesterton, to name but a few.) Although I don't have precise figures, my guess is that, in the Western hemisphere, they are in the minority. In America, they make 'majority' noises because they have united with evangelical Protestants to vote for the Bush Imperium. It is a dangerous liaison; to the fundamentalists, the Church of Rome has always been the Whore of Babylon."

GK Chesterton fought against the Church? That's way out there. Francis was very strictly obedient to the Church. He just happened to get instructions directly from Chirst. I don't think Mr. Sullivan would make progress claiming those criteria. Same w/Bernadette, but substitute Mary. Note that both were taken seriously by the Church w/in their lifetimes. Dorthy Day is a complicated figure theologically. Where Church doctrine was clear she toed the line.

See here:

"She was theologically and liturgically traditional, while radical in her social justice activism. She once stated, "[w]hen it comes to labor and politics, . . . I am inclined to be sympathetic to the left, but when it comes to the Catholic Church, then I am far to the right." 478"

"478. For example, the Catholic Worker has never concentrated significant attention to issues of abortion or homosexuality. See Voices from the Catholic Worker 63 (Rosalie Riegle Troester ed., 1993). "That was a very funny thing about Dorothy. For all her radicalism politically, Dorothy had a profoundly conservative streak in her makeup. She was a very conservative Catholic, theologically ...." Id. at 75. "Dorothy was an extremely orthodox Catholic, not at all theologically a dissident. She certainly would not at all favor abortion. She would, I think take a very dim view of homosexual behavior." Id. at 80; see also Alden Whitman, Dorothy Day, Outspoken Catholic Activist, Dies at 83, N.Y. Times, Nov. 30, 1980, at 45."
In German town, Benedict XVI known for love of cats, conversation - Yahoo! News:

"Hofbauer and many others in Regensburg, where the new pope remains on the faculty rolls, shared mixed emotions, pride and sorrow, when they heard the news. Georg Ratzinger said he almost feels as if he's lost his brother, knowing that it won't be easy to see him now.

"'I thought he'd retire soon, and we would finally have a lot of time to finish all the talks we've started through the years. We talked about that, just this Christmas when he was home,' Hofbauer said.

"'He thought it sounded nice, to retire, to take it easy. That's not how it worked out though, is it?'"

Kind of sad.
In German town, Benedict XVI known for love of cats, conversation - Yahoo! News:

"'I went with him once,' said Konrad Baumgartner, the head of the theology department at Regensburg University. 'Afterwards, he went into the old cemetery behind the church.

"'It was full of cats, and when he went out, they all ran to him. They knew him and loved him. He stood there, petting some and talking to them, for quite a long time. He visited the cats whenever he visited the church. His love for cats is quite famous.'

"...those who know the man known as 'God's Rottweiler' say his soft, human side has been ignored.

"The pope loves cats, can't resist Christmas cookies and, three months ago, waxed on about how he dreamed of retiring from the hectic life at the Vatican to enjoy his last years reading, writing and talking with friends."

Cats! We've found the Holy Father's flaw.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

ScrappleFace: Vatican Spins Off U.S. Catholic Church

"(2004-04-20) -- In one of his first official moves, Pope Benedict XVI today announced that the Vatican would "spin off" the U.S. division of the Roman Catholic church, but retain a 49-percent stake in the new entity, called R.C. Lite."

Personally I was pulling for "New Church", or "Passover Coke" or something.
National Catholic Reporter: Joan Chittister April 13, 2005:

"Journalists are rushing from source to source trying to determine the future of a church led by a theologian considered by many to be both doctrinaire and dogmatic. "

Doctrine and Dogma from a Catholic? Who'd've thunk it?

Well obviously Joanniekins wasn't expecting it...

"Did anyone really think such an election could happen at a time when the church is apparently more in need of openness than intransigent resistance in the face of so much new information and emerging new questions? Answer: No."

Umm, Michael Novak predicted it and there were others. People who actually report and analyze and don't just project their own views onto the Church. John Allen of your very own paper thought it entirely likely.

"Does anyone know why the Cardinals of the church elected as Pope one of its most polarizing personalities? Answer: No. "

Umm, well the quick answer is that the electors presumably know why they voted for him.

"Hospitality, the fourth dimension of Benedictine spirituality, takes everyone in. No one is excluded from the Christian community. No one is too bad, too poor, too useless, too unimportant to be part of the community. 'Let the Guest be treated as Christ,' the Rule says. Treating one another as Christ becomes the norm."

We should note that there is also a section in the Rule on excommunication.

Anyhow, it's not as bad as one might of expected from the ex-Abbess.
The New York Times > International > International Special > New Pope's Birthplace Becomes a Center of Pride, With Muted Misgivings at the Edges:

A former subject from Munich chimes in:

"'He would never be able to connect with young people like John Paul,' said Christian Schuster, 35. 'The pope had humility. Cardinal Ratzinger has a different image. He is a very powerful man.'"

Of course, Schuster was 12 when the Pope moved to Rome.

The New York Times > International > International Special > New Pope's Birthplace Becomes a Center of Pride, With Muted Misgivings at the Edges:

"In the joyful din here, there were few dissenting voices concerning Cardinal Ratzinger or his conservative leanings. 'The pope must set a path for the church that he believes in,' said Engelbert Feldner, 69, the town's former brew master. 'He can't bend with the times.'"

And if you were wondering about the culture of the Pope's hometown, note that they have a "Brew master".
The New York Times > International > International Special > For America's Divided Roman Catholics, a New Disagreement:

"Clem Boleche, 29, an Augustinian brother from the Philippines who is studying to be a priest in the Archdiocese of Boston, said his classmates at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology rushed into a room with a television to await the announcement of the new pope. When Cardinal Ratzinger appeared on the balcony, he said, the room grew silent.

"Brother Boleche said he and many others were hoping for someone less conservative and more open to debating church doctrine.

"'I'm honestly not surprised, but I think it would have been more exciting, more of a challenge, if he came from a different area,' Brother Boleche said. 'Latin America is alive. It is open, and is not stifling the spirit like many European churches.'"

With all due respect to Brother Boleche, how much experience does a 29 year old seminarian from the Phillipines who studies in America have with the "stifiling of the spirit" of the European Church, or for that matter with the "alive"ness of Latin America.
Voice of the faithful spokeswoman optimistic about Ratzinger!

The New York Times > International > International Special > For America's Divided Roman Catholics, a New Disagreement:

"Some groups critical of the church's handling of sexually abusive priests also said it was too early to draw conclusions. Suzanne Morse, communications director for Voice of the Faithful, which advocates a greater role for the laity in church governance, said that even when the new pope was a cardinal, his views on the abuse scandal were evolving.

Ms. Morse said that when the first accusations were made against priests, Cardinal Ratzinger 'seemed to think the problem was a media creation.' She added, 'But since then, we have seen small but significant signs that he has some sense of the scope of the clergy sexual abuse crisis.'"
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Smoke Gets in Our News:

"After all, Cardinal Ratzinger, nicknamed 'God's Rottweiler' and 'the Enforcer,' helped deny Communion rights to John Kerry and other Catholic politicians in the 2004 election."

It's my own fault for reading Maureen Dowd, nicknamed "the petulant child", but when was John Kerry denied communion?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 | "The church will continue to suffer":

Andrew Greeley:

"Women -- and not only in the United States -- are very angry at the church. It is no exaggeration to say that many of them, devout Catholics to the core, will tell you they hated John Paul because he hated women."

Othewise known as "people who are insane".

"He will have to put off his persona as stats professor and put on his persona as a parish priest."

A Stats Professor? Wow, that's a very strange comment. It kind of makes sense since Greeley is a sociologist and sociologist spend a lot of time studying statistics. I wonder if he's refering to his colleagues or his old professors.

Frances Kissling:

"I can no longer delude myself about these princes’ almost total lack of interest in healing the divide in the Church, in showing compassion for or even in listening to the voices of the suffering. The time for nuance is over. Let the unholy war begin."

Was the manuevering she did after the election was tactical and not a real change of heart? I think you've already been fighting the bad fight for a lot of years ma'am.

"Mary Segers, professor of political science at Rutgers University"

"Ratzinger thinks that since Europe has Christian roots, by definition you can't admit a Muslim country into the European Union. That worries me more than anything else, because I think that one of the tasks the next pope must undertake is making some sort of outreach to Islam."

Huh? I guess this is a reference to Turkey. tells us:

"In an interview with Le Figaro in 2004, Ratzinger expressed his clear view on one of the most divisive issues facing the EU: 'Turkey has always represented a different continent, in permanent contrast to Europe,' he was quoted as saying."

But it's not that surprising that their's controversy over Turkey. That's why they're not members already. And we all know how much weight Catholic views get in the EU. Remember the controversy over the preamble to the constitution. Then there was the EU presidency candidate who was "outed" as a Catholic and forced to step aside.

"James Martin, Jesuit priest, associate editor of America magazine and author of 'In Good Company'"

"While I trust that the Holy Spirit will be helping Pope Benedict XVI over the next few years, I would be lying if I didn't say how disappointed I was by the cardinals' selection of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as pope. To my mind, there were many other candidates who had more pastoral experience, who have been more open to dialogue with other religions, and who have demonstrated more sensitivity to the thoughtful questioning that has always characterized Christian theology. But the cardinals quickly settled on a man who would forcefully continue John Paul's approach to governing the church. I can only pray that Pope Benedict proves to be more tolerant and open-minded than Cardinal Ratzinger was. But stranger things have happened in the Catholic Church, and I am hoping that the God of Surprises will surprise all of us."

But of course theologians who have worked with Ratzinger say just that about him, that he's open to questioning. And the World Jewish Congress and the Traditional Anglican Communion both have commented on how open to interfaith discussion he is. Oh, but you wanted him to be open to Liberal discussion.

There's a lot more nonsense later on in the article. For instance that he left Tubingen because of student unrest, which is true but unremarkable. Would you want to teach theology with Marxists sitting-in during your classes? Not a productive use of ones time. But I'm bored with it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

National Catholic Reporter: Electing a new pope April 19, 2005:

"As a young priest, Ratzinger was on the progressive side of theological debates, and served at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) as a peritus for reform-minded Cardinal Josef Frings of Cologne, Germany. After the student revolutions of 1968, however, Ratzinger shifted to the right. In the Vatican, he has been the driving force behind crackdowns on liberation theology, religious pluralism, challenges to traditional moral teachings on issues such as homosexuality, and dissent on issues such as women's ordination."

Really that should say "a great mass of academic theologians, especially ones that were paid attention to by the media, shifted to the left making Ratzinger, a theologian seem to be on the right.

As best I can tell, I've got Ratzinger's memoir, but I've just started reading it, Ratzinger is in the vein of the synthesis of Thomism, philosophical personalism (with such proponents as Martin Buber, Karol Wojtyla [tempered by phenomenology], and more recently Leon Kass], and the nouvelle theologie of de Lubac and von Balthazar, a school that doesn't really have a name other than "the ascendent modern orthodoxy", rather than the further left Kung, Rahner, and Schillebeckx.
Great shirts!

That says: "Viva El Presidente Summers!"

Sadly not in my size.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

This is pretty funny:

From the NY Daily News today:
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is cracking down on narcotics detectives to tame what some brass consider a cowboy culture open to corruption, the Daily News has learned.

Amazing! Didn't anyone who's ever watched a cop show on TV know this already?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

National Catholic Reporter: Electing a new pope April 11, 2005: "Outline of a Ratzinger papacy"

John Allen practically endorses the Ratzinger papacy.
Inside the Vatican - Monthly Catholic Magazine: "Rosario's Choice

- by Dr. Robert Moynihan, Editor, Inside the Vatican"

This is the most interesting article I've seen yet on the conclave. Whether it's the best article won't be known, of course, until after the conclave.
There's an Benedictine monastery of (largely) Americans in Italy at Norcia. If you think that's a long way to go to join a religious congregation, consider the nascent Canons Regular of Jesus the Lord. They're recruiting for their Canonry in Vladivostock.
An interesting article on goings on in Theology.

Friday, April 15, 2005

National Review Online has reposted Jonah Goldberg's essay on McDonald's which includes this classic line:

"Watson credits McDonald's for the fact that middle- and upper-class customers in Hong Kong, and increasingly throughout China, have come to accept a wait-your-turn system instead of mobs. This may sadden traditionalists, but nostalgia for mobs is not a strong argument."
Another in our continuing series "Do not confuse...":

Hans Kung and Hans Urs von Balthasar

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Mass at St. Patrick's last night had the usual annoyances (the usher who always decides that the consecration is a great time to dump money into the box, and he's standing right outside of the choir!), but the organ playing was very strange. The program said the playing was being done by the principal organist. The solo playing and improvisation was outstanding, including a "Tu Es Petrus" (not Durufle's but it escapes me at the moment whose it was) that was amazing. The hymn playing included, however, impossible ritardandos at the end of the hymns and exagerated rubato. This made singing along very difficult. (The choice of communion hymns was also unfortunate. We had both "Be Not Afraid" and another similar hymn. One would have been alright, but two in a row was a bit too much sentimentality all in a place.)

Saturday, April 09, 2005

5 cities on $250 a day
"Experience the most glamorous places for less"

Umm...that's quite a bit of money isn't it?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Restaurants I want to try:

Hummus Place
Listed in New York as a place for meals under $10.
109 St. Marks Pl. (212)-529-9198

Chef profiled (was it GQ or Esquire I forget) for his doing unnatural things to food, e.g. fried mayonnaise, also mentioned as "Weird Food That Actually Tastes Good" in New York.
50 Clinton St. (212)-477-2900

Japanese Chicken wings. Positive note in the Sun.
144 West 19th St. (212)-924-3335

Richshaw Dumpling House
From the Post.
61 W. 23rd St. (212)-924-9220

Also the resurrected Jazz club Smalls at 183 W. 10th St.

(Ok, I admit, the purpose of this post was mainly to get a stack of restaurant reviews of my desk.)

Friday, April 01, 2005

From Amy Jean:

make black the states you've been to, bold the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C.
The Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Daniel and Companions

Friars Minor and martyrs; dates of birth unknown; died 10 October, 1227. The martyrdom of St. Berard and his companions in 1219 had inflamed many of the religious of the Order of Friars Minor with the desire of preaching the Gospel in heathen lands; and in 1227, the year following St. Francis's death, six religious of Tuscany, Agnellus, Samuel, Donulus, Leo, Hugolinus, and Nicholas, petitioned Brother Elias of Cortona, then vicar-general of the order, for permission to preach the Gospel to the infidels of Morocco. The six missionaries went first to Spain, where they were joined by Daniel, Minister Provincial of Calabria, who became their superior. They set sail from Spain and on 20 September reached the coast of Africa, where they remained for a few days in a small village inhabited mostly by Christian merchants just beyond the walls of the Saracen city of Ceuta. Finally, very early on Sunday morning, they entered the city, and immediately began to preach the Gospel and to denounce the religion of Mahomet. They were soon apprehended and brought before the sultan who, thinking that they were mad, ordered them to be cast into prison. Here they remained until the following Sunday when they were again brought before the sultan, who, by promises and threats, endeavoured in vain to make them deny the Christian religion. They were all condemned to death. Each one approached Daniel, the superior, to ask his blessing and permission to die for Christ. They were all beheaded. St. Daniel and his companions were canonized by Leo X in 1516. Their feast is kept in the order on the thirteenth of October.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The New York Times Magazine ran a story today "The Soul of the New Exurb". They were doing alright until we come to this paragraph, ostensibly explaining the history and particular demonational beliefs of the Assemblies of God (emphasis mine):
McFarland frequently refers to himself as a mail-order pastor. In fact -- and he readily acknowledges this too -- he never finished his pastoral coursework. He can lead Radiant anyway because the denomination to which Radiant belongs, the Assemblies of God, doesn't require its pastors to be ordained. This is not a mere quirk in the bylaws. The Assemblies, a Pentecostal movement that grew out of the preapocalyptic revivalism of the early 20th century and counts John Ashcroft (the son of an Assemblies minister) among its more prominent members, has historically been skeptical of all institutional education, seminaries included. The movement now has its own seminary in Springfield, Mo., but it continues to hew to tenets that most other denominations consider radical. Among other things, the Assemblies treats the Bible as fact and believes in miracles, faith healing and speaking in tongues.

Well, Catholics "hew to" all three of these "radical tenets". Now, some Christians believe speaking-in-tongues ceased in the Apostolic age, others believe it is an infrequently (nowadays) bestowed gift of the Holy Spirit, but no one doesn't believe in it. I don't think there are any denominations that would deny that Jesus "healed the sick" either, which is the essential belief of faith-healing, the difference is whether, how often, how, and in what way it continues to the present day. And no Mr. Fancy New York Writer, it's not just the ignorant hicks who believe the bible is "fact", a locution that could cover everyone from Jerry Falwell to John Dominic Crossan.
There's a fun New Yorker magazine parody blog here.
Urbi et Orbi Message of His Holiness Pope John Paul II:

3. Stay with us, Living Word of the Father,
and teach us words and deeds of peace:
peace for our world consecrated by your blood
and drenched in the blood of so many innocent victims:
peace for the countries of the Middle East and Africa,
where so much blood continues to be shed;
peace for all of humanity,
still threatened by fratricidal wars.
Stay with us, Bread of eternal life,
broken and distributed to those at table:
give also to us the strength to show generous solidarity
towards the multitudes who are even today
suffering and dying from poverty and hunger,
decimated by fatal epidemics
or devastated by immense natural disasters.
By the power of your Resurrection,
may they too become sharers in new life.

4. We, the men and women of the third millennium,
we too need you, Risen Lord!
Stay with us now, and until the end of time.
Grant that the material progress of peoples
may never obscure the spiritual values
which are the soul of their civilization.
Sustain us, we pray, on our journey.
In you do we believe, in you do we hope,
for you alone have the words of eternal life (cf. Jn 6:68).
Mane nobiscum, Domine! Alleluia!

The whole thing is here on the website of the Holy See.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

John Allen of National Catholic Reporter interviewed in Newsweek:

A common criticism of Opus Dei is that it appears to be a cliquey and elitist organization. Is it?

There is some truth to that. Your point of departure has to be that this is a group that has been savagely attacked for decades, so there is a tendency for them to feel comfortable with one another than with outsiders. As far as the elitism goes, again I think there's no corporate policy that they want to be elitist. I went to nine countries for this book [and in] every country I would go to—every one—in addition to seeing top officials, Opus Dei would also get me to see a bus driver, barber or a mechanic because they know there is this perception of elitism and they want you to understand that there are also blue-collar people, which is true. But on the other hand I would say that, again, going back to the sociology, inside the Catholic Church, particularly for young practicing Catholics, it's a little bit like the Marines—you know, "the few, the proud." They tend to attract very driven, idealistic, hard-working, smart people, and therefore there probably is an overrepresentation of what you would consider elites inside Opus Dei which is not their fault, I just think it's the reality of what their market is. And frankly, even the bus drivers and barbers I met, these were damn hardworking bus drivers and barbers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

One effect of the Schiavo case has been to let loose a torrent of nonsense about living wills. The following from Robert George, interviewed by National Review Online is a useful corrective:
Even if we were to credit Michael Schiavo's account of his conversation with Terri before her injury — which I am not inclined to do — it is a mistake to assume that people can make decisions in advance about whether to have themselves starved to death if they eventually find themselves disabled. That's why living wills have proven to be so often unreliable. One does not know how one will actually feel, or how one will feel about one's life and the prospect of death, or whether one will retain a desire to live despite a mental or physical disability, when one is not actually in that condition and when one is envisaging it from the perspective of more or less robust health.

Consider the case of a beautiful young woman — an actress or fashion model perhaps — who is severely burned in a fire. Prior to actually finding herself in such a condition, she might have supposed — and even said, if the subject had come up in a conversation — that she would rather be dead than live with her face grotesquely disfigured. But no one would be surprised if in the actual event she did not try to kill herself by starvation or some other means, and did not want to die.

George is of course against starving Schiavo to death. The whole interview is here.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Cover story -- Church in Crisis: Mahony, in legal battle, insists church has right to secrecy

Man, how ironic that the liberals' favorite bishop can't get his act together on this. I thought the sex scandals were supposed to be all about a conservative clericalism, ultramontanism, and the exclusion of lay people from church government.

Even if Mahoney wants to resurrect some kind of benefit of clergy, he should know that it was abolished in the common law for "atrocious crimes, murder, poisoning, burglary, highway robbery, and sacrilege" by statute in the reign of Edward III. See the Catholic Encylopedia article on Benefit of Clergy.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Ted: “This is not our country; we’re guests here. . . . There’s a lot of anti-NATO feeling here. . . . Actually here it’s OTAN.”

Fred: “They’re against OTAN? What are they for—Soviet troops racing across Europe, eating all the croissants?”

--Barcelona, Whit Stillman

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

So my current, "Do not confuse these two" isAmy Sullivan and Amy Wellborn.
JIMMY AKIN.ORG: Distance Doctorates?

I have a long comment on this post. I'm not sure how interesting it is.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

In The New York Sun, headline over the review of the new Bruce Willis movie, Hostage:
'Die Hard,' With a Ninja
Bruce Willis was born in Germany according to his IMDB bio.
Songs of Innocence, Introduction
You are 'regularly metric verse'. This can take
many forms, including heroic couplets, blank
verse, and other iambic pentameters, for
example. It has not been used much since the
nineteenth century; modern poets tend to prefer
rhyme without meter, or even poetry with
neither rhyme nor meter.

You appreciate the beautiful things in life--the
joy of music, the color of leaves falling, the
rhythm of a heartbeat. You see life itself as
a series of little poems. The result (or is it
the cause?) is that you are pensive and often
melancholy. You enjoy the company of other
people, but they find you unexcitable and
depressing. Your problem is that regularly
metric verse has been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

(via the Saintly Simmerin' Simians.)
Argghh, so that Theology on Tap is actually on one of the last days of my working evenings, so I won't be there.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Well I seem to be my life's own resident idiot today.

Friday, March 11, 2005

An interesting take on the current crisis in Northern Ireland:

From Slate, in an article, "Gerry's Kids: The IRA and Sinn Fein are in trouble. So where does Gerry Adams go from here?":

If Adams really approved the bank raid, it's hard not to ask: What was he thinking? One fascinating theory says the bank robbery might actually be part of Adams' covert strategy to force a recalcitrant IRA to lay down its weapons once and for all. Ed Moloney, an award-winning journalist and author of A Secret History of the IRA, says Adams may have sanctioned the robbery knowing the ensuing outrage would force the hand of the hard-liners in his midst, leaving them with a stark choice: Either go back to war, a political non-starter in the post-9/11 world, or, if republicans are to preserve the credibility they have gained both on the island and in London and Washington, lay down their arms for good. In other words, republicans can run a major political party, or they can be ostracized and lumped in with Osama Bin Laden.

Perhaps I'm a bit prejediced to see this as good news because I've written (in The Irish Rover) that he, unlike the Islam-facists, is someone with whom we can negotiate--limited aims and all that, but he's just so damn cheeky.
This is an odd test and an odd result (via The Tiffster):

You're the Fashion Plate!
You're the Fashion Plate!
Take What sort of Hipster are you? today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You know what's "in" and what's "out," and you give those trends the finger! You wear what you want and get damn respect for it. You still own pants you wore in high school. Your hair is five different shades of hip. You make it cool to shop at Goodwill, the Gap, and even Walmart. You hang out in crowded bars and restaurants, but don't care if anyone is even looking at you (though they are). You're swank and friendly and at ease just about anywhere. You're well-liked and talked about. The world wants to be just like you.
Just because it's Friday, doesn't mean you get to slack off, get commenting peons.
Who's in:

WHAT: Theology on Tap – “What Does the Eucharist Mean to the Modern Person?”

WHEN: Tuesday, March 15, 2005

WHERE: Metro 53 Restaurant and Lounge 307 East 53rd Street, between Second and First Avenues (212) 838-0007. E/V Trains to Lexington Avenue stop, 6 Train to 51st Street stop.

TIME: 7pm-whenever

DETAILS: Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, will be giving a lecture on this topic. 7pm begins the Happy Hour, 7:30pm is the lecture, followed by a chat and mingle from 8:30pm on.
So I found a great place to get my hair cut. $10 (plus tip of course) fast and in the old-style. Russian (or other cyrillic-alphabet using) Jews I think, though possibly some of them are Jews and some of them are Russian. Right here in Midtown, basement of 55 W 47th, between 5th and 6th in amongst all the jewelry repairers and such of the Diamond District.

It would be kinda of amusing to engage in some street theater there. Stand outside muttering like the hawkers, "Buy Gold, Buy Diamonds," but mutter different things: "Avacados for sale." "We buy ballet tickets."
Here's a trivia question for you: what is/are the suffragan see(s) of the Archdiocese of Washington?
That's a Monday I think:

New York City Meliora Celebration—Reflections on the University of Rochester
• April 11, 2005
• see times below
• Tavern on the Green

6:30—cocktail reception

7:45—welcoming remarks by Nathan F. Moser '75, CEO of National Envelope Corporation and Chair of the Rochester Regional Leadership Cabinet of Metro New York
President Jackson has led the Univeristy with distinction for 11 years. He leaves his most lasting legacy in undergraduate education. Among his many accomplishments, President Jackson created the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering to provide an integrated learning environment; devised the successful and nationally noted Rochester Renaissance Plan; and transformed the undergraduate experience into one built squarely on the ideals of research.

There is no charge for this event, but reservations are required. Please contact the Office of College Advancement at (800) 281.2055 to register. Tavern on the Green is located at Central Park at West 67th Street.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

"Without a Trace" is the most consistently good entertainment program I see on TV (and at work we see at lot of TV). Though it's not, I believe, that realistic.
Sen. Robert "Sheets" Byrd (pace Rush) said tonight on "Hannity & Colmes" that the Sermon on the Mount had persuaded him to leave the KKK. Now, I'm against the KKK and I love the Sermon on the Mount, but wouldn't 1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:28, or Colossians 3:11 have been more relevant choices (all "neither slave nor free, Jew nor Greek" chapters). I don't know, it just seems a silly attribution to me.
I may be coming down with a cold, which would be lousy.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Three of the five titles in "read regularly" were in Latin so I translated the other two.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The New York intellectuals who wrote for Partisan Review and Commentary were called "the Family." Unlike Charles Manson's clan, they only killed in print. (Walter Kirn likened them to "literary mobsters but without the actual Mafia's occasional spasms of mercy for its own.")